“ Unit 40 / No 1 Industrial Estate / Consett / Tel: 01207 500007. „
At the moment, as far as parties are concerned, this seems to be one of the most popular places with friends of Little Miss; this has meant that we have spent many hours in the place.
Mr Twisters is a franchise, and as such, there seem to be several of the play areas dotted around the place. They all cater for the fact that parents may be at a loose end on weekends when the weather is bad, and naturally they cater for parties.
I think its quite difficult to find, since its on and Industrial estate, and although there are directions given with the invitations, once on the Industrial Estate, it really isnt very well signposted, so be prepared to ask for directions. However, once you have found the place, there is ample parking and assuming you watch your back, front and side, you can avoid the children who seem to come streaming out of the door and straight into the car park. I would actually like to see some kind of buffer zone between entrance door and car park, but who am I to question the logic?
Once inside the play area, there is a front desk and a big queue, as parents are asked to pay, whilst children remove their shoes. There is also an abundance of the kind of small toys you would never usually buy but which frazzled parents will purchase because children are shouting for them. Good marketing ploy!
The play area seems to be in a square area in the middle of the room, and features slides, ball pools, things to climb on, under and over. To the side of this is an area for younger children, with a more simple, sedate ball pool. For people with children on the two areas it is actually quite difficult to keep an eye on the two areas because the area for young children is sort of set back from the main area. Toilets are of course child friendly and there are plenty of them.
Tables for parents and carers are set round the main play area, with tables close to the area for younger children, and of course in the café area. The café itself sells the usual hot meals (chicken nuggets, burgers and chips being predominant), chocolates and crisps, along with a selection of drinks. Naturally, you are discouraged from bringing in your own food and drink, so you have no choice but to pay the over inflated prices. Am I being horribly cynical?
**So, how much does it cost to get in?**
One of the things I do object to is that all adults have to pay 50p for the pleasure. Babies are free, and depending on whether it is peak or off peak time, children age5 will pay between £3.93-£4.40, so I can assume only that children aged 6 are classed as adults and pay 50p. The price list clearly states that 5 year olds pay a price as do 3 ands 4 year olds, who pay £3.50-£3.95.
**When can I go?**
Opening hours are 9am- 7pm daily, apart from a Friday and Saturday when it is open till 8pm. Lots of time to visit.
These are well catered for, with party 3 party rooms, which cater for up to 30 children. These cost in the region of £8 a child and include a play, food, and party bag.
Children do enjoy the parties, because they are running about a play area with their friends, and of course, there is no mess to clear up. Its all done for you.
Lots and lots of information about your local Mr Twisters, and featuring a kids and adults section as well as information about health and safety, parties, and the importance of play!
**Other play areas**
Locally we in the North East have a Mr Twisters in Consett and Gateshead, and there is also one in Middlesborough.
**What I think of the experience**
I am always a tad dubious about these kind of places because when children get inside the play area they cant be seen or heard. Some of these play areas are, I think, better set out than this one, which just seems too enclosed, and in too small an area. I always get the impression that there are too many children in too small an area and would prefer that it was a bit more open and a bit bigger. Lots of the space seems to be devoted to tables and chairs for adults, and because there are so many tables, once children come out of the play area, they can become disorientated and find it difficult to locate their adult!
I do object to paying the 50p for each adult, because I think it is sufficient to charge for the children. After all, when adults are sitting for a couple of hours, they will usually buy a drink, so I think the 50p adult admission is a bit excessive.
As a concept, these play areas are a good idea, but this is not my favourite place. As mentioned, its all too enclosed and not the cleanest place I have been to; the play area looks as though it needs a good hose down.
I will continue to go if there are parties because Little Miss, being young loves it, but there are others I would go to if I were to take her myself.
Thanks for reading.
Indoor children's play and party centre.