looking deeper

Sometimes its good to look a little deeper.  To go and try and learn new things and brush away those preconceived ideas.  I have had my own thoughts on soft play areas.  My past experiences of them tell me, the food is always junk food, the staff don't seem to care, there is always a sock/random item in the ball pool and my kids always get ill after playing at them.  Not only that but there is never any where to sit.  I was I admit it a little reluctant to let go of this idea, along with the fear of looking after 2 kids on my own but sometimes its good to give things a go and that is what I did.

Having received a very polite email asking if I wanted to bring the girls to Playmania at Elsecar heritage centre  I decided I would as I thought it would be a nice way to spend the time with the girls.  I need not have worried so much about soft play.  There was plenty of room to sit down and create a base, in fact we had choice, lots of choice.

peek a boo

The staff were very polite and friendly which again removed another of my previous conceived ideas.  I think what makes Playmania also stand out is the family touch, it is owned by two sisters who clearly have a passion for children and their well-being   High levels of CCTV, toddler groups and One Direction themed parties are just a few examples.


I really loved how everything was well thought out.  A separate play area for my youngest [under 3] but within that a separate area for the really little babies, with mirrors and sensory mats.  They had there own ball pool, slides and areas to explore.  

walking on slideupside down slide
bottom of slidegathering the balls

What impressed me most with this part though was that there were chairs within the enclosed space for parents to sit and watch their children.  They also had plenty of books, yes books, so you could sit and read to your children.

running in tunnelexploring tunnels
see sawspinning

The second we walked through the doors my eldest eyes lit up as she saw the giant rainbow slide, it was a real struggle to get her to sit still to take off her shoes.  She was then off and enjoying herself.  

rainbow slidetube slide

She is normally very shy in new places but she was just in her element, running around and having lots of fun.

spider webthinking

little monkeyred and yellow slide

We hunted high and low in the ball pool but found no trace of a sock or other random item.  In fact I was really surprised at how clean it was.  Both girls are still well, touch wood, which also goes to show how well looked after Playmania is.  After all the running and playing it was time for a break and some lunch.  

when 1 is not enoughin ball pool

bigger ball poolim so big

My youngest had shepherds pie, which smelled so fantastic I had to try some.  It was delicious.  

yummy shepherds pie

I asked afterwards and was told that all the meat is from the local farm shop, everything is sourced locally and cooked on site, even the chicken nuggets are proper chicken.  With the girls re fuelled my youngest was itching to try the big slide, so I braved it and off we went.

top of slide

That was it there was no stopping the two of them they just kept going.  After a good few hours of playing though it was time to finally head home, both girls incredibly tired.  As the dog still needed walking the girls sat themselves in BOB as we took a gentle stroll at a nearby park.  Its a good job we were looking a little deeper else we would have missed this

very pretty blue dragonfly

This day I love looking deeper.

The girls and I were provided with a complimentary ticket to Playmania, all thoughts opinions and words are my own.

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  1. Your youngest has hit upon a killer strategy there. She knows that she can have a bit of fun and is never more than a few feet away from a mirror - meaning she can look great AND be the queen of the party at the same time.

    I reckon your eldest was emboldened by her socks having a ball pool pattern on them.

    1. Ah yes, and my youngest has worked out that there must be something in both hands at all times

  2. Chairs and books is brilliant - exactly what soft play centres usually lack!

    I love dragonflies :)

    1. Plenty of space to sit and I loved that there are books and a quite baby space


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