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Soft Play Inverness - Any ideas welcome!

(25 Posts)
Angelsus Thu 24-Jul-08 14:57:38


I'm currently looking into starting my own soft play business in Inverness as I think we are really lacking one!

I would really love your thoughts on what you'd like it to have, how often you'd go, pricing etc. Also if you have any feedback from any other soft plays you've visited that'd be greatly appreciated.


Miaou Thu 24-Jul-08 15:05:20

Angelsus - I'm too far from Inverness to make any use of it I'm afraid (in Caithness) - but I would want the following:

- Highly visible members of staff who are prepared to remove/speak to unruly children/parents

- Good range of drinks and snacks (tea, coffee, sandwiches etc)

- Water available free for children to drink

- Parents able to get to children if necessary (if stuck at the top and too afraid to get down!)

- regularly cleaned out ball pool and all surfaces wiped down

hope that helps!

Angelsus Thu 24-Jul-08 20:04:31

Thanks for that - I know what you mean about the ball pool!!

MommyUpNorth Thu 24-Jul-08 20:23:31

Would just add the possibility of something for the slightly older siblings who are usually over the height limit? My dd (just turned 8) and is always wanting to go in with her younger brothers!

No idea about prices as I'm really out of the loop on that. We're up in Caithness as well, but are in Inverness regularly for hospital appointments... so would use it!

Miaou Thu 24-Jul-08 22:10:16

Good idea Mommy - table football perhaps?

Angelsus Fri 25-Jul-08 13:17:57

Thanks again - I had been thinking about activities for older kids/dads! Pool tables, giant games like Connect 4 and a Football table is a really good idea.

Had my first meeting with a business mentor today so am feeling really excited but nervous as well - so much to do before I can even think about opening up but i shall keep you posted.

helpmaboab Fri 25-Jul-08 13:47:43

That would be fantastic as it's somthing that's sorely lacking in Inverness (i've often thought it would be a good business idea!). I'm sure it would be very well used - especially in the winter/rainy days.

Things i would look for are:

Number 1: Good coffee!!
snacks and healthy food
separate area for birthday parties would be good - for party games etc
comfy chairs/sofas for parents with a selection of newspapers/magazines
good visibility from ground level so you can check on kids easily
nice toilets/changing table
good variety of 'areas' to suit different ages
outdoor area if possible would make it less weather dependent
if there's space a quiet area - with craft stuff/books etc?
parking close by

(don't want much me!!)

I guess i'd probably go to somewhere like that up to a couple of times a week (maybe less in summer) if it was up to around £3 entrance per child - probably less if any more than that. And would definitely consider having birthday parties there (am getting pretty sick of aquadome for parties!)

Good luck with your venture - do you have a premises in mind?

Flier Sun 27-Jul-08 21:08:36

sound like you've beat me to it Angelsus, sadsmile
But I feel really excited at the thought of a decent one opening up. I agree with everything that helpmaboab and Miaou have said - good quality coffee and cake as well as good quality snacks for the children is a must.

Good luck and please keep us posted on how you're getting on - if you need any product testers etc (or business partners maybe?) then just let me know grin
In the meantime I'll try to think on what some of the decent ones have that I've been to "down the road"

Angelsus Mon 28-Jul-08 13:21:39

No definate premises as yet, just looking at the moment. To be honest this is my major problem - everywhere is so expensive! Ideally I'd be at one of the retail parks but they cost a fortune.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the Carse Industrial Estate? It's much cheaper but I'm aware a lot of business as moving out of that area.

Thanks for all the help so far!

Flier Mon 28-Jul-08 16:24:36

I don't thick Carse Industrial estate is very well served by buses. Is there anywhere at Inshes? I think that may be a good place for it.

Angelsus Mon 28-Jul-08 21:24:36

There is one at Inshes next to the church but I'm struggling to get info on it at the moment. Also I know that Happit has closed down so I'm sure that'll be coming available soon. I suspect these'll be really expensive though!

Flier Tue 29-Jul-08 09:30:43

hi, I was going to suggest happit, but thought it had been taken over by another company. I think that a few years ago there was a soft play place open at the premises next to the church, don't know if you knew of it???

I had thought that in the estate next to where Tiso opened their big store tehre may have been a space available there, you know where John Major's son had his flooring company?? Can't remember the name of the area - do you know where I mean?

Angelsus Tue 29-Jul-08 13:27:27

Hi, I had heard there used to be a soft play there but it was closed by the time we moved to Inverness and I've not been able to find out much about it.

Not sure where you mean about the other place - is it in the Longman next to Halfords? If that's where you're meaning then there is a place available there that used to be the old AA building.

Were you serious earlier on about me looking for a business partner? It would be something I'd consider - obviously there'd be a lot to think about but two heads are better than one!

