A stay at home Mum who doesn't stay at home much; too many exciting things to be discovering in this city...
Published July 19th 2013
Follow the jungle drums to a funtastic day of play
We woke up to a cold, wet Saturday and had nothing planned. The three year old was as high as a kite and the baby looked like following suit. Definitely the right morning for a play-centre if Mum and Dad were to maintain their sanity.
Croc's Play Centres, of which there were three, now have a fourth, newly opened in Moorabbin. The pictures on their website are encouraging, with what appears to be spotlessly clean, new equipment, thoughtfully set out and supremely enticing to the under eights clientele.
We arrived early, a little before 10am, so I had visions of us sitting in the car for ten minutes, but the staff thoughtfully let us and the other early birds in out of the rain - a good start. Croc's Moorabbin is a real gem of a play centre. Not so big that you freak out when you can't see your little one, but big enough to keep the kids entertained for at least a couple of hours. The jungle themed main structure is large, bright and full of fun equipment. There are some deliciously fast speed slides (well of course I had to test them out myself to authenticate this review, didn't I?) and a great Ball Battle Zone which the older kids will put to good use.
The main play structure is bright, clean and very appealing
In an area by itself is a large jumping pillow which was a definite favourite with all ages. There is also a gated toddler section for children under 4 which features a smaller climbing structure with slides, as well as the usual soft blocks and mats. Plus there is a great little jumping castle within the toddler area which is a less frantic alternative to the jumping pillow.
The jumping pillow gets the thumbs up from energetic youngsters
A lovely little 'road' winds its way through the main area, complete with a selection of motorbikes, trikes and cars to whiz along in (parents - watch your ankles). There is also a small padded baby area with a few activity tables and so on to keep the littlest visitors amused. This was the one and only play centre I have been to, which actually had working batteries in the baby toys, so they could be used as intended. It's the small things like this that separate good play centres from not-so-good ones.
The seating area is large and spacious enough to accommodate a number of prams and high chairs, although it did get busy as you would imagine on a rainy Saturday morning. There is a fairly extensive menu with the usual array of generally unhealthy offerings with some more wholesome stuff to keep the health conscious somewhat happy. Our food arrived promptly and was tasty enough. Note that you're not supposed to smuggle your own food in unless it's for infants.
These near vertical slides were a big hit with my three year old
The staff were excellent. They were kept very busy, but managed to stay on top of the table cleaning so that this was, hands-down, the cleanest, tidiest play centre we have visited. There were several parties in full swing and the staff who attended these were dressed in the theme of whichever party room they were in charge of. Each party room has been beautifully decorated with themed murals and also looked very clean (prior to the parties commencing of course).
My children had a great time and were well and truly worn out almost three hours later. The $11 we paid for the three year old was money well spent. The baby and adults were free. Although this is a little more pricey than some of the smaller play centres, it was worth the extra few dollars in my opinion, as we had such a positive experience there. We will definitely be going back if Croc's continues in the manner in which it has begun.