Jump Street Colchester
Jump Street. For those my age, it will bring up visions of a young Johnny Depp. For those a decade or two younger it will bring up images of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. For my kids, it will be the new soft play in Colchester.
Opened just a couple of months ago, with plans to open “another one… somewhere else… but I can’t remember where…” according to the lovely girl on reception, Jump Street Colchester is quickly establishing a reputation as somewhere that everyone wants to go.
Not that it’s cheap. I’ve moaned before about the cost of going to soft play when you have several kids, but at least you can normally count on getting a good couple of hours of play from your entry fee.
Jump Street, however, restricts play to an hour. It’s a rigid format that sees an hourly changeover for those playing, with a bunch of red-faced, sweaty kids being replaced by a new energetic and enthusiastic bunch on the hour every hour.
The cost for one hour per child is £10, and though the details on the website are slightly confusing in my opinion, the good news is that as an adult you don’t have to pay and jump yourself.
That is, as long as your kids are over the age of 12. If they are between the ages of 5 and 12 you merely have to sign a waiver confirming that you give permission for them to play and, I assume, that you absolve the company of any wrongdoing should anything go wrong.
Let’s be honest, who reads those things?
There is a ten-minute briefing for every group before anyone is let loose. Essentially it is a health and safety speech making sure that everyone knows what they can and cannot do. After that, the kids are let loose and have an hour to play.
The play area is split into sections which are all fairly well defined, and some of which are overlooked by whatever the trampoline equivalent of a lifeguard is.
Two of the main areas are the Dodgeball Courts. Join one of the two sides and battle it off in a game of dodgeball, where two teams bounce around “dodging” balls from the opposing team. If you get hit, you’re out – the last one standing wins!
There is also a Freestyle Jumping area which takes up the main stage of Jump Street. There are over 50 interconnected trampolines going wall-to-wall, making an ideal area to practise your flips or keep fit.
If you fancy doing somersaults, flips or the kind of bombing that would see you banned from the local swimming pool, try the foam pit. With a short run-up, you can throw yourself with carefree abandon into a pool of over 5,000 foam cubes.
The last couple of areas are the dedicated basketball section with three hoops for you to practice your shots. including the slam dunk area, as well as the wall which allows you to try your hand at wall running, which is apparently a new art form originating from Free Running and the Cirque De Soleil.
My four kids all came out looking absolutely shattered, and they all agreed that they’d had a great time.
I’d definitely take them there again though unfortunately the price puts me off a lot. By the time that we had paid out for entry for all four, plus the additional costs of drinks for everyone, we had spent the best part of £50 for what amounted to just over an hour of activity.
The website advises that you book in advance, and for once this doesn’t seem to be a ruse to encourage customers. Having looked a few times, I have seen certain time periods get booked up, so it is well worth booking ahead.