“ Address: Unit 1 Holbrook Rise / Halfway / Sheffield S20 3FG / England „
I first discovered Runaround about 2 years ago. Having visited a lot of play centres in Sheffield Runaround looked good. The problem with a lot of playcentres is they are great when they are new and everything is clean and fresh but as time goes on everything starts looking dirty, worn and tired. However that's not the case at runaround and I think that explains why they are always so busy.
Off peak will cost you £3.50 Peak will cost you £4.50 per child. A reasonable priced playcentre especially as they don't charge adults. It can get so busy there are no tables available even though they have plenty. When you go in you have to sign in and pay before they let you thorough a door secured by a lock they have to release from behind the counter. So the place is secure. During peak times they operate a 2 hour policy where you have to leave after those 2 hours. All play centres do this anyway and in my experience 2 hours is more than enough for a parent.
They have 3 sections in runaround - a small under 3 section which has a small climbing frame and slide and little tykes cars as well as soft climbing blocks, a ball section with football nets and basket ball nets and finally the main part which has plenty of slides, climbing, ball shooting and general fun for the kids.
With plenty of tables they also have a small number of couches which are great for parents / carers to sit and relax while the kids play. They offer a wide range of hot drinks with a good range of coffee and syrups. They food there is very good as well and good value for money. They chicken nuggets are particularly a favourite as they are real chicken, no processed plastic type rubbish.
During weekdays they offer a play and eat after school for £5 which includes entrance and a kids meal. They offer a good range of childrens parties too.
The only negative thing I can say is it is really busy but most playcentres are but at least here its clean. The equipment, toilets, tables, chairs and the general building is always clean. Sometimes when it is extra busy service can be a little slow. They also offer a loyalty card where you get the tenth visit free i believe. Parking can be limited although they have a good sized car park you often have to park on the road but being an industrial estate there's plenty of space and no limitations
I discovered Runaround when browsing the internet in frustration trying to find something to do with a 9 month old who just wanted to crawl round the front room and chew wires.
Its not clearly advertised on their website but there is free entry for babies under 12 months, although after their first birthday it is full price. Hence why we haven't been since he was 1 (he's now 14 months) as I just don't think he's going to get £3 or £4 worth of enjoyment out of it. This seems to be typical of soft play centres but I do think it would be better to have a more tiered pricing system.
The play centre is large, bright and spacious and not the dingy, claustrophobic warehouse feeling that I expected. The coffee is reasonably priced and nice, the food seemed OK but I didn't have any. The toddler area is safe and self-contained so I was happy for my son to explore with me keeping only half an eye on him. It is thoroughly padded and full of squashy shapes and balls, with a small climbing frame and slide in one corner, a ball blower which my son found fascinating and an interactive games screen. There is also an opening into a small Cosy Coupe track which has a hard floor and is the only place a baby could hurt themselves so of course my son headed straight for it!
As I don't have older children I can't assess the rest of the play area but it looked good.
I brought my grandchildren (ages 6 and 4) on Friday 9th January but as we arrived we saw a large open fire at the rear of the building. My grandson was convinced the building was on fire ! Turns out to be someone burning packaging or rubbish. It seems stupid to be doing something like this with children about. We didn't even bother stopping as apart from the obvious safety implications with fire the smoke was awful. It's a shame as it looks a decent place.Anyway we went to Kidz Kingdom nearby instead and had a lovely day.
Run-around soft play centre in Sheffield is a large warehouse that has been converted to a outer space themed play centre. This is a very colourful and friendly place to take young children for a couple of hours or for their birthday party. The space theme is great and is shown on pictures of planets on the play equipment and also very well done comical alien pictures on the walls.
There is a smaller section for toddlers that is slightly separate to keep little ones safe with a climbing frame that has challenging obstacles and slide, also a part with little ride in cars and some soft shapes too. The main play frame is a mountain of slides, steps, net ladders and giant balls, a cannon ball shooter and a basket ball court too, lots to do for ages up to around 10 years I would guess.
They have a menu with a few snacks like sandwiches and bowls of chips but also burgers, panini's, jacket potatoes and homemade meals like lasagne or scampi and chips. For the children there is a menu of things like pizza, nuggets, pasta and sandwiches or something simple like beans on toast or a toasted teacake. They also a have variety of drinks like tea , coffee and hot chocolate and also cans and bottles of juice and fizzy drinks. So pretty much something for every one and prices are average as play centres go.
The cost is £4.25 at weekends and £3.25 Monday to Friday and its good to know they give discounts to multiples and childminders , these are typical of other places I have been.
