Bloomsbury and Holborn

Weekly Rota of Baby and Toddler Groups in Bloomsbury and Holborn (please ring ahead to confirm times and pricing)

british museum

Monday:

Holborn Library, Under 5’s Story Group, 11 – 12, free

Coram Parent Centre, Mecklenburg Sq., Toy Library, 9:30 – noon

Calthorp Project, Parent and Toddler Drop-In, 10:30 – 3, 1.50 or £5 weekly

Coram’s Field, Peacocks, Under Three Drop-In, 10 – noon, free (intake limited to  8 families)

Coram’s Field, Colonnades, Under Five Drop-In, 1 – 4, free (intake limited to 12 families)

Coram Parent Centre, Mecklenburg Sq., Parent and Toddler Drop-In, 9:30 – noon, free

 

Tuesday

Drill Hall, Drop-in sessions for under fives, 10:30 – 4:30

Bedford House, Parent and Toddler Drop in for the under 5’s, 10 – noon, free

Calthorp Project, Parent and Toddler Drop-In, 10:30 – 3:30, 1.50 or £5 weekly

Coram’s Field, Peacocks, Under Three Drop-In, 10 – noon, free (intake limited to  8 families)

Coram’s Field, Colonnades, Under Five Drop-In, 1 – 4, free (intake limited to 12 families)

Coram Parent Centre, Mecklenburg Sq., Parent and Toddler Drop-In, 9:30 – noon, free

Wednesday

St. George’s Hall, Baby Zone, 10:30 – noon, free

Bedford House, Messy Play, 10 – noon

Calthorp Project, Parent and Toddler Drop-In, 10:30 – 4:30, 1.50 or £5 weekly

Coram’s Field, Peacocks, Under Three Drop-In, 10 – noon, free (intake limited to  8 families)

Coram’s Field, Colonnades, Under Five Drop-In, 1 – 4, free (intake limited to 12 families)

Coram Parent Centre, Mecklenburg Sq., Parent and Toddler Drop-In, 9:30 – noon, free

Thursday

St. Pancras Library, Baby Bounce and Rhyme Time, 10:30 – 11:30, free

Bedford House, Parent and Toddler Drop in for the under 5’s, 10 – noon, free

Calthorp Project, Parent and Toddler Drop-In, creche for ages 2,3 and 4, 

Coram’s Field, Peacocks, Under Three Drop-In, 10 – noon, free (intake limited to  8 families)

Coram’s Field, Colonnades, Under Five Drop-In, 1 – 4, free (intake limited to 12 families)

Coram Parent Centre, Mecklenburg Sq., Parent and Toddler Drop-In, 9:30 – noon, free

Friday

1A Children’s Centre, Drop-in Session, 1 – 3PM

Bedford House, Messy Play, 10 – noon

Coram’s Field, Peacocks, Under Three Drop-In, 10 – noon, free (intake limited to  8 families)

Coram’s Field, Colonnades, Under Five Drop-In, 1 – 4, free (intake limited to 12 families)

Coram Parent Centre, Mecklenburg Sq., Parent and Toddler Drop-In, 9:30 – noon, free

British Museum

Great Russell Street, WC1B 3DG,

  • 3-D, art in all sizes and types of media that is really interesting for small children
  • The museum is generally busy and can be manic with a toddler running around (mornings on a weekdays are least busy)
  • Cafes, picnic areas and step-free access for pushchairs
  • Step-free changing and toilets on the first floor
  • The family events are world-class, and really worth planning a visit around
  • Tube: Tottenham Court Road, Holborn, Russell Square and Goodge Street
  • Bus: 1, 7, 8, 10, 14, 19, 24, 25, 29, 38, 55, 73, 98, 134, 242, 390

http://britishmuseum.org

The British Museum is one of the best in the world and a great place to take any child to.  Further, the family activities are amazingly resourced and laid out so that children produce some beautiful artefacts.

The Greek and Egyptian galleries, in particular, have entire facades of temples and tombs, with enormous statues and carvings.  These galleries can be wonderful places to take toddlers to, or just impossible, depending on what kind of day you are having and how busy the museum is.

There are cafes and a restaurant, you can manoeuvre a pushchair through the museum.  You can discreetly bring your picnic into the rotunda and eat your own food in the tables there.

Before or after the museum, there are some great play spaces near-by.  Coram’s Fields is about a 15 minute walk away and Bedford House has daily playtimes if there is wet weather

Coram’s Fields

93 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1DN, 0207 837 6138, www.coramsfields.org

Coram’s Field s is one of the most historically interesting playgrounds in London.  Originally London’s first home for abandoned children and simultaneously of London’s first public art gallery, The Foundling Hospital became London’s first public playground, Coram’s Fields, in 1936.

