NHM Readers Recommend: Long Haul Flights

NHM Readers Recommend: Long Haul Flights

I recently had a question from an NHM Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “I am going to be flying long haul with 3 children later this year, it will be the first time they have ever flown. Can anyone recommend things I can take to keep the kids entertained on the flight they will be 10, 7 and 3.”

Many thanks for your replies, 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: Long Haul Flights

Taryn said: It’s worth looking at what the airline that you’re travelling with offers, some are really good with providing stuff for them.

Wendy said: Lots of tips on here from a local family who fly to California every other year

Nicola said: Tiger in town have lots of activity books and colouring etc I got some for our journey to Yorkshire, 7 hours of fun xx

Andrea said: iPads! Colouring in books, activity books, card games like UNO, random little toys from stores like Tiger. My children have always been toddlers on the haul flight. From what I’ve seen from other families the older kids are just happy with their own TV! Your 3 year old should be fine with a few bits and pieces. Good luck!

Debbie said: I got a book from amazon of paper based games which we played which helped.

Jenna said: Download some episodes on the iPad and get them use to headphones. For our 2 year old we took a puzzle that we didn’t mind losing the pieces too 😂

Susan said: If you are flying long haul then most airlines will have seat back viewing screens for TV progs and movies. Check with the airline nearer the time for what is showing. They usually have children’s channels. Make sure they have sweets to suck for take off and landing, helps with ear popping!

Kate said: We have done long haul (to Oz 23-26hrs!!!) several times with kids. Most recently this Christmas with 3 aged 9&6yrs and a baby. Each year I take lots of puzzles/colouring bits and every year it hardly gets touched as they play on the entertainment systems/watch tv and films! I guess I still take it just in case the screen isn’t working. Most valuable things is snacks they like but more carbs than sugar. My older two detest plane food so I go armed with vegemite sandwiches, breadsticks and crisps.

We usually take their own headphones as they fit better than the provided one. We also take a headphone splitter as they usually end up snuggling up to watch the same film so we can then plug both headphones into one socket.

Hope this helps. Mainly though it’s goes much quicker than you think!

Would highly recommend ‘fly legs up’ hammocks which turn the seats into a bed. Great investment and mine have slept 8hrs+ on night flights with them.

Becky said: Wrapping new toys/things to do in little bags to make them like presents works well. Also don’t show them all the things u have got so u can space things out throughout the trip to keep their interest. Kindle fire was amazing!

Skye said: iPad. Kindle. My now 4 year old has flown to Cuba, California, Canada and will be doing NZ this year. Trust me, be that parent who puts a screen in their face. You won’t regret it.

Louise NHM Smith also said: This link might also help: http://www.northhantsmum.co.uk/2018/02/06/nhm-reader-recommendations-toddlers-aeroplane-journey/

Tanya said: lollipops – great for possible ear pressure problems

Vicky said: Where’s Wally books?

Karla said: https://www.keepemquiet.com/?ref=StoreYa&utm_source=stry… We travel quite a lot and these packs are great for the kids. Keep the pack for the flight so it’s a surprise 😊 snacks are included too!

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NHM Readers Recommend: Party Supplies

NHM Readers Recommend: Party Supplies

I recently had a question from an NHM Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “Where is the best place locally to buy reasonably party supplies, like cups, plates and decorations?”  

Many thanks for your replies, 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: Party Supplies

Hannah said: Home bargains, Basingstoke.

Alison said: Party booth, Overton

Victoria said: The Party Booth in Overton

Sasha said: Poundland, Festival Place, Basingstoke

Danielle said: The Party Booth  in Overton

Kate said:  Another vote for @thepartybooth Xxx

Phillippa said: The range is pretty good, Gastons Wood Industrial Estate, Basingstoke.

Kerry said: Range and asda

Lisa said: Pandoras Box at the top of town have fairly good selections.

Deborah said: www.party-bubble.co.uk Free local collection in Winchester

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NHM Readers Recommend: Reusable Nappies

NHM Readers Recommend: Reusable Nappies

I recently had a question from an NHM Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “I use reusable nappies, and would like to connect with mums nearby who do the same if you know of any”.

Many thanks for your replies, 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: Reusable Nappies

Karen said: The Basingstoke nappy library. There’s a Facebook page. You’ll find cloth nappy users at the sling library too and look for attachment parenting Basingstoke (I think that’s what it’s called) we’ve moved now but was a lovely group with lots of cloth nappy users.

