The Secret Village is a brand new imagination play area in East Yorkshire, located in the heart of Anlaby (Pryme Street car park on the parade of shops with the pet shop, behind Fields). It looked great so on a wet Sunday afternoon we decided to have a family afternoon out and see what we thought…..
We took both of my children, aged 5 and just turned 9. My eldest was a bit too old for it but my 5 year old absolutely loved it and loved having her brother to play with her; they played together for the whole 1 hour 30 minutes session (something they would not do at home!). My older son had a hot chocolate and amazing cake too so he was very happy with his afternoon out. I’d say the centre is suitable from babies to around 7 or 8 years, but older siblings are certainly made to feel welcome and I think it did him good to do something other than go on his play station or play football for a change!
I would describe The Secret Village as a very good cafe with a fantastic play area for little ones. It’s ‘proper play’; not soft play or gadgets, just well created little shops and areas for children to play in. They could go to the vets and look after the animals, make meals and drinks in the bistro, dress up and perform in the theatre and be a fireman at the fire station, to name some of them. My children spent the most time just pushing each other on a toy car around the road outside the shops. I also kept them busy by ordering a lot of pizza and taking my poorly toy pets to the vets.
It was lovely to play with my children and come up with games but it was also lovely to have a coffee in peace and watch them play. The play side isn’t huge but it has everything they needed to have lots of fun for the entire time we were there. This also means you can see them at all times from your table in the cafe and I felt relaxed and safe that they were nearby. They are older now but even if I had a toddler or tiny one I would feel comfortable letting them go off and play here. The session was almost full with most tables taken and some very small children in it, but I did notice a lot of parents being able to alternate between playing in the shops with their tots and sitting down with a drink and letting their children play freely.
The centre has only been open for 2 months but it was immaculately clean and tidy. The cafe side was really good too; they sell hot and cold drinks and snacks. The cakes were amazing and some of the best we’ve had! They are baked from scratch fresh for the sessions. I am a complete coffee snob and I’m very fusy about the coffee I have in cafes but this was very good, both myself and my husband really enjoyed ours.
It was a great place to go and spend time t0gether as a family, especially in the cold, wet weather at the moment. It’s also in a great location, I sent my husband off to the pet shop and butchers for errands while I played with the kids and the Crossfit gym is behind the play centre so he had a look around that too!
So overall a big thumbs up for The Secret Village. My 5 year old has already asked when she can go back and I will book in again with her and probably take a friend, they have an after school slot which would be great as an after school treat one day, or a weekend. I’m just upset it didn’t open a few years earlier so I could have gone here rather than soft play when my daughter was a tot! I do have a new nephew who is 6 months old though so I am going to totally max out on visits here with him!
The Sectret Village is open Thursday to Sunday:
Plus a new session on Tuesdays where they also run extra craft activities.
Ringrose Centre, Pryme Street, Anlaby, HU10 6SH. 07709 469090.
NB This is an Advertorial Feature Review for The Secret Village
Hull mum Anna is helping me keep the Mumbler website up to date and is going out and about with her baby Dan to try some new activities. Last January she went along to check out the Us Mums bootcamp session and wrote a review about her experience. Us Mums are running classes this January find their timetable here.
I’m a first time Mum and prior to having my baby last August I enjoyed an active lifestyle, walking my dog and even getting into running taking part in a 5k fun run. Due to my baby being breech I opted for a planned C-section so found it took a few weeks after having my baby to get back to being able to move about and going on little walks which was a bit of a shock to my system.
I came across Us Mums on Mumbler when first exploring groups to join when feeling I was ready to get out and about with my baby. Us Mums looked ideal as your able to take your baby with you whilst you work out, all sessions are designed for pregnant ladies and/or post-natal and are held throughout Hull and at various times during the week. For safety you need to ensure you are post 6 weeks natural or 12 weeks C-section before joining a session.
After looking through the timetable I filled out a really simple registration form and put my name down for Bootcamp at Woodford Leisure Centre in East Hull, by 12 weeks I was keen to start getting fit and feel more like the old me again! My regular instructor is called Laila and from contacting Us Mums prior to my first session she was really encouraging when enquiring about groups, prices etc and I felt really welcome at my first session. This week the class was run by Lauren, here we are at the session!
Bootcamp is based on Interval/Hit training so you do 30-60 seconds short blasts of strenuous exercise such as squats, lunges, lifting small weights etc then have a short rest before moving on to the next exercise. I find you work up a really good sweat but the hard work and ‘burn’ only last for a short time before a breather and water break! The session lasts 45 minutes including warm up cool down and each exercise has various levels of difficulty so can be tailored for anyone. The instructors are friendly, welcoming and explain things really well ensuring you do the exercises correctly to protect you from any injuries and get maximum gain from your workout.
Obviously a major plus for new mummies is the fact you can take your baby with you, at any point in the session you can stop your exercise to tend to your baby, feed, change them etc. There are play mats and toys laid out in the middle of the room for your baby to have a wriggle on with other babies and so you can keep an eye on them easily. If needed you can carry your baby with you during the session and the exercises can be adapted to be enable you to continue working out whilst holding your baby, I see it as a bit of extra weight lifting carrying Dan about! Whether it’s squats, lunges or putting Dan on a mat whilst doing planks or mini push ups, he seems to be highly amused at watching mummy sweat and loves being rocked about!
My baby is now a 5 month old wriggler who’s just learnt to roll but is still fairly ‘non-mobile’ as some sessions are for non-mobile only babies, Us Mums do have crèches for some sessions if your wriggler starts to pick up speed which will come in really handy in the future when little Dan makes the ‘mobile’ mark!
I’m now attending two Bootcamp sessions a week, Woodford Leisure Centre on Mondays and St Marks on a Thursday. Both are excellent facilities and are in handy locations. The session at St Marks is £2 and £2.45 at Woodford so really good value for a morning out and exercising!
I really look forward to the sessions, feeling I’m doing something ‘healthy’, being able to have chat with other mums and after the session you have a feel good mental boost which I’m sure mummies can appreciate when trying to get back to feeling normal and deal with little screamers! I’d recommend Us Mums to any ladies looking at getting more active, they do a variety of fitness sessions including yoga and aqua natal, all really well priced and flexible to you. I rate them 5 stars all round!
You can find the latest Us Mums timetable on the Mumbler Fitness for Parents section.
Last year, for the first time, we tried the pantomime at Bridlington Spa and really enjoyed it. It’s one that we definitely wanted to go to again this year, so today we had a family day out to Bridlington and watched Cinderella! Once again, it didn’t disappoint.
We drove up early (through rain, sunshine and a lot of rainbows) with the intention of making it a day out around Bridlington. We stopped at Fraisethorpe for a walk on the beach while the weather was dry; it’s one of our favourite beaches and I love the walk from there to Bridlington. Not in December though! After a few minutes we ran back to the car to shelter from the wind and rain.
We parked in Bridlington and intended to go to the amusements but again we ended up running through the rain and took shelter at Bridlington Spa! We were over an hour early for the show but I’m really glad we did as we discovered how good the café inside the Spa is! We all got hot chocolates and cake, bought a programme and looked through it to find out more about the show. I will definitely call into the cafe again when we’re in Bridlington, great service and very good value for money.
