Baby and toddler fun at Cha Char Chimps Bicester

Cha Char Chimps Bicester - interactive blanket

If you’re looking for something fun and interactive to do with your little one look no further than Cha Char Chimps Bicester!

This family-friendly musical show offers an entertaining session of singing, play and so much more.

Cha Char Chimps Bicester - wiggly worms

The best baby and toddler class in Bicester

Cha Char Chimps is my favourite baby and toddler class in Bicester. It offers a pay-as-you-go system that’s not only flexible but super affordable.

Prices start from £4. This includes entry for your little one and yourself.

Once inside, you’ll participate in a series of interactive songs with a host of included props to ensure they come to life.

These sessions focus on developing the following:

  • Language skills
  • Co-ordination
  • Co-operation
  • Confidence
  • Concentration
  • Sharing and socialising

Each week, you’ll see your little one grow and develop in these action-packed sessions. My son, Theo, even sat independently for the first time during a session. Proud mum moment.

After each session, you also get a slice of the best tiffin I’ve ever eaten. It’s a win-win.

Cha Char Chimps Bicester - playtime

What makes Cha Char Chimps Bicester so special?

We’ve been to the Kingsmere Community Centre sessions since Theo was nine weeks old and there’s one thing that makes them so special, Katie!

Katie is the ‘Entertainer’ and hosts the classes. She’s bursting with energy, makes everyone feel so welcome and all the children adore her.

It’s just wonderful to watch them build confidence and interact. Katie works her way around the hall and makes each individual child feel so important.

Christmas special baby class

What sessions do Cha Char Chimps Bicester run?

There are two different classes depending on age which are offered in three locations in Bicester. These include Kingsmere, Heyford and Arncott.

Sessions are in the morning and last between 30 minutes and an hour and a half, depending on the group age.

You can choose to join the baby session, recommended for up to 12 months. There’s also a toddler and older session, recommended for ages 1–5.

Alternatively, Arncott offers an all-ages session for ages 0–4.

Kingsmere Community Centre – Monday

  • Toddler and older session – 10–10:45 am
  • Baby session – 11–11:30 am

Heyford Park Community Centre – Wednesday

  • Toddler and older session – 10–11:30 am
  • Baby session – 11:15–11:30 am

Arncott Village Hall – Thursday

  • All ages session (ages 0–4) – 10–11 am

Occasionally, Cha Char Chimps will run special seasonal sessions and also offer exclusive children’s parties.

You can book their pay-as-you-go classes on the Cha Char Chimps Bicester website.

Have you been to Cha Char Chimps yet?

Stephanie xox

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Halloween special baby class

Exploring Boarstall Duck Decoy with the National Trust 🦆

A family day out at Boarstall Duck Decoy

Boarstall Duck Decoy welcomes visitors to see one of the few remaining duck decoys in the UK.

Built in the 16th-century, the duck decoy was used to catch waterfowl for Boarstall Manor.

Although once very common in Britain, there are now only four left in the country. This one was built around 1697.

What is there to do?

Surrounded by woodland, you can enjoy a peaceful stroll among bluebells, ancient trees and wildlife in this charming place.

It offers visitors an hour of tranquility as you wind your way around the lake.

Is Boarstall Duck Decoy family-friendly?

It is to an extent. I’d probably suggest leaving your buggy or pushchair at home.

The area is mostly covered in wood shavings but there are some muddy and uneven areas if you stray from the main path.

You may choose to navigate them with your buggy but I’d probably bring a carrier instead for younger children.

There is lots to see! A highlight is the lovely children’s natural play and den building area with carved wooden mushrooms dotted around.

There are plenty of places to stop and appreciate your surroundings and lots to discover in the woodland. It is also surprisingly quiet, adding to the tranquility.

Please note, that there are no baby-changing or breastfeeding facilities. However, there are male and female toilets available.

Where can we eat and drink?

There is no cafe but you are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy and dedicated picnic tables are available.

How much does it cost?

