Thursday, 29 August 2013

Minor Mania

This is the first time we had visited a soft play centre since Little Owl had learnt to crawl and therefore clamber. Bottom shuffling had been effective for moving and carrying things but not so good for climbing over things!

So we were quite excited to have received a voucher for free entry to Minor Mania - Grandma Owl had won this voucher in a raffle at Hurst Green Primary School.

Minor Mania is located in Bells Yews Green right by Frant Station which makes is easily accessible by public transport as well as by car.

To control numbers at busy times, such as rainy days in the school holidays, you are limited to two hours which can be extended by 30 minutes if you purchase food on the premises.  There was a time limit the day we visited and I was worried it would be over crowded inside but it wasn't at all. 

The soft play was fantastic, spread over 3 floors with a mixture of ramps, ladders and slides allowing access between each level.  The seating for parents was in the form of square tables with 4 chairs which were located around 3 sides of the soft play making it very easy to keep an eye on your little ones!
Little Owl is too little to go round by herself which meant I had to follow!  She loved every bit of it and I was surprised at how well she could get around.  The bigger children didn't mind her (or me) being there at all - one young boy stroked her head every time she passed. 
Little Owl also joined in a game with the bigger kids.  There are two platforms facing each other on opposite sides of the soft play.  On each side there are two air cannons which fire balls across the gap.  There is netting on each side so the balls don't actually hit the kids on the other side, but if you are 8 and a boy that apparently doesn't matter!  The balls fall into a play area below where other kids can load them into an air tunnel and they get sucked back up to one of the two platforms.  On our team there was a little girl who was collecting the balls and handing them to her brother to fire.  Little Owl got herself in between them so that the girl passed the balls to her and she in turn handed them to the brother - bless him - he said thank you every time!
There was also a smaller soft play area for under 3's (although this wasn't monitored).  Strangely, this wasn't as accessible to Little Owl as the big kids area, and needed us to engage in the activities with her as well as lift her on to things.
It was a wet day so we only had a quick peek outside.  There was a grassy area that was very hilly and some decking with picnic tables on.  There was also a large wooden play area but it wasn't very suitable for Little Owl's age. 

We had our lunch whilst there and was pleased with the food available.  I opted for a jacket potato and Papa Owl had a toastie and chips.  We got a side portion of ham for Little Owl and share our lunch with her too.  I was particularly pleased to see a fruit bowl on the counter.

We had a brilliant time at Minor Mania and will definitely plan to go back over the winter!

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