A VERY special birthday is due to be celebrated at Peter Pan’s Neverland, as the popular indoor adventure play centre marks its fifth anniversary.
On Saturday, March 24 it will be exactly five years to the day since the first excited children crossed the threshold of the pirate-themed centre.
Since then, it’s been a popular choice with children, parents and a variety of clubs, not just for parties and special occasions, but for an afternoon of fun in a safe, indoor environment.
With thousands of children visiting Peter Pan’s every year, that represents a lot of running, sliding and playing!
To celebrate the forthcoming birthday, the centre’s owners Robert and Wendy McKinney have lined up five weeks of special offers which will help parents save money on entry to the centre or earn extra loyalty points.
The special offers will begin on Monday and will run up until the week beginning March 25, when there will be a chance to win the top prize of free entry for a year for up to three children.
And on the actual birthday itself, each child visiting Peter Pan’s will receive an extra-special treat.
The 24 full-time and part-time staff will also enjoy a special birthday night out and, as a result, the centre will close at the earlier time of 5pm that Saturday.
In the course of the past five years, a number of new features have been added to the already comprehensive play equipment, including a drop slide, Northern Ireland’s first hurricane simulator, which has been imported from the USA, and a sparkle party option for girls who want to celebrate their birthday in style.
The owners are also currently exploring the possibility of extending some of the play equipment. At the moment, there is a four-lane wavy slide, a crocodile slide, drop slide, an expanse of climbing equipment, complete with ropes and nets, as well as a trampoline, which is closely monitored so that only one child uses it at a time.
There is also a sports court, especially popular with the older children for football and basketball, and air hockey tables.
The three party rooms can accommodate a total of 100 children, and the sparkle parties let girls have their hair, eyes and nails done while dance mats and karaoke machines ensure they have plenty of fun.
Meanwhile, the 170-seat cafe allows adults to relax while their children burn off all that energy. The cafe prides itself on its food, with much of it, such as soups, stews, and pasta dishes, home-made on the premises.
All the tray bakes are also home-made and customers who enjoy a decent cup of coffee can be assured of that too.
Robert points out that the copyright for the Peter Pan theme belongs to Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Children’s charity, with the result that the Portadown play centre pays a royalty which goes directly to the charity.
“It’s a very worthy cause, and we are delighted to be able to help,” he said.