Swimming Pools in North Hampshire suitable for Babies and Children

I can’t believe I haven’t done a post about swimming pools in the area yet!

Let me know if I’ve missed any.

Public Swimming Pools

Private Swimming Pools

I’m putting together a list of swimming schools and classes in the area, and hope to get it published before Christmas!

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

This is an incredibly long overdue post, but as it’s the last week of the school holidays you might be desperate for some inspiration, so I thought I would post it up anyway!

Many of these suggestions are free!

1. Swim in an outdoor pool.

You could investigate rivers, reservoirs, lakes or canals with towpaths as this will be a new landscape for your child to take in, e.g.:

Fleet Pond

Frensham Ponds

Basingstoke Canal

Lido’s in Hampshire

Splash pools

Or you could just play in the water at Festival Place (the big green phalic things!! lol) or check out the baby swimming pool and the stepping stones in Eastrop Park.

There is also a new splash park which was opened in May 2016, near the Spotlight centre. We are hoping to visit it soon!

2. Walk through the Woods

A trip to the woods can also be exciting – see the woodland trusts nature trails for inspiration – or bike rides. Don’t forget to check out my Basing WoodFarleigh MountBasing Lime PitsMicheldever Wood and Alice Holt reviews.

3. Visit an Ice Cream shop

We have some friends who live in Birmingham which has a fantastic ice cream parlour in the city centre. We always make a trip here, as the children really enjoy it. It’s become a bit of a tradition.

Sundaes Gelato is in Basingstoke and is perfect for an ice cream or sorbet!

4. Fly a kite

Crabtree has to be the best place for this in Basingstoke.

5. Pretend to be a pirate

My little one is obsessed with pirates at the moment. When she’s bigger, we hope to take her to the Historic shipyard in Portsmouth.

She was christened on HMS Victory, so I want to see if they have finally sorted out her plaque!

6. Play ball games

I never realised how much fun you can have with a football till my little one started kicking one!

7. Go on a bear hunt (or a Gruffalo hunt if your little one has read the book)

We are very lucky because we live very close to some little wooded areas which are perfect for bear hunting.

If you don’t live close to some wooded areas, have a look at this post HERE.

8. Go to a Country show

You may be just in time for the New Forest Show this year (it was in July), but maybe something to think about for next year.

It’s a great opportunity to see shiny tractors, lovely animals and yummy things to buy and eat. Or check out some other country shows that are coming up HERE.

9. Go to the Zoo.

Marwell is probably the closest zoo to us, but I went to London Zoo in April 2014 when she was three years old with my little one and can thoroughly recommend this too. Just don’t walk it from Waterloo like we did!

10. Sleep under the stars

We are going camping next weekend and I’m looking forward to doing this!

11. Build a sandcastle or have a sand Castle Competitions

Fleet Pond

Frensham Ponds

Or go to the Beach! The Nearest “Beaches” to Basingstoke are Fleet Pond on the way to Fleet and Frensham Pond, just past Farnham. Otherwise, head to West Wittering, which is great for toddlers.

12. Run through the sprinkler

Not particularly environmentally friendly, but great fun!!!

13. Create your own perfume

I was obsessed with doing this when I was about 8 years old. All I needed was a jar with a lid, some water and a rose bush. My poor parents had to clean out the remnants! lol

14. Roast some marshmallows

“Burning Nights” are a big thing in our house. We have a chiminea and Miss NHM loves it because we can roast marshmallows over it. We recently learnt something new about counting to “50” after you’ve roasted your marshamallow to ensure you don’t get burnt.

15. Go on a train adventure

For a proper train adventure, check out the Watercress Line or Exbury Gardens and Steam Train. Otherwise, just a trip from Basingstoke to Winchester or Farnborough will probably be exciting for little ones.

16. Rainy day card making

Click HERE for some ideas

17. Explore art and music

There are lots of music classes in the area or maybe just a trip to the Anvil or the Haymarket will be inspiring.

18. Learn a new language

Borrow some books in a different language from the library. There are even children’s books in different languages at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre.

Or maybe investigate Linguatastic, the local language school.

19. Fruit Picking – Local Pick Your Own’s

Check out my previous post on local Pick Your Own farms HERE.

20. Climbing Trees

Basing Wood is perfect for climbing trees.

21. Painting Rocks

I want to do this next year with my little one, as I think it will make less mess then! lol.

22. Have a BBQ

You can’t beat a BBQ in summer! Check HERE for a previous post about outdoor BBQ facilities in the area.

