When it's pouring with rain, indoor play centre can be a perfect way to let your children let off steam. CARYS THOMAS investigates some of the options in Gwent.

THE Eden Centre based in Aberbeeg, was recently voted as the best indoor soft play centre in Wales 2013 by Netmums. The family run play centre has been open for 18 months and has welcomed parents and children through their doors.

Pete Jones, co-owner of Eden Centre with his father Trevor Jones, said: "It was fantastic to receive an award. In the past 12 months we've hosted around 1,000 birthday parties which is just incredible.

"I think its a combination of our five star food and hygiene rating, equipment, great staff and a safe environment that has won us an award."

The 10,000 sq ft play area has separate play areas for under 5's and for over 5's up to 16-year-olds.

Mr Jones said: "I've worked with children for many years on a volunteer basis with youth groups. This is a family place where families can spend time with each other. Our focus is on bringing families back together."

The centre has themed days such as Peppa Pig Day, Hello Kitty day and Bob the builder day. They have a creative zone in which pre-school children come in for music sessions called wiggle bug which comprise of 45 minutes of singing, shaking and dancing.

Mr Jones said: "The wiggle bug sessions is one of our most popular. It runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday's - even the parents get involved with clapping and dancing.

"We are one of the only centres which doesn't have a limit on time. Families can spend all day here."

The Eden centre offers a meal deal for £5.95 which includes the price of entry and a meal for children. The centre has expanded to create an education centre next door which will be opening the first Lego innovation studio in Wales to educate children in key stage two, three and four, in full robotics and engineering.

The Lego innovation studio will get its grand opening at the beginning of February. The Eden Centre is open from Monday to Saturday between 9.30am and 6pm.

Cheeky Monkeys, is an indoor play centre based in Cwmbran which has been running for the last five years. The 9,000 sq ft play centre is open seven days a week and has three separate zones; the under four's, the over 4's and the sports hall which is mainly used by the juniors.

Becki Hodder, supervisor at Cheeky Monkeys said: "We've been awarded the best play centre in Torfaen by the Town Crier. The Christmas period slows down a bit but we're very popular January February time.

"In the summer months we use the outdoor play park and the swimming pool."

The Cheeky Moneys centre offers buy one get one free on entry for those with twins. It is open Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 6pm, Saturdays 10am until 6pm and Sundays 10am until 4pm.

Weekday prices range from free for under 1's and £4.50 for five-year-olds and over.

The Kingdom Come situated at Castle Meadows Park, Abergavenny has been running for the last six years and is a castle themed play centre with two sections for infants and juniors. The centre is open seven days a week and has a party room and a selection of slides which include a waved slide and a closed tube slide.

The centre hosts two hour sessions with prices which vary from £2.95 to £4.50 for over 3-year-olds on the weekend. The centre is open Monday to Friday from 10am until 6pm, Saturday from 10am until 5.30pm and Sunday from 10am until 5pm.

For more information visit www.theedencentre.com, www.cheekymonkeyscwmbran.co.uk/ and http://www.kingdomcomewales.co.uk/