Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Primrose Hill Baby and Toddler Calendar

Hampstead Heath by the paddling pool and the Peggy Jay Centre
Our neighbourhood in London, Primrose Hill, is often referred to as "nappy valley."  You would be hard pressed to walk through our neighbourhood and *not* see a pram/stroller within two minutes.

Within this wonderful community and the surrounding area, there is so much for a baby or toddler to do.  Here's what's on for your 0-2 year old, all within 10-15 minutes of Primrose Hill central (addresses listed in first mention):

9:15 a.m. (4 months-4 years) Songsters with Neal, Huggle, 8-10 Winchester Rd, London NW3 3NT, £7
9:30-11:30 a.m. (6 months-2)Toddler's World, Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre, Adelaide Rd, NW3 3NF.  I have never been, but this looks great - soft play for babies. £5.30
10:30 a.m. (4 months-4 years) Songsters with Neal, Huggle, £7
10:30 a.m. (0-4) Rhyme Time, Primrose Hill Community Library, Sharples Hall Street, London NW1 8YN, £1 donation.  This is run by my dear friend, Cara, and she is amazing at capturing the attention of the little ones.  People stay afterwards to play with the instruments and check out the books. Probably the best rhyme time around.
11:00 a.m. (0-crawling) Baby Massage, Tri-Yoga, 57 Jamestown Road, Camden London NW1 7DB, £10ish
11:30 a.m. (4 months-4 years) Songsters with Neal, Huggle

Baby Massage at Triyoga.  Of course it always includes a little baby yoga.
G asking a stranger to read him a book after Rhymetime at the Primrose Hill Library

10:00 a.m. (1-5) Garden Explorers, Kentish Town Farm, 1 Cressfield Close, off Grafton Road NW5 4BN.  Learn how to plant vegetables & flowers. £3 
10:00 a.m. (0-4) Music Mayhem, Salvation Army, 10-16 Haverstock Hill, London NW3 2BL, £2 (I have never gotten in, but I hear it is great!)
10:00 a.m. (0-4) Oldtime Nursery, Heath Street Baptist Church, 84 Heath Street, London NW3 1ST.  This is my all-time favourite class. Ewan King, the hip (and some might say hippy) Baptist priest plays the banjo, guitar, baby piano, accordion, harmonica along with his side-kick on the bass guitar or drums.  His nursery rhymes actually sound good, and I keep bugging him to make a CD.  Free, and it doesn't take breaks during term time, only Christmas.* 
11:00 a.m. (0-4) Rhyme Time, Belsize Community Library, Antrim Grove, London NW3 4XN, Free
11:45 a.m. (0-4) Japanese Rhyme Time, Belsize Community Library, Free
4:15 p.m. (0-5) Spanish Rhyme Time, Belsize Community Library, Free
4:30 p.m. (0-4) Music & Play, Primrose Hill Community Centre, 29 Hopkinson's Place, NW1 8TN, £1.  This is short and sweet, and I love Louise, the singing leader.

Ewan King playing at his Oldtime Nursery at the Baptist Church in Hampstead Heath
9:20 a.m.-10:05 a.m. (4 months-4 years) Amanda's Action Club, Huggle, £10
9:30-11:30 a.m. (6 months-2) Toddler's World, Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre, £5.30.
10:00 a.m. Apple Tree Steiner Group, Kentish Town Farm.  Baking, creating & rhyme time. £4
10:00 a.m. Small Pool (heated indoor baby pool) free-swim at Kentish Town Sports Centre, Grafton Rd, Kentish Town, NW5 3DU, £5.50.  I used to take Gideon almost every week, as he loves the water, but can't go this day with both of them - yet.
10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon (Toddler) Drop-in at the Salvation Army.  You need to get there usually by 9:40 a.m. to get in.  Toys are amazing (plus dress up and painting and puzzles), and they do a snack of fruit and toast and water for the kiddies and tea and cake for the adults, £2
10:15-11:00 a.m. (4 months-4 years) Amanda's Action Club, Huggle, £10
11:10 -11:50 a.m. (4 months-4 years) Amanda's Action Club, Huggle, £10 
11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (0-crawling) Mummy & Me Yoga, Tri-Yoga, 57 Jamestown Road, Camden London NW1 7DB, £10ish
12:30-1:00 p.m. (0-2) Tots Water World - soft play in a heated, in-door baby pool, £8
4:00 p.m. (0-5) French Rhyme Time, Belsize Community Library, Free

