Welcome to Hell

Play centres – love them or loathe them they serve a purpose.  Whether that purpose is to hold a child’s birthday party as far away from your house as humanly possible or to read a paper in peace, the relationship between hell play centres and parents is a complex one.

Party pies are cold and there is always one child that emerges from the inferno with a blood nose.  My nephew’s head was once caught in a gate.  The fire brigade were called.  We don’t laugh about that because I might have done something similar as a child.

Now that my sister’s kids are older, she likes to talk to me about children urinating in the ball pit and communicable diseases.  I try not to look too closely at the infant toys because, to quote The Young Ones, it’s only the stubborn under-stains keeping them together.

Sometimes you take a trip to hell on a rainy day so a toddler can expend some energy but then it all goes pear-shaped when there’s no children to play with.  This is not the life I envisaged for myself…..

Getting stuck halfway down a gigantic slide is humbling.  Please tell me the play centre stage will be over soon?


  1. says

    Oh my god – do we lead parallel lives?

    I was in one such play centre on Saturday (birthday party) and somehow became the key retriever of the children who were flinging themselves into the foam pit of hell. 1 hour and severely aching shoulders later I swore ‘never. ever. again’

  2. says

    My children are deprived. My 5 year old went to his first play centre for a 5th birthday party just before his own 5th birthday. He was AMAZED. The 2yo went to a 3 yo party last month. He was AWED. He went hell bent for leather and did not want to leave EVER!!

    We left that part with a black eye on one and a haematoma to rival anything I’ve seen not need hospitalisation – it was touch and go if we were going to the hospital or not for a while.

    I realised at the time that I had happily taken my nephews and nieces to these places on many occasions over the years of babysitting I did pre my own children’s arrival. Apparently they were OK for them but not my own kids…

    I take a selection of painkillers in my handbag when I go. If it isn’t me needing them there will certainly be another parent on the scrounge for some!

    • Mrs.Savage says

      Oh you have done well keeping that hidden for so long! I will definitely remember the pain killers for next time too :)

  3. says

    Oh I am so so so not a Play centre fan… I have been to a few.. but like you they always turn pear shaped.. the worst was getting stuck way way up the top of one of those climbing jungles with D refused to come down… I managed to carry him out kicking and screaming.. They do help to expend energy.. but I avoid them like the plague!! Thats crap that there were no kids .. hopefully it will have a happy ending next time!!

  4. says

    My first job was in one of these places. Every shift, I used to crawl through the tunnels with a bucket and sponge, and clean them thoroughly.
    I notice these days they are not that clean.

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