Pimlico

 

Weekly Rota of Baby and Toddler Groups in Pimlico:

(detailed descriptions and contact info listed below,  maps to come – until then, google and ring ahead to confirm!!)

Monday

  • Wiggle and Jiggle (1 – 2.5 years), Pimlico Library, 10 – 11, free
  • Bounce and Rhyme (3 – 12 months), Pimlico Library 11 – noon, free
  •  Play sessions (0-5 years), Pimlico Toy Library, 10 – noon and 1 – 3pm (yearly membership £20, each session £1)
  • New Parents Group with The Baby Cafe, Victoria Medical Practice, 1-3pm, free
  • Baby and Toddler Swim (0 – 3 years) Queen Mother Sports Centre, noon – 1
  •  Queen Mother Sports Centre Creche (3 months – 5 years) 10 – noon.

Tuesday

  • Pimlico Playtots (0-5 years), Holy Apostles Church Hall, 10 – noon, £1
  •  Play sessions (0-5 years), Pimlico Toy Library, 10 – noon and 1 – 3 (yearly membership £20, £1 per session)
  •  Baby and Toddler Swim (0 – 3 years) Queen Mother Sports Centre, noon – 1

 

Wednesday

  • Stay and Play (0-5 years), Churchill Gardens Youth Club, 10 – noon, free
  •  Play sessions (0-5 years), Pimlico Toy Library, 10 – noon and 1 – 3 (yearly membership £20 then £1 per session)
  •  Baby and Toddler Swim (0 – 3 years) Queen Mother Sports Centre, 9:30 – 10:30

 

Thursday

  • Baby and Toddler Swim (0 – 3 years) Queen Mother Sports Centre, 9:30 – 10:30
  • Queen Mother Sports Centre Creche (3 months – 5 years) 10 – noon
  • St. James the Less Playgroup (0 – 5 years), St. James the Less Church, 10 – 11:30, £1.00

  • Napier Hall, St. Stephens’ Church Baby and Toddler Group (0-5yrs), 3:00 – 4:30,  free, with donations welcomeFriday

  • Churchill Gardens School (Johnson Place Entrance), Parent and Toddler Drop in, (0-5yrs), 1:30 – 3pm, free
  • NCT Westminster meets informally around Pimlico on Thursday mornings, email pimlicomums (at) hotmail (dot) com to learn more

Friday

  •  Twins Group (0-5 years), 121 Marsham Street, 1 – 3
  • Monkey Music with be staring classes in January at Holy Apostles Church on Friday mornings.  Places are going to go quickly, don’t wait and miss out on the fun: http://www.monkeymusic.co.uk/area/chelsea-belgravia-knightsbridge-gloucesterroad-westminster
  •  French classes for babies and toddlers- 9.30-10.15 2.5yrs plus, 10.15-11, 1.5-2.5yrs, 11-11.30 9 months-1.5 yrs. (£).  St. Saviour’s Church Hall (right be Pimlico Tube and great buses)  Email Juliette atpimlicofrenchclasses-info@yahoo.co.uk
  • NCT Westminster meets in St. George’s Square Friday mornings, email pimlicomums (at) hotmail (dot) com to learn more.
  •  Baby and Toddler Swim (0 – 3 years) Queen Mother Sports Centre, 12:30 – 1:30

 

Saturday

  •  1st Saturday of the Month, Pimlico Toy Library, Just for Dad’s and Male Carer’s (0- 5 years) 10:30 – 11:30

 

Local baby friendly places to go:

 

Monkey Music Pimlico:

Monkey Music’s classes are structured, action packed and beautifully presented with beautiful puppets, hand-crafted props, specialist percussion, dance and movement, magical bubbles and lots more.  It’s the perfect environment for your child to flourish and grow under the direction of talented, vivacious and comprehensively trained teachers.  Everyone has so much fun they don’t know how much they are learning! Weekly classes will be held in the church hall of the Holy Apostles after the 1st of the year.

