Play centres, I love them and I also hate them. They can be dirty, noisy and serve diabolical coffee and even worse food. Kids, however, love them. They don’t see the dirt. They don’t drink coffee either!
They do come in handy though. They are great on a rainy day when you have cabin fever in the house. They are handy as a venue for your child’s birthday party. And when I want to meet with a friend and talk in peace, then I generally head to a play centre.
A while back I did a round up of the best play centres I have been to, and mentioned some of the not so good too. Top of the pile was Playzone in Celbridge. I discovered it because it happened to be the midway point between myself and a friend, who lived in Swords at the time. We used to meet there, let the kids have the craic, while we settled on a comfy sofa to have a chat and a coffee.
Earlier this week we were invited back to Playzone in order to do a full review, to give an honest opinion on the place, good, bad or indifferent. So off we went on Monday after Aidan finished playschool and it was a great time to go because we as good as had the place to ourselves.
The minute the kids copped where they were, they were chomping at the bit to get their shoes off and get stuck in to the place. They sampled all the rides that greet you when you walk in. When I say sampled, I mean sat on them. Parents don’t actually put money in to these yokes, do they?!
So Playzone, Celbridge has a baby area, a toddler area, a roller racer track, three climbing walls and a three-tier play frame with some whooper slides. Since I was there last they have introduced a bouncy globe, basically an enclosed bouncy castle with a clear globe shaped covering, while they now also have a virtual reality experience on site.
The biggest selling point of Playzone, for me anyway, is the cafe. It wasn’t just an after thought tucked in to the corner. In fact it takes up a hell of a lot of floor space, has a mixture of tables and chairs and sofas. You can actually relax there and keep watch on the small ones almost all of the time. I say almost because you can’t see them if they wander up the front to where the aforementioned rides are, which isn’t ideal. I love the space at Playzone in general, it doesn’t seem cramped anywhere.
The whole place is spotlessly clean, which is no mean feat when you consider how many kids go through their doors on a daily basis! My two make absolute s*it of the playroom every day, I can’t keep it clean nor tidy, so kudos to the gang at Playzone is all I can say!
Aidan and Sarah were happy out road testing all of the play areas and had zero complaints about any of them. When Siobhan, the fab girl who was looking after us, inflated the globe, the two of them were in like Flynn for a bounce around! However, the virtual reality head set and the climbing wall was a no go for both kids. They were both afraid of going on the climbing wall even though I suspect that Aidan, had he tried it, would have loved it. Perhaps had their been other kids on it, he would have given it a go.
Aidan came close to putting on the virtual reality headset but backed out at the last second. Daddy Chambers and myself tried it though. It was my first time ever using one and it was quite the experience. It transported me to a roller coaster in the jungle and it was rather terrifying. Indeed I let out a few screams at one stage before I reminded myself that I was actually in a chair in Celbridge and told myself to cop on!
Before we left we grabbed some lunch from the Zone Cafe. The kids shared a pizza, I had a Caesar salad and Daddy Chambers had a plain old toastie. The grub was very fresh and tasty and I’d even go so far as to say it’s the best play centre fare that I’ve sampled. The coffee wasn’t either very hot or very fantastic though and my scone was a bit dry.
We’ve been to many play centres in Kildare and Playzone still remains on top for me. . Lets be fair, the kids don’t critique them like the adults do! My friend had her boy’s birthday party here earlier in the year and I was well impressed with the set up for that too. Oh and at the weekend they also have face painting and a pamper parlour for the little ones.
It’s a nice spin from Newbridge to Celbridge but it’s actually worth it if you, as an adult, get to relax in comfort and cleanliness and eat some good food, while the kids have their fun.