NHM Readers Recommend: Best Places to Visit Santa with a One-Year-Old

In November 2018, a NHM Reader asked: “Where are the best places to visit Santa in the Basingstoke area for a 1 year old? I’ve seen loads of places advertised but don’t know where is recommended?”

Thank you for all your responses, they are listed below in no particular order.

Please bear in mind that listings may change in subsequent years, but hopefully they will still be a good base point for your own research.

All opinions are the readers own and are not that of NHM.

NHM Readers Recommend: Best Places to Visit Santa with a One-Year-Old

Wendy said, “Proteus would be well worth a visit at that age, then I would just do festival place for the present and photo op, your looking at £10 minimum for almost all other Santa’s.

Charlotte said, “4 kingdoms is always brill have taken my son since he was a baby and now he’s 4.”

Samantha said, “We took our 9 month old last Christmas to the Santa in Festival Place. Did the job and you didn’t pay for all the other bits. On reflection, perfect for the age but probably once they hit 18 months plus you’d be looking for a bit more of an ‘experience’.”

Mary said, “At Proteus the show is interactive and sensory, made especially for little ones. You move around the space so little ones aren’t expected to sit still for long stretches. Here’s a link: http://www.proteustheatre.com/whats-on/the-magical-christmas-toy-shop Santa will feature but it’s very gentle and not a one on one grotto experience.”

Joanna said, “Active tots is good but is just outside of Basingstoke.”

Becky said, “We went to Miller’s Ark. Our little one was a little young at 8 months but the doggie there made her day!”

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Kids Bee Happy Sand Art 2018

I came across Kids Bee Happy Sand Art a couple of months ago and given my children love Sand Art I thought I would sign up to sell the fabulous products.

And given my ‘day job’ is all about relaxation I thought I would see if I could use the Sand Art in a class and I’ve developed ‘And Relax’…..

I’m always on the look out for other ways to engage children with relaxation that’s different to my usual Relax Kids courses as not all children want to attend a 4 week course and sometimes it’s nice to do something a bit different while encouraging relaxation. If this is popular I will look at making it a regular feature in my timetable.

In the hour long session we will be doing:

  • Sand Art (one A4 sand art print per child)
  • Mindful Colouring
  • Learning some breathing techniques
  • Meditation/Visualisation

My aim is that children will come away feeling relaxed and having experienced some different techniques to help them relax.

I haven’t put an age range on this session simply because children will be working at their own pace.  Some younger children may need support with the Sand Art and other parts of the session so I will be encouraging the parents of younger children to stay for the session.

I’m running a session on Sunday 20 January from 9.15am-10.15am in Brighton Hill, Basingstoke.  The cost is £7.50 per child. Spaces are limited to 12 children.   Please get in touch for booking details.

Sand Art Take Home Packs

I have Sand Art Take Home Packs available ranging from small oval size up to A4 size with various prices depending on print size – if you are interested in finding out more please do check out Kids Bee Happy Sand Art with Kath (on Facebook) or contact me (details below).

Sand Art Parties

If your children love Sand Art then why not consider a Sand Art party – all children will go away with their own masterpiece!

Would you like Sand Art at your event?

If you are running an event and want to engage the children then please considering bringing Sand Art to your event, again please contact me (details below).

Kath Routledge

Facebook: Kids Bee Happy Sand Art with Kath

Mobile: 07989 476533

Email: rkbasingstoke@yahoo.co.uk

 

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Warren Tots: What’s on in December 2018

Hatch Warren Community Centre

Sessions run from 9.15-10.30 & 10.45-12

£3.50 per family (adult plus 2 children, additional children £1)

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NHM Readers Recommend: Quick Healthier Alternatives to McDonald’s

In November 2018, a NHM Reader asked: “Recommendations for healthier alternatives to McDonald’s (cheap and quick) for when you can’t be bothered to cook (such as when you’re other half isn’t eating at home) but it’s not at occasion, jacket potato type places along the lines of M&S cafe”

As always, thank you for all your responses, they are listed below in no particular order.

