Westside Youth Club: Brighton Hill, Mondays & Wednesdays

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“How Many Sleeps ’til Christmas”: Scratch Built Productions’ immersive Christmas show for under 5s

Scratch Built Productions invite families to join them for a cosy Christmas treat at the Creation Space, with their immersive show for under-5s, How Many Sleeps ‘til Christmas.

After three previous sell-out Christmas shows, Scratch Built Productions in association with Proteus Theatre Company return to the Creation Space in Basingstoke this Christmas with their enchanting and interactive festive show aimed at pre-school children and their families…..…..How Many Sleeps ’til Christmas.

The land between waking and sleep is a wonderful place where anything can happen; dreams become reality and reality becomes a dream. Come and meet a colourful host of characters as they lead you on a magical journey where clouds are collected, stories are created, where wishes are welcomed and dreams can come true. Everyone is invited to enjoy this wonderfully cosy Christmas treat.

Following on from the success of last year’s How do Reindeer Fly, Scratch Built Productions are keen not to give away too many details about what is now an eagerly anticipated treat for many local families. However Cbeebies actress and this year’s co-director, Becky Kitter, revealed that there will be plenty of surprises in store to delight little ones:

“Having been part of the cast in the past three productions, I’m really excited to bring all my previous experience to the table as co-director this year, especially as a soon-to-be mum myself! We are creating a dream-like environment for our audiences to snuggle up in, with lots of visual and sensory elements that even babies will enjoy. We are working with some really talented people to create the show, including a visual artist, live musicians and trapeze performers, and of course there will be puppets and plenty of Christmas sparkle!”

“What a magical, beautiful time we had yesterday. We loved every minute” – Katie H, audience member, 2016

“How reindeer fly is possibly the most magical children’s Christmas event going. I cannot recommend it enough. Captured the essence of Christmas beautifully and my daughter was captivated and she’s only 2. We will most definitely be back next year.” Louise E, audience member 2016

Created specifically to be enjoyed by the youngest members of the family and as something a little different from a traditional Christmas show, the Creation Space will be transformed into a walkthrough adventure where children are encouraged to explore, play, create and interact with the enchanting surroundings and colourful characters that they meet along the way.

Tickets are selling fast and some performances have already sold out, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy 45 minutes of unforgettable Christmas magic with your little ones!

Thursday 14th December until Sunday 24th December, with three performances a day at 11am, 2.30pm & 4.30pm weekdays and 11am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm weekends.

The 2.30pm performance on Monday 18th December will be a relaxed performance for those with additional needs and will also include interpretation from a BSL expert.

Tickets are £8 each, children under 12 months of age go free. Tickets available from wegottickets.com/proteustheatre or you can book in person at the Creation Space. For more information, visit www.proteustheatre.com/whats-on or call the Proteus office on 01256 354541. Please note, payments cannot be taken over the phone

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Things to do w/c 1st September 2015 (and I’m very blessed!)

Apologies for the lack of posts this week. We had a bit of a family “crisis” over the weekend.

My Mother In Law decided that Sunday was the best day to tell Mr NHM that she has terminal cancer (I have permission to tell you this!). She’s known for three weeks but decided the best time to tell him would be in the middle of his three days of Night Shift.

My In Law’s relocated “up north” last year so Mr NHM phoned work, explained the circumstances and we were packed within an hour and on the M1 within three hours of her call. I’m very grateful that we could drop everything and go at a moments notice.

I am utterly exhausted. It was a very long drive, there and back and it’s been an emotionally charged couple of days. My Mother In Law may have months and she may have years to live, we just don’t know. With Miss NHM starting school next week this was the best time to go up as we have the week off work because it’s a round number birthday for me.

Thank you VERY much to everyone who has sent me birthday wishes. It’s been absolutely wonderful to receive all of your lovely messages. It’s not exactly been the day I had hoped or planned for, but I have SO much to be thankful for and am sooo grateful for all of your support. An extra special thank you to everyone who contributed to my “wish tree”. It’s absolutely perfect and makes me well up every time I look at it!!!


Like a fine wine, I’m getting better with age, and I have a feeling that things are only going to get better. Thank you to all you who are part of my journey. Big hugs to you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good luck also to all those parents and children who start school tomorrow. Where did the summer holidays go? They flew past at the speed of light! Miss NHM starts school on Monday. I’m completely in denial ;-).

