Calling all kids (young and old) today is the day! Flip Out Doncaster is officially open and I am here to tell you all about my sneak-peek experience.
On walking in, this place is breath taking. The music is pumping, the space is MASSIVE – you can hardly make out where BHS once was, let alone still think you’re in the Frenchgate Centre. And when you find out that hundreds of BHS units across the country are still empty and Doncaster’s looks like this, you can’t help but feel proud. That’s all thanks to the lovely, Keith Wortley, who you can tell put his heart and soul into the project.
Looking down from the balcony you can see it all. Invitingly squishy foam pits, bouldering and traverse climbing walls, two 20ft cyber towers for vertical races, stunt boxes for free-running, battle beams, and of course over 50 trampolines, all different sizes, all different angles and some bouncier than others.
An adjoining room is where you’ll find the café, a soft play area for children under 5 and Ninja TAG, an assault course reminiscent of Total Wipeout. I wasn’t able to test this out as it was still being developed but it promises an epic timed race of climbing up ropes, jumping across balls, navigating through a mirror maze and running up walls. I did manage to swipe myself a well-deserved pizza and slush from the café though. It was lush. There’s such a big range of hot and cold drinks as well as freshly made food to tuck into. Perfect for a break between the action or where parents can relax while their children play.
After signing a waiver – and watching a safety video, that incorporates the superhero/gamer theme imagined in the graffiti adorning every inch of wall – I picked up my very own pair of luminous lime slip-free Flip Out socks and an interactive wristband. I was free to play.
Being a terrible trampolinist I failed at pretty much everything, apart from jumping up and down. The ‘parkour’ guys, however, were incredible. But not to worry! There are spaces allocated for all different abilities. So, if like me you need more work, there is plenty of room to practise manoeuvres. Or if you’re more advanced and want to work on honing your skills, you don’t have to worry about an innocent newbie wading into your path mid-flight.
Besides being a fun mini adventure, Flip Out can also give you a workout, without even realising. If you’re anything like me and find the gym utterly boring you’ll love this place. I wasn’t bouncing for long before I started to feel it, and it takes a lot of arm work to vertically climb those cyber towers. With all the different elements incorporated into the Ninja TAG I’m certain it’ll make for a fun yet gruelling work out as well.
Flip Out marshall’s patrol from various high pillars, to make sure everyone is safe. They are also more than happy to give tips and advice on techniques, as well as how to use the different equipment, should you need them.
Alongside the everyday sessions, Flip Out have a lot more planned, such as party rooms for hire, fitness classes for all, as well as house DJ’s and special events. So make sure you keep an eye out – there’s a lot more to come from this innovative and exciting entertainment centre.