Freelance writer, mum of two who loves living in sunny Perth.
Published September 30th 2013
Big fun for the little people
For many NOR parents, the arrival of the new Chipmunks Playland & Cafe is a most welcome one. Following a similar design to its sister play centre in Whitfords, you'll note some familiar features in this newest arm of the Chipmunks family and some really great new play ideas to keep your kids entertained.
Whilst not the biggest fan of indoor play centres and the crazy, sweaty mayhem enclosed within their doors, I recently checked out this new centre with my spirited toddler.
The design of the centre splits the play areas into designated zones clearly marked for the ages of children. Whilst there is no-one to police these kiddie demarcation lines, the age guide does give the parent a steer on what might be appropriate to your child. There is an under 5's area, an over 5's area but alas no space for crawling babies, unlike its Whitfords sibling. There's also the large inflatable slide loved by all ages, but unfortunately not to be enjoyed by parents who might otherwise have liked to join in.
There are many plus points to this play centre, and the fact that all of the equipment and play apparatus is brand spanking new is one of them. Many of the other play centres NOR are looking a little worse for wear after years of kiddie play and destruction, but this Wanneroo centre is clean and sparkly and this adds to the appeal. The design of the under 5's area is a good one, with their main play zone having been designed around a street feel; so just great for little ones to unleash their imagination and play shop keeper. The under 5 area also features a great array of spinny, dizzying play equipment which I've not seen in other centres. I'm sure the walk along/run along giant piano is also a hit with many kids.
In the over 5 sections, similar to the Whitfords Chipmunks, the shooting ball play area seems to be a real winner. In this designated bigger kids area, kids can use the ball guns to fire softballs onto their playmates who can try to hide in and around the different levels. This was a particular favourite of the boys in the centre.
Lowlights Not to pick fault, but for a parent of kids of mixed ages (including a baby) it's a shame that an under 2's section hasn't been provided as if you are taking an older child and a baby, there is no where for the baby to really play safely. Not a big issue, but a shame nonetheless. Other disappointments for me, were the limited number of toilets and baby changing facilities. With so many young children in the centre, it would have been a preference to have more toilets available to prevent accidents from kids perhaps only just learning to control their bladders. Finally, the middle section of the centre is literally a barrage (or barricade?) of chairs and tables and this does make it tricky for little kids to navigate their way around the centre, let alone try to get a pram around easily. Whilst the chairs and tables are necessary for the populous that will no doubt descend upon this colourful play haven, a little more design and planning would have made this easier for all to enjoy.
Where Located at right next door to Surge on 1387 Wanneroo Road in Wanneroo, adjacent to the popular Drovers Shopping Precinct. There is ample parking both outside of Chipmunks and on the complex. Parents, this is a busy area with lots of cars parking and exiting, you need to stay extra vigilant if you've got toddlers with you.
When Monday to Saturday 9.00am - 5.30pm Sunday 10.00am - 4.00pm
1-11 Years $9.90
Weekends and School or Public Holidays
1-2 Years $9.90
3-11 Years $12.90
Parents and guardians are free to enter. There is a restaurant on site that offers a fairly wide menu for kids, including full meal options and a great array of cakes. Catering can also be arranged for parties held at Chipmunks.