Things to do w/c 2nd September 2015

Tuesday 1st September: MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! Mwahahahahahaha :-D.

Wednesday 2nd September: Storytime at South Ham Library10 – 10:30am

Thursday 3rd September: Pebbles Baby & Toddler Group 1.30-3.00pm, Salvation Army Hall Tadley

Friday 4th September: Storytimeat Basingstoke Discovery Centre

Saturday 5th September: Children’s Saturday Craft South Ham LibraryPaper Cup Blue Whale

Sunday 6th September: Jellybabies Swimming, 9am-12pm, Tadley Swimming Pool, New Road, Tadley RG26 3LA

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Ideas for the 2015 Easter Holidays

I know this is a little bit late, but there’s still another week of the Easter holidays to go, so I’m sure it will still be helpful ;-).

Places to Go


Miller’s Ark


Cinema – Odeon or Vue – Book early for the children’s showings as they are very cheap and thus very popular!

Wellington Country Park 

Micheldever Wood – Free! Just petrol needed

The Vyne

Basing Lime Pits – Free!

Basing Wood – Free!

Basingstoke Aquadrome

Further Afield Places to go

Finkley Down

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

Moors Valley Country Park  – Free! Just parking and petrol needed

Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre

Queen Elizabeth Country Park – Free! Just parking and petrol needed

Dinton Pastures Country Park, Berkshire – Free! Just parking and petrol needed

Marwell Wildlife

California Country Park, Finchampstead

Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway


Swanage – Free! Just parking and petrol needed

Lakeside Country Park

Paulton’s Park/Peppa Pig World

Farleigh Mount – Free! Just petrol needed


The Hawk Conservancy

Alice Holt, Farnham – – Free! Just petrol needed

Kids ‘n’ Action, Soft Play Centre, Winersh Triangle nr Reading

The Living Rainforest, nr Newbury, Berkshire – Keep your receipt as it automatically gives you a year’s entry!


8 things to do in Basingstoke when it’s sunny – we can but hope!

My list of places to visit in 2015

24 things to do during the summer holidays with small children in Basingstoke – Some of these can still be applicable for the Easter holidays

Great Picnic spots in Basingstoke

Great picnic spots near Basingstoke

Ideas from previous posts

Ideas for the 2014 Easter holidays

Things to do this Easter (2013) – just as relevant for 2015

Easter Holiday Activity Inspiration (free or very cheap)

How to keep all the family entertained during Easter – from 2013

Eating Out

5 Places for Sunday lunch, with Children, in North Hampshire

8 “Cheap” Restaurants in Basingstoke (Meal for 2 for under £15)

11 Places to Breakfast “out” with Children in North Hampshire

Useful Posts

Season Tickets to local attractions in North Hampshire – Now is the time to get your season ticket, to make the most of the 2015 season.

Age limits for local attractions

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

15 Different Experiences for Children

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Winter “Bored Sticks” Jar – 40 ideas

I discovered this idea via the blog “The Diary of a Frugal Family“(one of my favourite blogs!). This is a great idea to keep your little ones (and big ones!) occupied.

I bought some coloured lolly sticks from Dunhelm Mill as they were only £1. You can also get them from Hobbycraft but they retail at £2.

Rather than print off my list and add them to each coloured lolly stick, I’ve numbered each of the sticks and then printed out the list below. This means I can change it at will and don’t have to keep making new sticks.

It also means that I can make a list for myself, especially for those things that I never seem to be motivated to get around too! lol.

I plan to put together a list for a “Summer bored Sticks Jar” too, so look out for that around May time.

Do you have any suggestions that I can add into this post?

