As a kid I think it was always the ultimate treat to go to a soft play centre. They are the best place for running riot without a care in the world. And the greatest place for grown ups to chill out and unwind! Snakes And Ladders is a massive soft play centre in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. It boasts a large dedicated under 5’s area and outdoor adventure assault course as well as the huge main play frame. There is a large car park which is free of charge and makes access really easy.
Cody and I headed to Snakes And Ladders for the morning on a weekday during term time. Admission prices are average compared to other soft play centres. They have peak and off-peak prices. Peak refers to weekends and school holidays, off-peak is week days during term time. You do have to pay for adults as well which is quite common at these places. Children’s prices depend on their age – check their website for current pricing. If you are likely to visit more than once it’s worth joining their loyalty scheme. On your 6th visit the child gets in free.
We headed first to the under 5s area and played in the giant soft play area and ball pit. There are two dolphin shaped swings for tiny tots which are very popular. It also has a Wow toys area, diggers/trucks area, building blocks area, home corner with role play kitchen plus several adventure play frames. All are suitable for tots to climb around and explore. The slides down into the ball pits were Cody’s favourite and the mini trampolines.
On Tuesdays there is a musical mayhem session for tots to join in with in the under 5’s area which is included in your admission fee. It involves singing nursery rhymes and dancing along to music. There is a craft session held on Thursdays which is also included in your admission fee so well worth popping along for that.
We soon moved on to the larger play frame which is aimed at children over 5 and is huge! We spent ages climbing, crawling, going over and under, through tunnels and down slides. The large wavy slide was Cody’s personal favourite. Up to 3 people can slide down alongside each other so its great fun for races! There is also a ball games arena to be found deep at the back of the play frame. A spooky area is darker than the rest of the play frame and decorated a bit like a haunted house. All of the equipment was in good order and clean and felt completely safe.
Aside from the play frames there is a learning experience area. Outside there is also a wooden adventure course. It was a bit chilly on the day of our visit so we opted to stay indoors on the play frames.
With all that running around it wasn’t long before the kids need a drink and something to eat. We used a voucher from the Snakes And Ladders Facebook page to claim a free jug of squash. Check their Facebook page or website when you visit as they have regular offers for freebies or discounts. There is a large variety of drinks, snacks and cold or cooked lunches available from the cafe. One thing we did find disappointing was the lack of healthy options available. The snacks available consisted of crisps, chocolate bars or cakes and the only ‘healthy’ option on the main menu was a jacket potato or basic salad. I do think they could do with a few more healthy options and for fruit to be available as well. Prices were fairly average in comparison to other similar places, if a little high on some things. You cannot take any food of your own inside. There is a microwave available for heating up baby food if you need to.
There are lockers for you to store your valuables if you wish which I thought was very handy if you are on your own. There is loads of seating, including some nice comfy sofas. The toilets and baby changing area (in the ladies loo) were all kept relatively clean and tidy.
One thing I really like about Snakes And Ladders is the fact that there isn’t a time limit so you can literally stay all day and make the most of your money. I would recommend doing this as it can work out quite costly if you have several children. As for the age range, it’s suitable for crawling babies up to around 12 years. Definitely a great place to add to the list for wet weather days and believe me the kids will go home exhausted – I know I was!!
Address: Audlett Drive, Abingdon, OX14 3NJ
Price Band: ££
Disclaimer: Snakes And Ladders have had no involvement in this review and all photos, words and opinions are that of my own 🙂