Basingstoke Jingle Jog: 26th November 2017

Join Jingle Joggers of all ages to complete our 5K Christmas fancy dress fun run at War Memorial Park, Basingstoke.

Every Jingle Jogger will get a Santa hat or reindeer antlers to run in, and is challenged to don fancy dress to be in with a chance of scooping the prize for the best festive costume. People of all ages are invited to take part, with no pressure to run the course; it’s the taking part that counts!

There will be fun Christmas activities for joggers and spectators to enjoy, refreshments available and complementary water and mince pies for hungry Santa’s at the finish line, as well as a medal to celebrate your success!

Gather your family, friends or workmates and kick start your festive season with the Jingle Jog!

Sign up NOW at www.stepbystep.org.uk/jinglejog

This event in generously sponsored by Penningtons Manches Charitable Trust.

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Event: NHM Meet Up (25th June 2014)

The next NHM Meet Up will be next Wednesday, (Wednesday 25th June) from 9.30am to 12pm at Playdays.

Playdays are very kindly offering a discount of £1.50 off entry price again, but you will need to register your attendance on Eventbrite HERE, to qualify for the discount.

I’m very excited to announce the following local businesses will be attending:

Sarah Dutton Photography

Sarah from Sarah Dutton Photography will be coming along and doing FREE photo shoots.

The slots will be 15 mins each and are available on a 1st come, 1st served booking basis, but you MUST book in advance. To book, you need to send me an email at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com saying that you would like a slot and I will reply to your email with your time.

After you have had your photo’s taken, you will be given a password which will allow you to take copies of any photo’s Sarah has taken of you which will be in a secure area on her website. You can then print them to you heart’s content.

How cool is that! A FREE photo session, so put on some slap and get your glad rags on! :-D.

My Precious Cargo

Colleen from My Precious Cargo will also be coming along and bringing some of their rear facing car seats for you to have a look at and try out.

If you are thinking about getting a rear facing car seat (they are the safest car seats going!) then Colleen will be delighted to answer any questions that you have.

Tinkerbell from Routine Riots

Rapunzel from Tangled came along to the last Meet Up and was incredibly popular (AMAZING voice!).

For this Meet Up, we have Tinkerbell coming along and she will be singing and meeting the children from 9.30am to 11am.

Kim from Routine Riots will also be doing facepainting for the little people.

Mahuru Baby Clinic

Lynsey from Mahuru Baby Clinic will also be coming along and demonstrating some massaging techniques for those with babies.

Lisa’s Lovely Books

The lovely Lisa will also be selling her Usborne books again, so bring some extra cash or cards along for these purchases. (Lisa has her machine to take cards, so you don’t need to bring cash for these books).

Related Posts

NHM Summer Picnic (12th July)

Toddler Games: Making Gloop!

This post is for Jo who thought I said “Goop” and then thought I was best friends with Gwyenth Paltrow because she has a blog called “Goop” :-D.

I’ve been wanting to do this for ages with Miss NHM, since before she was born! I can’t even remember where I first found out about Gloop, but it’s such a simple idea and a very cheap activity.

What you will need

1 cup cold water

2 cups corn flour

Random buttons

Making the Gloop

Slowly add one cup of water to two cups corn flour in a bowl.

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Stir until the water is absorbed by the corn  flour.

Add buttons. Fishing buttons out of the gloop is great for your little one’s fine motor skills.

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Miss NHM played with the Gloop for about an hour. We had a brilliant time playing with it and fishing the buttons out added another dimension to her interest.

Tips

Go to the toilet before you start. I didn’t do this and spent most of the time playing, wishing I had gone beforehand! The thought of leaving Miss NHM on her own or trying to get her to stop playing just wasn’t an option!

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Don’t use fabric buttons like I accidentally did. Duh.

Do this somewhere that you don’t mind getting dirty. We found the kitchen was the best place. I probably wouldn’t do this in a carpeted room.

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You can also step it up a level by adding either food colouring or food essence. We might try this next time.

Also, if the weather is nice next time we try this, I will try this outside.

Let me know if you enjoy this activity as much as we did!

Related Posts

Toddler Games: Coloured Spaghetti

Review 2013: Lakeside Country Park

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Lakeside Country Park and Steam Railway

SO50 5PE

Lakeside country park is opposite the entrances to Southampton airport.

I’ve been to the airport several times but had no idea that the country park was next door! I had no idea what to expect but we had a brilliant day.

Play

The train was AWESOME! It’s 1.5 miles long, with a stop half way round.

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We nearly missed the stop as we weren’t originally going to get off. I’m so glad we did as we went to the play park .

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The play park has a funky seesaw and very cool climbing frame that we had to convince the toddlers they were too small to climb on!

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The stop has several picnic tables, and would be a great place to watch the trains and have a picnic.

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We sat and watched a couple of trains, after the play park and waved at everyone (most of whom waved back!) and the driver even tooted his horn, which the children LOVED.

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We walked across the trail rack and went for a short walk around one of the Lake’s. I’m not sure the fishermen were too happy at two very loud toddlers, but we had great fun spotting mayfly and ducks.

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We got the train back and went through the coolest tunnel!! It was much longer than I expected.

051We also spent time spotting the many cows in the country park.

Food

Really impressed. In the style of a railway cafe and they had several high chairs.

The food selection was very reasonably priced and much better than I expected. The staff were also very friendly and used to dealing with families with small children.

