When Greg and I were invited to test out a brand new soft play area in Grimsby (our home town), we jumped at the chance! Freshney Play is a free to use play area, situated in Freshney Place shopping centre, near the information desk.
There’s loads of activities to entertain the children. There’s so much fun to be had – I still can’t quite believe it’s free!
Since Gregory was a special guest, summoned for his expertise in fun, we were allowed an exclusive play before the door officially opened. I seized this opportunity to snap some shots before Greg ran wild.
As you walk in, you are immediately greeted by the story area. I love the soft mat and squishy jigsaw pieces to sit on. This space is perfect to share a quiet moment and look at some books with your child. The seats are also of a size that slightly older siblings who can read unaided would be comfortable if you had a tot chase around after in the other areas.
There’s two soft shape areas, one of which is designed for slightly smaller children and babies. I really liked this because when Greg was tiny I preferred to keep him away from the bigger kids and I think it shows that some serious thought has gone into the design of the place.
As you can see from the photos, it’s decorated with vibrant and exciting colours – just what kids love! There’s some cute illustrations of paw prints and Freshney the dog, the Freshney place mascot. The decor is beautifully child centred and made me happy to be there.
The seating is of mixed height, meaning your children can have a drink and a sit down with you. It’s an ideal place to keep any big brothers and sisters busy while you stop and feed your baby.
Greg managed to look slightly bewildered on every photo I took. He had a fantastic time, but started off a little shy, which is something that happens everywhere we go.
Greg was particularly determined to climb as many soft shapes as possible, before jumping off. He was building towers as tall as he could (not very), to throw himself off with reckless abandon.
Since most of the blocks he tried to lift were as big as him, he ended up in this position quite a lot:
The floor and edges of the play enclosures are so soft and springy that I wasn’t concerned at all every time an overly optimistic Greg took a tumble.
He had a quick explore of the second enclosure too, and seemed to enjoy seeing his face in this little mirrored ring.
I was a little gutted that he’s just that little bit too young to grasp the concept of life-size Snakes & Ladders. I’ll have to return with my 8 year old for this one.
A professional storyteller was there for the grand opening too. She was fab!
She read the stories using loads of fun voices and even asked questions to keep the children engaged. It must be a hard job; I wouldn’t fancy trying to capture the attention of a room full of preschoolers. I can’t even keep the attention of one! She’s definitely good at her job, she even got Greg to sit still and listen!
Greg thoroughly enjoyed his time as a play expert and I can see us making many a trip back to Freshney Play in the coming weeks. There’s loads for the kids to do and it’s a fantastic place for parents to meet and have a rest. I’ll be telling all my mum friends and insisting we meet up there in future.
I think Freshney Play is going to bring lots of children joy and give parents somewhere to bring their children than isn’t going to leave them out of pocket. The fact that it’s free makes me feel that it’s a really community spirited place. Grimsby is a really friendly place to live and this play area will only serve to cement that.
While I was there with Greg, parents came and had a chat with me and the other visitors. I can see a lot of mums and dads making friends in a place like this. There was a really friendly vibe that I’m sure will continue for many years.
I’m definitely going to keep visiting. Maybe I’ll see you there?