I expect if you join BOBBIES Basingstoke there will be some too.

Genni Elliot said:  I do and you’ll also find me at the sling library!

Amie said: Sorry jumping in on post, can someone recommend a company they use and where to start….expecting twins 😳 also considering expecting twins am I biting off more than I can chew considering I’m going to have my hands full?? Thanks!

Helen replied to Amie:  I did cloth with my son. We used a mix. Pop-ins and bambino miosolos but to be honest it’s really trial and error which is why the nappy library is so good

And Karen replied to Amie: Check out the nappy lady Amie, loads of great advice.

Catie said:  I do cloth nappies and love them! It’s really not that much more work than disposables, and with twins you stand to save even more money and environment! The nappy library is super helpful explaining the different types and their features and benefits.

Emma said: I use them with my 2.5 yr old😊

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NHM Readers Recommend: Dance Classes in Basingstoke

I recently had a question from a NHM Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “I really need some help!! I’ve spent weeks trawling the internet trying to find a dance class for my 2.5 year old on a Thursday or Friday & I’m having no luck. She’s not one to sit down & make music that’s not what I’m looking for, she wants to be up dancing & I can’t find a dance class for her. I’m based in Basingstoke but happy to travel outside of the area if a dance class exists for her!!! Can you help?”

Many thanks for your replies, 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: Dance Classes in Basingstoke

Rachel said: There is a dance class on a Friday at Sherfield park not sure of age group

Gabriella said: Marina school of ballet do classes on a Friday in Whitchurch… tap, ballet and I think jazz… she does free taster sessions as well.

Sarah said: Does it have to those days? Dinky Dancers, mixture of activities, at Hatch Warren community centre is brill on weds and for ballet, tap etc m&m on Sat morning at Westside in South ham is great

Lottie said: Lottie Hayman I take my daughter to ballet at Lisa Beaumont School of Ballet on a Friday morning in cliddesden x

Katie suggested: Kids Kan Dance 🙂

Yvette suggested: https://www.kidskandance.co.uk/class-timetables

Wendy said: if you can’t find a dance class, freestyle gym at Basingstoke Gymnastics on a Fri should suit http://www.basingstokegym.co.uk/cla…/pre-school-freestyle/

Samantha said: We do kids kan dance on a Friday and really recommend it!

Rebecca said: Basingstoke academy of dance have a preschool class on a Thursday. It might be from 3 however.

Carina said: Lynden school of Dance – we go to one on a Thursday afternoon at the sports centre. Its called Little tiptoes. Mums dance with them! It’s a lovely introduction to dance!

Leah said: Kids kan dance with Katie Bennett is great! Look up kids kan dance on Facebook or website.

Natalie also said: Chloe goes to her classes 🙂

Leah replied to Natalie: ah lol 😂 is that where she goes?! I went to her classes with Leo for a short while & I thought it was great for kids 😊

Lindsey said: Lynden School of Dance have little tiptoes on Friday morning at Sherfield Park

Charlene said: Aggy Gray School of Ballet Aggy is amazing and specialises in younger ballet.

Natalie said: Second vote for kids kan dance. My daughter went to Basingstoke Academy of dance when she was a toddler, but doing modern, tap and ballet with a teacher who wasn’t tuned into the little ones meant she didn’t like it at 2.5.

Victoria said: My daughter goes to kidskandance its really great! So relaxed and they learn so much! It can all be done at the childs pace we love dancing every Friday at 11:45-12:15 at lychpit village hall. Xx

Karen said: My daughter goes to Lisa Jane School of Dance, they have classes at various locations in Basingstoke. She’s been going since she was 3 and will be turning 11 this year, I can really recommend x

Joanne said: www.facebook.com/TheDanceDept Hi I run a fun ballet tots class on a Friday afternoon at Old Down Hall.

Becky said: I run a session called Movin Monkeez on a Friday morning…. have a look at my page….. Movin Monkeez HQ & the Basingstoke area x

Nita said: this is a fantastic class as the kids are always moving about – well worth a try 😊

Kat said: We loved kids kan dance before my oldest daughter started school. I’m just waiting for my younger one to be old enough so we can go back

Katie said: Pop Tots would be perfect – Ali has been on maternity leave but she’s about to start back up so like her page to be kept updated. It’s exactly what you’re after!

