There are many thoughts as to whether religion is steeped in fantasy or reality, with a great deal of argument being given to what happens when we die. If you’re good, you go to Heaven, if you’re bad, you go to Hell, or whatever variants of the same that each religion conjures up. There’s also a section of people who believe that Heaven is where you go when you die, and that life is Hell. These are the people who have experienced the same as me. Soft play Hell.
I took my two youngest to Wacky Warehouse above the Queen B in Chelmsford on Saturday a couple of weeks back, a place I’ve been to many times over many years. Set just down outside the city centre, the venue can be found between the Army & Navy roundabout and the Miami roundabout, with parking outside, though you’ll have to fight for spaces with the local Lidl and Farm Food shoppers who park alongside the shops which share the same retail space as the pub. Historically the play area itself has always been quiet, and though the Wacky Warehouse is relatively small, when there is only a handful of kids running around, it’s perfectly adequate.
The Edge, singing the praises of it. But now I’m tempted to never go back again. So what’s changed? Well, firstly, I think the fact that it was so busy has put me off. There were no free tables or chairs for the adults to sit on, though the staff were still happily taking money and letting more and more people in. There was also a long wait for food, which is prepared in the pub below and in this case took an hour and fifteen minutes for any hot meal to be served (which is 75 minutes of being asked “when will the food be here?” by hungry kids every 90 seconds). Again, this wouldn’t have been so bad had the staff not been saying on ordering that it would be 45 minutes (still a long time, but if it was accurate, you could go with it).
The cost of getting in was £3.75 per child, which wasn’t be so bad given that there was never any pressure to get out at any certain time. This is quite often a bug bear of mine with other places, but obviously this worked against me this time due to it being so busy. The relatively acceptable entrance price is quickly outweighed by the cost of drinks though. Two small Fruit Shoots and a fresh orange juice cost close to £6.
My two kids were amongst the oldest there, at the ages of 7 and 9, and though they both had fun, the play area is definitely aimed at younger kids. Given the problems experienced on this visit, I’d be inclined to stay away in the future, though in fairness I’ve been there in the past and it has been empty and was much nicer as a result.