Review 2018: Gymfinity

Thank you very much to S for today’s NHM Review! She’s done a fab job!!!

Review 2018: Gymfinity

About

Gymfinity is a kids activity centre.

They say: “Gymfinity Kids is the one-stop destination for active classes for kids. From budding gymnasts to natural born ninjas, all skill levels are welcome to join the fun!”.

They host all types of gymnastic classes, holiday camps, baby balance, Ninja Zone and parties.

There are several types of gymnastic classes ranging from beginners, intermediate to advanced and team gymnastics.

Ninja Zone was: ” designed to help children channel their boundless energy into something productive.

This fun and energetic class combines a mix of martial arts, freestyle movement and gymnastics. Every one-hour session includes warm-ups, games and rotations adapted to each child’s ability, plus a fun obstacle course. As their skill and ability grows, each child will advance through the different levels.”

Baby Balance sessions are: “”30 minutes of FREE sensory play for babies aged 3 months +. These are parent-led sessions where you can spend quality time with your little one, while catching up with other parents too!”

There are lots more details about each of the classes at the following link: https://www.gymfinitykids.com/locations/farnborough/activities/#gymnastics.

They have branches in Farnborough, Colchester, Reading and Leeds. I visited the Farnborough branch with my 8 year old son.

Every child has a free trial prior to signing up; this means that the child and parent gets to see if the facilities work for them, and it also gives the coaches a chance to assess the child’s ability and place them in the correct group for their ability.

Every coach is trained by a regional trainer regularly which means that they are all trained to the same standard. They also train coaches on the floor during classes so they receive on-the-job training.

Tips

Gymfinity is based on the upper floor of the Meads Shopping centre (above Sainsbury’s). I would advise you get to your session in plenty of time to get a parking space and pay for your ticket.

Food/drink

There is a vending machine and a hot drinks machine in the gym. These are usual vending prices.

Facilities

There is plenty of seating so you can watch your child during the class. There are a couple of tables. There are male and female toilets and disabled toilet with nappy changing facilities. They are very clean and well maintained.

There are two party rooms, both with disco lights which are very cool. I was told their unicorn themed party is very popular.

The gym itself has loads of equipment including balance beams, trampolines, assault course (with timer), vaulting horse, climbing wall as well as two slides which end in a massive foam pit.

Baby facilities

There are changing facilities in the disabled toilets

Parking

There is a car park which costs £2 for two hours. This can be refunded if you spend £5 in Sainsbury’s.

Prices

The trial session is free but if you decide you want to go ahead with classes these are prices as follows;

Pre-schoolers (up to 4.5): 25.95 a month with £30 annual membership fee
Recreational (4.5-16 years): 34.62 a month with £30 annual membership fee
Additional child: same monthly price but just £5 annual membership fee

Classes run daily and at weekends. At the end of each class children receive any awards and certificates they have earned.

Rating out of 5

5/5. Gymfinity is honestly amazing; it is well air conditioned without being chilly, light and airy. The gym itself is bright and colourful and very inviting to children (I was very tempted to dive headfirst into the foam pit after my son!)

The coaches are fantastic, really encouraging to the children and willing to throw themselves into the activity (my son certainly put his instructor through her paces). There are plenty of coaches on the floor who can help those children who need it and there is a maximum of 10 children per class.

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Gymfinity Farnborough. Our session was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. We were not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are our own.

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Review 2018: Stonor Park, Henley on Thames

Thank you very much to Emma for today’s NHM Secret Review! She’s done an awesome job :-D.

About

Stonor Park is a beautiful stately home found in the sprawling countryside near Henley on Thames. The house itself is open on various dates throughout the year and showcases art, treasures and a step back in time. However, as beautiful as it is, the reason that we loved our visit to Stonar Park was for the Wonder Woods play area that has been built and the beautiful gardens you can explore.

The adventure play area is really big and includes massive slides, swings, water play, climbing frames and gigantic zip wire. We arrived as soon as Stonor park opened at 10am and by 12.30pm the kids were still merrily throwing themselves around on the play equipment. We had to remind them that they needed to eat!

Once we had exhausted the play area we took a wander around the grounds and the children really loved all of the little winding pathways that they could run off and explore – it felt a bit like ‘The Secret Garden’ – really magical.

Alongside all of the exciting things to see, the facilities are also excellent. They have wonderfully clean toilets, a baby changing room, on site parking, gift shop and a café.

