Play centres are the place for parents

June 25, 1999

Parents are moving away from using traditional play areas for their children and opting for the new range of commercial play centres springing up around the country, according to a study out this week.

The finding is based on an investigation by researchers into the explosion in the number of commercial play centres (CPCs) in the north-west of England. The study, carried out by academics at Glasgow Caledonian and Manchester universities, found that over the past 12 months four out of five children had visited a family pub restaurant, three-quarters had visited an indoor play centre and half had visited a theme park or shop with a play zone.

The results show that parents see CPCs as a positive addition to family leisure options: 85 per cent of parents questioned said CPCs offered value for money and 62 per cent thought they gave children a unique play experience. Nearly 90 per cent of parents thought CPCs were safe for children, and 74 per cent valued CPCs as a chance for their children to interact with others. Four of five parents surveyed said their children would visit a play centre again.

The study found that although CPCs are marketed as a space for children to play, parents are keen to take advantage of the adult leisure facilities on offer nearby.

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