Ideas for your Winter Bored Sticks Jar

1. Make Gloop with buttons

2. Get the plastic balls and the tent out

3. Make cookies

4. Do some painting

5. Do some glueing and sticking

6. Make some birthday cards

7. Feed the ducks

8. Find some puddles and splash in them

9. Build a tent or den

10. Have a picnic with pretend food

11. Have an indoor picnic with real food

12. Draw something

13. Read a book

14. Make a gift for someone

15. Go to the park

16. Go to the beach

17. Make a musical instrument/play on some musical instruments

18. Find something in your house that starts with every letter of the alphabet

19. Learn ten words in a different language (this is probably more for me than Miss NHM at this stage! lol)

20. Play with or make play doh

21. Let Daddy choose something to do

22. Let Mummy choose something to do

23. Play a board game ( I taught Miss NHM how to play Jenga recently and it was hillarious. She also loves dice)

24. Dance to some music

25. Make cupcakes or fairy cakes

26. Do a craft project or google one to make with empty plastic bottles, toilet roll holders, old christmas cards

27. Make coloured spaghetti

28. Do some dried food cooking

29. Watch a film

30. Make some DIY coloured sand

31. Make a village from any toys that you have

32. Make a memory board

33. Make a scrapbook of a recent event  or holiday

34. Visit a castle. The nearest one to Basingstoke is Odiham Castle, near Hook.

35. Go to the kids club cinema at Odeon or Vue

36. Go out for dinner somewhere. Check out these posts HERE for a list of baby and Children friendly restaurants in Basingstoke.

37. Listen to an Audio Book

38. Go Swimming. Check out the post HERE for details of local swimming pools

30. Visit your local Library.

40. Do a fitness video together as a family. (We did this recently, and it was hilarious!)

Related Posts

8 things to do in Basingstoke when it’s sunny

I realise the irony of this post, but I wrote it and scheduled it when it was sunny and looked like it would stay sunny!

Just in case it is raining today, please see this previous post which has some ideas of how to keep your Little One’s occupied when it’s raining: 8 Cheap or Free Rainy Day Activities in Basingstoke

1. Climb some trees. Try Basing Wood/Carpenters Down behind Popley and next to Chineham Business Park.

2. Go to the Beach! The Nearest “Beaches” to Basingstoke are Fleet Pond on the way to Fleet and Frensham Pond, just past Farnham.

3. Play Poo Sticks on the bridge at the far end of Eastrop Park

4. Fly a Kite on Crabtree Plantation Hill

5. Visit Manydown’s Maize.

6. Pick your Own Fruit at some of the following Farms. I haven’t been to any but when the weather picks up we are planning to go to one. I recommend ringing in advance to ensure that they have crops available and haven’t all been picked the day before! See a previous post about PYO farms in the area HERE.

7. Have a picnic dinner at Basing Lime Pits

8. Paddle in the Paddling Pool at Eastrop Park.

Pick Your Own Farm’s in North Hampshire and Berkshire

Mr NHM's 2015 Pumpkin!!
Mr NHM’s 2015 Pumpkin!!

Carly sent me a very sweet email, prompting me to get my butt in gear and post up this Pick Your Own Farm post! This was a really hard post to research, so if you know of any other local pick your own farms, please let me know at northhantsmum@gmail.com. Thanks for the reminder Carly and I hope you find it useful!


Bourne Valley Pick Your Own, Near Whitchurch/Andover: strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, black, red and white currants and broad beans

West Green Fruits, Hartley Wintney, Hook: West Green Fruits was established in 1997, and is a family run business of 15 acres set in farmland near Hartley Wintney. We offer an extensive range of fruit including; Strawberries, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Gooseberries, Tayberries, Tummelberries, Black & Redcurrants, Blackberries and Summer vegetables.

Durleighmarsh Farm, nr Petersfield: Set in beautiful countryside on the Hampshire/Sussex border, a stone’s throw from Petersfield, Durleighmarsh Farm with its family-run Farm Shop and Pick-Your-Own offers a huge range of top quality fruit and vegetables throughout the season.

Portland Farm, North Waltham (no website that I could see for this farm)


Grays Farm, Wokingham: The Farm is now closed for the winter. We will open as usual in mid April for Rhubarb & hope to open fully on May 18th 2013 with Strawberries, New Potatoes etc.

Copas Farms, Cookham: Copas Farms is a modern, diverse, family-run business with a landholding of just under 3,000 acres in and around the Chilterns and Thames Valley.  From this approximately 2,400 acres is under arable rotation and 81 acres is allocated to two Pick Your Own Farms providing seasonal fruit and vegetables – one at Cookham in Berkshire and the other at Iver in Buckinghamshire.  The centre of operations is based at Hedsor Park Farm, Hedsor in Buckinghamshire.

I also stumbled across this Local Organic Box Delivery in Basingstoke: Northdown Orchard. I currently use Able and Cole but am considering switching to this local supplier. I will let you know if I do manage to get this sorted!

Related NHM Pages

Food on NHM

Reviews of local attractions

NHM Reader Endorsements

Mum Top Tips

22 things to do with an under 7 year old in Basingstoke when it’s raining

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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!


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.


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

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!