There’s a new play centre recently opened that well deserves the “Fun” prefix in its title. Funtopia has arrived.
When: Sun – Thu 9:00am – 6:00pm, Fri & Sat 9:00am – 9:00pm
Where: 98 Hampstead Road, Maidstone
Cost: Starts at $10, book here
Many thanks to contributor Thuy On for attending on behalf of Meetoo and preparing this fabulous review and photos!
Situated near Maribynong’s Highpoint shopping centre, Funtopia is almost as big (but far more exciting than getting lost in labyrinthine levels looking for random items to purchase). It consists of two separate play worlds. The climbing one offers 40 walls to scale, from beginners to advance levels.
Children from four onwards are able to enter but parents fear not, your little ones will be guided by professional staff and there is a harness that allows climbers to clip on safely. From the moment we entered the doors of this multi-coloured fun world, we felt warmly welcomed by the front of staff and the safety harness instructor who patiently guided us through the clipping and unclipping procedures. There is a 15 min briefing before you’re allowed to enter and staff continue to remain close by in case you need assistance during your one-hour allocation.
Special matting has been laid out to absorb any falls, should accidents occur. (But remember, you should be securely strapped ascending or descending so the risk is minimal.)
The very first wall can be intimidating as you look up and wonder how you’ll even manage to reach the top but after you conquer one, the sense of achievement will compel you to scale the others. There are many different variations: all with different shaped footholds. A vertical construction of tires, a spider-web rope, a glow-in-the-dark effort, and a giant beanstalk are just a few of the climbing options available. Some tempt you to beat the clock; others have buzzers you have to push at the very top to signal ascendance and some even allow you to race against other climbers. For a little bit more money, daredevils can try and jump onto an overhanging plastic bollard or trapeze-like structure or be pulled up by your arms to glide down a near-vertical slide.
An hour offers plenty of time for a solid, sweaty workout. Forget the gym, you’ll certainly be toning your legs, upper body and arms during this climbing session.
We were so tired we had to have a short break before venturing into the other section: the playground. Kitted out in a kitschy Australiana theme (think vintage tram, Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Harbour Bridge), there ‘s everything here you’d expect: mazes, slides, tunnels and foam ball pits. Toddlers too, are catered for (there’s a section for the under twos) that’s separated from the main area.
After you’ve had enough climbing, jumping, abseiling, sliding, and gamboling around like overexcited puppies you can catch your breath and feed your appetite. A café within the centre offers a range of items, including all-day breakfasts. We were kindly presented with an enormous plate of waffles, chocolate bar and ice cream. Will we be back? Yes, yes we certainly will. As the ten-year old said with total conviction, “It was awesome!”
TIPS/IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE:
- Entry fees are separate for each world: you can choose to visit either or both.
- Playground world is best of children 1+ years
- Climbing world is suitable from ages 4+
- BYO socks (or you can purchase a pair for $2) if you are entering the playground world.
- Climbing world requires loose clothing and closed shoes. You’ll become very hot and sweaty so best not to wear heavy materials.
- Best to book online during weekends, holidays and other busy periods.
- There are also party packages.
Disclaimer: Meetoo was invited as a guest, all views are those of the reviewer and details correct at time of publishing.