Click on the link below for full timetable and venue details. http://www.monkeymusic.co.uk/area/chelsea-belgravia-knightsbridge-gloucesterroad-westminster To book your complimentary class email chelsea.westminster@monkeymusic.co.uk

 

Pimlico Library:

Wiggle and Jiggle (1 – 2.5 years) 10 – 11; Bounce and Rhyme (3 – 12 months) 11 – noon on Mondays,  free

Pimlico Library, Lupus Steet, London SW1 3AT  020 7641 1300

http://www.westminster.gov.uk/libraries/findalibrary/images/pimmap1.jpg

 

  • ·The children’s section is located on the lower ground floor, but in a self-contained room with near-by toilets
  • Pushchair access via lift
  • Brand new facilities cushions and soft furnishings for children to relax and climb around on
  • ·The program is straight-forward, but a nice, diverse group of parents and carers come to the sessions.
  • ·Tube: Pimlico
  • ·Bus:   24, 88, 87, 436, 36, 2, 185, C10

The Pimlico library is good starting point to the weekly activities in the neighbourhood.  The group is diverse: lots of parents and carers from different backgrounds.  The space is nice for small children who are just beginning to learn to explore books.

The rhyme and story time is basic, no puppet shows or guitars, but the librarians are kind and cheerful

Pimlico Toy Library

Play session (0 – 5 years), 10 – noon and then 1 – 3 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays (yearly membership £12 and concessions are available)

Pimlico Toy Library, 133A Lupus Street, London  SW1V 3EN

http://www.mapquest.co.uk/mq/maps/mapAddress.do?cboCountry=GB&txtAddress=133%20Lupus%20Street&txtCity=London&txtPostcode=SW1V%203&txtLatitude=51.48763&txtLongitude=-0.14241

  • ·Really good self-contained space filled with clean, well-cared for, newly-bought toys
  • ·Buggy park outside door with locked chains available for all
  • ·Friendly, well-informed staff who can offer friendly advice and guidance to all the resources in and around Westminster as well as general child-development questions.
  • ·Really good mix of parents and carers from all kinds of backgrounds
  • ·Tube: Pimlico
  • ·Bus:  24, 88, 87, 436, 36, 2, 185, C10

 

The Toy Library is an amazingly well financed and run children’s and parents centre offering different play sessions for different age groups.  They have a dedicated building on Lupus Street.  The toys are well-kept and cleaned after each session.

Sheila does an amazing job of organizing different activities (i.e. bringing in musicians from the London Philharmonic and animals to pet for special occasions).  They have lots of information and re to help parents in the area.

Further, the first Saturday of each month is Dad’s Day and fathers are encouraged to bring their children into play.

You need to register and pay a £20 fee for the year.  Once you are a member you can borrow toys.  If you give one month’s notice, Sheila can let you borrow toys for parties.

Queen Mother Sports Centre Crèche

Queen Mother Sports Centre, 223 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V  020 7630 5522

 

  • ·Safe and trusted crèche favourite with neighbourhood mums who fancy a workout, a coffee in the café or a facial at the spa located on the premises.
  • ·You can leave your children for up to two, one-hour sessions but must remain in the building.
  • ·£1.50 per hour, per child plus any fees to use the gym.
  • ·Buggy park on the ground floor entry, £1 deposit to use the automatic buggy lock
  • ·Lockers .20 p  deposit
  • ·Tube: Victoria
  • ·Bus: A1, 16, 52, 211, C10, 2, 24, 73, 9, 11, 36, 38, 82, 185, C1

A basic, open and reasonably priced crèche for deserving mums.  As long as you stay in the building, you are free to leave your children and take some time for yourself.  The times are from 10 – noon, Mondays and Thursdays, term time.

The crèche is held in a large windowed studio on the ground floor of the gym.  They have lots of toys for the children and bourbon cream biscuits if they like.

The crèche is a real favourite with local mums.

