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Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Festivities for under 5s

Well, we had the nativity play yesterday, Santa’s dropping into nursery this morning and then that’s that – Christmas holidays for my three year old, and still a whole two weeks until the big day. My daughter has only been going to nursery since August (and only four mornings a week) but I got used to the term-time routine surprisingly quickly (it took about two days). My baby son generally obliges by napping for some of the morning so by the time we all know it, it’s lunchtime and there’s only the afternoon to fill. Now, for a few weeks, we will have all day, every day together. What will we get up to?

We could get into town – there’s loads happening there, and there really is nothing like Christmas in Edinburgh. I’ve promised us a trip to Princes’ Street Gardens East where there’s a Santa Express, a grotto, a Christmas maze and all sorts of other marvels. On Friday I decided to get a taster of Christmas in town by getting the bus in to see the decorations, Jenners’ tree (“You’ll not find a bigger tree indoors, Anna, have a proper look!”), and check out the happenings in St Andrews Square. This has become a great venue for holiday activities and I’d missed the amazing stuff that was hosted there in the summer. Well, we weren’t going to miss this! Whatever it was!
 
From the minute we stepped off the bus on Hanover Street, Edinburgh felt Christmassy. On the way, George Street looked great and the Dome was as festive as it ever is at this time of year, with its twinkly pillars. At St Andrews and St George’s West they seemed to be having some sort of Christmas tree festival. I made a mental note to pop in another time, and to check out their Undercroft café while I was at it.

Arriving at the Children’s Christmas Market at St Andrew’s Square, it was the carousel that caught my three year old’s eye. I distracted her for a while with the Toys Galore shed, and then a sniff of the candy shed (letting her roam free in there would have been far too dangerous). The Children’s Market also had a theatre, with Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs, amongst other shows, playing and craft huts to keep little ones busy. For the adults there are stalls nearby selling Glüwein and hot chocolate. But, soon enough, back to the colourful, musical horses it was. I’m sure she could have hung onto one all by herself but I was taking no chances. After a little think about the logistics and a chat to the man in the booth and a lady selling the tickets, I decided all three of us could pile onto a horse – Anna in front, me in the middle with one arm round a pole and another round her, and my one year old firmly in the baby-carrier rucksack on my back. We must have looked a sight. Still, my daughter was utterly delighted with the whole experience. The baby didn’t say much but emitted the odd ‘Oh!’ as we went around.

Coming off the carousel, my daughter announced that she wanted the toilet so we headed for John Lewis (where else?) as I also wanted to check out the shoe department. An amazing lack of foresight in October (that winter was coming) had meant that her current shoes were the flimsiest summer model you could find – not great for near-zero temperatures. Getting into the store there was Christmas stuff to enjoy everywhere you looked. On floor 4 there was a little watching area for children to look at the latest Christmas advert, with model animals in a snowy scene. Toilets visited and boots bought, we headed off down Broughton Street to get the bus home.

Just before we got to the bus stop we took a detour. I’d always meant to check out the Barony Community Garden, having heard such good things about it. When we got there, it was deserted. My daughter was very excited to be there on her own and had a go at everything – the roundabout where everyone sits on a bike and pedals to make it go round, the multiplay with very slidey slide, the seesaw, the basket swing. It was a nice way to spend half an hour before heading home.

There really is nothing like Christmas in Edinburgh. Waiting for the bus back, in the crisp, bright weather, we saw a coach pull up on the other side of the road. Who should be driving it? Why, Santa Claus, of course.

Check out what’s on in Edinburgh at https://www.edinburghschristmas.com/


Until next time, have a very happy Christmas with your wee ones!

Cathy

Editor

Monday, 4 November 2013

Rain without the wallet pain


On Saturday, our original idea was to go to Roslin Glen to see the autumn trees. But by the time we had packed bags and got coats and shoes on, the rain was falling steadily. So there we were in the car, all dressed up and nowhere to go. To add to our conundrum, we also knew that we didn’t want to spend too much money, which is tricky on a rainy day when you have little ones to entertain.

