As a parent of a super-energetic little boy, I’m always on the lookout for things we can do together as a family. It’s getting more difficult as he gets older, not easier as I thought it would be. That’s because we’re now at the stage where we’ve done most of the things we want to do in this area and we’re running out of new activities to try. But recently I was invited along to try Inflata Nation in Glasgow. It’s a soft play with a difference. Basically a building filled with bouncy castles, inflatables and all things bouncy – a kind of inflatable theme park. Heaven for kids like Luke!
Disclaimer: I was invited along to Inflata Nation Glasgow and received free entry into the venue. This did not affect my opinion of Inflata Nation. All opinions are my own. I’ve added the #gifted hashtag to this post and all social links to disclose the free entry.
Firstly, I would recommend booking online using their website. You pay when you book and you pay £4.99 for kids under 4 and £8.99 for kids between the ages of 4 and 15 and for adults. That gives you one hour of time in the play area and you can choose an extra hour for £3 for kids under 4 and £5 for everyone else. They also have an option to book parties (all prices correct at time of publication) and those come in three price tiers, bronze, silver and gold. What I liked straight away was the option to book a class during a disability-friendly session (anyone who makes special time for those with disabilities is great in my book) and the intriguing option for an adults-only party… I’d love to know more about that.
Inflata Nation was easy to find using the maps on my iPhone. I would recommend driving there because there’s parking available across the road from the venue for a charge. There’s also some free parking at the road side. Once we were in, the first thing I noticed was the warm welcome we received from the staff. Everyone was super friendly and smiley. We were directed to a corner of the room where there were pens and forms to fill in. You need to fill one in for every person in the party, unless they are kids. Then they can be declared on the responsible adult’s form. This is basically to say that you do not hold Inflata Nation liable for any injuries that occur. As a mother, my first thought was, “What injuries?!” Accidents can happen unfortunately but when used responsibly and when following the safety rules, everyone should be able to play safely. You can read more about their safety rules on their website.
It’s worth noting that there are certain people who are advised not to use the equipment at Inflata Nation. That includes pregnant women, people with back problems or mobility problems etc. There’s plenty of guidance around to keep you right, in case you are in any doubt. A year ago, I was still recovering from back and hip problems, so I wouldn’t have been able to use the inflatables. I’m so glad I was invited this year and not back then! I particularly liked the instruction at the end of the safety board that said to use caution when entering the ball pools. Don’t dive head-first into them – they really aren’t that deep!
There’s a safety talk from a member of staff to listen to before you’re allowed on the equipment. That’s reassuring. That same member of staff stayed in front of the inflatables the whole time we were there, watching out for any problems and there to answer any questions. He was also able to direct anyone who was over the age of four out of the toddler area. That would have been a big comfort to me if Luke had been that age. I used to hate when bigger kids played in the toddler area!
There’s no shortage of slides for kids to try at Inflata Nation. There’s also a massive ball pool. I mean, it is HUGE. I gave it a go myself. I have to say, it was a lot of fun. You can see from the pictures how deliriously happy I look sitting in the ball pool. You’re never too old!
The slides looked pretty intimidating to me, so I left it for my little daredevil to go down them himself. There’s also a climbing wall which leads to nothing – just a high place to jump from. I didn’t try that myself but Luke and my husband Alex did and they must have loved it because they spent quite a while doing that.
So, here’s some stuff that the mums will probably want to know. There’s a sitting area where you can watch the kids play while you have a drink. The chairs are bog-standard cafeteria chairs and the tables are clean. There’s a token flower on some of them to make the place look cheerful. Nice!
There are lockers available and if you don’t have change, don’t worry. It accepts card payments. It is digitised and you can choose which language you want to use when operating the payment screen. The lockers have to be opened again using one of the security questions it will ask you, such as your favourite colour. You can re-open the locker as many times as you like.
There are snacks and drinks available from a chiller, including some sandwiches. There’s a vending machine too and a little coffee shop on site which is reasonably priced, but choices are limited. They do sell slushies though, and they’re a hit with most kids, and they do standard hot drinks like tea, coffee and hot chocolate.
We only booked a one hour session and it was early in the morning, so it was pretty quiet, despite being half-term. It’s likely that as the day goes on it will get busier. As we left, just after 11am, it was getting much busier. So, this could be something to keep in mind if you’re booking for yourself. That’s not to say that will be the case every day, but it was my own experience.
Overall, I’d give Inflata Nation a solid 9/10. We had a great day and really enjoyed ourselves. The staff were warm and friendly, the equipment was clean and the venue was easy to get to and easy to park at. How could the place be improved? I’d love to see more choices in the coffee shop, for example ice-creams or healthy choices like fruit on sale. However, they’ll know their demographic best and perhaps wishing for fresh fruit to be on sale is a bit idealistic as it would go off quickly if it wasn’t purchased. The other way it could be improved is if there was a way to complete the safety paperwork before arriving.
I would 100% recommend going to Inflata Nation. My whole family enjoyed it and we will definitely return.