This is one family that has gone totally wild for Jungle Buddies. Though, in all honesty, it wasn’t too hard to get a three- and six-year old excited about a rumble in this particular jungle. I mean, with its enormous play structure, big, small, straight and curly slides, flying fox, obstacles, trampoline, an area full of air cannons that shoot foam balls and plenty of places to run, jump, slide and climb, there was really no hard sell needed.
But in saying that, as a battle-weary survivor of many, many play centre adventures, the fact that I too am completely smitten with Jungle Buddies is a little more surprising. But this is a play centre that promotes fitness as well as fun, which I find irresistible.
Beyond the awesome play equipment that gets the kids moving, the café at Jungle Buddies is sensational! Not only do they serve up nutritious food, it’s so good that I’d swing by just for lunch… without the kids (but don’t tell them, they’d kill me!)
While there is a small ‘sometimes’ menu with tasty treats that are blessedly artificial colour and flavour free, there’s none of the fried or processed foods we commonly find at other play centres, which, incidentally, I don’t let my kids eat. Instead you’ll find a seasonal menu, designed by a mum, chef and qualified food consultant, that focuses on fresh, wholesome, locally sourced food that is as healthy as it is delicious.
Think smoothies, yoghurts, salads and fruit and bite-size snacks likes hummus with vegetables. IF your kids are feeling particularly hungry there’s also freshly cooked quesadillas, pasta and really good pizza made with fresh tomato passata and real mozzarella. In fact, Jungle Buddies is so serious about getting kids nutrition right that even their party food is made fresh in their on-site kitchen – and there isn’t a nugget in sight! The menu also caters well for vegetarians plus kids who require their diet to remain dairy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free. And take it from my hubbie, the brownies are not only free of his nemesis, gluten, but they are heavenly, as is the coffee!
Jungle Buddies also hosts a fun health and wellbeing program designed for kids aged 2-6 and led by qualified personal trainers. These fitness classes incorporate dancing, games and stories to teach kids how being active and eating the right types of food play such an important part in helping them grow.
While my eldest was busy bouncing around the play structure, my three-year old took a trial class and had so much fun that she’s begging me to sign up for the program – though that could just be an excuse for her to come back for a play at Jungle Buddies every week, which is just fine by me.