We watched the 2pm matinee which was perfect timing, it finished around 4.30pm. It quickly got into full swing of the Cinderella storyline and we were laughing out loud at Buttons and singing along from the start. The most important thing for me was my children’s responses, both were mesmerised and didn’t fidget once. I have a 5 year old who can be a bit shy and easily scared by some shows but she really enjoyed this and wasn’t afraid of anything. It’s ideal for younger children as there is lots of singing and dancing, fun and games and constant action. It isn’t too loud and there are no bits when it’s too dark, the lights were on low the whole way through and she was relaxed and happy. My just turned 9 year old also really enjoyed it, it was lovey to hear him laughing out loud at Buttons jokes and joining in.
Towards the end you are all encouraged to join in and dance and were invited to film and take pictures of the finale while you were up dancing which I thought was a lovely touch, most shows are strictly no phones but my daughter has been replaying my finale video constantly since and its made it more memorable for her.
The most famous character was the fairy godmother, played by Didi Conn who was Frenchy in Grease. She was very endearing and played the part well. John Lyons from A Touch of Frost played Baron Hardup, he was in last years panto and was just as funny this year. The Ugly Sisters were fabulous and their costumes were amazing. We thought the singing from Cinderella and price Charming was fantastic, I could have listened to them sing all day long. For all of us though the star of the show was Buttons, he was hilarious, incredibly energetic and kept us all enthralled. At the end of the show the characters came out to meet the audience and get photos and my children both made a beeline straight to Buttons!
The panto wasn’t fancy or polished, but that’s why we loved it. It was cheesy, funny and relaxed with a lot of improvisation and some classic comedy sketches (not wanting to spoil it but there the ghosties and ghoulies come out, there is the usual rendition of 12 Days of Christmas and a few He’s Behind You’s. Proper family panto at its best. Once again the Brid Spa panto has definitely got the Mumbler thumbs up for a fun, festive, family day out.
Cinderella runs to 5th January 2020. Signed performances on 21st December 5.30pm and 30th December 2pm. Relaxed performance on 27th December 5.30pm.
Call the box office for tickets on 01262 678258 or book on their website here.
Bridlington Spa, South Marine Drive, Bridlington, YO15 3JH.
For the last 3 years I’ve made a tradition of taking my son to the Hull Truck Christmas show. It’s his birthday at the start of December so we have been doing this as his birthday day out every year. It’s always a lovely family show, not an overly cheesy festive panto, so it make a great birthday treat.
This year we made a full day out of it in Hull city centre, you can read that blog here. We went to the Hull Truck Peter Pan 2pm Saturday matinee show, myself, my 9 year old and my mum.
The show is suitable for ages 5+ so I didn’t take my younger daughter, there is a special Christmas show at Hull Truck for ages 3-5 years (How to Fly Like a Reindeer) which I’m taking her to nearer Christmas. In previous years the main Hull Truck family show has definitely not been suitable for under 5s, but I did think my younger child would actually have been ok with this year’s Peter Pan, there was nothing dark or scary in it and plenty of songs and action to keep her attention.
The Hull Truck version of Peter Pan was lovely and we really enjoyed watching it. It’s the classic tale retold, with the Darling’s living in Hull and Wendy wanting to get home from Neverland to Hull! There are some nice, original songs and Wendy especially had a fantastic voice. Our favourite part was when Peter and Wendy went up onto the high ropes to perform a song, it was absolutely magical to watch.
The set and costumes were very good and there was always plenty to see on stage. Not wanting to put a spoiler on it but the crocodile was particularly well designed and Captain Hook certainly made a dramatic exit!
Our absolute favourite character was Tinkerbell, she was hilarious. All of us laughed out loud at her performance and she was the star of the show for us.
To be completely honest we didn’t think it was the best Christmas show Hull Truck have done (I don’t think anything will ever top their Oliver Twist last year so they have set the bar ridiculously high!) but it was a lovely show to watch as a family, really engaging and a great day out.
Mumbler Reviewer Anna took her baby to try the Messy Play session run by Eden’s Baby Experiences. They run from Victoria Dock Hull and from also put on sessions for local venues, Anna visited the Halloween session at Williams Den. Read her review here….
Since the beginning of August I have been back at work full time and Dan at nursery, so any days out we can go to just the two of us has suddenly become so exciting! Recently we had a free Friday so went along to join in with some Messy Play with Eden’s Experiences at Williams Den.
We attended a Messy Play session with Eden’s in the summer and Dan loved it so I was really looking forward to seeing if he was still a messy monster this time round! We haven’t been to Williams Den before but I was really impressed with the facilities and will definitely bring Dan back to play here again. The room where the Messy Play session was held, ‘The Den’, was pleasant with a lovely view and warm enough for stripping little ones off.
Nicola from Eden’s introduced herself to everyone and we had a little sing song at the start which was nice whilst getting Dan ready for playtime and being released!
There was a good range of messy areas – orange jelly, chocolate custard, colourful spooky spaghetti, pumpkin mess and spaghetti hoops – as well as some dry play trays which we did before diving into full mess! Dan absolutely loved them all, particularly the spider infested jelly and spooky spaghetti, as well as having a bit of a bath in the custard!
The session was really well attended and all the little ones had lots of fun. It was nice to see Dan getting adventurous by touching, feeling and exploring tastes, textures and colours.
Towards the end of the hour’s play Nicola put out a bath of warm water to get your little ones clean and tidy, then we all gathered together for songs and nursery rhymes to finish.
I’d highly recommend Eden’s Experiences, Nicola is fab with the babies and sessions are well run and organised. I’m hoping to fit in another one before Christmas if we can manage it alongside Dan’s busy schedule and work.
Williams Den is in North Cave so on our way home to Hull we called in at The Potting Shed near South Cave as I’d heard it was a good a child friendly café. The soft play in the cafe was ideal for Dan to be let loose in keeping him entertained whilst waiting for our lunch. You can stay close to the play area whilst having a coffee, we’ll definitely be popping in there again.
After all that activity he had a big nap and I managed to get some shopping done!
The next Messy Play session from Eden’s is the Christmas Messy Play – Monday 9th December 12-1pm at Victoria Dock Village Hall, Hull. Children can explore a variety of Messy stations including sprouts, custard, mince pies and chocolate pudding! The session will also include singing and parachute rhymes. £5.00 per child, £2.50 extra sibling. Please contact Nicola 07749951168 or Facebook Edens baby experiences.
For more information about Williams Den see the Mumbler Days Out Ideas listing here.
The Village Hotel Hull (on Priory Park) got in touch to let me know they had recently refurbished their restaurant and had re-opened the new Pub & Grill. We went down last weekend for lunch with some friends to see what we thought of it…..
As we walked in the kids were delighted, there are lots of HUGE screen TVs with cinema style seats or settees for them to sprawl out on! The children particularly enjoyed the two rows of cinema seats, they sat straight down to watch the rugby world cup on the screen in front of them and the premiership football to the other side. My son and his friend are both football mad and play for the local team Hessle Sporting so they were glued to the seats watching the game. My daughter and her friend didn’t really watch the game but enjoyed swapping seats (and tormenting the boys by fidgeting!). This gave us time to go to the bar and order our drinks and look at the menu in peace!
The new Pub & Grill is really airy and light and had a lovely atmosphere. I have been in before the refurbishment, my husband used to work on Priory Park and I’d take the kids in to meet him for lunch, and I remember it being quite dark and not that welcoming; the transformation is fantastic and we could easily spend a lot of time in there.