 

Queen Mother Sports Centre Baby and Toddler Swim,

 ueen Mother Sports Centre, 223 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V  020 7630 5522

 

  • ·1 metre pool heated to 45 degrees, with steps leading inside – great set up for even tLohe most timid children
  • ·Buggy park on the ground floor entry, £1 deposit to use the automatic buggy lock
  • ·Changing rooms in the locker room (the changing process is easier when your toddler is contained in a small room)
  • ·Lockers .20 p  deposit
  • ·Tube: Victoria
  • ·Bus: A1, 16, 52, 211, C10, 2, 24, 73, 9, 11, 36, 38, 82, 185, C1

 

This pool is well thought out and especially conducive to talking hesitant toddlers into, it is worth the trip in to use it.  The drawbacks include the horrible chill in the air getting from the pool to the locker room and the convoluted system with the pushchairs.

Upon entering the gym, you leave your pushchair in an area where you can lock with a chain for a £1 deposit.  You then walk up a small flight of stairs and down another before entering the locker room.  There is a lift if you would like to avoid all of this, but ring ahead to see if it is working, otherwise, members of the staff offer help if they see you struggling on the steps.

Another bonus to the Queen Mother Sports Centre pool, across the way in the recreation pool, is a giant waterslide that parents are permitted to use with children of any age.  The covered, water-soaked slide wraps around three corners of the pool and takes a few seconds to descend.  This pool is deeper and much cooler than the teaching pool where the baby and toddler swim is held.  You can only access the recreation pool at certain times and you need to consult the web site for times: http://www.courtneys.co.uk/class-timetable

 

Pimlico Playtots

Holy Apostles Church Hall, Cumberland St, PimlicoThis is the perfect Tuesday morning destination.  First, there are no steps, making is really easy to access the hall.  There is a buggy park, but it’s in short distance to the play area, so you can comfortably leave a sleeping infant while you play with an older child.

Tuesday 10 AM – Noon, £1, coffee, tea, biscuits, fruit and grainy crackers

  •  · No steps
  • ·changing area and disabled toilet
  • ·great space for lots of different ages
  • ·riding toys
  • ·art table and organised craft
  • ·coffee, tea, juice, bicuits, fruit, rice crackers, cakes …

The activity areas are varied and amply supplied.  There are slides and playhouses in one area; kitchens and house things in another, there is also a dressing up area with plenty of space for the riding toys in between.  The playgroup boasts a sand table and a wonderful art table where children are guided through a quality, multi-step project each week.  There is a large baby area that is well protected from the bigger kids.  Outside is a small, lovely garden for the children to explore and run around.

There is a wheel chair restroom with room for the buggy, a good size ladies toilet and two changing mats all located next to the indoor play areas.

The mums and carers are very kind and friendly, as is the staff that runs the group.

Also, Music Makers is a wonderful class for the under five’s on Fridays for £6.

New Parents Group with Baby Café,

Victoria Medical Practice, Upper Tachbrook Street, SW1V 1SN 0207 828 4083, Mondays, 1 – 3pm, free

  • Wonderful breastfeeding and weaning support group
  • Lactation consultant on hand to assist with breastfeeding, weaning, and general parent of new born questions and anxieties
  • Tube: Pimlico
  • Bus: 2, 36, 185, 436, 87, 88, C10, 24, 360,

The Baby Café at the Marsham Street Children’s Centre will be moved to the Victoria Medical Practice beginning 8th June, 2009.  I will go then and check out the facility and reprot back here regarding buggy access, etc.

The Baby Cafe is a great resource for first time and new mums seeking guidance or companionship for breast feeding newborns.  Of course, bottle fed babies are welcome to come and make friends.  The staff is extremely knowledgeable, helpful and fun!

St. James the Less Playgroup

St. James the Less Westminster, Thorndike Street off Moreton Street, London, SW1V 2PT, 0207 630 6282, Thursdays 10 – 11:30, baby – 5 years

  •  ·Small, contained room really good for looking after two children
  • ·Toilets and changing areas
  • · only a step or two
  • ·Buggy park inside the building, just outside the door
  • ·Coffee and tea served, children served a snack at snack time

The group is small, lovely playgroup frequented by local mums.  The playgroup begins with a free-play session.  Contact abi.marsh (at) sjtl (dot) org

Churchill Gardens Children’s Centre

Churchill Gardens Youth Club, Churchill Gardens Road, London, SW1V 3HY0207 828 4083, Tuesdays 10 – 1PM, free

