I'm a Mum of two boys living in Oxfordshire, enjoying lots of fun activities and writing about them when I get a chance.
Published July 3rd 2013
Keep your kids occupied for hours
This slide has just the right amount of speed to exhilirate
If you have kids fully of energy and in need of whizzing around to run of steam, then Whizz Kidz certainly has plenty to keep them happy. I recently visited for the first time with my toddler and baby. Three hours later, my two very happy little boys were less than impressed when I told them it was time to go home.
A soft play centre flooded with natural light
Whizz Kidz is set in a large warehouse on a light industrial estate on the edge of Thame. Unlike other similar places, it's not dark but flooded with lots of natural light from high roof windows making it a pleasant place to take your kids on a wet day.
Before I get into all the fun things for kids to do, I have to mention the staff friendliness and efficiency, from the moment you walk in to pay, to the service at the cafe. It makes such a difference when you're on your own with two small boys not to be kept waiting around. I was also impressed with how clean and fresh the facilities were kept throughout the time I was there. They have a wireless hoover and discreetly vacuum fallen food and spills, remove empty cups and plates from tables and generally keep the place in shape. As you spend most of the time with your shoes off, it's nice not to be crunching across soggy biscuits that you often get when it's busy in soft play centres.
Plenty of space for under 5's to climb around
There is a great balance in facilities at Whizz Kidz for both over and under 5s. I often find that the under 5s areas are a small add on but not here. They have their own dedicated climbing frame area with slide, different levels, soft shapes and of course the every popular ball bit. There's even a built in a toy jelly fish tank which lights up and moves about when you press the button. This kept my almost 1 year old transfixed while his brother threw himself in and out of the ball pit. If you have non movers with you, Whizz Kidz have a good selection of activity centres and various toys too.
Lots of variety in the Under 5's area at Whizz Kidz
The rubber jelly fish light up and move about when a button is pressed
As well as the soft play section, under 5s also have a race track with plenty of Little Tikes cars so that everyone will have a chance to zoom about. In the centre there is a playhouse which lends itself well to imaginative play. I laughed as my son acted out our common routines of putting on pretend seatbelts, driving to the shops and bring the food home. He even made me an imaginary cup of tea from his little house before putting away the shopping.
Bouncy castle at Whizz Kidz
Well placed between the under and over 5s area is a lovely big bouncy castle. It's right opposite the cafe so you can keep an eye on your kids while you place an order for lunch.
The Over 5s have a large multi level area to explore at Whizz Kidz
The over 5s area was fun for me too. Younger children are allowed to enter this area as long as they are accompanied by an adult. We had great fun finding different routes to climb up to the 'amazing' slide. There's plenty of speed going down with soft mats at the end. My only problem was trying to catch my son from going again and again when it was time to go home. The climbing structure has plenty of levels, passage ways and fun areas to swing, jump in balls or different shapes and textures to climb over.
Load, Aim, Fire
Right at the top of the Over 5s area you'll find a large section with four giant blowers. Feed in the mini lightweight plastic balls, press the button, aim and fire.
If you need a break and to fuel up then the cafe offers good quality and I think value for money. We were given a special offer voucher when we arrived for a free squash and biscuit plus a half price cup of tea. Regular prices are good too. A cup of tea is only £1.20 so it won't break the bank. For lunch I had a cheese and tomato panini at £2.95 with a salad garnish. There's a good range of options on the children's menu. Fans of Annabel Karmel will be impressed that they use her recipe for some favourites like spaghetti bolognese for £3.60 or you could just have a simple ham sandwich for £1.65. There are stacks of simple IKEA highchairs that are kept clean and lots of tables to sit around throughout the Whizz Kidz.
Entry is mid range compared to some of the other soft play centres around Oxford. Under 1s are £1 and then prices range depending on age and whether it's peak or off peak. It was £4.25 for my under 3 year old off peak. Check the Whizz Kidz website for details on pricing.
I'd recommend Whizz Kids for active children and a great place to go on a rainy day.