When half term and the school holidays roll up, I find Noah and I get stuck in a rut of what the hell to do to make
the most of our time together school hurry up and take my child back please *clenched teeth emoji*
We’re pretty lucky that the beach is a 20 minute walk away, the woods are 10 minutes away and yes, that’s all cool when it’s not raining and the he’s not moaning that his legs are aching because EVIL MOTHER that I am thought we could have some wholesome, outdoorsy time. But, sometimes, just sometimes I want to sit down and drink a half decent mug of tea while my child happily tears around a padded environment and stops asking questions I can’t answer for just 5 minutes.
Soft play centres are hell on earth. There, I said it. They’re expensive, they’re sticky, and oh my sacred eardrums – the noise. The sheer cacophony of 200 under 10’s shrieking in joy / pain / murderous rage (delete applicable) is exactly why some of them now serve alcohol along with their alarmingly coloured slushy drinks.
So, what does that leave us?
Aha, never fear, there’s a new kid on the block.
Last half term Noah and I were asked to pop over to a local, newly opened trampoline park – Base Jump in Rayleigh, Essex. A trampoline park, what is this madness? Surely it’s like a massive hall full of intimidating trampolines with gymnastic teenagers doing the splits 20 feet in the air?
Nuh-uh! It’s 35,000 square feet of fun! With bouncy Dodge Ball courts, 2 metre high platforms to leap from into foam pits, a freestyle Jump Arena with over 75 interlinked trampolines plus much, much more.
Or, in other words, it’s a massive place to tire out your kids while you enjoy a gossip and the first hot drink you can remember having in forever. Obviously while keeping an eye on your offspring on a massive screen and standing by with sufficient water and carbs for when your kid returns breathless and rosy-cheeked from laughter and exhaustion.
Noah and I both grabbed a friend and went along to see what it was all about. We found the site easily after following directions from their website, parking was a little tricky as the car park is rather small but otherwise, the exterior was bright, clean and teeming with excitable kids coming and going.
The staff were really helpful and friendly, providing the kids with special luminous green grip socks and wristbands and giving me and my fellow mum a waiver to fill out and sign (ya know, in case they break anything with over exuberant or dangerous jumping) – we were then ready to be taken through to a holding area where the kids could change into their new socks and watch a short safety briefing video of the park rules.
Like magic, the doors opened into the park itself, the kid’s faces bright with awe at the sheer size of the place and the opportunity for fun.
The kids ran off to investigate while my friend and I found a table downstairs as she had her baby in a pram – there was a small lift to go upstairs to the mezzanine floor with a spectator balcony and café but we felt it was easier for when the boys tried to find us that we were downstairs. The seating area was clean, tables were kept clear by staff and even though there was loud music being played in the jumping area, it wasn’t overbearing and we could chat easily without shouting at each other.
After getting settled, I set off with my camera to explore and find the kids as it’s advised to supervise under 10’s. It’s only as you start wandering around that you can really appreciate just how vast the interior is. Dozens of trained staff were on standby at every corner and activity to help if needed. All the apparatus was spotlessly clean, bright and was kept cool by air conditioning. It was lovely to see all the children and brave adults getting involved were having such a good time, everyone was happy and as a result, Base Jump had a great atmosphere.
Jump sessions are an hour long, more than enough to tire the kids out (however you need to arrive half an hour early to fill out the forms and watch the safety video etc) and prices start at £11.00 per person, plus £2.00 for grip socks (which you can use on return visits). Compared to other activities, the price can seem a little on the expensive side, but as a treat once every so often, I think the price is totally justified.
The kids had a fantastic time and were thoroughly exhausted and happy as we left, demanding to know when they could go back again and if they could have their birthday parties there. Happy kids equal happy mums and all that.
We loved our visit to Base Jump, would happily recommend it to anyone looking to break the monotony of your average soft play and yes Noah, Mummy’s looking into the birthday party for you dude.
Also, the opportunity to take amusing photos of your kids mid-jump is just endless.
Disclosure: We were given a family pass for the purpose of this review. However all opinion and editorial is completely honest and my own.