After being escorted to our table and finally dragging our children away from the big screens, the waitress gave them all free goodie bags, complete with crayons, puzzles, note book and some pirate hats to make. These kept them entertained for ages, especially making themselves into pirates.
The kids menu was also a colouring sheet; they could tick off their menu choices (so I didn’t forget on the way to the bar to order!) and there were puzzles and colouring on the back. There was a really good choice on the kids menu of mains and accompanying sides and it was good value including a drink and dessert. My son chose a burger and my daughter a pizza, both were very good portion sizes and both went down really well. The children went back to watch the TVs and do more in their activity packs between courses then demolished their brownies and ice creams.
The adult menu was also really good with lots of choice. The stacked burgers came highly recommended by the very attentive staff, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. I chose a burger with cheese and mushrooms (after toying with the idea of a salad, I was very glad I didn’t), my husband chose chicken skewers but had burger envy over my meal! The friends we were with also said how impressed they were with the food and they’d be back again now they have discovered it.
My children are 5 and 8 and my friends children 5 and 11 and what really stood out for me was that none of them asked for a phone or ipad at any time during the lunch. The activity packs and TVs kept them fully entertained, we even managed a conversation with our friends without being constantly interrupted!
We were there for 2 hours in total and could easily have stayed more, we had to drag the boys out of the cinema seats to go home! It was a really lovely way to spend some time with family and friends and I’d highly recommend popping in to try it out.
Find out more on their website here or call them on 01482 427110 to book a table.
The Village Hotel Hull, Henry Boot Way, Priory Way, Hull, HU4 7DY.
Mini Athletics Hull & East Riding opened it’s doors last month, September 2019. It has been launched by the parents of 2 young girls who are passionate about getting children active and interested in sport from an early age. The classes are designed to get kids active, healthy, interacting with each other and hopefully grow a love for sport, as well as making use of all that boundless energy. They are the only athletics based children’s class in the area, it develops all core skills – running, jumping and throwing – the foundation of all sports which can help children go on to do various sports as well as athletics.
They came along to my Mumbler Fun Day in September and my children really enjoyed their taster sessions so we decided to book in for a class and see what it was like. First class is FREE so you can go along and see if it’s something your child likes before committing to a block.
We picked their Anlaby Sunday morning class, held at Hull Collegiate School in their sports hall and I took my just turned 5 year old daughter. There was lots of parking opposite and the hall was good and well equipped.
Coach Andy was being helped by Coach Jordan and both were really friendly, enthusiastic and great with the kids. My daughter is always shy at first and doesn’t like going in on her own to things, all the other children in the class ran in at the start of the session but she held back nervously. The coaches were absolutely fine with her sitting on my knee while we learned what we’d be doing, did some stretches and then for me to run the first warm ups with her (a bit of exercise for me!). After 5 minutes she had decided I could sit down and watch and she was fine with the coaches and other kids!
Each week has a theme, this week was Space. The children firstly did a game where they were planets chasing around the sun and had to catch each other, this was really good for fitness and stamina as they did a lot of running! They did another game with domes to throw them and build a space ship. Then they did some high jump and long jump skills and started learning to throw a javelin (this week it was a soft rocket). They ended with some running races and obstacle courses, she absolutely loved smashing through the finish line on these!
There was a real mix of skills – running (both speed and stamina distances), throwing and catching, and jumping – basically everything they need to be able to do any sport. I felt my daughter was getting a good active session and being very healthy, as well as learning skills that she will need for any sports she decides to do. It was a refreshing change to not just be at football with my son where its just watching them kick a ball or just dance with my daughter where its just dancing! I enjoyed watching as it was a variety and all the games and skills were great fun.
My daughter came out buzzing and telling me we are going again as she had really enjoyed it! So that’s a big Mumbler thumbs up for Mini Athletics!
If you want to try a class out they run at the following 5 venues –
All 9.30-10.15am: Didee Athletes (2 – 3.5 yrs), 10.15-11am: Little Athletes (3.5 – 5 yrs).
All 9-9.45am: Didee Athletes (2 – 3.5 yrs), 9.45-10.30am: Little Athletes (3.5 – 5 yrs), 10.30-11.15am: Mini Athletes (5 – 7 yrs).
Classes are £6.50 per session (first class free). For more information and to book a class, please visit their webpage here, find them on Facebook here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 01482 420230. Also provide kids birthday parties!
Armstrongs in Beverley (Grovehill Road, just next to Flemingate) have recently opened a new ice cream bar. They sell gelato from a Yorkshire farm and have a huge menu from traditional cones and tubs to Sundaes, build your own and waffles. I popped in with my children over the weekend to see what it was like….
We needed to get some shopping done as my children have had a growth spurt and last years winter trousers and leggings are now half way up their legs. The thought of taking my kids clothes shopping fills me with horror, so after hearing that Armstrongs have their new ice cream bar we decided to head to Flemingate for shopping and break it up with an ice cream! If they did some shopping nicely (i.e. no moaning and no fighting!) they would be rewarded in Armstrongs.
Walking from Flemingate past Parway cinema and the college, Armstrongs in the next building you reach. There is street parking nearby but we used the Flemingate multistory as its only £1 for 3 hours. The room is lovely! It’s done like a Tiki Bar with beach and sea paintings on the wall and brightly coloured tables. The painting was all done by Toffe, husband of owner Sally-Ann, he is a fabulous artist and we’ve seen him previously carve the most incredible pumpkins at their Halloween events!
Our first task was to work out what to have as there was so much choice. Owner Sally-Ann explained they had gone for gelato instead of ice cream as it’s a healthier option with less fat in it. She tried lots but has decided to use a farm in West Yorkshire to supply them as they had a huge range of flavours, do a special new flavour each week and is very high quality. She also has a dairy free version and sorbets. You can have a straight forward cone or tub and choose from the flavours in the cabinet. There were also a few ‘animal’ options where the gelato comes in a bowl shaped like an animal! This was ideal for younger ones, my 5 year old picked a butterfly and it was a perfect size and there were a couple of extra treats on it. Her butterfly had 2 scoops on which she chose and was only £2.95, I thought this was very reasonably priced as in some ice cream shops its £2.50 per scoop before you even begin adding extras.
My son went next, he built his own Sundae. He went for a 2 scoop one but it was huge and he struggled to finish it (despite being an 8 year old boy who I struggle to fill usually!). He picked chocolate and banana for his flavours, he also got to choose a sauce and a topping! It looked amazing and it kept him quiet for ages!
I decided to go for a waffle and had their apple pie ice cream on it. Again I got to choose a sauce and a topping. I had taken my mum with me too (a tri-generational ice cream experience!) and she also had a waffle. She’s trying to cut down on sugar so she went for a plain waffle with vanilla gelato and no extras! Her vanilla was really nice, a very natural flavour and not artificial like some can be.
There is also a colouring table in the corner so my children coloured in an ice cream picture for the wall before we left. I ended up dragging them out as we’d been in for an hour and the shops were closing soon and we still had some bits to get! They also serve drinks, teas and coffees so I could have easily got a coffee and stayed longer.
It was a really fun experience, we all really enjoyed choosing the flavours, choosing our extras and watching them being created.
