October 2019 update. It’s been 6 months since I wrote my review of the Lynx Gym Playgym in Aylesbury, the weather is a bit pants and so I decided to go back again. Sadly as a result of a few things I noticed I’ve decided to downgrade my review score for Lynx Playgym. My original review is below, but with some updates.
The original Lynx Playgym review
Most of the time I go out with the kids because we enjoy going and doing stuff. Sometimes however I go out with the kids because they’re driving me crazy at home and I need to distract them! Today was absolutely one of those days. Smallest child is incredibly grumpy and sitting at home watching her tantrums didn’t really appeal, so we went to playgym.
I used to come here all the time with the eldest kids but they got too old. I hadn’t brought smallest child because, until now, she hadn’t really been mobile enough to enjoy it. Now it’s perfect for her. FYI, all ages can go. Middle child first went when he was just a couple of weeks old and there were quite a few babies in slings today. Once they’re crawling that’s when they’re most likely to start getting something out of it, but that’s reflected by the prices.
Since we last went there have been a lot of changes; it’s had a total refit. Instead of cubby holes, they now have lockers for your stuff (which don’t actually lock so there’s still no secure storage) and there’s a cafe upstairs. The cafe is open from 11:00 each day, but we didn’t buy anything. The old massive inflatable slide has gone, which is a bit of a shame. I remember scrambling up that thing at 35 weeks pregnant and sliding down it with eldest child. It’s been replaced with a bouncy castle/slide combo. Sadly the entrance is fairly small and it was too hard for smallest child to scramble up so she didn’t get to go down an inflatable slide today.
Most of the other equipment is still the same and there’s a good range; a mini climbing frame, hoops, cones, see-saw, trampoline, long trampoline, foam pits, numerous balance beams and more. There’s various bits of gymnastics equipment around as well, but it is a gymnasium after all!!!
My favourite bit of kit in the gym has to be the long trampoline. It’s such good fun to run up and down with the kids and there’s always at least one child on it at any time.
The foam pit of doom
There is one new addition, a narrow foam pit with a bar across it. It’s akin to a mechanic’s pit. The only issue is that it’s right next to the fast lane trampoline (you can see it in the photo above, top left corner) and there’s nothing around it to stop curious small people trying to jump in. There is another foam pit the other side of the gym that is full of foam cubs and is great fun. This one just has a long drop to the bottom. There are steps to get out, but it’s not getting out that I’m concerned with. I’m not convinced this is particularly safe if I’m honest. I wasn’t the only person who thought this, other parents were commenting too.
Overall, we really like playgym. It’s a great way to get the kids burning off some energy, it’s great for developing lots of physical skills and things like risk taking etc. It’s not a great place to meet up with friends if you’re trying to have a conversation though – you’ll spend all your time running around after the kids!
Lynx Playgym Review – October 2019 updates
When we went back this time smallest child was much more mobile and so she obviously did get even more out of the session. It was a LOT quieter on this visit than I’ve ever seen it before, but I’m not sure why. The reason I’ve downgraded my score is not because of the kids’ experience, it’s because of some safety concerns.
The new pit
I’d kind of hoped maybe they’d put something across it this time but they hadn’t so it’s still just a gaping hole next to a section where you have lots of excited kids running fast. I had to go into it this time to retrieve a ball which was quite an experience! First of all, as soon as I sat on the edge to lower myself down the two kids I was with also sat down because they thought they could go in too. There wasn’t a lot of foam in there today so it’s a sheer drop of a couple of feet. Yes, you’re falling into foam but it’s easy enough to fall awkwardly.
Secondly I genuinely struggled to get out. You remember I said I wasn’t concerned about getting out? I was wrong!!!! The pit is approx 6 feet deep (I’m 5’8″ and it was over my head and I wasn’t touching the bottom). In order to get out you have to extract yourself from the foam blocks. You know the ones that suck you in like quicksand? Those ones. When you’re trying to pull yourself onto moving foam steps that are also on the quicksand blocks that is no easy task. If only the steps had been in the same place they were in the photo above it might have been easier. Getting out of the normal foam pit is OK because you have something static to haul yourself onto. That wasn’t the case from the small pit.
At one stage I genuinely thought I was going to have to ask a stranger to pull me out just to end all of the flailing. It really wasn’t helped that smallest child thought this was a game so I’m trying to climb out, whilst she’s trying to climb in. I’m not convinced the owners haven’t done this deliberately in order to get clips for You’ve Been Framed.
This place is mainly a working gymnasium. It’s designed to be that, and that’s OK. However if you’re also marketing it as a play centre for small children you need to take that into consideration. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about the sprung flooring or even the mats that are lying around. Those are all fine.
The problem I have is where the carpet is not stuck down properly. It’s hard to get decent photos of this but when you step on the carpet in the bottom right of this photo that whole section suddenly sinks down, then there’s a weird fold/lump where the tape is in the middle of the photo which creates a perfect trip zone. This wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t compounded by the unprotected metal foot of a piece of equipment nearby. Smallest child tripped on this bit of carpet and landed with her eye centimetres away from the metal pole. They’re obviously aware of the issue, because that’s why the tape is there, but it needs to be maintained a bit better.
This wasn’t actually the only section where the carpet was sticking up randomly (see the pics below
My boys used to love this swing. I’m fairly sure it’s the same one that was being used when biggest child first visited nearly 10 years ago. It’s had a bit of wear and tear since then. The swing is suspended from the ceiling and the seat of it is at adult head height. It’s always been awkward to get a kid in and out at this height, but they’ve added a step to help. However the mechanism that holds the leg bar in place no longer secures properly so a child can very easily just push it up. Yes, there’s a waist strap but I’m guessing Little Tikes included both features for a reason.
Our Lynx Playgym Review
Original rating – 3 / 5 (it loses one point because of the foam pit, otherwise I’d give it 4)
Updated rating – 2.5 / 5. It just needs a bit of checking and maintenance. And something to cover that flipping pit!
Entry – £1.50 for babies, £2.50 for crawlers, £5 for walkers. Adults are free
Parking / How to get there
Parking – Free, on-site. Can get busy.
Address – 70 Rabans Close, Aylesbury. HP19 8RS
On-site, including baby change.
Free drink and biscuits are available until shortly before the session closes. Cafe open from 11:00. No food is allowed inside the Lynx Playgym itself
For the latest times and prices visit their website
If you like Lynx Playgym, Aylesbury why not check out my review of stay and play at Aylesbury Cheerleading Academy? Click here to read it.
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with out three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. 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