Coram’s Field is a seven acre playground in the heart of London.  This magnificent haven for children is fenced in, with only one gate, making it the perfect place for mums and carers to let their children run off and really play.

The site boasts spacious grassy areas, several climbing frames, sand boxes with climbing apparatus, swings, animals in pens, sports fields and an adventure playground for older children.  In the middle of the park is a large paddling pool for hot, summer days.

If a safe, varied playground were not enough, an amazing café, Kipferl www.kipferl.co.uk/, offers Austrian coffees, cakes, sweets, sandwiches and small hot dishes of superior quality at very reasonable prices.  With each order you receive a tiny piece of heaven, a complimentary Austrian biscuit!   .

Adults are only allowed in Coram’s field if they are accompanied by a child.  The park opens daily at 9AM.  The sports fields are available for hire from 2PM on, during term time.

While Coram’s Fields is a destination in and of itself, the really nice part about it is its proximity to The Charles Dickens, The Foundling and the British Museums.  You can either begin or end museum visits in the playground.  Conversely, you can use the museums as back up if it rains when you would like to go to Coram’s Field.  Also, some sneaky inside information: there is a limited intake playgroup for the under 3’s from 10 – noon Mondays through Fridays and another group for the under 5’s from 1-4PM Monday through Saturday.  If rain spoils your plans, you may luck out and get a place to play indoors.

Coram’s Fields Unde Five’s Services

Coram’s Fields, 93 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1DN, 0207 837 6138,

  • Nicely resourced and looked after play equipment
  • Contained room, good for two toddlers walking
  • Coffee, tea, juice ant kitchen facilities
  • Great toilets and changing facilities
  • Tube: Russell Square, Kings Cross
  • Bus: 59, 68, 91, 168, 188, 19, 38, 55, 243, 17, 45, 46

www.coramsfields.org

Peacocks, Under 3’s, Mondays – Fridays 10 – noon

Colonnades, Under 5’s, Mondays – Fridays, 1PM – 4PM and Saturdays 11 – 1PM

This is such a treat.  Just next to the sandy play areas is an Under 5’s area.  It is here that the drop-ins are held daily with the under 3’s gathering in the morning and the under 5’s in the afternoons.

The space is small, but amazingly well laid out.  Your buggy is kept outside, but adjacent to the room (you can see it the entire time, but you might not want to leave a baby sleeping out there), and the children play in a well cared for room with different play stations.  There is a home corner and dress up clothes, painting, books … a nice room that has nursery type equipment.

The one caveat to this oasis in the city, is that there are only 8 families allowed at a time in the Peacocks group and 12 in t the Colonnades.

Bedford House

35 Emerald Street, London WC1N 3QW, 0207 405 2370

  •  A little bit tricky to find
  • Ground floor entry, baby gym down a flight of stairs
  • Good mix of mums and carers
  • Over 4’s may take affordable ballet and gym lessons here

http://www.holborncommunity.co.uk/index.php

Tube: Russell Square, Holborn, Chancery Lane

Bus: 19, 38, 55, 243 (Theobolds Road); 59, 68, 91, 168, 188 (Southampton Row)

Bedford House is a really good resource for the under five’s community in Central London. Even if you do not live close enough to utilise the facility regularly, keep it in the back of your mind for a day trip to do the British Museum. bedford house community centre

emerald street To find it, go up Lamb’s Conduit Passage and turn down Emerald Street from there.  Otherwise, go down Emerald Street and take a right and find the door in the bit of alley.  It is there, just a little tricky to find.

My children and I went and tried out the baby gym for the under fives offered on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, term time.  Although my four year old was the biggest and oldest child in a the group, she happily explored the apparatus for over an hour.   The biggest draw for her was the extra thick floor mats that she could hurl herself onto.  My ten month old cruised on different shaped climbing bits, enjoyed the mats and slide.  Both children were in the self-contained gym, I didn’t have to keep track of them through different rooms, and each had a great workout.

On Wednesdays and Fridays, they offer messy play, which is held on the ground floor.

For anyone, the Bedford House is a great rainy day alternative to near-by Coram’s Fields.

Bedford House boasts affordable ballet and gym classes for the over 4’s.  The gym class looks especially interesting as they use proper gymnastics apparatus like climbing frames, vaults, beams and spring boards.

http://www.holborncommunity.co.uk/activities.php

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