Because we were heading in a westerly direction (my husband saying, ‘Where shall we go, then?’ and me frantically leafing through my edition of Edinburgh for Under Fives for ideas) we decided to pop to EICA at Ratho. I’d heard good things about the Rocktots playroom and knew it was open at weekends.

There was ample parking, which was a great start, and lots of people milling about with canoes which interested my three year old daughter. Then when we got inside, the view down to the climbing walls from the café was incredible, like something from the Matrix. My daughter declared that she wanted to climb the walls like that, so we headed quickly towards the playroom before the idea took hold in her head.

Rocktots is great, with safe little areas for babies, all sorts of toys for toddlers and a bouncy castle. There is a café area where you can station yourself, and water is provided for free. We spent a happy 90 minutes there, then got in the car unsure of our next destination. We’d spent a fiver on playroom fees and didn’t want to spend too much more. My husband suggested Dobbies Garden World at Lasswade.

The great thing about Dobbies (apart from the brilliant, child-friendly café with its fantastic cakes – which were on a 2-for-1 offer!) is that you can spend a lot of time there with little ones, for free. We spent ages looking at the fish in the pet area, then at the guinea pigs and rabbits and budgies. But my daughter was absolutely fascinated by a model dinosaur in one of the displays that roared at passers-by. There was a model band made up of a walrus, a rhino, a hippo and a giraffe. Christmas displays were up so there were plenty of twinkly lights, which interested the baby. We had a lovely time just wandering around and looking at things. I even resisted the temptation to pop to the new branch of Lakeland – result. By the time we got out it was dark and time to head home for tea, bath and bed.

This is just one way to pass a really pleasant rainy day in and around Edinburgh with minimal damage to the bank balance. You could also go to the National Museum of Scotland, a gallery or a library – the new Drumbrae Library is great place to spend time. The Penicuik Centre is highly recommended by our researchers too.

Have you got any favourite, cheap, rainy day activities? Let me know at efufeditor@gmail.com and your ideas could appear in the next edition of the book.

Until next time, keep dry!

Cathy
Editor

Monday, 14 October 2013

Our Big Day Out - why we're making a bit of an exhibition of ourselves.

So, the Big Day Out is on at the Corn Exchange this coming weekend (19/20 October) and we’ll be there, complete with books, flyers, stickers, balloons – and voting slips! For there will be the chance to let us know which, in your view, are the best venues and activities for under 5s in Edinburgh and its surrounding areas.

The idea behind the vote is that a lot of the event’s value to us will be as an information-gathering exercise. We want to get you talking to us. All of the Edinburgh for Under Fives committee members move within their own circles and bring information back to each monthly meeting, but even as a committee our scope is limited to our individual experiences. Our lovely researchers keep in touch with us and let us know about things that they've found out during the research phase of the book, but they're all busy people and after their research is over they usually get on with other stuff, which is completely fair enough. I keep up with my Twitter feeds when I can, read family-friendly magazines and surf the relevant websites, but there’s nothing like just chatting to a wide range of other parents and carers for finding out the most useful nuggets of information – especially about what’s just closed (after all, it’s easy to spot an ad for a new place but a closure is much less trumpeted affair).

As a book that's published every two years, Edinburgh for Under Fives is never going to be the most up-to-date source of information that’s out there, we realise that. But we strongly believe that there’s a place (a bookshelf, hopefully, or, even better, a pram bag) for a printed book that contains the sort of first-hand information from other parents that inspires you to get out of the door on a chilly day with the buggy or hop in the car and go exploring. We can give you updates on our website and through Twitter and Facebook, and we’re working on making sure that these become great sources of up-to-date information. But for this we do need your help to know exactly what’s going on out there.

