I’m sorry! Unfortunately it’s true, as a purveyor of the Isle of Wight’s beauty and uniqueness I am following up blogs about sailing in Cowes, arts in Ventnor, quaint Niton and outdoor adventures in the West Wight with an article about a children’s soft play area.
Yes, I’m going to advocate that place that pretty much equates to parent hell, a cacophony of children’s high pitched screams and cries, that place that through primary school 20 out of 22 children in your child’s class have their birthday party, that place that you hope at least will tire your child out but ultimately through adrenalin, E numbers and emotion means they barely sleep at all. Yes I’m afraid I have a new guilty pleasure.
How can an intelligent, sensible and highly sophisticated adult sell his soul I hear you ask?
Well one of those probably wouldn’t, but I would and it began with my very own invite to a 9 year olds party. Things started well when on arrival I saw that we had the place to ourselves, cutting the negatives from 70+ little devils to just 12, including 2 other big, little devils and me. Then we get handed some laser guns, get sent off into the soft play before the lights get turned off.
For 15 minutes I thought I was a Stormtrooper battling little Ewoks in the forest of Endor. I had only gone along on this party to keep the Birthday boy’s Dad company and to let the little cherubs have some fun beating the grownups, but as our host Aaron read the individual scores out after game 1 and ranked me as third, I found my competitive instinct kick in and decided I needed to up my game.
So next time round my new tactic involved hiding in the dark behind the smallest lad and repetitively shooting him to get my score up. Giggling away to myself as my cunning meant he was unaware I was there; imagine my bewilderment to notice in fact my score was going down! My confusion soon dissipated when I noticed another little rascal doing exactly the same to me! This new game was played in teams and unsurprisingly my contribution led to our team losing.
A quick snack and a coffee from the onsite cafe did little improve the oldies energy levels and in the last game I got my worst score. Still it didn’t detract from a highly enjoyable evening at Jolly Rogers, where kids and adults competed on equal terms and everyone came home saying “Can’t wait to do that again”.
I haven’t turned to the Dark Side. I still totally support homely, outdoor and healthy family based activities, I’m just saying that when it’s dark and wet and cold there are some fun places to go on the Island, and you may well find them in the least likely places.