NHM Readers Recommend: Local Country Parks

An NHM Reader recently asked: “Would anyone be able to recommend some local country parks? We like Wellington but it’s so expensive!” 

Many thanks to the NHM Community for all of your responses, 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: Local Country Parks

Andrea said “All about a 30-50 min drive away. Dinton Pastures, Itchen Valley, Moors Valley, Royal Victoria, all free except for parking.

Clare saidAlice Holt has the gruffalo trail and in the summer  Moors Valley in the New Forest is great for a while day with only parking to pay”

Charlene saidAlice Holt, Virginia Waters

Dan saidFleet ponds is lovely to walk around.”

Sarah saidCalifornia country park just pay parking”

Jo R saidAlice Holt, Bracknell look out (cheaper later in day) outside free. California country park. Dinton Pastures. Frensham big and little ponds. Elizabeth Country Park. Sign up to National Trust for less than £10 a month then go as many times as you can!

Vicky saidSome great suggestions! We went to California country park for the first time in October and we’ll be going back in the summer to try out the paddling pool (think it’s a £2.50 charge for the pool).”

Tracy saidBeale Park season ticket is very very good value!”

Emma L said “Defo Alice Holt and there’s one in Reading Dinton I think”

Rebecca said I love California country park

Aimee saidDinton Pastures is awesome”

Jo W saidVirginia Waters is beautiful”

Alison saidThatcham discovery centre and Charlton lakes are great

Heather saidQueen Elizabeth Country Park in Petersfield. All free exc small parking fee and brilliant. Drive right to the top for excellent play areas and open spaces. And an obstacle course.”

Jenny saidAlice Holt and Dinton both fab – only pay for parking”

Rachel saidDinton Pastures is brill and free apart from parking. Also nature discovery in Newbury which you just have to pay parking for.”

Emma H saidMoors Valley, you just pay for parking. It’s ace!! There’s also one in eastleigh but I can’t remember the name”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Best Soft Play

I recently had a question from an NHM Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “What are the best soft play places in Hampshire? Or are they all pretty much the same?” 

Many thanks for all of your responses, 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: Best Soft Play

Play Days, Basingstoke

Ellie said “Definitely play days in Basingstoke, have tried them all and this was my favourite. It’s clean, the cafe is nice and the balls are in the ball pit!”

Marie said “Playdays is the best, but the parking is limited. We could do with one the other side of town (hatchwarren/ Brighton hill way).”

Michelle said “Agree playdays is great. Always clean, decent prices, can stay as long as you like and staff all friendly. Has a baby bit and a much larger bit, so good for siblings of different ages…would say probably up to 5/6 years max though”

    • Leah said “depends on the child I think, my 7.5 year old still loves going to Playdays”

Anna said “Playdays is great. My son always had so much fun here!”

Jungle Adventure Soft Play (previously Play Den), Basingstoke

Laura said “Play Gym in Festival place… cleanest place around!”

Helen H said “The play den in town is nice and clean and generally the service is good.”

Active Tots, nr Bramley

Melanie said “For little ones I would highly recommend Active Tots.”

Helen H said “Active Tots near Bramley is lovely and clean, but pricey and the customer service is awful. I’ve been 3x and every time the staff are rude and unhelpful.”

    • Melanie said “Helen I’ve always found the staff lovely and very accommodating to those with allergies.”
    • Helen said “As I say, only been 3x and each time was a horrible experience. But I can’t fault the cleanliness of the place at all. It’s a lovely facility.”
    • Catherine said “and it has windows and natural day light.. which is less depressing for me!”

