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Lollipops Bentleigh East

Home > Melbourne > Competitions | Kids | Playgrounds | Rainy Day | School Holidays
by Dayna Chu (subscribe)
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
Published March 19th 2014
Clean, friendly, and fun
Playcentre, Lollipops, East Bentleigh, indoor playground, indoor play centre
My kids loved the 'roller coaster', running every 30mins

Lollipops, East Bentleigh, indoor playground, indoor play centre
Lollipops East Bentleigh, original photos
Lollipops Bentleigh East gives a fantastic first impression, with great signage, ample free parking, and a gigantic mechanical cars ride front-and-centre (no, they don't charge extra!).

"Safety first," the smiling friendly staff member said, as she explained why I needed to sign in each of the kids, and give them numbered bracelets. They would check the bracelets again on the way out, to be sure I was only leaving with my own kids and not trying to swap them for some that weren't fussing! Kidding aside, I thought this was a bit over-the-top in terms of safety policies; it could probably get things pretty backed up on a busy weekend. Nonetheless, I did feel that my kids were just that: safe.

The Play Areas
The colourful play area includes:

  • Multi-level ball battle zone (air-powered)
  • Giant Inflatable slide
  • Giant speed slide
  • Giant Spiral slide
  • Small spiral slide
  • Dedicated toddler and baby play areas
  • Small inflatable jumping pillow for toddlers
  • Dedicated toddler play castle
  • Dedicated toddler ball pit
  • Big Ball pit
  • 4 Computer game hubs
  • Small arcade (coin operated)
  • Air Hockey Table (coin operated)
  • Wall-mounted big screen TV
  • 4 themed party rooms (beach, princess, pirate, space, and circus)
  • Mechanical Car ride (free, every 30 mins)



The Restaurant
Jelly, as it turns out, is my least favourite thing to pay for. $1.50 for barely 8oz of jelly is obscene. $4 for raisin toast, $6-$8 for sandwiches, $1.50 for a piece of fruit, a variety of squares for $4, kids' meals for $7.80.

Sweet chilli chicken wrap, steak, calamari, salads, fruits, nachos, schnitzels, sandwiches with 5 bread options ... the cafe is not lacking in choice with over 50 menu items. I can't help but wonder, if they simplified a little bit, whether they'd be able to reduce their prices.

The latte was okay; drinks were not overpriced and there was plenty of selection for kids and adults. The cafe area was very clean with lots of tables and highchairs.
Lollipops East Bentleigh
Many levels of fun and challenge

Party Options
Lollipops Bentleigh East offers a few party options, weekdays starting at $145 for up to 8 children (at the time of publication). Options are available for extras, adult food platters, hot food options, and even a visit by the mascot cat. Themes in this centre include princess, under-the-sea, pirate, and jungle.

The B.U.G.s
The B.U.G.s are the summary of the good, the bad, and the ugly that I like to include in many of my reviews; or, as the case may be, the Bad, the Ugly, the Good, because I like to end on a good note, and, GBU doesn't really spell anything.
  • The Bad:
    The Website: old photos and a boxy, outdated format with difficult to read blue font, does not make me want to book a party here, even if a full 4 out of 8 points answering "What Makes Us Australia's Favourite Indoor Play Centre" are about having good party ideas. Weak.

    The Cost: General entry: u12 months: FREE; 12 - 35 months: $9.90; 3 & over: $11.90; Adults: $3.50; a little over $50 for me and my husband to bring our 4 kids here for a play on the weekend. Ouch. The Zoos and the Melbourne Aquarium compete for my dollar at that price. That said, they are competitive prices with other play centres in the area. They do have a 10x pass that offers 2 free visits (10 for the price of 8), and an "upgraded room" if you prebook a Mother's Group meeting there, though I'm unclear on what that means exactly.

  • The Ugly:
    Adults have to pay: I greatly dislike the idea of adults having to pay to get in to play centres. Period.

    Lollipops Bentleigh East
    Exposed power bars made me uneasy
    Safety: As a parent, safety is my number one concern. I've expressed this before, and I will again: Play centres catering to infants and up need to pay critical attention to safety issues. My main concern was an accessible power bar with power cords plugged in for adult massage chairs in the main play area. I can't decide whether the coin-operated massage chairs are creative and innovative, quirky, or just plain unnecessary and out of place. I lean toward the latter to be honest.

    Playcentre, Lollipops, Bentleigh East, indoor playground, indoor play centre
    Gated enclosure: a little too close for comfort
    Another concern was the proximity of the enclosure to the ride-on-toy roller coaster as shown here; with a bit more "enthusiasm" or a bit less supervision, my kids would have been biting steel for sure. And, there was only one car.

    Lollipops Bentleigh East
    Screens don't belong in a playcentre
    Screen Time: I was very disappointed to see computer game hubs and cartoons playing on a big screen T.V. mounted on the wall. I brought my kids here to be active and to do some "climbing, sliding, jumping, and spinning," as the website promises; I did not anticipate a battle with the screens.

  • The Good:
    The Staff: The staff that I spoke to and interacted with were lovely, friendly, and helpful. There's a lot to be said for this quality!

    The Size: The size of Lollipops offers space to get around other kids when it's busy, parent head room to rescue toddlers, and for most ages to keep from getting bored, even after a solid couple of hours. The lay-out was a bit awkward for parents of toddlers and older kids that are there together (I'm sure I'm not the only one), which is where I worry about some safety concerns. As much as parents are expected to supervise all children, 100% of the time, Lollipops also sells itself as a place where parents can come and relax with a coffee while the kids are playing.

    The Cleanliness: Very clean and new feeling.

Lollipops Bentleigh East gets 8.5/10; safety issues would need to be addressed for a higher score, lose the screens, and don't make parents pay admission for themselves to bring their kids to your playcentre.
Lollipops Bentleigh East
Some coin operated arcade games
and coin operated air hockey

Call them up and book a party, or meet some friends there for a play as the air cools and the school holidays approach. We'll be going back for sure. Don't forget your free lollipop on the way out!

Would you like a 2 for 1 pass? "Heart" this article, comment below letting us know whether you've been before, or why you'd like to check it out, and send an email to competitions@weekendnotes.com with "Lollipops" in the subject line (include your postal address in the email so that we can send you the voucher); Limited supply, no cash value, offer ends 15 April, 2014.
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Why? Try Lollipops (again) and see how clean and fun they are
When: Open 7 Days; 9am-6pm
Phone: (03) 9579 7491
Where: Lollipops Playcentre: 234 East Boundary Rd, Bentleigh East
Cost: 3 & over: $11.90; 12 - 35 months: $9.90; u12 months: FREE; Adults: $3.50
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