We arrived approximately half an hour before our session start time of 10am and the car park was practically empty, so there was no panic of finding somewhere to park. We made our way through to the reception area where we were asked to read some important safety information and complete some disclaimers that confirmed we agreed to the rules and also that we were happy with our children taking part. Obviously with any activity there is always an element of risk, but I found that Flip Out were very upfront about this and made sure we were happy to participate prior to issuing us with our tokens and special Flip Out socks. The lady who checked us in on reception was very friendly, helpful and informative. She was more than happy to answer any questions I had and once we had completed the booking in process, we joined a small queue and waited for our 10am start time.
Just before 10am the lady who had previously booked us in, opened some doors and invited us into a room with some television screens and benches. We were all asked to take a seat and to pay attention to the videos which were shown. We were told that we would be tested on what we had seen before being allowed through to the arena and so this definitely got the kids paying attention. The videos explained more about some of the rules of the arena, but it was done in a funny way which I think made it much easier for the children to relate to as opposed to someone just shouting a list of do's and don'ts. Once the safety briefing had ended, each row was asked to state one of the rules to make sure that everyone had listened and at that point, we were then allowed to exchange our tokens for a wristband. In effect this means you have two opportunities to decide that you are happy with the rules before taking part. If you are unhappy with any aspect, then this is the ideal time to make staff aware and return your tokens. We were more than happy with the briefing though and so we didn't hesitate to get our wristbands and make our way through to the arena.
The first area we came to was full of lockers and some vending machines. We could see the Clip'n'Climb area next to the lockers which we were due to participate on later in the day. We had a quick look over, before placing our belongings in a locker (£1 coin required) and travelling through the vortex tunnel towards the trampolines.
Once we reached the main arena I was actually quite taken aback. It was far larger than what I had expected and was definitely much more than just interconnected trampolines. The attraction actually consisted of the following:
- Main Trampoline Arena
- Under 7's Arena
- Kids Stunt Box Zone
- Adults Stunt Box Zone
- Soft Play Area
- Wall Runners
- Battle Beams
- Dodge Ball
- Ninja Warrior Course
- Total Wipeout Game
- Foam Pit
- Drop Slides
Flip Out Chester have recently invested in some brand new slides as well, which were situated just next to the foam pit. This was the next port of call for all three of the kids, with Riley being able to go on the more gentle purple slide and Emma & Ben on the others. To ride on these slides you need to put a tshirt on and another pair of socks over your flip out socks. Both of these are provided in boxes at the end of the slides and are used to allow you to move freely down the slides. There was a member of staff at the top of the slides and then another at the bottom to ensure that they were being used safely.
About half way into our session we heard an announcement for guests to take part in a Total Wipeout competition. This involves standing on a small individual podium whilst two padded poles spin round and try to knock you off. The aim is to duck down and jump up as these go round and is very similar to the game that was featured on the popular TV Series Total Wipeout. There was a prize for the winner of this competition and so Emma and Ben took no time in joining the queue to participate. Ben was knocked out of the game quite quickly, but Emma managed to make it to the final three before being quite literally swept off her feet. They both thought this was hilarious!
Mr F had hoped to take part in the Ninja Warrior course, but unfortunately this was not open at the time we visited. I am unsure as to why it was closed, but can only assume that it was due to it being a very quiet period in the morning. There was still plenty of other things to do though, and there was no shortage of activities to try and take part in during our two hour session.
As the morning progressed the arena certainly started to get a lot busier, however at no point did it feel crowded. There was plenty of space for everyone to bounce and staff worked hard to ensure that rules were adhered to. On a couple of occasions some older children entered the under 7's arena, but the lady running the Total Wipeout game did keep looking over regularly and would ask people to leave over the microphone when necessary. This was very reassuring and helped to ensure a safe environment.
When Riley got a little tired from bouncing, he was also able to take advantage of the soft play area for younger children which is placed just above the foam pits. It is tucked out of the way which is great for little ones, but the platform that adults can stand on overlooks the whole arena. This means that you can supervise your smaller children, whilst also being able to watch over any other children you have with you.
There are numerous signs around Flip Out to also remind you not to attempt to do anything you aren't actually capable of. I am sure it can be very tempting for kids (and adults) to try and copy the double flip their friend just did, but for obvious reasons you do need to be very careful. I would therefore always recommend carefully supervising your children from the viewing platforms. Accompanying spectators are free!
Our first hour went really quickly, so we were pleased that we had a 2 hour session. This meant that we could enjoy everything without there being any rush and we could also take a little rest in between activities. I was so impressed with the whole set up and I couldn't believe we hadn't actually been here before.