The Adventure Barn, Winchester

Lisa saidMy favourite is The Adventure Barn its extremely clean (closed every Tuesday 1/2 day to be cleaned) Staff are friendly, it also has a great outdoor play area in the summer. Is suitable for tiny babies up to 9/10 year olds (depending on the child). You can see all areas of the soft play so you can keep an eye on your child and don’t ‘loose’ them. The food is lovely (proper adult food) as well as kids meals, healthy and not so healthy snack for the kids. They do toddler sessions where you get a free biscuit and squash. Its near Marwell. Can be tricky to find the first time. Overall brilliant though…”

360 Play Farnborough

Amy said “It’s really good there. Lots to do but it’s pricey and the food was terrible when I went! Too far for us to go and not have lunch but wouldn’t be in a rush to go again for that reason. That said my little boy had a great time!”

Alison said “Its great but it is expensive. It has great role play areas, carousel, bumper cars, lego building plus usual soft play. My nearly 5 year old loves it. I’ve eaten there a few times and its been fine. Parking is a bit of a pain. The parking outside is time limited so we’ve parked in the multi storey down the road so we can stay all day and make the most especially as its expensive to get in.”

Joellie said “I’m here now! It’s expensive but lots to do

Helen said “Joellie I thought the same about price, especially as on 1st visit you have to register and pay a one off £5 reg fee. But saying that there is loads to do. I agree parking close is limited to 2hrs but next time will park on multi storey as someone else suggested. Definitely will visit again.”

Other and Multiple Recommendations:

Leah said Frankies fun factory in Romsey is big, so much to do & fun! Kids2day in Eastleigh is good. Playdays in Basingstoke. Gym tots in Basingstoke sports centre. Sure there must be one in reading.”

    • Carrie saidkrazy kids is in reading and really good”
    • Leah said “ah knew there would be lol. Not been there yet…”

Leah also said  “Also, fun house in Basingstoke…There’s also one at Finkley Down Farm I think – go for a day out & enjoy. Also, 4 kingdoms play activity centre near Newbury – great outdoors stuff & big soft play centre inside. Marwell zoo has one nearby the zoo – not in the zoo but further down the road (can’t remember what it’s called though)”

    • Lisa said “The Adventure Barn (I’ve mentioned above x )”
    • Leah said “ah yes that one lol.”

Wendy said “I find soft play is very specific to age, active tots is fine for under 1s but a bit pants once they can walk. The sports centre is good for 1 – 4, play days sees them to about year 1. Flip out has a playframe that over 7s absolutely love and my kids love both the indoor and outdoor ones at 4 kingdoms.”

    • Natalie said “Wendy, can you just buy tickets for the soft play bit? Or is it you have to buy for the whole place?”
    • Wendy said “Natalie you have to get tickets for the whole place. Last year they had a ticket sale around March where you could buy discounted tickets with no use by date.”

Steph said “We love the soft play in The sports centre in festival place, it’s clean and reasonably priced. Active Tots is fab for younger children. We love kids in action too but that’s in winnersh”

Alison saidEddie Katz Newbury! (OK Berkshire.. But only just) Also for little ones Active TotsPlay Gym in Basingstoke sports centre”

Vicki said “Love The Adventure Barn near Marwell, Kids n Action in Winnersh and, it’s a bit of a drive, but Sprouts Playbarn near Abingdon is seriously the best I’ve ever been to.”

Kimberley said “Active Tots is really nice for 1-3 year olds however over the top price wise. They even charged a friend of mine over £5 for her 4 month baby which wasn’t going to be using equipment. Play den in town sports centre is also great for younger ones but no cafe anymore. Playdays has a smaller area for younger children and is always clean – not much parking though x”

    • Helen H said “Kimberley they charged us £5 per person to sit in the cafe ! When I had my son with me to use the equipment and two adults who weren’t using it or with kids but would be buying a coffee in the cafe!”
    • Kimberley said “Helen shocking really!”

Julia said “I don’t think anyone has mentioned Madhouse next to the Madejski Stadium in Reading. It’s not too far from Basingstoke, always very clean, staff always friendly when I have been. It does work out pricey if you have lots of kids and eat there too, but I find all the good ones do.”

Michelle saidRosie and Bean cafe in fleet is good for imaginative play, also has a bouncy castle, lovely staff and great food!”

