Bicester Avenue at what was previously known as the Wyevale Garden Centre and now Blue Diamond always had a lovely little soft play area that I’ve enjoyed on many occasions over the years with my kids. Always ideal if you were looking for something a little less chaotic than the super sized warehouse soft play centres. It’s recently been closed for a refurbishment and it’s all brand new and now known as Eat & Play. Perhaps not the most catchy of names but it does what it says on the tin!
I was lucky enough to be able to pop in with my two year old today, ahead of their reopening on Friday 8th March. So, what’s changed? Check out the photos below but one word of warning …. the pricing has shot up and not far off Sprouts play barn prices but much smaller in size. You’ll need to balance that versus convenience.
Bicester Avenue Soft Play Apparatus
The overall area of the soft play is much larger as they have taken over space that was originally part of the main restaurant. It’s bright and airy with a big wall of windows which makes it a much more pleasant place to hangout compared to the big, dark soft play barns that you find in industrial style warehouses.
On first look, it seemed that the overall soft play area was about the same size and it was just that there was most cafe seating space to sit. The main climbing apparatus is about the same size but they have a separate area for little ones which means the junior area is actually overall a little bigger.
It’s all brand spanking new and colourful. Arranged over a couple of levels, there’s plenty to explore and clamber through and two slides side by side are perfect for races.
There’s a little ones area set up completely separate to the main playing area which will hopefully mean less big kids jumping in with the toddlers. There are soft shapes to crawl up on and a little sensory experience with the lights and mirror wall. It’s right next to the seating so you might even be able to get away with a cuppa and still be able to keep an eye on your tot.
Eat & Play Bicester Avenue Soft Play Facilities
The cafe was still being set up when I arrived but looks like they’re putting in plenty of effort with a range of teas. The menu looks like there will be a good choice and I’ll update the review when I’ve had a chance to try it all out.
Parking at the garden centre is free.
Bicester Avenue Soft Play Session Times & Prices
For more indoor soft play centre ideas, check out the Red Kite Days’ guide to the best soft plays in Oxfordshire.
SEN sessions takes place on the first Tuesday of every month, check their facebook page first to check they’re still running.