“They usually have “free adult entry when accompanied by a paying child” but apparently not at Pure Fun Factory”

We’ve been ventured out as a family today to treat the girls to an afternoon at an indoor soft play area. I had to ask a group of Facebook for advice on where to go because in the past 5 months we haven’t really been out in the area at the weekends as a family because we travel and do stuff back in Essex.

We tried a place called Pure Fun Factory which was about a 20minute drive from our house. On arrival it wasn’t very appealing, a huge warehouse on an industrial estate with a pot-holed car park. The only reason you knew it was there was thanks to a little sign certainly nothing enticing for children. When we figured out where the front door was we walked in and I trip up the little step.

The play area looked pretty good so we paid at the desk. This is where we encountered yet another astonishing situation. We paid for the girls, fine, but then hubby and I was charged to enter too, £2 each! I don’t know if it’s just me but I’ve only ever had to pay for one adult at most. I’ve been to a far few indoor soft play centres and they usually have “free adult entry when accompanied by a paying child” but apparently not at Pure Fun Factory. I guess their view is that a child has to have an adult accompanied so they can very cheekily charge the adults and get away with it because children can’t exactly go in alone if the adult refuses. But both adults?!?!?!? I’m disgusted. Not only did we pay £4 to enter, people are expected to buy their own food/drink because you cannot consume your own food/drink inside – that’s fair enough but not when paying £4 to enter!!!!

It was P2s first time in soft play since being able to crawl and she loved it!! P1 made a couple of little friends and hubby was dragged to play too. It’s a shame that a tiny little thing can put you off attending somewhere. I don’t think we’ll be going there again due to the adult prices, especially when many many don’t charge for adults or at least only for one.20140208-053425 pm.jpgPlease sponsor my Bliss Charity 5k Buggy Push in June 2014 here

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One comment

  1. Hi – I have seen your tweet and your comments above. Sorry to hear you were so “disgusted” but feedback is very important to us.

    Yes we do charge an entry free for adults as this allows us to keep our different rates for children down. Our child rates are on the whole less than the local competition and certainly our overall pricing structure is significantly less than the national average.

    Since we took over in October we have made significant improvements to the venue – it is now warmer, brighter, cleaner and has a great new coffee shop plus all the equipment is now properly maintained. Unfortunately these things do all come at a cost and we simply cannot make it viable without charging for adults. You will see from our website that we do also offer a lot of extra entertainment so we are a lot more than just a soft play centre.

    We know that our predecessors failed to make it work and cut corners due to the financial constraints that they faced – and it was this that gave it a bad reputation and ultimately led to it’s demise.

    Operating as a soft play centre alone will not make our business financially successful as the overheads are high but with all the other activities we offer we aim to continue to provide a reasonably priced and well maintained venue.

    We do have special offers such as our annual membership packages and off peak prices which offer great value for money and for regular users is ideal – these packages make us very affordable.

    I hope that explanation helps to explain why we do charge for adults. So far since we started in October we have over 1000 regular users of our loyalty cards so hopefully that is a sign that we are doing something right.

    Hope we haven’t put you off returning – it did sound like daughter had fun !!

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