It’s very reasonably priced too so we would go in regularly, not just for a special occasion. On all options the extra toppings such as sprinkles, chocolate drops, fudge pieces, shortbread crumble were just 20p each so you could load up and not break the bank. There is also a fabulous offer for 10% off all orders with Mumbler! Hurry ends 28th September. Just mention Mumbler on ordering. You could pop for an after school treat or a visit this weekend!
Look out for their special themed days too where there are extra craft activities and games to do, the next is the Space Day on 28th September with a space and planets trail to follow and space themed craft. They also have special events in the social club next door, their Halloween disco is coming up on 1st November.
Play Avenue in Messingham (near Scunthorpe) opened it’s doors on 7th September 2019. It’s the idea of Amanda, mum to Charlie age 3, and over the summer she’s been busy building and bringing her idea to life. We went along last weekend to find out more about it and for my children to try it out. She was there to greet us all to the play session, and Charlie opened the gates for us to go in!
Sessions last for 1 hour 30 minutes, there are 4 time slots throughout the day and you book onto your chosen slot. This prevents it getting too busy at one time and allows staff to in between sessions and tidy up and put the items back ready for more children to use. We went early and did the 9.30am Saturday session, it was 35 minutes drive from Hull so not too much of an early start for a weekend! It’s in a rural area and easy to find, there was a large car park too.
I’ve not been anywhere like Play Avenue before. It’s a street (the Avenue) lined with various shops and buildings, a village green with a caravan and ice cream van on and a beach with a boat, all which the children can go into and play in. It reminded me very much of Biggleton on CBeebies! My children didn’t know where to begin. They ran around for the first 5 minutes just not sure what to go in first, then they settled in and started exploring each shop or building on the street.
They started off in the post office where there were envelopes and parcels to sort, they both spent ages emptying the letterbox and delivering letters to the rest of the street.
My son then discovered the police station and spent a lot of time arresting his sister and putting her in jail!
We all went into the hairdressers and I had my hair washed and cut by my kids (all pretend!). The attention to detail was fantastic, the hairdressers had uniforms for the kids to wear, a cape to go across my shoulders, lots of rollers, clips and brushes and then a till and card to pay on, everything was as it is in ‘real life’.
You can let your children go in and play and watch them from the lovely cafe area or you can go in with them, I was as fascinated as them to be honest and spent most of the time in with them playing together and exploring.
I did pop to the cafe for a coffee and cake which was excellent; a really good coffee (I drink a lot of coffee and know what I like!), a very good and enormous slice of cake and very reasonably priced at £4 for both. There was a lot of kids food too on the menu which all looked good and very reasonably priced as well.
Back in the street my daughter had discovered the ice cream van, she had the apron on and served me a variety of ice creams and ice lollies before pretending to drive on to new locations. We then went in the caravan which was very cute indeed!
Another big hit was the theatre; there were lots of dress up outfits and a stage with a curtain to perform on. I was sent away while they got into outfits and rehearsed a show then I was called in to watch the performance!
We also really liked the vets where we bandaged a toy cat with a poorly paw and put a collar on a toy dog! Then we went to the maternity hospital and looked after the newborn babies, changing their nappies and feeding them. That room was very popular, as was the building yard next to it.
Everything was so well thought out, there was everything my children could possibly need to play at being grown ups. For example the cafe had aprons in that they could where to serve, there were take out cups or cups to stay in. It really was like a miniature world that they could let their imaginations run wild in.
The only slight problem we had was that my daughter had been given the class bear, Geraldine the giraffe, for the weekend and we’d brought her along with us. I’d managed to put her down somewhere then panicked because she had gone missing! Of course she was fine, someone had found her, picked her up and put her in a cage in the vets assuming she was part of Play Avenue! So I didn’t have the shame of losing the class bear to deal with.
It was a completely new experience for both of my children (and myself), they both said they had really enjoyed it and are asking to go back. It was absolutely perfect for my 5 year old. My 8 year old was getting towards the top end of the age range but I’d say it would be good from babies up to 10 years, he just couldn’t fit in some of the dress up outfits! It was lovely to see him using his imagination though rather than just slogging his football around which is all he wants to do normally.
NB This is an Advertorial Feature for Play Avenue
Last weekend we had a lovely family day out in Pocklington and went to The KP Club (Kilnwick Percy) for lunch. I’ve been to the KP Club before, I’ve met friends there for coffee and cake and I’ve always thought it was a lovely venue, but I didn’t realise how child friendly they were!
The KP Club is located just on the edge of Pocklington in beautiful countryside, the view from the restaurant is stunning as you look across the fields and can see for miles.
My children are now a really good age for going out for lunch and tea (finally!), they’re 5 and 8 so with a few colouring books and a pack of Uno or Dobble to entertain them. I hadn’t realised the KP has an outdoor play area so we didn’t even open the bag of entertainment we brought, they were happy in the play area for the full time we were there. The play area had a climbing frame with swings and slides and a giant connect 4 game which they enjoyed but they also spent a lot of time collecting pine cones and making patterns with them. The play area is next to the restaurant so we let them loose in it while we sat with a coffee looking at the view.
There is also a very pretty big of decorative, shallow water in front of the restaurant, to my kids dismay its not a swimming or paddling pool. We told them not to go near it or there would be no pudding and this worked a treat but you do need to be wary of them unsupervised near it.
They have a great kids menu, its a colouring sheet and they got a pack of pens with it to do some drawing while we chose our food. The kids menu had pretty much everything mine would want – burger, chicken goujons, fish fingers, sausages etc – and I thought it was good value at £6.50 for drink, main and pudding. My son had burger and my daughter had sausages. When the food came I thought it was even better value, the portions were a very good size. My 8 year old has a ferocious appetite and most kids meals in pubs are now too small for him (a few chain pubs we’ve been to he would need 2 meals) but he only just managed to get through his burger and left a few chips.
The main menu had lots of choice too for lunch, I nearly ordered a sandwich but saw they had pie and chips on the special menu so I ordered that! My husband had a chicken burger. I was really impressed with our food too, it was genuinely one of the best meals out we’ve had in a long time. It was also well priced and good value. We saw on their specials board that they do 2 steaks and a bottle of wine for £30 on Thursdays and Sundays which is a great deal so I’m planning a trip back without the kids to have those.
For pudding my kids had the brownies from their menus (again it was a really good portion size and really well presented) and me and my husband shared a cheesecake (well, he got 1 bite before I had it all).
Staff were very attentive, always ready to help and very efficient. The toilets are also worth a mention, they are lovely! My kids went several time just to see themselves in the huge mirrors and use the nice soap!
I also hadn’t realised until we were there that the KP have lodges and rooms behind the restaurant for overnight stays, it’s a Darwin Escapes resort. The lodges sleep 4, 6 or 8 and all had hot tubs so I’m planning to go back for a family event or for a girls night away, it’s not far to drive to but we really did feel like we were miles from normality and home sitting out looking at the view.
So overall a big thumbs up for The KP Club! I will definitely be back again with the kids, and without the kids, and maybe to stay the night next time.
Find them at The KP Club, Kilnwick Percy Resort, Pocklington, Yorkshire, YO42 1UF.
For more information and bookings please call 01759 303090, or check out the website here and Facebook page here. You can also read more about them on the Mumbler Family Friendly eating Out section here.
