“ Address: 12 Chetham Court / Winwick Quay / Warrington / Cheshire / WA2 8RF / England „
after a trip out to Gullivers world last august (for the second time) the traffic lights got me at the roundabout where this play center is based.
from the outside it looked pretty big. i'm not one for noticing my surroundings whilst driving, but had it not been for those traffic lights i would never have noticed this building.
by the time i'd got home, i'd forgotten the name of it, so googled childrens play centres warrington, and 'the jungle' was the first found in the search. after having a look through their website, me and my partner decided that the next time we planned an hour or so out, we would give this place a try as it looked pretty big and clean inside, and something the kids would most likely enjoy.
what the website doesn't drill home is how friendly the staff are, and how they actually engage in having fun with the kids.
come october time, we decided it was time for another trip out and first at the top of our list was this jungle place. the 4 year old was excited as we hadn't told him where we were going. you get a better feel for how they are enjoying it when they step inside and they either look exited still, or disappointed. well, as soon as we pulled into the carpark and parked up, he thought he was going bowling until we walked past it. we got a lot of awwwwwwwwwww's out of him, until we opened the door for the jungle. well, his face was a picture. if you could put an expression in a bottle and sell it as 'excitement' then we'd be rich now. my daughter had just turned two and even she was excited. too excited really. she fallen asleep in the car and although she was cranky and tired, she wanted to be cranky and tired in the toddler section. the 4 year old disappeared in the maze of tunnels and came back a couple of minutes later with a red shiny face from all the running about, asking if we could come again. (we'd been there less than twenty minutes and already he was asking to come back before we'd even left!)
eventually my 2 year old came round and she was happily up and down that baby slide.
whilst we were there, they did a butterfly hunt. a staff member had hidden them all around the play area for children to find, and there was a treat for every child that found one. Next thing, there were kids everywhere, searching through balls and scurrying through the sections to get these butterflies. very energetic. they then moved on to announce dancing upstairs for anyone who wanted to join in, two staff members were present. you could access the upstairs via a magnetically locked gate at the bottom for parents with young children and there was a replica gate at the top so it was very safe. or, the older kids could rampage through the jungle sections and gain access that way. they did a bit of hokey cokey and a few other songs to which the staff helped the children dance to. there was an excellent amount of interaction with the children from the staff members, who had big smiles and could see they were clearly enjoying their job.
The way they were with the kids, just reminded me of butlins holiday entertainment, which i know i loved as a child.
we were there for nearly two hours before we had to break the news it was time to leave. there was sad faces all round, and the two year old threw out a tantrum. but with us having to drive home in rush hour traffic and it already being pitch black outside, we couldn't really stay much longer, but i would have loved to have done. just to see them enjoy themselves for a little bit longer.
needless to say, but they were asleep before we'd reached winwick lane.
we used to go to a local wacky warehouse, but after many disappointing visits we decided to branch out more. and in comparison the jungle was the one the kids enjoyed most. if i ask my nephew which one he wants to go to, he'll say 'can we go to the one with spiders and trampolines?!' (we went near halloween, so it was decorated with them, which is why he says its got spiders.)
it was extremely clean. cleaner than any wacky we've been to, i'm pretty sure it was £5 for each child. at the time, i thought *GULP, a fiver?* people say you get what you pay for, well, for a fiver a child, i have no complaints what so ever. it's £3.50 if you go to the wacky warehouse, and then the kids are just left to go play. there's no interaction from any staff member. the most they'll say to a child is a screech of 'DONT CLIMB UP THE SLIDE' which is hollered through a microphone.
so for that extra 1.50 each child, it sure is worth the money. They have a website page, a facebook page, you can follow them on twitter, and you can even become a member. i don't really do twitter, but on their facebook page they update it very often to let you know whats going on down there, and what they're planning. they put idea's out there, and ask what you think. i think that is brilliant. they seem keen to find out what parents want and try to put those ideas into practice.
Unfortunately, i have only visited this one just the once. due to the christmas period, awful weather/snow, moving home etc, we just haven't had the time. but i promise you this, i will be going back here. it's just a shame we don't live closer.
i know that if i were a child now, i'd want to go here.
infact, i wonder if they'll let me have my 30th birthday party there? i'd love it!
i have already recommended it to my friends with kids and will continue to do so.
keep up the hard work.
