So here I am again, is that less than a week? Perhaps I should keep Monday as my day of blogging. I might even have something interesting to tell you having just had the weekend.
So... what did you do this weekend. I will start with my mini review of the new Playfactore under Chill Factore in Trafford.
I got a flyer through the door the other day, 20% off the first visit, and as my sister-in-law was over for the day with her VERY active 17 month old, the weather was vile, and we needed to wear both the kids out, we decided to all pile in the car and head off to use our voucher. On a Saturday. I know.
The car park was packed, so we hesitantly blundered our way (no grace now we have wiggly toddlers under our arms) to the entrance. On opening the door we were greeted with, what I call, chaos. Obviously the entire population of Manchester had decided to check it out, complete with their feral kids.
Anyway, besides a WAITING LIST to actually pay and go in (better than overcrowding I suppose) and being relieved of a few pence short of £20 (yes you heard right) it was quite good. Its nice to go somewhere new, I don't mean new for us, I mean new. Brand spanking new. No wiped off milk-sick on the soft play.. no crumbs/dust/dead things collecting in the inner recesses of the clacky wall puzzles (see Head over Heels Chorlton) and no sticky finger marks all over the perspex.
The toddler bit is supposed to be the largest in the UK, but at 3pm on a wet Saturday afternoon, it felt like the Glastonbury dance-tent in a rainstorm. Anyway, the kids had a ball - I had to leave the sensory area as it was a bit migraine-inducing for me, but Joe enjoyed it, and there was some crawl through spaces which he loved. There were too many non-under-4's in the toddler area for me, flying about leaping off the soft play, who, despite there being a member of staff watching the area, were not told to leave. I guess its hard if you have little ones and a bigger one, but then surely the bigger one could go to the big area on their own and be fine.
Talking of the bigger area, it looks awesome! Laser quest, go karts, the BIGGEST slide I have ever seen and up-to-the-ceiling fun, with a mini football pitch in the middle. Obviously I will have to send Joe to get stuck at the top when he is a bit bigger so I have no choice but to go and get him (via the massive bouncy balls). I simply HAVE to try that slide :-) One good thing is, due to the height of the building (its the underside of the ski slope) the noise is more akin to an annoying buzz rather than a deafening din.
We didn't have any food or drink there, as we just gave the kids a snack we brought ourselves and then left, so can't comment on the quality of their 'pizzeria' or italian coffee. There were a lot of people eating and there was lots and lots of tables, loads of space for prams/highchairs/granny's zimmer frame. The cost of entry was expensive for the smaller children. I think it was £8.95 for Oliver as he is over 1, £3.95 for Joe whose only just 11 months, and then £5.95 for each of the adults (we had an introductory 20% off flyer). The prices are cheaper off peak, in fact adults are half the price of peak, so if I went with Joe in the week it would be £5.90. I can't say I will take him when he is 1 and would be £7 off peak. Think we'll go to the park instead then :-)
View their (terrible) website here: www.playfactore.com
2 days ago