> Mushypea, Sprout et al: Play factore

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Play factore

A reply to a tweet by @TiredmummyofTwo asking for any bloggers wanting something to do today resulted in our visit to Play Factore near the Trafford Centre, Manchester.

Play Factore is an indoor adventure playground suitable for children between 0 - 12 years of age, although myself and Sprout would quite happily have had a go on everything if we were able!  We arrived and the first thing that hits you on entry to the site is the sheer scale of the place.  As you wait in line you are faced with the play frame which is over 15m in height and the astra slide which is 40m in length.  It was a crying shame Munch is only 8 months old but we could both imagine him having a great time playing on that when he is old enough.  So, we get to the front of the queue after waiting in line twenty minutes and I tell the attendant that we are on the guest list. The first time I have ever had to tell a stranger that I am Mushypea - kudos to her that she didn't raise an eyebrow or snigger - not even a brief flash of "huh" fell across her face!

We pass through the entrance barriers and there is a sea of tables and chairs for parents to sit and wait whilst their beloved children run off a lot of steam and of course where lunch can be eaten.  We made our way to the toddler area on the right.  I regularly go to a soft play centre locally and I have to say the the one they provide here is excellent.  The area is gated and full of different activities for your little ones.  There is a climbing frame with two slides of different heights and has been well thought out in that at toddler age chances are the parents will also need to limber up and through the tunnels etc without fear of getting stuck.  It was lovely for us to be able to sit Munch on our laps and take him down the higher of the slides.

There was a car track area with Little Tikes Cozy coupes - Sprout spotted these and Munch was put into one shortly after.  He shows a propensity to drive like his father already; one hand on the steering wheel and the other with his elbow propped on the door.  Munch loves ride-on toys so this area was a hit.

There was an area for younger children filled with soft cubes and seesaws, there were soft handhold ledges where Munch was able to pull himself up to stand and he loved the big mirrors at one end.  Apologies to the person that cleans that by the way - yes, those slobbery hand prints are our sons!

You have to remember that this place is filled with excited children of all ages so there was plenty of joyous screaming, laughing and chattering in the air as well as the music that they have playing in the background.  At 8 months old there comes a point where they hit stimulation overload - you know what I am talking about here - that moment in time where they need a time out and wind down otherwise big trouble is around the corner.  Play Factore has demonstrated that it understands this by providing a sensory area.  The area is closed off and small enough that there cannot be too many children in there.  There was a bubble tube, various light boxes, mirrors and a sensory board.  Munch was totally mesmorised by the bubble tube and couldn't stop hugging it!

Considering we were there with Munch there was plenty that he could do especially when you consider he cannot walk yet.  Once he is, I am sure he will love it even more; give it a good few years after that and he will be up on that play frame and down the astra slide with no stopping.  The prices for entry (accompanying adults need to pay) and refreshments, the waiting time and queues to get in  and for food were the only things that would make this place a treat rather than a regular place to visit. Those aside, Play Factore is well maintained, clean and light which is good considering the place only opened in Easter 2012.  We had a great time and look forward to going again. 

I was born at the wrong time - I wish I was 10 again so I could play too!


  1. It looks brilliant!! I wish there was one near where we live, my two would love it! It looks like your little one had lots of fun :) x

    1. It was great fun! He will enjoy it all the more once he is steady and on his feet.

  2. That looks fun. I like the look of the lights

    1. It was great fun and we can't wait to go back once he's a little more mobile.