Hairdressers, Post Office and shop, tea room, fire station – there’s a whole village inside the newly refurbished Barney’s Playbarn.
And the first children to visit Barnington, as the village is called, are thoroughly enjoying it.
The great thing is they can enjoy peaceful role play one minute and then clamber around a soft play and climbing area the next.
Barney’s now has clearly defined areas for different age groups. Babies and toddlers have one, children aged two upwards particularly enjoy Barnington, and five-year-olds and above like the upstairs play area.
There are tactile and sensory boards for babies and upstairs a sensory room has UV lights and fibre optics.
A balls shooter – which sucks up balls handed in by children and then shoots them out of the top – will be installed soon, and three touch screens are coming too which will have games on such as Pop the Bubbles.
When you need a break the playbarn has a cafe and kitchen where tea, coffee, cakes and hot and cold food are available.
An extensive menu includes salads, jacket potatoes, sandwiches, pizza and burgers, and there is plenty of seating.
The playbarn opened its doors on Monday after five weeks of refurbishment when the premises were stripped, decorated and new equipment installed.
For two days attendance was invitation-only to iron out any hitches, and today the playbarn opens to all from 9.30am to 5pm..
Owners Asa and Louise Jago are delighted with the result of their hard work. They have been supported throughout by family and friends who all picked up a paintbrush to help.
Louise said the changes will help parents to get more involved playing with their children.
“There is lots to do here with children that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to do at home and there is chance to interact with other guests, meeting other mums, dads and grandparents.”
The verdict from parents yesterday: “So far I’m very impressed,” said Sian Gabbe, whose daughter April, four, and Isla, two, quickly moved into Barnington.
Sian was pampered with a hair wash delivered by April, while Isla enjoyed being a taxi driver.
Elaine Ward who was there with Imogen, four, and Eloise, two, said she was a regular visitor to the playbarn and she thought the new look was really good.
She has held a lot of birthday parties there and has already booked another.
There was plenty of laughter too from Laura Verbeek as her children Margot, two, and Hugo, three, led her a merry dance around the climbing area, up a tube, down wooden steps, across a rope walk and down a twisty slide.
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