Newbie Cinema at the Odeon

I love going to the cinema (as long as the people in the cinema don’t talk or eat loudly all the way through – yes I’m old and yes the eating and talking thing reaaaaally bugs me) so I was delighted to find out about the newbie cinema sessions when I was pregnant.

Miss NHM first went to the cinema when she was 3 weeks old. I remember the film vividly, Chalet girl, I think because the whole experience reminded me that I could still retain a very small part of my pre-parent life. It hasn’t quite worked out that way once Miss NHM got to six months old and was too wriggly for the cinema but I was back to work by then so couldn’t have gone to the newbie session on a Tuesday anyway! Lol.

My Ante-natal friends and I used to try to go to the newbie session every Tuesday. It started at 11.15am which was just the right time to get up and get mobilised without feeling like you had to rush. Many, many times I had a breakfast of popcorn at the newbie session :-D.

I liked the sessions because the sound was quiet and nowhere near as loud as the cinema normally is and because the lights were dimmed so you could breastfeed without judgement and still see what you were doing.

Plus it felt good to be doing something adult and grown up and not something that was all about my baby, like everything seemed to be at the time.

My husband even managed to come along once or twice. He even took Miss NHM on his own, when I had to go back to work, for the two weeks when he was off work and she wasn’t too wriggly for the cinema.

Another benefit of newbie cinema was the cost. It’s much cheaper to go to the newbie cinema than the regular cinema, no one cares if your baby cries and you get free tea or coffee if you would like it. Generally none of the free biscuits though as you could guarantee that the gerriatrics for the senior session, which start 15 mins before, would have scoffed them all.

If you have a newborn or a baby and like going to the cinema, I really recommend going to the newbie session. If only to pretend you have a small semblance of your old life left 😉

Newbie Cinema at the Odeon

Review 2013: Basingstoke Aquadrome

Basingstoke Aquadrome

I’ve been to the Aquapark many times but when we went it was my husband and daughters first time. I’m so old, that I actually remember when the swimming pool was Westfield Lido, and they used to open the glass doors so you could run down the hill, where the Bowling Alley now stands. It was always a pleasure going in the water that was full of grass! lol.

We went on a Friday evening, at 4pm. It wasn’t too busy, about 20 people in the whole aquapark section.

Play/Swimming Area

My little one loved the tiny toddler pool. She must have spent about half an hour going on the tiny elephant slide. I did think this pool was a bit cold. The baby beach was great. My little one loved the plastic puzzles on the wall. But beware of the water shoot. We nearly got drenched under this!

The lazy river was fab. We went into each of the different sections and our favourite was the one with the seating. My little one could stand up here and she enjoyed walking up and down the seating and being carried through the water jets. The lazy river wasn’t too fast but you do need to be very careful to avoid the fierce jets!

My husband thoroughly enjoyed the slides although he didn’t really rate the yellow slide.  We spent a couple of hours in the pool. It was a great bonding experience.


We didn’t try this so I cannot comment.

Baby Facilities

The family changing rooms were excellent. Very large and they each had a plastic baby changing stand and a nappy changing bin.


Were in good condition. One thing I don’t like is that the showers aren’t enclosed. You have to shower with your swimming costume on (unless you have no shame!), so you can’t shower properly. The toilets were in a good condition but I hate public swimming pool toilets. They are always wet. Yuk.


There is lots of parking (although not as much as there used to be because of the Spruce Goose hotel extension and the Parachute place), but none that is particularly well placed if you have small children with you. It is free parking though.


As it was Off Peak, my husband and I both paid £5.45 each. My little one was free and from what I can see on the website, all children under 4 are free. You need to double check this though, as I wasn’t quite sure about this.

Other Information

I wouldn’t recommend attempting to take more than one child on your own. If you have more than one small child, you really need a one adult to one child ratio. For safety, I wouldn’t suggest using the lazy river with more than one child at a time. The website states that:

“Children under the age of 4 must wear approved flotation devices and be accompanied by a responsible adult in the ratio of 1:1.”

Our little one didn’t have a flotation device, but that was our decision and we were happy with this as there were two of us to look after her.

The parent and baby beach is open every day from 10.30am and is £3.50.


4.5 out of 5. We had a lovely couple of hours in the water, but I took half a point off because the water was colder than I would have liked and the showers were open so you can’t really shower properly.

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