I’d read quite a few recommendations for Kidz Venture at the Double Tree by Hilton on The Walk, JBR, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it completely empty when we arrived on a Sunday afternoon.
Kidz Venture is branded as a kids club and is not your usual soft play area. It is set up more like a nursery learning play area, in fact part of the space will be separated off to become a day care centre from September. There is no ball pit or large soft climbing apparatus as you find in other play areas. Instead you will find beautiful wooden Montessori education toys and equipment, various reading nooks and plenty of books, a kitchen area with a great selection of chopable fruits and vegetables, puzzles, a dress up corner, grocery store, a large slide, swinging soft rings hanging from the ceiling, dolls, giant balls, a basketball ring, beautiful ride on airplanes, toys for imaginative play, a craft area and so much more. Some of my favourite moments from our play session were watching Missy crawl through the mirrored pyramid tunnel surrounded by a kaleidoscope of her own reflections, Monkey meticulously chopping all his vegetables and using them to prepare and serve a “meal”to his friend, my friends little girl swinging round and round on the suspended swing and putting on a puppet show of Julia Donaldson’s The Singing Mermaid in the puppet theatre with the finger puppets.
Kidz Venture is made up of large open spaces that don’t require mummies to chase around after little ones, climbing up ramps and squeezing through tiny gaps and tunnels, making it especially good for pregnant mummies and those with more than one child to supervise or who are accompanied by very small babies. Instead you can sit on a rug and play puzzles or laze on the artificial grass area while your little one plays shop. The club is secure and safe with a manned desk at the front, an internal gate and a button release front door, so I was quite happy to let Monkey run around and enjoy himself while I kept a closer eye on Missy (I could probably even have left her to explore but she’s become a bit of a dare-devil climber and will try to walk up things she should be crawling up so I need to be ready to catch her!)
Another thing I was impressed by were the toilets. I’m not sure why but most kids play areas don’t actually have toilets suitable for kids. Here there were miniature sized toilets and sinks at a child friendly height helping them to use the bathroom independantly. The one downside is that there is no cafe associated with the kids club so anyone hoping to sit with a coffee while the kids play will be disappointed. The staff were, however, happy for the munchkins to sit down at a little table within the venue to have a snack and refuel for more play.
Kidz Venture suggests the club is suitable for kids up to 7/8 years old. It’s been a while since I tried to entertain an 8 year old so I am not sure if kids on the older end of that age range would find enough there to keep them entertained, however, I’m sure it would be fine for older kids accompanying younger siblings for an hour or so. For babies, toddlers, preschoolers and younger kids it is great. In fact, both my friend and I agreed that if we had unlimited space for our own playrooms at home, this is how we would love to design it. It’s even got me thinking ahead to Missy’s second birthday party next year, it would make a great indoor party venue for younger kids, especially as they do parties on an exclusive use basis with catering options supplied by the hotel.
Kidz Venture is easy to find at the Double Tree by Hilton on the far end of The Walk at JBR. Parking is free and convenient. Remember to pack socks for yourself and your little ones and note that buggies must be left outside the play area. The rate for children aged 1-8 years is 45aed for the first hour and 30aed for the second hour. There is buy one get one hour free promotion on Sundays and discounted rates of 30aed first hour and 20aed second hour on Mondays. There are also rates for day care and babysitting and various membership options. For those with under 1s, I was informed that they will be charged for unless they are accompanying a paying older child.
We had a great time at Kidz Venture, in fact it was quite a struggle to get the kids to leave and we will most certainly be going back.
Have you been or are you planning to go to Kidz Venture? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of it, I would love to hear from you!