The Ultimate NHM Summer Holiday 2017 Posts!

YAY! The School holidays have officially (or very, very nearly) started!!!

If you are already panicking about how you are going to keep your little ones amused for the next 6 to 7 weeks, then this is the post for you :-D.

Don’t forget, you can also search for key words on NorthHantsMum at any time.

NorthHantsMum is my Hobby! 

NorthHantsMum Summer Break 2016

We are currently working on the “classes that are still running during 2017 Summer Holidays” post and will get it published as soon as we can.

Classes that are still running during the 2016 Summer Holidays!

Summer “Bored” Jar ideas

Top Tip 33: Creamy coconut and berry Lolly’s

NHM Readers Top Tips for Keeping Cool

Summer Fun

24 things to do during the summer holidays with young children in Basingstoke

15 Different Experiences for Children

9 “things” I’m planning to do with my daughter in the future

13 things to do in Basingstoke in Spring with a three year old

In the Garden

DINKY DISCO – Fun, Energetic Weekend Classes for 5 and Unders

Summer Holiday 2012 Activities

Ideas of Things to do for May 2016 Half Term

Top Tip 35: YouTube Kids

Summer Reading

Library Membership for your child

Our favourite books


Warm Swimming pools suitable for babies and young children in North Hampshire

Paddling Pools/Splash Pools in Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey

Lido’s in Hampshire

Top Tip 3: Swimming Bags

Swimming Pools in North Hampshire suitable for Babies and Children

Swimming with Babies

Summer Outings

NHM readers recommend child friendly coffee shops

Season Tickets 2013 to local attractions in North Hampshire – please check individual websites for up-to-date prices

Age limits for 2013 attractions  

Hampshire Days out with your children

Berkshire Days Out

Softplay Centres

Places to go for children who love animals

Summer FREE Outings

NHM Readers Favourite places to feed Ducks in Basingstoke and North Hampshire

Great Picnic Spots near Basingstoke

Great Picnic Spots in Basingstoke

Nature Detectives

A week of “free” Activities – Autumn

Poll: Free Activities over the summer holidays

12 Free Activities over the summer holidays 2015

NHM Readers Favourite Beaches

Summer Holiday Clubs

Spotlight summer holiday 2017 clubs

Holiday Clubs in North Hampshire 2016 – please check individual websites for 2017 information

Summer Holidays/Travel

Cheap Transport in North Hampshire

NCT House Swap Reduces Holiday Costs

Family Camping Club

Summer Food

Early Bird Meals with children – please check individual websites as this is a 2012 post and not all are relevant

11 Places to Breakfast “out” with Children in North Hampshire

9 Foody Places to go as a group of Mums with babies/toddlers

8 “Cheap” Restaurants in Basingstoke (Meal for 2 for under £15)

Pick Your Own Farm’s in North Hampshire and Berkshire

Blackberry Picking in North Hampshire


8 Cheap or Free Rainy Day Activities in Basingstoke

23 things to do with an under 7 year old in Basingstoke when it’s raining

7 More Free Rainy Day Activities

Reviews 2017

Review 2017: Little Street

Review 2017: Kitty’s Tilted Teacup Tea Room

Review 2017: Jump Factory, Mini Jump

Reviews 2016

Review 2016: Cornish Yurts

Review 2016: Beggarwood – FREE

Review 2016: Whitchurch Silk Mill

Review 2016: Museum of Army Flying

Review 2016: Gousto Recipe Delivery

Review 2016: Nelson’s Diner: A Taste of the USA

Review: Reading Eggs and Mathseeds

Jump Factory – First Look!!!!

