I'm a freelance writer and primary school teacher living in SE Melbourne. I love finding adventures for myself, my husband and our four kids to enjoy. Come along! Heart my articles, subscribe to the fun, follow along on www.facebook.com/WNMelbourne
Kid Factory is owned an operated by two local Mums with five young children between them. Their backgrounds are in business and early childcare education; great team for this venture.
At first I didn't love the layout of the Kid Factory: very long, about 100m long, and not very deep. The layout turned out to be a bonus, however. Supervising multiple children at various ages, nobody stays out of sight for long, with a simple walk down the length of the play area, rather than a deep labyrinth that the kids disappear into. There are tables down the length of the play centre as well, so care givers can sit in their area of preference.
Top image is the entry and west side, bottom image is the east side
About 40 parking spaces surround the Kid Factory, plus some additional street parking. Upon entry, visitors are greeted with automatically opening doors, great for prams but not so great for little "runners", a locking pool gate encloses the play area. The cafe displays a range of smartie cookies and sweets, jellies and typical play centre treats, as well as some healthier options and gluten free options. Prices are decent at $8.50 for kids meals, $3.50-$4.50 for coffees and teas, a bargain $3 for a jug of cordial which gave us about six cups full. Healthier options offered at the time of publication include a breakfast wrap, yogurt and muesli, quinoa salad, chicken pesto summer salad, and various sandwiches and focaccias, ranging from a fair $8-$12.
The kitchen seemed awkwardly placed about mid-centre, where hand-written orders were walked over. Despite the seemingly inefficient nature of the process, service was attentive and our food and drinks arrived promptly. Toilets and a nursing mother's room are also available mid-centre.
I enjoyed an iced coffee while the kids devoured nuggets and hot chips
A small trampoline and maze of soft obstacles, triple slide, bridges, tunnels and a ball pit at the bottom of a small slide await in the play area. A couple of unique additions include a soft suspension style bridge, as well as a very low swing. The swing was one of my four-year-old's favourites about this centre.
In the next section, a large trampoline area with 20 interconnected trampolines, including three angled tumble tracks and angled banked walls. Basketball, dodgeball, tiggy and free jumping are all encouraged here, with a staff person supervising, and even coordinating some play throughout. Careful with littles in this area, as the stairway entry is steep, and not enclosed.
Four party rooms are on offer, with party prices ranging from $200-$280 for 8 kids; price includes a return visit pass for the guest of honour as well as drinks for the birthday child's parents. Themes include fairy, superhero, toddler, and sports.
Rumour has it that future plans at Kid Factory include mini sports programs for preschoolers mid-week, and Mum-and-tot yoga classes. Stay tuned for more from this up-and-coming new play centre by following them on their Facebook Page.