  • Buggy friendly
  • Good space for taking two toddlers, as it’s a big space with just one door
  • Good toilets and changing facilities
  • Great playground just outside
  • Bus: 24, 360, C10
  • Tube: Pimlico

www.southwestminster.surestart.org

 This playgroup is held in a youth activities building on the Churchill Gardens Estate.  The group is frequented by local families and carers who enjoy having a morning play with a variety of toys and art supplies.  This is one of the more diverse playgroups in Pimlico with both young and older mums and dads, childminders from different backgrounds and circumstances.  If anyone has is put off a bit by more homogenous crowds, this is a really good group to attend

Napier Hall, St. Stephen’s Baby and Toddler Group

1 Hide Place, Pimlico

Thursdays 3 – 4:30, donations welcome, tea, coffee and amazing home made biscuits

This is such a pleasant way to spend a Thursday afternoon, especially as it is not as common to find an afternoon group.   St. Stephen’s is the longest running playgroup in Westminster, going on 40 years!!  It is the dearest, sweetest place to come with young children and meet local families.  While the group does have a few nannies, it is more frequented by mums and dads.

The group has a few riding toys and slides, an animal table, and is situated in the classroom for the Little House School at Napier Hall.  It’s fun showing children what a school looks like and looking at the children’s school work.  Further, the room is set up perfectly for parents and carers to have a cup of tea and let the little ones have a bit of a play as the room is self-contained with few trouble spots.

Look for improvements and enhancements to this playgroup in the coming months …

 

Points of Interest

Tate Britain

Millbank, SW1P 4RG, 0207 887 8888,

  •  Terrible place to take two children alone as the paintings have small ropes in front that children love to tip over
  • Wonderful outdoor space for after the museum or instead of on a good day
  • The garden is not a good space for two children as the garden is separated from the road and pavement, but it is not secure and a child could easily wander off
  • Buggy friendly
  • Restaurant and snack bar
  • Tube: Pimlico
  • Bus: 2, 24, 36, 360, C10, 436, 87, 88

While the Tate is buggy friendly and a nice place to take a toddler, you have to keep your hands on them at all times.  Many paintings have small ropes and posts beneath them, at about shin height to an adult and easily tripped over.  Small children are drawn to these and make the galleries at the Tate unsuitable for an adult with two toddlers in tow.

That being said, it is a lovely time to take a small child to the Tate and admire the Pre-Raphaelites and the Beaux Arts building.

The cafeteria is slightly challenging on your own with a small child and the tray, but the space is buggy and child friendly if it is not too crowded.

Outside, the gardens at the Tate are a wonderful place to spend time with a toddler.  It is not enclosed, so you do have to keep an eye on them as they can easily wander towards Millbank Road.  There are different sized pebbles and rocks that are incredibly amusing for small hands.  Over by the Milbank entrance, there is a small pond to play near or fall into, depending on your energy level.

Local Playgrounds:

Causton Street Playground

Located just off Casuston and Cureton Streets, off Vauxhall Bridge Road, is the nicest small playground in Westminster.

The playground has a toilet, lots of benches, a lovely sand pit, climbing frame, swings for toddlers but no baby swings, a nice climbing frame and a paddling pool.  Further, the playground has been landscaped and has an extremely pleasant feel.  On sunny mornings during term time, the playground is usually empty and your toddler can have the paddling pool and sand pit to themselves.  It broaches on feeling somewhat holiday-like!!

This playground is an excellent resource if you are planning a trip to the Tate Britain as its just a short walk away.

Longmoor Playground

This is the closest playground to Victoria station, helpful information if you are coming into the city and have experienced delays.  Located just off Vauxhall Bridge Road and Warrick Street, the playground is basic, but really good fun for toddlers.

The playground contains swings, climbing frame, spinning rides, self-contained, few blind sights and one gate to enter, really good space to take two children.

Just around the corner is Garstronomica where you can get an amazing take away coffee for £1.80.

Churchill Gardens Playground

Located right at the back of the estate is an amazing newly redone playground.  There are several climbing frames, swings for big and small alike, and lots of really unusual playground equipment.

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