Tips

Take a picnic if you feel that way inclined, as they have a lovely big picnic area for you to enjoy whilst watching the Deer frolic amongst the trees.

Be aware that the play area is set on a very steep hillside. I had my baby in a pushchair and I managed to take it all the way up to the top but it was quite a work out to do so, perhaps leave it in the car and grab a sling instead! I also don’t think it would be particularly accessible if you had any mobility issues.

You can pay to visit the whole site (including the house) or just for the gardens and Wonder Woods.

Finally, I suspect that the day was made by the beaming sunshine – it is quite an exposed spot so I am not sure if it would be the same in the pouring rain.

Rating

We had a wonderful day out and I think in good weather it is most definitely a top scoring location! 5/5!

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Review 2018: CarFest South

Thank you very much to R for today’s NHM Secret Review!!!

Review 2018: CarFest South

Wow.  Our day at CarFest was certainly one to remember!  Ha ha. I will explain…

CarFest doesn’t do anything half-heartedly.  It gives 100% to the atmosphere, to the entertainment, to the food, to the music, to the cars and to the fundraising.  It really is impressive. Unfortunately, on our day visit, the weather also decided to give 100%… 100% rain!!! All day.  From start to finish. It rained. And rained. And rained some more. It was relentless.

Now you would think, with all the problems that the weather was creating, that the event would be a washout.  However, I am pleased to report that it definitely wasn’t getting the better of this very British affair. We had an amazing time at CarFest and, weirdly, the crazy torrential rain made the whole experience even more unforgettable!

Top Tip:  Be prepared for all weather conditions (take suncream, hats, layers, waterproofs, picnic blankets/chairs, umbrella, etc) as this is largely an outdoor event.

About

CarFest South is a fantastic weekend of family fun, awesome cars, delicious food and great music.  It was founded by Chris Evans and raises money for BBC Children in Need.

It takes place over the August bank holiday weekend each year.

It is located on Laverstoke Park Farm, near Overton in Hampshire, clearly signposted from Basingstoke.  We didn’t encounter any issues with traffic or queuing at all.

There is plenty of parking onsite.  

Top Tip:  Please note that it is a long uphill walk from the car parks so choose suitable comfortable footwear.  Also make a note of which car park you are in to make it easier to find when you return in the dark!

Since its start in 2012, CarFest has raised £10.5 million for BBC Children in Need!  The purchasing of CarFest tickets, adding to the collection buckets, buying merchandise from the Pudsey shop and getting raffle tickets, all contribute to this wonderful charity helping disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

What’s On

The weekend is jam-packed with family-friendly entertainment.  I couldn’t possibly include everything in this review but here is a quick overview to give you an idea of what’s on:

Family
Farm Olympics, Steam Fair & Rides, Car-nival Parade, Kids’ Theatre, Inflatables, Kids’ Driving School and so much more.

Cars
Race track, Cartopia & Wall of Death, Vintage Village, Motorshow and Pudsey Bear Dream Rides.

Music
Wigwam Stage with performances from new and unsigned acts.
Main stage – headline acts this year included James Bay, Paloma Faith, Clean Bandit and Status Quo.

Food
Food Fair, Kitchen Stage (with live cooking demos from celebrity chefs) and caterers/cafes/food stalls galore!

Top Tip:  Find out what’s on and where from the Daily Planners.  Plan ahead and schedule your day so that you don’t miss out on any of your favourite activities, acts or displays. Some of the children’s activities, such as milkshake making and biscuit decorating, require booking a timeslot.

Top Tip:  The use of ear protection for young children is recommended at CarFest due to the loud cars and music performances.  These can be collected from the Organiser’s Office.

Facilities

  • Toilets and Baby Change
  • First Aid
  • Lost Child Point
  • CarFest encourages the use of reusable bottles to help protect the environment so there are drinking water points across the site.
  • Public Wi-Fi (all proceeds from Wi-Fi connections donated to Children in Need – £1 for 1 day, £3 for full weekend access)
  • Cash Machines (NB withdrawal charges apply)
  • Information Points
  • Electric Scooter & Wheelchair hire

The following must NOT be brought onto the festival site:

  • Dogs (except assistance dogs)
  • Alcohol, Glass, BBQs.

Exhibitors

All the wonderful folk volunteering and working there must have been so wet and cold but it didn’t dampen their spirits at all.  Everyone was so kind, helpful and enthusiastic.

