Last weekend we visited the newest indoor playcentre in Durham, Endless Fun, which opened April 18th. A small group of us, 5 moms and 8 kids, enjoyed a playdate over the lunch hour on a rainy Saturday. They are open 6 days a week, closed on Tuesdays.
Pricing was comparable to other playcentres in the area and we received a 15% discount being a mom group. As a frugal mom, we (our mom group) highly weigh pricing with the number of hours of entertainment our kids are receiving. For these playcentre type outings we try to get minimum 2 hours of play to consider it cost effective; otherwise we might as well visit a free park. Granted a park doesn’t work during the winter months, nor can it be banked upon for weather, especially when we plan our group gatherings months in advance, but for things planned on a whim they are quite suitable and money savers.
Food costs were reasonable with other options like toast & veggie sticks in addition to traditional play place pizza. Coffee & tea were available for mom & dad (this really is most important isn’t it?). Most of us did eat lunch here – pizza & bottles of water all around. For one adult, one kid admission & lunch for both we paid under $20.00 total.
The place was very clean and spacious. The entry area where you leave your shoes was very big, doubling or tripling the size of other playcentres; so finding your belongings when it was time to go wasn’t a chore in itself. The area where you leave your shoes was also well away from the entry, which in winter will mitigate possible wet socks from small entry spaces – I’ve had this personally happen a few times.
You could see at least two party rooms, one being excessively large giving the ability to host a big party comfortably (they in fact have a party package for 30 kids & 20 adults). The other looked to be a standard size for 15 kids and under.
Most importantly the kids had fun. The oldest kid at 11 was ready to leave about 45 minutes in, but all other kids ages 1-7 left sweaty, happy, and likely would have stayed longer had we let them. They were very active climbing up & down, and the ball pit was a definite hit.
There is a sled slide that requires parental help carrying the sleds to the top. They are not the lightest and you could possibly end up glued there depending on how many times your child wants to go down, but we compromised with the kids and carried them up so many times every half hour or so, and then they would also explore the rest of the centre.
It looks like it will have a mini trampoline area which was not yet open (grand opening is actually later this month). I think this will be a huge fun element for the kids and am hoping someone will be manning it such that only “x” number of kids are on at one time and the duration of turns per kid are even. I see many playcentre kid discrepancies if this isn’t the plan, but we will wait and see!
They also had a separate area of bumper cars. We didn’t test these out, and they are an additional cost, but the kids surely wanted to! We opted to save them for a future visit.
We have found that over the years through many play dates & centres that kids aged 8-9 tend to be the maximum age that really enjoy themselves. Once they’ve hit ages 9-11 they no longer have as much fun or enjoy mingling with everything from babies and toddlers to younger school age kids. In fact, one of our playdate moms hasn’t been bringing her soon to be 10 yr old for the last year or so. I would say this place is about the same with a maximum age of 10 really enjoying themselves (dependent on individual child maturity of course). One thing that was nice for our crowd was the emphasis on the school age kids 4-9, and less play areas for babies & toddlers. There was a small area to the side for the smaller ones specifically, but there seemed to be more big kid (school age) play stuff.
When we attended it wasn’t very busy. After grand opening this month I do wonder how crowded it will be (currently the website is misleading with the grand opening date at the top, but they have updated with an FYI: We are open now!). The space is quite big to handle ample crowds (check out photos of the centre here) and hopefully there will still be enough seating for all moms & dads when the place is booming (seating are not shown in photos). We will definitely go again and will update you on our next adventure. The kids enjoyed being somewhere new, which also made it more fun. If you follow Mom Cafe we will even invite you to come along for a day of discounted play next time we go. We do encourage you to check it out, maybe follow them on Facebook, and if you have already, let us know what you thought below!