Kelly-Lauren said: Jiggy Wrigglers Crookham, Fleet, Hook and Basingstoke The children that come are free to get up and dance and singing and play with all the props. There is definitely no sitting down!

Julia said: Kids Kan Dance is fab. My 3 yr old goes and loves it – super friendly as well x

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Organising a children’s party

Thank you very much to Shona who put this post together!!

Organising a children’s party

Parties can feel like a nightmare to organise, especially if you are on a budget. Here we will share all the information we have gathered about birthday parties, including cheap ideas, venues and entertainment.

So, first you need to decide where it is you want to do your party. Is your home suitable for the amount of guests you will have? If you have a younger child’s birthday, remember parents will stay with their children so there does need to be enough space. In the summer you will be able to use the garden, but in winter you need to ensure there is indoor space.

If your house isn’t big enough, here are some venues in North Hampshire that you can rent.

St Lawrence Church Hall

St Lawrence Parish Centre provides a venue for private hire. It is conveniently in the town centre and popular for parties, meetings and conferences.

Cost: £15 per hour on weekdays and £12.50 per hour on weekends.

Contact: 0142082442

28 Park Close Road, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 2HA

Crookham War Memorial Hall

There are 2 halls for rent here, both have kitchens and large off street parking. Ideal for weddings, christenings, parties and dances.

Cost: upon enquiry

Contact: 07784830989

Sandy Lane, Fleet, Hampshire, GU52 8LD

Hatch Warren Community Centre

There are daytime and evening slots for parties and you can rent either the main hall or the lounge. Hire of the kitchen is included in hall hire cost.

Cost: £22 per hour for main hall and £18.10 per hour for the lounge (reductions available if you live locally and can join the Community Association).

Contact: 01256811262

Longcross Lane, Hatch Warren, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG22 4XF

Hiring Hatch Warren Community Centre

The Cross Barn, Odiham

An absolutely stunning building built in 1532 and converted in 1997. There are two rooms, a large hall and a small room available for meetings.

Cost: £26.50 per hour for the Great Hall during summer or £27.50 per hour during winter.

Contact: 01256701803

Palace Gate Farm, Hook, Hampshire, RG29 1JX

The Cross Barn

Hook Community Centre

Newly refurbished, Hook Community Centre offers a range of spaces for hire. There is parking for around 100 cars. There are 3 different rooms of different sizes.

Cost: Varies from room to room. Cheapest is £32.50 to Hook residents and £36.50 to non residents. This is for a 3 hours children’s party (based on 2 hr party and half hour either side to set up/clean up).

Contact: 012567604000

Ravenscroft, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 9NN

Hook Community Centre

Alton Community Centre

Located behind the High Street there are rooms to hire at Alton Community Centre. The room recommended for children’s birthday parties is the Garden room which has a kitchen area too.

Cost: For the Garden room for a 3 hours slot (2 hour party and half an hour either side) the cost is £35.

Contact: 0142085057

Amery Street, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 1HN

Alton Community Centre

Oakley Village Hall

There are two halls available for hire: The Committee Room is suitable for up to 20 people and the Main Hall is suitable for up to 120 people. A kitchen is available on site.

Cost: available on request

Contact: 01256780918

Andover Road, Oakley, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG23 7HA

Westside Community Centre

Westside Community Centre in South Ham has 3 different rooms available to hire.

Cost: Main hall costs £18 per hour (only available during the day on Sundays, every other day is evening only). The small room costs £12 per hour and the Russell Howard room is also £12 per hour.

Contact: 01256464571

Paddock Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG22 6QB

Westside Community Centre

The Sycamore Centre

There is a hall available for hire at the Sycamore Centre for a variety of functions.

Cost: Available upon request

Contact: 01256330375

Sycamore Way, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG23 8AB

Westside Community Centre

Westside Community Centre in South Ham has 3 different rooms available to hire.

Cost: Main hall costs £18 per hour (only available during the day on Sundays, every other day is evening only). The small room costs £12 per hour and the Russell Howard room is also £12 per hour.

Contact: 01256464571

Paddock Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG22 6QB

Westside Community Centre

Bramley Village Hall

There are three rooms available to hire at Bramley Village Hall.

Cost: Main hall costs £18 per hour (only available during the day on Sundays, every other day is evening only). The small room costs £12 per hour and the Russell Howard room is also £12 per hour.

