Adults only nights at play centres are a thing. Yes, really

Photo:: Shutterstock
Photo:: Shutterstock 

Imagine the scene if you will. The adults are drinking alcohol, eating deep-fried food and the soundtrack for the night is The Wiggles.

A husband excitedly waves to his wife before he crashes down a slide into the depths of a snotty ball pit. Another male flies past on a trike with all the grace and control of an octopus, while a female tries her hand at shooting basketballs into a freaky clown's mouth.

The night has only just begun but things are heating up on the bouncy castle as adults jostle for space. There's certainly a lack of it, as there is of dignity too. Others remain disappointed that the toddler areas are closed off.

Sound comical?  Well, unfortunately it's not. 

A local indoor kids play centre - which will not be named (!) - has recently launched adults only nights. That's right - all the joy of the germ-infested hell, just without the kids.

Wait, what I hear you ask? Grown-ups are actually choosing to go there rather than out of sheer desperation with kids on a rainy day? They're choosing to expose themselves to all manners of feral bacteria? And they're voluntarily paying for this?

Hard to believe, I know. Hard to believe that anyone with kids would want to darken the doorstep of such hell without force by their child. And hard to believe that anyone without kids would even know what the place was, let alone sign up for a night out there.

Personally, stabbing myself in the eye repeatedly with a fork or sitting on a cactus naked would be more enjoyable than a night out there.

With my first son I used to go to indoor play centres quite a bit because I thought it was the 'good mummy' thing to do.


Despite the abysmal tea, accompanying whines of other children and questionable smells, I'd grimace my way through the visit. I'd try my best to still my inner OCD cleaning streak but still avoided touching as many toys as I could. My son became familiar with our anti-bacterial gel dousing routine.

My second son has only been to an indoor play centre once. It was enough to remind me never to go again.

But adult nights at indoor play centres aren't a new thing.

In 2016, indoor play centre Basecamp kids in Melbourne, launched date nights for parents. At the time, the offering promised parents a night off from their kids, thanks to babysitters on site, so they could enjoy some down time over dinner.

I understand the idea behind why this might appeal to some. I know it's not always easy to get a babysitter and it's certainly not cheap. But let's be honest. Dining out in an indoor play centre? You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig, right?!

When I looked on the play centre's site, I couldn't see any reference to date nights still being on. Perhaps this speaks for itself. Perhaps they weren't a success.

As for the local centre, only time will tell if the adults only nights will bring in a roaring trade. Maybe I will be proven wrong and there will be a demand.

In the meantime, my adult only night doesn't involve throwing myself into a ball pit or any other balls for that matter (before your mind goes there.) An adult only night for me these days is a good cuppa and a great read. Some may say that I need to get out me. But, rest assured, it won't be to go there.