Jessica said “There was a really nice one in Camberley . Magic Kingdom/Dragon or something. That was very good”

Sarah said “Kids n Action is brilliant and something for all ages”

Catherine said fun house

Ruza saidJake’s playworld, with inside and outside space. One of the cleanest I’ve been to and great for the kids. Near tri-lakes”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Best Water Parks and Leisure Centres

I recently had a question from a Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “What are the best water parks / leisure centres in the area for pre-schoolers?”

Many thanks for your responses, 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: Best Water Parks and Leisure Centres

Laura said “I’ve just been to Coral Reef today as we had an inset day. It’s £6.65 for adults, free for under 5s. The big slides aren’t open on weekdays but there’s lots of fun and slides for smaller kids”

Wendy saidAquadrome has just refurbished their toddler bit. Tadley has the best temperature locally. QMC on a Saturday/Sunday afternoon is the best value for money, Just a simple pool but they chuck loads of floats and woggles in. In the summer, Chineham park splash pad in Popley.”

Victoria said “Been to Guildford Spectrum today- great for all ages and loads to do there”

    • Amanda replied “Agreed :)”

Lene said “We went to Windsor leisure park a few weeks ago. We thought it was great. Not massive but had slides, kids bit, wave pool, couple of bigger slides and plenty of changing facilities.”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Punishment at School as well as at Home?

I recently had a question from a Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “After some parenting advice; if your child misbehaved at school and was punished at school would you punish at home as well or not?”

Many thanks for all of your responses, listed below in no particular order.

NHM Readers Recommend: Punishment at School as well as at Home?

Katie said “I think it depends on what they did. I’ve just gone through this and decided punishing at school wasn’t enough so he also got punished at home.”

Chloe said “I had this issue before, I was unhappy that the school didn’t tell me, luckily my child is honest with me, but because she had already been punished, I chose to talk to her about it but not punish her, I make her reflect on what she does, it always depends on how often it happens and the situation”

Becki said “I don’t usually. If the school has dealt with it, I’d talk to the child about it and see if we can get to the bottom of why it happened so it doesn’t happen again. School won’t punish for bad behaviour at home!”

Jennie said “It’s already been dealt with”

Lorah said “Depends what it was!”

Wendy D said “Agree depends on what they did. If they broke school rules then the school punishment is normally enough but if they broke life rules then I would consider revoking a few home prvillages too. Also depends if they are sorry.”

    • Lorah said “Wendy yes agree with this!!”

Kathryn said “I’d have a chat with them at home about it, there is always 2 sides to a story and discuss different ways they could have dealt with whatever they were feeling but not punish them again.”

Catherine said “There’s not really a lot of punishment the school can doll out. It depends on what it was but I think if it was something you considered serious you should back up at home with a consequence to support the school.”

Rachael said “Depends what happened and the reasons it happened. I would always sit down and talk to them about it so they know that I communicate with the school, also so I can pick up if they are acting out because they are upset, stressed etc”

Kerri said “No. I work in a Pre school and we tell parents when their child misbehaves but only for their information. Depending on the age of the child once a certain amount of time has passed the ‘punishment’ won’t be relevant. I think parents should discuss what’s happened and the fact it’s wrong/they’re disappointed etc and to affirm the fact school have chosen to take it seriously. But not necessarily to punish themselves.”

    • Catherine said “Kerri I wouldn’t consider punishing a preschooler at all, other than sternly saying no and explaining why it’s wrong.”

Emma said “Yes!”

Hayley said “Personally punishment should be done at the time of incident.. else they won’t associate the punishment with the wrong doing. I’m with those who say the school should tell parents and when the child is home to sit down and talk about it.. punishment has been given so a stern talk when home about it is best.”

Amber said “If the child has already been punished at school then I dont punish again at home. I want my child to know that he can tell me anything that happens at school without fear of being told off again. Obviously we do talk about any incident but it is a conversation rather than punishment.”

Wendy S said “No, they’ve already been punished, I’d just say that I know about it.”

