Dan’s Den is a non profit making multi-purpose soft play facility in the heart of Ilkley. Housed in the impressive Riddings Hall at Christchurch, it offers soft play for children aged 0-8 years old, a whole host of regular activities and events, a choice of party packages and a fantastic in-house café.
Dan’s Den first opened its doors to the public in July 2015, but it was only recently that we made it over for a visit. I really wish we had made the effort sooner!! Such a lovely venue, extremely friendly staff and absolutely perfect for our two children aged 2 and almost 5 years old.
Located just off The Grove and only a couple of minutes walk from Ilkley Train Station, we decided to take the train from Shipley to Ilkley. Dan’s Den is easy to find – turn right out of the train station and walk along The Grove until you come to Christchurch. The entrance to Dan’s Den is just around the corner on Riddings Road.
We visited Dan’s Den first thing on a Saturday morning. Although it got busier as the morning went on, it never got too busy and I wouldn’t hesitate to come again on the same day and at the same time.
Our kids made a beeline for the animal themed soft play frame located at the rear of the hall, where they spent the first chunk of the morning independently climbing and sliding on repeat!
My little boy then moved on to the dedicated soft play area for younger children housed in the centre of the hall, which contains smaller moveable soft play equipment, while my daughter went off to explore the sensory room.
No doubt all tired out by now, they later settled down to play with the wonderful selection of toys that Dan’s Den has to offer and look at the many books located in the quiet area.
In addition to its play facilities, the Dan’s Den café serves a great range of hot and cold food and drink options, although only the brunch menu is available on Saturdays, so we will have to return mid week to sample the main menu!
The two large disabled / changing toilets are the best I’ve ever seen and offer a large changing table suitable for a disabled or older child, a safe seat to sit a toddler, a toilet training seat, potty, spare nappies, wipes and even spare clothes in case of accidents. There are also plenty of highchairs, a buggy zone in the hall to park your buggy and free Wi-Fi! What more could you ask for? Dan’s Den really seem to have thought of everything to make this the perfect place for children to play and have fun, and for adults to relax and socialise in a totally stress free environment.
10/10 Dan’s Den – we can’t wait to come back!
When: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 9.30am-5pm, Tuesday & Saturday 9.30am-1pm (closed on Sundays)
Where: Dan’s Den at Christchurch, The Grove, Ilkley, LS29 9LW
Cost: £3.50 for the first child, £3 for the second child, £2.50 for third and subsequent children (these prices apply to all children who are crawlers or older).
Extra Info: Suitable for children of all abilities aged 0-8 years old. Party packages available. Regular activities include:
- Happy Hands – a weekly story and craft session on Thursday mornings from 10.30-11.30am
- Conkers – a fortnightly relaxed autism friendly, but open to all session on Thursday afternoons from 1.30-3.30pm