Boys and girls ... it’s diner time!

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What is it? The Grange Diner in Charlotte Dundas Court, Grangemouth.

WHAT’S IN IT? A hidden gem of an eatery which comes complete with 1950s style decor, jukebox pumping out Presley, a life-sized statue of Elvis himself is in the corner, a pool table and – most importantly – the Tiger Play zone.

WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT IT? Mums and dads operating on a tight budget in these times of economic hardship can take their young ones out for an afternoon, safe in the knowledge they will be secure in the soft environs of the relatively sizeable Tiger Play zone, which includes a bouncy castle climbing equipment and toys aplenty.

WHY NOT GO TO A RECOGNISED SOFT PLAY CENTRE? Two reasons. Money – it can be expensive to visit some soft play places and the food can sometimes leave a lot to be desired. Not so at the Grange Diner, which combines a fun and exciting environment for little ones – older children can enjoy a game of pool or watch a selection of classic kids’ DVDs on the television while sitting on comfortable cushions – with a menu of tastebud tantalising treats such as chips, burgers, paninis and filled rolls washed down with delicious shakes and followed by ice cream sundaes.

IT’S NOT STRICTLY A DAY OUT THOUGH IS IT? When you are a parent with an active little angel bounding around the house from “son” up to “son” down, even an hour-and-a-half of relative calm can seem like a two-week holiday in the Bahamas. Throw in the nice 1950s theme surroundings, chatty staff and great nosh and you have a unique oasis of sanity in the mad world of being mum – and dad.

BEST THING ABOUT IT? The break it gives parents and the fun it provides for youngsters. It may not be a full day out, but it is somewhere you can go day in day out.