And we'd really like to find which of Edinburgh’s family-friendly activities and venues has found a place in your hearts, and those of your wee ones. We might have our own ideas about what might be the best things to do and places to go, but I’ll bet there’ll be some surprises when the votes are counted.

So if you’re at the Big Day Out, come and tell us what you know, and cast your vote for the best places and activities for young children in and around our brilliant city. If you’re not coming along, you can still vote. Just email me and find out how. In any case, please do keep in touch and make sure we’re informed about what’s going on. We’d be really grateful, as would all the other parents and carers who your information would help. Email me at efufeditor@gmail.com.

Until next time, happy exploring!

Cathy

Editor

Monday, 7 October 2013

Holidays and how to survive them

Last week I went on my holidays. For the first time in a long time it was just our little family, with no grandparents to help – me, my husband, our three year old daughter and our 10 month old son. We went to a cottage in Mull – a little place on a farm, just near Tobermory (or Balamory, as it will always be to my daughter!). The weather was mostly lovely, the views were incredible, the cake was served in massive slabs with steaming hot tea. Marvellous.

My goodness, but it was hard work. And it made me think a bit about people that must visit Edinburgh with their children – is the information we give them useful and accessible? How easy do we make it for them to visit our city as a family?

Mull is really geared to tourism and there were some great resources in the Tobermory tourist information centre, including a Balamory trail and a list of ideas for things to do in Mull. We went to a castle one day, Iona another. One day we had a walk in a forest which had adventure equipment for children to play on. At Calgary Bay they had an amazing Art in Nature trail that you could follow in a wood, with fantastic sculptures made from natural materials – that really was a highlight.

But I must confess that after a visit to the great Harbour Visitor Centre in Tobermory, when our three year old threw a screaming tantrum after being dragged away from an interesting computer game about the sea, it was the new soft play that had just opened in the middle of town that saved our bacon. Spotlessly clean, just the right size for our daughter, with nice plastic toys for our son to chew on too, it was a brilliant distraction. Tea and coffee were served for the parents, healthy snacks for the kids. We visited it twice and were very grateful for it. After all, cafes are great, but can be expensive (we should know – we visited three on one wet day!) and not always the most relaxing with two little ones. Our cottage was beautiful but had a stone floor, which was actually quite stressful with one child deciding that this was the week he would start to pull himself up onto the furniture. And as the same child really dislikes the car and screams unless ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ is sung loudly and continuously to him during a drive, we couldn’t just cruise around and enjoy the scenery for long, either.

Our holiday made me realise that parents and carers who are away from home and trying to enjoy themselves need to know about the places that they can go to and just let the children run free a bit before all heading off together for the next worthy outing. Otherwise it all gets just a little bit much! I’m sure Edinburgh for Under Fives has a part to play here. I’m not saying we should ask tourists with young children to buy the whole book, but maybe we can produce a helpful digest for them – from one set of parents and carers to another. Let me know your thoughts by emailing me at efufeditor@gmail.com

Until next time!

Cathy

Editor

Monday, 16 September 2013

Things to do in and around Edinburgh with kids

So just when I think school is back and my five year old is under the careful watch of his lovely teacher I am faced with another local holiday Monday in Edinburgh that has crept up far too quickly. With my husband at work and a 10 month old to entertain, my mind is racing with how to keep two active boys busy without tearing my hair out. 

The solution to my problem....Mini Miners Soft Play at the Scottish Mining Museum! A fairly new soft play with mining theme activities and just £2 an hour (free for those aged 1 and under) I think I have discovered a great little gem. The website says suitable for babies up to children aged 8, but being on the smallish side, I would say it's more for babies, toddlers and children aged around 5. 

My baby enjoyed the ball pit and the soft building blocks so that was him sorted. My five year old had a great time bouncing on the giant balls and climbing ropes. However, the big bonus was the free interactive mining room which my elder son loved. Packed with information about coal mining there's also heaps of things to touch and feel, like an energy bike and bridge building blocks. 