Karen said “No. Not if it’s been dealt with. Consequences are much better though…https://www.empoweringparents.com/…/punishments-vs…/

Marion said “If it’s a school rule they broke, no. If they’ve been a proper little for and done something unacceptable to another child, absolutely.”

Ruza said “Well it does depend on what happened. School rules, and discipline at school. However if this is something that you really think needs further dealing with then you need to find out why and then look at what you need to do further. Also remember sometimes something happens that has an underlying reason.”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Classic Tracks to Introduce to Your Kids

I had a bit of a random question from a friend which I thought I’d ask the NHM Community for advice on: “I’m trying to introduce my son and daughter to really good music, especially the classic tracks (not classical) from the last 50 years. What specific tracks would you recommend?”

I LOVED all of the suggestions, now listed below, and decided to steal some myself. THANK YOU!!!!!

NHM Readers Recommend: Classic Tracks to Introduce to Your Kids

Holly said “Queen!”

Matthew said “Acdc just get out classic rock and 80’s etc there are loads but just play them in car that’s what we do and kids love them.”

Natashia said “Bee Gees/ Fleetwood Mac / Roxette / Bryan Adams / ABBA ……that’s just pop……or depending on their age they may prefer rock….otherwise ACDC, Crash Test Dummies, The Doors…list goes on …”

Emma said “I love a bit of rolling stones! Though don’t listen to the lyrics too much so couldn’t say how appropriate they are”

Cerys said “My teenage boys are huge Stones fans. We took them to see them live in Southampton earlier this year and they loved it.”

Kym said “Michael Jackson, Beatles”

Hayley said Requested in our house:
Levellers – One way, Beautiful Day, Angels.
Most songs by Bryan Adams.
Guns’n Roses – Sweet child of mine.
Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil, Paint it black.
Aerosmith – Pink, Crazy.
Most songs by the Beatles.
Bon Jovi – Livin’ on a prayer, Always.
Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t fear the reaper.
Madness – Our house, One step beyond.
Specials – Ghost Town
Fleetwood Mac – The Chain, Landslide”
The girls also like a bit of Metallica, Rob Zombie, Oasis, Coldplay & Pearl Jam too.

Melrose said “Love the Levellers, been a fan since 92! Saw them last week in Bristol as part of their 30th anniversary tour, just as brilliant as ever.”

Hayley said “Melrose Hall I think we’ve spoken about them before actually when I used to take my daughter to playgroup at Melrose…They’re one of our favourite bands, we’ve taken the kids to the Beautiful Days festival for the last few years – they love it”

Cat said “My boys’ current favourites: Nickelback rockstar and MJ bad. We have Amazon prime music and I often ask varied playlists: classic rock, 80s rock, disco, 90s etc….”

Wendy S said “Radio 2!”

Allison said “Don’t forget the Sergeant Pepper album – that’s a real classic with a mass of musical styles and instruments

Laura said “Fleetwood mac
The eagles
Abba
The carpenters
The beatles
The beach boys
Queen
Eva cassidy
Simon and garfunkel”

Genni said “The jam, blur, oasis, pulp, nirvana, the list goes on…”

Wendy D said “Just buy now 100, see what they like on it and go from there. My kids love the Smiths. The ministry compilations are also pretty good for trying out different types of music and kids love songs they know from films.”

Cerys said “My 15 year old is sick of Queen! He likes 2 door cinema club, the Killers, the Gorillaz, 21 Pilots, Jimmy Hendrix, and all sorts of people I’ve never heard of”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Family Friendly Wedding Venues

I recently asked the NHM Community if they could help with a question I had received: “We are looking for a family friendly venue for a wedding breakfast in March. Just lunch or possibly lunch and dinner. Somewhere in Hampshire. Possibly a hotel where we can all stay but there’s only 15 of us so I would like it to feel special. Thank you!”

