Sunday, 21 October 2012

Inflatable Fun!

An adult with a suggestive mind might get the wrong idea from the title of this article. Granted, there are plenty of inflatable "objects" that people would associate with fun, the kind that you wouldn't leave on display at home. But that's not what I'm talking about here, given that this is a family-oriented blog.

I'm referring to bouncy castles, and the joy they give to children, and not the other inflatable objects that give joy to adults.

Peppi Land
(courtesy of Lausanne website)
This particular bouncy castle was actually a series of inflatable bouncy castles with climbable objects, slides and characters, all aimed at letting kids run off their seemingly endless supplies of energy, while mum and dad have a rest and a coffee.

This was a temporary event called "Peppi Land", which travels around Switzerland during the warmer seasons, staying for a few days in an area before moving on to the next.

At the moment, Peppi Land doesn't have a website of their own (they aim to have one next year so I'll update this article once that's done), so instead you can find information about them through the official Lausanne commune website or through Peppi Land's Facebook page. Something to note when doing a Google search for Peppi Land is that you should not confuse this with "Speppi Land" - an adult website with absolutely no reference to bouncy castles.

From 19th - 25th October, Peppi Land was at Lausanne Bellerive, in Ouchy. This was actually the end of the season for them, as the winter will soon be here so they'll store the bouncy bits somewhere dry ready for next summer.

The weather this weekend was excellent (sunny and warm enough to leave the coat in the car) so we wanted to stay outside and make the most of it before the long, cold winter arrives. Peppi Land was in the open space near the swimming pool in Ouchy, right next to the large car park (free parking at weekends). The weather was a blessing for the organisers of Peppi Land, as the whole thing was outside - rain would have been a disaster and I imagine would have lead to the event being cancelled.

Another pleasant surprise was the fact that Peppi Land was free to those under 2 years old, so for us this meant an expense-free afternoon. For kids over 2, a fee of 10 CHF has to be paid, and that gives the child unlimited access to bounce as much as they want. One of the inflatables is only for kids under 6 years old, giving the younger ones a chance to find their feet without fear of being smashed out of the way by the bigger kids.

Lydia had previously been on bouncy castles at the Urbakids indoor play centre in Orbe, but she wasn't really a big fan of that. When you've only been walking for a few months it must feel a bit odd to suddenly be standing on a squishing floor that moves whenever you do.

Lydia in a tunnel
 We tried putting her on one of the inflatable play areas, but she didn't seem to enjoy it. She sat happily on the edge of one watching the other kids charging around, but didn't venture further to join in. A couple of smaller mini-slides were a bigger hit with her though, as she happily crawled over them and through a tunnel as well.

Overall, she was probably a bit too young for this kid of thing. I did see a couple of other young 'uns, Lydia's age or younger, who also looked a bit sheepish when faced with the prospect of bouncing around, so perhaps that's why it's free for under 2s (good from the organisers to recognise that the very young will not enjoy it so shouldn't have to pay for a 2 minute bounce and sulk!).

Peppi Land also had a food/drink stand, so we sat down to give Lydia her 4 o'clock fruits and have a coffee ourselves. One of my wife's friends bought herself a big Belgian waffle, so of course we had to get one for Lydia! After that she wandered happily around waving at people and talking her babbling baby-talk to anyone who ventured within earshot. In general, I think she enjoyed her afternoon out, which we finished off by walking along the lakeside in Ouchy and feeding some old bread to the ducks.

Peppi Land is something that kids will enjoy, judging from the looks on some of the other kids' faces as they threw themselves down the soft slides or clambered around in the bouncy tunnels. Definitely something to look out for in the future, maybe when they are back in town next summer!


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inflatable water slides said...

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