Flier Wed 30-Jul-08 09:06:18

I was sort of serious, angelsus, haven't really looked into capital or anything, but it was def something my dh and I had discussed in the past.

Here's my email addy if you feel like getting in touch dawne109 at yahoo dot co dot uk.


MrsFluffleHasAWuffle Wed 30-Jul-08 14:00:41

Plenty of room for buggies/highchairs etc, so sick of going to a local place near me and tripping over buggies at every turn!

Staff that will intervene, I completely ditto that one!

Nice healthy food, savoury as well as sweet, and healthy drinks too.

Somewhere that has parent and toddler session sat weekends for all the full time workers.

Craft stuff going on, or a book area?

beautifulday Sat 11-Oct-08 13:14:36

ditto all that has been said. the retail parks would be fab as the bus service are great but inshes is where the bypass is going to be so that old play place building, the church, tescos etc and around about may all be knocked down if it gets the go ahead. i think they are expanding the other retail park soon too so there might be opportunity there. would you be able to hire a place like runaround does? its good there would be good to have something like that here.

rowanmac Mon 13-Oct-08 18:55:26

hi i know i'm late on this one but just been to Bogbain Farm, v expensive for b.all IMO. Ball pool and soft play area open to weather so was soaking wet and most of the outdoor bikes/ride ons were broken. Adventure barn v steep and only straw for crash mats which was also through ball pool and sandpit.
I use runaround in Dingwall occasionally but quite a drive for me and only on 3 days per week. Used well by Dingwall people but i can't believe theres nothing in Inverness. Should be well used especially now aquadome out of action until after christmas, what else can you do when its wet?

Wallace Sat 15-Nov-08 07:44:40

I'm coming even later to this thread grin

If anyone is still around ...

The soft play near Matalan was called Tons of Fun, and it was quite good.

Definitely a good soft play needed for Inerness

Flier Fri 05-Dec-08 19:59:44

hi angelsus, just wondered how you were getting on with this. I drove past the former safeway store at rose street yesterday, it is being made into shop units and I thought it would be an excellent place for a soft play centre.........

invernesian Tue 09-Jun-09 01:13:33

Message withdrawn

invernesian Tue 09-Jun-09 01:15:43

Woops, dont know how to delete the last thread. Here is m review of The Fun Zone, which is a new soft play that opened at Westhill Inverness, it was trul awful, disgusting, absolutely!

Awful, dangerous, please avoid if you love your child. We visited this place. When we arrived, there were no staff on the reception at the door which could be opened without locks or anything. The place was full of older children (It was a week day during the day, there was no holiday on), the kids were running wild, it was noisy, there were no seats, 4 kids walked past me wailing in the first half an hour, they had been hit, knocked over and otherwise damaged by other kids. Staff, we saw a few of, but i wandered out and back freely a couple of times out of the main door, nobody on reception, the doors unsecured. Food: 1 cherry tomato, a small spoonful of lettuce and one “baked potato” which had been stuck in the micro and nuked for a few mins, no nice bakes skin, small spoonful of tuna mayo, very small adult portion, kids food looked wholesome thought, apart from the bit of cake which was added. The place was overrun with big and small kids, too many to know who was where and when, there was no control, we left after half an hour and persuaded a couple with small child not to go in at the car park outside, instead we advised to go to the well run play centre near Forres, which is also new.

I value my kids lifes, I would never ever step foot into this place again, if the kids dont get their head stamped on by another wild kid in this overfilled underfed zoo, then there is a chance your kid can be nicked what with no security whatsoever at the door!

flier Wed 10-Jun-09 15:44:40

Invernesian, I think there has been a mix-up. You mentioned The Fun Zone at Westhill, Inverness. I thought you had meant another soft play centre which has recently opened in Inverness, which is actually really very good (we were there today for a mumsnet meet-up).

Have you contacted the people at The Fun Zone regarding your bad experience there? I haven't heard anything about The Fun Zone at all - when did it open?

invernesian Thu 11-Jun-09 16:25:06

Woops, i meant the play zone, so probably the same one. The thing is, our other friends, one of whom is a doctor at the Raigmore, so reliable witnesses. They had went the week before us, and left early, we didnt speak to them until last night about it, so didnt know that they had walked out just like us on seperate days!

cspider1 Thu 11-Jun-09 22:10:28

would love to see one in inverness, used to work in the kids kingdome one in the longman. all ideas on page good. if you do open one please give me a call i would love to help you, i have an nvq 3 in childcare so even working in one would be great. chrissy

call me if it happens on-
01463 259 150


flier Fri 12-Jun-09 07:51:06

cspider are you aware of the new one that has opened up in Inverness opposite Matalan?

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