Many thanks for all of your responses, 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: Family Friendly Wedding Venues

Rachael saidWellington on the reading road”

Charlotte saidSecond the Wellington arms got married there and highly recommend it”

Aimee saidBarton’s Mill….they have lovely accommodation now too”

Helena saidHighfield park is lovely. They have a private dining room for groups too.”

Wendy said Oakley Hall, Four seasons dogmersfield, Tylney Hall. Also the old Mill in Aldermaston, technically not Hampshire but almost.”

Erin asked “ Lizzy what was that lovely place we went for afternoon tea?”

          Lizzy repliedWarbrook House

Kirsten saidThe Mill House restaurant and hotel, Swallowfield. I got married there and they have 12 hotel rooms. Very homely and family friendly”

Sasha saidHoliday inn basingstoke is amazing, had a small wedding (21) there and incredible wedding breakfast

Sue saidEsseborne manor

Siobhan said The Hoddington Arms. They have a lovely barn that will be perfect for a small wedding breakt”

Lainey saidWe got married in a small hotel called The Lismoyne Hotel in Fleet.”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Kids’ Haircuts

I asked the NHM Community to help with a question that I had received: “wonder if anyone can help? I have a 2.5 yr old boy who point blank refuses to get his hair cut. He screams, throws his head around, cries, hits out etc etc. We have tried places like his n kids with the little cars and cartoons on. We’ve tried bribery with sweets and toys etc. Also tried cutting at home, having daddy have his cut in front of him. Even tried cutting it in his sleep but he sensed it and woke up. Any miracle workers out there as I am out of options and his hair is an inexplicable mess! Thank you!!!”

Many thanks for all of your suggestions, 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: Kids’ Haircuts

Gina said “I have friends who’s children were a nightmare and I can highly recommend the blonde barber on sherbourne road. She is amazing with children! The Blonde Barber

Kathryn said “Lisa at cut’n’drive is brilliant, she comes to the house and is the only person my 8 year old will let touch her hair.”

Emma saidTrilbys on Pack Lane are absolutely brilliant with my 2 year old. He doesn’t like his hair being cut where we get the tantrums. Ask for Claire she is amazing”

Clare said “Milly at the Topiary in Old Basing is really good. My little boy has never been a big fan of having his hair cut but she’s really patient with him and he’s definitely warmed to her!

Rachel said “We cut it at home. He’s 4.5 and has only just started to improve. We’ve had hairdressers cut their own fingers before. If your in Basingstoke try Marianne’s hair salon. She’s very good but we just persevere at home with clippers”

Nikki said “My eldest went through this phase. We found Carey’s in town (no frills and no special cars!) put him most at ease, but what really cracked it for him was getting him his own little (plastic) hair dressing set and water spray. He used to take a cuddly toy, his spray, comb and scissors, and would concentrate on being the toy’s hairdresser while his own hair was really being cut.”

Heather said “Kerry was it house of handsome you went to? They were brilliant with my nephew who was the same and now is absolutely fine about having it done.”

    • Kerry said Heather that’s right. The first time we went we spent 2 hours in there while on a busy Saturday, they just let him get on with it, eventually over several visits he got better and better. They even cut his hair on the waiting bench once as he refused to sit anywhere else lol”

Laura said  “The Blonde Barber

Becki said David Saunders cuts my kids hair. He comes to our home”

Jenni said “Sorry no help but my little 2.5 year old boy is the same, though after lots of bribery etc he’ll eventually get it done with lots of moaning & crying…”

Jennie said “Honestly I just stopped getting it cut, he’s 7 and his hair is down to his bum, he’s happy and will get a trim every now and then/ There is a messy phase when growing the hair but just ride it out, it’s better than fighting”

Leanne  saidWe just didn’t make him. We decided it was his hair and his decision so bought hair clips. He’s now (3.5) has it cut fine!”

