The first Bible-themed play center in the UK has drawn huge crowds with around 2,000 visitors in its opening month.
The Hidden Treasure Discovery Center in Manchester opened in April 2018. It is a community play and education center catering to children up to the age of ten.
Founder Ruth Lancey told Christian Today that, “It’s a place where children can engage with faith and discover the truth in the Bible for themselves through play and fun activities. They can discover stories in the Bible, which point them to Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to work in them and help them to really understand and grasp the gospel.”
The name of the space was inspired by the words of Jesus who compared the kingdom of heaven to a hidden treasure. Ruth, with husband Andy, sold their travel business to start the play center. She said sacrificing their previous business is worth it if it means helping people discover that “hidden treasure.”
Phase One of the Hidden Treasure Discovery Center is called The Hideaway. It is an airy play center with a cafe for parents. Various activities for families, including a reading area, craft area, mini golf, giant lego, and role play town will keep kids and adults engaged.
Andy said they are amazed by the response of the public. He said they tried a “Jesus story time” to see how parents would react and they saw that parents were eager to bring their children to the religious activity.
He added that, “We also pipe Christian music through the center, and everyone is perfectly okay with that too.”
Now that the first phase is completed, Andy revealed the future plans for the project. He said in an interview with Premier that they will provide innovative ways to tell Bible stories to children.
“We’re going to have a city wall, then we’re going to be talking about the Jericho wall, then we’re going to be talking about Nehemiah and bring that story in using the construction zone,” he revealed. “We’ll also be having an area about Daniel’s training zone and different things he did, as well as some of the New Testament stories.”