In an attempt to engage with my son in my adventures, I decided to centre one around him this week with a trip to a children’s play centre, Playdays. I discovered Playdays online where it offers a free membership which entitles you to a discount on entry. So, a few days before the adventure, I joined online and was excitedto receive my card in the mail a couple of days later.
On an afternoon where Tyson and I had been having a fairly relaxed day, but had been home all day, it was decided that we’d head out to face the adventure head on.
Step One, as always was to find the venue. The area where we were going was familiar – Doncaster East. I used to live in Doncaster East, so I was quietly confident of finding it, especially given it’s address being on a main road. Nonetheless, I drove straight past and had to double back at a slow pace to find the entry. Turns out that Playdays shares a building with an indoor sports centre – Playdays by day, sports centre by night.
On arriving at Playdays, it was love at first sight. Undercover parking is available with a covered walkway from the carpark to the entry of the centre. This warms the heart of any parent trying to entertain children on rainy days. No getting wet from car to play centre – genius!!
So, time for step two: walking in and claiming my discount! I felt so special handing over my membership card as I paid on entry. It’s so cool to become a member of something that you’ve never actually been to.
Anyway, moving on from the discount… though it’s hard to ‘cos I think it’s so cool…. But moving on…
Walking in, I was blown away by the play centre. This is a play centre designed specifically with younger children in mind. There’s two jumping castles, some cubby houses and lots and lots of soft toys.
I took Tyson over to have a bit of a crawl around, and he looked up at me with such a huge smile that I realised this was going to have to become a regular play time for us.
We went later in the afternoon, the advantage of which was that there were only a few families there. Apparently on school holidays it is very, very busy, particularly across the middle of the day. It was the perfect time for us to go for our first time.
There were a couple of mums having a chat while their children played in one of two soft-walled ball ponds, so I plopped Tyson in amongst the balls and joined in the conversation. It was such a relaxed environment and was great to be able to have a chat with other mums as we watched our kids play together.
After a while, I decided to give Tyson a bit more wandering time and he crawled his way around and headed over to one of the jumping castles. I didn’t expect him to enjoy it as much as he did. Have to admit, I found it pretty fun too!
With only a few minutes until the play centre closed for the day, I went over to the second of the ball ponds to give Tyson a bit more ball play. As I put him in, another boy came running over from across the room and jumped in with Tyson. His mum came over with her other son, and I was delighted when the first words from her mouth were, “This is Richie, that’s Samuel, and I’m Rachel. How are you?”.
Our boys played together for a while as we chatted about the joys of parenthood. I loved hearing her share about the change from having one child to two and the differences that she enjoys in her boys. It felt like a spontaneous mini mum’s group meeting and I loved it!
Unfortunately, closing time came all too quickly – the downside of going at the time we did. So, we headed off from Playdays in the knowledge that we would be back to enjoy the ball ponds, jumping castles and of course the all important discount once again. Mother and son adventure – a big success!
Cost: $5 (discounted from $6)