Snakes and Ladders soft play playground, Syon Park, SW London [review]

Last Sunday we visited Snakes & Ladders in Syon Park, Brentford, for my nieces 6th birthday party. The last time I came here, I was about 8 or 9 with dad and my sister, back in the days Syon Park had a butterfly house, the little train track and had a cool garden centre, but Like Syon Park, Snakes & Ladders has had a major refurbishment. What I remember was a small building with big colourful soft play areas and a huge yellow slide that brought plenty of giggles and excitement as I held my sisters hand and left go as we woooshed down the ride. Now Snakes & Ladders has 4 locations, free parking, a cafe and free Wi-Fi. A whole adventure of fun for all ages whilst parents can either join in or relax with a cuppa in their cafe. Since my last visit, it’s had a huge upgrade. The big yellow slide has been moved, from the right hand side of the building by the wall and now dwarfed by the bigger activities and adventures to be had. Looking up at the slide with my cousin made me feel really old. It looks so much smaller.

The whole building is like stepping into a candy cane wonderland. So bright and colourful, every area of the centre is bursting with colour, a speaker system pumping out the latest chart topping hit and endless screaming children of all ages running around the floor, or flinging themselves off areas of the huge soft play area that now takes up most of the inside space in the middle of the huge warehouse-y room. Both inside and outside has everything you could possibly want to entertain children of all ages. Outside has a huge pirate ship with endless activities for all ages to enchant and explore. Inside there is an area for babies and toddlers to get their little feet moving and learn motor skills as well as endless giggles. Emily constantly shot off at any given moment and loved having daddy on hand to join in on the fun. There’s a little area where children can dress up and be in their own little wooden village, with their own double decker bus, doctors surgery, school and grocery store -perfect for active imaginations.

The facts

  • Age group: 0+
  • Opening times: open 7 days a week from 10am – 6pm, last admission 5.15pm. Early closing on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve at 4pm. Open at noon on New Year’s Day. Closed Christmas Day and a Boxing Day.
  • Massive 3-tier play frame.
  • Slides, climbs, tunnels and a mini sports pitch.
  • Electric motor bikes (2-4-1 on electric bike rides, click here to find out more).
  • Outdoor play area with bouncy pillow.
  • Comfy cafe offering hot and cold refreshments.
  • Prices: from £4.90 for children off-peak and £2.50 for adults.
  • Individual themed party rooms available to hire on request.

Whilst the overall experience was, well, different, it will be a long time, before I rush back here with Emily and her cousin. It was nice to see family and friends, but it all seemed to rushed by staff who had so many parties to cater for in such short spaces of time. It was chaos, with little to no organisation in it. So much screaming, shouting and we’ll, carnage as parents looked on tirelessly as children hyperactively run circles around each other in the big play area. One parent and I joked how there should be an area for parents with a bar to cope with the stresses the whole play centre creates. It’s ridiculously expensive. A 1-year old child during peak times are expected to pay a £8.10 admission fee, which rises to £9.50 for 2-4 year olds and £10.50 for 5 year olds +. For someone with little legs like Emily, who currently only crawls, paying so much is madness.

If you’d like to find out more about Snakes & Ladders, visit their website.

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