I am a world traveller & a mom of two, (8 & 6). I love to meet people, and am fascinated that there are 7 billion stories out there to be explored. I think Melbourne is the most happening city to live in with all the fun activities around town.
Published June 7th 2013
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Indoor playlands are popular in all seasons of the year, but especially in the winter months when cloud cover decides to make a permanent stay around Melbourne, however Melbournians make the most of these gray days by droving into indoor centers, plazas, fitness centers and of course playlands as well. Many of these playlands have sprouted around the areas, but not all of them meet the high standard that Lollipop's Playland at Fountaingate has set in the arena of these children's havens.
We have been going to Lollipop's ever since my older child was old enough to crawl around in the toddler's zone. The first thing that strikes the guests is the cleanliness of the center, despite the fact that it is frequented by children of all ages. The guests are greeted by a friendly staff member at the entrance, who look after the formalities and as soon as the children have taken their shoes off and worn their entrance bracelets, the fun begins.
There are different areas designed for different age groups:
The Toddler's zone is well furnished with suitable equipment and protected from the older children's area with padded cushions to form the enclosure. Soft balls, small slides, friendly animal pictures and the large playhouse all look inviting for the toddlers to crawl away from their mothers' laps and explore on their own. Those children who can walk can venture over the playhouse in the safety of netted bridges and slide down on padded mats.
Fun and colourful Toddler's Zone
Vehicle Enclosure: There is a small enclosure for those who wish to try the wheeled vehicles. Small cars and motorbikes await their young riders to try them out. Kids love riding these and feel a sense of pride that they can emulate the actions of their parents driving their own cars.
The older children have plenty to keep themselves busy too. There is a beautiful teacups carousel that offers rides to children of all ages every hour. This is a very popular ride for all guests.
Teacups Carousel - Fun for everyone
There is an extra large playhouse which offers three types of long slides, which can only be accessed by climbing up a maze of platforms. First comes the green slide, which is a standard one. Then, there is a set of three slides, orange, yellow and green, which have two slight plateaus in them, which give the children a different experience. The third is an inflatable, and is also very popular with kids. The playhouse also has other swings and hiding places.
Large Playhouse for older children
The long slides with fun bumps
There are two jumping castles: one for the older children and the other for younger ones. There are several coin-operated games as well. There is a brand new Airplay area, which is a fun and interactive area, especially for the older children. Canon-like instruments shoot out soft balls, making a lot of noise as the balls are shot. Kids love this area.
The Cafe at Lollipop's has a wonderful menu with hot food, snacks, drinks, ice-creams, desserts, etc. The adult entry to the Playland also offers them a free drink at the Cafe. The service is friendly and fast. The food is freshly prepared and the serving sizes are ample. There are plenty of seating arrangements around the playground.
There are party rooms for families and friends to celebrate birthday parties and special occasions, to which the playland caters beautifully. While I was at the playland recently, I witnessed large platters of healthy sandwiches being transported to the party room. As a bonus, there is a mascot who greets the party guests as well. And the party boy/girl is also taken on a train ride around the center. Party packages are available.
The best part for me is that there is high speed wi-fi available for free. I take advantage of this offer and catch up with my emails and other work while the kids are enjoying in a safe environment. Facilities such as toilets are available nearby, which are always clean and freshly supplied with all the amenities. The staff is always friendly and accessible if assistance is required. The Playland is open till 9pm on Fridays giving a chance to families to enjoy a late night and offer dinner as well.
There are other events taking place at the Playland as well, for instance a discount entry rate for a Mother's group to catch up while their children can play. Similarly, on Wednesdays, from 10am to 12:30am, there is a mini market day, with free stalls available to vendors (terms and conditions apply). This market supports home-based business owners and is a wonderful community initiative. Children also have a meet & greet opportunity on Tuesdays with some of the popular cartoon characters. For other upcoming events, check their website.
A couple of rules to keep in mind:
1. Wearing socks is required. Without socks, children are not allowed to play. For the convenience of parents, if the children forget to wear them, socks are available for purchase at the cashier. This rule is for the safety of the children.
2. Although the playland is a safe and supervised environment, parents should keep an eye on their children at all times, as potential for injury is always out there.
Children leave the playland happy, exhausted after all the climbing and jumping, satiated after a filling snack and are given a lollipop to remind them of their visit at the exit.
I absolutely love taking my children to Lollipop's not only because it is conveniently located close to where I live, but also because it is clean, affordable, with friendly service, free wi-fi and plenty of entertainment to keep my children engaged for a few hours.