Laughing Ducks Soft Play opens its doors

After seven years of hard work, Coldstream’s first soft play area has opened its doors.

By Dawn Renton
Friday, 21st February 2020, 8:12 am

Laughing Ducks Soft Play at Hill View Trading Estate has had to overcome many hurdles since 2012, but all that was worthwhile as youngsters of all ages queued up to have a go earlier this month.

Laughing Ducks is the brainchild of Anna Standing and her husband.

She said: “Back in 2012, I noticed that there wasn’t much for young children to do here in Coldstream.

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“There is a soft play area in Duns, but at the time I didn’t drive, so it was a hassle to get to.

“There were so many families that were struggling to keep their children amused, so I thought a soft play area here in Coldstream would be ideal.”

After a windfall, Anna decided that the time was right to finally realise her dream and open a soft play centre.

Tying the knot in the summer of 2012, Anna set the ball rolling on the centre.

Having found the perfect location for Laughing Ducks, it took them two appeals to finally receive planning permission from Scottish Borders Council to get the go-ahead.

However, they still had to find the perfect builders to help them make their dream a reality.

“It was hard to find the right builders,” Anna continued. “Some didn’t know what we were looking for or couldn’t deliver.

“But finally we found JMC in North Berwick and they have just been amazing.

“We had to demolish the old building and start from scratch, so they’ve had a lot of work to do.

“The work that they have done has been fantastic.”

Research took them the length and breadth of the country to make sure that they had the perfect centre for Coldstream youngsters of all ages to enjoy.

“We actually had a little book where we took notes on all the different places that we visited,” Anna explained.

“From Fife, Aberdeen and even Derbyshire – we made sure we did our research!

“With Laughing Ducks, we took everything that we liked in other places and included them in our own.

“I wanted a big place, small centres don’t tend to last long. We also wanted to design something that was in keeping with the history of Coldstream which is where the castle comes in.

“We have a large soft play castle for older kids and a separate toddlers area, indoor go karts and sensory room which I think is my favourite part.

“It’s nice and relaxing and we’ve had great feedback on the room already.

“We also have an excellent cafe and our chef is rightly proud of what he serves up.”

And keeping it a family affair, it was Anna’s own youngster who helped choose the name.

“We struggled a bit in deciding on a name,” she said.

“We had two pages of names and my little one came in and said, ‘Laughing Ducks, that’s a funny name!’

“And that was it. We wanted a name that stood out and be a bit different to all the other names.

“I want to build an empire – I like to dream big! – so the name is perfect should we be in a position to do that.”

Laughing Ducks officially opened on February 7 and has been an instant hit with kids and their families.

Anna added: “It’s been hard work and hectic – but’s it’s definitely been worth it!”

For more information on Laughing Ducks Soft Play, visit