I’m always on the hunt for new places to take B, he can become bored continually heading to the same places. I decided to widen my search & came across ‘Gambado Watford’ it looked like somewhere B would absolutely LOVE, so unbeknownst to him. I decided to take him over as a treat.
Gambado Watford is situated on the Woodside Leisure Park, which provides SO much parking! I am a huge worrier for parking so when I found out where Gambado’s was, lets just say, I was happy.
What first struck me as amazing when we entered was how lovely the staff were, the lady on reception was exceptionally helpful & kind, as well as every other member of staff we came across on our time there.
Friendly & helpful staff is what really does make an experience somewhere even better, I loved that they happily interacted with B & appeared to enjoy it. It certainly didn’t seem like their happiness & kindness was forced.
Pricing for entry is as follows :
Off Peak Price Monday – Friday Term Time Only | Peak Price Weekends and School Holidays
Under 1 years FREE FREE
1 – 3 years £6.50 £7.95
4 – 12 years £8.50 £10.25
Adults £2.95 £4.50
Whilst its not exactly cheap it is exceptionally easy to stay there for an entire day due to the bits they have to offer.
We chose some higher seating, almost like a breakfast bar as our ‘spot’. B immediately took his shoes off & ran straight off onto the play frame. With a little urging from me, he went off to explore ALONE!
B is three & at other places I don’t allow him to go off on his own as you can’t see him, however at this place you can see the entire play frame so theres no need to panic about following their every single move.
I was quite comfortable allowing him to explore & learn as he dotted around, it was also nice to be able to watch him & him not realise that I was watching! I did have a giggle watching him bopping around, had to giggle even more that he got confused & lost. I found it so funny because he’d literally just gone round that part & he was trying to feign confusion so I’d come & play with him.
As he was exploring I had a good look around too. You really are treated in Gambado Watford, theres separate areas for under 2’s & under 4’s. These areas were far too small for B so I kept him out of the under 4 area as he was a little too fast for the other children in that area. There’s also a carousel, bumper cars, climbing wall & build-a-bear.
B’s eyes did light up when he saw the carousel & bumper cars, these are open on rotation in off-peak times.
B is currently a huge fan of slides so when he found the long wavy style slide he was in his element, so much so that he kept continually shouting at me to photograph him & record him. I, of course, did as I was told & sat at the bottom of the slide for about 10 minutes clapping him & taking pictures.
B found getting up to the slide easy, at other soft plays he finds the bigger frames harder to use but this one is SO user friendly.
B probably spent the majority of his time at Gambado Watford on this slide, however he did venture out to try some other bits.
He particularly liked the dodgems, I was forced onto the dodgems 4 times! Going around & around in circles was rather difficult for me but hey, I powered through for B.
The dodgems are run SO WELL, the two members of staff who ran it when we ventured on were fantastic! They were helpful & very kind, offering B words of encouragement as we went around. This made B so happy & he was so proud of himself after hearing them say he was good at driving etc.
I found the most competitive people taking part were other parents! The kids were so chilled, I loved to see B just happy to casually drive around not getting in anyones way or bumping anyone.
As for the carousel, B had to go on this alone & he absolutely LOVED IT. He stayed on for two goes & found the experience hilarious. Again the member of staff who ran this was fantastic, she interacted with the children, made them balloon swords & made sure they were safe.
I couldn’t fault her, she was amazing. B clearly loved her too especially when she handed him a rather amazing balloon sword.
B’s current favourite thing to eat is chips! So after a while he asked for some food & chips was what he chose!
As I’m vegan there wasn’t much on offer that I could eat so I just ordered some chips & a few drinks. The place where you order food ‘the kitchen’ is designed beautifully. It almost doesn’t look like a soft play style kitchen. The food on offer is extensive, prior to going vegan I would have had a field day with their menu!
The chips were yummy & actually came out in a cute metal plant pot style bucket! Not what I expected of a soft play.
I also made sure to watch other peoples food come out & I have to say I was pleasantly shocked, it looked amazing. The quality of it looked more like what I’d expect from an expensive coffee shop style restaurant.
I did venture up into the big frame with B & he also forced me around the hamster style tubes, lets just say with a GoPro in hand & a backpack on, its not very easy. Lockers are there for you to use but mastermind over here didn’t have any cash!
I tried to get B into the ball pit but he wasn’t having any of it. Clearly he decided it wasn’t for him on this particular trip, I usually can’t keep him out of them!
Management had told me that there would be a special guest arriving & I made sure to tell B as he is currently a huge fan of having his picture taken with characters & mascots! Gambado the Tiger came out & B was so excited, he waited patiently in the queue for his turn then proudly stood up to have a few pictures taken.
Both B & I had a fabulous time & would happily head back, it was a relaxing environment to have B in!
I can imagine it being slightly less relaxing with lots of children running around but as soft plays go it does appear to be set out in a way to alleviate the stress.
If you plan on going more than once then the UNLIMITED play pass for £9.95 looks absolutely fantastic, you would make your money back just visiting once a month! This pass covers entry for 1 child & 2 adults.
For more information about Gambado Watford or your local Gambado please head over to their website: http://www.gambado.com/