Family place review: Role Play, Hebburn

Family place review: Role Play, Hebburn

I now have a new favourite play place! Yesterday we went to check out the recently opened Role Play in Hebburn and I fell in love. I liked it so much I booked it for Arlo’s 5th birthday party in December while I was there!

Things I loved

Family place review: Role Play, Hebburn

The location is good – a 5 minute walk from Hebburn metro. If you drive there is lots of free parking at Hebburn hub across the road, or even around down the side streets.

I don’t know about you but with a toddler and pre-schooler, what I want is somewhere where I can take them and I can sit down and have a cuppa but still always see them. Role Play is that kind of place. Its laid out perfectly so that there are tables in the middle, a ‘racing’ track around those tables and then play stations around the edge of the room. It is all baby proof and safe, the kids can’t get out of doors or into things that can hurt them. Best of all, the stations are so different and fun they actually want to run off and play independently so you could sit and have a cuppa or catch up with another parent. You could probably even work! So much better than taking them to soft play.

Family place review: Role Play, Hebburn

The other amazing thing about it is they have a number of staff who are going round keeping the place in order and tidy and *gasp* playing with the kids. They were all childcare professionals on the day I was there ranging from qualified teachers to nursery workers. They are all CRB checked and you could tell they genuinely enjoyed playing with the kids. This will come in especially useful for outnumbered parents who can relax a little knowing there is a helping hand if they have a number of kids requiring attention at the same time. All of the staff I spoke to on our visit were very polite and enthusiastic. They nailed customer service.

Family place review: Role Play, Hebburn

The room is lovely, big wooden beams and pretty ceiling lighting and a real tree at the back. The staff brought the tree in and treated it so it doesn’t have any insect issues. They then stuck fakes leaves on it so it still looks like a real tree. If that’s not dedication to creating a lovely space then I don’t know what is. The tree is house on some fake grass to create a little play picnic area that is a wonderful focal point to the room. At the end of the 1 hour 30 minute session the staff clap and sing a song and then read a story there to mark the end of the play time.

Family place review: Role Play, Hebburn

Family place review: Role Play, Hebburn
This is a lovely touch and demarcation to the session – although Lena kept trying to pinch the book.

Both my kids (4 and 1) loved playing in the cars and going round the race track. Lena abandoned cars after a while and started pushing a shopping trolley around the track for a while but whatever floats her boat I guess, as long as she’s not hanging off me so I can get 5 minutes of peace.

There is a builders station with fake bricks, builders dress up clothes and a couple of ride on vehicles that the kids all seemed to love.

Family place review: Role Play, Hebburn

There is a hairdressing salon with dolls heads where you can do their hair.

Family place review: Role Play, Hebburn

A post office with dress up outfits and a postman pat van complete with Jess the cat was popular. They even had little parcels in it, wrapped up in brown paper and tied with string.

Family place review: Role Play, Hebburn

There was a little kitchen area with a wooden kitchen set, cleaning toys and table and chairs.

Arlo’s favourite was a fire/police station with dress up and a fire engine. This station also had police cosy coupe cars.

Family place review: Role Play, Hebburn

There was a shop station with a shelf of ‘groceries’, a shopping trolley, fabric bags and a till, counter and seat. The kids really seemed to like this one.

Family place review: Role Play, Hebburn

Then finally there was a baby section that would also be good for chilling out at – with books and baby seats/toys.

Family place review: Role Play, Hebburn

There is a counter at the back of the room where you can order food, drinks and snacks – hot and cold. I didn’t eat but I’ve spoken to people who have eaten there who assured me the food is good. There weren’t many allergy friendly options when I was there but the manager said they were going to rectify that and she was certainly very keen to cater for any allergies. We spoke about it for my son’s birthday party and nothing was a bother.

Family place review: Role Play, Hebburn
Family place review: Role Play, Hebburn

Things that could be better

In fact, any criticisms I could have made are stuff the management is aware of and already on the road to fixing. It was quite hot in the room of the day we were there so they are looking at getting air con or fans to help. They currently hold 4 90 minute sessions a day, each session currently costs £5 per child. I asked if they would be doing a sibling discount (as £10 for my 2 a session at the moment makes it something I can’t do often). The manager told me that they will be introducing this asap, along with lots of toddler group sessions.

Summary

Overall I’d give Role Play 9/10. I was given complimentary entry to do this review but I’ll definitely be back again out of my own pocket and I’m very excited to see what this little venture has in its future!

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11 Comments

  1. August 12, 2016 / 17:56

    WOW this sounds like some sort of heaven. This is bad but I loved soft play when I had one child and used to go all of the time. With two children under 4 it was horrendous and although I did take them both a bit I used to dread my 4 year old getting stuck at the top and then my clambering up to rescue him whilst holding a toddler. Then when baby no3 came along…….OMG I avoided softplay like the plague. It was actually living hell with 3 x under 5 year olds.

    This sort of place is the kind of place I would have happily visited though. I even would have paid £15 for the three of them. How fab that there are staff there to help tired parent’s out and I love that everything is on one level. Plus, everyone knows that role play is a child’s favourite game in the whole entire world. I’ll share this on my page later in the week 😀

    • August 12, 2016 / 18:24

      Thanks Samantha. I really did love it. I thought – I could get some blogging done there!! The kids had a blast and parents get a break. Bliss! Totally agree on soft play. I just can’t help Arlo if Lena’s off trying to kill herself in the opposite direction!

  2. August 12, 2016 / 18:23

    This looks great for Dinky when she’s old enough 🙂

    • August 12, 2016 / 18:26

      Defintely! They have baby stuff there now so it’s a great place to meet me for a cuppa and chat 😉

  3. August 12, 2016 / 18:49

    Totally agree with all of this. We loved it too.

    • August 17, 2016 / 18:28

      You know they didn’t make us take our shoes off

  4. rockandrollpussycat212
    August 13, 2016 / 19:04

    It sounds like a smaller but better laid out Little Town. I’ll have to give it a try sometime

    Cat x

    • August 18, 2016 / 08:59

      Just had to rescue your comment from the bin again! Don’t know why it keeps doing that. Yeah, I’ve not been to Little Town but I’ve heard that.

  5. rockandrollpussycat212
    November 15, 2016 / 00:58

    I really must visit Role Play! I think I’ll save it for New Year now.

    Thanks for linking up to #Daysoutwithatoddler

    Cat x

  6. November 25, 2016 / 18:02

    I still need to try here. Next week maybe, before the Christmas holidays start!

    • November 25, 2016 / 18:10

      They are happy to host us for a bloggers play date. We just need to sort a date!

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