The down side, well there was none really. The parking was great and the toilets were super clean. The cafe is next door, so if you are on your own it's a bit tricky to get a coffee, however you can bring in drinks and snacks from the cafe if you wish, or there are some snacks available in the soft play itself.

So next time you're stuck for something to do I can recommend the Mini Miners Soft Play in Newtongrange for something a bit different and also educational. 

Until next time,

Kellie

Member of the EFUF committee
Mum of two boys who loves coffee and chocolate


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Festival fever

It's really pervading Edinburgh now - all that cultural activity that makes August an amazing time to be in our city. And the great news is that children are catered for really well too. On Monday my three year old went with her father to the 'Tiddler' show at the Udderbelly, a dramatisation of some of Julia Donaldson's lesser-known (than the Gruffalo) children's books. She loved it so much, she was upset when the time came to leave. Since the show we've been reading the books that were covered and she's asking all sorts of fresh questions about them - so she's obviously seeing them in a new light. Her father was impressed too - particularly with the show's value for money. 'Amazing energy for 55 minutes - we definitely got our money's worth', was his verdict. So, a real family event.

Next week Edinburgh for Under Fives itself appears at the Festival - not putting a dramatisation of the book (I think we'd be OK with Edinburgh Castle, but not so much with Leith Library or Loanhead Leisure Centre), but taking the storytelling slot 'Are you sitting comfortably?' at the Book Festival. It's a free event and completely sold out (gulp!). We're really looking forward to it. Hope to see you there!

Until next time,

Cathy

Monday, 5 August 2013

Defining the little touches that make a big difference.

Yesterday we pitched up at the Scran & Scallie on Comely Bank Road. My sister’s in town and is seven months pregnant, needing fed on a regular basis. So after a play and a walk in Inverleith Park, we were looking for somewhere nearby to eat by 11.30. Having heard great things about it, I’d been meaning to go to Tom and Michaela Kitchin’s new venture. It was a good opportunity for a treat for our guest, plus we hadn’t had the chance to celebrate my husband’s birthday, which was last week.

We were given a very warm welcome and shown where we could park our buggy (the place absorbs them pretty well – two more came in while we were there and were easily found a place). There were lots of staff milling around who were all lovely and liked children (or at least did a good impression of it). A clean, nicely designed highchair was provided at once for our eight month old. They didn’t mind when I got out his food and started feeding him immediately. While this was going on our three year old was delighted to find the play area, complete with two boxes of very clean toys and books, beanbags for sitting on and a DVD player. It was behind a glass wall so we could watch her every move from our nearby table.

The food was Scottish posh-pub fare – simple, amazingly fresh, with some great ideas on the menu. I would have liked to try the Sheip’s Heid Broth but went for the chowder which was lovely. The fish and chips and the burger (which they provided well done for my sister) were also delicious. There’s a limited children’s menu (fish and chips, burger and chips, sausage and mash) but the ‘scallies’ can have half portions of whatever’s on the main menu, too. For the children, the food wasn’t the main event really, although my three year old enjoyed her sausage (which was a proper one, with a high proportion of meat in it). She also loved the little pink cup she was given for her water. For the adults, however, the food is obviously pretty important if they're visiting a gastro-pub, and the place’s child-friendly features and touches ease their with-kids dining experience. When our eight month old got a bit fractious, we just took him into the play area for a bit of variety and so as not to disturb the other diners. By the time he got out, after 10 minutes of playing and a quick feed from me (the beanbags are great for breastfeeding) he was asleep on my shoulder. The three year old honestly would have stayed there all day, which isn’t what you can say of every restaurant. And, as you’d expect of a venue with a child-friendly slant, the nappy changing and toilet facilities were just great and absolutely spotless.

