Review: Tee-Rex Soft Play, St Mellons, Cardiff
I’m pretty sure we’ve now tried every – or near enough – soft play in Cardiff. In fact, I’ve even compiled a list of all the soft play in Cardiff for you. We absolutely love Tee-Rex soft play in St Mellons, a dinosaur themed soft play (t-rex soft play, get it?) located next to Tee Rex Adventure Golf. We have visited around 20 times total and it remained a firm favourite of William up until he was about two and then he started preferring Cefn Mably Farm Park, which I’ve also reviewed. It still remains our first pick for soft play alone. Come on in, I’ll tell you all about it!
Tee Rex Soft Play
Located at: Began Rd, Cardiff CF3 6XJ
Telephone: 029 2036 2878
Visit Tee Rex Soft Play on Facebook
Tee Rex (T-rex) Soft Play is part of Tee Rex Adventure Golf, but we’ve never had a go at the crazy golf yet, so I can only comment (at the moment!) on the soft play section which is (as the name suggests) based around a dinosaur theme. Located down the winding roads of St Mellons, it’s a few minutes away from Cefn Mably Farm Park, so you could always pair them both up for a mega day out that’s guaranteed to have everyone completely worn out by the end of the day. Including you. It’s also only 5 minutes away from St Mellons Garden Centre where you can nab a budget afternoon tea!
Tee Rex Soft Play has a very large car park and the soft play section has it’s own well signposted entrance. Entry is through two sets of double doors – the second of which is buzzer opened by a member of staff, so very secure as no little ones can run in or out of their own accord.
Here are a few photos showing the inside of tee-rex soft play.
At last update (September 2019) the prices were 0 to 12 months – £2.50 (or free with a paying child) and 12 months onwards – £4.50 weekdays, £6.50 weekends and school holidays. Obviously it goes to say that prices are set by the management so always check with them for the most up to date details. In addition, there is a stamped loyalty card where 5 visits gets your 6th visit free, lowering the cost if you make this your regular. I prefer a sliding scale where a 13 month old isn’t charged the same as a 5 year old, but on the whole I think the prices are very reasonable and the loyalty card is a nice bonus. The only thing that could really improve the situation would be a yearly membership, now that would really make me visit more often!
One of the reasons I choose this soft play over others is that it’s quite focused on younger children. I would say this is a soft play only really suitable for under 5s. The “large” section is perfectly suitable for a confident toddler and at 18 months, William can climb everything and go down all the slides, but does need to be watched very closely and accompanied.
The baby area is one of the best we’ve seen, with a very well padded section with plenty of extra climbables and a baby slide as well.
Finally, there are roleplay / pretend play sections, which I love seeing as these are such an important part of child development. These are still soft play, completely padded with soft accessories, but set in the design of a cafe, shop and vet. I think this is quite unique, and a great way to encourage imagination and creativity as well as teamwork whilst still being totally suitable for all ages. There are also lots of kids table and chairs for drawing or tabletop play, a large chalk board with chalk available from the cafe and a section of soft bricks for building walls as well as ride on cars and small baby bouncers for the tiny ones.
Everything is extremely clean. I’ve never seen anything dirty, and as soon as a group stands up from one of the tables to leave, it’s being wiped down and immediately vacuumed. It seems like the staff are always bustling about cleaning and keeping everything tidy and they do an excellent job even when it’s very busy.
Both hot foot and sandwiches, as well as drinks and snacks are served from the cafe, and you can see all of the soft play from the cafe whether you’re sitting down or queuing, which is handy. When I last visited some examples of prices were £1.50 for chips, £2.50 for a sandwich, £3.95 for a panini, £4.20 for chicken nuggets or fish fingers and chips or £3.50 for a kids meal box. Tea is £1.50 and coffee is £2 – £2.50 which is very reasonable.
The toilets are very clean and well designed, with a large baby changing room that has space for up three babies to be changed at once which helps during busy periods.
Being a fairly new soft play in Cardiff, Tee Rex Soft Play really feels quite modern, well designed and spacious. Most of the inner city soft plays feel quite cramped and dark to me, but Tee Rex is very open with an absolute ton of light. It feels really easy to see where my son is at any time from the tables and it really just has a positive feeling of safety and security, reinforced by very friendly staff so far. He has fun every single time, usually getting about two hours in before he collapses. He usually falls asleep as his head touches the pushchair whilst we leave the building, which for me, is a perfect ending to any outing!
If you’re located in Cardiff and have a baby or toddler then some of these articles might help you decide where to go next:
- Roath Park Lake for a lovely outdoor walk, conservatory, boat ride and playground.
- Victoria Park for one of Cardiff’s best playground, complete with free splash pad during the summer.
- Fancy a bite to eat with little ones? Let’s check out all the cafe’s and restaurants in Cardiff that have a play area.
- Not wanting to spend a fortune? These free days out in Cardiff have you covered!
Originally published October 2018. Updated September 2019.