All opinions are the readers own and are not that of NHM.

NHM Readers Recommend: Quick Healthier Alternatives to McDonald’s

Costa

Mary said, “Costa drive through have hot food now like macaroni cheese. It’s still about a million calories but it feels healthier than McDonald’s.”

Sainsbury’s Cafe

Hannah said “Sainsbury’s cafe is nice, has a good variety and is relatively cheap.”

Yvette said, “Sainsbury’s”

Charlie also said Sainsbury’s cafe, “…I love the staff and people are really chatty unlike some coffee shop chains.”

Louise said, “We do Sainsburys cafe at Hatch Warren quite a bit too, mainly because the chips are GF and Miss NHM loves ‘Ham, egg, chips and peas’.”

Lucy said, “…when I asked if the chips were gluten free they told me no. I said how last time I was there they were but they were adamant they weren’t and refused to check. I was gutted, and sat and watched the rest of the family eat…not good when I was heavily pregnant and hormonal. I bet they are but I happened to go on a day the staff didn’t want to check!”

Jenni said, “I was in Sainsbury’s today, it’s convenient but I always find the service shocking & today was no exception unfortunately.”

Subway

Katie said, “Subway is always a fave, and if it’s warm, even better!! A lot more filling than you’d think.”

Louise said, “…the last two times I was in a local Subway they were so grubby!!!”

Wendy said, “We’ve found we can’t trust subway, they have a really lax attitude to allergies and being American they have egg in all kinds of stuff it isn’t normally in.”

Ellie said, “I used to work in subway and depends who is working on how clean it is. I ran a tight ship when I was in charge but overall they only care about profit and not about anything else.”

Vanessa said, “The Subway in Brighton Hill is lovely.”

Morrison’s Cafe

Hannah said, “Morrison’s is also nice….and do feed the kids free on certain days after school.”

Hayley said, “Morrison’s cafe… kids eat free after 3pm weekdays…”

Debra said, “Only problem with Morrisons is the toilets are nowhere near the restaurant which is a pain with kids!!”

Cesca said, “Morrisons cafe is always a winner for us, kids eat free after 3 per adult meal and there’s a little play area! But I also get the cardboard boxes like the happy meal boxes or home bargains do a basket and I do my kids a home made version of McDonald’s!”

Yvette said, “Morrisons…”

Cafe Giardinio

Susie said, “Cafe Giardinio up opposite Iceland do paninis, jacket potatoes, pasta dishes.”

Shabby Gourmet

Marion said, “Shabby Gourmet! Home cooked meals, with no additives or preservatives, using only the freshest ingredients, and cooked with as much love as, if not more than, you’d cook yourself for your own family. What could possibly be better?!!…Old Barn Stores in North Waltham stock us, plus The Village Shop in Upton Grey, and Premier Stores in Old Basing. You can also pop over to Cliddesden to collect directly from the kitchen. This is the website – www.theshabbygourmet.com

Louise said, “…and they come frozen and most are gluten free!! I have a few in my freezer for emergencies.”

Elisa asked, “Are any of the vegetarian options also vegan friendly?”

Marion replied, “Yep! It’s not a meat-free kitchen, though. I’m actually massively inspired by vegetarian and vegan food at the moment, as I’m writing a vegetarian day course, cookery course. It’s one of my most requested courses, so I think I’d better do it. Vegetarian is inspiring me and vegan is just that little (big!) step further. I’m finding it really exciting.”

Costco

Amanda said, “If you have a costco card and are near a costco £1.50 for a jacket potato! If you’re wanting quick and easy at home batch cooking is the way forward for easy and healthy.”

Louise said, “We do Costco too as they can’t go too wrong with a jacket potato and cheese!”

Waitrose

Ruza said, “Waitrose café has good priced children’s meals…”

Yvette said, “Waitrose cafe!”

Festival Street Kitchen

Ruza also said, “…I like the festival place kitchen.”

Pizza Hut

Hayley also said, “…Pizza Hut restaurant, the ice cream factory is s big hit with my son.”

