I know it sounds bizarre that a mum might go to a place named Rowdy Rascals for a bit of sanity, however, along with lots of little rascals getting rowdy, this indoor playcentre also features plenty of parents enjoying peace (along with a cappuccino and a chat).
On the day I visited, I had spent most of the morning doing the laundry and general housework while my 1-year old busied himself with emptying my entire plastics draw and saucepan cupboard. As I was returning my Tupperware and Baccarat to their respective homes, my 3-year old had tipped all 500 pieces of Duplo onto the floor (for the second time already that morning).
Needless to say, it was time to escape the madness of being at home with toddlers, and I was very much looking forward to letting my own little rowdy rascals run free at Rowdy Rascals, while I caught up with a long lost friend over a coffee.
For parents at home with young children, finding a venue that can combine the needs of an active and adventurous child, with the wants of a mum to sit down with a cuppa and actually have a chat, is absolutely a challenge.
Parks are great, but there is always the worry of the kids running onto the road or wandering off. So although the kids have a ball, there is rarely the opportunity for parents to converse in ways other than a few shouts across the slide or over your shoulder whilst chasing Junior as he disappears towards the toilet block.
Cafes are great if you have a baby that cannot yet crawl, but once the little ones are on the move, cafes become a no-go zone (unless of course you are one of those lucky mums that has a little angel that will sit and colour for an hour while you have a meal and a coffee in peace I know you do exist and I envy you).
When I arrived at Rowdy Rascals, I was pleasantly surprised this was my first time at this particular venue, but not my first experience with an indoor playcentre. My first positive sign of this being one of the better ones was when I took a deep breath in and did not detect even a slight smell of urine (I have been to similar venues that greet you at the door with an almighty stench).
This place smells clean because it is clean. I closely inspected both of their ball pits before allowing my younger boy to jump in ball pits are notorious bacteria breeders - and I am pleased to report both pits were spotless.
Their dedicated under-twos area provided an equally clean area, that was very spacious and with plenty of age-appropriate play equipment for the littlies. Of course my 1-year old prefers to knock about with his older brother, so into the big climbing gym we went.
The older kids play area was heaps of fun (I must admit I actually had a ball chasing my 3-year old through the maze of tunnels and along the flying fox). A very large jumping castle/slide sits proudly alongside the older kids area and to watch the kids come flying down the bouncy slide was very entertaining.
Fun for little kids, big kids and big kids at heart.
Like most of these places, Rowdy Rascals does kids parties. There were no parties happening while we were there, however I had a quick peek into the Dinosaur room, and the Fairy room and both were fantastically decorated. There was a third party room that was being redecorated as a space-themed room, and it looked like the painter was using a luminescent paint for stars and planets a very cool idea for the young space enthusiast's birthday party.
I have to say I enjoyed my time at Rowdy Rascals much more than expected everywhere I looked the kids were all laughing and having a grand old time. As were their mums, watching from the tables as they enjoyed their coffee and conversation - which brings me to the Rowdy Rascals café.
The food and drink on offer is pretty much what you would expect - I had a latte, which was very nice and the kids had a juice and some chips. There were both healthy and not-so-healthy options for the adults and the kids, but really, when you are going to a venue like this, you are not going for a gourmet meal and the world's best coffee you're going for that extremely rare chance to have a chat while the kids tire themselves out in a safe (and preferably clean) environment. And that was exactly what my mummy-friends and I got when we went to Rowdy Rascals.
Yes, for mums like me (blessed with healthy, energetic and curious kids) finding a playcentre such as Rowdy Rascals is like striking mummy gold. Funnily enough, it also holds a currency similar to the mineral kind.
Entry for adults and babies up to 1 year is free, however they sting you $9.90 for children 12-23 months, and $12.90 for kids 2 years and older. Pretty steep for a mum on a budget, but when you consider what you get (clean and hygienic as well as fun for the kids), I would be willing to pay it again. In fact I will probably go as a treat (for me and for the kids) on a monthly basis.
Great review heather! Will have to come check it out with u when I have bub!
By Anonymous Thursday, 8th of September @ 11:12 am
I'm disgusted with this place. Apparently they leave the gates open at close of business and not care if your kids run straight onto the road or not even though you are trying to pack up to leave. The staff member said "It is not their responsibility!" you run a play centre you should be responsible for leaving your gate open, you obviously do not care for the welfare of the children who visit your place. I am terribly disgusted how you are so commercially minded and uncaring for your guests. Coffee was horrendously diluted and food was unhealthy cheap nasty stuff. I will certainly not go back!
By notshy - reader Sunday, 18th of November @ 10:47 am