Lakeland Gate is housed at the edge of Carlisle city centre and for a long time was “the” place to take your children for softplay birthday parties. In general the softplay was free for children to use if you were having a meal but was better for a younger age group(under 7) as the play area was quite limiting. Part of the Brewers Farye restaurants you could organise a party and at the end Brewster’s Bear would come out and hug the kids. However my children found the huge ambling bear terrifying; would always hide and having the softplay in a different area to the restaurant was tough as you had no where to hang around and watch your children as they played but instead had to stand around or leave them to it.
Over the years it had become aged and worn out, like most things sending quality time with young children, parents included. I was glad to hear it was getting a revamp and some big changes were ahead. They have thankfully retired the Brewster’s Bear instead using a Dennis the Menace theme (Dennis has also been revamped for a newer generation) which is bright, colourful and up to date.
There is now a set fee of £3 per child but the new area is fully supervised, and had a lovely seating area with cafe selection; meaning you could just go to the softplay area and have a brew while they play and not have to go for a full meal. The play area has had a lot of thought put into it and now covers a much larger age range, my children aged 6 & 9 loved the amazing tree-house area with loads to climb, swing on and slide down but there was a toddlers zone for your little ones which kept them out the path of running colliding children. There is also a Den area to house party groups, it was set up on the opening day with face painters and colouring stations which Maisie and Lucas made full use off, you can organise entertainment independantly for parties and can also book Dennis the Menace characters to appear. After all that running around we were starving and ready for a traditional pub meal, the children’s meals were a good size for picky eaters like mine and they soon polished them off. They had chicken bites, chips and peas and Spag bol, salad and garlic bread. I had a smothered BBQ chicken that came with salad, chips and garlic bread. We also fit in some scrummy puddings but the kids ate them so fast I didn’t get a chance to snap them. You can see the latest Lakeland Gate menus here, and I thought they were excellent value for money.
Lakeland Gate Kids and Play area is open Sunday to Thursday 9.30am – 8pm and Friday to Saturday 9.30am – 9pm. £3 per child for 90 minutes of play. I apologise for the rubbish photographs but I was constantly been shown around by the kids who were so excited to show me the newest swing or slide, take it as a sign that we all had great fun during our time. Luckily there was an official photographer that took a couple and sent them to me, we had a fantastic day and Maisie and Lucas keep asking when we’ll be back; I really don’t think it’ll be long.
Last 2 photographs are courtesy of Fergus Reid.
Lakeland Gate invited us to try their Play and Fun area for free and provided our meal, the above review is a true representation of off our day and all our own views.