Boarstall Duck Decoy offers free entry for National Trust members. If you are not a member, please see the entrance prices below:

  • Adult – £5
  • Child – £2.50
  • Family – £12.50
  • Family with one adult – £7.50

Boarstall Duck Decoy is open on Sundays and Bank Holidays from 3 April to 25 September 2022. You do not need to pre-book your visit and it’s cash only.

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Discovering Small Worlds at The Story Museum, Oxford 📚

Small Worlds at The Story Museum allows young children under five and their parents the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of Oxford for an hour.

This 60-minute structured storytelling and play session welcomes visitors to its magical patchwork world.

Inside Small Worlds, you’ll be greeted with a kind smile and introduction, an engaging song, and the featured traditional tale.

What can we expect?

Afterward, you can burn off some energy and explore five unique story zones at your leisure.

These beautifully themed areas allow you to:

  • Go on a bear hunt
  • Crawl into Traction Man’s under-sink world
  • Unwind in the soft glow of the Night Safe
  • Take a ride on the Story Bus
  • Get lost in stories in Winnie and Wilbur’s miniature theatre

There’s a thematic craft activity alongside a wealth of stories for you to read together and loads of interactive play opportunities.

Before it’s time to go, you gather around once more on the giant patchwork bed for a final story and goodbye song.

Is The Story Museum worth a visit?

It is indeed worth a visit and an amazing family day out! The gallery is designed for pre-school children and the storytelling is enchanting, engaging and interactive.

The free-play element of the session is invaluable for younger children and the gallery offers a vibrant and secure environment to explore.

The Story Museum is a truly immersive experience and one of the best things to do in Oxford with a baby or toddler!

There are numerous timed sessions throughout the day and tickets are £5. Under 1’s receive a complimentary ticket.

Book tickets for The Story Museum on their website.

Have you been to The Story Museum yet?

Stephanie xox

Discover other UK family days out

Exploring Waddesdon Manor’s House and Grounds with the National Trust 🌲

A family day out at Waddesdon Manor

Waddesdon Manor welcomes visitors to its grand Neo-Renaissance country home and grounds each day from 10am to 4/5pm.

This impressive French-style château was built in the 1870s and offers surrounding views of the Chilterns Hills, Oxfordshire and the Vale of Aylesbury.

Exploring Waddesdon Manor - Fountain

What is there to do?

There’s so much to see and do, Waddesdon Manor is an entire day out in itself as the House and Grounds are so expansive.

Exploring Waddesdon Manor - Aviary

Exploring the Grounds

You’ll start your day in the stunning Victorian Gardens. In spring, Waddesdon comes to life in a wash of colour. You’ll spot over 6000 tulips on the Parterre and plenty of daffodils left in Daffodil Valley.

The Aviary is charming. This ornate green and gold cast iron aviary features many exotic birds including the Rothschild mynah, a bird native to Bali. This bird was named after Walter, second Lord Rothschild (1868-1937), a famous zoologist.

All around you, there are things to discover. Whether it be the beautiful gardens, exquisite statues and sculptures, or the contrasting landscapes.

Things to see on the Grounds include:

If you fancy a more guided experience, check out the garden walks and maps.

Exploring Waddesdon Manor - Neo-Renaissance House

Exploring the House

You could spend a few hours appreciating the grandeur of the House. Inside, you’ll discover a plethora of stately rooms, renowned paintings, exquisite furnishings, and fine porcelain.

The current Alice’s Wonderlands exhibition offers a fascinating insight into the life and legacy of Alice de Rothschild.

Exploring Waddesdon Manor - The Red Drawing Room

Things to see in the House include:

  • The East Gallery
  • The Breakfast Room
  • The Conservatory and Ante Room
  • The Dining Room
  • The Red Drawing Room
  • The Grey Drawing Room
  • The West Gallery
  • The Small Library
  • The Baron’s Room and the Tower Drawing Room
  • The West Hall
  • The Morning Room
  • The Treasury
  • The State Dressing Room, State Bedroom, and Green Boudoir
  • The Fountain Bedroom and Bathroom
  • The Blue Dining Room
  • The Armoury Corridor
  • The Bachelor’s Wing
  • The Smoking Room

Once you’re finished, you may browse the Manor Shop or dine in the Manor Restaurant.

