It was a wet, rainy Sunday at the start of the summer holidays and with 3 energetic boys to entertain, why not take them to the newest soft indoor play area to open up in Waterlooville? Yes of course I am talking about The World of Play at Horizon Waterlooville Leisure Centre!
The Leisure Centre in Waterlooville, located on the Brambles Business Estate, was first opened back in 1991. It comprised of a pool and a small gym, but go ahead was given in early 2014 for a major extension. In July of 2015, a three storey gym and exercise studio was opened for business and at the same time a brand-new state of the art children’s indoor play centre; The World of Play. The World of Play is suitable for children of up to 12 years of age.
We arrived at opening time on a Sunday morning at 9am; nice and early for us parents that have been awake since silly o’clock already. It’s £6.50 per child, adults are free and there are various ‘meal deals’ that you can opt for at a small extra cost.
We ‘checked in’ and the kids were off! You enter the new facility on the upper level and the main play area is on the lower level. The levels provide two tiers of seating; we headed down the steps to sit in the main play area.
The whole area is very bright and clean, and there are windows to let in some natural daylight – an aspect lacking in many soft play places. The ‘World’ theme was bright, bold and colourful – you can’t help but be impressed by the mini Big Ben and bright red telephone box and King Kong at the top of a skyscraper in New York as you walk in. Our boys loved it and kept talking about ‘seeing King Kong’ all day.
The play-frame itself wraps around the outside of the giant room and the seating area is in the middle. As a parent, it meant I could see/find the boys easily – a real plus point for us. There is also a dedicated toddler area; Australia – so smaller tots have an area to play without the risk of being knocked over by bigger children.
As the boys were off playing, it was time for coffee! As we had arrived before the café had opened I used a vending machine in the café area: two Americanos for £1.50 each – they hit the spot. The 2nd coffee quickly followed, and this time we treated ourselves to a coffee made from a barista machine from the now opened café. To be honest, I’m a coffee philistine and as long as it’s coffee and strong, I’m happy – both machine and café coffees were great. You can eat snacks from the vending machines in the main play area, but not your meals if you purchased them as part of a meal deal; you can have them before or after playing at the café.
We sat, had our coffees, and the boys happily played. Yes, it was busy – it’s a Sunday, it’s raining, it’s the summer holidays and to be honest the boys love either make new friends or invariably there’ll be someone there they know. Our smart-phones came out, and were pleasantly surprised to find there was free Wi-Fi provided by The Cloud – a big bonus for that all important ‘something to do’ whilst the kids are off playing.
The whole play area and facilities are very clean. There are handy lockers in reception area and the ladies toilets have a child-hight friendly sink and toilet door lock – a cute, yet a great and well thought-out aspect of the play centre. Also, like it’s sister play centre at Havant, Waterlooville hosts birthday parties too.
We asked the boys to rate the new play centre alongside their other local favourite indoor soft play areas and all three had ‘World of Play’ out on top. I think we’ll be back here a few times over the next six weeks or so especially if this poor weather we are experiencing this Summer is anything to go by!
Click a photo in the gallery below to see a larger version:
Our thanks to Lindsey at Horizon for the invite, we’ll be back (again, again, and again).