Pret A Manger

Linda said, “My fave place is Pret Manger opposite the Sports Centre. A little on the pricey side but really healthy and so yummy.”

Asda

Yvette also said,”… Asda.”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Professionals For Toddler Sleep Issues

In October 2018, a NHM Reader asked: “I have a friend who is struggling to get any sleep with her toddler who only sleeps for 3 hrs each night! I am sure I read on your site somewhere about a sleep nanny or someone like that who may be able to help?” Can anyone recommend a sleep nanny?”

Thank you for all your responses, they are listed below in no particular order.

Please bear in mind that listings may change in subsequent years, but hopefully they will still be a good base point for your own research.

NHM Readers Recommend: Professionals For Toddler Sleep Issues

Jenny said, “Care it out sleep consultant is a fb page I follow.”

Amy said, “We worked with a lady at Baby Sleep The Night who was wonderful! My 6 m/o was waking every couple of hours and not napping. In 10 days he was sleeping through the night and napping really well. I cannot recommend her highly enough and it honestly saved us from breaking point.”

Wendy said, “…get her to speak to a GP as it could be a sign of other health issues.”

Allison suggested, Kelly-Lauren Warner, who replied:  ” Little Well-Beings child sleep, behaviour and nutrition solutions Please let me know if your reader would like more information. Always best to get it checked out at the GP first.”

Hayley suggested, Tiffany-Jayne Lee, who replied: “I’m a qualified sleep consultant feel free to PM Me.”

Charlotte said,”Victoria Murphy May be helpful for u.”

Kelly Smith said, “If she wants some help…I really don’t mind talking to her.”

Laura said, “There’s a really good book called The Gentle Sleep book if she’s looking for a solution that doesn’t involve lots of tears. You can get it from the library.”

Leanne also suggested The Gentle Sleep book, “I second this. It also helps separate what is normal behaviour from real problems…It helped me realise it was all within the realms of ‘normal’ which was a relief.”

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Kingsclere Village Bunnies Under 5’s Group 2018

We meet weekly at the Village club in Kingsclere where the children have fun playing and experimenting with different toys and activities in a relaxed environment, with a cuppa and chit chat for the parents, grandparents and helpers.

Each week a different art or craft activity is available for children to enjoy. Different toy stations are laid out around the hall and Village Bunnies provide the children with a snack before rounding off the morning with a sing-song. There is a garden with outdoor ride-ons, slides, for those sunnier outdoors days and lots to do indoors on rainy days and through the winter.

You do not need to have had your baby to join us – come along to as many sessions as you want to before his or her arrival. Once your baby is here, we have a protected baby area with bouncy chairs, rugs and baby toys for them to use.

We are here every Tuesday morning 9am – 11am. The first session is free so you can try us on for size and after that sessions cost just £1 for bumps and unweaned babies, £2 for first child (including snack donated by Swan Street Stores) and 50p for additional children.

Kingsclere Bunnies is run by a committee of volunteers and always on the lookout for new members, find us on Facebook to find out more!  

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New Businesses open in Basingstoke Dec 2018

New businesses open their doors in Basingstoke

Shoppers, visitors and businesses in Basingstoke can make the most of a new and exciting selection of independent venues and national chains which have opened their doors in the Hampshire town.

Nine new businesses have specially selected Basingstoke town centre to set up shop in the last three months. The new businesses which now call Basingstoke home are:

The Olive House, photo credit Basingstoke Together

 

Basingstoke is bucking the national trend as a thriving shopping hub as high streets across the country face a number of difficulties. Six out of the new businesses have chosen to open in the Top of Town, which is an area rich with local history. It is home to the landmark Willis Museum, it is the starting place of Burberry and it is also host to the Basingstoke market alongside several independent businesses.

The new businesses have been supported by Basingstoke Together, which is the public face of the Basingstoke BID. Basingstoke Together aims to help the town centre to thrive by creating destination events, engaging with consumers and supporting retailers and businesses to be successful.

