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To absolutely hate soft play much that when I know I have to attend one..

157 replies

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie · 15/04/2013 13:25

it ruins my entire day. I can't BEAR the places...we never visit them as a family because the noise and constant selling of crap annoys the hell out of me.

DD2 is 5 and has 2 this week. The parties are both for good friends of hers.

She's not comortable with me leaving her with a friend's mum yet so I have to stay. DH can't take her...they're both at 4.00pm.

I HATE THEM! Sitting for 2 hours in a loud, grubby place and being obliged to spend 8 quid on 2 coffees just to have something to do.

Am I alone? My hatred of them seems quite imbalanced almost.

OP posts:

MandragoraWurzelstock · 15/04/2013 13:27

no not just you. I just decline.


squeakytoy · 15/04/2013 13:27

Do you not chat to the other mums? Is it really £4 for a coffee? Even Startbucks dont charge that much..


StealthPolarBear · 15/04/2013 13:28

Ooh. Not sure. They're not my favourite places but I don't find them that bad nor the coffee that overpriced! I also dont think they're that noisy - as someone who struggles to hear conversation I find it easier to chat to other parents at these parties than in many restaurants. I quite enjoy a coffee and a chat with the other parents at school. By constant selling of crap I assume you mean the ride on machines that always take a pound? Some places worse than others for those, I agree they're very annoying.


Sidge · 15/04/2013 13:29

Take a flask and your earphones for your phone/iPod and a book.

They're not my number 1 choice of a place to hang out but my girls love parties there, so I suck it up.


cazboldy · 15/04/2013 13:29


I hate them - but mainly as i seem to always end up watching loads of kids while other mums have a coffee/gossip.....

My heart sinks when we get an invite.


NeoMaxiZoomDweebie · 15/04/2013 13:31

Squeaky I do chat...but sitting for 2 hours isn't a good thing for's fecking boring and though the other mums and Dads are nice, they're not my best mates or anything.

Ok it's not 4 quid for a's 2.20 for one. Which I still think is a lot.

Stealth I'm also hard of hearing...maybe that's part of my problem...I never thought that. THe constant selling of crap I mean is the machines with shite in them for a pound a go...I don't buy them but it doesn't stop the nagging. This particular place seems to have 4 machines per wall!

OP posts:

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie · 15/04/2013 13:32

Sidge they'd chuck me into the street if I took a flask private food or drinks are allowed.

The other's would think me rude if I had earphones on. Sad

OP posts:

StealthPolarBear · 15/04/2013 13:35

Yes the pound (or even two) for a piece of tat in a ball are very very annoying.
I honestly don't struggle with the noise in the same way as I do with other places though. Maybe it depends how well you get on with the other parents, I'm not friends with many, and rarely see them, so it's nice to catch up and compare notes on the school :o and I have a couple I do consider friends so it's nice to see them.


TapselteerieO · 15/04/2013 13:35

Horrible places, the last one we went to ( birthday party) charged parents £1 entry fee to go and sit in the cafe, you could only sit down if you bought coffee & it was too far to drop and run, but my ds has sn so I couldn't leave him and ended up crawling around the place to keep an eye on him.

I have witnessed some really horrible behaviour in several different soft play places - it reminds me of Lord of the Flies, brings out the worst in some children & their parents turn a blind eye. Once saw an older girl holding my ds and punching him in the stomach - "because he wouldn't do what she was telling him to do" was her excuse - luckily I was there & saw it happening, ds would not have been able to tell me and I might have just thought he got a bump.


NeoMaxiZoomDweebie · 15/04/2013 13:39

Yes Tap....disgusting behaviour there too often. And the Dads! They wander about all BIG in the tiny spaces between tables and get in the way!

I want to yell "Just frigging SIT DOWN!" at them.

OP posts:

MandragoraWurzelstock · 15/04/2013 13:41

I quite like most of the other parents, but I don't really want to socialise with them iyswim.

Other parties are fine but soft play gets an arbitrary no every's not just the hygiene aspect, though that does figure - it's the chaos, poor lighting and general atmosphere where it's assumed that 'kiddies' just need a large padded cell to be happy.


jennywren45 · 15/04/2013 13:42

Vile, hideous places. I dump and run. Or they don't go - their choice.