23. Daisy Chains

All you need is an area with daisies in. Hours of fun!

24. Go to a farm

Try Finkley Down Farm, Miller’s Ark, Manydown and Bucklebury Farm.

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,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

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.

Food

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.

Facilities

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.

Parking

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.

Price

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.

Rating

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.

Related Posts

Swimming with Babies

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

13 Things to do in Basingstoke with a newborn

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1. Subscribe to NorthHantsMum

Obviously! :-D. 

The best way to ensure that you receive each post is subscribe using the “Email Sign Up” box” on the right hand side of the home page of NorthHantsMum.co.uk. Every time there is a new post on NHM you will receive an email in your inbox.

I get the most interaction on” Louise NHM Smith” on Facebook . The best discussions and comments are always via “Louise NHM Smith“, so I also recommend adding me as a friend. Don’t worry, I don’t ever look at anyones’ profiles. I don’t have the time or interest! lol.

Also ask to join the secret “Newborn”  (or “Pregnancy”) facebook group that I have set up on “Louise NHM Smith” for parents of Newborns. It’s a great way to meet other Mum’s who are in the same stage of babyhood as you.

2. Join a Baby PEEP course

Click for more details about what a PEEP course and Baby Sensory.

3. Go swimming with your baby

Go swimming with your baby (after 12 weeks old) at the Sports Centre in the week or QMC swimming pool at the weekend. See Swimming with Babies for more details. You can check out other baby and child friendly swimming pools. Or maybe look into structured classes with Water Babies.

4. Go to a baby weighing clinic

Go to The Nest at Chineham Church on a Monday morning. I always found the cafe area to be lovely as everyone was very friendly and willing to chat to each other, even if you didn’t know them beforehand! You can check out other baby weighing clinics: Baby Weighing Clinics in Basingstoke. 

5. Visit a local coffee or tea shop

Visit the Little Roses Coffee Shop in Elm Tree Garden Centre for coffee and cake with your friends who are also on maternity leave. You can find other baby friendly tea and coffee shops: Reasonably Priced Afternoon Tea‘s and NHM Recommended Children friendly Coffee Shops.  I also recently reviewed The Parlour TeaRoom which also comes highly recommended.

6. Go to the Newbies cinema

Go to Newbies cinema on a Monday morning at the Odeon. It’s specifically for parents with babies. The sound is reduced and it’s half lighting so you can still see your baby. Much cheaper than normal cinema tickets and includes free biscuits and tea and coffee (if you get there before the Senior cinema oldies demolish the lot at 11am!). Also recommend signing up to their Odeon Club as you get points and it’s amazing how quickly they rack up and convert into free tickets or free food! Miss NHM went to the cinema every week from 3 weeks old till 6 months old!

7. Take a Baby Massage Course

You can book independently here or investigate whether one of the local children’s centres has a course. (this tends to work out much cheaper!) Gail who often does the courses is lovely and a real calming influence.

8. Go to a Baby Rhymetime session

Go to a Baby RhymeTime session (normally hosted at one of the libraries).

9. Visit “Coffee and Chat on a Friday morning

Visit “Coffee and Chat” on a Friday morning. This group also host a “Sling Day” on the 1st Friday of the month (see Slings for previous posts about slings) and they also do bra fittings on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month.

10. Have a photography session with your newborn

You can click Family Photographers in North Hampshire for a list of family friendly photographers in the area. Some do specific newborn packages, so have a look through.

11. Join a local baby class

There are LOADS going on in the area (Tots Play, Buggy Fit, Baby Signing and Baby Sensory are just a few). To find more details about which classes are available have a look at the Activities Page on NorthHantsMum.co.uk which lists classes by day.

12. Take some hand prints whilst your baby is tiny

Get a head start on those all important first Christmas presents at Pots2Paint. Perfect for creating keepsakes from your baby for your loved ones.

Finally…

I found it really important to get out and about with my little one in those first few months. The house became thoroughly neglected but it was totally worth it for my sanity!

If you have any friends who have just had a baby, don’t forget to share this post with them!

Related Pages

Things to do/Places to go with a baby when it’s raining

What to do when you first join the NorthHantsMum Community

Important Local Information (e.g. family phographers, birthday parties, day nurseries, outings)

Subscribe to NHM!!

Baby Weighing Clinics in Basingstoke 

NHM Mum Top Tips

NHM Reader Questions

NHM Business Directory

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,Google+Facebook Profile, LinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!