“ Address: The Gardiner Business Park / Little Browns Lane / Edenbridge / Kent / TN8 6LH „
My daughter is one and has just started getting into soft play centres so we have visited Manic Monsters in Edenbridge on a few occasions now.
Its pretty rural but is easy to find and the whole complex is located in a large warehouse type building with a large attached car park.
Its quite secure and you need to press a button to enter, and then pay and have the staff open the gates for you. This prevents toddlers and children from escaping into the great outdoors!
When you enter the facility its quite overwhelming as its pretty expansive - the biggest soft play place Ive been to so far. On the right is a baby and toddler area, specifically aimed at those under six. This area has a large climbing frame, with a slide, as well as some large soft blocks and shapes on the floor.
Attached to this theres a ball machine, where air shoots balls into the air, and a padded partitioned bit for small babies, with some activities on the wall. Further attached is a track with ride on toys, such as pedal bikes, scooters and cosy coupes.
On the left hand side is a larger area for bigger kids and this consists of a football pitch and some bigger slides and climbing frames.
Theres also a cafe which sells a large range of food of decent enough quality, if a bit expensive. We bought two chicken baguettes and a toddler meal box and it cost £15. There are snacks and main meals available here.
I would say this is a brilliant rainy day option, but due to the costs its more of a treat than an everyday option. It gets exceptionally busy on the weekends and older kids frequent the baby area and can be very rowdy. However its a dream during the week as its virtually deserted.
The changing facilities are basic, so its probably better for older kids, yet my daughter loves it here and our visits have been stress free.
It costs as follows;
Crawling to 3 years: £3.95
4 Years to 12 Years: £4.95
Theres also an overstay charge of 30p per 15 minutes per child.
The prices are for two hours which is plenty of time for a toddler.
Here are the contact details;
The Gardiner Business Park
Little Browns Lane
Telephone: 01732 866115
Manic Monsters is situated on a small business park, it's very rural with lots of farms about, as you approach there is an overflow car park to the right and ahead of you are two gated entrances, the one for the building is situated on the left and is clearly marked all the way so you know where are going.
The car park is literally as you go through the gates with ample parking to be hold, to the left where the building is there are some disabled parking spaces.
+_+_+ The Centre +_+_+
The building itself comes across as being a modern double barn with shutters on the front of the building for security.
As you approach the building you are greeted by double glass sliding doors, to gain entry you press an entry 'door bell', you also need to press one inside once you leave, this is a security measure to stop any children going walk about.
+_+_+ Inside +_+_+
As you go inside you are met by the reception desk in front of you behind there you can see the soft play area. To the right of you is a window to the Mangers Office and to the left is big space with a display cabinet of Manic Monsters merchandise and depending on if there is a party going on there will usually be a big tub for the party guests shoes.
Either side of the reception desk are half doors on locks which the staff open to let you in or out, another but essential safety measure.
Once through the door the space is immense; to the immediate right is the Managers Office and a Party Room to the end of that wall is a Little Tykes Cottage, next to that are a few vending machines in front of all this is the seating area with tables, they usually reserve the tables at this end towards the cottage for parties, the rest of the seating area is normally for everyone else that arrives.
Moving on from the vending machines is the first of the soft play areas, this is for children under 5; this section has a small assault course climbing frame, soft shapes (squares, cubes, circles etc) and a small wavy slide. To the left of this is an area for the babies and crawlers with a soft padded partition to stop babies wandering off out of their parents view; here there are sliding puzzles on the walls and a blow machine that you can put balls on and the hover in the air. All the flooring on this section is padded for safety.
Attached to this area is a bit with bikes, cars and scooters and has a little podium in the middle with a 'road' going round it, this 'road' flooring is of a carpet tile consistency so it is very hardwearing.
In front of this section is the main seating and tabled area and usually fills up very quickly.
In between this seating area and the older children's play area are steps up to the café, I will go in to more detail about the café area shortly.
Moving round now we come to the older children's play area with yet more seating and tales; in front is a ball area with a climbing wall attached to it on the end, there are also lockers here should you wish to use them, but I've not seen anyone use them yet, to the left of the ball area is the main assault climbing frame, there are soft steps going up on two sides with a huge yellow wavy slide coming down.
Where one of the soft steps are is a covered spiral slide and being an adult it is a feat to get to it but the children manage. The yellow wavy slide in the centre of the climbing frame is fantastic, both my husband and I have been down it with our son and it especially slippery when they've cleaned it....you whizz off the end.
Next to this area is a climb through tunnel and then a go-kart track complete with podium or waiting area for the kids. They have some good go-karts on this bit, depending on what day you go they sometimes have two-seater ones complete with steering wheel and other times they have one that are single seater. This is a very demanding bit of the whole area and children are usually waiting for a while before they get a go.
Next to this are the toilets, here there are the Girls, Boys and Disabled. I won't rave on about the toilets but as you can imagine with all the children they can be quite messy.
Back around now and we are back to the reception desk. In front of this to the left are some sweet machines, the ones that you put in 20p and get a handful of sweets.
Turning 180° is the center seating area with a partition; directly in front of you is a 'Magic Roundabout' machine that you put money in and it goes round playing a tune next to that and the side where the younger children's area is there are two leather sofas with a table in between them.
To the other side there are more tables and chairs up to and round the side where the sofas' are, at the end of this bit is a pin ball machine that takes 20p to operate but you get a small bouncy ball and there is a dispensing machine that spits out balls that have removable characters in them at £1 each.
+_+_+ Upstairs +_+_+
As you get to the top of the stairs to your left is a very large seated area, this is sometimes used for parties, every time that we been there it is always very quiet. In between the seats and where the emergency exit it, is another Little Tykes Cottage.
Moving around this area is a small games area with an air hockey machine and another games machine and a vending machine, there is also another party room up here.
Going past this we come to the counter for the Café, here there is a microwave so that parents/carers can microwave baby food and on the menu there is a variety of different meals to suit everyone, they also breakfast until 11.30am. They also have sweets, chocolate, ice cream, crisps and Slush Puppies.
Turning past this there is a table with cutlery, milk, sugar and condiments and two children's rides that take money, the first is Scoop and the other is Stuart Little.
+_+_+ The Food +_+_+
Both my husband, myself and the children have had food here and although it isn't 4 stars, it is of an acceptable quality.
Everyday they have a selection of home made cakes, which are very filling; I highly recommend the chocolate one.
+_+_+ Other Activities +_+_+
Manic Monsters also does a range of different things that might be of interest.
After School Winter Meal £1.99
Parent & Toddler Group - Starts at 10:30am
Loyalty Membership Scheme - Different passes to save you money
Details of these are available on their website: www.manic-monsters.co.uk
+_+_+ Admission Prices +_+_+
I will warn you that this is not a cheap place to visit but as a treat once in a while it is well worth it.
Crawling Toddler to 3 years: £3.95
4 Years to 12 Years: £4.95
They also have an overstay charge of 30p per 15 minutes per child.
The prices above are based on a 2 hour stay, which my two children find is plenty of time.
+_+_+ Location and Contact Details +_+_+
Should you wish to pay a visit to Manic Monsters it is situated off the B2026.
The Gardiner Business Park
Little Browns Lane
Kent TN8 6LH
Telephone: 01732 866115 - Enquiries can be made 10am - 1pm Monday to Friday