HerrenaHarridan · 15/04/2013 13:44

Where the hell do you lot live? I have been to about six different sofyplay centres a couple of them heaps of times and have never had any of this craziness people describe on here.

The worst thing that's happened to me was a little girl trying to be snotty!


NynaevesSister · 15/04/2013 13:46

I like ours it is big and light and airy. No machines selling tat and no hidden charges. It is hellishly noisy tho the place is in what uses to be a squash court and the acoustics amplify noise.


GreenShadow · 15/04/2013 13:46

I miss Soft Play Sad. Genuinely.

My DC are too old now and I used to enjoy going with them.

I don't particularly like other people's cups of tea, so was quite happy not to buy anything there. Also ours never used to sell 'crap'. Maybe that's new.


PrettyKitty1986 · 15/04/2013 13:50

I find the thought that little kids are refused to be allowed to friends parties just because the parent doesn't like soft play a bit sad really.
I don't mind soft play-plenty of seating, a cuppa and a chat for an hour is fine by me. What I hate is the bouncy castle party that our local leisure centre offer- a room with a couple of huge bouncy castles in, great for the kids - but that's it. No coffee/tea, and NO seating! You have to stand and watch or sit on the floor. I still do it though-parties are supposed to be for the kids, so I just suck it up.


MandragoraWurzelstock · 15/04/2013 13:55

I know, I feel guilty about it. I take them to other parties. This is my compromise. They get to go to nearly everything else but soft play is a horror that will wipe me out for the rest of the day, so on balance it is better for them that we don't endure it.

Aside from the fact that one time we did go, there was a poo in the ball pit but no one stopped the children going in it - and no one wanted to clean it up, unsurprisingly.


forevergreek · 15/04/2013 14:02

I hate them! Admittedly we have only been twice, once to try and once for a party.
First time it was v v loud, vomit was on the top floor for at least 15 mins ( we left, so no idea how long), and both children were repeated pushed over by other random children ( we were next to them pretty much as young)
Second time was a 3rd birhday. There was poo in the ball pit, poo on trampoline, poo smeared all over toilets and a women letting her child use a potty on the table ( prob poo related again!)

Both in supposedly 'posh' areas.


littleducks · 15/04/2013 14:08

I used to take my two pre-schoolers to soft play every week, was lovely mostly same mums every Thursday and we would have tea there. The food cake was ok and the prices fair.

Then we moved, soft play places around here require a yearly membership fee (WTAF?) so my kids only go to parties. One was hideous, I normally dump and run but it was too far away to do that. It was a bank holiday Monday and raining, the place was packed and so noisy my 4yr old complained of a headache! The place was called 'Parent's Paradise' somewhat ironically.


MrsMacFarlane · 15/04/2013 14:08

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HerrenaHarridan · 15/04/2013 14:10

Always with the poo tales! So surely you reported poo to staff! If the staff were uninterested and did not jump to I would report the centre to environmental health


Birnamwood · 15/04/2013 14:11

I fucking hate soft play places.

But, what would you want from a good one?
My list is

  1. Clean

2.decent coffee
3. Adequate heat/ventilation
4. Proper food
5. Clean
6. Staff knocking about and stopping the big children going into the toddler areas
7. Comfy seats
8. Clean toilets
9.reasonably priced

EnidRollins · 15/04/2013 14:11

Aw, am I the only one who's feeling sad for the little child who is having the birthday party? Their friend can't go just because said friend has parents who don't like soft play and can't just suck it up for a couple of hours.


moogy1a · 15/04/2013 14:12

yabvu. I love soft play. Admittedly ours seems to have few problems with feral kids, but I take a book or read their papers and magazines and enjoy having 2 hours off!! The kids run back all sweaty every 15 mins. or so for a glug of squash but other than that it's a couple of hours of relaxing ( I am ver good at blocking out noise though)


nenevomito · 15/04/2013 14:12

Love this thread, especially since I booked my DS's birthday party at a soft play yesterday Grin.

The knowledge that while the kids are having a great time the parents are suffering brings me untold joy.

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