We only found out about Gym Jams through an NCT friend, and knowledge of it does seem to be spread solely by word of mouth. Many local soft play frequenters hadn’t heard of it at all. Not your typical centre, it’s located in the local community hall and set up a few days a week. We managed to private hire it for Christmas and it’s amazingly good value. The normal price of £3 (under 1)/£4 (1-3), which includes a drink and biscuit, is good value for money (especially as Weasel needs about a 2 hour nap after, that’s worth £4 to me!), and it doesn’t feel crowded.
-Super clean. Because it’s all folded away at the end of the day, this place is spotless. There’s none of the sweaty-old-gym-socks smell that haunts other soft play areas.
-Light and airy since it’s in a new-looking village hall.
-Playground right outside if your kids still need to burn off a bit of that energy
-You can get a drink and biscuit yourself, or bring your own snacks to have at one of the tables. Child’s price includes a drink & cookie.
-The age limit is very low (3), so you don’t have any older kids running down your toddler
-You must book in advance, and pay in advance. All of this seems to be done by cheque and seems slightly inefficient.This also means that if your kid is ill or you just can’t make it, you lose the cash.
-Set timed sessions
Verdict: Worth it for the friendly atmosphere, clean equipment and lack of 8 year olds who should be out rioting or something instead of trying to climb around a soft play place with my toddler anyways.