NB – Lunch was provided for Mumbler by The KP Club in exchange for this review, however all views are my own
I took my daughter to My Baby Can Dance classes when she was a toddler but she started school this year and I miss going! Hull mum Pauline has been out and about with her toddler reviewing some classes for me so I suggested she try My Baby Can Dance. She went along and has written a short review about how she found it……
My Baby Can Dance – Review for Mumbler by Pauline and daughter Holly.
Mumbler suggested that I tried My Baby Can Dance and I’m so grateful for it as it’s just awesome! We’ve enjoyed it so much we now have a new membership and are attending regularly.
The program is such that the class format is easily remembered for the children so both repetition and structure are key. The babies (walkers) and toddlers move and dance to music along with various activities including singing, playing musical instruments and, my daughters new favourites, numbers and colours. It’s the same every week which is brilliant as the children retain what they have learnt leading to continuous development.
At each session your little one’s membership card is signed off and after nine sessions they “graduate” onto the next level and are presented with a certificate and shout out, further encouraging participation.
My little girl thrives on routine and familiarity but hates new environments. Like many 2 year old’s she’s just unsure and wary but by weeks two and three she was up dancing and taking part in the activities. She was remembering some of the games at home, all thanks to a welcoming class in which her confidence has really had a boost.
Not only is it a great activity for the kids to burn off some extra energy but parents and grandparents are encouraged to participate, it’s great fun and so nice to be able to join in with your little one.
We attend the Winifred Holtby Academy class but Janine also has classes at Monkey Biziness, Preston Community Hall and The Broadway Portobello Scout Hut in Hull plus more in surrounding East Riding venues delivered by other teachers.
Membership is £25 for a five-week term, plus single session options available when advertised as a ‘turn up and dance’ session. More information and My Baby Can Dance merchandise (which I plan on buying) can be found on the My Baby Can Dance website.
Overall though I cannot recommend these classes enough.
For more information please call Janine on 07842 291048 or visit the My Baby Can Dance website here.
This week we kicked off the school holidays with a day trip to visit Sewerby Hall & Gardens, near Bridlington. My son had a school trip here last year and has been asking to go back I havent been for a while so I took my 2 children and met a friend there (the lovely Ryedale and Scarborough Mumbler) with her 2 children. There were four children ranging from age 4 to 8 years; they genuinely had a great time and so did the grown ups! Here’s how we got on…..
There is so much going on at Sewerby this summer; every day there is a trail to do around the house to find the Servants and what their jobs were, a Wizard of Oz trail in the walled garden to find the giant characters, plus the zoo, playground and grounds. In addition there are lots of extra activities on most days, we picked a day when there was an Archaeology event on too, a magician and donkey rides! There are full details on the Mumbler Summer Holidays section with here.
I asked my 8 year old so to write what he did so here’s what he thought…
Yesterday we went to Sewerby Hall with some friends for the day and had lots of fun. We enjoyed seeing the monkeys, penguins and the baby goats in the zoo. Everyone loved the park with the slide, swings and climbing frames and I liked the way you have put a slide between the two sides of the park making it easier for people to get up and down. We did the Wizard of Oz trail which was really fun trying to find all the characters hidden in the walled garden. We really enjoyed making the dens out of twigs and sticks and learning what they used to make tools and weapons a long, long time ago.
We went on one of the very hot days but it didn’t feel too hot when we got there, there was a breeze coming off the cliffs and the house and woodlands were very cool and shady. We started in the zoo and my kids really enjoyed seeing the animals, two helpful zoo-keepers were on hand to tell us lots of facts about the animals and held the new baby goat so we could stroke it. We then spent some time in the park and called it to see Mr Bubbles the Magician before heading off to do the Wizard of Oz trail in the walled garden. The sculptures of the characters were very impressive and we spent ages running around the paths looking for them.
There is a cafe with good food but we’d taken a picnic so we had our sandwiches under a shady spot in the gardens the went to the cafe to get ice creams for desserts.
Then it was on to the Archaeology event, to build a shelter and look at stone age tools…..
The shelter building was brilliant. We were split into smaller groups, each with their own kit! This ensured that everyone was involved and that there were some very different dens. On the “girls” team, we built a den resting against a tree. They loved the draping, string tying and scissors. Plus they were very keen to decorate it, even with leaves and then get inside to give it a try! It was a great activity to get the kids out of the sun and doing something different.
This was followed by the handling of archaeological artefacts from the Stone Age, Iron Age and Bronze Age. The kids were transfixed and asked so many questions! They were fully engaged and the gentleman taking the session was so patient answering every question fired at him…there were A LOT!
After that we went into the house to do the Servants trail, finding pictures of different servants in various rooms and matching them to their jobs. My kids loved carrying their clipboards around and being the first to find another picture. They also learned a lot about what servants used to do and they enjoyed playing with some of the olden day toys in the Nursery.
After a quick donkey ride and playing with some games on the field 2 very tired children declared they were shattered and we set off to drive home, its about an hour from Hull and both of mine had a car nap so I had a peaceful drive home.
We arrived at 10.30am and left at 4.15pm but still didnt feel we’d done everything and could have spent more time in the house and the grounds, its a full, fun day out. All of the activities and events are included within the entry price so I thought for all that we did it was good value for money. You can also get an annual pass to save money on future visits which we will probably do as its a lovely place to visit or have a walk in all seasons. We will certainly be back!
NB This is an Advertorial Review Feature for Sewerby Hall & Gardens
Dan is now 9 months and loves to make a noise with anything he can get his little hands on, so with this in mind and after hearing positive things we went to try a Music with Mummy class. Kelly runs classes in Beverley and Kingswood and we went to her Tuesday class at David Lloyd gym, Kingswood, Hull. Kelly runs 3 different types of class depending on your little ones age; there’s ‘Jolly Babies’ for newborns to 1 year old, then Music with Mummy for 1-2 years olds, progressing to Three Four Time for 3-4 years old pre-schoolers.
Each class lasts half an hour and groups are limited to 12 making a nice friendly atmosphere and allowing babies some one to one attention. Kelly has a very gentle and calming way with the babies and is very welcoming. All songs in the session are sung by Kelly and the babies love to sit and listen, little Dan eyes are fixed on Kelly as soon as she starts singing!
The session starts with the hello song, including each babies name and lots of waving and smiles which is lovely. During each session babies are introduced to various instruments such as claves, drums and musical shakers. Kelly encourages babies to hold the instruments if they’re able and everyone to join in with the songs playing their instruments, Dan’s favourite being the drum!
Kelly encourages all ages to be involved, suggesting positions for your baby for each song depending if they can focus, sit up etc. which make each mum and baby feel involved. There are a variety of nursery rhymes and songs; mine and Dan’s favourite is the baby jive which he enjoys when playing along with the shakers and having a little wriggle about! There are also songs for babies to have a rock and little dance to as well as clapping along, playing with teddy, parachutes and playing peekaboo.
Towards the end of the session the babies have a quiet time with bubbles and a soothing song for cuddles, feeds or naptime if needed.
We have been going to Music with Mummy for the past term and really enjoyed it. I feel it’s helped improved Dan’s hand co-ordination passing from one to the other and using his hands to beat the drums and shakers. Compared to some ‘baby groups’ I found Music with Mummy a more calming and gentle experience with my baby; still with lots of upbeat rhymes and songs but you get a feeling of more one to one with your baby and the babies love to listen to the music focusing and being creative learning with the instruments. I’d highly recommend Music with Mummy. Kelly treats everyone as an individual and has a lovely way with the little ones. It definitely lives up to its name of Jolly babies!
