Thursday, 27 December 2012

Review: Wonder World Soft Play Glasgow

No photos as they wouldn't let me take any.
"...too cold to play ball. So we sat in the house. We did nothing at all. So all we could do was to Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit! And we did not like it. Not one little bit...."

That was Boy Three and I at home one miserable afternoon just before Christmas. So before the Cat could arrive and hang up his hat we decided to seek a little excitement. 

Fortunately, Glasgow has a new place to go on a miserable afternoon. Hurrah. A new soft play called Wonder World opened its doors in Middlesex Street, Kinning Park, Glasgow. 

First impressions are very "wow". Floor to ceiling murals are impressive. 

Boy Three couldn't wait to get his shoes off and get going onto the soft play apparatus.

As he headed off into the matrix he posed for a moment so I could snap a photo on my phone. However, before I had time to click a member of staff appeared at my side and said: "No flash photography."

"What?"

"No photos. They aren't allowed."

"There should have been a notice."

"We make announcements on the Tannoy quite often."


"Oh."

By which time Boy Three had vanished. Have you noticed that with soft play? It's impossible to keep an eye on your offspring and just when you start to feel rising panic as you fruitlessly scan the equipment you child turns up behind you. 

I tweeted @WonderWorld10 to ask why they have such a Draconian policy on photography. "We introduced the photo policy based on the feedback that some parents prefer it," came the reply. 

Maybe some do prefer it, but I think an absolute ban enforced with such enthusiasm is going to get a few backs up - not least mine. We parents don't like to be told what to do, particularly when there's no good reason for it. 

However, annoying photo incident apart, Boy Three and I spent an enjoyable couple of hours at Wonder World. 

We liked:

The food was good and homemade. 

There is a lot of interesting equipment to play on. 

It's big enough for grown ups to go with their kids - Boy Three and I spent far longer than I had anticipated exploring without either of us getting bored. 

It's warm and clean. 

There were plenty of attentive staff. 

We didn't get rushed out when our time was up. 

The balls that whizz up tubes. 

The space rocket mountain. 

Plenty of on-street parking.

We liked less: 

I couldn't find the code for the free wifi (Why not put it on the receipt?)

Inside the play equipment you can't hear what the Tannoy is saying. 

Slot machine cars - we've already paid to come in and bought food and drink. It's the soft play equivalent of sweeties at supermarket checkouts. 

The plastic hand grips on the space rocket mountain - hard on a soft body that's sliding down. (Why not run a couple of thick ropes down the front of it so more children can climb without getting stuck in a queue?)

Conclusion

In spite of the photography policy and the slot machine cars, we'll be back to Wonder World Soft Play for the good food and well thought-out play equipment. 




14 comments:

  1. Sounds interesting, will have a look out for this one x

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    Replies
    1. It's pretty good so far - I just wonder what it'll be like when it's mobbed.

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  2. I love these places - they're a lifesaver with boys. You get to sit on your ipad while they let off steam. Win -win!

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    Replies
    1. That's the theory, only I spent a lot of time climbing and going down slides with Boy Three!

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  3. Hi Ellen, my son is getting a bit old for most soft plays. Do you think this would work for an 11/12 year old? Could be a boost on miserable days.

    Angela

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    Replies
    1. Hi Angela,

      My older two are 10 and 13 and I think they'll like it for a while anyway. There are a couple of steep slides and a football area.

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  4. 2of time here and won't be back. If you are not fortunate to bag a seat near the cafe area you then have no option but to sit in the freezing cold. Prices are fairly steep for food and whomever made up my hot chocolate has obviously never been on a Costa course. No dedicated parking and at weekend it's a bit of a gamble where you get your car. There are far better soft plays in east kilbride and Motherwell.

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  5. Hi Ellen
    Very good article .
    I also had an issue with the no picture policy police.
    As far as i have been informed by my sons head teacher you can take pictures of your child ,where and whenever you want.
    Apart from faslane ,area 51. Military areas off limits.
    So i was perplexed to be told no pics.
    I did take one and was told no more.
    It is a bizarre policy i agree with you.
    Again a great review well done.
    John.
    I tried to review it on tripadvisor but it does not recognise it yet.
    Maybe its to new.

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  6. Stuart Stevenson27 January 2013 00:36

    Haven't been to this one yet but will definitely give it a go. I have been a few times to a new one only 20 minutes down the rod from Newton Mearns. It's called Jungle Madness in Kilmarnock and I must say I was very impressed with it. It's not too big but has loads of attractions inside including 3 large slides, a sports court and go karts (again these are at extra cost but reasonable at £1 a go). There's also a dedicated baby & toddler's section which was ideal for my little one. The place is spotless, the food is great and the staff all seem really friendly. If your on the southside of Glasgow it may be worth trying!!

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  7. Wonder World do not carry out enhanced disclosures on their staff, they carry out verbal interviews and tell staff to come for an induction. Anyone could be around your child while they are out of view!
    When my four year old obtained an injury I approached staff for an ice pack, and was given ice thinly wrapped in blue roll that promptly burst. I asked for a manager, and the assistant manager approaches me saying that they legally are not obliged to provide any form of first aid.
    These places are good when staff care, these staff do not know or provide first aid and have no policy in place for dealing with injured children!
    Posted by Kat Paton, concerned mum

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  8. I think the actual place is very good and keeps my son occupied for some time however the staff in my opinion are awful I have never seen so many miserable faced employees in the one building and if you ask them anything its a big hassle. Very disappointing

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  9. I had my Daughters 8th Birthday party here on 12th May.
    I paid fir the top package for over £13 per child for 17 children. I was so disappointed with the staff and Managers.
    First was told to pay full balance 30 mins into party and children were not allowed to go on carts even though was included in package which made a child cry, who does that. Went to speak to staff and were rude ti say the least. My Daughter had 1 request which was to play 1D songs during her party ie cake cutting but was told that the somgs were played in the party room when kids were playing. Ssome of the kids never even got cake in there party bag and 1 child did not even get 1 until i noticed it mysel The food was late due to food problems and to top it all off was told by the Manager to leave as party was over. Would definetly not recomment this place for parties. It is the worst experience i have ever had in a softplay party. My daughter, the Birthday Girl got no cake in her bag either. Paid top premium to be relaxed but was stressed all day while was there.

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  10. Avoid avoid avoid the few staff that are there are rude, inconsiderate and downright unhelpful. I have never experienced such a terrible place in the many years that I have been going to these establishments, I have two kids my eldest is 8 so I have been to quite a few times to other premises. This place should hold the world record for crap service crap food and poor management I will never ever ever go there again, my daughter has an invite to go their later on in the year and I Am going to cancel purely on my first experience and I will be telling as many people as possible to avoid this dump. Again avoid avoid avoid.

    Sent from my iPad

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