Si5 Spy Mission Croydon
Where do you take a classroom of 9 year olds for a birthday party? Croydon!
Si5 SpyMissions is a super-easy, cost effective and, for the right crowd, fantastic birthday party venue, particularly for adventurous children not scared of the dark or close spaces. Its great fun, great value and the kids will really enjoy themselves. Do read to the end as the “how to find it” information is important as Google Maps isn’t really helpful.
What it is:
The basic gist of the place is that you are part of a team of spies that has to hunt down a rogue agent. To do this, your team has to board a hovercraft and then make their way onto a stolen warship. Once onboard the team works together, moving from room to room, avoiding laser beams, cracking codes, shimmy through dark tunnels and find the agent. Its like having a Mission Impossible birthday party minus Tom Cruise.
The way they have conceived this experience is very clever. S15 is in an old factory space just off Exchange Square. They created hovercrafts with screens, lasers, a bit of cage and a lot of grey painted particle board. You walk through darkened corridors criss-crossed with laser beams and make sneaky entrances into guarded rooms. The missions are grouped by age 6-7, 8+ and adults. Each team has a guide with them, so no one would get left behind or not get to participate in the game. The mission takes about an hour.
Just to manage expectations, this venue is not swish like Clip n Climb or Oxygen, its not particularly fun for the parents to sit around in (although I enjoyed the wifi and a coffee while the kids ran around), but it is perfect for kids on a spy mission.
Every single child at our party had an incredible time, particularly the birthday boy. All the kids took great delight in the pure of fun of cracking codes, climbing walls, evading lasers and having a gun fight at the end.
Prices per child are £11 for younger kids and £12.50 for older kids with food £4 per child. The food is neither fancy nor fussy, sort of the perfect crowd pleasers that you feed children – pizza, chicken nuggets, chips, corn and jacket potato.
For an additional £2.50 you can get a nicely packaged “party bag” in the form of a sealed mission envelope.
How to find it
If you use Google Maps you will be taken to Exchange Square, but the “square” bit did not register with us and we kept walking around the square, which is a lengthy, time consuming walk. And we were not the only ones. We told the kids to arrive at 12:15 and everyone was late; it was not our first rodeo – the spy mission started at 12:45. Walking towards Exchange Square from either train station, walk down Surrey Street (a lovely street market), and its the first right past Overton’s Yard, where there is a church with some Banksy-esque art on it. If you are using the Q Park next to Si5, it is just to the right of the car park entrance, look for the church and the courtyard.
Croydon is not as bad as Monty Python would lead you to believe. There are lovely coffee shops and restaurants close to Si5, so parents can drop the kids and have a wander around. Also, you can take the kids out for a meal or cake after the spy mission.
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