I was kindly invited to do a review of the new Ruby and Red’s soft play area at Rush High Wycombe. It’s only recently opened and I know there had been some teething issues so I left it for a little while before visiting so those issues could be ironed out. We had combined tickets so before reviewing the soft play we went into the main Rush trampoline park. You can read my review of that here.
Although I was invited to review Ruby and Red’s by Rush High Wycombe, all views are my own. They did not have any input in the content of this review and they did not see it prior to publication.
That Facebook post
Shortly after Ruby and Red’s soft play opened there was a less than complimentary review on Facebook which was followed by a lot of other comments. The general theme of the comments was that it’s over priced, smaller than expected and there were some issues regarding ordering food. There were also some other smaller gripes. It seems that the opening was more successful than anticipated and the staff were slightly overwhelmed. To give the owners credit, the very next day they posted a letter answering many of the points raised, including altering their price structure. How many companies actually listen to feedback and act on it that quickly? I was genuinely impressed.
From the other side of the arena it seems to be relatively large and photos that I’ve seen also make it look fairly sizeable. One press write up also declares that a “HUGE new soft play” has opened at Rush High Wycombe. Therefore I was quite surprised by how small it is. If you have ever been to Whizz Kids (my review of that is here) then it’s about the same length, but less than half the depth of the main frame.
The frame is then separated into two sections, a toddler area and a bigger kids area. It’s on three floors but only the bottom two are complete floors. The top floor is only about 1/3rd of the size. They have squeezed a lot into this small space though because the individual corridors are quite narrow. On the plus side, in the juniors area it’s tall enough for adults to walk around.
Review of the junior frame at Ruby and Red’s soft play
This is the biggest of the two areas. Both of them are space themed so you have things like space rock stepping stones, a spinning pole, giant “planet” balls and there’s a funky air lock. On the top floor there’s an air cannon where you’re shooting balls at a rocket scene. Sadly the kids cannot get in there so you’re just shooting at a target which is slightly less fun!
There’s a two lane bumpy slide (covered in stars) which is actually a fairly slow slide, particularly if you’re still wearing your socks from the trampoline park. If you’ve read the Whizz Kidz review then you’ll know Middle Child broke his arm on one of these so I wasn’t exactly sad it’s a slow slide! That’s all there really is to say about the junior frame but it’s easy to get around for kids, toddlers and adults (always a bonus when you have a range of ages), it’s clean and it’s fun. The boys did both say they found it to be quite small. We didn’t spend hours in the soft play at Ruby and Red’s, but that could be because we’d already done the review in Rush and were worn out.
Review of the toddler soft play frame at Rush, High Wycombe
The toddler section takes up about 1/3rd of the length of the play frame. It is also on three floors BUT the floors are significantly lower in this section. The three floors are the same height as two floors in the junior frame. Adults have to crawl around to get about.
There are a couple of really nice things in this frame. There’s a small ball pool which also has a air blower in it. This was permanently busy when we visited so we didn’t get chance to check it out. There’s a small two lane slide, some foam balls hanging from the ceiling (ie planets), a couple of dangling aliens, and a spinning pole. There’s also a rocket tunnel you can climb through and look out of the window. Smallest Child LOVED that.
In order to move between levels there’s a ramp to climb up. There’s also some holes in the floor for toddlers to climb up and down. Smallest Child actually found these quite difficult to get through and needed help, which it wasn’t exactly easy for me to give. It was easier for us to move between levels in the junior frame than the toddler one! That said she really enjoyed the slide and the spinning wheel.
The other facilities
There’s a small babies’ soft play area with foam shapes etc. It’s also got a huge baby safe mirror and things on the walls. It was quite busy so I didn’t get chance for a proper look, but it seemed good quite good.
There’s a relatively small seating area in front of the play frame which was full when we arrived. There’s a couple of other chairs by the entrance to the frame as well. Food and drink in this area is one of the issues that was raised. People should be told this at arrival but you CAN order food and drinks from the Ruby and Red’s soft play check-in desk. The food will then be delivered to your table in the seating area. There’s no need for you to carry hot drinks through the arena yourself.
I’ve included a review of both the cafe and the crush ice cream parlour in my review of Rush itself. Click here to read it. Over the course of the day we spoke to quite a few members of staff and, all bar one in Crush, they were great.
Ruby and Red’s soft play only; Under 6 months – free. 6 – 12 months – £1.50. Under 3 years – £4.50. 3 – 10 years – £6.50. First adult free, subsequent adults 50p. See their website for more details.
These prices are almost exactly the same as Playtrain (which I’ve not been to for ages wasn’t massively impressed with when I was last there). They are noticeably cheaper than both Whizz Kidz and Zoomania though.
You can buy combined tickets with the Rush trampoline park. For peak 60 minute toddler jump and soft play (+ free parent) it’s £17.50. For over 4’s it’s £16 and there’s no free adult.
Parking / How to get there
Address – Lexmark House, Cressex Business Park, Coronation Rd, High Wycombe HP12 3TZ
Parking – There is limited parking on-site but I imagine that fills up pretty quickly. At weekends the rest of the industrial estate is empty so people park in other spaces, but during the holidays I guess people may struggle to park.
There are toilets, including nappy change, on site
You’re not allowed to bring your own food. There is a cafe on-site and an ice cream parlour but see comments on the main post.
Our Ruby and Red’s soft play review
3.5 / 5 – It’s clean and new which is a huge advantage over a lot of soft play areas! It has some nice little features like the rocket viewing holes. Whether or not you think this is big may largely depend on your expectations. If you’re expecting something “huge” then you’ll be disappointed. It’s not as big as a stand-alone soft play but that’s because it isn’t a stand alone soft play.
Personally I think the price is about right, especially when combined with a bounce ticket. We had a good time, particularly Smallest Child (2) and Middle Child (7). Biggest Child (9) enjoyed it but, he would have got bored after not too long.
I think this place is really going to come into its own if you have a range of ages. The bigger kids can go and bounce and the smaller ones can go on the Ruby and Red’s soft play. Surely that’s the point of having the two together?? I genuinely don’t have anything to complain about other than the fact it’s smaller than other soft play areas. Yes, I would go back but I’m not sure if I would drive all the way from Aylesbury just for the soft play. I’d happily drive from Aylesbury if we were doing a combined ticket. As a combined ticket I’d give it 4/5.
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