Contact: 07464749997

The Street, Bramley, Tadley, RG26 5BP

Bramley Village Hall

Chineham Village Hall

Cost: from £8.20 per hour

Contact: 07935328172

Thornhill Way, Chineham, Basingstoke, RG24 8YE

Chineham Village Hall

Next up you will need to decide on party games (if your child is old enough for these).

Here are some ideas of cheap/free games you could play:

  • Pass the parcel – You can buy many things to put in the middle of a pass the parcel with a sweet in each layer as you unwrap it.
  • Musical chairs – FREE
  • Musical bumps – FREE
  • Musical statues – FREE
  • Scavenger hunt – Use clues to help the children find what you want them to find. This could be done even more cheaply by hunting items found in nature i.e. pine cones, rocks. Then the winners get a prize.  
  • Fancy dress – If your children have lots of fancy dress items, you could put a fancy dress box in at the party for all the children to use.
  • Simon says – FREE
  • Pass the balloon – split into 2 equal teams and sit in lines. Each person has to hold the balloon under their chin, no hands and pass it along to their team. Whichever team gets it to the end of the line wins.
  • Dead ants – for older children. The children dance around the room until you shout a number from 0-4. When they hear the number they put that many body parts on the floor. If you shout 0 they have to lie on their backs with their limbs in the air like dead ants.
  • Pin the tail on the donkey – print out a donkey picture and make a tail out of paper/material. Here you have pin the tail on the donkey.
  • Sports day type activities – egg and spoon race, three legged race or a water balloon toss.
  • The chocolate game – a bar of chocolate, knife and fork and a dice. Sit in a circle and roll the dice. If someone rolls a 6 they have to try and cut up the bar of chocolate and eat some with the knife and fork. The other guests continue and when someone else gets a 6 they swap in.
  • Pinata

You can also have some activities set out around for children to do such as:

  • Bubbles – many parents have a bubble machine at home already.
  • Colouring books / printable colouring activities i.e. masks
  • Decorating cupcakes – you could have cupcakes and part of the party activity could be decorate your own cupcake to take home.
  • Decorate your own party hat – see below
  • Pasta necklace making – string and dried pasta tubes create great pasta necklaces.
  • Ball pit – many parents will have these knocking around, even if it’s a small paddling pool filled with plastic balls.
  • Disco – just use your own music on a stereo or smartphone with speaker. Much cheaper than hiring a disco.
  • Skittles – using empty drinks bottles, you could fill them with various things to make them a little heavier then use a ball to try and knock them over.

Decorations can also be made economically:

  • Decorate your own party hats – rather than buying party hats you could use paper for children to make a cone and decorate their own party hat with crayons, pens or even sticking sequins, buttons or feathers on.
  • Pre decorated party napkins – buy some napkins, a rubber stamp and an ink pad, then you can stamp anything onto your napkins!!
  • Make your own happy birthday banner – using things around the house i.e an old bedsheet and some pens/paint.
  • You don’t need helium balloons – children are happy with normal balloons so if you want a helium one, then just perhaps get one in the number of the child’s age.
  • Make your own party favours – in place of a party bag, each person could go home with a homemade sweet cone. Sweets can be bought in bulk and cellophane cones can be bought from eBay.

If you want entertainment, here are some options in the local area:

Routine Riots

Specialising in children’s entertainment for parties, events and shows, all the performers are trained and experienced in working with children. You can choose from Magic Shows, Princess Parties, Face Painting and many more!

Routine Riots Facebook Page

A Message From.

A Message From. is run by Jade who dresses up as your children’s favourite princess characters to provide entertainment for children’s parties and events. You may have seen her as Elsa from Frozen as she has attended many local events. She also provides personalised video messages for your little ones.

A Message From. Facebook Page

Website – A Message From.

Silly Scott

Silly Scott is a popular children’s entertainer in the south. He can provide a comedy magic show, games, competitions, balloon modelling, dancing and music. You can also book face painting through the website too. There are also party tips and suggested venues.

Silly Scott

All Puffed Out

All Puffed Out provide balloon twisting entertainment within the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and parts of Hampshire areas. They combine 1, 2 and 3 balloons to make models, wands, hats and swords if they are booked to attend. You can also just ask them to provide pre-made balloons for the day, perhaps as prizes for a game.

