Review 2018: Riverside Bowl, Andover

Thank you very much to today’s NHM Secret Writer for today’s post and to Juliet for formatting this on wordpress!

Riverside Bowl, Andover

Riverside bowl is a bowling alley, arcade and glow in the dark golf centre.

They have 8 lanes of ten pin bowling, various arcade games and 10 crazy golf holes based around the world (London, New York, China etc).

They also have function rooms and a bar/diner.

Tips

Riverside bowl is on the high street in Andover, next to Wilko. You have to go up 3-4 flights of stairs but there is a lift if you struggle with stairs (wheelchair/pushchair etc).

Food

There is a 90’s style diner and bar serving freshly prepared burgers/hot dogs and chips.

Food was as you’d expect in this sort of venue; not haute cuisine but edible and presented in a fun way (in baskets).

They also have an extensive milkshake menu (chocolate, butterscotch, jelly baby and caramel to name a few). I’ve given up chocolate for Lent so I went for butterscotch and it was very nice

Facilities

Male/female and disabled toilets available. Clean and perfectly usable. I didn’t use them but hubby did and said they had hot and cold running water and were perfectly adequate.

Parking

There is no specific parking for Riverside. We parked in the Chantry Shopping centre as we had a meander through Andover before going to the venue as we were early.

Parking is charged Mon-Sat up to 4pm and is free on a Sunday. This is probably the next place to park for Riverside as it is a 3 minute walk from the car park.

Prices

We paid £15.50 for three of us (2 adults, one child) to play golf. We paid £25 to eat burger and chips each (child meal was £5.50 and included a drink). My milkshake was £3.20 and probably about same size as a cooler drink from Costa/Starbucks).

We also paid £17 for a game of bowling – we haven’t done this for a long time so not sure if this is average price or not.

Rating out of 5

I would give it 3.5 out of 5. It was nice enough but for what it is I thought the price was a little bit steep.

The bowling lane broke down while we were on it and we had to be moved. The golf I was a little disappointed in as the way the holes are set up, it’s pretty impossible to get a hole in one. You have to get the ball through a structure and it has quite a slope to get up.

I think the next hole we played was done in four or five shots and this was hubby who is a dab hand compared to me and LO.

We also had a family behind us in the golf who let their son start playing while we were still on the hole.

There is no staff actively monitoring this section (there are CCTV cameras).

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SNOW!!! Things to do with little ones whilst it’s snowing…

Yay! It’s snowing! I know this is a complete nightmare for LOTS and lots of people but I LOVE the snow so I’m very excited about it, even if we did only last 10 minutes because my extremely strong willed 6 year old refused to wear her gloves and got very cold hands very quickly. Sigh!

I’ve also been up since 6am stressing about keeping everyone updated on which schools and pre-schools are opened or closed so I am exhausted! lol.

You can check on this post for more details about which schools are open still and the times that they close: HCC School Closure Website

Anyyyyywaayy, this is my impromptu list of suggestions of things you can do with your little ones today whilst it’s snowing.

Whatever you end up doing…HAVE FUN!!!!!

Outdoors

  • Make snowmen snowwomen, snowbabies, snowchildren
  • Build an igloo
  • Make coloured ice balls (balloons filled with water and a bit of food colouring and leave outside over night)
  • Snowball fight/gentle throw
  • Sledging
  • Snow angels

Indoors

Other Useful Posts

What would you add to this list?

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Foxbury Forest School Christmas Special – Thurs 21st December 2017

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Review 2017: How many sleeps ’til Christmas

There are still tickets available for today, tomorrow and Wednesday!!!

Thank you to today’s NHM Secret Writer for writing such a fab review!!

Review 2017: How many sleeps ’til Christmas

This years Christmas show  ‘How many sleeps ’til Christmas ‘by Scratch Built Productions has to be described as absolutely enchanting. The show is on at the Proteus Creation Space from the 14th to the 24th December with 3 shows a day.

Without spoiling the wonderfully written story too much we were transported to Elf’s bedroom where his bedtime story was being interrupted by a host of Christmas characters. We met Fairy who had lost something special and followed her through an interactive advent calendar all the way to Santa’s garden where we met the man himself.

Children will create a Christmas decoration, experience live music, puppetry and a trapeze artist. The show has elements personalised to each child adding that extra special bit of Christmas magic to the experience. The attention to detail is amazing (have a look at the beautiful handmade blankets in elfs bedroom) with wonderful creative techniques used to tell the story there is something for all ages.

The very youngest will enjoy the playful music and soft sensory lights, toddlers will love discovering whats behind the doors of the advent calendar and older children will be captivated by the funny friendly characters, even the adults were caught up in the Christmas magic. If you’ve watched previous years shows keep an eye out for some cheeky returning characters making an appearance.

The show is very relaxed with children able to move around and participate as much as they wish, some of the show is signed, making it very accessible and there is a relaxed performance available for children with additional needs (18th Dec 14:30).

Arrive with plenty of time to spare as there is a bit of elfmin to be done before the show to add a wonderful personal touch for each child. The performers and staff at the theater were friendly and helpful and really added to the wonderful experience.

