Soft Play Centers Grapple with Booze Ban: Parental Debate Ignites on the Necessity of Alcohol

The Booze Ban Debate:

Soft play centers have become the battleground for a heated debate among parents, with establishments like Tumbles Play Place in Mossley, Greater Manchester, issuing warnings against the practice of bringing alcohol onto their premises.

The issue has ignited a passionate discussion online, with some parents labeling those who bring booze as ‘irresponsible,’ while others argue that it’s a necessary escape from the chaos of screaming children.

Tumbles Play Place Takes a Stand:

Last week, Tumbles Play Place raised concerns after discovering a bottle of Merlot stashed in its toilets, prompting management to condemn the actions of what they deemed ‘desperate’ parents.

The establishment threatened to use CCTV footage to identify and ban such individuals, emphasizing that soft play centers are not suitable venues for daytime alcohol consumption.

Alcohol Licensing and Safety Concerns:

In an updated Facebook post, Tumbles Play Place clarified that it lacks a license to sell alcohol, and its insurance does not cover potential injury claims related to alcohol consumption on the premises.

The debate extends beyond Tumbles, with other establishments like the Red Robin pub in Wigan banning cocktails and shots inside its onsite Wacky Warehouse children’s play center due to previous ‘incidents.’

Varying Policies on Alcohol:

While Tumbles Play Place vehemently opposes alcohol consumption, some soft play centers, like Playworld in Huddersfield, have permission to sell alcohol on-site. The Jelly Lounge in Windsor, Berkshire, also stocks beer, sparking discussions about the ethical implications of alcohol consumption in spaces dedicated to children’s activities.

Parental Perspectives:

The debate has uncovered varying perspectives among parents, with some arguing that alcohol is a necessity to endure the challenges of soft play centers, while others criticize it as irresponsible behavior. A play center worker revealed that adults at their venue consume as many as 15 bottles of alcohol a week, often discreetly away from their children.

Online Discussions and Parenting Forums:

Online forums like Mumsnet have become platforms for parents to express their opinions on the matter. While some praise the idea of soft play centers selling alcohol, others find it disrespectful and question the impact on children’s upbringing.

Threads also delve into the presence of alcohol at soft play parties, revealing a range of opinions on the matter.


The clash over bringing booze to soft play centers reflects the diverse attitudes of parents navigating the challenges of parenting.

As the debate continues, soft play centers grapple with finding a balance between maintaining a family-friendly environment and addressing the desires of parents seeking a reprieve through alcohol consumption.