Lucy Boazman, Chief Executive of Basingstoke Together, said: “Basingstoke has so much to offer to prospective businesses looking for somewhere to launch their new or latest venture. Alongside the array of national high street brands in Festival Place and The Malls, we also have some fantastic independent shops and businesses, which make a visit to Basingstoke truly unique.

“We are so pleased to welcome the new businesses to Basingstoke and we wish them all the best. We also hope that residents and visitors to the town will explore both the newcomers as well as the existing independent businesses throughout the town centre. There is so much choice on our high street now, so we look forward to seeing how people embrace that, both in the run up to Christmas and well into the new year.”

Basingstoke town centre, particularly the Top of Town, is also already home to a wide array of successful independent businesses including The Tea Bar, Arc hairdressers, and Exciting Escapes.

Some of the new companies in Basingstoke are fresh to the market, including The Olive House and Chennai Express. However, the team behind Duck & Tipple already run a successful events company, IncuHive has begun opening various other branches in the south of England and Surya’s relocated from Basing View.

Duck & Tipple, photo credit Basingstoke Together

George Scott-Welsh, Chief Operating Officer of IncuHive, said: “It is extremely encouraging to see the number of new businesses opening within the town centre and especially at the Top of Town. With the Top of Town being majority independent owner run businesses, this creates a more personal experience for both the shoppers and the other surrounding businesses who are collaborative and supportive of one another.

“The community feel of the Top of Town, teamed with fantastic architecture and local history, creates a hugely positive environment in which to visit and run a business.”

Basingstoke Together is committed to supporting independent businesses in the town to develop a vibrant shopping hub. It has recently launched a #BIndependent campaign to foster a regional business community.

For more information visit www.basingstoketogether.co.uk

The Salt Lounge, photo credit Basingstoke Together

Basingstoke Together supports local businesses by creating cultural hotspots within the town centre to draw visitors into the town and promote the business and leisure opportunities on the doorstep.

Basingstoke is a BID – a Business Improvement District, which is a business-led and business funded body formed to improve a defined commercial area. The improvements made by a BID are determined by the businesses themselves. It may include additional cleaning, security or projects such as recycling and improved infrastructure as well as destination branding and promotion.

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AlphaBetty Adventures: Christmas 2018 Sessions

Dear Mummies,

I am just getting in touch to let you know that I have released the dates and times for my Christmas sessions. I will be running a the following sessions in December. Please get in touch by email if you would like to book a place as spaces are limited. For more information is on the facebook page.

Gruffalo Session

Anna Wrapping Paper

5th December Frozen session 2.15 – 3.15pm @ Oakridge Hall for All £10 for 2-5 year olds

5th December Frozen session 3.30 – 4.30pm @ Oakridge Hall for All £10 for 3-10 year olds
Olaf Marshmallow Making

19th December Gruffalo’s child 1.30 – 2.30pm @ Oakridge Hall for All £7.50 for 2-5 year olds.

I look forward to seeing some of you there.
Lee-Anne
alphabetty_adventures@hotmail.com

Making Gruffalo Faces

Mixing Forest Colours

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Small Business Saturday in Basingstoke this weekend!

BID to support independents in Basingstoke this weekend

Shoppers are being encouraged to love the local and independent businesses in Basingstoke this weekend to celebrate the UK-wide initiative, Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday, which takes place on Saturday 1 December, is a national celebration of the smaller and independent shops which line the UK’s high streets. Basingstoke is home to a diverse selection of shops for different and unique Christmas gifts and restaurants to take a break from the shopping frenzy.

Cool!Merchandise, photo credit Basingstoke Together

Small Business Saturday is largely viewed as the antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is dominated by the big brands. An estimated £748 million was spent on Small Business Saturday last year, making it the most successful year so far. It also has the support of growing number of local authorities, with 87% pledging their support last year.* However, Small Business Saturday still lags behind Black Friday, as we reportedly spent £7 billion during last week’s buying blitz.** Basingstoke Together, the public face of the Basingstoke BID, wants more people to embrace the town centre independents, particularly in the Top of Town, to recognise its potential as a vibrant shopping hub.