It also helped that it was next to the Station, so when the children needed distraction whilst waiting for their food, we could go and look at the trains.

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Baby changing facilities

I totally forgot to check these but my friend used them and told me that they were in good condition.

Parking

Is free!!! There’s lots of it too. Don’t park in the first small car parks on the right. Drive up to the station (slowly as there are picnic benches right next to the road) and park in this car park. Otherwise you have a three minute walk.

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Prices

You don’t have to pay parking to use the Country park but if you want to use the Steam train it is:

£3.50 per adult

£2.50 per child (2 to 15 year olds)

You can also buy first class tickets, but we enjoyed having the wind in our hair!

A First Class Carriage

You can also buy three ride tickets for the price of two, but these are valid on day of issue only.

Tips

I would recommend the park for children between the ages of 2 years to 6 years old.

Get there early, when the park opens at 10am and you beat the mid morning rush.

They do Days out with Thomas which are a lot cheaper than The Watercress Line at Alresford.

They are also doing “Santa Specials” which look brilliant!

Rating 5 out of 5

We had such a brilliant day out and for such a reasonable price. Everyone was very polite and seemed to really enjoy what they did, which really helped.

We loved that everyone was friendly and everyone waved back at us, including all of the other people at the park!

Related Posts

Reviews

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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Lido’s in Hampshire

This week’s theme is “Outside” so there will be a few blog posts about things to do outside. Apparently the weather is going to improve towards the end of the week. Fingers crossed!!

I found most of this information at: http://www.lidos.org.uk/. Does anyone else remember when the Aquadrome was Westfield Lido and you could run down the hill, where the bowling alley is now? Or perhaps I’m showing my age 😀

I’ve not been to any of these so apologies if they are no longer open. Might be something a bit novel to do with the children when the sun is shining!

Hampshire

Petersfield Open Air Pool

Heath Road, Petersfield, Hants GU31 4DZ
Telephone: 01730 265143

This is an open air heated swimming pool. The pool is open from mid April until the end of September each year. The pool also has a springboard with a 3-metre deep end and has evening sessions.

Lymington: Seawater Baths
Bath Road, Lymington, Hampshire SO41 3RU
Tel: 01590 674865

This is the second largest straight sided lido in the UK, an unheated sea-water swimming pool.

Aldershot Lido
Guildford Road, Aldershot, Hampshire GU12 4BP
Tel: 01252 323482

The pool is very large, with extensive shallows for children to play in, a diving area and exciting water slides. There is an adjoining main 25m indoor pool, an additional teaching pool, plus a 24,000 sq ft gym.
The Lido is open 10.00am – 7pm, May to September – though off season it is used by a canoe club.

Berkshire

Newbury Lido
Northcroft Leisure Centre, Northcroft Lane, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 1RS
Tel: 01635 31199

This is a heated lido and there is also a 10m heated outdoor baby pool.

Hilsea Lido
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO2 9RP
Tel. 023 9266 4608
or 023 9282 3822 [Victoria Swimming Centre]

Outdoor unheated pool, with adjacent children’s paddling pool.

Related Posts

Swimming Pools in North Hampshire suitable for Babies and Children

Swimming with Babies

Baby and Toddler Swimming Lessons

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

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

1. Debenhams Restaurant

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

The restaurant is open until 8pm most week days

2. Olivers Fish and Chips

They have an early Bird Deal at the moment.

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

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

3. The Trawlerman, Chineham Shopping Centre

(Couldn’t find a website)

4. Marks and Spencers Cafe – Chineham

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

5. Sainsburys Cafe at Hatchwarren

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

6. Festival Plaice

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

7. Nando’s

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

8. Pizza Hut

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

 

The Olympics in Basingstoke/North Hampshire

Olympic Games: 27th July to 12th August

Paralympic Games: 29th August to 9th September

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

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

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

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

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

There are several other events happening throughout Hampshire such as:

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

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

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

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

Great Picnic spots in Basingstoke

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

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

Basing Lime Pits:  The Common opposite Basing Lime Pits

Carpenters Down/Basing Wood

Crabtree

Eastrop Park

Wootten St Lawrence Park

Odiham Castle

Basingstoke Common

Zebon Copse

Beggarwood

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A Playmobil secret…

 

If you are a fan of Playmobil and you have children under five years of age, you will LOVE playmobil123. I’d never heard of it before and we discovered it quite by accident when I was looking for wooden food toys on holiday. It’s “classic” Playmobil but is branded as being suitable for 18 months old upwards. The only website that sells it in the UK has Playmobil123 branded as being suitable for ages five years + but I think this is because they’ve lumped it into the “Playmobil” brand.

It’s the little details that are fantastic. There are no small moving parts that can be swallowed and figures “slot” into each toy so that they can be used by small hands. We bought the boat and the motorbike. ( I was slightly gutted when I found out how much we’d paid for them abroad when they are practically half price on the UK website).

With the boat that we have the whale has a float that allows it to either float flat in the water or stand on its tail. The motorbike has a “go faster” button which allows it to go really fast on hard floors. I’m not sure who was more enthusiastic about these details, our little one or my husband and I!

Click here for details about how to order Playmobil123 in the UK: http://www.playmobil123.co.uk/. I’m hoping to buy some more playmobile123 at my next pay day so I’ll let you know whether the site is any good.