Jungle Jacks Soft Play Review (Eldon Square Newcastle)

Thanks to our writer Jennifer for this post and photos. 

Jungle Jacks Soft Play Review  (Eldon Square Newcastle)

We recently visited the newly re-opened Jungle Jacks; a spacious, city centre jungle themed soft play, suitable for little monkeys aged 0-8. Many of you may remember this popular central Newcastle venue, which unfortunately fell casualty to Covid two years ago. 

Having been a big miss, it’s reopening on Monday 14th Feb was a very welcome Valentine's treat for many of the North East’s youngest residents.

You can find the jungle in the heart of Newcastle. located on the 3rd floor of Eldon Square shopping centre, it is accessible by lift or escalator from the main shopping levels:

Jungle Jacks Soft Play

Grey’s Quarter

Newcastle upon Tyne


(0191) 269 9200

As a city centre location, it is easy to travel by a range of public transport, and plenty of parking options are available close by. This soft play is one of our Top 5 Toddler Friendly Days Out in Newcastle. 

The centre is open between 10am- 5pm daily, with the last admission at 4pm. Bookings can be made via the Better website at: https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/newcastle/eldon-soft-play-bowling or walk-ins are also accepted. The soft-play has a maximum capacity of 50 children, with seating for up to 100 people.

I find entry price reasonable, although the time slots are on the shorter side; an hour's play costs £2 for under 2s or £5.50 for over 2s. There is no charge for additional adults. 

Since closing there have been some minor refurbishments, and the whole centre now feels very fresh and clean. The room is large and well lit (including lights behind the frames to avoid those dingy corners).

There are some lovely comfy sofas and plenty of tables and chairs. I must add a word of warning about the floor though, polished laminate + children running in socks is not the best combination, and we saw quite a few falls.

There are two multi level play frames, a baby area and a football pitch. The baby area is very well thought out. It comprises a vast padded floor space with a number of foam shapes; perfect for crawlers and wobbly walkers. There is also a large ball pool. 

The area is surrounded by comfy sofas, which allow you to stay really close by while your little one explores, or snuggle up with them for a snack or a feed. Two lockable baby changing cubicles have been built at the back of the section- a really handy addition, especially given the centre’s toilet situation (more on that later!).

The smaller play frame is suitable for ages 1-4, and is a good size to tire the younger toddlers out without the worry of them being trampled by older children. The larger frame is fairly small in comparison to other soft plays in the area, but the available space has been well utilised. 

There are two slides, a mini climbing wall and my (ahem, my kid’s!) personal favourite; a two lane mini assault course featuring monkey bars, obstacles to climb and army nets to crawl under. The football pitch, again, is fairly small, but has a large number of different types of soft balls available, so multiple children can play at once.

A downside of the centre is definitely the toilets, or lack of them! There is actually only one cubicle in the entire soft play. Since the customer demographic predominantly consists of mums and toddlers (of which neither are known for their excellent bladder control), this is really not ideal. 

When it comes to refreshments, hot and cold drinks are available at the food counter. The prices are about average for the type of venue.  We visited in the first few days of opening, and at that time the only food available was pre packaged biscuits, cakes and crisps. However, staff informed me that over the next few weeks they will be introducing paninis, followed by a full hot food menu in the future. 

Other planned additions include the creation of a ‘party area’, so that little one’s can celebrate their birthdays in the jungle. A Ten Pin Bowling alley is currently being constructed in the room adjacent, which is set to open its doors in April. Following this, the closed down gym in the foyer area will be transformed into a bar- all very exciting!

Overall, for us, Jungle Jacks is the perfect central location for a playdate, or the ideal place to let the little ones burn off some steam mid shopping trip. If you have any wild ones at home, this is definitely the place to take them!


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