Reviews 2015

Bucklebury Farm Park

Sundaes Gelato Basingstoke

Frensham Common – FREE

Centreparc’s – Sherwood Forest

The Parlour Tearoom

Ideal Imaging, Lifestyle Bespoke Family Photography by Alistair Jones

The Cafe Project, Brighton Hill

The Natural History Museum

Reviews 2014

Dinton Pastures Country Park, Berkshire

Dinosaur Crazy Golf at the Oracle

Marwell Wildlife

Giraffe in Festival Place

Micheldever Wood– FREE

California Country Park, Finchampstead

Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway

Review 2014: Wagamama’s Basingstoke


The Vyne


Miller’s Ark, Nr Hook

Reviews 2013

Lakeside Country Park – Parking cost only

Paulton’s Park/Peppa Pig World

NorthDown Orchard Deliveries

Farleigh Mount – FREE


The Hawk Conservancy

Basing Lime Pits – FREE

Basing Wood – FREE

Finkley Down Farm

Wellington Country Park

Basingstoke Aquadrome

Alice Holt, Farnham – Parking cost only

Kids ‘n’ Action, Soft Play Centre, Winersh Triangle nr Reading

The Living Rainforest, nr Newbury, Berkshire


Treasure Baskets

Swimming Pools in North Hampshire suitable for Babies and Children

11 Songs and Rhymes for Babies and Toddlers

Babies and Chocolate

Things to do/Places to go with a baby when it’s raining

The Importance of Skin to Skin

Toddler Games

Winter “Bored” Jar Ideas

Coloured Spaghetti

Making Gloop!

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

Dry Food Play

Play Dough Recipes

Spring “Bored” Jar Ideas

Coloured water play

Something for Mum’s

I saved the best for last ;-).

If it all gets a bit much and you find yourself dreaming about them going back to school, these posts might help you to plan for a little well deserved “Me” time once your little ones actually do go back!

Review 2017: Thrive Massage Therapy

Spa’s in the North Hampshire Area

Review 2016: Jo Plackett Hairdressing

GPW: Ann Hoad Consultancy Ltd, Training Consultant and Personal Development Life Coach

More ways to make friends via NorthHantsMum!

Love Baking? You’ll love Bakedin!

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Things to do on a wet bank holiday! (When you don’t want to spend any money!)

Please share this post with everyone who you think will find it useful!

We are having a Pyjama day today, as the weather is so wet, and Mr NHM has very kindly allowed me 20 minutes to put this post together.

Then I am switching the computer off for the day and will be back online tonight, once Miss NHM has gone to bed!

Things to do on a wet bank holiday!

1. Have a pyjama day

This is what we are doing today. It feels very decadent as I never really had pyjama days before Miss NHM was born!

This afternoon I will probably make some popcorn and we will sit and watch a movie as a family.

2. Indoor games

Making Gloop

Dry food play

Coloured Spaghetti

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

3. Play some board games

We have lots of board games in our house because Mr NHM is a bit of a geek :-D.

Now that Miss NHM is nearly three and a half she’s getting a lot more into board games.

Miss NHM’s favourites are mostly by Orchard Toys or Haba:

Shopping List

The Game of Ladybirds

Old McDonald Lotto (Thanks Pauline!!! :-D)

Fiery Dragons

Tantrix (Mr NHM bought this for a fraction of this price from a local charity shop)

4. Build an indoor obstacle course

We picked up a small tent from a local children’s market and Miss NHM loves filling this with the plastic balls that we originally bought for her to play with in a plastic swimming pool.

We also bought a Busa play tunnel from Ikea and we put out my washing baskets (which probably won’t survive much longer! lol) and use these with the balls and the obstacle course too.

5. Indoor picnic with toys

Miss NHM has lots of wooden toy food as I’m addicted to it <blush>. It’s about the only thing that I will regularly buy for her as I’m a mean Mummy! lol.

She loves it when we all sit around as a family and she feeds us and her toys.

6. Baking

Miss NHM and I have been baking together since she was about one years old. It does require a lot of patience to cook with a baby or toddler.

However, I can confirm that it gets easier. Just don’t clean the kitchen first ;-).

We picked up a really good Annabel Karmel cookbook from a local charity shop which we use all the time and I have some brilliant Usborne books from my childhood which we also use for inspiration.

7. Junk modelling

Whatever you have in your recycling bin can used for this. Miss NHM loves doing this as she gets to make a lot of mess! lol.

8. Treasure baskets

Read more about treasure baskets HERE.

9. Colouring and/or painting

Get all of the colouring and painting materials out and see what you can come up with

10. Get out ALL of your children’s toys

Mr NHM and Miss NHM are currently doing this down stairs! lol.

It’s a great way to show your child how to put things away too. And to discover bits of toys that you’d lost!

11. Make a city from all of the relevant toys your child has

We do this a LOT. We have lots of Playmobil 123 and original Playmobil which is great for this.

12. Read lots of books

Rainy days are perfect days for doing lots of reading. Miss NHM loves nothing more than throwing a book at me and demanding “Read it”, but it’s worth it as she cuddles into my lap for ages!

13. Put on an audio book

If you have read too many books, an audio book could work or some classical music. We do this sometimes when Miss NHM is having quiet time after lunch.

