Last week, we had the absolute pleasure of being invited along to the opening launch of Inflata Nation, Peterborough.
You may have heard of Inflata Nation before as there are venues in Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow, as well as a couple of others – but if like me, you’ve no idea what it is – it’s essentially a massive, exciting, indoor bouncy castle – with obstacles, slides and even and baby area.
Set in the old Kiddicare store at PE1 retail park in Eye, Inflata Nation covers a huge 14,000 square feet with all sorts of brightly coloured bouncy fun.
Upon arrival, there is a safety form to fill in and then a short video to watch to ensure safe play for everyone. The video is there to keep you safe so please try and make sure you and your children are paying attention.
It’s recommended that you wear normal socks and not the grippy ones that other bouncy play areas recommend. It’s also a good idea to wear long sleeves and cover your skin. Friction burns can hurt, as Paisley found out.
So, once you’ve listened to all the safety info and got your wristband on, you can leave your shoes and bags and things either in the cubby holes provided or you can hire a locker to keep everything safe. There are toilets and a baby change area as well as a cafe and extra seating upstairs.
As you enter the inflatable arena, immediately in front of you is a number of air-filled pillars. To the left is a large uneven ‘bubble’ area for super jumping and to the right is the entrance for the obstacle course.
The obstacle course is absolutely hilarious, I can’t tell you the number of times I fell over or got stuck. Just next to the obstacle course entrance, there is a huge ball pool with slide and giant balls to climb over too. Over in the far left corner, there are two rows of huge wipeout style balls that you have to leap across. You can even race each other if you go at the same time.
Next to those are 4 huge drop slides: 2 that are wavy and two that are straight drops. We had a few toddlers and preschoolers in our group and I thought the slides would be a bit much for them, but apparently, 2 and 3-year-olds have no fear and they LOVED throwing themselves down them!
There is a baby/toddler area for under 4 years. All of our little ones were quite confident in the main area but if you have babies or non-walkers, the smaller play area is perfect. There is a smaller ball pool, a little slide, a tunnel and more and it’s accessible through a separate entrance.
One thing they have that I didn’t get round to having a go on was the ‘gladiator’ style duel platform. Two friends can battle each other to knock their opponent off to become the winner.
There is lots to do and we happily spent about 2 hours playing. We could easily have played for longer too but at £9.95 an hour, it would work out just under £50 for our family of 5 – which for an hour’s play I think is quite expensive.
If you stay more than an hour, the second hour is a cheaper rate, so that does help and there are lots of other options such as birthday parties or fitness classes, which have been designed especially for toddlers, people with disabilities and grown-ups so there will be options for all.
Whilst we did have an amazing time, I did think the open doorway was a bit concerning – Having visited Safari Play in Bretton, I was amazed by how seriously they take the safety of the children – every child is photographed on arrival and the gates are locked. Gates are only opened once a member of staff has seen that those children leaving, are leaving with the adult they came with. They can also find a parent if a child becomes lost etc as all names are taken at the same time – However, a child at Inflata Nation could quite happily walk off the bounce arena and out of the door with nobody to stop them. I wonder if some sort of gateway or barrier could be installed, perhaps?
Other than that, I absolutely loved it. I would certainly consider booking birthday parties here in the future or maybe a girls night out or something. I went along in a large group and every single one of us had fun. We all had a go on most of the inflatables, none of us sat out for more than a 5 min break with the kids. The adults had just as much fun as the kids, if not, more – especially when my sister fell backwards off the giant balls and bounced around folded in half – that was a ‘You’ve Been Framed’ moment if ever I saw one (check my Instagram highlights to rewatch!)
Overall, exhilarating fun for all, great for a bit of friendly competition burning off a bit of energy. Clean, bright and very friendly, helpful staff. 8/10.
Opening hours are: Monday to Thursday 11am to 8pm, Friday and Saturday 9am to 9pm and Sunday 9am to 8pm. You can follow Inflata Nation Peterborough on social media and be the first to know about their latest news, events and other exciting activities: Twitter Facebook and you can find them at Peterborough One (PE1) Retail Park, Eye Rd, Peterborough, PE1 4YZ