It really was just what we needed and we left happy and refreshed. As you should every time you spend your well-earned money on a meal with the children, right? Well, as we all know, it’s not always that simple. But my trip to the Scran & Scallie made me think about the little, as well as the big, things that make a child-friendly venue. It’s one of those venues that do it really, really well, through the attitude of the staff, the buggy parking, the great play area – which wasn’t all that big, it doesn’t need to be – the spotless toys, the consideration of where parents should be seated, the bits and pieces that children love (like the special cups just for them). It’s just about putting yourself in the parents’ position (and Tom and Michaela are parents). It’s not rocket science, it’s not even very expensive to do, but too many venues do it in a half-hearted way. And that’s a shame, because when there is somewhere that does these simple things well, they really do become the stuff of legend amongst parents and are visited again and again. Sometimes the argument is made that if places become too child-friendly they’ll attract hoards of screaming kids disturbing everyone else. But keep the kids happy and catered for, and there’ll be less opportunity for screaming (of course it won’t be ruled out altogether, but …). There were certainly lots of child-free diners at the Scran & Scallie, and they seemed to be having a lovely time too.

I’d say the Scran & Scallie was outstanding for child friendliness – in that it stands out from the rest. We’re on the search for similarly outstanding places in and around Edinburgh, as case studies to show other businesses how it can be done. If you have any ideas about stand-out venues we could include, drop me an email on efufeditor@gmail.com.
 
Until next week, happy exploring!
 
Cathy

Monday, 29 July 2013

Editor's week: Reviews are rolling in ...

We’re coming now to the exciting part of the book's production cycle – well, I suppose actually getting it to the printers is the most exciting part, technically, if you thrive on mind-numbing stress … Well then, perhaps we’re coming to the most enjoyable part. In April we started assigned a bunch of venues to our intrepid researchers – a set of wonderful parents and carers, currently numbering 63, who have kindly volunteered to visit venues and try activities for us and write about their experiences. Now the reviews are starting to come in at a steady pace. At first it was a trickle of about two a week, but now we’re getting around four a day.

We now have 50 reviews (out of around 600 we’re hoping to get), and I’m starting to read them, which is the best fun. The tone of the reviews varies from a business-like few sentences, through a chatty couple of paragraphs, to a complete story-telling narrative of all the details of what went on during a day out. Although we provide editorial guidelines, we want the parents’ and carers’ voices to come through in their reviews so that each is like a personal recommendation from a friend or from someone you’ve just got chatting to at a toddler group. This edition we’ve added a ‘Top Tips’ section on the review forms so that researchers can record little quirky details or things to consider for other parents and carers following in their footsteps – from ‘Wellies are useful!!’ (Craigie's Farm) to ‘Interactive rock pool displays are worth a look’ (Deep Sea World, North Queensferry), you heard it here first!

These reviews will now be edited, put in an order that makes some sort of sense, laid out in designed pages, proofread and sent off to the printer, to be launched as the new book next May. It’s a busy time, but it’s brilliant to know that we’re capturing the really interesting and useful information that parents and carers need − to decide what to do on a particular day, to check details of places they’ve heard about, or (and this is where Edinburgh for Under Fives always does the most good I think) to act as an incentive to just get out of the house and go exploring.  

We're still looking for researchers (we never really stop!), so do get in touch if you're interested, at efufeditor@gmail.com

Cathy

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Children's menus - food for thought

A report out this week from the Soil Association and Organix has a lot to say about the standards of children's menus in UK restaurants. More than half of the 21 restaurant chains surveyed had a children's menu that had an overriding emphasis on burgers and sausages. More than a third did not include vegetables or salad in the majority of children's main meals, and around half didn't include fruit in any of their children's puddings. Where the food was sourced was also a mystery in around half of the restaurants. Only four out of 21 made and cooked the majority of children's food in their own kitchens.

