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Advice needed - upcoming birthday party

(66 Posts)
Mum1012 Sat 12-Sep-20 12:21:12

Hello all

I am seeking some advice
We have a birthday party booked for our 3yo in a few weeks. We have exclusive hire of a soft play for 25 kids (all from his pre-school who he spends 3 days a week with).
All parents (one per child) are to sit at socially distanced tables with masks unless actively eating or drinking.

The soft play said that we can go ahead as it is the bubble is is with at school anyway and they are a Covid secure venue and all adults will be at separate tables.

The reality is that we could all go, separately but at the same time and have no issues at all. But the fact that is is a ‘party’ is troubling me and making me think people won’t want to come or judge us.
Personally I think this is a lot safer as it is just the children he is with three times a week anyway and all parents will be sat one per table.

Which is obviously way safer than 30 random kids at soft play at any given session but somehow this isn’t frowned upon!!

Opinions please.

Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
lonelyplanet Sat 12-Sep-20 12:27:30

It will clearly be breaking the law.

Alexandernevermind Sat 12-Sep-20 12:31:12

I don't think I would bother. Realistically 3yos aren't going to play unsupervised, and parents aren't going to be able to stay at their socially distanced tables.

letsmaketea Sat 12-Sep-20 12:33:15

If the venue say it's ok, then it's ok. They wouldn't risk their business.

Spied Sat 12-Sep-20 12:36:42

I personally think it's really irresponsible to go to soft-play during a world pandemic.
They should be shut imo and can't understand how they are allowing them to stay open.
I can't see many families turning up.

PleasantVille Sat 12-Sep-20 12:38:41

That seems totally against any guideline, are you in England? Weird response from the venue imo

Realitea Sat 12-Sep-20 12:41:57

It’s breaking the law organising a gathering of over six people
The venue said that because they don’t want to lose the money

FatGirlShrinking Sat 12-Sep-20 12:46:02

The venue are running a business and can't afford to lose income, their advice does go against the law though. You are clearly all meeting in a group and that group includes more than 6 people.

If you were all unknown to each other then it would be reasonable to assume that the adults would maintain social distancing and stay at your separate tables.

As you do all know each other it is reasonable to assume you won't maintain social distancing, you will hand over gifts, greet each other, when you're cutting the cake people will help hand it out, if a child falls over or gets upset, the nearest adult will jump up to help them. The kids won't just be random strangers passing each other by on the softplay, they will be actively playing with each other, sitting together on the slide and so on.

Itsabeautifuldayheyhey Sat 12-Sep-20 12:46:42

The venue are lying to you. The 'rule of 6' applies to parties. Look at the Govt website for advice - not parties with an economic interest. I'm really surprised you need to ask.

Mum1012 Sat 12-Sep-20 12:47:43

Yes we are in England.

I am sure the guideline is no more than groups of 6.

Parents will be sitting one per table distanced in masks.

Children are all mixing at the same pre-school three times a week anyway.

I have no strong feeling either way on it. I am happy not to go ahead I just feel disappointed for him but of course it isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things.

If they are open - why would we not be able to sit one person per table and children inside the soft play who are with each other three times a week anyway.

So at 1pm it would be fine to take kids there to a session with a group of 30 other children.
But at 3pm we can’t turn up there and have 25 children who already share germs 3x a week just because it is a gathering for a birthday.

And they will play away from their parents, should have said it is a 4th birthday.

As I said it is not the end of the world if we cancel, I am not 100% set either way, just trying to get some others opinions smile

OP’s posts: |
Mum1012 Sat 12-Sep-20 12:49:46

Thanks all.

Think we will speak to the venue again on Monday and seek some clarification as to where they feel they have found out that it is ok to continue.

OP’s posts: |
Kungfupanda67 Sat 12-Sep-20 12:50:46

I’d send a message out saying that you’ve maintained your exclusive hire and anyone who still wants to come can, but say what you’ve said here, we’ll all be sitting separately and please only one parent per child, no siblings, strictly only children in the nursery bubble. Add in that you won’t be offended if they don’t want to come.

