When I moved to the UK (over 10 years ago), I had a brief waitressing stunt at an interesting restaurant in London. It was brief as after my trial shift, during which I got caught googling the ingredients for a Cosmopolitan, I never got invited back. As much as I’d love to tell you about the interesting career moves this led to, it’s neither the time nor the place for it. What I will tell you about, however, is the actual restaurant, which I believe was the holy grail for all moms of newborns out there.
It was a lovely, upmarket space in South Kensington, with great quality food on the ground floor, and something that closely resembled a baby creche, located in the basement. The baby area was filled with toys and cushions, and had ample of space for kids to play and plenty of staff to make sure your little one was safe and content at all times.
The restaurant was busy with mommies who lunch, because guess what! They could actually LUNCH in there, using both hands to eat, whilst wearing nice, white, silk blouses, without the risk of having them covered with Hipp Organic.
I was there only for a brief moment, but I remember the feeling I had when I got introduced to the concept: what a genius idea! London never fails to amaze me. It’s a brilliant place to live.
Then I moved up north.
It took me a while to get used to slower pace of life here, but since having my daughter, the slow pace got even slower. I made an effort to get out there and make new friends, and make sure my daughter is busy and not stuck indoors. With that in mind, I have done a little research and came up with this short list of things to do with a baby under 1 year old in my area. Currently my daughter’s schedule is busier than One Direction’s dressing room.
So what are the things you can do with a baby if you live in the Sheffield area? Quite a lot actually! Since most of my followers are based around Sheffield / Halfway area, I hope you find this useful.
1. Runaround, Halfway, open every day, free for under 1 years old.
Some of my friends believe I use my daughter as an excuse to go and play with the soft lego blocks at the Runaround centre. I would like to use this opportunity to clarify that in no way is this true and I go strictly to supervise her, and drink an occasional coffee or two. Truth being said, I do enjoy spending time in there. It’s fairly safe for the baby (providing you don’t go in their busiest time), and kids love it. Yes, it’s messy but so is my house at this stage in my life, so it doesn’t bother me that much.
2. St Mark’s Church, Mosborough, Wednesdays 10am – noon, £2
Every Wednesday except for school holidays, you are welcome to pop in with your little one, have a cuppa, whilst your baby is playing with many toys available, or munching on toast and fruit provided. The meet-ups are organised by the nicest two ladies, Amy and Beryl. No need to book, just show up. Everyone is very welcome.
3. Mini Music, Joseph Stone Centre, Mosborough, Thursdays at 9:30am and 10am, £43 per term
This must be my daughters favourite past time. Best suited for kids over 6 months of age, Mini Music is something different. The first time I saw Chris (the lady who is running the sessions) in action, I honestly believed she is a keen smoker of the green stuff, but as it turns out, she really is that nuts. Kids love her, as she truly knows how to get “in the zone” and relate to them. Parents love them, because she makes their kids happy and knows how to entertain them and gat them to listen. She truly is a child whisperer.
Every week we sing different songs, play with different soft toys, and sometimes even get some as presents! The sessions are very active, and more than once we ended up running around the room, pretending we are horses. I’d like to think no one is recording those sessions through a window, as unless you are participating, one would be made to believe we are all nuts.
If you happen to live in the area and have a little baby, I strongly encourage you to come and try it. You definitely won’t regret it. After the music session, you are welcome to stay around and have a cup of coffee and a slice of toast, and kids can help themselves to some toast, fruit and biscuits (charged extra).
4. Eckington Swimming Pool, Thursdays 11am – 1pm
Parent and toddler swimming sessions at Eckington swimming Pool are fun. It’s rarely jam packed so you have an opportunity to actually relax and enjoy yourself. There are all sorts of spongy floaters available, and water is actually warm (coming from someone who does not enter pools cooler than 28 degrees C).
5. Rhythm and Rhyme and Storytime! Killamarsh Library, every Mondays 2pm – 2:30pm
Music or story time sessions for pre-school children and parents. If you fancy singing songs and rhymes and playing instruments, come along!
Anything you would like to add? Know about an awesome place to take your little one? Pop it in the comments below!