The Jungle is an indoor play area catering for children up to 4' 9" tall (around 8-9 years of age is probably the age limit although none is actually specified).
Play takes place on three levels. At ground floor level is an area for under 3's. This soft play area has has a low padded wall and consists of a few large foam shapes, a low climbing platform decended by a slide and a few punch bag type foam balls hanging from the climbing platform. Baby toys are also available here and it's an idea safe area for smaller children to explore.
Stairs lead up to a mezzanine floor with another baby play area. The stairs are safety gated off but are still a little steep for my liking, especially when carrying a small baby. This area is usually quieter however and much better for meeting up with other new mums if you want to be able to chat whilst sat on a comfy sofa.
We don't use the baby areas nowadays as at 2 years and 4 months littlest HonestBob deems himself ready for the over 3's area (he's been dragging me into this area for months actually). This area covers all 3 levels of the building and consists of a sizeable ball pit, various obstacles, padded areas to climb, rope nets to scramble over and rotating poles to squeeze through, culminating in either an enclosed curly slide or a four lane wavy slide. This area is certainly challenging for littles HonestBob and I wouldn't let him go through the entire play area on his own (what would be the fun in that?) as yet, but I do feel it's OK for him to use this over 3's area with close supervision.
For those with children who let them sit down whilst at The Jungle, Sky Sports is available on selected days (posters are put up advertising football matches for Dads press-ganged into weekend childcare). The Jungle Express Cafe provides a range of hot and cold beverages, sandwiches (paninis etc..), soups, jacket potatoes and cakes. The children's meal deal is particularly good, consisting of your choice of sandwich and cup of orange or blackcurrent squash and two further items from a list of fresh fruit, yoghurt, biscuits or crisps (we go for the grapes and find this a very generous portion). This costs around £2.50 and is much healthier than stopping off at the golden arches down the road.
Our favourite part of this indoor play centre are the trampolines. On the bottom level of the over 3's play area are two fully enclosed rectangular tramplines. These make a change from simply dashing about and climbing stuff and are working wonders on littlest HonestBob's co-ordination, balance and stamina. I just wish adults were allowed on them! Despite there only being two trampolines there is rarely a queue of children waiting to go on them as every child (during the schoolday at least) just hops on and bounces for a couple of minutes or so before coming off and heading for a different activity.
As well as the usual indoor play stuff The Jungle also holds Messy Monkey sessions (painting and sticking arty stuff), Tiger Tunes (songs, action rhymes and instruments), Sleepy Snakes Story Time (speaks for itself!), Funky Fitness sessions (stretch & have fun exercising). There is also a jacappella musical programme available and baby massage. All of these events are timetabled for different days so it's best to check out the website www.thejungle.uk.net to ensure that you get the right day for the activity you want to attend. We like messy monkeys (the mess stays there rather than on my carpet!!).
As with all indoor play centres, the venue is available for Birthday Parties. We haven't been to one here so I cannot comment from experience, but I'm pretty sure HonestBob would love to have his third birthday here.
Opening Times from 10-6 every day.
Admission Prices: £4.50 for members and £5.00 for non-members.
Little cubs sessions (under 5's term-time) from 10-3 are £4.00 for member's first child and £3.50 for additional children, non-members pay £4.50 and £4.00 respective.
Babies under 1 are free
On Mondays twins and multiples are only charged for the first child.
There is also a reduced rate for Childminders on production of I.D.
Groups discounts are available if you regularly meet with other mums (I'm guessing this will work like the school discount at £3.50 per head for 10+ children.
Membership (Jungle Explorer) is free on completion of a brief form and comes with benefits including reduced admission prices, a free gift (sorry, never got around to collecting ours!) and advance notice of events.
One word of caution, sometimes they spray the wavy slide with something(?!) to maintain its slippiness. A notice warning about this would be nice since the speed at which you descend it increases significantly in the days after it has been sprayed. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!
An indoor play centre for kids.