Brisbane's newest offering in children's indoor play is located in the old Myer Building at Coorparoo. It is a vast space full of new, clean and bright amusements for children of all ages. It is, however, not without its teething problems.
It opened in February 2013, and thanks to the January storms, without airconditioning. Whilst management is seeking to correct it, it does make for some pretty hot and uncomfortable play for the most active children.
The centre has already opened its themed party rooms, baby, toddler and three years play areas. According the their website dance activities are yet to come as well as a promised 'game zone' type area for teens and tweens.
The open areas are clean and bright and offer loads of fun for unstructured play for younger children with the jumping castle, ball pit, an interesting 'walk on water' pond, and giant inflatable slide. There are plenty of available tiny slides, swings, happy hoppers, scooters and rocking horses for little ones to play with freely.
Naughty Castle, the three years playground, is great fun, offering a trampoline, huge ball pits, air cannons and a pretty cool mini ball play area with basketball hoops. However the slides are really steep and fast so make sure your little one is comfortable with them before letting them loose.
While Hello Play looks good on arrival they do seem to have some teething problems. In the general play area, it is a little difficult for parents to navigate the larger amusements, with no direction as to how many children can participate, whether adults are permitted on the amusements, or whether older/larger children are allowed. The steep inflatable slide in the general area is pretty fast and quite difficult for children and adults to climb especially with socks on. The rocking boat is incredibly loud when turned on which appears to distress some children and the type of music played on it doesn't really seem geared for the audience.
The Cafe currently serves a limited range of prepared foods. Management have provided letters of explanation on the cafe tables to explain issues with licencing etc that have resulted in the current arrangement. More effort could be made to provide some simple healthier options for the children though (ie cut fruit or wholemeal bread options). One thing they have nailed is providing a quality cup of coffee for parents (included in admission), with barista made Elite Caffe being served.
The general vibe one gets after a visit to the centre is that the management don't quite get what little people do. Small examples abound everywhere. For instance the bathrooms are clean and presentable, but not easy to use with a fidgety toddler or a parent with more than one child. The change mats placed on a pretty dresser aren't very practical either. The shoe racks that have been placed near the gate could be useful, except that the small children find it more interesting to push them around and risk pulling it onto themselves.
It might sound like this review has been quite negative, however consider viewing it as a review of a start up business with some teething issues that hopefully will improve as the management learns to understand their customers better.
Admission prices are reasonable at $7 a child (including a sandwich), and $3.50 an adult (including a very good cup of coffee).
Despite any issues, my child loved it here, and I'll continue to take her knowing that I will be supervising her very carefully.
You can find Hello Lets Play at Base Floor (1F), 300 Old Cleveland Road, Coorparoo. Email: Helloletsplay@helloplay.com.au or call 0430 016 628.