All Puffed Out

All Steps First Dance

All Steps First Dance provide children’s birthday dance parties within the chosen venue. All dance teachers are fully qualified and have a DBS check as well as insurance. You pick from a theme such as Street Dance, Bollywood, X Factor or Disney (these are just a few) and you can also pick your own. They do games and learn dance routines.

All Steps First Dance

Juggling John

Juggling John is a children’s birthday party entertainer, magician, party clown, juggler, jester and much more. He is fully police checked and insured as well as a member of the Magic Circle.

Juggling John

Miss Sunshine

Miss Sunshine has an enhanced CRB check and has previously entertained at previous pre-schools, in holiday parks as well as on P&O Cruises. Wearing bright colours she makes children laugh with her silliness. Popular for both boys and girls. She provides a magic show and can also do music and games.

Miss Sunshine

DNA Kids – Hampshire

DNA Kids is a nationwide provider of children’s parties from age 4 – 13 years. They host a variety of different things such as discos, Princess, Heroes and Pirates Parties, Magic Shows, Beach Parties, Monster Parties, Soccer Superstar Football Parties and Popstar Parties.

DNA Kids

Bouncy castle hire can also be good for little ones because they don’t need any entertainment. NHM recommends JV Bouncy Castle Hire.

If you are looking for face painting, NHM recommends Neon Fairy Face Painting

Top tips

  • You MUST decide on a budget and stick to it. Perhaps try and work out how much you want to spend on food, decorations, cake etc.
  • If you have a theme, not EVERYTHING has to go with the theme. Napkins, plates and decorations can be very expensive. Just use the theme for invitations and cake, the children won’t notice all of the extras as long as they are having a good time!
  • You can save money by having a birthday party for a time where you don’t need to provide food (e.g. 2-4pm).
  • Having a reasonable limit on the amount of guests can save money as then you don’t need to spend as much on favours and invitations
  • Can you find a template to print out party invitations online? Then you could print your own.
  • Keep it simple!
  • Can you host a party at home rather than rent a venue? If not, shop around for a cheaper venue but still local.
  • Search for pre-filled party bags – you can often get these cheap if buying a couple or you could go to the pound shop and get some cheap fillers for party bags.
  • Ensure there is easy cleaning floor if you are serving food!
  • Ensure there are tables and chairs for adults to sit on as well as refreshments such as tea/coffee
  • Don’t forget a knife to cut the cake!
  • Check if anyone has any allergies to food/latex balloons
  • Remember if you have a venue to take: Rubbish bags, balloons, sellotape, blu tack, napkins, tea towels, scissors
  • Ensure there is public liability and insurance if you hire a bouncy castle.
  • Double check with your venue if they can use their plates, cups etc.

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Brighten up January with free wellness weekend at Festival Place, Basingstoke

Festival Place is inviting shoppers to beat the January Blues and begin 2019 mindfully with a calming weekend wellbeing event.

Mindful Moments takes place over the weekend of January 12th and 13th and includes an interactive “Mindfulness Mosaic” built from LEGO ® bricks and free drop-in family sessions where people will be able to create colourful flower posies and lanterns.

The mosaic in Porchester Square will be hosted by award-winning Bright Bricks, which specialises in creating spectacular public sculptures. Shoppers will be able to come and build a segment of the mosaic – with each little square helping to produce a big picture which will be on display throughout January.

Basingstoke Sports Centre will also be hosting a wellbeing pop-up event over the weekend, including yoga classes for beginners, exercise sessions for toddlers and a family bootcamp workout.

Neil Churchill, Centre Director at Festival Place, said: “Wellness is a hugely important theme for 2019 and we want to play our part in promoting health and wellbeing as we begin a new year.

“Our mindfulness weekend offers something for all the family and we’re particularly looking forward to seeing our mosaic take shape. The team at Bright Bricks created some spectacular animal sculptures at the centre last year and we’re sure the mindfulness mosaic will be just as inspiring.

“The weekend is also a great opportunity for people of all ages to make a day of it and enjoy our vast range of leisure facilities, restaurants and stores.”

The drop-in workshops, run by The Hampshire Flower Studio, will be relaxing family sessions where children and adults can learn simple techniques to create either a posy, paper lantern or felt flower badge.

People can join in the fun from 11am to 4pm. The sessions are suited to children seven years and over and every child must be accompanied by an adult who can also take part. All the workshops are free, but donations will be welcome for The Playhouse Foundation, a Hampshire-based charity that helps children with autism and their families.

The Basingstoke Sports Centre team will be running exercise activities on the upper level of Festival Place from 11am to 2.15pm on the Saturday. On Sunday the team will be offering wellness tips and inviting shoppers to try out the InBody machine, which gives a full fitness analysis of the body.

Mindful Moments is the first in a calendar of events at Festival Place throughout 2019, including exciting events for Valentine’s Day, Easter, and the popular Eat Street Food Festival.

For more information visit www.festivalplace.co.uk/mindfulmoments and find updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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 on TwitterFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!

I started NorthHantsMum 7 years ago today!

Seven years on.

I’m still here.

So are you.

I wish I had something insightful and witty to write about 7 years of my life leading the NorthHantsMum Community but I’m too exhausted today! lol.

I STILL can’t get my head around how I’m considered to be NorthHantsMum. I think it’s because it’s not just me. There’s a whole team of us who work in the background.

Thank you especially to Juliet and Shona who have helped me so much in the past 3 years, putting posts together. Thank you also to Tina for her expert wordpress help. And the many others who have helped me during the past 7 years: Wendy, Andy, Jo, Abi, Sophie, Peta, Claire and many others (apologies if I’ve missed your name off!).

I also can’t believe it’s ONLY been 7 years. It feels like it’s been part of my life for much, much longer!!!! In a good way, of course :-D.

Anyway, Happy 7th Birthday to the NorthHantsMum Community!

Roll on summer, when I’m taking my annual 6 weeks off!!! 😀 😀 :-D.

As always, thank you for being part of the NorthHantsMum Community and for all of your support!

Louisex

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Child-friendly places to eat in and around Basingstoke

Thank you very much to Shona for putting this post together!!

Child-friendly places to eat in and around Basingstoke

Little Roses Tea Room and Gift Shop – Elm Park Garden Centre, Aldermaston Road, Pamber End, Tadley, RG26 5QW

Open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4.30pm

  • Lovely Little cafe with lovely people and great service.
  • Has a baby changing unit in its disabled toilet with nappy sacks and baby wipes for you to use!
  • Sit upstairs if you have toddlers or want to sit on comfy sofa’s – no gate at the top of the stairs though.
  • Lovely cakes and very reasonable placed.
  • Recommend to avoid the Valley of the Dolls shop next door. Unless you are into that kind of thing of course
  • Cafe is situated at the back of the garden centre to the right and has parking next to it.

Wyevale Garden Centre – Wildmoor Lane, Sherfield on Loddon, Basingstoke, RG27 0HL

Open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10.30am to 4.30pm on Sundays

  • Bit hit and miss with quality of food. Week days better than weekends
  • Join the membership scheme as it’s amazing how quickly you rack up discounts which get you money off future purchases.
  • They have a car cleaner on site, so you can have your car cleaned for a very reasonable price whilst you enjoy lunch or coffee and cake.
  • Baby Changing facilities are in the ladies

Departure Lounge Cafe – Basingstoke Road, Alton, GU34 4BH

Open from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on weekends.

  • This cafe is next to a Garden Centre and has part of an aircraft (!!!) at the back of the cafe.
  • Was very impressed as it didn’t look much from the main road.

Newlyns Farm Cafe – Lodge Farm, North Warnborough, Hook, RG29 1HA

Open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm on Saturdays and 9am to 12pm on Sundays

  • Eaten here several times but not with baby so not sure what baby facilities are like. Anyone else been here with their baby?

Squires Garden Centre Badshot Lea Road, Badshot Lea, Farnham, GU9 9JX
Open from 9am – 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10.30am to 4.30pm on Sundays.

  • Lovely cafe here with a room for children with toys and high chairs in which is quite nice.
  • Good quality food
  • Baby changing facilities in the disabled toilets

The Portsmouth Arms – Hatch Warren Lane, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG22 4RA

Food served from 8am to 9pm Monday to Thursday, 8am to 10pm Friday and Saturday and 12pm to 9pm on Sunday

  • Wooden climbing frame and swings for children.
  • Unsure if Baby changing facilities available

Millstone Pub – Barton’s Lane, Old Basing, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 8AE

Food served from 12pm to 2.30pm and 6pm to 9pm Monday to Friday and from 12pm to 9pm on weekends

  • A country pub haven, yet only 5 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Basingstoke town centre, the Millstone is set within a conservation area near to the historical Basing house ruins.
  • Children’s Playground next door. Unsure if Baby changing facilities are available.
  • The Millstone hosts a quiz every Thursday from 9pm.

Giraffe – Festival Place Shopping Centre, Basingstoke, RG21 7BB

  • Check vouchercloud.com for discounts before going
  • Reasonably priced kids menu
  • Current deal on for Kids main course, dessert and drink for just £6.50 (correct as of December 2016) all day everyday
  • Step free access which is great if you are taking a pushchair or two.
  • Kids parties are available too.

Zizzi’s – 1 London Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7NT

  • Check vouchercloud.com for discounts before going
  • Bambini Kids Menu – 3 courses and a chococino for £6.75 (correct as of December 2016)

Wagamamas – Festival Place, Basingstoke, RG21 7BB

  • Baby Changing facilities are available in the Disabled toilet
  • Seating is on benches and generally not comfortable for breastfeeding
  • Fast and healthy food
  • If you sit at the tables near the entrance, there is enough parking for pushchairs next to the tables at the back.
  • Disabled access can be used for pushchairs.
  • If you are pressed for time (evening feeds, etc.) you can check out your local Wagamama menu on the iPhone or iPad Wagamama application or check online in advance. The Mobile Applications allow you to place your order so it is ready when you arrive. You can also order takeaway using this option.
  • Excellent air con, so if it’s hot outside, this is a great place to be!
  • Reasonably priced kids menu available

Pizza Express – Unit R9, Lower Ground, Festival Place, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7BB

  • Children’s menu available with 3 courses for only £6.95 (correct as of December 2016)
  • Pizza making parties can be booked for adults and children!
  • They are running an incentive to get children cooking and are encouraging school visits to learn.

Pizza ExpressThe Whitehouse, Winchester Road, Basingstoke, RG22 6HL

  • Baby Changing facilities in Disabled toilets, with cover for babies to lie on
  • Parking in car park is very small. Alternative parking is available at the football ground which is 3 mins walk away, however, you will need your pushchair as it’s too far to carry the car seat from.
  • Dyson hand dryers (it’s the little things that count!)
  • Very friendly people who like babies!
  • Check vouchercloud.com for discounts before going
  • Children’s menu available with 3 courses for only £6.95 (correct as of December 2016)
  • Pizza making parties can be booked for adults and children!
  • They are running an incentive to get children cooking and are encouraging school visits to learn.

Pizza Hut – Brighton Hill Retail Park, Winchester Road, Basingstoke, RG22 4AN

  • Unlimited salad, unlimited squash and unlimited ice cream factory… how can you argue with that?
  • They have two children’s menus with pizzas, pastas or chicken followed by a drink and Ice Cream factory or a fruit juice ice lolly. Prices start at £5.49 (correct as of December 2016)
  • Baby changing facilities are good here too.
  • Balloons and activity books with crayons are available to keep children busy whilst they wait
  • Children’s parties are available too
  • They also have bottle warming facilities
  • High chairs available too

The Harvester – Winchester Road, Basingstoke, RG22 6HN

  • Some tables aren’t big enough for Pushchairs
  • Baby changing facilities are available in disabled toilets.
  • Menu shows the calorie content of each item
  • Starting from £5.99 there is a children’s menu with meals for small children up to 10 years old.
  • Unlimited salad cart too
  • Activity pack with colouring and games to do whilst waiting for food
  • Staff have always been lovely when I’ve been with my child

Mcdonalds  – Brighton Hill Retail Park, Winchester Road, Basingstoke, RG22 4AN

  • If you’re feeling more slummy mummy than yummy mummy and can’t be bothered to mobilise the army, this is a very quick place to get lunch
  • Many more options than used to be, children can have burger, cheeseburger, chicken nuggets or fish fingers. They can also have fries or carrot sticks and for drinks they can have milk, orange juice, fruit shoot or any of the draft drinks.

