Lucky’s Play Barn
Lucky’s Play Barn is a children’s indoor soft play area and café providing a friendly environment in which children can play, socialise and exercise.
Soft play equipment helps young children to learn and develop their physical, social, emotional and intellectual skills through doing and talking.
I met with owner Alice and found out more about it.
“About 9 years ago I worked for a local authority in Gateshead. As a youth worker, I dealt with drug issues and unplanned pregnancies in teenagers. Following that, I did wrap around care for primary and secondary children who needed extra support. When I found out I was pregnant with my third child, my husband was promoted. With the need to now work between Newcastle and Leeds, we started looking for somewhere equidistant to live. Stokesley was identified as a target when, walking through Stokesley one day, my husband unknowingly dropped £5. A local school pupil stopped him and handed it back! He announced, ‘The kids are nice in Stokesley, let’s move!”
Gap in the market
“Once settled in our new home in Stokesley, the absence of a local indoor soft play area for kids was noticeable. My husband suggested we just open one. Initially I was reluctant as I had a small toddler to manage. Memories of trying to keep an eye on three lively children in a busy soft play area were also slightly traumatising! But when we discussed being able to create one that would meet my own needs, it became much more interesting.”
What’s in a name?
“And so began our time on the park. The rural location was befitting of a barn theme. Alongside the soft play equipment, we bought good quality rustic furniture. Animal lovers ourselves, we made sure the walls featured plenty. One day, a friend turned up on the doorstep with a tiny black kitten. Found in a puddle in the cold November rain, he’d narrowly avoided drowning in the floods. They called him Lucky. He was so young we’d feed him milk via a pip-pet. As he survived, it was fitting to name the barn after him! We did and in 2013, we opened Lucky’s Play Barn”
Lucky is now 10 and living his best life!
Keeping an eye out
“It was always my intention to keep the indoor soft play area small enough for carers to always have eyes on their children. So we designed it around a cafe. You can bring a toddler along and enjoy your coffee without the fear of losing sight of them. The indoor soft play area is designed for children from birth up to 6 or 7 years. Older children are welcome but in the knowledge that the play area is small.”
It’s not just all ball pools and slides either. Lucky’s have events to suit all types of children.
Something for everyone
“Parties – Our parties are very popular. Our party room can be decorated in any style or theme you wish. We offer hot and cold buffets, party bags, cakes and there’s even a tea party option.
Messy Tuesdays – Is a really enjoyable sensory session for babies and toddlers. This includes lots of taste friendly foods. Things like cold spaghetti and crushed up cornflakes are the most popular. It’s great fun.
Beyond Neurodiversity – We host a SEN (special educational needs) session once a month, on a Sunday. This is for children and their families with SEN. The entire barn is dedicated to this group for a two hour session. We have things like a dark den with glow in the dark toys. Booking is essential.”
Going above and beyond
“We have a fantastic, hard working and supportive team here. Kitchen supervisor, Bev keeps everything in order. Acting supervisor, Bethany has been with us for 6 years. Front of house you’ll find Ashleigh. They managed the menu between them. Teresa joined in 2019 from the NHS and local girls Sinead & Caitlin round up the dream team. We’re lucky to have them.
What all the girls enjoy about working here is the little lives they see unfolding in front of their eyes. Customers often arrive here as newborns and keep visiting until they’re in school.
Thanks to covid forced isolation, we’re now seeing a whole set of children who are just learning to socialise and play. It’s very rewarding seeing the looks on their faces seeing the indoor soft play area for the first time.”
Food glorious food
“We serve a full menu from opening until 4.45pm. This includes coffee, speciality teas and hot chocolates. Bev serves up fresh, home made cakes, tray bakes, and cupcakes daily. You’ll find the usual chicken goujons, burgers, and chips on the hot menu but we also serve a variety of healthy food. Alongside fresh salads, sandwiches and mezze plates, we serve things like crudités with raisin and fruits for the kids. Oh, and our bacon sandwiches are very popular with the adults on weekend mornings!”
The perfect spot
“It made complete sense to be on the Terry Dicken Business Park. Being right in the heart of Stokesley, it’s accessible for the surrounding villages. With good transport links and plenty of free parking it was the perfect spot for customers further afield too. We’ve been here ever since! There’s such a friendly feel and it’s a community in itself. It started off as a convenience but there’s now a desire to support everyone else on the park too. We use Platinum Motors and Tyres, Direct Business Supplies, Mulberry Blinds and Clevedale Vets too.”
Looking for somewhere to take your child this summer? With plenty of ice lollies and iced coffees in stock, Lucky’s Play Barn can be found at Unit One, Terry Dicken Estate, Stokesley, North Yorkshire TS9 7AE
Parties get booked up well in advance but cancellations do happen so do call and chat to the team on 01642 711940. If you mention you have seen this article when you book, you might even get a special offer!