This was particularly true of one stand “Milk & More” who kindly welcomed us to shelter from the rain for a while.  It was very interesting to learn about their service and sample some of their products. Milk & More source milk and other fresh produce from Britain’s farms and deliver them to doorsteps nationwide.  

They are passionate about encouraging people to eat well and live sustainably and it was inspiring to hear their story. I love the idea of waking up to fresh milk from a glass bottle. They were even providing the weekend’s campers with lovely fresh tasty breakfast hampers!  Their website is definitely worth a look.

https://www.milkandmore.co.uk/

Highlights

Chris Evans himself injected so much energy and fun into the weekend’s events.  He is very much present and actively involved in everything that’s going on. He is clearly passionate about CarFest and about the Children in Need charity and it was great to see him compere the evening’s entertainment and interact with all the performers.  

Tickets

http://www.carfest.org/ticket-information

Tickets for CarFest South in August go on sale in the previous November.

Prices vary depending on the number of days you wish to visit and whether or not you will be camping.  A 1-day family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) for the Friday this year was £143.

Children under the age of 6 can enter free of charge but you must order them a ticket.

Top Tip:  CarFest tickets are in high demand each year and can prove tricky to get your hands on.  You will need to set your alarm, be prepared and get online in plenty of time. If possible, use various devices and get friends and family on the case too!  Keep pressing refresh to see the latest information.

Rating

My rating of CarFest has to be 5 out of 5!!!  We really hope to return to this fantastic family event again next year.  We will also be hoping for a bit more luck with regards to the weather.

Reminder of Top Tips

    • CarFest tickets are in high demand each year and can prove tricky to get your hands on.  You will need to set your alarm, be prepared and get online in plenty of time. If possible, use various devices and get friends and family on the case too!  Keep pressing refresh to see the latest information.
    • It is a long uphill walk from the car parks so choose suitable comfortable footwear.  
    • Make a note of which car park you are in to make it easier to find when you return in the dark!
    • Find out what’s on and where from the Daily Planners.  Plan ahead and schedule your day so that you don’t miss out on any of your favourite activities, acts or displays. Some of the children’s activities, such as milkshake making and biscuit decorating, require booking a timeslot.
    • The use of ear protection for young children is recommended at CarFest due to the loud cars and music performances.  These can be collected from the Organiser’s Office.
    • Take picnic food and snacks with you to save some money as purchasing food onsite can be pricey.
    • Be prepared for all weather conditions (take suncream, hats, layers, waterproofs, picnic blankets/chairs, umbrella, etc) as this is largely an outdoor event.

Disclaimer: This post is a review of 2018 CarFest South in conjunction with MilkandMore. The tickets were supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. We were not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are our own.

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! 

Review 2018: TNT Family Fitness

Thank you very much to “L” for today’s NHM Secret Review!

Review 2018: TNT Family Fitness

My 2 and a half year old daughter and I recently attended the first TNT Family Fitness (http://tntfamilyfitness.co.uk/) session at Viables Community Centre.

The TNT Family Fitness moto is ‘making family’s fit’. Their classes cater for all the family by using activities that are fun and engaging for children but in a way that means adults can exercise.

By joining the fun and fitness together it means you can be doing something beneficial whilst having great quality family time!

I was a bit nervous about attending the class as I’ve not done loads in the way of exercise since having my second baby and my eldest always takes a little while to warm up to classes and start to join in. I had no need to be worried! The first thing Andy did was throw a load of football’s out for the children to play with while parents filled out their registration forms, that was it my little girl was straight off running around and playing with the other children!

We started off doing a warm up but this was no ordinary warm up, it was ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ complete with lots of lunges, stretches and running! After that we played a game that involved running to different colour cones and doing various movements including star jumps, high knees and stretches.

My daughter’s favourite activity was tidying the balls away. It wasn’t just tidying balls away though, there were football’s and tennis balls everywhere! We had to run to them and parents had the option of lunging, squatting or doing a press up to pick up the ball and then run and place it in the right coloured hoop. Great activity for the parents as it really got us moving and great for the children as it got them moving and thinking about colours!

Other activities involved an egg and spoon race (my daughter was better than me!!!) And capture the flag (the tent was a big hit!). We finished off with a cool down.

We really enjoyed our session and it’s definitely something we’d do again!

There are still more sessions on this summer at a variety of locations in Basingstoke and it’s not too late to book.

14 August at Old Basing
21 August at Melrose Hall
28 August at Melrose Hall

The time of the session depends on the age of your child – there is one for under 5s and one for over 5s.

