Croydon’s branch of Flip Out (think big indoor adventure park) opened in the basement of Centrale about 18 months ago, and at the time I had mentally filed it as only for older kids and teenagers.
However, when we were searching for rainy day activities last month during the ‘staggering in’ period of our daughter starting primary school, Flip Out resurfaced in my mind, and I really wish I’d thought about it sooner, after many a cold monday spent with my daughter at varying quality soft play around the borough and beyond.
Flip Out is actually like seven days worth of entertainment all rolled into one set out over two levels. It doesn’t just contain a giant soft play which is of course fun in itself, but also a huge bouncy castle, a crazy golf course, a synthetic mini ice rink, laser quest, a five-a-side football pitch and (my favourite) hovering bumper cars, which I’m sure I could have driven/spun about in all day. Oh and there is also an arcade just in case you have exhausted other things to do!
The soft play (which I think turns into ninja tag for tween and teenagers) was like a giant hamster assault course, that had actually been built big enough for adults (what parent hasn’t found themself trapped inside a soft play tunnel, desperately trying to extract themselves? Or is that just me?!). It wasn’t for the faint-hearted either and there was one vertical drop slide that I’d definitely have to pluck up some courage to try again (maybe not that slide for the under 5s). There was of course a ball pit and rope ladders too.
The bouncy castle had an inflatable obstacle course which added an extra dimension to bouncing, and the ice-rink was just hilarious as it was so difficult to remain upright (although there were slidy whales for little ones to hang on to).
We spent quite a while in the neon lit crazy golf course, especially because we couldn’t conquer a particularly tricky vertical challenge.
Moving to the upper level, we scored goals on the interactive football pitch, then went into battle in the laser quest zone (Beth and I against Angela, as the kit is slightly too heavy for younger kids). We saved the best (in my opinion) for last, as we climbed into spinning hovering bumper cars, which were such great fun to drive – not all jolting and angry like conventional bumpers, but more like we were flying across the clouds, with delicate rather than harsh collisions. I’d go again just for these.
I recommend you dig out your inner child and try it all yourself.
Flip Out has a variety of deals for different ages and time slots, but for us taking an under 5 in the week in term time, it was the best deal ever as up to two adults can go free with every child plus there weren’t loads of ‘big’ kids everywhere. It was most definitely flipping fun.
Posted by Julia