“ East Kilbride / South Lanarkshire / Tel: 01355 230 657. „
My daughter had her 7th birthday party here, on enquiring, I got a good idea of what was on offer, I was also invited to visit and my daughter got to try out everything before we actually booked the party. On the day of the party, the staff had the kids organised and I didn't have to do a thing! My mum went out to Burger King to provide food for the partygoers, as they did not have food facilities but good as the staff had no objections to us bringing in food. The kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves and no-one was left out. A couple of the kids were late but the staff managed to give them their time on each piece of equipment, which meant the kids that arrived on time got extra shots. Also two of the children I'd booked for couldn't make it and I was surprised that they didn't charge me for them. The owners were fantastic the whole period from enquiring to the actual party itself, the staff were friendly and helpful, even in the case of a little girl who was very shy and didn't speak, she was chatting away and enjoyed her day emmensely. I'd definately recommend CBDS to anyone, providing money is not an issue, as at £10 a head, not including food it is very expensive. As a lone parent and student money is always an issue but seeing the enjoyment my daughter and her friends got that day it was well worth it!
>>>What is this place<<<
CBDS or Childrens Building, Driving Skate Learning Centre is an indoor kids activities centre with several distinctive characteristics. At CBDS children between the ages of 3 and 8 have the opportunity to try out different electric vehicles that are usually reserved for older kids and adults in a safe environment. With Motorbikes, Ferrari go-carts and even Quad-bikes on offer, there is plenty to keep your wee ones entertained.
>>>Whats on offer<<<
The warehouse style building is separated into specific areas as detailed below. Once inside, you and your child are introduced to the member of staff who will be responsible for taking your child through the various activities while you are free to sit down, read a paper or watch from the sidelines. Every 10-15 minutes, a buzzer sounds throughout the building. This signals the time to change from one activities to the next ensuring all kids get a fair and equal chance on all of the equipment and to avoid over crowding in any area at any given time.
> A go-cart track; (inside)
The Go- carts are made to look like mini Ferraris in sporty red or silver although it must be said, these kids have given the cars quite a beating and it has probably been some time since they even remotely resembled a sports car. However, Kyle for one was certainly not bothered if the Ferrari decals had been worn off the side of the car as he zoomed around the track which included a tunnel at the back of the course.
>A sort of bumper-car area; (inside)
These little blue bumper-car style vehicles looked like little beetles to me (The bug not the car), Instead of a steering wheel, the kids have a joy-stick style control by there side with which to control the vehicle. Once Kyle got the message that the challenge was not necessarily to ram your co-drivers as many times as possible, he spent most of his time spinning around in circles at high speed with the silliest grin imaginable plastered onto his dizzy face.
>Mini motorcycle track; (inside)
Kyle has a fascination for al things involving two wheels, an engine and a helmet so his eyes lit up at the sight of these electronic bikes in fact every time the buzzer sounded he headed for the brightest yellow one he could find. When it was eventually his turn, he took a couple of seconds to get used to the realistic choke and then was off. The girl assigned to him and one other little boy must have gone home with permanent scars from my son who insisted on driving into her, but then, she would get in the way!
>Sandpit and climbing frame area; (inside)
This was the section which least captured Kyles imagination. Space was limited although they had thrown in diggers, shovels and climbing frames to liven the glorified sandpit up. I also felt there was a safety issue. From inside the pit it was easy to climb onto the surrounding wall which stood roughly 3 feet high off the cement floor. There was a close call where Kyle almost bit the dust whilst sitting precariously on the wall.
> House building area; (inside)
The House building idea is a great one in theory. Children are given lifting trolley devises to pick up large foam bricks to bring back to one of two of the metal frames that are erected in this area. This is a great exercise for learning teamwork, co-ordination and basic problem solving. However, Kyle and the others in his groups spent most of the time wheeling the blocks to the frames and then dumping them in a pile instead of building fantastically coloured houses.
> Quad-bike track; (outside)
I was ever so proud to see my little boy (the smallest on the day by a year or even two) not only manage to get on to the giant quad bike but not only did he keep up with the others on the track he managed to manouver the beast of a machine better than the other kids! He was equally proud waving excitedly each time he passed me on the square, wood-chipped track.
> Jeep track; (outside)
The jeeps were quite obviously slightly more difficult to handle as all the kids seemed to be able to do was crash into the rubber tires lining the track for safety. Kyle abandoned his jeep half way through after becoming too frustrated that each time he was pulled from the centre reserve, he ended up right back there in a pile of cut tyres.
