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Soft Play - How Often Do you Go?

(32 Posts)
Angelsus Mon 28-Jul-08 13:55:57


I am currently looking into starting my own soft play business and was hoping you could all answer a couple of questions for me!

How often do you go to a soft play centre?

How much do they charge for entry?

How much extra do you spend per visit on food, drinks etc?

Thanks in advance!smile

posieflump Mon 28-Jul-08 14:00:29

we only go if we're invited a party at a soft play place, or if it's free in another attraction iyswim

sweetie66 Mon 28-Jul-08 14:02:32

Hi Angelsus, we go to soft play a couple of times a month. Usual charge for entry is either £4.15 or £5.25 (depending where we go) We do usually by food and drinks and spend about £5 to £10 again depending on if DH comes as well. Sometimes there is a time limit if the center is busy of two hours. Charge remains the same. Hope this helps and good luck

FluffyMummy123 Mon 28-Jul-08 14:03:14

Message withdrawn

ssummers Mon 28-Jul-08 14:03:45

I would say once or twice a month in the holidays. Perhaps once a month term time.

in my area (south east) it is about a fiver to enter.
I reckon that I spend between £2 to £5 on drinks food ect .

Parties are normally about £10 per child.

RubySlippers Mon 28-Jul-08 14:05:29

have had two fairly revolting experiences and one reasonable one

agree with Cod about the food

it is NOT compulsary to serve processed crap and slushies

CaptainKarvol Mon 28-Jul-08 14:05:45

maybe once a month, when the weather is vile and we can't go to the park. It's £2 or £3 to get in, and I might spend another £2-3 on cup of tea for me / sandwich / apple juice for DS. (we're up north, can you tellgrin)

Housemum Mon 28-Jul-08 14:27:31

Soft play places are my idea of hell - only ever been to one or two that I have felt were OK

Must be scrupulously clean - almost worth having someone constantly cleaning so that you feel sure your kid's not going to be treading on discarded food or worse. Empty nappy bins FREQUENTLY! Not sure what you can do about lingering smells - wouldn't want to use air fresheners, look into environmentally aware alternatives?

Decide what age group you are going for - rarely do places successfully accommodate toddlers and 10 year olds.

I only buy food if it looks good - not nuggets/sausages etc. Nice bread/rolls/baguettes and choose your own fillings. Small rolls for kids with same choices - why should they get lumbered with choice of only 2 fillings, or having to buy an adult size they won't eat? No Coke. Most people who like fizzy drinks would tolerate a different soft drink, but if you don't want your child to drink Coke etc you may avoid drinking there to avoid the argument.

Have some "themed" sessions to get interest going - perhaps Sing and Sign would do you a free lesson once a month or so, it's advertising for them and might get more people in to you (if you're aiming at the little ones) Also things like Jo Jingles, Mum Baba and all the other franchises.

quickdrawmcgraw Mon 28-Jul-08 14:29:43

only for parties.

Open a cafe with mags and a baby soft play area. You'll be minted.

FeelingDeviant Mon 28-Jul-08 14:30:17

Only go to soft play if it's raining and am at a loss for something to do
Can't remember exact cost but between £3-4
Never buy any food, drinks, etc. We bring our own

Fimbo Mon 28-Jul-08 14:33:54

Never unless at a party.

Our local one is dire with cheap nasty food.

ellideb Mon 28-Jul-08 14:34:51

I'm a childminder and probably take the kids 1-2 times a month/ every other month. I pay around £2 per child, baby's that can't walk yet go free. I would normally buy drinks for me and the kids and a plate of chips for afterwards, icecream if they are good! Under £10 anyway but I usually get the parents to send their children with a bit of cash.

Fimbo Mon 28-Jul-08 14:35:18

This is ours

ellideb Mon 28-Jul-08 14:37:54

Wanted to add that the one I go to is usually very clean, friendly staff and nice chatting to the other mums in the cafe. Could do with air con in warmer weather though! It's great for me because I am pregnant and to be able to sit down for half an hour whilst the children wear themselves out is just brilliant!

pollywobbledoodle Mon 28-Jul-08 14:40:53

i don't know how ours makes a profit! £3 incl drink and toast for kids and cake and drink for parents in the week. go when it's horrible and for parties

Angelsus Mon 28-Jul-08 14:41:45

Thanks for all your responses so far!

I know a lot of people think they are vile, and I've been to a few that are, but there are also loads of really good ones out there and thats what I'm aiming for.

Fimbo - yours looks great, was wondering if you would mind me contacting you privately to pick your brains on how you got started? I'm in no way competition to yours as I'm in the north of Scotland.

HuwEdwards Mon 28-Jul-08 14:43:04

My kids are too old, but even when they were young enough, I just hated them and went as little as poss.

Fimbo Mon 28-Jul-08 14:45:27

Sorry - I don't own it, that's the vile one I am talking about, that is just up the road from me, It looks good on paper but is crap in reality.

The best one I have ever been to is in a converted Barn.

Angelsus Mon 28-Jul-08 14:47:52

Oops Fimbo - Didn't check the name on all the messages! Thanks for posting the details.

BettySpaghetti Mon 28-Jul-08 14:51:54

We only tend to go if invited to a party there.

Other than that its only been if very desperate (eg. awful weather/ there being nothing else to do/lively children who need exercise etc) so only a handful of times

Two new ones have opened in a nearby city -I think they are both around £5 per child for 2 hrs plus at one you have to pay £1 per adult as well which I think is wrong

kiskidee Mon 28-Jul-08 15:03:52

never. a version of hell, imo.

partaria Mon 28-Jul-08 22:00:30

Only if invited for parties.

All smell of sweat and hot feet after 20 minutes - buy or rent an airy space !

Agree re cleaning; constant if possible. use essential oil based cleaners eg lavender for a refreshing note ?

Food; cheap doesn't have to mean nasty. I'd go more often if there were more places with vaguely natural juices, maybe water from a machine whereby you pay a one off cost for your (one) cup then can top up as much as you like from the machine. (Think carefully about your margin, but if Yo Sushi can do it, so can you). Home made cakes and simple children's food eg pasta will fuel them well but not cost you a lot.

Hulababy Mon 28-Jul-08 22:03:03

How often do you go to a soft play centre?

Not often, for parties and perhaps 5 or 6 times a year other than that.

How much do they charge for entry?

Two different ones:
a - £3.50
b - £4.95

How much extra do you spend per visit on food, drinks etc?

a - about £7 or so
b - around £10 or so

But b is nicer and the food choices are lovely.

twinklytoes Tue 29-Jul-08 15:14:49

our local one

it is not your normal run of mill type soft play as caters from 3mths; runs seperate classes; got full size trampolines; wendy house etc all under one roof.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 29-Jul-08 15:16:25

Only if inivited to parties.

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