To celebrate Small Business Saturday, Basingstoke Together have created a series of short videos to put small businesses in the town under the spotlight to showcase their products and services. Independent businesses in Basingstoke have also been provided with printed hessian bags reading ‘I supported a small business in Basingstoke’ to gift to customers free of charge with any purchase.

Lucy Boazman, Chief Executive of Basingstoke Together, said: “We’re lucky to have some fantastic national chains in Basingstoke, particularly in Festival Place and The Malls. But, a stone’s throw away at the top of town is the home to shops and businesses which you simply won’t find anywhere else. We hope that people in Basingstoke will support our independent and small businesses in the town centre as they do their Christmas shopping this weekend as well as in the future.

“There has been a lot of coverage in the media this year about the struggling UK high street. However, Basingstoke is bucking the trend. We have welcomed eight new businesses to the town in the last couple of months; the majority of which have been small and independent.”

The Salt Lounge, photo credit Basingstoke Together

Basingstoke Together aims to help the town centre to thrive by creating destination events, engaging with consumers and supporting retailers and businesses. It will soon be launching a campaign to develop a regional community of Basingstoke’s small businesses.

As part of the campaign, independents in Basingstoke can display posters and window stickers, share their stories on social media using the #BIndependent hashtag. Basingstoke Together also offers free training with small businesses in Basingstoke on how to support growth in the town.

Joanne Goodman, Director of independent business Wax Works on Church Street, said: “It is a very difficult time to be a small business on the high street. We’re lucky to have such a diverse range of small and independent businesses in Basingstoke so a campaign to draw attention to them is a fantastic idea. It is also great to be able to reward people who choose to support small and independent businesses. When you support a small business, you support not only someone’s dream but the backbone of the town’s future. ”

For more information, visit www.basingstoketogether.co.uk

For more information on Small Business Saturday, visit https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/

The Secret Garden, photo credit Basingstoke Together

 

*Source: https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/articles/2018/11/small-business-saturday-helps-smes-fight-back-against-black-friday/

**Source: /www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/26/cyber-monday-uk-weekend-sales-spend-over-7bn-black-friday

Basingstoke Together supports local businesses by creating cultural hotspots within the town centre to draw visitors into the town and promote the business and leisure opportunities on the doorstep.

Basingstoke is a BID – a Business Improvement District, which is a business-led and business funded body formed to improve a defined commercial area. The improvements made by a BID are determined by the businesses themselves. It may include additional cleaning, security or projects such as recycling and improved infrastructure as well as destination branding and promotion.

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Bramley Toddler Group 0-5 Club

Bramley Toddler Group is a small, friendly group who meet every Tuesday from 10.15-11.45 during term time at The Clift Meadow Pavilion in Minchens Lane. There is a lovely mixture of mums, dads, grandmas and children aged from just a few weeks old up to 4 years old. Everyone is welcome and it’s always great to meet new people. As well as the children having a great time playing with all the toys, it’s a brilliant opportunity for the adults to socialise and chat over a cuppa!

We have a big selection of toys and equipment from dolls to trains, to slides and seesaws, a play kitchen and a massive collection of dressing up costumes. We have loads of baby toys and baby mats and bouncers so that the babies can also play safely and join in the fun.

As well as the usual play activities, we regularly have guest activities such as pottery painting, Usborne Books and a photographer, along with crafts such as cookie decorating and painting. We always have story time each week and the children can spend a few minutes enjoying a biscuit and drink while sitting and listening to the story.

We run as a small voluntary committee of mums and grandmas and we are always looking for new people to come on board. The main thing we need help with us opening up and setting up all the toys at the start of a session, and putting everything away again at the end.

You can keep up to date by joining the Bramley Toddler 0-5 Facebook group.

Tuesday 10.15-11.45 (Term Time only)
The Clift Meadow Pavilion, Minchens Lane, Bramley. RG26 5BH

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