Exploring Waddesdon Manor - Dining Room

Is Waddesdon Manor family-friendly?

Waddesdon is super family-friendly and is honestly the perfect family day out!

I’d probably suggest leaving your buggy or pushchair at home. Although there are buggy-friendly routes, there are lots of hills and access from the car park is difficult.

From the car, the route takes 15 minutes to walk and is partly covered in wood shavings and in parts is uphill. This makes it awkward to navigate.

So, if you take a buggy or pushchair, you’ll want to utilise the shuttle bus (separate fee) or pay for parking outside the House (£20 per car). Alternatively, do what we did, and bring a carrier.

Please also note that buggies and pushchairs cannot be taken into the House and you are advised to bring a carrier.

You’ll find baby-changing, breastfeeding, and toilet facilities available at the Manor and Stables.

Exploring Waddesdon Manor - Picnic

Where can we eat and drink?

Once you’ve worked up an appetite exploring, there are plenty of dining options at Waddesdon.

You can enjoy afternoon tea in the Manor Restaurant, grab a bite to eat at the Stables, Woodland Playground, or Manor Terrace, and even pre-book a picnic!

Alternatively, if you fancy something a little different, why not bring your own yummy picnic to enjoy on the Grounds?

How much does it cost?

Waddesdon Manor offers free entry for National Trust members. If you are not a member, please see the entrance prices below:

Grounds only

  • Adult – £13.20
  • Child – £6.60

House and grounds

  • Adult – £25.20
  • Child – £12.60

Children under five are free.

Please note, that visitors to Waddesdon Manor are advised to book Grounds admission in advance and online booking is essential for timed entry to the House.

Stephanie xox

Waddesdon Manor in spring on TikTok

@stephmulz

Exploring Waddesdon Manor in spring. 🌷 A beautiful day exploring this huge country home and grounds in Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, with our National Trust membership! #waddesdonmanor #nationaltrust #ntchallenge #waddesdon #spring2022 #countryhouse #discoveruk #familyday #lifestyleblogger

♬ One Summer’s Day – Smyang Piano

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Exploring National Trust Stowe 🌲

A family day out at National Trust Stowe

National Trust Stowe welcomes its visitors to a vast Georgian landscaped garden and parkland each day from 10 am-4 pm.

Once parked at New Inn, there’s a short walk downhill to the garden entrance where you will be free to explore over 250 acres of nature.

Image of property map by National Trust Stowe

What is there to do?

There is lots to do and you can expect plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Stroll around the scenic garden at your leisure before heading into the surrounding parkland to discover its secrets.

You’ll see lakes, temples and plenty of monuments, alongside beautiful flora and fauna. If you choose to go off-the-beaten-track and explore further, you’ll be spoilt.

You could easily spend an entire day wandering around discovering new sights and sounds throughout the parkland.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, feel free to grab a bite to eat in the cafe, browse second-hand books at the Old Dairy Book Shop or treat yourself to local produce at the gift shop – all located at New Inn on the way out.

Exploring National Trust Stowe - The Palladian Bridge

Is National Trust Stowe family-friendly?

It is indeed! There are buggy-friendly routes around the garden and surrounding parkland and you’ll also find baby-changing, breastfeeding, and toilet facilities available at the New Inn entrance.

The onsite cafe offers a children’s menu and high chairs are available also.

How much does it cost?

National Trust Stowe offers free entry for National Trust members. If you are not a member, please see the entrance prices below:

  • Adult – £13.00
  • Child – £6.50
  • Family – £32.50
  • Family One Adult – £19.50

Children under five are free.

Please note, if you would also like to visit Stowe House, this is charged separately.

Stephanie xox

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