I’m a big fan of soft play as a way to let my toddler burn off some energy when (as it often is) it’s raining. We go to a few different centres and one we visit regularly is Cheeky Chimps in Lees, Oldham.
This was the first ever soft play centre our eldest went to when he was about 7 or 8 months:
It’s a relatively small play centre – much smaller than others we have been to. As you’d expect, there’s a small cafe facility, toilets, changing facilities etc. There’s also a mezzanine sort of level where parties and events are held.
We take our son there purely for soft play. But they do hold weekday activities like Messy Play sessions too.
There are two areas in Cheeky Chimps – the main frame and the toddler area. For us, the toddler area has always been the main reason we visit. There’s enough going on in there that it entertains our little one, but not so much that a lot of the bigger kids want to run around it. One of my biggest complaints about a lot of other centres is the failure of management to enforce maximum age limits in toddler areas. A load of hyper 8 year olds running around the same tiny area as babies and toddler is an accident waiting to happen.
At Cheeky Chimps, we’ve never had that problem. That said, we typically go during the week when it’s quieter so maybe this explains it.
The toddler area has:
- A decent sized slide
- A ball pool
- Soft play blocks for building
- A small climbing frame that toddlers can use to access the slide
The Main Frame
The main frame at Cheeky Chimps is the part that is smaller than that of other centres we have been to. We’ve been when it has been so quiet that our two year old has been able to climb on the main frame. For him, it’s a huge adventure. But I can imagine that for older children it might not be all that entertaining. It does have a couple of levels and two tube style slides. But there’s less to it than the bigger centres.
The little cafe is reasonably priced. Crumpets, toast, sandwiches and juice are all readily available.
There are plenty of tables and chairs, but the side effect of this is that there’s very little space between the tables and chairs. If it’s busy, that’s a problem. A lot of prams, car seats and children running around makes it quite difficult to get in and out at busier times.
The car park is also very small. Once a handful of vehicles are parked there, it’s impossible to get parked and the alternative is nearby street parking. Not a huge problem as there’s usually plenty of space on the street.
On the Whole
Cheeky Chimps in Lees, Oldham is one of our regular centres. The main reason is the great toddler area. Our little one loves it here and we’re always able to let him run around without being worried about him getting knocked over or anything.
It’s priced really well and the staff are friendly too.
It’s definitely worth a trip if you have younger ones.