I have no really bad points to share, it needs better signs nearby as its not seen from the main road and also there is no gate to behind the sales counter where they make hot drinks, a quick child may get behind and that is a bit of a hazard. Other than that I found it nice and clean and pleasant and would recommend it.
I went in here delighted to have discovered a new play centre for my kids to enjoy, a change from the very local Kidz Kingdom.
First of all you sign in, pay your money and then step inside the electronic gate.
The immediate view is clean and bright, there's a space/alien theme which doesn't really work with the title Runaround but looks good enough inside.
On the left is the toddler area which includes a miniature car track with 3 Little Tikes cars but it's very small and there is little room to manouevre.
Beside that is a soft padded area and a small low framed climbing area and double slide for toddlers. There are also over sized Lego blocks for added interest to the soft shapes and figures to climb over.
In the area for older kids there are endless ramps, tunnels and slides to explore, including a quadruple bumpy slide down the middle and a curly snake slide to one side.
There is also a large ball court with basketball nets and a variety of balls and space for the kids to run about.
There are several bright red sofas with low coffee tables and then a whole selection of cafe tables and chairs to seat around 170 in total.
There are 3 ladies toilets, 1 gents loo and 2 urinals in the fairly clean loo's, but to serve the full compliment of seating, perhaps a little on the ambitious side. There are step stools in the loo's to assist the younger clientele.
There are around 40 parking spaces, 4 are specifically disabled spaces.
There is a mezzanine level for parties, the top of the area can be seen but at a guess you would not be able to see the guests, though certainly hear them.
When we arrived it was 4.25 pm and we were told that the full price of £4.25 each still applied, at the elevated weekend rate even though we would get less than the time we were paying for, 2 hours. There was no apology, no reason, nothing. I commented that as new customers that was an incredible way to impress us on our first visit. The woman at the counter then offered us two free stamps on a loyalty card, which means if we keep going back we'll get a free play session sooner. I accepted that as better than a kick in the teeth but it seems like poor business to me.
We ordered two cups of tea and two soft drinks, that came to £4.60 and it was only on examination of the menu that I saw a pot of tea would have been £1 less, yet no one bothered to mention that when I ordered.
The menu is full of the usual junk, chips, fish fingers, chicken nuggets and burgers - has no one any concept that play centres don't have to be so cheap and nasty, healthy food is something many parents prefer to processed junk at overinflated prices. There are baked potatoes but they are the one concession to healthier food and frankly they bore me silly.
There is however a decent selection of coffees but since it's a kids play centre this is far from the most important.
Notably, it does highlight on the menu that no responsibility will be taken for the food being in contact with nuts. If I was a parent with a child with a severe anaphalactic reaction to nuts, I would simply boycott the place for that. How can anyone order anything at all with that sort of response. There is a friend I know I cannot invite to meet us there as a result as her son would die, very quickly.
The toilets have full length mirrors and I'm reasonably sure that they are from Ikea, it is a recognised style found in the store, therefore not to industrial standards and within the reach of toddlers.
The play equipment for the bigger kids, though not limited to them, has a great four lane bumpy slide which one of my daughters wanted me to help with so I took her down but we got stuck half way down. My other daughter tried alone and also got stuck. We saw no end of other children and parents get stuck and only one, wearing a polyester tracksuit managed it with any speed. It simply isn't slippery, what a waste of time.
As I climbed up the equipment I found that although the surfaces are clean the joins and nooks and crannies are stuffed with crumbs and rubbish in general, far from ideal.
The food and drinks preparation area is open and accessible to anyone, including adventurous toddlers. This seems insane to me, especially with the hot drinks machines and other kitchen equipment behind there.
Although I have big grumbles about the place my kids loved it. So, practically for parents it's lousy, for kids, they love it, just not the silly pointless slide.
So, the best thing to do would be to talk to the owners surely... since my review above appears elsewhere on the internet and I had left a card, when I next dropped in the owners came to talk to me and said they had seen the review and have taken some of the comments on board.
As a result, the slide has been polished, new tables have been ordered, the acknowledgement of the grit and grub in the edges is there though the owner assures me that it is cleaned very regularly but accumulates that mess each day - which is believable.
It is possible that more work is in the pipeline to deal with other issues and I was told emphatically that the member of staff who charged us was in the wrong in the owners books as she reduces the price according to time.
I was also encouraged to talk to them with anything else which I might think and feel.
Now, in my opinion, that's an excellent attitude and approach to running a business and because of it, I'll be back. If ever you knew that customer feedback counted for something, at Run Around you can be certain of it.
I'll be back to update my review with any new changes.
This review may appear, in whole or part, elsewhere on the internet.
Wear the kids out for the day by taking them to this fun activity centre.