Basingstoke Festival… 2013

Starts tomorrow!! There will be over 100 events happening in the Basingstoke area during the next couple of weeks. I’ve had a closer look at the webpage and it looks fab!

Click here for more details:

http://www.basingstokefestival.co.uk/events/category/family-fun

They say:

“Basingstoke Festival was created in 2012 to showcase the wealth of talent and community spirit in the borough. Back for a second year, the festival offers a choice of over 100 events to experience including drama, music, dance, comedy, film, historic walks and family fun taking place in over 30 venues across the borough.

Why not wander through Overton and take in over 400 individual scarecrow characters or dip in to a performance of local dancers taking part in Dear Lido around the town centre! Building on the success of 2012, this year’s festival features a packed programme including indoor and outdoor and free and ticketed family friendly events such as World Party at Eastrop Park, Alice in Wonderland at The Vyne, Elvis Costello at the Anvil, Chas n Dave at The Haymarket, community Shakespeare and finishing with the hugely popular free music festival Basingstoke Live.”

Basingstoke Homebirth Group

Denise sent me a message via NHM Friend asking me to let you know about the Basingstoke Homebirth Group: 

I co-ordinate meetings for the Basingstoke Homebirth Group and we meet monthly at a member’s home.

Meetings are a very informal chance to discuss any aspect of homebirth over a cup of tea and a biscuit. We generally have a mixture of parents that have had a homebirth and midvives/doulas attending.

Our aim is to share information and support those interested in planning a homebirth.

Details of meetings are posted on our Facebook page “Basingstoke Homebirth” and email address is homebirth@basingstokenct.org.uk for any enquiries.

 

12 Things to do when you are pregnant in Basingstoke and North Hampshire

1. Check out NorthHantsMum – obviously! 😀 Especially the newborn page and pregnancy pages. I also recommend requesting to join the secret FB NHM Pregnancy group.

2. Find out where your local baby clinic is. There is a previous post on NHM which details local baby clinic’s in the area. Click HERE for details.

3. Book up for your NCT Antenatal class early – else you not find one close by, which can become complicated (especially if you have had a cesarean) if you want to catch up with your Mummy friends and they all live miles away. NCT also do discounts on courses for those with limited funds. Or if you are looking for an alternative to NCT and live in North Hampshire, you could also try FitMama classes.

4.  Go do the “Hospital Look” round tour a few weeks before you are due. Try not to be too scared if you hear someone in labour 😉

5. Get hold of a Tumble Dryer or find out which of your family and friends have tumble dryers and start being very nice to them! Or, find out where the local laundrette is. You will be horrified by the amount of washing you suddenly have to start doing! The only laundrette details I could find in Basingstoke is the one at Elmwood Parade in Winklebury. Let me know if you have details of any others.

6. Check out the local Breastfeeding support if that’s what you want to do. Check out my previous post about Breastfeeding in Basingstoke HERE.

7. Get your maternity Bra’s from the NCT website. Much cheaper than Bravissimo and I found the selection in Bravissimo to be quite limited.

8. Find out where your local children’s centre is and see if they have a Bumps n’ Babes class you can attend, if only to meet other Mum’s in the same situation and area as you.

9.  Research what is on for Mum’s with new babies in the area. Winter is a notoriously hard time to have a baby because you are stuck inside a lot more, so you need to make more of an effort to get out and about. NHM will keep you up to date on what’s going on in Basingstoke! 😉

10.  Sign up for some of the free pregnancy “stuff” that you can get when you are pregnant. I signed up for the free Bounty Pack. When I received mine it had a bar of galaxy and a can of appletiser. I don’t think they made it out of the car park (blush)! Sainsburys and Boots used to give them out.

11. Attend a Pregnancy Exercise Class. The FitMama Studio in Stroudley Road has a number of classes that are specifically designed for Pregnant Mum’s.

12. Have a pregnancy massage.

I can probably come up with a lot more, but I think twelve (the list was originally 10!)  is a pretty round number for this kind of list! Do you have any other good suggestions for those who are pregnant?

8 Reasonably Priced Restaurants in Basingstoke (Meal for 2 for under £15)

Sometimes I really miss the lifestyle I had before having a family. Specifically the spontaneity of being able to eat out. We still try to eat out when we can justify the cost, which is why I’m always looking for cheaper places to eat that don’t mind children and won’t break the bank. Let me know if there is a restaurant or cafe that I’ve missed!

1. Debenhams Restaurant

There is a baby room next to the Restaurant. They also offer a special children’s menu and provide baby food and bottle warming facilities, free bibs and wipes.

The restaurant is open until 8pm most week days

2. Olivers Fish and Chips

They have an early Bird Deal at the moment.

The restaurant is open every day until 10.30pm, but check the website to confirm this.

They do have baby changing facilities and colouring and crayons for bigger children. Maybe a place to visit if you are lucky enough to have a night out alone with your partner/husband.

