Prescot is a small town in the borough of Knowsley, in Merseyside, England. There has never really been a lot of things to do in the Prescot area for children, unless of course, if the sun is shining. There used to be a large swimming pool, but that shut down a few years ago. Since then, a new, bigger, better, leisure centre, with swimming pool, has opened in Huyton village, but that is still a little inconvenient when it comes to taking your toddler.
I was looking for somewhere a little more… Well, a little less ‘wet’, and somewhere where I didn’t have to drag a toddler, and a large changing bag in hand.
I had seen yellow signs for Spaceworld around the area, and I had often wondered what it actually was. So, as most people do, I eventually Googled “Spaceworld Prescot”, and their website came up. It looked really good… It was a large warehouse, that had a play centre and cafe built inside. The play frame looked colourful and sturdy, and there was even a separate area for toddlers (0-3 years).
Apologies for the size of the photo… This was the only one I could find, and, as with all play centres, I didn’t want to take a photograph myself.
So, a few months ago, we took Will there. The lady who was on the reception was friendly, and she stated that if Will wanted to go on the larger play frame, there was no problem for me (or the hubby) to go on it with him. We thanked her, paid the £5.45 entry, handed in the little mans’ shoes, and we headed straight for the toddler area.
Large mats, soft play equipment, soft blocks, little ride-on bikes and cars, and a mini climbing frame with a little slide at the end… William immediately fell in love with it. And because it was his first time in a place like this, I took my shoes off and went through the mini frame with him. I found it a little amusing when I almost got stuck, halfway down the slide…
But the fun and games of the toddler area were not enough for Will. Something had caught his eye… The large, wavy, pink slide.
Being a bit of a ‘wuss’, I decided that the large frame would be a bit too much for me, so I played ‘tag-team’ with my husband, and he took Will up the steep, squishy ladder, on to the large frame.
An hour later, the pair of them returned to me, soaking with sweat and looking for a drink.
The cafe was lovely. From juices, slushies, teas and coffees to sandwiches, hot meals, pancakes and ice creams; the prices are very reasonable. There are even speciality teas on the menu. Personally, I prefer the large caramel latte!
The staff are mostly friendly… I say mostly, because I noticed on our trip there yesterday, a rather sour-faced woman. She must be new there, as I had never seen her before. I would say she is in her forties (mid to late), and the looks that she gave the children were unbelievable. On the risk of sounding really nasty, she really did look like a bulldog chewing a toffee!
My little man needed a change before we left, so we headed to the baby changing room. The ‘bulldog’ was in there, cleaning…
I have previously worked in a play centre, and I know that the job is an all-rounder. You have to do reception duties, serve refreshments, do the cleaning… Everything. But you always do it with a smile on your face.
I made what little conversation I could with Will (bear in mind that he’s only 1, and although he can hold a conversation, it’s my translation of it that makes it difficult, ha ha), whilst waiting for the room to become vacant. A couple of minutes later, she emerged carrying two binbags, and kicking a bucket full of cleaning bottles. I smiled, friendly, as you do, and what did she do in return? Glared at me, as if I am going in there to ruin her precious cleaning.
I wouldn’t have minded, but her cleaning was a lot to be desired. There was bleach still in the toilet bowl, water all over the floor, and the smell… Wow. I needed a peg for my nose!
So now I think I know what the look was for… I obviously must have interrupted her! Ha ha. I doubt it… I mean, why would you clean the toilets at 5:15pm, when the play centre is open to the public until 6pm?
Moving on, my next complaint is nothing to do with the actual centre, or the staff… It’s about the people who use the facilities. Mainly the parents.
We were at Spaceworld last weekend, and it was absolutely full of people. Well, it would be given the time of year, and it being right in the middle of the summer holidays…
Rules of the centre clearly state that shoes should not be worn, and socks should be worn on the equipment for hygiene reasons.
You can see where I am going with this…
Parents, walking and running around on the equipment with their outdoor shoes on, and kids running around, screaming, with no socks on.
Whilst the next is not a rule as such, I would expect people in this day and age to know better. There was a woman, standing all over the kiddies playmats in her outdoor shoes (which were heels), and very obviously taking photographs of her (FIVE) kids, with no care as to whoever else was in the photograph. No, no, no! Normally I wouldn’t complain about the photo side of things, but she was standing at the bottom of the slide, with her phone in her hand, and taking pictures… I even heard her say (very loudly, as obviously she couldn’t control her volume… Ahhh, so that’s why her kids were screaming…), “do it again and I’ll video you this time..” There she stood with the phone recording from the start of their climb to the end… And whilst she was recording, several other kiddies (including my little man) came down the slide… So, in the words of Peter Griffin, “You know what really grinds my gears..?”
Let’s get back to the seriousness of the review.
I would recommend anyone with a child, of any age, to visit Spaceworld in Prescot. The entry is reasonable, the cafe prices are reasonable, and the drinks / food delicious, the staff (most of them) are lovely, friendly people, and it’s a great place to allow your little ones to blow off some steam.
Visit their website by clicking here