1) I have a membership so it's free and
2) it's easy(ish) entertainment, tires kids out and like I said D loves it!
One thing I do love about soft play however is the fantastic people watching opportunity, crammed into a huge warehouse, fuelled on sugar and caffeine you quickly realise everyone has their soft play persona - so come on be honest, which are you?
The Competitive dad - we've all seen them, pushing terrified three year old across cargo nets, forcing them down the tallest steepest slides - it's like military training for a toddler and pretty much always ends in tears from the toddler and arguments between the parents!
The Big kid - I actually love the big kids, the ones who's eyes widen as they step though the door and their at the top of the biggest slide before their kids have even got their shoes off.
The Kindle / magazine reader / serial texter - this one finds a comfy corner, orders a latte and promptly sends the kids off to play while they settle down for some quiet time. This is the women we sneer at while in reality we are green with envy, why won't my kids go off and have fun without the need to drag we through plastic pipes 15 foot above the ground!
The Knackered grandparents - Bless them and bless them again! They're looking after the kids for day and someone suggested the soft play place. It starts off fine, kitted out in leisure wear, determined to keep up with the fruit shoot fuelled chiddlers but 30 minutes in the cracks are starting to show and they leave looking at least 20 years older. After all there's only so many times a 65 year old woman can crawl up spider webs 20 foot in the air before plummeting down the 'death slide'
The Shoes on but follows kid around parent - This one always makes me giggle, they manically rush around the outside of the netting, gawping at their kids like animals in zoo, Shouting orders at staff to rescue the toddler who has changed their mind at the top of the biggest slide. Get your shoes off and get them yourself ya lazy arse!
The super mum - One kid swinging on the highest monkey bars, toddler clambering up the slide the wrong way and new born sleeping (or probably bloody breastfeeding, she's THAT good at multitasking) in a sling and she's managing them all without breaking a sweat. (bitch)
Reluctant birthday party attendee - Your kids been invited to a party, they desperately want to go but you quite frankly would rather stick your head in the oven than sit around making small talk with parents you don't know at 10am on a Saturday morning while your kids run around like wild animals. There's no easy solution, if you don't talk you look aloof (and not in a cool way) but if you have to hear again how well little Hugo is doing at Mandarin you might throw yourself off the highest slide.
I must confess I'm a bit of a big kid who would secretly love to be the magazine reading mum - I can't wait till the girls are old enough to entertain themselves while I indulge in a little peace and quiet with a rank tasting coffee and the sound of children's manic screams ringing in my ears - ahh that's the dream