Find all details of Kelly’s Tuesday Kingswood class on the Mumbler Weekly Classes & Groups section here. She also runs classes in Beverley at the Racecourse on Fridays and Molescroft Pavilion on Mondays and Wednesdays. For more info visit her website here or facebook page or call Kelly Webster on 07787 172825 to book.
For that extra special thoughtful touch, Katie at Seeds of Love creates beautiful seed packets filled with lovely little forget-me-not seeds for £2.95 each. With poems designs for teachers, teaching assistants, nursery leavers and even the lollipop lady! They really do melt hearts and will bring back warm memories of your child’s sentimental thanks year after year when the flowers come back!
Be sure to take a look at the website here as Katie has some lovely teacher gifts in her ‘Thought-Full’ range too! The ‘Thank You For Helping Me Grow’ teardrop keyring is our favourite! And, If you are able to collect, Katie is more than happy to make up a hamper for you containing a mini terracotta pot, personalised chocolate bar and a packet of seeds.
Mumbler got these seed packets for teacher gifts last year and they were incredibly well received by my child’s teacher and teaching assistant, both have been back to me since to let me know that they have flowered and how much they appreciated them. As I have been home school teacher since 23rd March I might order some for myself to remember the time I was teacher!!
Hull mum Anna went along to try Newborn Can Dance classes with her baby. She’s written a short review for Mumbler about how she found it……
Newborn Can Dance – Review for Mumbler by Anna Kirkland and baby Dan.
Me and Dan recently attended Newborn Can Dance run by Janine and held at the Scout Hut on Holderness Road, Hull. I’ve been to various different ‘baby clubs’ since having Dan and had heard a lot of good things about Newborn Can Dance so wanted to give it a go; we weren’t disappointed!
Janine is super friendly and comes across as really confident and welcoming to both parents and babies. She runs two different sessions – Newborn Can Dance (from birth to walking) then My Baby Can Dance (for walkers to 4 years old). The sessions last for 45 minutes and are jam packed with songs, activities and music. I felt that 45 minutes was just enough for Dan as any longer he would have begun to get tired and not enjoy it. He did sleep really well afterwards though which is always a bonus for a few quiet hours in the afternoon!
You receive a loyalty card at your first session and Janine explained to me the steps in babies development the sessions are based on and the elements included in the classes to help with your babies mental and physical development. I really liked this idea and hadn’t come across it at any other baby groups, knowing each session is being planned to help your babies all round development is very good. Another thing we liked about the classes are that the terms are short, blocks of 5 weeks at a time. That makes it not a huge amount to pay out for a block of sessions which is a thoughtful idea, especially when pricing up little ones outings on top of everything else!
The room at the Scout Hut on Holderness Road is bright and airy and there is room for everyone to sit with their babies on the play mats. Janine is great at getting down to the babies level and they love to watch and listen to her.
The session starts with a Hello song then, then goes on to playing with instruments such as rattles and tambourines which Dan loved. After lots of noise the babies gathered round for a puppet show as well as playing ‘peekaboo’ with Mr Monkey. There are also more physical activities including ‘Stop’ involving having a jiggle and dance around the room with your baby whilst helping them learn basic words and commands, the babies loved being jiggled about in the air and it was nice to move about compared to just sitting on the floor the whole time and your legs going to sleep!
There are lots of colours and sensory activities during the session including colourful parachutes, scarves and sparkly tassels as well as a light show and bubbles. To help the babies concentration Janine also gathered the babies round her then showed them various coloured hoops, from a room of chattery babies the calmness and concentration this created was amazing, all the babies were fascinated and I thought it was nice to have different types of activities with various levels of noise and interaction. It really seemed to help the babies settle after lots of music and excitement and I’m keen to try something similar with Dan at home if I need a calm down game!
Dan really enjoyed his sessions at Newborn Can Dance. Janine is super friendly and welcoming, keen to get to know you and your baby and has a lovely way with the little ones. We will be back for more dancing in the future!
Anna reviewed Janine’s class at The Broadway Portobello Scout Hut, Holderness Road, Hull, HU9 3JJ. Janine runs classes here on Wednesdays and Fridays. Newborn Can Dance classes also run in the East Riding, find classes on their website here.
For more information please contact Janine on 07842 291048, or check out their website here.
Hull mum Andrea has 3 children, all primary school age. This bank holiday weekend she took them to the Beverley Racecourse Family Raceday and has written all about it for Mumbler……
This May Day Bank Holiday me, my husband and our 3 children had a family day out at Beverley Races. There are 6 family races across the season all with different themes, this one was Bygone Beverley, recreating racing as it used to be in the 1950s. We had never been to the races before and didn’t really know what to expect. It was very good value for a family day out, all under 18s are free and a lot of the children’s entertainment was free when we got inside.
Around the enclosure we could see old-fashioned fairground rides and stalls from days gone by, plus some lovely classic cars on show. The children had a free ride on the carousel and the swing boats, watched some card tricks and bought some sweets. There was also a very entertaining One-Man Band which we spent a while watching.
There was also a fantastic Animals UK stall who had a wide selection of reptiles, spiders, bugs and birds of prey. This was also my kids favourite place; they got up close and personal with a meerkat who liked to cuddle, a huge snake and a hairy tarantula. We also learned some interesting facts from the friendly staff (we are definitely not getting a pet spider!).
As we walked around the Course Enclosure, we noticed families setting up tents and foldaway chairs, with supplies such as picnics and flasks so they could make the most of a full day of racing. If you aren’t that organised with snacks and drinks then there are places on the site to purchase food and drink.
Despite spending a lot of time doing the family activities, we did go and do what we came for – a little flutter on the racing. After much deliberation we placed our bets ready for the 1st race. As the time for the race drew closer we went over to have a look at the horses before they headed off to the starting gates; despite not really knowing what we were looking for we came to the conclusion we’d picked well. We took a seat eagerly anticipating our win (we had five horses in this race, one for each member of the family) but none of them came in for 1st or 2nd place! So my children had a lesson in the fact that sometimes you do lose but at least we had fun joining in.
It was a really different family day out and all of my children really enjoyed it, we would come again and try a different themed family raceday.
The next family racedays are:
Under 18’s go free, adult entry is from just £4 and much of the extra fun at the family racedays is free.
The Racecourse, Beverley is located at York Road, Beverley, HU17 8QZ. For more info and to buy tickets visit their website here.
Our friends over at Ryedale Mumbler have reviewed their experience of Water Babies swimming lessons, read all about it below……
Hull mum Anna is helping me keep the Mumbler website up to date and is going out and about with her baby boy Dan to try some new activities. Last week she went to a Mini First Aid session, here’s how she got on…..
Mini First Aid Review by Anna Kirkland & Baby Dan
Now baby Dan is well under way with weaning fast approaching 7 months old I found myself having a bit of a panic at the thought of him eating anything other than sloppy purees, what if he chokes, something gets stuck, what would I do? Like a lot of mums on maternity leave, I’m at home alone a lot of the time so really felt I needed to refresh on my First Aid knowledge faced with baby meals, crawling and hands in everything!