Karen said “I’d probably leave it for now as he is still very young. Maybe try reading and looking at books involving hair cuts – my boys loved ‘Barry the Fish with Fingers and the Hairy Scary Monster’. Get him used to the idea and that it is a good thing and won’t hurt him. Also have you tried it with him sitting in your lap? That used to help when my son got upset about hair cuts, think he felt a bit safer.”

Wendy said “I think you just need to leave it, he’s not ready for it yet. Leave it until he’s old enough to really explain to you why it’s an issue for him. Both my sons have shaggy 70s style hair and really like looking different to the boys with ‘work hair’.”

Philippa said “My daughter is completely terrified of having her hair cut. We’ve given up and waiting it out. We’ve explained that it will help stop her hair being so tangled but to no avail. I always cut my children’s hair at home in a calm environment but no use for my youngest. My advice is give up and embrace the mess!”

Genni said “We have only had his hair cut once. I trim the fringe every now and then if he lets me.”

Ruza saidMy son has had his haircut, then not, then again and our last try was too traumatic for the both of us. At some point he may want it.”

Milly said “I would leave it. He may change his mind on his own.”

Gail saidIf all else fails, just leave it long, he’ll want to get it cut at some point. He might be doing it to get attention, if he thinks it bothers you.”

Marion said “Find out what it is about it that bothers him. Does he think part of him is being cut, and he’s scared it’ll hurt? Or does he like it long? What doesn’t he like about it?”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Board Games

I recently received a question from an NHM Reader: “Do the NHM Community have any boardgame recommendations for toddlers, 5-8 year olds and tweens? I’d like to get one for Christmas each year but want something that we will actually play more than once.” 

Many thanks for all of your responses, listed below in no particular order.

NHM Readers Recommend: Board Games

Lottie said “I don’t know if it’s still a thing as mine are a bit young but I used to love mouse trap at that age!!!”

Lian said “Articulate kids is good for the older ones and adults to play”

Wendy saidI like games that have as few parts as possible so crocodile dentist and toilet trouble are our favourites, also any of the pie faces games. We use them at birthday parties and there’s always a queue.”

Joy said “Rondo! Friends bought it for us, ours are between 9 & 16, we’ve been enjoying it for the past 2 years!”

Ruth said “Or anything in the brainbox range – covers a wide age range, quick and simple to play for as long or as little as interest lasts, and really interesting at the same time!

Jason saidPayday. Love it with my 6 and 10 year old”

Lisa M said “My 7&9 yo have been playing Ticket to Ride for a couple of years. We also love Survive & Catan our three favourites. All great for kids up to adults”

Rachel H said “Hungry hippos is great for my two. They were 3 and 5 last Christmas and has the added bonus that they can play it themselves with no help. I’ve bought a lot of orchard games before but am finding the old favourites are much more suitable and are getting a lot more use”

Lisa B said “Exploding Kittens for the middle age bracket”

Rachael W said “Who am I, popping pirate, piranhas, spot the difference cards”

Sue said “Bugs in the kitchen”

Helena said “Ufo alarm is fab, easy, funny and not many parts!”

Rachael S said “Hullabaloo not a board game but loved by all. Orchard games are loved by 3 years up. Crash bang wallop is fabulous”

Libby said “Exploding kittens!”

Emma T said “Ours love battleships because it’s different every time they play and it gets very competitive!”

Claire said “Ours love Dobble”

Emma C said “Code names is a great game”

Alison said “UNO is a good card game that covers a range of ages”

Liz said “Looping Louie is good for young to mid age range”

Ruza said “Operation, tummy ache, Mmmm!”

Sam said “Orchard games are great for toddlers. We’ve got about 5 of them!”

Helen saidSnakes and ladders, twister, hungry hippos, frustration, tick tack toe”

Angela said “Can’t recommend Smelly Wellies by Orchard Games highly enough for a preschooler. My son loves it, we play many times a day (And if you want variety you can use the two sets of wellies to play pairs)”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Toddler and Baby Groups in Romsey

An NHM Reader recently contacted me asking if the NHM Community might be able to help: “I live in Romsey and I’m feeling a bit isolated. There are very few toddler and baby groups. Given your role, I wondered whether you have any connections in that area?” 

