“ Address: Via Gellia Mills / Via Gellia / Bonsall / DE4 2AJ / Derbyshire / England „
This place is excellent for the actual playing section- it is perfectly toddler sized and has a giant sand pit. The only problem is the place is very unclean! The play frame is filthy at the top, the Lego and baby toys are filthy. It's tummy bug paradise. It needs a serious regular clean!
I took my two young sons to the Play Mill although the facilities were adequate to keep them amused for two hours. The one thing that troubled me was the smell of exhaust fumes coming from the road. The road that it's situated on has a lot of traffic what seems to be mainly lorries. Some of the lorries with the exhaust pipes that stick up in the air are literally feet away from the windows (The Play Mill is located on the first floor of Via Gellia Mill and about one metre from the road) In fairness it was a hot day and most of the windows were open which didn't help. Maybe some form of air conditioning would help or air filtration system? I'll not be taking my kids back there again as I think it is not the ideal place for my kids health or mine for that matter.
Toddler time is a cycle of visiting places to entertain and ware your little one out. The play Mill is my favourite.
Where is it?
It is in on the A5012 Via Gellia, which is just off the A6 at Cromford. It is located at the top of a very steep hill.
What is it?
It is a soft play area with a difference.
It has a climbing frame area with a double wavy slide. This is similar to many of the soft play centre a in the local area although a little smaller. IT does have vertical steps at one point that is signed not for under 5 year olds but my son goes on it with me following behind. There is a simpler way of getting to the top floor. It has soft shapes inside to play with, a dark room which is quite dull. My son loves the ladders which he is apparently too young for and the slide.
There is an under 3 area which has plenty toys for babies and a toddlers. It is secure with a gate to give and area to play where the smaller ones can move about without having to chase every time they move. This is definitely one of the better baby areas locally.
There are ride on toys and a playhouse in the main seating area with a variety of vehicles for different age ranges
The highlight for me is the sand pit area. It is a huge sand pit with sit on diggers for moving sand, buckets, spades and various other toys. This is so unique to any other Soft play centre. It is great fun although the only disadvantage in comparison to the seaside is that as the sand it dries you can't build sand castles.
The Seating area.
There is plenty of seating area for parents and plastic Ikea high chairs available for little ones. There is a selection of magazines and newspapers available not that I have ever had time to sit and read one. The one issue I have with this area is that the cutlery is at child level which does mean I do frequently have to re direct my son away.
Like most soft play areas you are only allowed to eat food and drink purchased on the premises. Although I do take my sons drink in with me as he only drinks water anyway.
The food is absolutely delicious. There is a wide choice and I am yet to purchase anything off the menu that I haven't really enjoyed.
My favourite things to buy for my son are the cottage pie and fish pie which cost £3.95 each. They come out in a small ramekin with vegetables on the side and not a chip in sight. There are served piping hot and so I usually empty it out on the plate to cool but there is plenty for a little one and it tastes delicious. My son really enjoys these. I have tried many of the food on this menu and have not had a bad meal here. They do also sell home made cakes which have various prices but and are in no way a healthy option but are delicious.
They do have children's meals for £2.50 which you can choose from sausages, chicken nuggets, fish fingers, veggie fingers, veggie sausages, or pizza. You have an option of chip, half jacket a potato, or mash, then beans, hoops, peas or sweet corn.
A full menu is available on the website.
They do have weekly activites designed to give that extra bonus.
On Mondays they do Yoga bugs, Tuesday's is gym kids and Thursday they do craft activities. I personally have only attended the craft activities which meant my son painted a shoe box which held his attention for only a few minutes. It was a nice something different to do but wouldn't go especially for the craft.
It is open 10 am to 6pm but during May to September shuts at 5pm for parties
Under ones 50p
One to nine year olds £3.50
This is for a two hour session but my son is exhausted after two hours of running round and usually is quite relieved to get in his car seat for a nap.
All children are singed in and out. Shoes are removed and stored at the entrance and then it has a gated area to keep little one's inside.
I do find that this is a great trip out with plenty of variety to keep them occupied. It is more suited to pre school children than older ones and I would definitely recommend it for anyone with small children who are near by.
For more information see website www.playmill.co.uk or ring 01629 824777
Children's Indoor Play Centre