I’ve attended courses before for my work and could vaguely remember how certain things differ from adults to children but my memory of them was a little rusty. Mini First Aid run 2 hour classes in Hull and the East Riding focused on first aid for babies and children. After getting in touch with Jodie I attended a class on a Saturday morning at Milk and Therapy on Anlaby Road, Hull. The venue was pleasant and there were 7 in the class including myself. The classes are ‘pre crawler’ friendly if you wanted to attend with your baby which makes it more flexible for busy parents. Nicky who was running the class was really welcoming, coming across in a confident and knowledgeable manner.
We all received a small text book covering the main points of each topic with spaces for notes if you wished to add anything you learnt during the session, Nicky answered questions and discussed each subject further. We started by covering the First Aid Kit, something I need to update, mine currently seems to be over taken with Calpol and Snuffle baby due to winter bugs! I’m now also putting one together for the car for when you’re out and about or, should the worse happen, and you’re in an accident. Other tips I learnt was to add to my First Aid shopping list some round ended elbow scissors (the type you might have seen ambulance crews cut clothing off with). These can cut straight through seat belts in an emergency, I know myself my hands would be like jelly trying to undo baby seat clips in a panic should I need to get Dan out quickly.
We moved on to CPR, checks to make and correct CPR for a baby and a child, for anyone who’s done workplace courses I’m glad I’m now aware in the differences when checking a babies airway and correct hand positioning should I find myself in this situation (fingers crossed we never need it).
We also covered burns and shock, again really useful to know as Dan becomes more mobile and has hands everywhere. I particularly found learning about different types of burn useful as they don’t always hurt due to nerve damage but definitely require medical attention.
Meningitis and Sepsis were discussed well and the key signs to look for, including a handy chart of symptoms more prone in one more than the other and signs to check, easy to follow and keep to hand at home.
Bleeding, cuts and broken bones was useful to cover, the importance of urgent medical attention should a baby have an injury due to the small amount of blood in their body and the fact that due to their soft bones sometimes breaks might not stop their normal movement/play so always be vigilant and to check any concerns.
Choking seemed to be quite high on most people’s priorities in the class and anxieties when weaning your baby which I think a lot of parents come across, this was covered really well including practical on a baby dummy and child, practicing chest and back thrusts.
All practicals are voluntary; I can remember in previous courses feeling a little awkward acting out a scenario and having to demonstrate first aid skills on a dummy! Nicky encouraged you to have a go and reassured anyone who was unsure.
I thought Nicky was excellent in all aspects delivering the course answering questions throughout, keeping all topics easy to understand and digest and not becoming too serious keeping the mood positive and chatty. The session went by really quickly but didn’t feel rushed at all.
There were several parents with babies but also expectant mums attending. I think it would be really useful if I’d have come across Mini First Aid sooner whilst I was expecting to help me feel prepared. Mini First Aid also run courses at people’s homes should you and friends/wider family want to learn baby First Aid, ideal for grandparents and anyone who might be involved babysitting your little ones in the future.
I can’t recommend Mini First Aid enough; the 2 hour course costs £20 but is worth every bit. I thought with my previous general first aid training and the power of Google/YouTube might be enough but I’ve come away from Saturdays course feeling much more confident and aware when home alone with Dan and when out and about should it be Dan who needs me or someone else’s little one I hope I might be able to help.
Sling Fit Mama is a post natal fitness class for mums combining toning, strengthening and movement, all done while wearing their baby in a sling. It’s aimed at mums who want the benefit of a lovely bonding class with their baby…but also want something for themselves.
It’s run by Laura Banks, a mum of 3 and fully qualified pre and post natal exercise instructor, dance teacher and a babywearing peer support worker.
When Laura invited me along to see what she does at the class I was keen to find out more. The first challenge was that I don’t have a baby! But Laura said I could do the class without as it will still be effective and I do have a 3 year old who has a baby dolly who she likes to take out in her sling, so we both went along and joined in.
The class is at 9.30am at Welton Memorial Hall, a nice space with lots of parking too. There were some lovely mums there with their babies who were all very welcoming and chatty before the class got started. Laura then checked everyone’s slings and babies positions and off we went!
The first section was aerobic movement which I really enjoyed, nothing too complicated and easy to do with the sling on. We then used a resistance band to do some strengthening exercises and finally some stretching.
Laura explained that the class will help to strengthen all the muscles weakened by pregnancy and childbirth and the classes are carefully structured to have your baby in a sling throughout the duration. All the ladies wore their babies throughout the hour (although the novelty wore off for my daughter who abandoned her baby doll and just danced around then had some snacks!). Not only did the other mums have an extra weight for the workout but they could steal a quick kiss whenever they liked! All the babies in the slings were very good and seemed to enjoy it too, the movement lulled a few to sleep and the rest were all very happy nestled in with their mums. The mobile babies came out for the stretching section at the end and played with each other.
There is obviously no guilt (or childcare costs) of leaving your baby to do some exercise, you can actually do something for ‘You’ that benefits you both. I really wish this class had been around when I had my baby as I would definitely done Sling Fit Mama.
Classes run on Wednesdays 9.30am at Welton Memorial Hall. Classes are also starting in Beverley in February, Tuesdays 1pm at The Arts Garage 2 Studio, Tokenspire Business Park. For more information or to book visit their website here, check out their facebook page here or email Laura on email@example.com.
Laura also runs a fantastic dance school in at South Hunsely in Welton, LBDA (Laura Banks Dance Academy). A few of my pre-schoolers friends go and rave about it! You can find out more about LBDA on Mumbler here.
Please note Sling Fit classes are not running currently, please contact Laura to find out when they restart.
(NB this blog is Advertorial Content)
Mumbler review October 2017
Let Loose is the new family attraction in Beverley, located next to Beverley Garden Centre on the Woodmansey Road between Beverley and Hull. They opened recently and I was delighted to be asked to go and have a look around with my 2 little ones.
It’s a real hidden gem. You can’t see much from the road but as you pull up the driveway my children’s first impressions were ‘Wow! Is that where we’re going!?’ There is a (very!) high rope course set up around the site and a lower ropes course underneath, plus a giant air bag that you can jump onto, the Big Leap, or drop down a huge slide onto, the Super Slide. There’s a great outdoor play area and an indoor dome which has a good sized soft play and inflatables, as well as some of the ropes course. Owner Beatrice explained to me that the idea was to have somewhere that all the family can do activities, where grown ups can play too alongside their children, so that’s exactly what we did.
We got started on the the low ropes course. The low ropes have a minimum age requirement of 7 and a minimum height of 1.2 metres, with an exception for ages 5-6 that if they meet the height requirement they can take part if they are accompanied by an adult. So my 1.3 metre 6 year old went up, accompanied by me! We had a very good, thorough safety briefing and were taken straight up by Ed. He showed us how to clip on and get around, he was really enthusiastic and when we’d got used to it he started showing my son a few extra fun ways of doing each obstacle. All of the low ropes course is inside the dome so my 3 year old watched with my husband from the soft play beneath and cheered us on. My son went round lots of times and had a great time, we had to bribe him down with a hot chocolate and cake!
We all then played inside in the dome’s soft play area and inflatable then went outside to the play area. It’s a beautiful area, the outdoor equipment is very well designed and incorporates recycled and sustainably sourced materials. The turf at the site used to be Arsenal football clubs pitch! There is a fort, lots of log structures to climb and a large sandpit. My 3 year old loved the sand and wouldn’t come out even when it started to rain.
