The Very First Play Centre…

roxburgh park play centreI remember Australia getting its very first fast food restaurant, way back in the mists of 1932. Donnie’s, it was called. Some American invention, because they’d had fast food for hundreds of years and they thought it was high time they try to inflict it upon an unsuspecting world. It opened in our town, everyone shrugged and it lasted a grand total of a month before shutting its doors. Now there’s a McDoogle’s in its place. Typical, really.

Yep, we had a lot of firsts in Roxburgh Park, indoor play centres being one of the first. 1946, well after I was a child, but my younger sister just loved the place. I’d never even seen a ball pit before that day when Father dragged us all along for a family outing. Of course, the safety standards back then were practically zero, besides ‘children: do not hurt yourselves, please!’. It was a simpler time. A better time, one might say. That ball pit was six feet deep and you could dive in like…well, a diver from a springboard. You’d expect to papers to be reporting on children lost to its clutches forever, and oh, the stories we heard at school! All made up, however. Kids just knew how to take care of themselves back then, so ball pits as deep as the ocean were par for course. All in good play and fun!

I’ve taken my own granddaughter to a few of them, and they’re still fun, I suppose. Perhaps the children of today are more easily pleased, but the party venues will always be my favourite. Like I said, I was a bit old when that time came around for me. I was far more concerned with looking pretty for the boys at that age, but part of me wanted to be a bit younger, to have a good bit of fun. That Roxburgh Park birthday party venue, the first of its kind…or so I was told. Might’ve been a fib, to be honest.