We were fortunate to receive a VIP invitation to the preview of Lincolns newest soft play facility, The Imagination Station, on Good Friday. It was forecast to be the sunniest day of the bank holiday weekend (which proved to be the case) so we were hopeful that we wouldn’t feel too cheated of sunshine as we explored what is traditionally known as kiddy heaven/parent hell.
Friendly staff greeted us at the door and advised what was on offer. Clearly, the enormous double storey play frame dominated the building but I also quickly spotted a high spec coffee machine being put to good use by the resident barista which immediately put me at ease. All too often, the instant coffee in paper cups offering is enough to see me heading to the door. I need some kind of bribery to keep me in these places as I usually sacrifice my hearing as a result of visiting. Kids don’t half get loud on those play frames.
The husband was with me on this occasion which meant I was able to forgo clambering through too small awkwardly shaped holes and hurtling down slides with little decorum. He was the lucky one today. It’s worth me mentioning that the hubby is not a small chap, he’s broad shouldered with a narrow waist after years of weight training. Great for me 😉 but a little tricky when trying to get through the aforementioned awkwardly shaped holes. But he did great. In fact I think he secretly loved every minute.
Quite often in these places, the main focus is the play frame which is then surrounded by worn out, battery-less toys and coin operated rides. Not altogether inspirational. However, this is where the Imagination Station differs. There are trained staff milling around who man craft areas and reading corners. There are blackboards on the walls scattered around the place for when creativity strikes the small people (and sometimes the parents). There’s also good quality wooden toys for those that need a little bit of alone time away from the manic craziness of the play frame.
The menu is also appealing with a move away from the traditional kids offerings of chicken nuggets along with credible food options for the parents that could be enough to tear them away from their usual treasured coffee shops.
All in all, we had a great time and will certainly be paying a return visit. The ethos of the place is what sells it – a safe, creative play area for the kids whilst not compromising on the quality of the experience for the grown ups.
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve been to visit the Imagination Station and what your thoughts were? x