On the practical side the theater has a cafe which serves drinks as well as some delicious cakes and quiches and has toys to keep little ones entertained whilst you wait for the show.

There is a limited buggy park so consider coming without one if you can and bring a carrier for the smallest audience members as the show involves moving between sets. Babies are easily accommodated and can fed during the show as there is plenty of places to sit.

Baby changing facilities are available. There is a small onsite car park, or a large pay and display across the road, alternatively it is around a 10 minute walk from the bus and train station in town.

Our party left the show feeling very Christmassy (its a good word!), if your tree and decorations have yet to go up then this will leave you in the mood to get the festivities started. We give the show a big fat 10/10 for originality, creativity, interactivity and a lots and lots of magical sparkles.

Tickets are still available for performances early next week so book quickly to avoid missing this magical experience. http://www.proteustheatre.com/whats-on/how-many-sleeps

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“How Many Sleeps ’til Christmas”: Scratch Built Productions’ immersive Christmas show for under 5s

Scratch Built Productions invite families to join them for a cosy Christmas treat at the Creation Space, with their immersive show for under-5s, How Many Sleeps ‘til Christmas.

After three previous sell-out Christmas shows, Scratch Built Productions in association with Proteus Theatre Company return to the Creation Space in Basingstoke this Christmas with their enchanting and interactive festive show aimed at pre-school children and their families…..…..How Many Sleeps ’til Christmas.

The land between waking and sleep is a wonderful place where anything can happen; dreams become reality and reality becomes a dream. Come and meet a colourful host of characters as they lead you on a magical journey where clouds are collected, stories are created, where wishes are welcomed and dreams can come true. Everyone is invited to enjoy this wonderfully cosy Christmas treat.

Following on from the success of last year’s How do Reindeer Fly, Scratch Built Productions are keen not to give away too many details about what is now an eagerly anticipated treat for many local families. However Cbeebies actress and this year’s co-director, Becky Kitter, revealed that there will be plenty of surprises in store to delight little ones:

“Having been part of the cast in the past three productions, I’m really excited to bring all my previous experience to the table as co-director this year, especially as a soon-to-be mum myself! We are creating a dream-like environment for our audiences to snuggle up in, with lots of visual and sensory elements that even babies will enjoy. We are working with some really talented people to create the show, including a visual artist, live musicians and trapeze performers, and of course there will be puppets and plenty of Christmas sparkle!”

“What a magical, beautiful time we had yesterday. We loved every minute” – Katie H, audience member, 2016

“How reindeer fly is possibly the most magical children’s Christmas event going. I cannot recommend it enough. Captured the essence of Christmas beautifully and my daughter was captivated and she’s only 2. We will most definitely be back next year.” Louise E, audience member 2016

Created specifically to be enjoyed by the youngest members of the family and as something a little different from a traditional Christmas show, the Creation Space will be transformed into a walkthrough adventure where children are encouraged to explore, play, create and interact with the enchanting surroundings and colourful characters that they meet along the way.

Tickets are selling fast and some performances have already sold out, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy 45 minutes of unforgettable Christmas magic with your little ones!

Thursday 14th December until Sunday 24th December, with three performances a day at 11am, 2.30pm & 4.30pm weekdays and 11am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm weekends.

The 2.30pm performance on Monday 18th December will be a relaxed performance for those with additional needs and will also include interpretation from a BSL expert.

Tickets are £8 each, children under 12 months of age go free. Tickets available from wegottickets.com/proteustheatre or you can book in person at the Creation Space. For more information, visit www.proteustheatre.com/whats-on or call the Proteus office on 01256 354541. Please note, payments cannot be taken over the phone

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Spotlight Christmas Toy Appeal

Please donate toys for 8-11 year old’s to bring a little happiness to local children!

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Review 2017: “A Christmas Carol”, a Proteus production

Thank you VERY much to the NHM Secret Reviewer who wrote today’s post!!! She did a fab job!

“A Christmas Carol”

A Christmas play for school-aged children and grown ups alike

About

A Christmas Carol is a Proteus production that is currently on tour in North Hants and surrounding areas. The show tells an adapted version of Dickens’ classic tale. It stays true to the political undertones and moral of the original but is set in current times and adapted to be more suitable for a family audience.

The play includes a cast of three who are accompanied by some amazing, creative puppets. The set is simple but effective and the team use light and sound creatively to bring the story to life.

The show is advertised as being suitable for children aged 6+. I went to see it with my 5-year-old having had a chat with him in advance to warn him there might be some scary parts.

There are some adult themes that would pass over the heads of most children (e.g. the moral obligation to serve humanity) but that give the show enough depth to be entertaining to adult audience members.

There are also some more overtly ‘scary’ scenes (e.g. a scene involving a grave stone/scrooge being ‘buried alive’) but these are short-lived and didn’t seem to rattle any of the children in the audience.