Thank you for all of 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: Toddler and Baby Groups in Romsey

Rebecca said “There’s a lovely coffee shop in Romsey called asante…They don’t do toddler groups but may stop you feeling isolated.”

Luan said “What about contacting RCS as they run all sorts of things. Not sure if groups based any more but worth a try”

Jennifer said “I’d suggest: signing up to Southampton NCT Facebook group and Southampton baby and toddler forum. Loads of great suggestions all over the area. Breastfeeders should get to bosom pals- Thursday morning meets in a room upstairs in the Baptist church and is a friendly place for a chat. The library does a couple of activities I think (and is generally a warm and comfortable place to be). I think I heard murmurs of an abbotswood based buggyfit class….Also thinking: I think there’s still a play cafe at the academy studios and I saw another one is opening up on the base point estate near the luzborough pub.”

Claire said “Toddler Sense runs in Romsey on a Monday”

Claudia said “Trina runs Jolly Babies & Music with Mummy classes in Romsey.”

Leah said “There’s frankies fun factory there – like Playdays but bigger!”

Rachel said “The abbey has a toddler group which was always nice. Lovely toddler group in Awbridge village called the ark. The library does some singing/story stuff for little ones which was really good.”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Play Cafes and Cafes with Toys

I recently had a question from an NHM Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “Does anyone know of any play cafes, or alternatively cafes that have entertainment/ toys for little children?”

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: Play Cafes and Cafes with Toys

Hook Garden Centre

Tracy said “Hook garden centre has a nice play area and cafe.”

Lottie said “Love the garden centre in hook. “

Kelly-Lauren said “Hook Home & Garden Centre, Come along to my session there! Jiggy Wrigglers Basingstoke & Surrounding Villages

Little Roses Coffee Shop

Andy said “Little Roses on the road to tadley is neat.”

Catherine said “Little Roses at Elm Park Garden Centre have toys upstairs”

Katie said “Little roses at Elm Park garden centre has a little play area upstairs for children. And it’s usually fairly quiet.”

More of the Good Stuff

Catherine also said “ More of the Good Stuff in Dummer have a fenced off area within the tea room full of toys”

Ellie said “More of the good stuff at dummer farm has a lovely area”

Andrea said “More of the good stuff cafe in Dummer.”

Samantha said “More of the Good Stuff , Dummer ….. amazing cake and a secure play area for little ones.”

Active Tots

Emma said “Active Tots is good if your kids are under 5”

Sarah A said “Beware – they have to be under 4 and not higher than a meter. Was turned away by my taller than average just turned 4 year old when I had my 2 year old and 6 month old in tow”

Beggarwood Cafe in the Park

Lottie also said “Cafe in the park in beggarwood has lots of toys”

Andrea also said “Beggarwood community centre.”

Redfields Garden Centre

Lottie also said “Bit further but the treetops cafe at Redfields garden centre in fleet is lovely too”

Sarah S said “Redfields garden centre has a little play area in their treetops cafe upstairs”

Rosie and Bean Play Cafe

Michelle said “Rosie and Bean in fleet is fab!!! Worth messaging their Facebook to book a table as they are very busy in the mornings”

The Overton Coffee Shop

Kate said “The Overton Coffee Shop has children’s books/toys and a little table”

The Tea Bar

Abigail said “The Tea Bar in Basingstoke is a lovely independent coffee shop/cafe. They do all sorts of food and they have loads of toys for toddlers and kids to play with”

Wellington Farm Shop

Ruza said Wellington farm shop has an outside area with a great adventure house, some animals to look at and inside a small selection of toys and books for use.”

Proteus Creation Space

Stephany said “Proteus has a little toy corner”

Lasham Gliding Centre

Michelle also said “On a sunny day, Lasham Gliding Centre has a great play park, cafe/restaurant plus you get to see all the gliders and planes”

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 ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!