We’ve been back to Children’s Play Village in Warwick so I’ve updated the review as there have been a few changes. If your child loves role playing then this is absolutely the place for them. The one question I get asked most often about Children’s Play Village is what ages is it suitable for? They have a baby section so you can take younger siblings with you. Smallest Child was just 15 months old when we first went and she had a good time, although she needed an adult with her the whole time. When we returned this time she is 2 1/2 and had an amazing time. Oldest Child is 9 3/4 (with a very active imagination) and he still had a brilliant time. It completely depends on the child. As long as they still enjoy role playing and/or dressing up they’ll enjoy it here.
What is Children’s Play Village?
It’s a purpose built street full of everything children could ever need to role-play a load of scenarios.
A friend had recommended a similar type of place in London but it looked massively over-branded, too busy and for a family of 4 to visit is around £100!! (If you do want to visit Kidzania though you can get discounted tickets through this affiliate link. Discounts can vary but at the time of writing it’s kids go half price.)
The Children’s Play Village is just £17.90 for all of you. After I had looked at the website for Kidzania, by the power of cookies, an advert came up for here. It looked awesome so I invited a couple of friends to make the trip at the end of the summer holidays. It was so good that we have been back three times now.
What’s in the village?
The village is based around a central square (which is where the baby area is) and has; a bakery, hair-dressers, post office, theatre, grocers, school, vets, A&E and fire station. There is also a construction area and an ice cream truck and picnic area. Over Christmas this is replaced with a massive sleigh).
Each play area has all the props the children will need to fully immerse themselves in the roles; there are lots of lovely treats in the bakery, (fake) make-up, hair dryers etc in the salon, lots of food, tills and baskets in the grocers and a menagerie of animals to care for at the vets.
The Post Office is a particular hit. There are lots of letters and packages addressed to the various play areas so the kids can deliver these. Inevitably another child then brings it back to the post office and it starts all over again. I swear Biggest Child did this for about an hour!!!
One of the things I really liked about this place is how much it encourages not only children’s imaginations, but also their social skills. All the kids join in their games together and make instant friends for life (well the next 2.5 hours at least). The kids have no idea how educationally important this is of course, they just think they’re having an awesome time!
How long is a session at Children’s Play Village Warwick?
Each day there are three 2.5 hour play sessions; morning, early afternoon and later in the afternoon. At first I wasn’t sure about the length of the sessions, I wondered if they would be too long. You are of course free to leave at any time, but actually they’re the perfect length. There’s plenty of time to really get involved in their imaginary worlds but not so long that they get bored. The kids were pretty knackered afterwards though.
Pre-booking is usually advised as they only allow a limited number of children per session (another good thing about this place). I’m not exactly sure how many children are allowed but I’d say probably somewhere around 30. Whilst it is busy enough to have a good atmosphere it isn’t overcrowded at all. There’s more than enough stuff for everyone to get involved.
You can only go into the village during your allocated session. This is because they completely close for the 30 minutes between sessions. That allows them to clean up and put everything back where it belongs so the next set of kids get the same experience as the first. It also means that it’s very clean everywhere (which is a regular complaint of places like soft-play).
How do the sessions work in the role play village?
At the start of the session all the children meet on the village green and the “play makers” have a little chat with them all. Then they’re free to explore by themselves. Adults are more than welcome to join in the fun, and you must supervise them at all times. There is a bistro where you can sit if you don’t want to be taking part yourself.
Play Maker Polly was a clear favourite with Middle Child, and she was really good with him. Throughout the session the play makers do little games and activities that children can take part in if they want to. Equally they don’t have to if they don’t want to. The games they played were different both times which was a nice touch.
There was a little squabble between two children when we were there today (which is the first time I’d seen that happen) but the play maker was on it straight away and she handled it brilliantly. She explained to the child that you have to use kind words etc. and he was asked to apologise. Done and sorted and everyone was happy again.
At the end of the session they sing an annoyingly catchy song and everyone is encouraged (with varying degrees of success) to put all of the props back. Then it’s home time. The whole thing is really well organised without being restrictive.
Review of the facilities at Children’s Play Village
The bistro serves drinks, meals and snacks at a reasonable price. We all ate something this time and, although the chocolate cake was a bit dry, it was nice enough. Certainly a lot better than the purely deep-fried crap I’ve had at a lot of kid’s play places. We didn’t buy any food for the kids as I wanted them to make the most out of their session rather than just eating.
The toilets were really good (it’s always a bonus to find a non-gross toilet) and I think the break between sessions helps with this. There are 3 massive loos with baby changes in and the toilet seats that have both adult and child seats built-in. There’s also an additional loo without a baby change. There are lockers but I forgot to ask if they are just for staff as they didn’t have any keys (and I forget to ask every time I go!!)
Walkers – £8.95 (weekdays), £9.95 (weekends), £5 for 6 months+ non-walkers, FREE for adults and babies under 6 months. Slight rant – why do SOOOO many places charge extra for adults for stuff like this!!!!???? Prices are correct at time of publishing. There is an extra charge for certain special events such as the Santa sessions.
Parking – How to get there
Parking – Plenty on-site
Address – Hampton Road, Budbrooke, Warwick CV35 8HA.
One very important point. DO NOT USE SAT NAV. It takes you onto the bypass and you’ll drive straight past the building but not be able to get in. From the M40 it’s actually really easy and only takes a few minutes.
Leave the M40 at Junction 15 and exit the roundabout at the junction for Stratford A46. You quickly approach a smaller roundabout please take the exit signposted B4463 to Norton Lindsey/Henley in Arden. Follow this road all the way along to the T-junction and turn right towards Warwick. They are located approximately 1 mile along this road on a small private lane off Hampton Road on the left.
The sign is quite small and I did miss it the first time however they are on the same little road as Central Ajax FC. All in, from central Aylesbury, it takes about an hour and 15 minutes to get there if there are no traffic issues on the M40.
On-site and really good facilities. Includes multiple baby change rooms
They have a bistro on-site which charges a reasonable price. You’re not allowed to take your own food. There is now allocated seating so are guaranteed a table of the right size for your group!
Our Children’s Play Village Review
5 / 5 despite the travel – It really is worth it.
*****I’ve heard a rumour that there may be a Children’s play village coming to the Aylesbury area soon. There are plans for expansion into Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire but the exact locations haven’t been confirmed yet. If they do come to Aylesbury it will be a really plus for the area*****
Make it a full family day out. When you’re finished at Children’s Play Village why not visit Charlecote Park which is about 10 minutes away – read the review here. Alternatively you can look around the city of Warwick itself as there’s loads of free things to do.
I’m Vicky and I am a mum of three living in Aylesbury. I set up Free Time with the Kids to review free and cheap family days out in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire, mainly because I kept forgetting all the fabulous places that were recommended to me!! I love getting out and about with the kids (and hubby of course) and we have adventures all over the place. My reviews tell you all the things you need to know about the family days out and activites we’ve done such as how much it costs, if there’s parking, toilets and if there’s a cafe or if picnics are allowed. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook