February 2015 Half Term Ideas

This is a list of random posts that you might find useful for Half Term!

Reviews (A list of all of the places that have been reviewed on NHM)

Half Term Outing Ideas in and around Basingstoke

Half Term Ideas


Outings in Basingstoke

Soft Play Centres

Hampshire Days out with your children

Hampshire Days Out

Picnic’s in Basingstoke (If it isn’t raining, this is actually quite a fun thing to do. If you don’t have a plastic picnic blanket, take bin liners and don’t forget a thermos of hot chocolate!)

Picnic’s near Basingstoke

Berkshire Days Out

Cafe’s near Basingstoke

Walks near Basingstoke

Early Bird Meals with children

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

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

Reasonably Priced Afternoon tea’s

Easter Holiday Activity Inspiration (free or very cheap)

Local Parks and Open Spaces

Half Term Outing Ideas in and around Basingstoke

Tea Time at Newlyns Farm

Local Farm Shops

Discover what children’s centres can offer you and your family

Luxury Afternoon Tea in and around Basingstoke

Pushchair Friendly Walks In Basingstoke

Swimming with Babies

Cheap Places to go for Dinner in Basingstoke

Pushchair Friendly Walks Near Basingstoke

Staying In

7 Cheap or Free Rainy Day Activities in Basingstoke

All those Questions you’ve been dying to ask your Toddler…

Toddler Games: Coloured Spaghetti

Nature Detectives

Toddler Games: Making Gloop!

Games to play with your baby or toddler

7 More Free Rainy Day Activities

Winter “Bored Sticks” Jar – 40 ideas

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

iPads and toddlers

Toddler Games: Dry Food Play

The Marshmallow Test – The Secrets of Self-Control in Children

Play Dough Recipes

Other Posts

10 (Cheap and Easy) Ways to Pamper Yourself

Parenting and Baby Magazines

Parenting Websites

General Travel Tips

Traveling with your baby – Part 1

Traveling with your baby – Part 2

Library Membership for your child

Autumn on a Budget

Review 2014: Airkix in Basingstoke

Warning: These are the only photo’s that you will ever see of me on NHM :-D. 

I committed to myself at the beginning of the year, that this would be MY year. (and it REALLY has been. 2014 has been an amazing year for me!!)

As part of this I made a decision early on this year, that I would do a Sky Dive for charity in 2015. (A few people have been very critical of this as I’m a parent, but life’s too short not to take the odd risk now and then, whether you are a parent or not!!)

Next year is a “big” birthday for me (21 again!!!) and I would love it if my family and friends donated money for me to Sky Dive to raise funds for Sebastian’s Action Trust, instead of buying me a birthday present.

I wanted to try Airkix first, to see if I could *hack* a Sky Dive.

So, Mr NHM bought me an awesome birthday present, which I cashed in on Sunday.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and was a little terrified.

But…it was SOOOOOO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was so amazing that I have booked my Sky Dive, two days after Airkix! lol.



Once you have brought your Airkix ticket you need to book your slot online. During school holidays and weekends it can get very busy, so I booked at least a month in advance and then promptly forgot about it. DON’T DO THIS! Make sure you read the paperwork that gets sent to you at least a few days in advance.

When you arrive, you will need to complete a “Statement of Risk” disclaimer on the computer terminals. You are supposed to complete this at home, in advance, but I completely missed this bit. (Sorry Airkix!!!) It takes a bit longer than you would think because the keyboard has clearly been used many times before.

If you’ve had shoulder problems, you also need to confirm that you are ok to jump.

Once everyone arrives (I was dying of embarrassment that we were late), you then get taken upstairs to a room with a video and asked to watch the 5 minute video which explains everything you need to know and remember.

I was very pleased to see that I wasn’t the oldest person in the room. However, it was a little misleading as a few parents were sitting with their children and the parents didn’t actually jump. Sneaky!!!

The video covers quite a bit and I’m sure if you are younger and not so stressed about being late, you would take in a lot more. I tried to concentrate on the hand movements that you need to watch for, as you can’t hear or talk in the wind tunnel.

Luckily, I didn’t really have any time to become nervous. Once the video has finished, you then suit up.

You are given a lovely jump suit and helmet, goggles and then you can also have ear plugs. I wore these as I’m partially deaf anyway, so really couldn’t hear anything! lol.

Then, it’s time to go. You are taken into the ar-locked area of the wind tunnel and you sit on the bench. The other side of the wind tunnel are the spectators. I think this was the worst bit! Knowing that people were watching you!?!?!?!

I was 5th in the queue. It was fab watching everyone else, but this was the point where I started to get nervous.

When it was my turn, I could literally feel all of the spectator’s eyes on me. I was by far the oldest “girl” and I think they were expecting me to freak out of flake out. (I didn’t, I loved it and am REALLY proud of that fact! lol.)

Then, before you know it, it’s your turn….


I didn’t realise how much you needed to concentrate. I think I just expected it to “happen”. It did happen but you need to make sure you were paying attention to the hand signals. It actually takes a lot of control.

I had two jumps of two minutes each. About 1.40 seconds into the first jump I had to get out. My back was KILLING ME! It’s not used to being arched in such a direction, so the instructor did two, one minute sessions next for me, rather than two minutes in one hit. This was much better.

I managed to do a 360 degree turn in both directions, went sideways and up and down. It was amazing how little movement was needed to move around.

In my last “jump” I was taken up and down the wind tunnel by the instructor. This was AMAZING and, despite grinning like an idiot and trying not too dribble everywhere, it was a real highlight. This is the bit that secured the Sky Dive booking for me :-D.

After everyone has done their jump and the photo’s have been taken, you then take off your gear and are given your certificates. I’m very proud of my certificate and it’s displayed next to the award I won for NHM earlier in the year.


The instructor said I was a natural, which I’m sure is what helped my enjoyment, plus not having the time to get nervous in advance.

When you have finished you check out downstairs and have the option to buy repeat jumps at a reduced price.

Guess who knows what she’s getting for Christmas :-D.


Check your paperwork BEFORE the day of your jump. DO NOT do what I did and check it the morning of your jump, only to realise that you have to be there AT LEAST an hour before your scheduled time. We left the house in 7 minutes. This was the fastest time we have EVER left the house! lol.

(Thankfully, I was only 20 minutes late and the staff were lovely about it. We were THAT family though! I think if we had been 25 mins late, I would have lost my slot.)

Breath. I didn’t realise until after my first jump that I had been holding my breath. Nearly two minutes of holding ones breath is a long time. Make sure you breath!!!!

You will dribble. Not just at the “easy on the eye” Instructors ;-).

You will also ache the following day. Three days on and my stomach muscles haven’t quite forgiven me. So worth it though!!!!!

Leave your jewellery at home. It’s not recommended to wear it in the wind tunnel.

Non-participating children cannot be left alone, so make sure you bring someone along with you to watch them.

If you have long hair, tie your hair back as you don’t want it whipping around you in the wind tunnel.




Are excellent as it’s a very new facility. To be fair though, we didn’t do much exploring. Did I mention we were late? <blush>.

Baby Facilities

Not really sure, I was too excited to check these out.


Is free in Basingstoke Leisure Park


Are actually very reasonable for what you get.

There are also a few special offers that you can book on the day, for your next Airkix flight, which I may or may not have booked on the day because I loved it so much :-D.

Rating out of 5

10 out of 5. If only to prove to yourself that you aren’t JUST a Mum. 😉


My list of Posts that I just don’t get time to finish writing…

Over the Christmas period, I’m hoping to take two weeks “off” from NHM, to spend some quality time with the two most amazing and wonderful people in my life: Mr NHM and Miss NHM.

I will still schedule the normal “Things to do” post on the Monday’s of those two weeks, but expect it to be really quiet the rest of the time.

I am planning to use some of this time to work on some of my personal posts and hopefully some from the list below!

My list of Posts that I just don’t get time to finish writing…

Are there any posts below on the list that you would REALLY like me to write?

Are there any posts on the list below that YOU would like a go at writing?

If you’ve answered yes to any of the questions above, please let me know the posts you would like me (or you!) to focus on. Thank you!


  • Pregnancy Classes/Information in Basingstoke
  • Birthing Ideas
  • Ante Natal Swimming Classes in teh area
  • Pregnancy exercise classes in Basingstoke
  • Parenting theories
  • Must have’s for first month with baby


  • Things to do in Basingstoke with a 9 month old baby
  • Activities to do with a newborn when it’s raining
  • Weaning in Basingstoke
  • When should I buy my baby their first pair of shoes?
  • bump and baby groups in basingstoke
  • Baby Things to do in North Hampshire


  • Birthday Party Entertainers
  • Pre-Loved Baby Items in Basingstoke
  • Ideas for teaching your child to speak a different language
  • Age Limits for National Attractions


  • 11 things to do in Basingstoke with an 18 month old
  • Places to  Visit in North Hampshire with a Toddler


  • Homeschooling in North Hampshire
  • Private Schools in and near Basingstoke


  • Networking for the busy Mum
  • How to support local businesses
  • My experience of Flexible Working

Things to Do

  • Holiday Clubs in North Hampshire
  • 7 more Free things to do in and around Basingstoke
  • My Bucket/Life list for my daughter (before she starts dictating what she wants to do – which has already started happening, to be fair! lol)
  • Places to Visit in North Hampshire with a Baby
  • Things to do on a wet bank holiday
  • 12 places to breakfast outside with children
  • Child Friendly Restaurants near Basingstoke
  • Places to go if you are new to the area
  • Ceramic and Pottery in and near North Hampshire
  • Date Night: Things to do together that doesn’t involved food!!!
  • Frugal Date Night Ideas
  • Things to do in Basingstoke with a 9 month old baby
  • Theatres in North Hampshire
  • Baby and Children friendly Tea Shops and Coffee Shops in North Hampshire
  • Baby and Children friendly Tea Shops and Coffee Shops in Basingstoke
  • Baby and Children friendly Tea Shops and Coffee Shops in Berkshire
  • Date Night: Spa’s in the North Hampshire area
  • Grandparents
  • Garden Centres in North Hampshire
  • Florists
  • Domestic Bliss: Ideas on how to manage a home (from someone who has learnt the hard way!! lol)
  • Creches near Basingstoke
  • Creches in Basingstoke
  • Child Friendly Pubs near Basingstoke
  • Birthday Cakes
  • Basingstoke Posh/Expensive Restaurants
  • Basingstoke Mid Range restaurants
  • Basingstoke Foodbank
  • Basingstoke cheap restaurants


  • Bakeries in Basingstoke


  • War Memorial Park
  • The Willis Museum

Christmas Food Boxes for Basingstoke 2014

I am SOOOOOO excited about this morning’s post.

I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a while but had no idea where to start so I was DELIGHTED when Natascha, from Basingstoke Voluntary Action, contacted me asking if I could publicise their Food Box collection.

The drop off point is in town, opposite the Police Station and behind the White Hart Pub, so it’s fairly easy to get too.

When you make your delivery, please mention that you are a NHM Reader.

Natascha is happy to keep a record of all of the collections from the NHM Community.

Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if the NHM Community, a group of AMAZING Mum’s and Dad’s (and you are!!!), could provide such great practical support for those who are struggling this Christmas, directly in our community????!?!?!

THIS is why I write NHM. To help others!!!

For those of you coming to the NHM Christmas Expo on Friday, why not bring a few tins, or any other items on the lists below, along? I’m happy to take collection and will drop them off on Friday after the event.    

Now, does anyone have any suggestions of where to get photocopying paper boxes in bulk from? 😉                                                          

Christmas Food Boxes for Basingstoke 2014

Last year Basingstoke Voluntary Action appealed to individuals and organisations to join us in providing Christmas Food Boxes to those less fortunate than ourselves, and who would benefit enormously from a little extra at Christmas time. The response was huge, and through your generosity we were able to supply refuges, families and homeless centres in Basingstoke and Deane with Food Boxes filled with Christmas goodies.

We want to do a similar appeal this Christmas, and ask you to consider if your group or organisation could donate any food, food boxes (a box between your group would be amazing!), or additional items to help a homeless person. Last year we were able to distribute 150 boxes and 46 rough sleeper packs to people for whom this time of year really is a struggle – this is a fantastic way of making a huge difference to the wider community!

Why not make it a team challenge? – Last year local companies competed internally to fill the most boxes and a local school was motivated by friendly competition between year groups.

If any of you are interested in joining in, here’s what we recommend:

Option 1 – Christmas Food Box for refuges, hostels and underprivileged families

  1. Take a photocopying paper box and lid:
  2. Picture 1Wrap box and lid separately in Christmas wrapping paper:
  3. Picture 4Fill it up with food for Christmas, selecting from the following suggested items:
  • Tins of salmon, ham or chicken breast
  • Tins of new potatoes, carrots, garden peas
  • Tin or pouch of long life quality casserole meal
  • Christmas pudding, custard, mince pies, Christmas cake
  • Luxury biscuits, chocolates/selection box
  • Jar of coffee
  • Snacks such as crackers, twiglets, savoury twists, nibbles
  • For family boxes a small toy, family game or book

Picture 3

  1. Box all food up
  2. Please list the contents of your box and pop it in so we can ensure everyone receives the right items.
  3. Call us to arrange a collection or delivery to The Orchard
  4. We will donate them to the worthy causes and centres in the Basingstoke and Deane area
  5. Total anticipated costs £25 – £30 per box. 

Option 2 – Donations of food to be distributed to homeless centres and hostels, can be from the list above or any of these:

  • Packs of pasta/rice
  • Pouches of pasta sauces
  • Tea and coffee
  • Long life milk
  • Biscuits
  • Sugar
  • Cereals
  • Cup soups, noodles

Picture 2

Option 3 – For someone who will be homeless this Christmas without fridge or cooker facilities

Many food outlets in the town centre provide hot water for rough sleepers, so we would like to ask you to consider:

  • Food items such as:
    • cup soups/noodles
    • tea bags
    • coffee (any food bags you can add hot water to)
    • ring-pull tins of hot dogs
    • ravioli
    • stews
    • rice puddings
    • high energy protein/cereal bars
    • chocolate biscuits/sweets/small selection boxes
    • multipack crisp/snacks
  • Equipment such as:
    • warm hats
    • scarves
    • gloves
    • socks
    • jumpers
    • coats
    • unwanted rucksacks or draw string bags
    • wind-up torches
    • sleeping bags
    • thermos flasks/cups
    • sturdy boots/shoes
    • toiletries

Finally, many companies in previous years have donated money to help with winter food box appeals.

If you would like to do this please contact Admin@BVAction.org.uk or make cheques payable to Basingstoke Voluntary Action and clearly write on the back Christmas Appeal

Please note we cannot accept any donations of alcohol or food containing alcohol

Dates for Donations

We will gratefully accept donations from Monday 3rd November.

Please deliver any food or items by Friday 5th December to Basingstoke Voluntary Action, The Orchard, White Hart Lane, Basingstoke RG21 4AF, or call us to arrange a collection.

All queries, please contact Natascha Shepherd on 01256 423816 or email Admin@BVAction.org.uk

Many thanks from all of us at BVA!!

If you would like a copy of a pdf to pass around at work or friends, please visit our website: https://www.bvaction.org.uk/

Review 2014: Wagamama’s Basingstoke

I’m a massive fan of Wagamama so I was REALLY pleased when Festival Place asked me to review the Basingstoke Wagamama restaurant.

You can keep up with the latest activities at Festival Place via Facebook, Twitter and their website.

Wagamama Basingstoke


We’ve been very lucky that we’ve eaten in Wagamama’s several times since it opened in Festival Place.

Miss NHM started using chopsticks when she was a year old at Wagamama’s. I have video footage of it because I was gob smacked that she could use the chopsticks at all, let alone to get food in her mouth when she was weaning! lol.

When we arrived we were greeted by Charlotte who looked after us so well and was really good with Miss NHM.

We were given an activity colouring mat for Miss NHM and some crayons which kept Miss NHM quiet whilst we looked through the menu:

003 (2)


As we eat in Wagamama’s quite a bit we decided that we would try something different this time.

For starters we had chilli squid which was YUMMY and not too spicy at all:


Mr NHM chose grilled pork bulgogi wraps which were not what I expected but very tasty:


I couldn’t not order my beloved peach iced tea. I’ve tried the fruit juices before and they are yummy too but I was in a peach iced tea mood! lol:


For our main courses Mr NHM tried something new, Teriyaki chicken donburi with a side of kimchee:


However, although I wanted to try something new I couldn’t stop my self from having my usual dish, prawn kare lomen.

This is only because it was off the menu for a couple of years so I’ve got to maximise it before they take it off the menu again! lol. It was YUMMY as always:


Miss NHM had the mini chicken yaki soba which she loved and ate most of using chopsticks

(I didn’t get a chance to take a photo when the dish arrived because Miss NHM tucked in straight away! lol):


For pudding Miss NHM chose the raspberry natural ice fruit lolly which she demolished in record time! lol


011 (2)

For pudding I had coconut reika which was sooooo yummy:


and Mr NHM had the chocolate fudge cake which I wasn’t allowed to try as I had tasted his starters and main 😀


The food was so yummy as it always is and I was pleased to see that there was no difference between when we normally eat here and aren’t doing a review.


The food comes out when it’s ready although the children’s meal nearly always comes out first so sometimes your “starters” come out at the same time as your main meal.

There is a children’s menu:

004 (2)

Wagamama also provide chop sticks for little ones but Miss NHM won’t use them because we don’t use them <sigh>.

There is a shelf under the table for your personal items and hooks on the walls for your coats.

You can also ask for adult “bibs” if you think your dinner is going to get messy as it can with some of the Ramen dishes.


Wagamama Basingstoke is always really busy and has a really good buzz.

There are always lots of families eating in there and they really do cater for everyone.

All of the children get their own activity mat and colouring pencils which helps to distract them whilst waiting for food.

It’s a great place to eat if you are on your own with a little one. On the odd occasion we had enough money I would take Miss NHM on my own when Mr NHM was working shift on the weekend.


There are lots of condiments available if you would like them and the staff are very amenable to helping out


The floor is wipeable! So not too much guilt when food ends up all over the floor.

Be careful with the benches. They can be very slippery for a wiggly toddler/ pre-schooler.

Also, the place mats can be a bit of a pain with a wriggly toddler as we discovered when Miss NHM knocked her milk over. It can’t be helped, just be aware of this.

Baby Facilities

There are special high chairs that fit on the side of the table. Miss NHM always used to sit in these when she was tiny.

There is also space for pushchairs at one end of the restaurant.

The baby changing facilities are in the disabled toilets:



Is in Festival place and is the standard rate for parking.


Are very reasonable when you consider what you are getting for your money.

Rating out of 5

I’ve given Wagamama in Basingstoke 5 out of 5 and not just for the way we were treated on our visit this time.

Every time I’ve eaten in Wagamama in Basingstoke I have been impressed with the staff and the food.

Thank you very much to the team who made our visit so enjoyable!

Thank you also to Festival Place for arranging this opportunity for us.

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Wagamama Basingstoke in conjunction with Festival Place.Our meal was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

The Ultimate NHM Summer Holiday 2014 Posts!

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

Below are a list of posts that have already been published on NHM that will help you keep your little one’s amused during the Summer Holidays.

The Ultimate NHM Summer Holiday Posts!

A Summer of Sport

The very lovely Peta wrote this wonderful series for last summer. She did a fantastic job and it really took the pressure off me! Thanks again Peta!

A Summer Sport I: Tennis

A summer of sport II: Cycling

A summer of sport III: Golf

A summer of sport IV: Cricket

A summer of sport V: Horse Racing

A Summer of Sport VI: Ballet

A Summer of sport VII: “Born to be wild…”

A Summer of sport – final

Summer Fun

Poll: Payable Events over the Summer Holidays

Poll: Free Activities over the summer holidays

Caterpillar Music Summer Parties

Classes that are still running during Summer 2014

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

15 Different Experiences for Children

8 “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

8 Cheap or Free Rainy Day Activities in Basingstoke

In the Garden

Summer Holiday Activities 2012

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

Library Membership for your child

Summer Holiday 2012 Activities

Our favourite books


Poll: Free Activities over the summer holidays

7 More Free Rainy Day Activities

A week of “free” Activities – Autumn

Toddler Games

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

Summer “Bored” Jar ideas

Winter “Bored” Jar Ideas

Spring “Bored” Jar Ideas


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

Summer Outings

Season Tickets to local attractions in North Hampshire

Age limits for attractions

Great Picnic Spots near Basingstoke

Great Picnic Spots in Basingstoke

Nature Detectives

Cheap Transport in North Hampshire

NCT House Swap Reduces Holiday Costs

Hampshire Days out with your children

Family Friendly Festivals 2012

Lido’s in Hampshire

Culture-All Passport – Hampshire

Hampshire Days Out

Berkshire Days Out

Softplay Centres



Dinton Pastures Country Park, Berkshire

Dinosaur Crazy Golf at the Oracle

Marwell Wildlife

Giraffe in Festival Place

Micheldever Wood

California Country Park, Finchampstead

Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway


The Vyne


Miller’s Ark, Nr Hook


Lakeside Country Park

Paulton’s Park/Peppa Pig World

NorthDown Orchard Deliveries

Farleigh Mount


The Hawk Conservancy

Basing Lime Pits

Basing Wood

Finkley Down Farm

Wellington Country Park

Basingstoke Aquadrome

Alice Holt, Farnham

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

The Living Rainforest, nr Newbury, Berkshire

Reviews Page

Summer Food

Early Bird Meals with children

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

Review 2014: Giraffe Restaurant in Basingstoke

It had been a while since we last ate in Giraffe but we recently had breakfast at the Giraffe in Heathrow Terminal 5 and had a fabulous time.

So I was delighted when I was offered the chance to review Giraffe in Festival Place, Basingstoke.

I’ve eaten in Giraffe in Festival Place several times over the years.

Mr NHM’s 32nd birthday party (it was his first birthday in the UK in 7 years!!!) was held in Giraffe and we had a fab time and were treated really well then.



We were very lucky to be treated to appetisers (chicken potstickers and crunchy Shrimp):

a main course (steak with peppercorn sauce and sweet potato fries and Farmer’s market burrito):

and pudding (Baked White Chocolate, Marscapone & passion fruit cheese cake and Key Lime Pie)


(the Key Lime Pie is not something I would normally go for and it was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!)

and we also sampled some of their lovely non-alcoholic cocktails:

Miss NHM had a “kids meal” which included a main course (nachos):

and pudding (banana split):

and a glass of milk, which she loved because it came in a cup with a lid:

The food was YUMMY, as it always is.


Dasha, our server (who was lovely and looked after us so well!) told us that if you sign up to the free Giraffe App, every time you dine and spend over £20 you can get a stamp. Once you get 5 stamps you are entitled to 50% off your bill. Sounds good to me!

Giraffe is a great place to go if you can’t agree on a theme to eat, as they have lots of different kinds of meals that cater for most people’s tastes.

You can also get breakfast in Giraffe and they do a really good selection. We at breakfast ate at the Heathrow Giraffe and were really impressed. Maybe something to consider for half term next week?


The children’s meals include a colourful play mat (other side of the mat shown! lol) and crayons and Miss NHM was given a pink “giraffe” with her milk which she was very pleased with.

In fact, during our long weekend in Germany, she spent most of the time playing with the giraffe’s she was given in the Heathrow Giraffe, so we needn’t have bothered taking any toys with us for her!?!?!


Were clean and in good condition when we visited.

I like the music that they play in Giraffe. The music really helps with creating a fun atmosphere.

Baby Facilities

Were excellent. There is a separate baby changing area which includes one of those cool little toddler chairs which are such a brilliant idea!

There are lots of high chairs as the photo demonstrates:


Is in Festival place and is the standard rate for parking.


Are reasonable when you consider what you are getting for your money.

They also have a special dinner menu with a starter and main course for £10.75 and a “Lunch for less” main course which is £6.75.

Rating out of 5

I’ve given Giraffe in Basingstoke 5 out of 5 and not just for the way we were treated on our visit this time.

Every time I’ve eaten in Giraffe in Basingstoke I have been impressed with the staff and the food.

Thank you very much to the staff who made our visit so enjoyable!

Thank you very much also to Festival Place who organised this opportunity for my family!

If you do visit Giraffe after reading this review, don’t forget to tell them (like any reviews you read on NHM) that you are visiting because you read the review.

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Giraffe Basingstoke in conjunction with Festival Place. Our meal was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

NHM Posts that are relevant for children aged 6 and over

I’ve had a lot of interest recently from Mum’s and Grandparents who have older children/grandchildren.

A lot of posts on NHM are relevant to older children, so I wanted to share with you a new page that I’ve set up on NHM, which you can access via this post or via the menu bar on the home page (it’s underneath the NorthHantsMum banner):

Basingstoke Older Children

For those of you with older children, I hope you find it useful!

8 things to do in Basingstoke when it’s sunny

I realise the irony of this post, but I wrote it and scheduled it when it was sunny and looked like it would stay sunny!

Just in case it is raining today, please see this previous post which has some ideas of how to keep your Little One’s occupied when it’s raining: 8 Cheap or Free Rainy Day Activities in Basingstoke

1. Climb some trees. Try Basing Wood/Carpenters Down behind Popley and next to Chineham Business Park.

2. Go to the Beach! The Nearest “Beaches” to Basingstoke are Fleet Pond on the way to Fleet and Frensham Pond, just past Farnham.

3. Play Poo Sticks on the bridge at the far end of Eastrop Park

4. Fly a Kite on Crabtree Plantation Hill

5. Visit Manydown’s Maize.

6. Pick your Own Fruit at some of the following Farms. I haven’t been to any but when the weather picks up we are planning to go to one. I recommend ringing in advance to ensure that they have crops available and haven’t all been picked the day before! See a previous post about PYO farms in the area HERE.

7. Have a picnic dinner at Basing Lime Pits

8. Paddle in the Paddling Pool at Eastrop Park.

18 Places that will host a Children’s Birthday Party

I’ve only hosted one birthday party for my little one, so clearly I haven’t been exposed to how these experiences can “escalate”. So, as I’m still green behind the gills with regards to parties (Goody bags? Have I not spent enough already?!?!?!) I’ve put together a post with a list of places that will host a birthday party for your little one.

I will be publishing a post next week that will look at cheaper ways to host a children’s birthday party. So if you are looking for birthday party inspiration, check out next weeks posts.

If you are planning a children’s party any time soon…Good Luck! 😀

1. Lymington Sea Water Baths – Pool available to hire for children’s birthday parties. (probably better for a summer party 😉)

2. Little Nellies Diner (was Nelsons Diner) – on the way to Newbury. (They do AWESOME milkshakes!). Minimum £8.95 per child but they can tailor depending on your budget.

3. ActiveTots – Bramley. Minimum £8.50 per child.

4. Intech Science Centre – Winchester (How cool would it be to have a birthday party in a Planetarium!)

5. Play Days – Basingstoke

6. Fun House Basingstoke – Soft Play

7. Basingstoke Sports Centre  (Is it sad that I remember going to a birthday party was at the Sports Centre some 30 odd years ago. Wow. How ancient am I? It was a wicked party though! lol) 

8. Finkley Down Farm – Andover

9. Queen Mary’s College: Our swimming pool is available for hire, and for children’s parties, throughout the year.

10. Bowling Alley, Leisure Park

11. Pizza Hut Parties, Festival Place or the same Business Park as ToysRUs.

12. Pots2 Paint, Viables.

13. Beale Park, Pangbourne, Reading

14. Jakes Indoor Softplay and mini farm, Sandhurst.

15. Birdworld, Farnham

16. The Hawk Conservancy, Andover

17. Atmosphere Trampoline Park

17. Any suggestions as I ran out of ideas!!! (Check out the post below with a list of 6 ‘extra’ places to host a children’s birthday party)

Related Posts

Another 6 places to host a children’s birthday party

Page: Birthday Parties

Post: Organising Birthday Parties!

Local Businesses – Children’s Parties (bouncy castle, face painters, etc)

15 Different Experiences for Children

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