14. Go puddle jumping

I’ve mentioned before about how much Miss NHM loves puddle jumping. We will probably do this, this afternoon, after we’ve had lunch and watched a movie and to get some fresh air.

Looks like it might be time to get the galoshes out! lol.

Whatever you end up doing today, I hope you have fun!!!

7 More Free Rainy Day Activities

Where did the lovely sun go?!?!?! If you are struggling to keep your little ones entertained, the following list might help.

Don’t forget to check out this list also: 8 Cheap or Free Rainy Day Activities in Basingstoke

8 More Free Rainy Day Activities

1. Mr Printables

I LOVE the weather station here:


This is fab:

3. WeFreebies

Make sure you click on the English flag, to translate the text to English. I particularly love the Origami section!

4. Fun to Create

I love the London Bus!

5. Hobbycraft – Craft Tables

The Basingstoke Hobbycraft store is running free craft workshops throughout the whole of Easter. Worth checking out.

6. FREE Easter Printables from

These look gorgeous!

7. Handmade Charlotte

I love these

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

22 things to do with an under 7 year old in Basingstoke when it’s raining

I recently put a plea out on “Louise nhm Smith“, asking if anyone has any suggestions of posts they would like me to investigate.

Wendy came back with some great suggestions. One of her suggestions was for me to do some more research on places, other than soft play, to go on a weekend when it rains.

Great suggestions for a post, so thank you Wendy and here are my suggestions. Hope they are useful!

22 things to do with an under 7 year old in North Hampshire when it’s raining

1. Libraries

Libraries are a great place to take your little one when it’s raining. They nearly always have an area that is dedicated to children. They also have some fantastic services available. Did you know that it isn’t mandatory for your child to pay late fee’s on their books (I pay anyway, as I love my local library and if we don’t support them, then they could easily be shut down).

These are some previous posts that have featured on NHM about libraries in the area and the services they offer:

Library Membership

Below is a list of Libraries in the North Hampshire area:

2. Local Museums

Our local museums do lots of events for children.

Milestones Museum

The Willis Museum

3. Kids Cinema

Saturday Morning Cinema Club – Odeon or Vue

  • Cheap tickets for children and adults go free.
  • For Odeon – recommend joining their premier club as it allows you to collect points and use them to pay for tickets or food.
  • Don’t forget to check out the Newbie session if you have a baby.

4. Places to Go

Lots of places close down for the Winter season so it can be hard to know what’s still open. These are the places that I know that are still open over Winter:

Finkley Down Farm

Intech Science Centre in Winchester

Alice Holt, Farnham

The Vyne

The Living Rainforest, nr Newbury, Berkshire (keep your receipt as it’s valid for a year)

Longleat Safari Park

This is a list of all of the places that I’ve Reviewed since NHM began, including lots of places that are free to visit.

5. Coffee Shops

There are lots of coffee shops in the area who are particularly welcoming of children. Check out the post below with a list of local cafe’s:

Reasonably Priced Afternoon Tea’s

I particularly like the Little Roses Coffee shop and The Parlour Tea rooms, who go out of their way to make children welcome.

6. Swimming

We are very lucky to have so many swimming pools in the area. I’ve been meaning to do a post about local swimming pools for AGES. I published a post in the very early days but it didn’t have the links in. I really should get that sorted and published again!

This is a list of swimming pools in the area:

These posts may also be useful:

Swimming with babies

Swimming Pools in North Hampshire suitable for Babies and Children

8. Covered Shopping

If your lucky enough that your children can be restrained in a pushchair, you can’t beat wondering around a shopping centre, window shopping and people watching.

Festival Place

Mothercare, Hatch Warren – they have baby changing facilities and it’s great to let your children have a look at all the toys. Honest.

The Oracle at Reading

Ikea at Southampton or Reading – excellent breastfeeding room and great free creche for your over 3’s.

Marks and Spencers Camberley

9. Puddle Jumping!

Wrap everyone up in their waterproofs and go splashing in the puddles. This works for pushchairs too, but I recommend making sure the rain cover is on ;-).

Miss NHM has been puddle jumping since she could walk and it’s by far one of her favourite activities. Even without her welly boots on. Grr :-D.

10. Pots2Paint – Viables Craft Centre

I love Pots2Paint and it’s great fun to work with the team to create presents that are going to be treasured.

