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Tell Bassetts Soft & Chewy Vitamins about your favourite family activities – iPad Mini up for grabs! NOW CLOSED

(262 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 28-Aug-13 09:20:28

Bassetts Soft & Chewy Vitamins now offer a free soft play session for one child with each purchased pack of promotional Bassetts Soft & Chewy Vitamins. To celebrate this, Bassetts Soft & Chewy want to find out what Mumsnetters' favourite activities are to have fun as a family.

Here's what Bassetts Soft & Chewy have to say, "Mums have told us that they want their kids to be healthy and active so that they can enjoy school. That's why we decided to make mums' lives a little bit easier with free soft play sessions on every promotional pack of Bassetts Soft & Chewy Vitamins offering a free soft play session for one child. With nearly two hundred great soft play centres around the UK taking part in the promotion, children around the country can have fun at their local centre, while mum enjoys a hot cup of coffee. Bassetts Soft & Chewy Vitamins promotional packs can be found in the UK (including the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) in most major retailers."

You can find your nearest participating centre here.

So, what are your favourite family activities? Do you enjoy going to soft play sessions with your children? If so, why? If not, why not? If you have been to one which really stood out as being ace, what made it so good?

Everyone who enters their thoughts to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad Mini. grin

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!


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FOMOphobic Wed 28-Aug-13 15:04:16

Mine are 5 and 8 and partial to a bit of soft-play. I started to enjoy it a lot more when they were old enough to be let loose and I could stay sat down reading waiting for them to return to ask for drinks and snacks!

One thing our family loves is a good walk in the woods/countryside with the dog. And if we can fit a hunt for a geocache into that so much the better.

wheretoyougonow Wed 28-Aug-13 15:10:06

Favourite family activity has to be on a Sunday. Taking the dog for a long walk and then returning home for a traditional Sunday dinner (with pudding). We do this come rain or shine and there is a lovely satisfaction at the end of the afternoon when everyone is worn out with full tummies.

wheretoyougonow Wed 28-Aug-13 15:12:02

Forgot to add my youngest loves soft play but it has become a bit harder to go now that my eldest seems too tall to enter (10 yrs). I think of it as more of a winter activity although they all seem so busy when it raining (obviously!)

IncaAztec Wed 28-Aug-13 15:38:37

So, what are your favourite family activities?
We really enjoy swimming or the park as activities. Cheap as chips and entertaining.

Do you enjoy going to soft play sessions with your children? If so, why? If not, why not?
We enjoy going sometimes but we live fairly rurally and the drive can be a bit of a chore!

If you have been to one which really stood out as being ace, what made it so good?

The best one is very large with a massive playframe and the food is very good too. If we can get there on a rainy day, we really enjoy it.

Blackcathaireverywhere Wed 28-Aug-13 15:48:53

We've enjoyed soft play over the years but my eldest is ten now and is seeming a bit grown up for soft play. An indoor play centre aimed at slightly older kids would be great.

I love going for longer walks with the family now (three miles +). The kids moan and don't want to go, but as soon as they get outside on a woodland trail they are away and love every minute of it!

We all also enjoy meeting up with other families for games of football.

SnowyMouse Wed 28-Aug-13 16:02:51

Playing in the park, followed by a picnic lunch.

laeiou Wed 28-Aug-13 16:14:58

Favorite activities with toddler are anything social- visiting friends, playing with friends in the park etc.

I don't like soft play. I've tried a few and find that toddlers are often not well catered for. There's an age when the baby area is too young but the older area is too old. Also it just takes one unsupervised child who is running around hitting and grabbing toys to ruin the fun for everyone else.

2tired2bewitty Wed 28-Aug-13 16:17:00

We like walks in the woods and visiting new parks - we live in London so there are lots to try!

We do go to softplay, but dd was a very late crawler and walker so I always looked like the worst kind of helicopter mother as I carried helped her round the equipment. It's better now she is independently mobile, but even now at 3.5 she hasn't quite reached the stage where I can just let her get on with it.

The best softplay I've been to was near Reading and had rooms full of dressing up equipment, all based on different themes (nurse/vet/builder etc) as well as the usual climbing stuff.

carovioletfizz Wed 28-Aug-13 16:19:02

Our two under fives love soft play, there are a few near our house. They also love baking, painting, Lego and the park.

Spirael Wed 28-Aug-13 16:25:54

I hate soft play places and avoid them if at all possible! There always seem to be a few rampaging, unsupervised bullies who spoil it for everyone. The facilities are tired, worn and inevitably sticky and dirty. The food is overpriced, deep fried, bin fodder. It's too noisy to think, let alone talk!

Our favourite family activities are either to go swimming or do baking together. We can all join in and it's a lot of fun!

Theimpossiblegirl Wed 28-Aug-13 18:09:27

My kids love a soft play but as they are getting older we have to go to bigger venues. An interactive map would be useful as I'd travel to a better one as the one local to me is a bit small.

I tend to find food and drink at soft play very overpriced and poor quality, although if they are attached to a pub that's always good. I begrudge paying for my children to play if we're buying a meal though, it should be included as part of the service.

It's a good way for kids to run off steam while I read or chat to my friends, although I prefer outdoor activities (woodland walks, the beach etc. soft play is a great rainy day alternative.

PickleFish Wed 28-Aug-13 18:45:34

not my children, but niece and nephew, and best activities are berry picking, or hanging around in a cafe in the bookshop and being able to look at as many books as they like before choosing one to buy. we never do soft play really as it's too crowded and sensory overload (for me as much as them!). We did a couple of times when they were younger.