Once our session had ended we made our way to The Kitchen to enjoy a meal and some drinks. It was lovely and cool in the restaurant and there were plenty of tables. It was quiet when we visited, but given the amount of tables I would imagine that it must get extremely busy at times. We chose our table and sat down, however we then found there to be no menus on the table. We then noticed that the menu was placed on screens above the counter and so we made our way over to make our choices. My vision isn't brilliant and so personally I would have preferred table menus, but I was able to make it all out and we all placed our orders.
The lady that took the order was very polite and professional. She showed a lot of patience when Riley changed his mind several times when choosing and remained smiling despite his indecisiveness. We asked a couple of questions about the dishes and these were responded to with friendly and knowledgable answers. The meals were very reasonably priced and there was a good amount of choice available.
Once seated we all enjoyed our drinks and the milkshakes were absolutely delicious. It took around 15 minutes from the time of ordering to receive our meals, which we were very happy with. When eating out I like to have time to be able to chat together and so this short wait was absolutely fine and also gave us time to get our breath back from all the bouncing!
When our meals did arrive, we were definitely not disappointed. The food was absolutely delicious and I felt that the children's portions were an excellent size. Emma and Riley had both opted for pizza and chips from the mini ninja's menu, with Ben choosing chicken bites and chips instead. Both Mr F and I had opted for the Cheeseburger which was well presented and great quality. We had also ordered a garlic bread for us to share, which again was really tasty. Once we had finished our main courses we waited a short while before ordering the children's desserts because we were all so full. However Riley was not about to go anywhere without his ice cream, so we sat and relaxed for a while before ordering some ice cream cones for the kids. These were brought over to the table really quickly and they were a lovely finish to our meal.
We found the service to be great, the food to be excellent and the surroundings really comfortable and stylish. We would quite happily come to The Kitchen at Flip Out just for a "treat" meal here after school one day or on the weekend.
Once we had finished our meal, we spent a few minutes in the arcade, before making our way over to the Clip n Climb reception area to get booked in for our afternoon session. My children love climbing and despite having a fear of heights, Ben is suprisingly comfortable on climbing walls. My husband is a qualified climbing instructor and so both Emma and Ben have been climbing from an early age. This was however a first for Riley and he was so excited looking at all the walls that he could climb.
My first huge positive that I have to mention about Clip n Climb is the staff member who booked us in. Joe was absolutely brilliant and great with both the kids and adults alike. He was very clear in his safety briefing and got us all kitted out with our harnesses. He made sure that everyone was comfortable before going to the walls and he showed a lot of patience when explaining to Riley what he had to do when he wanted to climb or come off a particular wall. This basically involved standing in front of your chosen wall and waving your hands in the air. I loved this as it meant that children who were a bit shy, or not confident in talking, could communicate with all the instructors non verbally.
There was an excellent range of walls to choose from which all varied in difficulty. Riley's favourite walls were "The Big Cheese" and "Amazing" both of which he really enjoyed. Ben and Emma both enjoyed the time challenge walls with Ben managing to get to the top in a fantastic 21 seconds much to Emma's annoyance as she is very competitive and just couldn't quite beat it.
It has been quite a while since I last went climbing, but Joe gave me lots of encouragement which is always a nice boost. There were approximately 12 people in our group altogether which meant that there was always plenty of space and enough climbing walls for everyone. There were also three members of staff who assisted with the clipping and unclipping.
We ended our climbing session slightly early as Riley was starting to get very tired having been at Flip Out for a total of 6 hours. However the day had flown by and we had all had so much fun, not just the kids!
When we left at 3pm the car park was completely full, which was a big contrast to when we had arrived earlier in the day. However, despite it being so busy, we hadn't actually noticed whilst inside and it never felt too crowded at any point. We were very impressed from start to finish with the whole attraction and all the staff members we came across were very helpful. There are plenty of facilities which all seemed to be in a well maintained and clean condition, with ample free parking available outside. Overall we had a fantastic time and feel very lucky to have such a great facility only ten minutes down the road from us. We will definitely be visiting again!
Tel: 01244 956777
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 9am-10pm. I am unsure of holiday closures such as Christmas Day & Boxing Day, so would advise checking directly with Flip Out before visiting.
Entry prices - 1 hour jumping £10 & you can add a second hour for £5. Flip out socks must be worn if trampolining which carry an additional £2 charge.
Clip n Climb costs £10 with an additional charge of £2.50 for the Drop Slide and £2.50 for the Leap of Faith.
Prices & details are subject to change, so I would always recommend checking Flip Out's own website prior to visiting, in order to obtain the most up to date information. You can also follow them on social media here:
Twitter - @FlipOutChester
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/flipoutchester/
Instagram - @flipoutchester
Disclaimer: We were invited to spend the day at Flip Out Chester as guests in order to provide an honest review of our experience. Photographs and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. Attraction information is correct at time of writing, but is subject to change, so I would always recommend visiting the attraction's own website prior to attending in order to obtain the most up to date information.