As a rule, I’m not a big fan of play centres. My little ones range over a few milestone ages, 10 months, 2 and a half, four and nine. Which in short, means I end up at one end of a play centre with the smallest, trying my very best to watch the rest in a bigger part.
My children though, adore going to a play centre. So, I go reluctantly and pray nobody gets hurt while I am 20 ft away in a different section, or that none of my smallest ones get an unintentional rugby tackle to the floor by an excited and very much bigger child.
Noa turned 4 last month and she decided she wanted her 4th birthday party in a play centre. She wanted a princess party and wanted to invite all her friends. This is where I first came across Malahide Maria Play Centre. It had been recommended to me by some friends, but I had never actually been. Well that was my first mistake.
Malahide Marina play centre is every parent’s dream. I’m going to tell you why-
The Play centre–
The playcentre itself is a little smaller than other ones we have been to. In my opinion, this a big thumbs up!! It means everything is in the one place. There is no quick dash back and forth to keep an eye on everyone! The toddler area is actually part of the rest of the play centre but it is separated by a railings and it also has a “gate” to keep the smallies in and safe and the bigger ones out. It also, has a little ball pit which they love. This is one of my favourite bits about the play centre. It makes a massive difference to me as I mentioned, as a mum of three different age groups. It means I can be present with each one of them and sit in the baby area while also having a perfect view of the other two bigger ones.
It is spotless. The café area is spotless. The floor is spotless. The toilets are spotless. Which as we all know is a massive deal. Considering it’s a play centre. Often in play centre there is a smell where the nappy bin is. Not here, in any of the times I’ve been.
The staff members. I just can’t praise the staff members enough. Each and every single one I came across were friendly, helpful and genuinely interested in the kids. It just makes the visit to a play centre, which some mums can find a little overwhelming-a whole lot easier.
What they offer–
- The play centre opens 7 days a week. 10am-6pm
- Monday-Friday before 12 entry is just 5euro
- After Mid-day and weekends entry is 8euro, with a discounted 15euro for 2 children and 20euro for 3.
Tuesdays at 11am they have Rainbow Phil (a fav in our house!!)
Wednesdays at 11am they have Storytime
Thursdays at 11am the have Messy Play (also a fav in our house!!)
All at NO extra cost!
The food!!! The little café is absolutely unbelievable. One thing I can’t stand in most play centres, is their “in house” food only policy when their inhouse food is all unhealthy processed snacks and food. It’s not like that here. In Malahide Marina all the food is home made by their wonderful and so friendly in-house chef. A chef that is also happy to cater for your specific needs if you wanted something for your self or your little one that was not already prepared that day. If she can, she will make it for you.
They have homemade sandwiches, toasties, ciabattas, homemade brown bread, raspberry scones. Along with fruit bowls or loose fruit. Organix snacks and goodies. Water, smoothies, fruit juice. And most importantly, really good strong COFFEE. Because if you don’t order a coffee when you get to a play centre, are you even a parent?
The parties are for 1 hour and 45 mins. Noa opted for a princess party which from start to finish was her absolute dream. When we arrived, we had two tables or parents or relatives to sit and watch, with views to every corner of the play centre (A huge pro in my opinion). We were greeted by a beautiful princess-Noa was in awe of her! As were most of the party goers!! The princess basically stayed with Noa for the entire party and was so lovely to Noa and all the other children. Interacting and playing with them in the actual play area and also in the party room.
The children had free play in the play area for the first hour. The princess stayed with Noa most of the time in here. One thing I just can’t stress enough is how lovely the staff are. There was 2/3 staff members in the play area watching and helping all the little ones. A massive thumbs up from me and most of the other parents. It made it feel very safe for me and that feeling it absolutely priceless. At one-point Briar (2) was up quite high climbing over a rope ladder and I did get a little fright when I saw her (she is our fearless one so I am used to her but it can still catch you by surprise every so often!!) but I quickly also saw a staff member right behind her. The staff member wasn’t telling her to ‘be careful’ or to ‘come down’ she was right behind her encouraging her to climb across ‘you can do it’. How amazing is that??
The next part of the party was into a party room at the back of the play centre. Which again was SPOTLESS and set up perfectly for the kids to have their food. They offer pizza, chicken goujans or cocktail sausages and chips. Or, I saw a party after Noa’s having some sandwiches and fresh fruit!
After the food they had the cake. Where Noa was made to feel like a real-life princess. Her cake was put on a table in the middle of the room and all her friends sat opposite and sang happy birthday. She really did feel like the ‘Belle of the ball’.
Next was some party games and face painting. All went down an absolute treat. Again, the staff members were unbelievable here. The princess and their staff member Josh were fantastic. The really got involved with each and every one of the kids. They had them all laughing and dancing.
At the end of the disco the princess gave Noa a birthday gift of a lunch box, a beaker and a tiara and she was smiling from ear to ear. A small little touch that made a huge difference to one little girls day!
They all got their face painted and then had an opportunity to go and play before their parents got there. I might have changed the time slightly if I had one small critique as it was hard to get them out!!!! But, to be honest each and every child had such a good time, no amount of extra time would have been long enough for them.
The following day the girls wanted to go straight back, and I have to say for the first time ever I really wanted to too. It was an absolute joy to have Noa’s birthday party there and I honestly could not recommend them enough.
If you have a birthday party coming up and you are thinking of a play centre, think Malahide Marina Play Centre. They ticked every single box for us and I do not have one negative from our whole entire day. It was a pleasure.
You can find Malahide Marina Play Centre on facebook, instagram or on their website .
**Disclaimer- We received Noa’s party in exchange for an honest review. But, as always, my thoughts and words are my own.**