Is it just my children who are addicted to soft play and could spend hours in the sweaty, overpriced, noisy hellholes? This summer, we’ve had all the benefits of soft play without any of the drawbacks, thanks to our shiny new Duplay Happy Hop Water Slide.
My four little ones and I spent August in France with family. I had planned to do absolutely nothing but rest, speak French, read and enjoy being with family. Exercise would be my daily stroll to the bakery. Entertainment would be watching the children play board games or run around in the garden. Reading and watching TV would be my most strenuous activities. Can you tell I needed a break?
OK, dream vs. reality now… To be fair, the description above isn’t all that far from what our holiday was like. We all needed to just unwind and enjoy each other’s company, but kids are kids, aren’t they? After about 3 minutes of peace and quiet, the dreaded “I’m bored” was quickly followed by the unspeakable “What could we do now?”
Why oh why do children not appreciate how precious boredom can be? I haven’t been bored in years (decades?) and I wish I had time to be bored… Luckily, I had something up my sleeve that would resolve the boredom issue without compromising on my plans to relax and catch up with family in peace.
Fancy watching my little video review for our water slide?
In short, the Happy Hop Water Slide is aimed at children aged 3 to 10 years, which was ideal for my four and their cousins. The inflatable mini water park has two slides that can be used dry or wet, as well as a dry slide. As you could expect, the children couldn’t wait to try it! The box was large and heavy (42.5kg), but I managed to fit in in our family car for our road trip to France.
To be perfectly honest, I had my doubts it would really inflate in under 60 seconds as it was such an enormous structure – 735cm(L) x 630cm(W) x 250cm(H), but it did! I was also dubious at the claims it would be ready to go in 15 minutes. Not that I’m a pessimist. Let’s just say I’m a realist…
The first time I set it up, there were teething issues like carrying the box out of the car (I was adamant I could do it all on my own!) and deciding where exactly I would set it up in my mum’s garden. I also had to find an extension lead and determine which way to unfold it. It took me just over an hour from taking it out of the boot to the children bouncing up and down for the first time. Not bad at all! After that, once I’d packed it all up by myself, it would take just over 15 minutes to set it all up.
The bouncy slide provided hours of fun, even on chilly days, since we could use it dry. It comes with a cover on the slide part that you use when dry and take off when using water. We didn’t remove the cover when wet and it still worked beautifully.
It really is a brilliant product. The quality is impeccable, the pool inflates very quickly and it is robust. It is inflated continuously by the electric air blower included and stays inflated even if small pinholes occur. Everything you needed is included in the box. Cleaning and putting it away reminded me of the camping trips of my childhood and it didn’t bother me in the slightest. I like the compact design that folds neatly into a bag for storage.
The kids loved it and did not stop using it all summer. There was always an adult there to supervise them and it wasn’t a chore as the children were laughing so much and having the time of their lives! I can still hear their screams of delight when the water started whooshing out. It is not meant to be used by children younger than 3. My youngest nephew was only 20 months old, but his mum and dad were there to hold him and help him up and down. Although it is an investment (currently £649), we got so much use out of it this summer, I honestly think it’s worth every penny.
My only regret is I left it in France. As soon as we got back, we were invited to a party and all the host had done was renting a hall and a small bouncy castle. It was a perfect party and it made me realise how good it would have been for our birthday parties! Next year, hey…
Quick summary about the Duplay Happy Hop Water Slide:
- having it all included in 1 box, even anchor pegs and a repair kit just in case.
- how quick and easy it is to set up.
- the quick inflating time.
- how huge it was!
- being able to use it wet or dry.
- how versatile it is with all its play areas.
- the fact children aged 3 to 10 can play together.
- packing it like a tent into a relatively small bag considering its size.
- how much use we got out of it!
- its fair price for such a large, sturdy structure.
- having 3 slides (2 water slides, 1 dry) for races!
- the strong material the structure is made of.
- the carry bag to pack it away.
It would be even better if…
… the cable for the blower was longer.
… there were a couple more holes to drain the water after use.
… a large tarpaulin was included to protect underneath and make cleaning easier.
Check out Duplay’s website for more information about the Happy Hop Water Slide. My four and I have bouncy castle envy now!
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Disclosure: Duplay sent is the Happy Hop Water Slide in exchange for an honest review. As always, all words and pictures are my own.