Last week were invited to visit Lets Play Big in Washington the brand new children's role play centre. I love these centres, they always seem a bit less hectic than soft play, and considering I'm often outnumbered by toddlers I appreciate that.
Let's Play Big is based in Armstrong Industrial Estate in Washington, it's pretty easy to get to the industrial estate, but once there I didn't spot any signs for Lets Play Big, so check a map beforehand. Parking was busy around Lets Play Big, but if you drive just past the centre and turn left, there is a big car park. Worth parking there instead of outside one of the other shops as we heard one lady say she got a bit of an earful from one of the nearby business owners for parking in the wrong place.
Sessions last 90 minutes and are held at 9:30, 11:30, 1:30 and 3:30pm, it is better to book in advance as some of the sessions get busy (details about how to book at the bottom of this page.)
Lets Play Big is the biggest of the role play centres that I've been to, with loads of room to run around it. It's all based in one room, with a cafe section, party area, ride on car track and then the row of 'houses' which make up all of the play stations.
My friends joined us with their kids, and when I arrived I spent the first 10 minutes catching up with them, whilst the kids played in the fire truck. Well that was a mistake, as by the time I started to take some photos most of the stations had been 'reorganised' by the kids, so look a bit messy in some of my photos, but everything was in its rightful place when we arrived!
The Fire Truck
We spent ages in here. It was a big wooden truck, with plenty of room for a whole family in there. There are fire fighter outfits to try on, and loads of themed toys too like extinguishers and megaphones.
The Ice Cream Truck and The Baby area
This was a nice touch, a place for babies to be put down, and toys to suit newborns to toddlers.
The Shop and Cafe
My toddlers are obsessed with the little fruit and vegetables (interesting as neither will eat a real one) and seek them out wherever we go. They spent ages in these two stations. By the time I took these photos, the shop was mega depleted, it looked like the supermarket on Christmas Eve, but the staff were trying throughout the session to put things back where they belonged - the kids were just faster at moving it again though!
The Hairdressers and Building Site
The Space Station
The 'houses' where the cafe, shop, hairdressers, space station and doctors surgery all had four walls with a door space cut out, they were pretty decent sizes, and you could have about four kids in one station without it feeling too cramped. On the session that we went to, it was fully booked, which I think is a maximum of 25 kids, it felt busy but it wasn't overcrowded at all.
I was really impressed with the amount of ride on toys, and the amount of room there was for them. There seemed to be loads, so kids weren't having to wait if they wanted to use them. There was a tractor, some balance bikes, and these little push along cars which our toddlers loved racing.
As well as the big space and the ride ons, one of the things that sets Lets Play Big apart from some of the other role play centres I've visited was the amount of dress up items available. There were shedloads. In each of the stations there were themed dress up pieces, hard hats, ear defenders and high vis vests in the builders station, scrubs, stethoscopes and white jackets in the doctors, and pinnies in the cafe. But as well as all of those there was a rail of different dress ups, we spotted Minions, Disney Princesses and Superheroes to name just a few.
The cafe sells, sandwiches, snacks and some huge delicious looking cakes. When you are sitting at the cafe area you can't always see the kids as lots of the play stations have walls around them, so we did need to keep getting up quite often to check they were okay and behaving themselves, but the whole place is enclosed so at least you didn't need to worry that they'd escaped around a corner or anything like that.
The Party room
The party space has been sectioned off from the main room. My photo is a bit dark here, but it's a really sweet room, with twinkly fairy lights and paper lanterns on the ceiling. The special offer that they have on at the moment for birthday parties seemed really reasonable. You can have the whole of Lets Play Big to yourself for up to 25 kids for £100 on weekdays, or £160 on weekends, which gives you use of the party room too. Food is available or for an extra £25 you could supply your own sarnies and hot dogs on sticks.
ADMISSION COSTS AND BOOKING
Prices to visit Lets Play Big are:
Weekdays £5 per child, pre walkers are free.
Weekends £6 per child, pre walkers are free.
Sessions last 90 minutes and are held at 9:30, 11:30, 1:30pm and 3:30pm. There is a maximum numbers for the sessions, so it's better to book in advance via the website so you aren't disappointed, but if hte session isn't full you can just turn up.
Special events such as visits which include meeting Characters and a meal are priced individually, but info is always available on the Lets Play Big Facebook Page.
Have you visited a role play centre yet? We love reader recommendations, leave us a comment below.
Disclosure Policy - We received complimentary admission to Lets Play Big in return for an honest review. All views are my own. See the about us section of this website for the full corporate speak disclosure policy.