3. The Trawlerman, Chineham Shopping Centre

(Couldn’t find a website)

4. Marks and Spencers Cafe – Chineham

Please see a previous post HERE for details about the cafe at M&S in Chineham.

5. Sainsburys Cafe at Hatchwarren

The restaurant is open until 8pm every day except Sunday. However, I think they stop serving hot meals at 7pm.

6. Festival Plaice

I haven’t eaten here and I’m not sure if they have baby changing facilities or are very children friendly.

7. Nando’s

Open until 11pm most nights and has baby changing facilities.

8. Pizza Hut

There are two Pizza Hut restaurants in Basingstoke, one in Festival Place and one near Toys R Us. They seem to have a pretty good set up for children although I wonder how healthy the meals are.

 

The Olympics in Basingstoke/North Hampshire

Olympic Games: 27th July to 12th August

Paralympic Games: 29th August to 9th September

It’s not long to go until the start of the Olympics. If you haven’t been lucky enough to get tickets there are lots of activities happening in and around North Hampshire, so you can still join in all the fun!

The Olympic Torch is spending more time in Hampshire than in any other county and will be coming through Basingstoke on the 11th July.

I understand that several schools have given parents the right to take their children out of school to see the Torch, if they write and request this in advance. It looks like it’s going to be a popular day so have a look at the website for recommendations on the best places to see the Torch.

Large crowds and heavy traffic are expected in parts of the towns the torch will be visiting, so it is recommended that you plan ahead. To see a detailed map of where the torchbearers run in Basingstoke and for information about transport, parking and local torch celebrations, please check HERE.

If you don’t get a chance to watch the Olympic torch come through Basingstoke, there is the opportunity to “Watch the Games at Winchester Live”. Winchester Cathederal Outer Close will play host to a giant outdoor screen showing live BBC coverage throughout the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The screen is one of only 16 community live sites in the country. Winchester Live is open daily from 10am to finish. Why not take a picnic along. For more information click HERE.

There are several other events happening throughout Hampshire such as:

  • Exhibitions, talks and films
  • Olympic inspiration in Hampshire schools
  • Hampshire Welcomes the World
  • “Rings”

For more details about anything to do with the Olympics in Basingstoke and North Hampshire, click HERE.

If you have been lucky enough to get tickets to the Olympics and are planning to take a baby with you, please be aware of this potential issue about counterfeit slings: Parents urged to be wary of counterfeit baby slings as Baby Slings Mandatory for The Olympics “Babes in Arms” Tickets

Hope you have a great time, with or without tickets. I’m very excited and can’t wait!

Makaton in Basingstoke

Sophie very kindly offered to help out with writing some posts on NHM. Below she shares some details about Makaton. Hope you find it useful. Thanks Sophie, great post!

When we walk past the park Lucy, my 14 month old, makes L shapes with her index fingers and thumbs and shakes them, this is her sign for swings.  I don’t know where it came from she just started doing it one day and then did it again when we were looking at a picture of a park.  Now she does it every time we pass the park on the way back from taking her big brother to school.  And then in the afternoon, when I say “It’s time to pick up Oscar” Lucy immediately rubs her knuckles together; this is the sign for brother (we picked that one up from a Makaton sign language library book).  So with our swimming lessons finished for the summer I thought I would look into Makaton courses and see if it would help us communicate even better until she finds her voice, which I don’t think will be that long.

Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support and encourage spoken language.  The signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order.  With Makaton, children and adults can communicate straight away using signs and symbols. Many people then drop the signs or symbols naturally as their little ones develop speech.  Makaton is extremely flexible as it can be personalised to an individual’s needs and used at a level suitable for them.

Many of the Sure Start/Action for Children centres do Baby Sing and Sign sessions which are centred around the Makaton programme.

Pebbles Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 357028.

  • Story, Song & Sign – Monday 11.00am – 12.00pm.
  • Drop In/no need to book

The Courtyard Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 843955

  • Baby Signing – Tuesday 10.00am – 11.00am.
  • Small cost applies – Must be booked in advance

Honeycomb Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 331574

  • Sing, Song & Sign for Baby – Friday 10.00am – 11.00am – 6 week course from 15 June
  • Ridgeway Centre, Buckskin – Pre-book your place – £12 per child

Buttercups Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 812615

  • Sing, sign and rhyme time – Friday 10.15am – 11.00am
  • Please call to book a space

For more information you can visit the Makaton Charity website HERE.

You can also see Makaton signing in action thanks to Something Special, a programme on the cbeebies channel and it’s supporting section on the BBC website HERE.

8 Cheap or Free Rainy Day Activities in Basingstoke

I hope you had a fabulous Jubilee weekend but hasn’t the weather been awful for the past week? Why does it always seem to rain when the children are on their holidays from school? It’s even more galling given how glorious the weather was last week. So, if you are looking for some free or cheap things to do during this half term, I’ve put together a summary of ideas below. Do you have any other suggestions that you would like to share?

