Before going to Daydreamers Indoor Play Centre in Windsor for Wolf's 1st birthday party, I had been pretty dubious about these places. Honestly I was still a little uncertain leading up to the day of. In my limited experience they are cavernous rooms filled with the sound of screaming hyperactivity and the smell of endless sausage rolls and are sticky underfoot. I wasn't actually proven wrong, but the overpowering fun and goodness of the place eased my mind.
Walking in Josh and I were so impressed with the sheer size of the place and how airy and colourful it looked. Particularly striking is the amazing multi-level maze that dominates one half of the centre.
It's definitely more for walking kids two and over, but there is also a jumping castle, ball pit, massive slide and a car racetrack for those awesome Flinstones like cars that kids propel with their feet. There is just so much to enjoy here. There is also a infants play area very well stocked with toys suitable for the under 1s. I can't wait till Wolf is big enough to enjoy more of these attractions. Parents can follow kids through the multi-level maze, which is a good thing too because it's massive and there are certainly moments where you won't be able to keep your child in sight.
The hangar like space is bright and airy with the assistance of multiple skylights, balancing the harsh fluorescence that you usually find lighting large spaces. There's lot of space for parents to sprawl with large and small tables spread across a fake grass lawn by the maze, a lounge area particularly good for nursing mothers by the infants play area, and also seating by the cafe. The cafe is fairly impressively stocked and the coffee was decent, which is more than you can expect for a lot of these places. There's a good combination of healthy snacks, lunches and sweet treats available
There are two party areas at Daydreamers, and for Wolf's party we got the marquee. I didn't actually have to ask for it, so it was a nice surprise when we arrived; it just looks like the inside of a jumping castle, without the bouncy bottom. Thank goodness really. Everything was ready when we arrived so all we had to do was wait for the other guests to arrive. The other party area is slightly smaller and more open to the rest of the centre. You still get the odd uninvited guest wandering in and out of either area, but it's sort of cute. Unless they poke a finger in your cake. No one did at Wolf's though there was some very tempted little ones.
First birthday parties are covered under Daydreamer's themed parties, which start from $320 for 12 guests and include invitations, all decorations, table settings, children's food, entry to all play areas for children and adults, small gifts for both host and guests and the services of a party co-ordinator. Adult entry is free no matter how many attend and grown-up food platters can be purchased separately. For older children's parties, prices can start from $240 or $195 for a mid-week party. As far as party costs go, this is quite good, as I first approached the Family Life and Home cafe in Prahran, just the next suburb over. While Family Life and Home is a little bit fancier, in that the decor is hoping to please hipster parents tastes, the food is more upmarket cafe and there is a store full of expensive baby goods, I was quoted that the cost of a birthday party would start at $700 and fairly skyrocket from there.
The kids food was basic, which was necessary as most of Wolf's friends are a couple of months younger than him. Stuff like vegemite sandwiches, cut fruit and sausage rolls. I also ordered a couple of platters for grown ups; a seafood platter and a ciabatta and baguette platter at $50 each, both very much up to a decent cafe standard and more than adequately served 13 adults. You can also order birthday cakes through Daydreamers, but I chose to make my own; a carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Recipe posted on the Bebe website.
Staffing was impressive. The young team were enthusiastic, efficient and all smiles. We got great service, someone was always around to answer questions and they were very easy going. I thought anyone who had to spend all day listening to children scream and cleaning up after their mess would be quite jaded and disgruntled, but either they are incredible well trained or have hide as thick as a dragon's.
Wolf's party was a lovely, nearly stress-free (as much as I am ever not stressed), and entirely fun day and the centre's excellent organisation meant I had plenty of time to socialise with the other parents and watch my little boy enjoy himself with his friends.
If any of you lovely readers are now considering having a party at Daydreamers, I've been given four $45 party vouchers for use with any party extras at Daydreamers. Every little bit saved counts! If you'd like one just drop a comment on this post and I'll email you directly for a postal address to send it to.
Daydreamers Indoor Play Centre
61 - 71 McIlwrick Street,