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Good place but expensive

Visited on a Sunday with my 23 month old and 7 month old. It is a good place to visit but in my... read more

Reviewed October 12, 2018
jackohene
,
London, United Kingdom
via mobile
Nice place for kids

Very strategically located since we were lidged at the local holiday inn. About 9 minutes walk from... read more

Reviewed March 31, 2018
566adea
,
Croydon, United Kingdom
via mobile
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Reviewed July 9, 2013

This is a huge soft play, too huge in my view, and I've been making the odd trip with my children, now aged 8 and 6, since the eldest was a baby, when we used to go to the more sedate baby section!

My children would probably rate it a 5 star if they were reviewing it, but I have suffered it on enough occasions over the years to know that the grown-ups' experience is important too - and if I had to rate that it would have been a 1 star review! So I have averaged the family's views out and gave it a 3!

So, for the children there is the most wonderful, extensive play frame. A good time is had by all. Well, nearly all. On one occasion while watching my children I kept a close eye for a good ten minutes on a 3 or 4 year old girl crying on her own at the top of the frame, with clearly no parents watching her, and no staff either. Eventually I could bear it no more and went to find a member of staff who eventually coaxed her down, which took ages. Still no parents in evidence. Amazing. I've seen other young children distressed up there who are clearly too young for it, despite the fact there is a pre-schoolers' area too. I blame the parents, but the staff too have a responsibility to observe for distressed children.

Security there is very poor - it is so packed that children could easily go out of the exit gate (which leads into the tempting shop), if they go at the same time as other people who are opening the gate, or worse still, be taken, and nobody would see, as it is chaotic. There is no sign in/out system.

The welcome has never been friendly or even efficient on any of my visits, and has often involved long queues - on my most recent trip I had to queue behind somebody who was booking up a party there - you can imagine how long that took!

They also have a loyalty card, which I signed up to on their website earlier in the year. When I took four children recently I handed it over when paying, wasn't sure they'd scanned it, so double-checked with the assistant that he had. He said he had. However, every e-mail points statement I've had from them since still shows that I have '0' points. Hmmm.

The toilets are terrible! The floors are always soaking wet - hopefully with just tap water? I am an optimist! Bear in mind that the children have their socks on and no shoes and you will understand how horrible the experience is! Last time I went my husband and I had to literally hold our son and daughter up above ground level to get them in and out (this was both in the boys' and the girls')!

Food - probably improving - think they are offering some Annabel Karmel type dishes in there. However, most of the clientele are more 'chips and burgers' people, it seems! I've only purchased water and snacks there, so can't comment on the quality of the food.

The whole seating arrangement is bleak. If you are lucky enough to get one at a table you are faced with being surrounded by discarded chips on the floor, vinegar smells and so on. If you are eating then obviously you need a table, but my preferred place for actually watching my children (an unusual pastime at this venue) are the little wall benches to the left of the playframe, by the far wall. Nobody pushing past, swearing or eating vinegary chips - just a good book and regular glances up to check they are fine - bliss!

Also expensive to get in as unlike many other soft plays, adults have to pay too. Grrr.

Why do I put myself through this? Well it is OK once in a blue moon, as long as you can get trauma counselling afterwards! Seriously, I go on my rare visits because my children do love it, but no more than they love many far nicer places! However variety is the spice of life!

With better pricing, more engaged staff, better food, better security, and better cleanliness this could be a top venue. At the moment it's a penance to be endured!

2  Thank TwoDividedByZero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Snakes-Ladders, Owner at Snakes and Ladders, responded to this reviewResponded October 15, 2013

Thank you for leaving a review. We do value all feedback both positive and negative as it helps us improve our playcentre. You may be interested to learn we have a major refurbishment planned which we are very excited about.

We believe we offer good value for money and there are many other indoor playcentres that also following our pricing structure with a low entry fee for adults to cover wear and tear. We have lower off peak prices and frequent offers and our generous loyalty scheme.

Regarding your other points, as you say we do ask that parents look after their children, and whilst we do have staff in the areas, if there is a situation they have missed, we would ask that you alert a member of staff as you did. Our staff also do everything they possibly can to keep the playcentre clean and tidy.

With your loyalty points it sounds like we don’t have your email address on our loyalty system but do have it on our email database and these two are not linking up. If you could email us or let us have your details next time you visit we can sort this out for you.

Food wise we offer a range of children’s meals including spaghetti bolognaise and jacket potatoes and fillings as well as sandwich boxes and kids favourites. We have also recently introduced innocent smoothies, fruit yo yos and Ella’s kitchen pouches.

We hope you will come back and try us again in the future.

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Reviewed September 5, 2017
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Snakes-Ladders, Guest Relations Manager at Snakes and Ladders, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2017

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.