Monday, 2 August 2010

Lollipop land - could this be hell?

We took the kids to one of those indoor play centres recently. You know the ones with all the balls and slides and bright lights and bright coloured plastic things everywhere. It is a child's paradise.

For this Mum, it could possibly be my definition of hell.

For one, there is the noise. Now, living in a small house with four young children means that I am partial to a bit (a LOT) of noise daily. It is the single most difficult thing about being a parent if you ask me. Children chatter. A lot. To themselves, to you, to anyone who will listen (or look like they are listening anyway). They speak loudly. They repeat themselves. They talk about inane things a lot of the time. They make noise, seemingly, for the sake of making noise.

Times that by about 100, and you can imagine the decibel rating at Lollipop Land. Hell.

Then there is the food. The cost is exorbitant. The food is plastic and tasteless and they WON'T LET YOU BRING YOUR OWN. Utter madness.

And then there is the General Public factor. I have to say I was pretty lucky at our recent visit, but I have met some pretty freaky types at those places before. You know the ones? Parents who go to those places to get away from their kids. They sit and gossip with their friends, or absorb themselves in their book or computer. They don't supervise their children and their kids get into everyone's faces and cause trouble. Those people's kids scare my kids. They scare me a little too.

So you see, lots of noise, bad food and terrible company, I wasn't exaggerating. It really could be hell..

Anyway, our kids had an absolute ball (as they do)!

My only survival tips for people are:
1. Go on a sunny day (it wasn't as packed as I remember those places being) and
2. Take two parents if you have kids in different age groups. The Geege managed the babies while I did regular checks with the boys on the giant slides. Much easier than racing between sections on your own (which I have done before).
3. Bring your credit card. Those places are seriously expensive! A definite 'sometimes' outing at our place.

What has your experience been like at these play centres?

11 comments:

alliecat said...

I agree. Fun for kids only. Don't even bother trying to meet a girlfriend there, you'll say hello and later goodbye, that's all the gossiping time you'll get to do as you each follow your own child(ren) in 6 different directions. Kids getting lost, and worse - stuck high up in those contraptions that you have to climb up there yourself, or rescue a toddler from the ball pit because some other kid has vomited/wet their pants/is wilfully throwing balls at other kids heads.

The worst one I have found cost wise was one where they charged for babies from birth ($1 if they are in a pram) and $6 from 9 months. :O My baby was barely rolling and certainly didn't leave her pram as my 3 year old played for the princely sum of $12. There was no way on earth I was happy to pay even $1 let alone $6 for the privelege of having a baby with me....(I played dumb and didn't offer to pay for her, the bench was high and the attendant didn't notice the pram with me!) Plus it was no BYO food, as they all seem to be, just to fleece you that bit further. I tend to ignore that rule too, and so far I have never been kicked out of any. But needless to say, I haven't been back to that particular one.....

Keshia said...

...and don't forget home time... when you somehow have to round up the kidlets altogether and ready to go... climbing up to one of those high compartments and then figuring how the heck your going to get out at 8 months pregnant is not my idea of fun... meanwhile my then 3 year old was in fits of giggles... what a nightmare.

Java said...

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Maxabella said...

Oh dear lord, don't get me started on these hideous cesspits of hell on earth. Lollipops playland is like Lord of the Flies on acid.

life in a pink fibro said...

I hate and despise all indoor playcentres. That is all I have to say.

Busy Working Mama said...

We try to arrive pretty early right after they open so that it's less crowded. There are a lot of those bouncy type places - some dirtier than others so we try to avoid those! My daughter desparately wants her birthday party at Monkey Joe's so we'll see. She told me "not a place LIKE Mokey Joes, but the REAL Monkey Joes." Stinker :)

Jessica Anne said...

Loved it! "They talk about inane things." That sums up my kids' conversation topics perfectly, so funny! I hate those places too. I always go by myself, since I'm usually trying to get a break when hubs isn't home. Probably a big part of the problem right there. Also, I hate when big kids act like there aren't little kids around. I'm not saying don't have fun, just pay attention a little to other people. Great post!

multiplemama said...

These places can drive me nuts! The last time we went to one we got sick for a month afterwards because the owners daughter was sick!
Hi from Sits!

Gill@OurParklife said...

haven't experienced this as a mother yet, but did plenty of school excursions to these sorts of places...And yes, you are quite right. Hell. Especially when you have to try and keep track of 25 kids!

MultipleMum said...

Not too many 'thumbs up' from people about these places it seems. Gill, I can think of nothing worse than taking a group of children there. Thanks for that! It will make the next time easier 'cause I will have that thought to compare it to!

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

OMG you described it perfectly ...I much prefer the small local one to Lollipop lalala land.

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