I love discovering new places to explore around Dubai with my little guy, and with Cheeky Monkeys having recently been recognised as the winner of the ‘Best Soft Play Venue’ at the Time Out Dubai Kids Awards 2015, it’s a place that’s been on my ‘must visit’ list for a while.
At the age of 17 months, soft play is just fab for Zachy’s energy levels, and excellent for my sanity levels as I can let him run around with minimal fear that he’ll fall and do any serious harm (yes, the garden which I thought would be a godsend in the cooler weather is highly stress invoking with his recent discovery that he can climb the periphery wall!)
Being located down JBR I was a little wary at first, since having previously lived down there I know how very stressful parking can be. But it was a doddle! Located within Trident Grand Residence the access was easy, and there was parking underneath the building (free for 45 mins, then AED 10 after that).
Upon entering Cheeky Monkeys, I was greeted by friendly smiles from the staff, and the lush sound of…silence! Yes, the area was delightfully unpopulated, with a few fellow Mums sharing a nice calm coffee while their tots roamed around. The set up was super cute – a play street formed the centre of the area, with seating around for Mums to sit and relax in close proximity to their tots. With tall windows elongating half of the space, the place also felt bright and healthy – a bit different from the usual enclosed soft play spaces we’re used to.
Wasting no time Zachy and I headed into the heart of the play area situated behind the play street, where I was blown away by the design of the play frames which seemed to creatively use every inch of the room space available – walls and ceilings included! Luckily Zachy is still a bit small to go Spiderman on me (phew), but there was certainly enough to keep little tots entertained on ground-level too, with a cute carousel, trampoline, a psychedelic bubble slide, and sensory wall areas to experiment with. A giant slide for the big kids also formed part of the soft-play area, which looked very impressive (and very fast).
After around 30 minutes playing, there was an announcement that “Bubble Time” was about to start, at which point we obviously dashed to find out what that exactly meant. “Bubble Time” as it turned out, meant 15 minutes of party songs for the tots to dance to with a machine spurting out bubbles to chase and pop. Zachy loves to dance – he busted a few moves and I am absolutely not ashamed to say that I joined in (yep, I’m definitely an embarrassing Mum in the making…)
But after all the excitement, it was definitely time to re-caffeinate. Mums, imagine my excitement then when I realized they served Starbucks. STARBUCKS! An iced caramel macchiato was swiftly ordered while I let Zachy toddle round making friends while doing his weekly plastic fruit & veg shop. I also got chatting to a couple of lovely Mummies which made me really quite yearn for my days of maternity leave meeting other Mums for happy baby chatter. This didn’t last long though as Zachy wanted back on the trampoline, so off we popped for more jumping and happy Zachy laughter ❤
Winning the ‘Best Soft Play Venue’ at the Time Out Dubai Kids Awards 2015 is an award, in my opinion, that was thoroughly deserved. The venue was clean, uncrowded, full of exciting spaces for tots to enjoy, and most delightfully – served coffee!! Other key highlights included a paint station for tots (something I admit I kept my 17 month old paint-eater away from), organic food and snacks for purchase along with ice cream, and even a little outdoor area to enjoy through the cooler months.
Overall, it’s absolutely fab and Zachy and I will definitely be regular visitors. We’re also pretty keen to check out Cheeky Monkeys’ other locations in Barsha, Mirdif, and Umm Suqeim. The cost was AD 50 per hour, and an additional AED 15 for every hour thereafter.
For more information, visit: http://www.cheekymonkeys.com/
A few more pics…