Welcome to part of my new series: My Top 4 Favourites. In each post in this series will be a different type of day out/place with my top 4 in each. I have so many places I like to go with Eric I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to shout about my favourites and recommend them for you! Let’s get started with My Top 4 Favourites: Indoor Play Centres. 😀
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My Top 4 Favourites: Indoor Play Centres
I think I’ll start by saying I think play centres are very much parent and child preference. So many people like a play centre that some others don’t and vice versa. Everyone is different! In no particular order…
Medieval Mayhem, S3
Medieval Mayhem opened in 2018 so is a new play centre in Sheffield and people are going mad for it. Rightly so because I think they’ve done it just right. Medieval Mayhem is big, adventurous with lots to do and can get very busy. If you’re looking for a big soft play centre for kids who love going mad in play centres then this is probably it for you.
The food is good, too, handmade and there are dairy free/vegan options. They do parties and have regular special events like craft sessions with mobile craft Child’s Play and baby/toddler classes. Every day of the week is an activity with anything from dancing, crafts to messy time.
We like it because there’s lots to do and Eric likes how big the frames are. There is a big “main” frame and a toddler section. The big main section has 3 big slides: a rainbow drop slide, wavy slide and a really steep (nearly drop) red slide. Eric is a big fan of the mirror sensory maze area, too.
Read our review of Medieval Mayhem here which has lots of photos!
Monkey Bizness, S9 2EP
The main reason for liking Monkey Bizness so much is pretty much down to the location. Monkey Bizness is in Valley Centertainment; a complex with restaurants, cinema, arcades and bowling, mini golf and coffee shops. It’s very easy to get to by public transport with a tram stop right next to it.
Monkey Bizness has everything Eric likes; big frame, smaller frames, tunnels, football playing area, slides, food and rides. We find the prices to be very reasonable with toddler sessions during term time, Monday-Friday before 12 noon £4 for 1 adult and 1 child. This includes a craft activity around 11am.
Read: Monkey Bizness: Good or Bad? to find out more.
Megakidz is definitely a place which is hit and miss for a lot of people! I like it but now Eric is a bit older (2 and a half when writing this) we don’t go as often. However, this was the first indoor play centre we really liked and the only one I found completely suitable when he was a baby/pre-walking. I find there are never older kids in there and rarely even toddlers over 3.
There is not much equipment to play with (see photos here) but if you have a baby or little toddler then there is enough, if that makes sense! Bouncy castle, small soft frame with slide, ball pit, little tikes slides, bouncy balls and a Wendy house. A separate baby area has lots of toys, mats and balls to play with. Behind the toddler area is a bigger section but I’ve never found anyone to be in there and it is quite run down.
The great thing about Megakidz is how it’s never busy and that combined with the activities there, and low prices it’s a good option for little ones who don’t want to be bashed around in busy soft plays. Under 1’s are free and twice a week there are Rhythm and Rhyme sessions, with breakfast snack time included – and this would cost you £0 for an under 1. We went to this often, it’s great value for money. For over 1’s entry is £3.50 with adults free.
Seating there is quite like a cafeteria but there are big sofas great for breastfeeding and chatting with friends. The place in general, could do with a lick of paint and a refurb but nothing major to complain about!
Playmania Barnsley, Elsecar S74 8HJ
This is more for a day out because it is not in Sheffield but I had to include it because it’s definitely up there with my favourites. I love how much there is to do around the play centre as well so you can really make a whole day of it. Playmania Barnsley is in Elsecar Heritage Centre; a living history centre with shops, old heritage railway, museum, coffee shops and cafes, pubs and walking trails. Nearby is a lovely park, one of my favourites: Elsecar Park.
The play centre is big with lots of natural light and is inside an old building. I like it because it’s bright but not fake lighting which you tend to get in most play centres (see our pictures here). The staff are always really nice, they have a busy activity and event schedule with something for all ages; we really used to enjoy the baby sensory. Plus, the activities are all included in entry price and if children are under 1 then this is free.
With a separate baby area and bigger frame it keeps children apart so you don’t get bigger kids pushing babies around, yet the baby area has stuff suitable to keep toddlers entertained so they don’t get bored… such as bubbles, slides, reading corner, puzzles, ball pit and toys. The bigger frames are good, challenging enough, super colourful and there’s a big rainbow slide. Yay! Big range of food and snacks available including dairy free/vegan.