I’ve recently done a review of the other two DJ’s soft play centre’s so it seemed only fair that I visited DJ’s Play Jungle in St Albans too. You can find the review of DJ’s Play Zone (Berkhamsted) here and DJ’s Play Park (Hemel Hempstead) here. Before visiting I assumed that this would be, largely, the same as the other two soft play centres in Hertfordshire. Actually, it was quite different. In terms of size it’s in the middle of the three centres, but it is probably more suitable for mobile to approx. 8 year olds than the Hemel site is.
We were gifted admission to DJ’s Play Jungle so we could write this review. All thoughts are my own, they had no input into the contents of the review and did not see it prior to publication.
There are three play area at DJ’s Play Jungle. One is for under 2’s, one for under 5’s and one for over 5’s.
The under 2’s area
As with the Berkhamsted site, this is a play area rather than a play frame. There’s a ball blower (love those), a ball pool, activity wall, lots of soft shapes, a foam ring, mirror and a little slide. Because this review of DJ’s Play Jungle was done during covid restrictions there were only a few balls around. Normally the ball pool would be full.
Under 5’s area
The under 5’s area at DJ’s Play Jungle is next to and above the under 2’s area. There’s a small bumpy slide that I think normally goes into a ball pool. Currently there’s massive yoga balls in there instead.
The 1st floor part of this area is accessed by quite a narrow slope and a small square opening. I think this perfectly illustrates the only problem that I have with DJ’s Play Jungle – it’s relatively difficult for adults to get around. There’s a lot of crawling around through narrow or low sections and tunnels rather than having the space to walk around. I’m not the skinniest or youngest person in the world, but I did manage to get through. Coming back down again I basically had to launch myself through the hole like it was a tunnel slide.
Potential access issues aside it’s really fun up there. There’s a network of tunnels to crawl through – including a suspended see-through one! You’ll find a couple of other bits up here but the focus really is on the tunnels. I did wonder if, in normal times, there’s some other things up here but I forgot to ask. Smallest Child had loads of fun scrambling around here.
The main play frame
This play frame is deceptive. From the outside it doesn’t actually look particularly big, but it goes back a long way. As I mentioned above, the frame isn’t full height in places so they’ve managed to squidge a lot in. The one thing I didn’t really notice until we started playing is the “pod” at the centre of the frame. I’ve not seen anything like this at a soft play before. It’s on two levels and has various tunnels and slides coming off it. There’s a central tube that the kids (but I doubt the adults) can get up and down between the levels.
There are slides all over the place in here. The slides are tunnels really are the biggest feature of this play frame. I had a go down the green tube slide – it’s fast but very static-y. Going down it is like snap, crackle and pop! I swear that just amped them up for the next round.
It’s a bit of a maze and it’s so easy to lose the kids (in the good way). They whip down a slide and end up in a different part of the frame – it’s great. Personally, I quite liked the surf board near the back of the frame. I also really liked the dipped tunnel. It’s surprisingly steep to get in and out of – Smallest Child took a fair amount of time to figure out how she was going to clamber out of the tunnel without slipping back down. And that wasn’t remotely funny at all!
There’s the other usual soft play features, a spinning pole, zip buoy, obstacles and platforms. The platforms are the kind that are also quite tricky to get up and down.
Our DJ’s Play Jungle review
I really liked that DJ’s Play Jungle was so unique. The central pod was really good fun and all the slides make it a bit like a water park but without all the water! I agree that it’s better suited to younger children rather than older ones. I’m certain Middle Child (8) would have loved it, Biggest Child (10) might have enjoyed it but I’m not sure if it would have kept his attention for the whole session. If you’re looking for a soft play for older kids then the Hemel site is probably a better bet.
I’ll be honest, I sat out more of the session at DJ’s Play Jungle than I have at a lot of other soft play areas I review. Partially that was down to the fact Smallest Child had made a new buddy and didn’t really care if I was playing or not. Partially it was because I got worn out trying to keep up with her!! Usually I’m well up for playing on a soft play, and I did for a lot of the session, just not as much as normal.
Prices start at £4 for under 1’s and go up to £10 for 6-12 year olds. Adults are £1.50 each. Hot drink deal Mon-Fri term time before 1pm £8 includes adult, under 5 child entry, hot drink, biscuit and cup of squash, add a sibling for £4.
Due to the social distancing restrictions in place when I wrote this review of DJ’s Play Jungle you have to pre-book via their website and there’s designated session times in place.
Parking / How to get there
There is free parking on-site.
Address – 156 St Albans Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire. AL4 9LP
There’s toilets and a baby change on-site
You’re not allowed to bring your own food, but there is a cafe on site.
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