Nelsons Diner – Newbury Road, Newbury, RG20 4TA

  • I love Nelsons for breakfast. They do a great American breakfast, pancakes with maple syrup. If you aren’t watching your waistline, I totally recommend the milkshakes. Totally moreish. (I may regret putting up such a raving review next time we try to get a table! :-D)
  • Kids menu is available and a meal deal is only £6.95 (correct as of December 2016) which includes a starter, main course and a desert as well as a drink.
  • Children’s parties can also be booked here.
  • Staff have always been really friendly when taken my family there.
  • Changing facilities are basic but adequate.
  • Not much space for pushchairs but there is parking right outside so shouldn’t be much of an issue
  • Highchairs available
  • Play area outside if the weather is nice

Sainsburys – 3 Wallop Drive, Basingstoke, RG22 4TW

  • Children’s meals are developed for ages 5 to 10.
  • They do sell pouches of baby food
  • High chairs are good and have always been clean when we’ve visited
  • Dedicated baby changing room with a toilet in for parents too

Debenhams – Festival Place, Festival Way, Basingstoke, RG21 7BA

  • 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.
  • Two types of high chairs including ones for smaller babies

Morrisons – Worting Road, Basingstoke, RG21 8BJ

  • Fairly limited kids menu but have always been accommodating when I’d asked to adapt it.
  • Children’s lunch boxes are good as there is a choice of contents.
  • £3 kids meal which includes any children’s meal, a fruit bag and a drink
  • Children eat free after 3pm with a full paying adult meal
  • High chairs, microwave and disposable bibs available
  • Baby changing facilities are further from the restaurant right near the store entrance but have always been clean

Olivers Fish and Chips – 39 London Road, Old Basing, Basingstoke, RG24 7JE

  • 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 as well as books by the door.
  • Not much space so pushchairs won’t really work.
  • Maybe a place to visit if you are lucky enough to have a night out alone with your partner/husband.
  • Children’s meals are priced from £3.45
  • High chairs are available
  • There is also a takeaway menu for children

Marks and Spencers Cafe – Chineham Shopping Centre, Great Binfields Road, Chineham, RG24 8BG

  • Baby changing in both the male and female toilets
  • High chairs are available and have always been clean
  • Not too cheap but good for a nice treat or even just a coffee and a cake
  • Always clean and tidy
  • Plenty of parking

Nando’s  – Festival Place, Basingstoke, RG21 7BB

  • Open until 11pm most nights
  • Has baby changing facilities
  • They do make you leave push chairs near the door, not always near you which makes me nervous
  • Nandino’s meals for under 10’s – choose one main, a marinade (plain-ish or PERi-tamer), two side and a dessert for £5.65

Spruce Goose – Basingstoke Leisure Park, Worting Road, Basingstoke, RG22 6PG

  • New and improved kids menu
  • All children’s mains come with 1 of your 5 a day
  • Meal deals start from £4.75 and come with a free squash
  • I’ve always found service to be slow when I’ve been there so perhaps better with older children

Queens College Arms – Aldermaston Road, Pamber End, Tadley, RG26 5QR

  • Recommend booking in advance and asking for the “big” table.
  • They have baby changing facilities onsite and bottle warming facilities.
  • Very friendly and welcoming of Mum’s and babies.
  • For bigger children, there is a climbing frame in the pub garden.
  • Meal deal for children includes any meal plus a tub of ice cream or sorbet for £5.75

Dobbies Garden Centre – 166 Hyde End Road, Shinfield, Reading, RG2 9ER

  • If you fancy going a bit further afield or live near Reading, it’s worth checking out the restaurant of this Garden Centre.
  • They have a large restaurant with a big outside eating area.
  • Seems to be quiet because it’s outside of central Reading.

The Cafe Project, Brighton Hill Parade, Off Sullivan Road, Basingstoke, RG22 4EH

  • Open Tuesday to Friday’s from 9.30am to 2pm
  • Fabulous cause, supports adults with learning difficulties; they train the students to gain experience in hospitality and catering and then they go on to find further work experience or paid employment
  • Small children’s menu
  • Friendly and welcoming
  • Lots of high chairs
  • Baby changing facilities

Conkers Garden Centre London Road, Old Basing, Basingstoke, RG24 7LJ

  • Early Bird Meals with children

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Free Life Insurance for One Year! (it’s true! no tricks, no selling anything, just free life insurance!)

Did you know new parents can have free life insurance for a year?? The details below are for the Post Office but there are lots of other insurers who administer this too!

https://www.postoffice.co.uk/life-cover/free-parent-life-cover

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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

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,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!