Trying to find things to keep a 4 year old and 2 year old entertained during the winter is a full time job so I’m always keen to try out any new activities for children that pop up in our local area. When I saw that The Play Town had opened near us at the end of last year I was super excited! I tried to book on a few times over the Christmas holidays but never managed to get a slot (entirely my fault as I was rather disorganised and kept trying to book to go on the same day rather than planning in advance) so was pleased when we finally had a date booked in to visit.
The Play Town is as the name suggests – set out like a real town with shop fronts, a road, a park and a building site (very similar to the CBeebies show Biggleton but minus Eamonn Holmes). I wish I had taken a photo of Hugo’s little face when we arrived because he was beside himself with excitement and didn’t know where to look first. It was hilarious!
To say we loved The Play Town would be an understatement! We had the best afternoon out that we’ve had in ages and were really impressed with the place. It’s spotlessly clean (a HUGE plus in my eyes. There is nothing I hate more than taking my children into a smelly,dirty toilet when they have no shoes on – gross). Whoever designed the place is very clever – it’s really easy to keep an eye on the kids when they run off and they are always within earshot. If you chose to sit in the cafe you would still be able to see and speak to them over a low wall. The buildings are fun, interactive and colourful. The resources are good quality and well looked after. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful and the cafe serves good tea, coffee, cakes, paninis and children’s’ lunch boxes.
Here’s a quick rundown of the different play areas.
The Fire Station
They have a giant fire engine coming out of the wall that the children can drive (there’s more than one steering wheel to avoid arguments) and there are plenty of firefighter outfits to choose from. We spent quite a while playing in here and the children were running around the town in their outfits, pretending to put out fires in the other buildings.
Complete with a huge selection on wooden groceries and also some real boxes and packets. There are also trolleys, tills and money. Much more fun than a trip to the real Morrisons (although to be fair most things are more enjoyable that doing a supermarket shop with two kids but hey…)
The cafe area had everything you would find in a role play kitchen and more! Hugo popped on his apron and chef’s hat and was busy in the kitchen while Maggie and Nanna were the customers, enjoying an afternoon tea.
The Beauty Salon
I really loved this area as it gave me a much needed rest from having my hair pulled out by the kids for once! They have mannequin heads with long hair and a selections of brushes, tongs, straighteners and clips for the children to create different hairstyles. They can answer the phone on the reception desk and book customers in for a cut and colour.
This was probably Hugo’s favourite area. There was a huge selection of fancy dress outfits, musical instruments and props for using on the stage. They even have a chandelier hanging above the stage which I thought was such a lovely touch.
The Vet’s Surgery
Maggie loved this area, especially as some of the soft toys were the same as the ones she has at home. She washed the animals in the sink with the shower head, dried them, fed them, gave them medicine then put them into their cages for a sleep.
The Doctor’s Surgery
As always, I was the poor patient who had an appointment with Doctor Hugo and Doctor Maggie, probably the scariest doctors in world. I was poked, prodded and at one point hit in the eye with a stethoscope by my lovely daughter but was finally given the all clear, thank goodness. It sparked some interested conversations, with Hugo telling me at one point, “There’s something wrong with your skull, I have to take it off.” Eeek!
The Building Site
Maggie dressed up as a builder was one of the funniest and cutest sights I’ve seen in a while. It was worth going just for that! I was particularly impressed with how the children worked together in this area (it’s still quite rare to see them working cooperatively together on a task). Hugo loved the digger and was busy collecting the bricks from around the construction site and then putting them into the dump truck. He would then drive the truck over to Maggie and empty out the bricks for her to build a wall with them.
The central area is set up as a park with an icecream van, barbeque and picnic bench. There is a road circling it with push along cars and pushchairs with dollies in them. Maggie really loved working in the icecream van (possible future career?).
I can’t think of anything bad to say about the place! The whole place has been planned and put together perfectly. We loved our visit from start to finish and will definitely be returning. I urge other local parents and carers to pop along and see for yourselves. We are so lucky here in Stamford to have so many wonderful places like this on our doorstep. Please support them!
I’ll finish by giving you a quote from the day which basically sums up the success of our visit…
Me: “So, did you like our trip to Play Town?”
Hugo: “Yes! I want to live there forever.”
Meadowpark Ridge Industrial Estate