One of the most difficult things to do when you and your partner have to work different hours is taking your child out for some fun… We can go to the park, or go for a walk, but there’s not that much we can do in the town we live in. So, when we found out about The Yard in Stamford, we were both very excited!
And so, on Saturday I took the princess down to Stamford in order to have some fun times in a soft-play area. But what did the princess and I think about The Yard? Well, shall we get on with the review?
How Fun Is The Yard?
To start with, I should say that The Yard is quite small, especially when compared to other soft-play places nearby, such as Activity World or Big Sky. However, they have managed to fit an awful lot into the place. Plus, italso means that they don’t have that many other people in there, so you don’t get overcrowded.
There are two floors to the main play area, as well as a separate play area to the side for under 2 year olds. Both are well padded, with more than enough room for your kids to crawl and run around in.
On top of that, there are interactive toys on the walls around the play area, such as a circular maze with a ball in it that you have to spin around to guide said ball to the middle. Despite all of these things, however, the little princess’ favourite things to play with are the little riding toys.
She really enjoyed running around and pushing her way through the giant rubber balls and the big lego-like pieces. Yet she kept running back to the rideable cars.
All in all, the best way to understand how much fun The Yard is, is to talk about my daughter’s reaction when it was time to go. I picked her up and she screamed… And I mean screamed… In fact, she continued to scream all the way home! So that’s a pretty damn good review in terms of fun levels!
How Clean is The Yard?
One of my big issues with a lot of soft play places is cleanliness. Because they are such big areas, it can be really hard to keep all of the toys clean. I’ve seen some where the mats are sticky, the carpets and stained and the toys are all dusty. That is not the case for The Yard.
Once again, the small size of The Yard comes into play in a positive way, as the owners are able to ensure that the entire place is clean; from the toys to the changing area and even the cafe. I was actually rather shocked at how clean it was!
I didn’t see a single stain or bit of dirt anywhere, which was really impressive! So yeah, a big well done to the owners of The Yard for that!
How Easy Is It To Get There?
This is probably the bit that lets The Yard down… And actually, it’s the only bit that lets The Yard down. You see, Stamford is a town of winding roads that go up and down hills, between very old buildings. So, turning and alleyways and what not just sort of spring up out of nowhere, making them easy to me.
I put The Yard into my GPS and followed the directions it was giving me, and got very confused when I wound up in the car park of a mechanic’s garage… How did that happen? Human error…
Google Maps, you see, knows exactly where The Yard is, and is correct in the placement… However, what Google Maps doesn’t know is that there is a very small road missing from the map. So, it took me right past the turning for The Yard, and into the next road that it had on its system.
You see that purple line I’ve added to the Google Maps screenshot? That’s where the turning for The Yard is. Instead, Google Maps took me up the road to Westside Health Club, and into the industrial estate behind The Yard. So yeah, you need to keep you eyes out for that turning! There’s a small blue building right on the corner of it, so look carefully.
Once you have found it, however, be warned that the car park is very small too. The Yard opens at 9:30 in the morning, and I would recommend you get there between 9:30 – 10:30 to make sure you get a space. Otherwise, you’ll have to park in the nearby pay and display and walk down… Or park on one of the streets, but most of Stamford requires you to have a permit to park on the street.
How Much Is It To Visit The Yard?
This is another one of the really good parts of The Yard; the cost. You see, a lot of these soft-play places will charge you entrance fees for your children and yourself (plus your partner if they are coming too). So you end up paying quite a lot…
The Yard is different; you only pay for your children! There is no fee for any accompanying adult, which is a huge win in and of itself. Then, when you factor in that it’s only £4.50 per child for as long as you want, you can see why the price is so good! A lot of places charge for an hour, or an hour and a half… The Yard is a flat, single fee per day!
And That’s All Folks
Both myself and the little princess absolutely adore The Yard! It’s a great place to have fun and play around in for hours, and it’s nice and clean which is great for the kids. The price is amazing too! Just, make sure you get there early if you want a parking space, and keep an eye out for the turning.
All in all, if you’re anywhere near Stamford and are looking for a place to take your kids, I wouldn’t bother with the likes of Activity World or Big Sky in Peterborough… Go to The Yard! It’s so much better!