You might remember that I mentioned in my Center Parcs review that the kids play area at Elveden had been closed for refurbishment. Last week we were invited back by Centerparcs to see what they had done with it, to turn it into Venture Cove, the new activity spot for kids and families within the pool area. (Oh, that’s a bit weird, the press release has me and Bene on it!)
I’ve had a mixed relationship with the old play area. The sand was annoying, though the kids kind of liked it and it felt a bit dowdy and stuck away at the back. The water was not quite warm or deep enough for an adult to be happy if they were half in and half out and you did feel quite isolated as it was only for ages up to 8. Add to that the fact that adults couldn’t do the flumes, making it hard to coax nervous smalls on to the for the first time and it was ‘okay’ but I wasn’t sorry when my lot wanted to move on. We tended to end up with me and the toddlers in the play area and daddy out in the main bit with the bigger girls. As I said, in our trip this year I didn’t really miss it, because the lagoon and the addition of noodles and play floats to the pool for sharing, made the main area just fine.
I’ve got no photos of my own from the day since a very hot train journey wrestling Bene, a car seat and talking to Josie kept all my hands free, but I do have a couple taken by the lovely Lindy for the Tots100. Thanks both 🙂 (Also, just added some in from the CP photographer, so thanks also to them).
The new cove is very different to the old one, even though it is in the same space. The sand and low walls are gone and the baby and toddler end is now a walk in ‘beach style’ pool with water tracks and gates to play in. There are benches in the water for parents to sit on and a mini slide plus a big slide for adults and babies to go on together or toddlers to manage alone.
Down the other end is a bigger change. There are still three flumes (nominally aimed at children rather than teens and adults) with lovely coloured lights inside but anyone can go on them. So if, like us, you end up with a family spread across a lot of ages who want to be together, anyone can go on them. There is masses of water everywhere, falling from a gantry of steps and scramble nets and walkways; buckets pour water, sloshes of water suddenly cascade down on you and fountains spray up while torrents fall down.
It’s very wet, loads of fun and really quite noisy in that ‘waterfall’ sort of way. Josie loved it, as did her little pal. A great fun, sensory experience that will cater far better for families who want to spend some time in there while the little ones can poddle about.
Well done Center Parcs, you’ve come up trumps. Now I just need to ever be able to save up enough to come in school holiday time!
Disclosure: We’ve been a Center Parcs family all year and on this occasion were invited over, given a day to swim and explore and enjoy goody bags as well as lunch out in the very lovely Hucks.
We’ve loved our year with Center Parcs and thorough recommend you enter this months competition to be in with a chance of a trip like we had in May. This month, it’s a nature challenge.