A few people have asked me why I threw a soft play birthday party for my 34-year-old wife, and my response has been, ‘well, why wouldn’t you?’
My wife is lucky enough to have a great circle of mum friends and they often go out for ‘drinkies’ or whatever they get up to, and so the idea of hiring a room and encouraging a load of people to consume alcohol until they can’t feel feelings anymore didn’t really appeal.
However, when you think about it, a soft play centre (in this case, Monkey Bizzness in Hockley, Essex) makes absolute sense.
First of all, there is a heap of stuff to keep the kids busy while the adults have a good old natter (for my ever-growing list of international fans, this means a ‘gossip’ or ‘chinwag).
More importantly, if you have a venue where the management don’t mind the adults having a good old time on the equipment, then it’s all the better. Slides, ball pools, bouncy things … these would cost a small fortune to hire.
Adults on soft play equipment don’t tend to get into fights with each other where their children have to intervene and then have their own sub-argument about who smacked who first – for some reason this only happens the other way around.
This place serves alcohol as well, just responsibly. Again, this needs no further explanation.
Then of course, there is the cake. They prepared an enormous, iced sprinkled tray bake for a fraction of the cost of getting a professional bakery to produce something artistic. We were eating it for days afterwards, and it actually matures from one day to the next.
The only negative point was when I realised that I hadn’t purchased a regular musical candle – I had actually picked up an indoor firework that would have probably resulted in getting the place evacuated. Was this a problem? No. Like any good soft play centre they immediately presented me with the ‘stash’ of emergency candles.
So laugh it up if you want, but she was over the moon with the event. After all, if she’s happy, then I’m happy.