1. Visit your local library. Lots of libraries in the area have Children’s libraries with toys and books for little ones to play with.

2. Take the children to a soft play centre. There are several in the area and you can find details of them on this previous NHM post: Soft Play Centres. Also check out my previous review of Kids’n’Action over near Winersh Triangle, Berkshire.

3. I’ve raved about Nature Detectives before. They have great packs that you can download for free to keep your little one’s amused. I especially like the “Outdoor” pack which changes depending on which season it is.

4. Goobeetsa has some great free papercraft toy plans and masks that can be cut out and made.

5. Patterns for Colouring has some very cool patterns that are designed by guest illustrators and are free to print out for colouring or painting. It’s updated regularly.

6. Organise a play date with your child’s friends.

7. Story sack loans. Chineham Library have story sacks which can be borrowed from the Children’s Centre. I’ve tried to find the details about this via the Action for Children website but no luck. Does anyone know if this is still available? I think they were £1 to borrow for a few weeks, but not sure.

8. Go puddle jumping!! You need the right clothes for this though, e.g. a water proof onesie or galoshes!

Related Posts

22 things to do with an under 6 year old in Basingstoke when it’s raining

A Toddler Box of Tricks: Things To Always Have On Hand With A Toddler Or Two

15 Different Experiences for Children

7 More Free Rainy Day Activities

Great Picnic spots in Basingstoke

Following lasts week’s post about Great Picnic spots near Basingstoke, I’ve put together my highlights of places to go for picnics in Basingstoke. Have I missed any?

Don’t forget to check out this post: Great Picnic Spots near Basingstoke.

Basing Lime Pits:  The Common opposite Basing Lime Pits

Carpenters Down/Basing Wood

Crabtree

Eastrop Park

Wootten St Lawrence Park

Odiham Castle

Basingstoke Common

Zebon Copse

Beggarwood

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Pushchair Friendly Walks in Basingstoke

If you are itching to get outside and get some fresh air this weekend, the weather looks like it’s going to be glorious. So I’m republishing a post which has details about walks in Basingstoke, including walks which are suitable for pushchairs. I always find the heat is easier when I’m moving, it’s sitting still which makes it worse! Don’t forget those hats and sunscreen!

This is a brilliant website with details of local parks in the area, including many of the ones mentioned below.

PUSHCHAIR WALKS

Basing lime pits

  • Has the coolest train climbing frame ever!
  • Massive slides
  • BBQ facilities
  • Ampitheatre for rounders, baseball, etc.

Crabtree

  • Olivers fish and chips over the road
  • Lovely (!!) view of Basingstoke
  • Great for flying kites
  • Has a fantastic new play area for children aged 8-14 years at the bottom, including a low zip wire and wooden climbing frame
  • A couple of park benches dotted around

Eastrop Park

  • Has toilets on site
  • Boating Lake
  • Fishing lake
  • Swimming pool in summer for little people
  • Assault Course
  • The perfect bridge for pooh sticks!

War Memorial Park

  • Parking is a bit of a nightmare so recommend parking for free at Eastrop or in a town centre carpark
  • Bird Aviary is quite interesting for little people

OTHER WALKS

Carpenters Down

  • Parking is next to Popley Spotlight Centre
  • Used to be National Trust Land
  • Big Hill to Climb to get into most walks
  • Excellent Blackberry picking
  • See my review of Basing Wood from 2013

Basingstoke Common

Otherside of Crabtree

Blackdam Pond

  • Has a play area for children
  • Nice pond to feed the ducks and swans
  • Has a short walk around the park but connects through to Crabtree

Review 2012 of the new Photography Studio at Viables

Sarah runs the photography studio at Viables that opened earlier this year. After I wrote a blog post about the new studio I contacted Sarah to ask if I could attend a session with my husband and little one. We had a lovely time and the photo’s came out so well. There are some awesome pictures of my little one, I just wish I was more photogenic! Typically my little one wasn’t playing ball that day so after 30 mins we had to stop the session. However, Sarah made us feel so welcome and the shots that came out were very natural and exactly what I was looking for. The session was also very reasonably priced and I get to keep all of the shots taken from the session. Sarah even gave me a letter of permission that allows me to use them for printing, etc.

I know Sarah is looking into offering a number of different packages, for example:

  • Group sessions for Antenatal groups
  • Short sessions for those who are also visiting “Tiny Tots Tuesday” at The Parlour Tea Rooms, also in Viables.

Once I have more details about these (and she’s not quite so busy!) I will add another post with details.

If you would like more details about Sarah’s photography or her studio please check out:

Thanks Sarah! Sorry I didn’t give you pre-warning to this post!

This is NOT a sponsored post and I paid for my session.

Related Posts

New Photography Studio in Viables

“Tiny Tots Tuesday” at The Parlour Tea Room

Family Photographers in North Hampshire