It’s half-term and I had offered to have one of my daughter’s friends for the day. Having also taken a day off work myself I didn’t want to just hang around the house all day. Whilst watching the girls have fun playing together can be joyful – you only get sucked in to doing housework/chores that are not worthy of a precious day’s annual leave. So, what could we do – even just for a short time – we started to explore activities and they both wanted to go somewhere they hadn’t been before, so we opted for Inflata Nation in Trafford Park, near Manchester.
What is Inflatanation?
It is described on the website as “The UK’s first indoor inflatable theme park for great family days out”. This, I feel, to be slightly over the top. It is a giant bouncy castle – don’t get me wrong it has some different areas, a “wipeout” style challenge, assault course, hoops, slides, inflatable climbing wall and a few other activities – definitely better than your average back garden inflatable and for those that know Manchester it is at the old Jump Nation site (an industrial unit) which is not your usual “Theme Park” location. Finally, the “days out” again is a little stretched as you only book 1 hour slots so unless you spend the rest of the day in the café it doesn’t constitute a day out to me.
Booking and pre-bounce
Booking online is simple – but don’t get side-tracked as there is a time limit. It advises to arrive about early so we could get the safety talk out of the way. We arrived as instructed and the girls watched a quick “dos and donts” video (nothing ground-breaking – just common sense) and I then spent the next 10 minutes pretty much counting down the time until they could get on.
There is a café downstairs and a viewing area upstairs. We didn’t get any food – but I grabbed a coffee headed upstairs where I could get a better view. There were plenty of people in the café and the food looked decent but cannot comment on quality.
Once the allocated time arrived there were no delays which is great – as we all know kids have no concept of time and any additional delay is painful. They ran on, eager to get going and trying all the activities. They headed first for the smaller of the two big slides and as they must wear socks (without grips) it took a lot of attempts to get to the top as the steps were narrow. They just kept sliding back down – thankfully to their great amusement. Once conquered they were up and down like yo-yos and then tackled the giant slide, (as instructed to cross their arms so they didn’t get friction burns) and pretty much everything else. I was a bit envious and wished I had booked on for myself so I could show these little ones a thing or two.
Within about 15 minutes they were absolutely roasting so they came upstairs to grab a drink. I had brought one with me but that was soon finished but then they came back another 10 minutes later for more. They asked at the café if they could have a cup of water but were told they needed to buy it and at £1.50 per bottle it is a little steep.
However, I obliged and they carried on having fun and before they knew it their hour was up. They were sweating cobs (as my nan would have said) and both changed colour- looking very cherry red.
Pros – Booking process is simple, the staff were pleasant and the inflatable is impressive. The girls had a good time and I was a little envious.
Cons – The actual venue is hot, hot, hot – even for those not bouncing – so I think that they could provide a bit of free water even for kids to help themselves (particularly for the price paid). Many places offer this now and I don’t think it distracts people from purchasing other things. Either that or they need to make the place a bit cooler and crank up the air-con
Kids Opinion: The girls had a blast but said they still prefer to go to the local trampoline park.
(This was not a paid review – all costs incurred were my own)