Maggietess Wed 28-Aug-13 19:00:42

My favourite activity with my older two girls is getting the time when their little brother is asleep to sit down and do some arts and crafts type projects with them. They have so much fun for hours.
Outdoors I love taking a picnic on a cold but dry winters day and heading up the hill near us for a big walk then a picnic at the top (complete with blankets round knees, hats, gloves etc...makes it all amusing and cosy!

Best soft play is a new one near us called Funtastic, just outside Belfast in Carryduff. Absolutely huge frame, well supervised, great toddlers area (including soft carousel & rocking boat). Their only downside is they are too popular at the moment and are often full with queues!

Raahh Wed 28-Aug-13 19:05:13

I have been taking mine to the local soft play (a wacky warehouse) since ds was a baby, so over 10 years. But a few years back, they changed it to a 'coffee corner' , ramped up the prices, packed more seating in, and it never felt the same. I love soft-play areas, though- the dcs can play safely, and I can read my book and there's enough to kill an hour or 2.

I now take dd2 (3 next month, dd21 is 7 and has out-grown it a bit)to a different one, with nicer food, a huge choice of teas and coffee, and a lot more space. It's ideal during term time, and good for dd2, who hasn't been to childcare/nursery as her siblings did.

As a family the nearby large park is great in the summer. There's a small farm, greenhouses, big play area and usually other events going on. And it's freegrin apart from the ice-cream We also have a family pass to the lego discovery centre, at the Trafford centre, which was given to us as a gift. It's great to pass an hour, but I wouldn't say there is enough there to justify the costs for a one off visit, but the pass pays for itself over and over, even if we only pop in for an hour.

sassytheFIRST Wed 28-Aug-13 19:05:39

Local English Heritage property - big old ruin but fantastic gardens and completely safe. Ideal place to take a picnic and stay all day.

Lunch out at a country pub.

Pizza and DVD cuddled on sofa with the curtains drawn.


MegBusset Wed 28-Aug-13 19:06:30

I hate soft play and am really glad my kids are past that age now (6 and 4)!

Our favourite activity is going for a walk in the countryside, or to the beach.

Pozzled Wed 28-Aug-13 19:48:59

My girls both love soft play, and I think it's great exercise for them. However, I wish there were more soft play centres on public transport routes- they're often hard to get to without a car.

Our favourite activities are mostly outdoors ones- picnics, playgrounds, camping, walks. We also keep an eye out for local festivals and celebrations, always good fun.

Babycarmen Wed 28-Aug-13 19:53:08

We have a soft play near us called Playbarn and it is really good! It is an old converted barn so is HUGE but the best part is there is a separate area for younger children so they don't get pushed about, and there is a seating area for the parents to watch and a cafe which does special kids lunches etc. The only bad thing is they charge £1 for adults to go in which I don't see the need for when they will be spending money at the cafe anyway!

Some of our favourite family activities that we ALL enjoy would be river walks with a picnic, and movie days with popcorn and den making.

whattodoo Wed 28-Aug-13 19:55:09

Taking the bikes and a picnic to the park.

majjsu Wed 28-Aug-13 19:58:13

Favourite activities are walks, parks, beach, fun in the garden, visiting National Trust sites and watching a film together. My little girl has grown to like softplay. There is a great one called The Zoo at Cramlington. It is all on one floor, with bouncy castles, tunnels, ride-ons, building blocks, wendy houses and slides. She tires herself out there.

bluebump Wed 28-Aug-13 20:05:38

I didn't mind the soft play near us when my DS was smaller but he's too big for it now and the ones more suitable for his age are a 30 minute or more drive away so we've not bothered to go.

Our favourite activities are things like going to the beach, we are lucky we live in Devon so we have plenty to choose from with a packed lunch and some stuff to make sandcastles etc.

This year for the first time we got a National Trust membership which we've enjoyed as we have a property a mile away from us so it means we go far more than we used to and have a wander around the woods or the gardens.

hermancakedestroyer Wed 28-Aug-13 20:24:26

We used to love soft play areas when the children were a bit younger but now they are 8 and 10 we prefer to do outdoor activities such as the beach, kayaking, zorbing, zip wires, go ape, walking and cycling. Anything to get out in the fresh air - however I do recall the benefits of the soft play area with a nice cup of tea or coffee whilst the children played in the safe play area (happy days!!) grin

Lampshadeofdoom Wed 28-Aug-13 20:39:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nightwish Wed 28-Aug-13 20:44:19

Favourite activities are visiting family and going to the beach.

We don't mind softplay but don't go overly often as it is expensive for what it is.

HamletsSister Wed 28-Aug-13 20:49:51

We love soft play! Once, during a power cut, after a few weeks of new baby and energetic toddler, we all decamped to the local one. The baby slept, the toddler toddled and fell in safety and both adults went on the bouncy castle and came away, full of good feelings and ready to cope with another month or two of night wakings.

We also love eating together, either at home or out. We both cook with the children, usually separately (I am the pudding / baking / dough chef, DH does the main meals) and enjoy that. We explore places together a lot: woodlands, beaches, castles, cities. We love big walks wherever we happen to be, although the energy of the soft play and running around days is slowly being replaced by the "I'm tired / can't be bothered" of the later years.

Can we have soft play for exhausted grown ups and reluctant Tweens?

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