Like a lot of parents of young children, I never thought I would admit it but I was itching for the soft play to reopen (especially now the weather has turned). So we are really happy they have started to reopen, even if there are some restrictions.
Joe’s Jungle in Redditch is the first soft play we have visited since lockdown measures were announced so we were really interested to see what was different and whether the restrictions impacted the fun.
We planned our visit in advance with booking needed online. The booking system usefully tells you how many spaces are left for the day so you can look for a quieter session potentially. I booked the day before but a friend was able to book the same morning. There are several two hour sessions per day with time allowed for cleaning between sessions.
The one problem I found with the timed sessions was apparent when we arrived at the same time as everyone else. It was fairly safe queuing down the side of the building but probably not enough space to really distance effectively. However with the need for booked sessions I am not sure how it would be possible to avoid this. There was also a short delay to entering but you could see that the staff were cleaning everything (it was just a shame that there was an almighty cloud burst just before we got inside 🙂 ).
I had my booking confirmation to hand but you were able to enter by providing your name. Each booking is assigned a table number and you are unable to switch to a different table during the session. This initially caused a couple of problems as me and my friend booked separately so were assigned different tables but in the end we were able to sit together. If you want to be guaranteed to sit together, it is worth making one booking.
If you have not been to Joe’s Jungle before, I always say its a nice sized play centre especially if you have younger kids who want their freedom but you want to know where they are. It is a two story sized frame in a fairly contained area. There are a couple of slides, some climbing towers, rope swings and a couple of small trampolines. There is also a dedicated closed off area for under 3s. Adults are not permitted on the play frame but even when my girls were young they were able to navigate their way around quite easily.
Our table was right next to the main play area handily so it was easy to let them run off to play. It was probably a mistake to take them on the lunchtime session as they seemed to want food more than play to start and needed encouragement. As the sessions were restricted to two hours I decided not to get the girls lunch whilst we were there so we could maximise the play time. However, those two hours whizzed by, we could have easily done another hour or two of playing.
So overall opinion, it felt clean throughout although some of the queues to get in and for drinks were lengthy. This may settle after time as one of the servers did seem a little inexperienced. I noticed that many people were wearing a mask to start but by the end, most had been removed (potentially where they were eating and drinking). The sessions did seem a little short but this is understandable in order to balance the cleaning and making the sessions financially viable. We enjoyed our visit and I would be happy to revisit again.