Top of the league of restaurant chains that feed children well are Jamie's Italian, Wagamama and Wetherspoons. All of these names will appear in the new edition of Edinburgh for Under Fives, out next year. They're not in the current edition (as they're relatively new to Edinburgh), but what we do have is a list of much smaller cafes and restaurants in Edinburgh and its surrounds that do manage to feed children tasty yet healthy food, some of it (as with Craigie's Farm Cafe for example) locally sourced. Vittoria's (in Leith and on George IV Bridge) serves yummy pasta dishes with a side salad. The 'Make up your own lunchbox' option, which puts you in control of what ends up on your child's plate, can be found in and around the city, including at the Botanics' Terrace Cafe, the National Museum's Balcony Cafe and Dobbies Garden World near Dalkeith. North Berwick's Cake Cafe serves little fruit and veg pots for wee ones that are part of a wider children's menu that is fresh and interesting.

Remember, you can always ask about getting smaller portions of what's available for adults, too, if you're faced with nothing but burgers and bangers when it comes to the children's menu. It's all out there - it's just about being informed. Which is hopefully where we can help.

Have you found any cafes that have a brilliant children's menu? Email me at efufeditor@gmail.com and spill the beans!

Cathy 

Monday, 15 July 2013

Editor's week - sun, sea and snaps

Well! It's been such a lovely week, weather-wise! Ironically the effect strong sunshine has on me is to make me want to stay close to home with the wee ones so we can be sure of shelter (my ideal weather for getting out with the buggy is cloudy - no rain, maybe a slight breeze ...) so we hung around the garden for a lot of the week. However, on Thursday the day began overcast so we decided to go to the beach!

It turned out that the clouds were only positioned just over our house. By the time we were 10 minutes into our journey to North Berwick it was blazing sunshine. Once we got there, it was nothing but glorious scenes of the UK seaside - families swimming and paddling in the shallow inland pool on the beach, a Luca's ice cream van doing a brisk trade, people wandering around in swimsuits. It was lovely. Our little girl had to make do with paddling in a skirt where a swimsuit would have been clearly preferable, but she didn't seem to mind. Then off for refreshment to Cake Cafe in the High Street, of which I'd heard good things. It was on my list for review so I was interested to find out what it had to offer.

Cake didn't let us down. We arrived hot, tired, hungry and thirsty, covered in sand, a bit noisy, but they dealt with our visit admirably, mopping up a spilt milkshake, providing lovely food for the wee ones from their extensive children's menu, putting up with a shrieking, messy baby, keeping our 3 year old entertained with their great play area. It was just what we needed and we left happy and ready for the journey home. (They get an extra star, too, for their nappy changing station, which even had wipes!).

On Sunday it was the EFUF 'Snack and Snap' in Princes St Gardens West. Our fab photographer, Susan Heaton of Clear Photography, a mum of two, turned up with her very impressive looking camera and took pictures of the children of committee members and researchers enjoying the play area in the shadow of the castle. There was a real holiday atmosphere and I'm hopeful we've got our Edition 14 cover shot (which, with its sunny scene, would be a contrast to last time, taken in the freezing weather of February 2012). Thanks to all those researchers and their families who came along, and most of all, to the unflappable Susan, who was a complete star throughout.

Who knows what this week will bring? Overcast today ... no, hang on, there seems to be a tiny cloud positioned just above my house ...

Monday, 8 July 2013

So, summer 2013 starts here ...

There really is no getting away from it. The sun is actually shining, quite strongly. The wee ones are off nurseries, playgroups and toddler groups until August sometime. Wimbledon is done, and won by a Scotsman. Scotland really doesn't get much more summery than this.

It's also researching season for those of us that work on Edinburgh for Under Fives. We currently have a group of around 50 brave parents, out and about with their pens poised, recording details about the best child-friendly places that Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife have to offer. We are so grateful to these brilliant people - we simply couldn't produce our book without them.

As editor, I'll be posting about various bits and pieces to do with Edinburgh for Under Fives in the next few weeks - including how I'm getting on with my own research! With a three year old and a seven month old, there's rarely a dull moment ...

If you want to blog about any aspect of being a parent in Edinburgh, or if you're interested in doing some research for us, contact me on efufeditor@gmail.com - we'd love to hear from you.

