There’s been a bit of a buzz amongst parents in the Ribble Valley recently. Conversations would go like this:
“Have you seen? There’s a new soft play opening!”
“A new one? Where? Soon?”
“It looks really good… It has trampolines!”
At least, I’ve had a few conversations like that. Ben is at peak soft play age, being able to do it all without assistance but also finding it enough of a challenge. He also loves discovering new soft play centres, and I find them a really good place to take both boys, while wearing Ben out.
So a few weeks ago, I gathered up my local mum-friends, and we headed into Blackburn to check out Funtazia, the latest soft play to open in the area.
Funtazia is big as soft plays go. It does have adequate parking as it has now opened the overflow car park. My first tip for you would be to park in the overflow car park as the main car park gets very busy and there isn’t much turning space!
We went on a Friday morning, which was a perfect time to go as it was quiet, and we were told that it was absolutely fine for us to go on everything – so we did!
The main play area is really good: there are the standard tunnels, slides and things to clamber over, as well as cannons which fire foam balls into the air and a mini football pitch. The roller slide has to be experienced to be believed!
The under 4s play area is also really good, and there were lots of toddlers playing in there very happily. They’ve definitely invested in this area, and there’s even a mini merry-go-round.
Then there are the extras: the trampolines, which I have to admit, I absolutely loved (cue Ben shouting, “Stop jumping so high, Mummy!”), the mini quads, the air hockey, and my favourite part of all: the Disco Dome. Like an enclosed bouncy castle crossed with a planetarium, this plays pop music as you bounce around. We may have spent quite a lot of time bouncing around in the Disco Dome.
We ate lunch there (food is always a key part of soft play), and it was absolutely fine. The menu was pretty standard – sandwiches, paninis, jacket potatoes etc – and reasonably priced. We didn’t have a long wait, as it was quiet, but I did wonder how the small counter would cope when it was really busy.
One corner of the centre was still being finished – the carpenters were working as we played – and I think the whole place has a slightly unfinished feel to it. There are some things which surprised me – you don’t sign your child in and out, for example – but I’m sure little niggles like that will be sorted out soon enough. In the meantime, if you can get to Funtazia on a week day, I’d definitely recommend it.