In all honestly though the party was more against the rules before this new rule of 6 than it is now. You could sit at tables of 6 adults from different households now, last week you could only have 2 households together inside

katemonster Sat 12-Sep-20 12:51:33

Look at the way that infections are rising.
No way this party is happening in a few weeks time. And it is illegal anyway from Monday- it is 8 times bigger than the legal maximum!
And pp are right, I can't imagine people will want to show up. 25 kids and 25 parents is a v big group. I would definitely swerve it.
And what parent wants to spend 2 hours sat at their own table (did they even have 25 tables?) sad
Sorry about that. I think it would be much more sensible to knock it on the head now.

inappropriateraspberry Sat 12-Sep-20 12:52:29

You can have the party. You just have to keep to groups of six in the venue and not mix. Numbers depend on the size of the venue and the practicality of distancing in groups of six. If you have to go to your child, then you put on your mask, walk around and see to your child.
Check the gov guidelines for Covid secure premises, it's all there.

happylittlechick Sat 12-Sep-20 12:54:00

I worked at a soft play. They make 90% of their profits from parties. With the current restrictions they will be running at a loss for normal play sessions. Their only chance of survival is to run parties. But they are breaking the law. It doesn't matter who it is or if they are a COVID secure venue. You and them are breaking the law. If anyone reported you or the venue you would be facing a fine. Is it worth it? The venue seem to think so. Personally I wouldn't.

inappropriateraspberry Sat 12-Sep-20 12:59:46

From 14 September, whether indoors or outdoors people from different households must not meet in groups of more than 6. This limit does not apply to meetings of a single household group or support bubble which is more than 6 people. Community facilities following COVID-19 secure guidelines can host more than 6 people in total, but no one should visit or socialise in a group of greater than 6. Further information on social contact rules, social distancing and the exemptions that exist can be found on the guidance on meeting with others safely. These rules will not apply to workplaces or education settings, alongside other exemptions. See more details on what has changed.

This is for community facilities like village halls etc, couldn't find specific for soft play, but it's the same principle.

lonelyplanet Sat 12-Sep-20 13:12:31

FindingNeverland1 Sat 12-Sep-20 13:19:01

I'd try and get your money back or a voucher to postpone until next year. It's just not the time for this sort of thing unfortunately.

While we have been socialising in parks or small groups I probably wouldn't go as far as taking my kid to a soft play centre. Even if it's class bubble.

RedskyAtnight Sat 12-Sep-20 13:26:17

I think this is a good example of why the rule of 6 was brought in.
Can't believe that 25 families thought this was ok even before the change in law!

IceCreamAndCandyfloss Sat 12-Sep-20 13:38:23


I think this is a good example of why the rule of 6 was brought in.
Can't believe that 25 families thought this was ok even before the change in law!

I know. It’s much clearer now, six people unless in work, education setting or organised sport.

I’d have been horrified to have received an invite in the first instance. All those parents and children each with numerous contacts.

People seem to think that children don’t have to SD like in Scotland but we have different rules.

FelicityPike Sat 12-Sep-20 13:41:02

Breaking the law. Even in Scotland that would be illegal.

FelicityPike Sat 12-Sep-20 13:41:21

Plus our soft play places are still closed.

TheLastStarfighter Sat 12-Sep-20 13:46:54

You’d be facing a massive fine. It’s very obviously a gathering of more than 6 people as you have exclusive use of the place.

Otherwise weddings of 400 people would be going ahead with people saying “it’s OK, they’re at tables of 6”.

inappropriateraspberry Sat 12-Sep-20 13:49:05

I was at a soft play yesterday, and they said that apparently they come under the sport and leisure category, so can continue to operate with appropriate distancing and rules.
They serve food so are also a restaurant. Most soft plays do this and can operate.

BlueberryDream Sat 12-Sep-20 13:51:52

Yes I wondered if the venue was using the 'organised sport' reason to be allowed to stay open

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