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360 Soft Play in Half Term?!

The Mum who dares wins!

After hearing about Rushden Lakes’ new addition, 360 Play we felt we should take one for the ‘parents team’ and give it the Muddy test. So we sent Muddy’s Rachel Rose along to the new kids play centre with her two Mudlets to see what the hype was all about…



Did I want to go to soft play in the school holidays?! Like a hole in the head to be honest (it had been a looooong week), but we were heading back to Northants via the A14 from our holibobs (shudder!) and the lure of a free lunch and a chance to have a nose around in its opening week was too much, so we hopped off the A45 and I pulled on my big girls pants and braced myself for the experience. It’s worth mentioning we popped our Rushden Lakes cherry as a family a few months ago, and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised. Starting with the combination of shops (main stream and some nice, unique, less well known ones) as well as an awesome selection of eateries and an area we can “release” the boys into was a golden combination.

Normally I don’t do shopping with the children but we had a lovely day with the Mudlets aged 5 and 3, we got all our shopping done, parked for free, they got fresh air at the playground, and the generous side walks and boardwalk strolling gave an almost Florida style holiday vibe to the outing.

Anyway back to the 360 Play…

The 360 Play is located down the far end of the Lakes in the new West Terrace development, past all the shops, which was a bit of a pain as we decided to rock up mid morning alongside everyone else in the world; but planning is in the works to access the site from the other end, which means by-passing the shopping traffic. There was loads of parking when we arrived and as we walked down we spotted a Nando’s, Five Guys and Heavenly Desserts next door (due to open this week) which I could have dived into for a pre-play coffee but the boys had other ideas!

First impressions were pretty good; the new space where the Cineworld is going in is of epic proportions and looks ace, and the boys loved the building works. Due to half term and opening week and the mid am peak arrival time there was, as expected, a queue to get in. Muddy hack, it’s worth pre-registering to speed up the process. The atmosphere was buzzing and the boys were beside themselves. They headed straight to the Role Play areas which I have to say we all loved, from working in a pizzeria to kitting up in the whole mechanic costumes, each area had an amazing array of costumes and accessories and there were staff buzzing around tidying up the zones who were all cheerful. Whether kids want to be a post person (pc ahoy!) or a vet, it’s got something for all personalities.

We spotted little sessions going on with messy play involving water and crafts (aprons provided) but the boys wanted a ride on the carousel. After an hour or two of play we were famished and in need of refreshment, the queue looked a little long at the 360 cafe so we strolled out in the sunshine and headed into Nandos for a quick meal and coffee (coffee for me you understand, needs must).

Final conclusion, I would definitely go again (and I really was quite resistant to start). If you can do some pre holiday shopping in relative peace whilst the rugrats are in soft play, all the better!!

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