Esther all ready to go for a swim at Kentish Town Pools

9:30 a.m. (Toddler) Drop in, St. Mary's Church, Ellsworthy Road, NW3 3DJ (Starting again 13 March), tea, coffee, and biscuits
10:00 a.m. (18-36 months) Baby Rave, our home, Free! Dancing to tunes followed by playtime at our home (if you leave a comment with your email address, I'll send you more details). 
10:00 a.m. (0-5) Spanish Rhyme Time, Kentish Town Farm. £4
11:15 a.m.-1:00 p.m. (0-5) Drop in with a snack that approximates lunch, Primrose Hill Community Centre, £2
4:30 p.m. (0-4) Music & Play, Primrose Hill Community Centre, £1

10:00 a.m. (Toddler) Drop-in at the Salvation Army, £2
10:00 a.m. (0-5) Messy Play, Kentish Town Farm, £4. 
10:00 a.m. (0-4) Storytime at Primrose Hill Community Library, £1 donation

Gideon is just dropping his nap, so I have finally been able to get to the Salvation Army drop-in, or "Salvos" as it is called locally.  It's great!
10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Small pool free swim at Kentish Town.  Was able to go with G - there are also two toddler sections of the adult pool with great floaty toys at the same time.  

9:00 a.m. (6 months -5) Treetops, Talacre Centre, Dalby St, Kentish Town, NW5 3AF, £3ish (also runs Saturday).  Three-story soft play maze with ball pits, two-story slides, rope swings, rope walks, wrecking balls, a house of mirrors, and some claustrophobic climbs!  There is a small ball area for babies, then a slightly larger section with balls for small toddlers.  The rest of the maze requires adult accompaniment for under-5s.   
10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon (1-5) Ten O'Clock Club, Peggy Jay Centre at the bottom of Hampstead Heath by the running track and Lido, £2? I have never been, but I have heard this is great - indoor crafts, education and play facilities, and great garden space outside.  
10:30 a.m. (0-4) Baby Gym, Talacre Centre, £5ish, £3ish for members. This is extremely popular, so you need to get there by 10:10 to get in, especially on a rainy day.
10:45 a.m. (6 months-11) Treetops, Talacre Centre, £3. 
1:00-4:00 p.m. (1-5) One O'Clock Club, Peggy Jay Centre, free

Baby Gym, Talacre Centre

soft play
Talacre Centre's Treetops.  G was in heaven with this two-story slide!
All of the above-listed venues plus the parks have pre-booked, multiple week courses which I will review in another blog post.  

When it's nice outside (or not - we Londoners must be tough!), there is always Chalcot Square (aka Toddler Heaven), Primrose Hill Park and playground, Regent's Park and all of its playgrounds, the Zoo, the canal, Kentish Town Farm, and Hampstead Heath.

Kentish Town Farm

This jump pad jingles as the child jumps.  G wasn't quite heavy enough in this photo.

Regent's Park Canal

Primrose Hill's western wild area where football pitches are swarming with little kickers most days

Punting on Regent's Canal

Chalcot Square Swings
G attempting to scoot in Chalcot Square.  It's where most local children learn.

If you are stuck on a rainy day and can't muster up the time or energy to do a class, Mary's Living and Giving on our high street (think main street), Regent's Park Road, has a fab children's play area in the back complete with books, a colouring station, toy baby grand piano, books and a doll house.  Too, the children's charity shop, Fara, has all kinds of toys to play with (although the new manager is somewhat grumpy about it!).

Mary's Living and Giving baby grand for tots

If you know of other local drop-in courses for under-two's, let me know, and I'll edit this post!

*If you aren't familiar with school schedules here, it may be tricky to know when the above classes are on, as most take a break during term time.  


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  4. Hi - great post - we love the idea of baby rave (live in Belsize and always looking for dance partners :) Are you still doing this ?

  5. this is great post. also this is great family ever. love your blog so much a jex

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