11. Breakfast with Children

Also check out the posts listed below for posts that have been published on NHM that you may find useful:

10 Places to Breakfast “out” with Children in North Hampshire

12. Games you can play with your little ones

Coloured spaghetti

Dry food play

Making Gloop

A Toddler box of tricks

Other Suggestions

13. Airkix Indoor Skdyiving 4 years and upwards apparently!

14. Hobbycraft – do free pre schooler classes during term time, but I can’t see anything on their site that shows this. Maybe it’s school holidays only?

15. Bowling – we took Miss NHM Bowling on her 2nd birthday and she loved it!

16. Ice Skating . Try the Ice Tots class first if you are nervous about taking your little ones out on the ice.

17. Pets At Home, Tadley Pet Supplies or the Aquatics shop at Wyevale Garden Centre.

18. Trampolining at the Active Life Centre and JumpFactory.

19. Show your children some of the military history of this country. You could try the Royal Navy Submarine Museum at Gosport, the Army Flying Museum near Andover or the Gurka Museum in Winchester.

20. Take your child on a steam train. The Watercress Line isn’t far away and is a brilliant experience.

21. Visit an Aquarium. I think the nearest ones to Basingstoke are the Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth or the London Aquarium. Or you could take your children along to one of the local fish shops.

22. Take your child to the theatre. The Anvil and The Haymarket have regular children’s performances.

23. Nature Detectives – great for inspiring the family!

Do you have any suggestions that should be added to this list?

Related Posts

8 Cheap or Free Rainy Day Activities in Basingstoke

5 Places for Sunday lunch, with Children, in North Hampshire

8 “Cheap” Restaurants in Basingstoke (Meal for 2 for under £15)

9 Foody Places to go as a group of Mums with babies/toddlers

Local Parks and Open Spaces

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook Profile, LinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Things to do/Places to go with a baby when it’s raining

Claire sent me a message asking me if I could do a post on things to do with babies in the rain: ” I’m finding it hard when the weather is bad to find things to do that are baby friendly and fun for me? ”

Great suggestion for a post, especially with the weather as it is! Hopefully this is helpful!

Check out this post first:

Visit a local Children’s Centre

I recommend checking out the classes that are available at your local Children’s centre. We did a Baby Peep class and Baby Massage class and they were both brilliant.

The classes are also nearly always subsidised, so if money is tight, these classes can be a blessing! You normally don’t pay over £1.50 per class and some are even free.

Many centres (like, Octopus, Honeycomb and Pebbles) also have play areas that you can just turn up to. You don’t need to book these facilities and can just turn up when the centre is open. Many have facilities where you can make yourself a cuppa for a nominal fee and also have breastfeeding and bottle feeding facilities.

It costs nothing to use these facilities and your little ones will love the new toys they can play with. You will also probably meet at least one other Mum.


Softplay – Bouncing Tots and Active Tots have areas for small babies.


Swimming – Basingstoke Sports centre has a small pool that is kept at 32 degrees and open between 12 and 1.30 on a week day and is an open session.

I would also check out the QMC pool as we swam in there last year and it was really warm! Also check out my recent review of Basingstoke Aquadrome.


Pots 2 Paint – Viables Craft Centre

A great way to get some special Christmas (or birthday) presents done. Handprints or footprints of your little one whilst they are tiny, will be treasured forever!

Baby Massage Classes

We did a baby massage class through our local children’s centre and I really enjoyed it. It was a great opportunity to bond with my daughter when she was tiny.

There are also several Mum’s in the area who run their own Baby Massage classes. I posted a list of them recently HERE.

Find some Mummy friends!

There are lots of Mum groups in the area who are on Facebook.  It’s a great and easy way to keep in touch. If you are feeling a bit lonely, then post something up and you will be overwhelmed with the response. You can find some of these groups HERE.

North Hampshire Mum’s are VERY friendly and supportive :-D.

Grab a coffee and cake

There are LOADS of little cafe’s in the area which are very supportiive of new parents. My favourite for new parents is Elm Tree Garden centre (which I haven’t been to for ages!) which even supplies wet wipes in emergencies!

I also really love the Parlour Tea rooms, but it’s very popular now (for a good reason!) so you need to book in advance. It can get VERY busy.

A new tea shop has also opened out on the way to Tadley, The Curiositea Room, which I hope to check out soon as it looks lovely! I still haven’t been to the Tea Bar at the top of town either, which looks lovely too!

Go for a walk

Yes, I know it’s raining. Sometimes though, it’s just good to wrap up and get out of the house. Put the waterproof cover on the pushchair and just go out of the house and get wet. It’s not going to hurt either of you to get some fresh air, just make sure your baby is well covered.

