A new online playground booking system has been launched by The Look Out Discovery Centre on a trial basis to make sure the play area can open safely and securely with health, hygiene and social distancing measures in place.
Council staff have been working tirelessly to find a way in which the play area can open safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep everyone as safe as possible, a booking system was launched this week, with each stay and play booking comprising of a:
- dedicated 90-minute play session at the playground for up to 6 people
- reserved and socially distanced picnic bench
- reserved parking space (parking charges apply)
- £10 credit for use in the coffee shop
Bookings cost £10, plus a standard £1.14 booking fee, payable to Eventbrite. The £10 is automatically converted into a credit for the coffee shop.
We are exploring ways for families with a disabled child (under 18) to be able to book to stay and play free of charge. Further updates on this will be added when available.
Anyone with a booking can also use the forest for free before or after their playtime to walk, run, jog or bike to create a longer family day out.
A takeaway coffee shop service has also opened for people who want refreshments but do not wish to use the playground. No booking is required for this service.
The Look Out is an extremely popular playground with families from across the region travelling to the park. The booking system reduces the risk of overcrowding on the site and therefore limits the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The cash-back charge helps to pay for running costs, including the staff and cleaning equipment necessary to make sure visitors are as safe as possible.
Cllr John Harrison, Executive Member for Culture, Delivery and Public Protection, said:
"The Look Out is a popular attraction for residents and visitors from outside the borough, so in order to be able to re-open as safely as possible it has been necessary for us to launch these new services on trial basis.
"Those wishing to use the play area must book a space in advance. The booking guarantees you a 90 minute visit to the play area, a reserved parking space, allocated picnic bench and £10 credit in the cafe for light refreshments during your visit. Car parking fees apply as normal. By using this approach, we can make sure of safety in numbers and that people will actually turn up for their session and not leave space that could have been booked by others.
“Providing these new facilities comes at a cost, to cover their initial set up and the staff time to run them, which is why we’ve introduced the £10 credit for use in the coffee shop as part of the stay and play package.
"Alternatively, visitors can still enjoy the rest of the forest and coffee shop takeaway service without the need to pre-book.
“We’re providing these facilities on a trial basis and encourage anyone who visits during the pandemic to take extra precautions, by maintaining social distancing and regularly sanitising their hands.
“All indoor facilities, including the toilets, remain closed to the public while we explore options for their safe re-opening. Keep an eye out for further updates about The Look Out via our website and social media.”
To find out more or to book, visit our playground and coffee shop page.