Soft play. Two small words that can strike horror into the heart of even the most experienced parent!
But at Head Over Heels in Chorlton, they've turned soft play into a dream and not a nightmare. Especially if you have younger children who aren't in school during term time. This is when the magic of Little Stars Playtime (previously Kwirky Tots) comes to Head Over Heels.
These special sessions run every school day from 9.30 – 11.30. Focusing on music, sensory experiences, self-expression and confidence, they are run like a mini playgroup session. There’s a lovely large space filled with dress up clothes, small world items, arts and crafts and sensory toys.
The staff are lovely and join in to make sure everyone is having fun. My daughter loves the pretend pet grooming station, complete with play sink and a basket of cuddly dogs.
At 11am the toys are packed away ready for the big show with Hairy, the Head Over Heels mascot. Mini disco lights are brought out and Hairy takes to the stage in the toddler area to sing and dance to all your favourite nursery rhymes and children's songs.
It's lovely to see the children getting up to dance, although some like mine hide away in the Wendy house until Hairy has gone again!
When the session ends, you are welcome to stay and play for as long you want (this only applies on weekdays in term time) so it's really good value for money.
Even without the Little Stars sessions, I’d highly recommend a visit to Head Over Heels – its definitely our favourite play area in Manchester, and it’s had a recent makeover that makes it look even more exciting.
It’s perhaps slightly more expensive than we’re used to, but it's true that you get what you pay for and for us, it's worth every penny. There's a separate large toddler area with its own sensory room and secure door. The main soft play, with its dangly spider legs, bucking bronco and slides and swings galore, is brilliant and children of all ages can enjoy it as long as an adult goes with them.
And I must mention the food as well – it is absolutely delicious with plates ranging from sandwiches to main meals and an array of cakes and goodies to keep everyone happy.
Useful information: Address: Unit 1A, Albany Trading Estate, Albany Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 0AZ
Opening hours: Open every day from 9.30am until 6.30pm
Prices vary depending on day / time / age of children so check the website or call 0161 881 4433 for up to date information.