The puppetry is incredible and it was fascinating to watch how the children engaged with the puppet characters and ignored the actors who were sometimes visible behind them.  The creative use of puppets, especially to enact the roles of the ghosts of Christmas past and ghost of Christmas present gave the show a lighter tone and made the audience laugh out loud many times. Overall, Proteus have done a fantastic job adapting what is a challenging story, to be entertaining to a range of audiences. This is show you could go and see without the kids or one to take the kids along to. We both had a brilliant time but I would suggest it’s not ideal for children with a more sensitive temperament who are likely to be upset by some scenes and story lines.

For show dates see: http://www.proteustheatre.com/productions/a-christmas-carol/tour-schedule-296

Tips

The advertised run time is 80 minutes but with the 15 minute interval we were there for 2 hours. This was a little too long for my son whose attention was wavering towards the end so it is probably not ideal for children who struggle to sit still.

This is suitable for children and adults, I don’t think there’s an upper age limit and if you wanted to go without the kids that would also be ok. There were audience members without children at the show I attended. The average age of children in the audience was probably around 7 or 8 years.

Facilities

Every venue will be different but Proteus has baby changing, toilets, a café and parking.

Price

£8 per adult, £4 per child

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Christmas Events & Fayres 2017

I will be updating this post as and when I receive details of Christmas Events, so please keep checking back!

If you would like to include a Christmas event, party of fayre in this listing, please email me the very short details, or picture, to NorthHantsMum@gmail.com. Please make sure all pictures are in .jpeg format. Thanks!

Christmas Events & Fayres 2017

Wildchild Parent & Toddlers – Xmas session.

Monday 11th Dec 10-11am. Carols and woodland decorations on Sherfield Village Green.

See our facebook page for more details. Www.facebook.com/wildchildtoddlers

Sycamore Halls Community Centre Christmas Party

SHCA Kids’ Christmas Party

Saturday 16th December 14:00-17:00

Sycamore Halls Community Centre, Sycamore Way, Winklebury, Basingstoke RG23 8AB

St. Johns School – Christmas Fayre 2017

Friday 15th December from 5.30pm to 7.30pm

St. John’s School, Kingsmill Road, Basingstoke, RG21 3JU

Free Entry!

Refreshments, Candy Floss, Crafts and plenty of Family Activities!

North Waltham School Christmas Fayre 2017

Friday 1st December 3.30pm-5.30pm entry is free.

Melrose Tot Group 

Please join us for our Christmas Party on the 22nd December from 10am till 12.30pm. £2 per child.

We have an amazing raffle with some great prizes to be won. We also have Higgledy-piggledy, Jiggy Wrigglers Bournemouth and Poole and a bouncy castle for all of the children.

Whitewater C of E Primary School Fair

Thursday 7th December, Whitewater C of E Primary School Fair held at Rotherwick Village Hall, from 6-8pm.

We will have a super grotto, stalls, games, mulled wine and more!

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Proteus present their retelling of A Christmas Carol this winter 2017

Prepare to be visited by the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future this winter!

Join Proteus Theatre Company as they bring their fast-paced, funny and highly physical contemporary adaptation of Dickens best-loved story, A Christmas Carol to the stage.

Brought right up to date for modern family audiences, A Christmas Carol will delight you with plenty of laughs and high-jinks, a fabulous cast of actors and puppets and even a talking Christmas tree…

It’s Christmas Eve in the city, a rich man sits alone in his gilded tower and awaits the ghosts of his past and his future. In Scrooge’s office, somewhere in the City of London, the spirits are gathering in the darkening gloom to take this selfish, greedy man on a journey to his own salvation – but will he heed their lesson? He has just one night to change his ways or face a terrible fate….

A story of redemption and enlightenment, A Christmas Carol has much to say to audiences about our society, and the responsibilities we owe to others through our actions.

“All children and adults were kept totally engaged throughout the whole show, it was fantastic.”
Families Magazine on BRRR! 2016/17

“Keeping the traditional spirit of a classic tale, this is an adaptation which opens contemporary doors….a seasonal, smile-inducing winner” The Stage on Alice in Wonderland 2013/14

“The best of British theatre in Basingstoke” The Independent on Proteus Theatre Company

With a fabulous cast of familiar Proteus faces; Danny Charles (Little Mermaid, Arabian Nights), Paul Huntley-Thomas (The Secret Garden, Rapunzel) and Ashley Christmas (Becoming Hattie, Little Red and the Wolves), plus puppets from acclaimed puppet maker Nick Ash, of Scratch Built Productions (Polka, The Globe, Little Angel) this is a Christmas Carol for our times.

Bring the whole family to along to see A Christmas Carol for a show that promises to be funny, a little scary, action-packed but above all a thoroughly enjoyable treat this festive season.

A Christmas Carol will open at Proteus Creation Space in Basingstoke on 25/ 26th November 2017 before embarking on the tour. The full tour schedule can be found at www.proteustheatre.com.

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Free Winter Wonderland: Kiddi Caru

Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries are holding their Christmas Winter Wonderland events throughout December. Fun for all the family – come and soak up the festive atmosphere together and join in some seasonal fun with Santa and the Kiddi Caru Elves.

All events are free to attend, but any kind donations on the day will be gratefully received for Home-Start’s Snowflake appeal which Kiddi Caru support all year round.

Find an event near you http://ow.ly/tTJp30gqYAQ

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