>Skate/Rollerblading track (inside at night only)
At night, the indoor warehouse is cleared of all traffic cones and divides to make way for a Roller disco style rink. There is even a steep ramp up to another small level for skaters to move about. Although I didnt see the set up first hand, it is easy to see how once, cleared the warehouse would give plenty of room for kids to enjoy.
Apart from the very helpful woman who appeared to run/own CBDS I dont think there was a staff member over the age of 17 (maybe 18 at a stretch) working there on the day we visited. All dressed casually in pink velour hoodies it was only just possible to differentiate between the kids and the staff. Being teenage girls, they all looked like life wasnt worth living and I have to admit to being disappointed to note the impatience and lack of anything remotely similar to enthusiasm in Kyles supervisor. Rikki swears he saw her smile once but I am not convinced. I also felt concern for my son in her care as she didnt seem particularly observant or interested in the kids whose safety rested in her hands. When Kyle almost fell from the the sandpit wall, his supervisor was sitting on the same wall maybe three feet away and it wasnt until I jumped over and shouted that she even noticed Kyle was there.
I understand they are young and that they all probably had hangovers and to be fair I cant think of a job that would make me less patient and enthusiastic. I get that they are probably paid £5.35 an hour and that they are probably covered in bruises from being plowed into by little speed demons all day, but I still dont think this is good enough. When people work with kids in any capacity, they need to be able to muster up even the smallest amount of interest and above all, they have to be prepared to look out for the childrens welfare no matter how hung-over they may feel.
Although I would certainly not suggest leaving your kids unattended here and I would advise parents to keep an eye on what your wee one is up to, I still feel that the surroundings and equipment made this a safe environment despite the shortfalls of the sour-faced teenage girls.
CBDS is RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) certified which goes some way to putting parents minds at ease. All children are made to where helmets on each of the vehicles and all of the tracks are well lined to avoid injury should there be any collisions. The vehicles are all triggered by putting your foot on the pedal or chocking the throttle so if anyone falls from them, the machine will stop immediately. It is also important to note that none of the machines go fast enough or have enough room to build up momentum to cause lasting harm should anyone fall into the path of oncoming traffic, however, the fact that there is a staff member allocated to no more than 2 children at a time adds to their security.
My only concern is the cement ground surface in the sandpit area which I mentioned earlier. I would suggest CBDS invest in some foam matting similar to those found in other indoor activity centres.
There was a party going on while we were there which struck me as a great idea to do something a little different for the kids although I would advise parents not to dress their kids up in their Sunday best for the party as muddy quad bike wheels can reek havoc on a pretty white satin dress.
I would also suggest parents wanting to take their kids along on the weekend call to check availability in advance. We first went on the Saturday only to be turned away because they were too busy with parties. After getting my son all excited I was racked with guilt when we had to explain why we couldnt go in.
>>> Additional Facilities<<<
This should be short and sweet as there arent really many.
There is no restaurant or café although there is a coffee machine and cold drinks/snack machine. I feel it is my responsibility to warn parents that no matter how much you may need the shot of caffeine often found in a coffee cup, dont go near the coffee machine. Over a week on and I still havent been able to get the taste of rubber insoles out of my mouth.
There were three plastic picnic type tables and chairs for waiting parents that were obviously chosen for cost rather than comfort.
The toilets are adequate although I struggled to fit my more than adult sized bum onto one of the tiny kiddy toilets and couldnt find a grown up one anywhere. They were basic but clean.
CBDS is located in an industrial park in East Kilbride just off the infamous Whirlies Roundabout. I would strongly suggest looking at a map before you set off as the access roads to the different parks of the park can be difficult to understand and like us, you may find yourself within sight of the building but unable to actually reach it. Once you have figured out the correct turning, it will be smooth sailing.
CBDS is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm and again from 6:30pm to 9pm for over 12s skating and rollerblading.
The cost is £10 per person for what works out to be roughly an hour and a half of activities. If looking at this purely in terms of the amount of time your child or children will be entertained for, this may not seem like great value. However, if you can look at the whole experience as a unique opportunity your kids will get a chance to experience that they wouldnt usually, the £10 is a fair price.
CBDS is a fantastic concept and one the owner does well with however, I cant help but see the potential to make a good business a great business. With minimal investment in a simple café for waiting parents, more comfortable seating and a lick of paint coupled with some smarter employment strategies like advertising for staff in more child oriented surroundings like colleges
At CBDS, children as young as 3 can drive ferraris, BMW's, jeeps and motorbikes. CBDS are situated just off the Whirlies Roundabout, East Kilbride. Our premises occupy a large unit in Wilson Place, giving us the advantage of lots of driving space both indoors and outdoors. Open daily from 10am to 5pm.