We popped along to support an independently run indoor and outdoor play venue called Big on Bouncing.
Situated within the outdoor space of a garden centre called The Berkshire Gardner along the A4 in Berkshire, there is ample free parking and is easy to get to if you’re coming from either the Reading or Maidenhead. The garden centre was formerly Ladd’s Garden Centre but has since been bought and renovated.
The venue has a simple mixture of indoor and outdoor toys. Upon arrival you walk through the outdoor toy area to walk to the entrance of their indoor space to sign in. The staff were extremely welcoming and friendly and asked if we had been before, which we hadn’t so they explained to us what was available and some safety rules they had in place.
We took off our shoes and headed in to the indoor space. This consisted of a large bouncy castle, a small two tiered soft play area, two areas with soft themed blocks for building and climbing on. These were Gruffalo, Peppa Pig and to my sons delight, Paw Patrol themed.
They also had two interactive sections. One a Superhero themed wall that you had to hit the lit up lights as quickly as you could. The second was an Xbox copycat dance game. It was quite advanced for preschoolers but we had great fun dancing along to the music and watching the moves the dancer was performing.
The lights soon went out and the room was transformed in to a disco! I wasn’t sure how Joe would react to this as it’s not something he’s used to, but he loved the disco lights and jumping on the bouncy castle with the moving changeable lighting.
Knowing what we had seen outside when we had arrived, he was really keen to play outside. Here the toys are set out on an enclosed astro turf flooring which offers a soft, mud free landing. There were two climbing apparatus with slides which my 3 year old enjoyed alongside some small ride on bikes, a large Connect 4 game, little tables and chairs and chalk boards fastened to the fence. This area was fenced and gated.
They have a separate seating area for any food and drinks to be consumed. You can order refreshments to eat or drink onsite. They had baby changing facilities and toilets.
The play session is for 1.5 hours which was just enough time. It cost £5 for children over 6 months and just £2 for any accompanying adult (June 2021), It’s a perfect space for babies from 6 months up to about 4 years. It’s ideal for sensory play and at the moment has reduced numbers so wasn’t too busy. It was very clean and felt lovely to support a small business after what has been a tough year for many. My 3 year old really enjoyed himself and wants to head back again soon.
The space is available to hire out for parties and they also offer a bouncy castle and soft play hire service. All details can be found on their website
Be sure to check out the horses in the field before you leave.
Find all the best soft plays in Berkshire in the handy Red Kite Days review guide.