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tried & tested

When there are so many places to choose from it's hard to know where to visit! In good or bad weather, with very young children or older teens, activity venues or quiet walks, every venue will offer something different with a variety of facilites available. We will add our thoughts on places that we have Tried & Tested so that you are well-informed before you make your decision to leave the house!

Ten Pin fun strikes the right balance!


Ten Pin in Luton invited Mum’s guide to Harpenden along recently to their relaunch. Having acquired the old and shabby entertainment centre over a year ago they are now proudly showing off their refurbishments and are keen to get families back to their sparkling centre with added bonuses!

We arrived and were greeted by friendly bouncers and staff. Wow, what a difference. Gone were the old snooker/pool tables in that dark, dingy room and hello to the bright, light, happy atmosphere of arcade machines, table tennis tables, ten pin bowling lanes, a bar and wait for it…laser tag room! So this entertainment centre has just ticked all of the boxes for those with children “at a certain age” who are too old for soft play and too young for getting married but will cover all the ages in between! This is the place you can hang out with your friends and your families. Between us we had children from 7 to nearly 13 years old and all of them had a brilliant time (including us parents!).

The ten pin bowling lanes sported great technology which even allowed you to take photos of the individual players. We were fairly terrible at the actual bowling and used the gutter guards but there were definitely signs of improvement as the games went on and tenpin bowling is always cause for hilarity and smug dad dances! As long as you don’t wear heels or open toes you can keep your own shoes on, saving yourself from the dreaded bowling shoes.

The children then got very excited about laser tag, which you can do as an add-on after a bowling game or as separate entertainment. It’s just one room with panel screens for hiding behind but we had great fun shooting the other team and trying not to get shot. I have to confess I love laser tag and do tend to squeal a lot when playing! It’s especially fun when you know lots of people in the room…

This was quickly followed by a drink from the bar, slushies for the children. The central bar and eating area means you can keep an eye on the children but also have a rest when they’re still running around. They were keen to get straight on with a game of table tennis and bounced off some more energy before hitting the arcade games. We had just been saying about our own childhood memories of the arcades…mine were on Brighton Pier near my grandparents’ house. That feeling of exchanging the treasured ‘won’ tickets for some rubbish but totally wonderful prize!

After exhausting the children (and possibly the staff with our endless questions!) it was time to head home. Everyone was incredibly happy after this truly feel-good evening. It was great to know as they headed into teenage territory that there’d be somewhere fun to hang out (that isn’t a bus stop or bike shed)!


Things to Know:

·         Parking in Luton is always my nightmare and we did choose the wrong car park (Palace). The Bridge Street car park is right outside the Galaxy Centre and would have been much more convenient!

·         They have a lot of great deals on the bowling, food and laser tag. Check out their website: www.tenpin.co.uk/our-locations/luton/

·         It’s a very loud and there are a lot of neon lights. Two of my children have Sensory Processing Disorder/ASD and I would think about ear defenders or timings next time we visit to prevent sensory overload

To book your fun at Ten Pin Luton head to www.tenpin.co.uk/our-locations/luton/ and see their latest deals. 

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