If you want to tire out the kids head for Monkey Mania in Gosford. The three-level soft-play zone with four slides, mini basketball court and the most awesome wind-activated foam-ball arena is sure to run them ragged. Kids can fire foam balls from cannons, activate the central “volcano” to launch multiple balls into the sky or upend the suspended basket to create a colourful sun shower. I’ve seen many adults go a little wild in the ball area too – it really is fun.
Monkey Mania also has a jumping castle, a race-car track (with push cars mid-week and go-karts on weekends), and BEAM – a giant gaming tablet projected onto the floor that kids play games on with their feet. They’ll love popping bubbles and catching sneaky mice – all with a stomp, hop, jump or skip. It’s the perfect iPad for active tots.
There’s a designated area for under fives that has a cubby house, mini slides, wall activity panels, foam animals to bounce on, bouldering walls to scramble up, blocks to stack and a wall-mounted xylophone to play. It’s a good space for young ones to escape to when the place is heaving with boisterous older children in school holidays, but it’s really best suited to the 1-2 age group. Preschoolers, and even many toddlers, won’t be amused in here for long… certainly not with all the fun there is to be had elsewhere.
Coffee, slices and lunch are available from the on-site cafe. It’s a little heavy in the “sometimes food” category (think nuggets, pizza, cheeseburgers, spring rolls, hot dogs and fries), but it’ll keep the kids happy.
Open: Mon 9:30am-5pm (school holidays) and 9:30am-3pm (school term); Tues-Thurs 9:30am-5pm; Fri-Sat 9:30am-9pm; Sun 9:30am-5pm. Opening hours change during the week of Christmas. Check their website (click above) for details.
Cost: Mon-Fri during school term $10/child; weekends and school holidays $13/child. Children under one are free with a paying sibling. Adult $4 includes a free coffee ($3.50 with a Central Coast Leagues Club membership card). Go-Karts $3 for 1 ride, $10 for 4 rides (available weekends and school holidays only).
Membership: If you think you’ll come here more than once a year it pays to become a member. Annual membership is $12 per family and entitles you to: $2 off every child’s entry fee, every child’s fifth visit free, 10% off food and beverage, and access to Toddler Tuesdays ($6 entry for 0-5 year olds every Tuesday during the school term). It would be great if Monkey Mania could simplify the sign-up process. At the moment staff ask new members to enter their details into an iPad that’s located inside the facility in order to activate their account and claim their 10 per cent food/beverage discount: this is no easy task when you have tiny tots eager to play.
Drop ‘n’ Dine: Children aged five and over can be left in the care of Monkey Mania for up to three hours while parents enjoy dinner in the club. The service costs $26.50 per child.
Parking: Free parking in the Leagues Club car park.
Tips: Use the back entrance off Baker Street to gain entry to Monkey Mania. Don’t forget your socks – adults and kids need to wear them on the equipment.
Location: Central Coast Leagues Club, Dane Drive, Gosford.
Phone: 0243 259 865 or 0243 259 867.
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