I had the pleasure of visiting Dream Big Role Play Centre at Grange Villa, Co Durham, on one of their many special summer holiday events this week.
As a mum of two littlies aged 2 and 4, it can be difficult finding activities suitable for both (especially when neither tends to sit still for more than 5 minutes🙈), so when I came across the Bubbleman event at Dream Big, I was super excited as it was ideal for them both. Add in a delicious afternoon tea, and there was something for everyone to look forward to!
We were met by friendly staff on arriving in the role play village and cafe area. It was a lovely day and my kids made a beeline straight outside to explore. The seating inside and out is well spaced out, places were limited to keep numbers low, and there’s loads of space and different bits of play equipment for kids to spread out. It all felt very well organised, clean and safe, and staff were very attentive and helpful throughout.
There are two main play areas outside. The first area includes a road, plenty of ride on toys, a small castle with slide, toddler steps and ramp, planters with gardening equipment, and a chicken coop. The second area has a pirate ship, climbing frame and slide, mini swing and slide, mud kitchen and sensory wall with pans and pipes. My two will usually test themselves (and me) to the limit, running in different directions and finding everything they can to climb on. There was plenty to keep both kids very happy. It’s great that there’s so much accessible for toddlers, it means you can enjoy a good cuppa while they get on with their own thing (rather than pestering big brother on the bigger equipment the whole time!). There’s good visibility from the corner of the building for keeping tabs on both areas. They had a blast climbing, sliding, racing, and storming the castle, and there were older kids there having a great time as well.
Despite how busy they are kids do have a sixth sense for the arrival of food, and they were over the moon with the scrumptious afternoon tea. Adult teas and kids options are available, including dinosaur or unicorn themes. There was lovely selection of fresh sandwiches, and corned beef and potato pie. The kids tea included a fun mix of bite sized treats, with mini marshmallows, popcorn, crisps, cakes, biscuits, sweets and carrot sticks. ‘Don’t play with your food’ doesn’t apply here, as unicorn sweeties neighed and flew around the table – then were mercilessly gobbled up! The adult tea (which obviously was shared with the little scavengers🙄) had all of my favourites, chunky scones with clotted cream and jam, caramel slices, cupcakes, and a very moist chocolate chip brownie (my mouth is watering now just thinking about it all!). The portions were very generous and we were provided with a handy takeaway box for the few bits we couldn’t manage, although they didn’t last long at home.
The kids were delighted when the Bubbleman show began. It was a crowd pleaser for all ages, with babes in arms kicking excitedly and toddlers and older kids chasing bubbles and giggling with glee – and plenty of grown-ups getting in on the action and slyly popping a few bubbles. When the initial frenzy died down a little, it was very relaxing watching the huge glistening bubbles floating up into the summer sky. It was a lovely atmosphere and the Bubbleman seemed to genuinely enjoy it all, he was friendly and chatty with jokes, anecdotes and top secret tips on how to make the perfect bubblemix. Children were encouraged to take a turn helping with the huge bubble wand, along with some smaller wands and hoops that a few kids quickly became experts with. There was ample time for all of the children interested to have plenty of turns, and the Bubbleman made a special effort visiting the younger kids as well, blowing special bubbles just for them. At the end of the show there was the opportunity to buy a mini wand and special bubble mix.
The Bubbleman is just one of the fantastic special guests you can expect to see at Dream Big. They have a packed programme of baby & toddler socials, classes & workshops, and special events. There’s also a fab indoors role play village which we didn’t get round to exploring, with shop, vets, kitchen, baby area & more! Find out more and book a session on their website here, and like their Facebook page to keep up to date.
*indoors images from www.facebook.com/dreambigroleplay/
*Disclosure – the afternoon tea was gifted, but the opinions expressed are all honest – pinky promise!!
📅 Open Mon-Fri for 2 hour play sessions & classes/workshops, from £5 per child. – Available weekends for private hire/parties, or for special events on select dates. – Exclusive hire available for parties or for groups to meet up, starting from just £70 for 2 hours. 👉 Book here.
🍽 Cafe menu here, including afternoon tea at £12.95 per adult or 2 for £25, and children’s afternoon tea (with themed unicorn or dinosaur options!) also available.