The results are in – it’s official – our favourite places to meet up with friends and kids are:
Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre
In West Berkshire, between Newbury and Thatcham, this is a great place for a day out. Even on cold winter days, just wrap up warm and the kids will love walking around the lake and running wild in the outdoor play area. Then of course wind down in the cafe and check out the visitors’ centre with its wildlife displays, hands on activities and wildlife brass rubbings. They have an extensive list of activities – there’s always something going on.
This Wednesday BBC Radio Berkshire are hosting a Stargazing Evening. On 18th Jan at 17:30 there will be hands on activities and the opportunity to view the sky at night through a telescope. Let’s hope for a clear night!
California Country Park
Come wind, rain, snow or shine, California Country Park is a lovely place to spend a few hours with friends. The pushchair friendly path takes you all the way round the lake, which is a short enough walk for even the smallest legs. If you’re yet to discover the Everglades then you really must take your wellies and explore the wetland wildlife to the West side of the lake.
The adventure playground is an absolute must – and in the summer holidays don’t forget your swimming gear for a dip in the paddling pool! At this time of year though, you might prefer to wind down in the California Dreaming Cafe, with its own little play area.
The Madhouse Play and Party World
One of the biggest and best soft plays around – the kids absolutely love this place. Depending on how busy it is, it’s possible to stay for several hours. Adults can catch up on the lovely leather sofas while kids run themselves ragged on the play frames. It’s not all climbing and slides though, one of the ball pits has recently been replaced with giant foam lego-type blocks and the court has goals and basketball nets – you’ll often find several games going on at once!
And before you worry about having to drag your kids away in time for lunch, the food is far and away the best you’ll find in any soft play centre locally!