We visited some soft play areas in Thanet, this is what you need to know

If you’re a parent to a mobile baby, toddler or child, you’ll know trying to keep them entertained in the colder months can be a struggle when the park is out of the question,the beach is too cold or they’re driving you potty at home. Here in Thanet there isn’t enough activities for youngsters to be entertained in the winter, being by the beach and lots of fields apparently is enough for the children of the future, so until more indoor activities or play areas have been built,we must make do with what we have. There are currently __ soft play activity centres in the Isle of Thanet available for children of all ages. I’ve only been to 3 in Thanet as Emily is still a little too small for most play areas. As she grows older, we’ll visit more no doubt. In this post I blog the 3 indoor soft play areas that we’ve visited and tell you what’s great about them.

Club World | 18-21 Marine Terrace, Margate CT9 1XJ

  • Age group: 0-8 years old
  • Opening times: Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm and Sunday’s 10am – 4pm
  • Admission price: from £1.50 (children under 1 are free)
  • Food: serves hot and cold food, drinks and snacks from £1
  • Indoor adventure playground

Pro’s

  • Lots of different activities for all ages.
  • Really cheap, excellent value across play, food and drink.
  • Hours of fun for all ages.
  • Really friendly staff.
  • Weekly activities and groups available.
  • Party bookings available.
  • On Margate beach front.
  • Most play visits include food, ask reception for details.
  • If you’re registered to the local SureStart centre in Margate, you’ll save on play too.
  • Great place to meet other parents.
  • Children and baby changing facilities.
  • Free for children under 1-years-old.
  • Free WIFI.

Cons

  • It’s a small room with different play areas for all ages.
  • It gets very busy on peak days.
  • Closest parking available up the road.
  • Nearest train station: Margate.

Award-winning indoor adventure playground Clubworld is a huge hit with families and children of all ages in Thanet. We’ve only been here the one time to meet Emma and her two boys one Wednesday morning. Emily got in for free as she was 10 months old at the time. There was plenty of singing, role play, interactive fun for all ages, but 1 hour of playtime in the soft play bit was enough for Emily and she crashed out before her fish fingers and chips arrived. The place is small but with such lovely staff, excellent for value food on offer and a space for children of all ages, you forget the size and watch your children run wild. Rumour has it the management team may be putting the club up for sale because of ridiculous rent prices set by Margate Council. Hopefully this isn’t true.

Bumble Bees | Old Focus DIY, Pysons Road, Ramsgate, CT12 6RL

  • Age group: 0-4 in toddler area and up to 12yo in their main play area.
  • Opening times:
  • Admission price: free for children under 1. Prices do vary during term time, weekend and school holidays. Term-time prices from £4 per play, term-time offers include food deals too.

No meal deals available during weekend and school holidays. Lunchbox offer is not available in any term-time meal deal.

Pro’s

  • Has a laser tag area available for children over 6-years-old.
  • Offers children’s parties for all age groups, including the option to hire the whole centre.
  • Group booking available.
  • Huge seating area

Cons

  • Babies over 1 years old have the same entry free as children a lot older.

Jungle Jim’s | Jungle Jim’s indoor play barn and family fun farm, Quiz Park estate, Birchington, Kent, CT7 0BH

  • Age group: no age limit, but children over 4’10” (1.48 metres) cannot use the indoor play frame. Larger children are able to use outdoor equipment.
  • Opening times:
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Membership offers, including offers and discounts for siblings and family members
  • Serves hot and cold food
  • Admission price:
  • Indoor & outdoor play areas

Pro’s

  • Toddler mornings during term time 10am-2.30pm Monday to Friday – £3.50 per child including a cold, child’s lunch (£1 extra for a hot meal)
  • Tea time special during term time, Monday to Friday 2.30-6pm – £4.50 entry includes any child’s meal from the menu (+50p for Scampi), a choc ice or yoghurt and unlimited squash.
  • Free parking
  • Open 7 days a week 10am – 6pm (not open 24th, 25th and 26th December. Also closed on New Year’s Day)
  • Under 1’s are free
  • Dedicated areas for different age groups

Con’s

  • Small in size inside in comparison to Bumblebeez, but the outside area makes up for it
  • Unless you drive, it’s an absolute pain-in-the -arse to get to
  • Can get ridiculously busy during peak times

We’ve heard a lot about this place as a play area and Quex Park is somewhere that I’d love to visit more. Overall it was good. I liked it being a little smaller on the inside rather than a huge space like Bumblebeez has (too big), especially if you have different age groups you can monitor all within a small area. There were some children that were in the toddler area that were a little boisterous and should be monitored by their parents but overall, it was good fun. The toddler area doesn’t have as much fun activities as other soft play centres have, that’s rather limited and climbing in the big area, although fun with the slide, is a little tricky for Emily’s age and also for me – my poor feet on that rope! There’s a great selection of hot and cold food and drinks, both for meat eaters and vegetarians, cakes, sweets and ice lollies and there’s a little shop if you want to buy animal soft toys or other toys for your growing child. The only downside is getting there. If you don’t have a car, it’s the biggest pain in the ass to get to.

Not known for soft play, but….

The Corner Coffee House | 60 Whitehall Road, Ramsgate, CT12 6DF

Not so much known for just being a soft play area, this is actually a community hall/building with a coffee shop and a small soft play area.

  • Opening times: 9am – 5pm Monday to Saturday
  • Coffee shop and community hall
  • Different activities available to the community on different days of the week, available for all ages
  • Free indoor play

Pro’s

  • Free indoor play
  • Coffee shop serving cakes, sweet treats and hot and cold meals and drinks
  • Activities for children include Sing & Sign on Wednesdays 10am -1pm for babies from 0-30 months
  • Kiddies corner on Fridays from 10.30am -12 noon

Cons

  • The soft play area is tiny
  • Gets really busy every day, whatever the time

I’ve been here before with Clare and her daughter Scarlet for the Sing & Sign group. It’s a lovely little hall for group activities but gets ridiculously busy due to all the schools within a 2-mile radius. Drinks are cheap and the group does look fun on a Friday but the play area isn’t big enough in the coffee shop alone worth travelling for.

There are a few other play areas that I’d like to check out but there aren’t many options for indoor play areas within Thanet, especially if you don’t drive. I’d like to explore some other areas in Kent but we’ll have to wait till I start driving. I suppose living by the seaside means that when the winter comes, entertaining small children isn’t high on the priority list, which is a shame as there should be more available for younger children.

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