After enough stalling it was time to tackle the high ropes. High ropes have a height requirement of 1.4 metres and minimum age of 10 years, so it looked like mummy was testing this one out! My mum was visiting for the weekend and had come along too so she looked after my children in the outdoor play area while me and my husband braved the high ropes together. It was quite scary, especially at first, but I got into the swing of it and tried to not look down. The team were excellent, we were shown how to use the course and were very securely attached so any slip and we would just hang in our harnesses. Except for a small wobble when I got completely tangled up, I got around the course and felt a huge sense of achievement. It was a really great activity to do with my husband, it would make a great ‘date day’ or birthday gift, as we encouraged each other around and had fun together without the kids. I also scored major ‘cool mum’ points with my 6 year old who was very impressed that I’d gone up.
Feeling brave we all then took turns on the giant airbag jump, which is a lot higher up than it looks when you’re on the platform waiting to go! Only daddy braved the slide drop.
There is also a fantastic cafe. We went in it for lunch and, as the food was so good and reasonably priced, we went back for snacks later.
We had a fabulous day and ended up spending over 4 hours there doing various activities and just playing. It’s a great attraction to have in our area, to do the ropes course as a family activity or just to go in and use it as a place to meet friends. It makes a great alternative meet up place rather than a traditional soft play or playground, and its in a handy location for both Hull, Beverley and surrounding areas. My husband also said it’s one of the best places he’s ever taken the kids so we’ll certainly be back soon.
So overall a big thumbs up for Let Loose!
Its open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am term time and every day in school holidays (times and days may change though so do call ahead to check before going). As well as going to do the activities with your children, or just having a play date, they also run children’s parties and do group bookings for grown ups, such as corporate events.
I’d heard a lot about Williams Den over the last 6 months, lots of parents at playgroups and classes I’ve chatted to in our area have been discussing what it was going to be and when it was going to open. The new attraction, on the road between North and South Cave, opened its doors last month so I was very keen to go and find out more.
I thought I’d better wait for school holidays and take my 6 year old along with my 3 year old or I wouldn’t have been very popular! I also used it as a good location to meet up with my friend Emily from York (who runs the York Mumbler) and her 2 and 4 year old children.
The concept is a play area like no other I’ve been to, it’s all about embracing play, with dens and plenty of sensory experiences to use your imagination with. I’d heard there was a lot to do outside as well as inside and the forecast was looking bad, but we packed our waterproofs and decided to brave it.
It’s very well set up for indoor play and while it rained we spent a good couple of hours inside to begin with. There is a huge ‘treehouse’ style indoor play area (The Den) with steps, bridges, ropes, fireman poles, a slide and even some fabulous musical chairs. There was also a little ‘river’ water play area (which today was a sand river) and a large sandpit area too. There was also a large room with soft materials to build dens with where we spent a lot of time.
I was most impressed by how safe I felt it was, some of the tree’s are a challenging climb for my 6 year old and there were some parts where I couldn’t completely see them all the time, but the environment and atmosphere felt very secure. There were lots of staff constantly walking about checking on children and if any of them did get lost they were finding their parents. The system to get in was brilliant, each child got a wristband and you put the parent/carers phone number on it so any problems and they would call you.
When we went outside space and the views are the first thing that you notice, it’s beautiful. It’s all built very in-keeping with the surroundings, all from very good quality, natural materials. There are loads of mounds (mountains and molehills) that have been created to give the ‘rolling hills’ feel… makes brilliant simple play for the kids to run up and roll down plus they’ve put some cool tunnels through some so the adventure continues. My 6 year old loved a huge climbing frame made from tree branches, and my 3 year old spent most of her time in the tunnels and at the mud kitchen making ‘mud mash’.
You can see a map of the whole area here.
We had lunch at ‘The Kitchen Table’ and we were hugely impressed by the quality of it, You can see the menu here but we thought it was really good value for what we got. The kids pizzas were wood fired and delicious, one small kids pizza easily fed both of mine (and my 6 year old his very hard to fill!) and at £5 I thought it was a good value lunch. The staff were super helpful, especially with getting people tables during the lunchtime rush.
Outside and attached to The Kitchen Table there is a little enclosed outside space with benches and a play area. You can enter the Kitchen Table and this play area without entering the den so there is no charge if you just want to come here with little ones. There are some things for kids to play with including some stacking bricks and cool spinny seat things, which all our kids loved.
Overall I would HIGHLY recommend a visit to Williams Den and I feel really lucky that this has been built in our area, I haven’t been anywhere quite like it before. It wasn’t cheap to get in, and I have heard a lot of negative comments about the price, but it did feel it was completely unique and can be a full day out (we arrived at 10.30 and left at 4.30 and could have stayed longer). The staff were excellent and went the extra mile, my son lost me at one point and they were fantastic. He was on the zip wire and I was in the tunnels with my 3 year old when it started to rain, he couldn’t see me so went inside thinking I’d gone to shelter but we were playing in the rain. He got upset, a staff member approached him and brought him out to look for me and find me, he said they had really looked after him. They were also constantly cleaning! Despite kids playing in mud outside and running inside, all of the inside area looked immaculate.
It was an ideal place to meet my friend from York, and she is going to meet me there again and bring her kids pyjamas and stay later (it closes at 7pm Thurs – Sat) so drive back when its sleep time.
Here are my top tips to get the most from the day:
William’s Den is open every day (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day). Find William’s Den at Wold Hill, North Cave, HU15 2LS. More details on their WEBSITE here.
Footy Tots are new football classes in Hull, Anlaby and Brough suitable for children aged from 1 (or walking) to 5 years. I have a football mad 2 year old so I was thrilled when they asked me to go along and review one of their classes.
I always find Saturday mornings a bit difficult with my toddler. I have a 6 year old son who plays for a football team on a Saturday morning so my 2 year old daughter usually has a huge tantrum when he sets off because she wants to play football too. Footy Tots have classes at Winifred Holtby on a Saturday morning so this was an ideal one for me to take her to try out.
The times are split by age: 9.00 – 9.45 ages 1-2 yrs, 10.00 – 11.00 ages 2-3 yrs, 11.00 – 12.00 ages 4-5 yrs so we went along to the 10am class. Although the majority are boys there are some girls at the classes. All classes are indoors and this was in the sports hall at the school.
Sarah runs the classes and set them up last year to try and get more children into football from an early age. She has always coached football and also coaches the Hull City Women’s team so is very experienced and knows her stuff. She developed the program herself so its completely unique and each class is specific to that age group to develop both physical and mental agility.
We started with a warm up, some running and jumping then stretching and then got straight into some simple skills. What I really liked was that it was an interactive session for the parents and children, Sarah showed us all a skill then we each helped our children to learn and practice it. I’ve been to football classes in the past with my son where the parents sit around the edge, I liked being involved with the class as I felt I was doing something with my daughter and learning things we could do together at home. We did a few more skills with other equipment such as skittles and domes and then ended with some penalty kicks. It was also a good workout! I was quite out of breath a few times so it was good to know my daughter had had a good run around and done something really active.
The hour long session flew by and my daughter didn’t want to stop at the end. She was a bit shy at first but Sarah was so encouraging and brilliant with all the children. It was a huge hit and my daughter, she hasn’t stopped talking about it since and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a football class for their child.
Sarah also runs classes in Hull at Victoria Dock Village Hall on Tuesdays, in Brough on Fridays and in Anlaby at Hull Collegiate School on Sundays.