We love Basing Wood and the Lime Pits (as I’ve raved about before!) but there is a great list of local walks suitable for pushchairs HERE. You can also see a reviews I’ve done recently on Alice Holt and Farleigh Mount.

Go (window) shopping

There are lots of local independent shops in the area. You can find a list of them HERE.

Also, you can’t go wrong in Festival Place. It’s mostly covered and sometimes it’s nice to just wonder around or people watch.

Debenhams cafe has a bottle warmer and microwave if you are weaning.

Classes listed on NHM that are suitable for Babies


BuggyFit, 1pm, Basing Wood.

Caterpillar Music  11am, Wellington Country Park, Riseley – Includes free hour in the park. (See my review of Wellington Country park HERE)

Coffee Afternoon 2-4pm – FREE wireless internet available, Sherfield Park Community Centre.

Monkey Music Basingstoke and Alton, Christ Church, Chineham

Sing Along and Smile, 10am to 11am, Sherfield Park Community Centre.

Tiny Talk – Baby signing class. St Michael’s Church cottage, 11am to 12pm

The Nest, Christ Church, Chineham


Caterpillar Music, 10.30am onwards, Christ Church, Chineham. (See a previous post about this class HERE).

PlayDays Parent and Baby Club, 10.30am to 12.30pm, (term time only)

Newbie’s cinema at the Odeon 10.15am. 0 -24 months

Active Tots, up to 18 months only 2 – 4pm. Don’t forget your socks! (This session is postponed during July and August)

Gym Mini’s, 3 classes: Early years’ (crawling to 2 yrs) class at 9.40 am; 2 to 3 year class at 10.30 am; 3 to 5 year class at 11.30 am. Hook Community Centre, Ravenscroft, Hook, Hants, RG27 9NN


Tiny Talk Baby Signing Class, 10:00am – 11:00pm, Christ Church, Reading Road, Chineham, RG24 8LT

FitMama and Baby Ballet, 10.30am, Crawlers to 3yrs, The FitMama Studio, Stroudley Road, RG24 8UP (Term time only)

BuggyFit, 1pm at Sherfield Park Community Centre

Gym Mini’s, 3 classes: Early years’ (crawling to 2 yrs) class at 9.40 am;  2 to 3 year class at 10.30 am; 3 to 5 year class at 11.30 am. Four Marks Village Hall. Lymington Bottom. Four Marks. Nr. Alton. GU34 5AA


Teeny Tiny Tots, 2pm to 4pm, Active Tots, Bramley. up to 18 months only 2 – 4pm. Don’t forget your socks! (This session is postponed during July and August)

Jelly Babies Swimming at Tadley Swimming Pool


Basingstoke Mumbaba  Fridays 9.30 & 11am at Christ Church, Reading Road in Chineham.
£3.80 per family session.

Bump into Mums, 10am to 12pm, Sherfield Park Community Centre

NCT Bumps and Babes, 10am to 12pm at Brookvale Hall. You don’t need to be an NCT member to attend. Costs £2 which includes drinks and cake.

BuggyFit, 10.30am, Basing Wood

Places to Go

This is actually a tough one. Especially when it’s raining. These are some of the places that I went too when I had a small baby, that I found were supportive of Mum’s with tiny ones.

  • Milestones Museum
  • The Vyne – although watch out for the gerriatrics who can get upset over buggies being in the way :-D.
  • RHS Wisley Gardens – yes, this is a bit of a trek, but they are very baby friendly and even have a discreet baby feeding area in their main restaurant.

Do you have any other suggestions for new parents who want to get out and about with their little ones when it’s raining?

Related Links

9 Foody Places to go as a group of Mums with babies/toddlers

8 Cheap or Free Rainy Day Activities in Basingstoke

9 Things to do in Basingstoke with a newborn

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

Nature Detectives

The Woodland Trust – Nature Detectives website is such a brilliant site. I signed up to their website about a year ago and have been so impressed with the information that they send. There are lots of free downloadable packs which provide lots of free activities and ideas for your children, depending on the time of year. At the moment there is an Easter Pack, a Minibeast pack, a Picnic Kit, Treasure Hunting and an Adventure pack. They also have a free Bluebell Pack that shows you where your nearest bluebell wood is.

If you are looking for free activities that can keep your children entertained for hours, I recommend having a look at the Nature Detectives website and signing up for their emails or “Liking” their Facebook page:

(Many of these activities are also applicable even if it’s raining ;-))