More information can be found over on the TNT Family Fitness Facebook page!

https://www.facebook.com/TNTFamilyFitnessUK/

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Review 2018: Cupper Joe – Coffee Brewing Workshop

Review 2018: Cupper Joe – Coffee Brewing Workshop

Coffee, time away from the kids, it was already sounding like a dream before I stepped through the door! Being partial to a good coffee, I was seriously looking forward to Cupper Joe’s Coffee Brewing Workshop.

About

The workshop focuses on brewing speciality coffee at home using filter coffee methods covering:

  1. Coffee Beans – varietals, countries and characteristics
  2. Water
  3. The importance of coffee grinders and impact of grind size on a brew
  4. Coffee to water ratio and its impact on taste
  5. Brewing method, including Kalita and Aeropress

This included hands-on coffee brewing and lots of testing!

It’s safe to say I had no idea how much was involved in coffee making and how much control you can have on the finished product. From your choice of coffee and knowing what to look for, to how to brew with different methods right down to how much difference the water can make – we even did a little experiment on this with really interesting results! “Making coffee is part art and part science” as Joe states on his website, and this is definitely what we discovered.

Joe also managed to fit in some iced coffee making which was so appropriate given the weather we were having. I will definitely be putting that to good use!

The workshop itself was a really good mix of listening, group conversation, watching and group coffee making and testing. Not surprisingly we were all pretty buzzing by the end! I’m looking forward to using my new found knowledge in experimenting and finding the best coffee that suits me.

Rating out of 5

5/5 I had a great time, learnt loads, drank lots of awesome coffee. What’s not to love! It was also great to learn from someone who is so clearly passionate about what they do.

From complete beginner to the more experienced, if you are a coffee lover or just looking for something a little different to try, I would certainly recommend this workshop.

For more information on Cupper Joe’s workshops, or to try some of the amazing coffees and hot drinks at his pop up events, check out his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cupperjoe/

Disclaimer: This post is a review of a Cupper Joe – Coffee Brewing Workshop. The workshop was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. Juliet was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are her own.

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! 

Review 2018: The Sleepee Teepee Party

Thank you very much to today’s NHM Secret Reviewer, S, for her brilliant post and thank you to Karina at The Sleepy Teepee Party for the opportunity!!

Review 2018: The Sleepee Teepee Party

About

The Sleepee Teepee Party is a company who hire out themed teepees for sleep overs.

They have various themes available including commando/army, VIP/Hollywood, Unicorn and mystical (Harry Potter).

My son and his friend chose the mystical theme for their sleepover.

Food

The Sleepy Teepee Party provided the boys with a bag of haribo each.

For an extra cost The Sleepy Teepee Party can provide you with a midnight feast, breakfast, cupcakes, hot chocolate and toiletries.

The boys really enjoyed eating their breakfast off the end tables they had the following morning.

Facilities

The Sleepee Teepee Party provided us with two teepees, one with a yellow cover and one with a red cover. They also gave us two inflatable mattresses, themed duvet covers and pillows as well as a themed blanket and cushion.

We had bunting in the theme of our choice which was draped over the teepees. We were provided with end tables and a lantern with a battery candle, a balloon and a sleep mask each. We also had fairy lights which were draped around the tepees.

Each of the teepees had a chalk board tied to it with the boys names written on to make it a bit more personal.

Parking

The Sleepee Teepee come to you so no parking necessary.

Prices

The Sleepy Teepee Party charge £30 per tent.

Rating out of 5

I would give it 5 out of 5.

Karina is so passionate and friendly. She was very prompt in responding to my emails and was very flexible over choosing a date for our sleepover.

She arrived as planned the afternoon of the sleepover to set up the teepees and made them so inviting I was slightly jealous that I wouldn’t be able to sleep in them.

Karina took great care setting up the bedding, making sure it was just right and then set up the end tables with the various props (lantern and sleep mask together with a pair of Harry Potter glasses). She then tied fairy lights around the teepees to make them even more exciting.

She was very patient with my little boy who wanted to help her set them up. Once my son’s friend arrived for the sleepover they were so excited to be sleeping in them.

The following morning Karina arrived to dismantle and remove the teepees as arranged.

The boys had an absolute blast and I would definitely recommend them to anyone.

Disclaimer: This post is a review of The Sleepee Teepee Party. The themed teepees were supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. S was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are her own.

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!