Catch you soon!

Cathy

Thursday, 9 May 2013

My local library


As a second-time mum I am always on the look-out for things to do with my new baby. Being on maternity leave means I have to watch the pennies so if I can find an activity that is close to home and free, I am happy. This is where my local library ticks all the boxes. What a fantastic hub of activity for parents and carers. Actually, sometimes I think I should move in as I am there so much.

Before having kids I never knew the local library had so much on. This coming week I have a Mums’ and Babies’ Book Club where for the first time in a year I have finished an entire book (not an easy feat with a wee one) and PEEP (Parents Early Education Partnership) where we sing, play and read books. Then there’s the Breastfeeding Café and I end my week with a Bookbug session. When my son was younger I attended a baby massage course and if I wanted to I really could fill my days with many more activities. All of these events are free (or ask for a small donation sometimes for tea/coffee), keep me from going stir crazy at home and I get to meet other mums and bubs.

If you haven’t done so already, why not check out your local library? Or if it’s been a while why not take a look at the noticeboard for all the latest activities, there’s sure to be something new that you might fancy. With so many free events for children under five I can’t rate my local library high enough. The latest edition of Edinburgh for Under Fives has more details on Edinburgh libraries.


Until next time,
Kellie

Member of the EFUF committee
Mum of two boys who loves coffee and chocolate

Monday, 29 April 2013

Organising a birthday party for your wee one can seem daunting, especially if you need to cater for children of different age groups. I went to celebrate my niece's third birthday last week at The Hive Play and Party Centre, a new soft play in Bathgate, West Lothian. The venue was a hit and the birthday girl was treated like a VIP when she had her name called out over the loud speaker which she was thrilled about.

The guests varied in age, from small babies (including my six month old) to children aged six. The older children had a great time in the sports area which had a basketball hoop and football. My baby enjoyed playing with some toys and had tummy time on the rug area. The toddlers had two levels to explore, including a very cool wall piano, slides and buzzing bees to ride.

Being new it's very clean and the decor is really bright with plenty of tables and chairs for parents to relax, there's even free Wi -Fi. The children had a good selection of party food, and the birthday girl received a free soft play visit as part of the package.

As far as parties go (and I've been to quite a few in my time) this venue rates high. The parents get to relax and enjoy a coffee and don't have to clean up the mess after, a win win in my book.

There are plenty more ideas for party venues in the latest edition of Edinburgh for Under Fives.

Until next time,


Kellie

Member of the EFUF committee
Mum of two boys who loves coffee and chocolate

Monday, 15 April 2013

We are recruiting volunteers for our next edition, want to join in the fun?

As a mum of two I am always on the look out for fun things to do in Edinburgh for kids. For me a resource like Edinburgh for Under Fives is invaluable and being part of the project is exciting as Edinburgh offers so much for children and there's always fantastic new places popping up.

It's so great when you discover a hidden gem. Whether it's a park, new soft play, child friendly pub or party venue, if it keeps the wee ones happy then I am happy (especially if they serve good coffee).

 If you like exploring Edinburgh, having fun with your under fives and fancy getting your research published in a must-have guide then why not be part of our next edition? You can take on as little or as much as you like and get to see your name in print when it is released next year.

Our volunteer researchers include mums, dads and grandparents but we'd love to hear from aunties and uncles, nannies, foster parents - anyone who spends time caring for children under 5. We couldn't get by without the support of our researchers and we need new volunteers to help make our 14th edition better than ever!

Find out more by coming to our researcher information evening on Tuesday April 16 between 7.30 & 9 pm at St James Episcopal Church, 57b Inverleith Row, EH3 5PX. There'll be a short presentation, coffee, tea and cake, plus the chance to chat to the team and find out more.

If you can't make it you can still be involved, just email us at info@efuf.co.uk, we'd love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Kellie

Member of the EFUF committee
Mum of two boys who loves coffee and chocolate