I couldn’t help but notice the flurry of PR activity late last summer around the Children’s Play Village in Warwick. I have been eager to go since it opened so when a friend suggested a visit to our Mommy’s social group, I was first to say yes!
The website provides pretty detailed instructions as to how to find the village, as it is located on a private road that isn’t picked up by using a sat nav. The information is really useful, however if you are travelling alone – and rubbish at remembering more than one sequence of A road and B road numbers! – it could possibly be a little tricky to find. We did however, manage to track it down fairly easily, but I can imagine the turning could be easily missed!
The village works on a pre-booking system within time slots. You can choose 9:30am – 12noon, 12:30pm – 3:00pm and 3:30pm – 6:00pm. Between each session the village is tidied and cleaned so when you enter the village, it is spotless. Only allowing a certain amount of people in also means there are plenty of tables available in the restaurant so you are guaranteed a seat.
Before play a visit to the toilet is essential (yep I am talking about toilets – again!) I felt these deserved a mention as they too were absolutely spotless. Big cubicles allowing room for a pushchair if you had one, changing tables and lovely Pears handwash which I think I now need to buy as it smelt divine! Just little attention to detail things like this throughout the centre made the visit really special.
Before you enter the play village, one of the team leaders gathers the children round to tell them a little about the village and to sing a few songs with actions. The song is all about capturing your imagination and having fun, so it really does set the tone nicely for the day.
The village is so well thought out. Attention to detail here is amazing. It wasn’t as big as I had imagined, but for me, that was a plus point as I do get a little anxious if I can’t see where Finley is in play areas. From the restaurant seating space you could keep a close eye on your child. We have an informal tag team agreement in our group, so one us gulps tea whilst the other goes on toddler watch duty, so in this setting it was really easy to do this.
Finley was immediately drawn to the Fire Station. He donned the helmet and fire jacket, along with the little fire canisters and foam fire pieces, and Fireman Finley went to the rescue! He loved driving the fire truck and pretending to go down the fireman’s pole.
Next we visited the village school, where there were great little educational games to play, along with a blackboard and desks. It was lovely to see the children take on teacher and pupil roles. It also opened up a conversation with him about starting big school in September and how fun it will be, which was really nice.
Another hit with Finley was Orly’s Beauty Salon. This little shop included mini bottles of moisturisers, a pretend telephone and computer for booking in clients and sinks to wash hair, along with fixed dolls heads that the children could blow dry and style. He loves drying his hair with my hairdryer so I knew this would be a firm favourite with him before we visited!
Another very fun section was the theatre. Including a stage, lights and a huge choice of dressing up outfits (Finley’s favourite was a sparkly pink hat which unfortunately I couldn’t catch on camera!) A few of the children including Finley put on a show for the Mom’s and Dad’s which was so much fun to watch!
There is also Lotty’s Tea Room including a yummy looking selection of pretend cakes, a Post Office, a supermarket, Village Vets, an ice cream parlour and picnic site and a construction site. All packed with items designed to fire up little imaginations. There is also an area for babies to play in the centre of the village with a selection of wooden toys.
By this point, were were pretty hungry. There was a really nice selection including toasties, salads, sandwiches and sharing platters as well as a kids menu. We opted for the Little Picnic Basket from the children’s menu and the Cheeky Mermaid Fish Finger Sandwich, Along with a bowl of chips and a drink, this came to just over £14, which for the portion sizes I thought was really good value, as the quality was fantastic.
At the end of the session, all of the children are encouraged to help to tidy away. It’s so much easier to get your toddler to do this when there are 30 other children doing it too!
I would definitely recommend a visit to Warwick Play Village. We will absolutely be making a second visit. I would particularly have this in mind for a rainy day activity!