Soft play centres in Bournemouth, Poole and surrounding areas begin to re-open with new COVID-19 safety procedures. Here’s what to expect.
Following the Government’s green light for soft play centres, many local attractions have started to re-open their doors to the general public after closing in March due to COVID-19. We welcomed this change with open arms in our family since we are quickly running out of ideas to keep our two highly energetic kids from destroying our house and sanity. Even more so now that the weather seems to have turned for the worse. Hopefully not for long.
So we decided to visit a soft play for the first time in more than 5 months. As expected, there are new COVID-19 safety procedures in place, which at first felt odd but quickly became second nature. If you are wondering how it works, find our personal review below.
We went to The Ark Cafe and Soft Play at Poole Park. You are required to book a 1h 15mins slot online before attending. It seemed like a very short slot so we made sure we were there on time to make the most of our booking. You can book your tickets here. You will need a valid ticket for everyone attending, including adults, except for children under 1-years-old. This is the main difference I noticed. Adults had never paid before, as far as I remember.
Once you arrive, you’ll probably need to queue for a while with everyone else who is attending the same session. So remember to take your coats and umbrellas if the weather isn’t great.
You’ll also be required to wear a face mask at the door and any time you approach busy areas like the cafe or the soft play equipment. But I was pleased to learn you can remove it once you sit at your table. They also checked our temperature and had hand sanitizer at the door for everyone to use.
Now for the good part. I’ll admit all these changes seemed strange at first but I quickly felt the benefit of having a table guaranteed, where I could relax-ish while my kids played. Because it wasn’t too busy I was able to keep eyes on my kids at all times without having to leave my table, even though I was sitting at the back. The hour-fifteen slot felt short but we made the most of the time we were given. I prepped my kids about using their time wisely before we arrived. I also made sure they had eaten snacks and used the toilet before we left the house so we didn’t have distractions.
Final verdict: I actually had a better experience than during busy times before COVID-19. I loved how much calmer and quieter it felt once inside. The kids played for a full hour and left sweaty. Always a good sign! I wonder if this will change the way soft plays work forever? I guess time will tell. But if you are struggling at home with energetic kids climbing up the walls on a rainy day, it’s definitely worth the money.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored blog. The views and opinions here are all mine and based on my own experience. Even if I had been given free entry – which I wasn’t – I would still have stuck to my true experience. I’d never lie to you. Because I loves ya 😊