The weather here has been very cold and wet lately (no surprise there), which has stopped us from enjoying our usual routine of park visits and walks. I don’t usually mind taking Lucas out in the rain, but the twins are still pretty small and I’m wary of them being out in the cold for too long. Unfortunately, even Lucas has got soft-play fatigue, so when my friend Debs suggested our Early Days group meet at Bizzy Kids’ Craft Cafe, I breathed a sigh of relief!
Bizzy Kids’ Craft Cafe is in the centre of Stockport, a location that is thin on the ground for child-focused venues. It’s a fairly new venture run by a mum-of-three, who welcomed me as soon as I wheeled the buggy through the door. Our group contained six preschoolers and their mums, as well as my twins and my friend’s 10-month-old.
I didn’t know what to expect before our visit, but I had promised Lucas some cake and I was hoping for something different to the usual soft-play activities. I was definitely not disappointed! There are three main play areas – the largest with tables of ‘making and doing’ type of activities that the children can take home (prices vary from £2-£3 approx); a preschooler-friendly area with Play-Doh, painting, crayons and pens (£2 per child); and an enclosed toy section, ideal for young toddlers and babies (free). There really was something for everyone in our group, and as everything was in view from the cafe area, we could happily let the children roam free.
Food and drink were very reasonably-priced, at £1.50 for a pot of tea, approx. £2-£2.50 for coffee choices, and homemade cakes and snacks ranging between £1-2. There is also a yummy-sounding menu of more substantial meals and I’d love to head down for lunch next time!
The layout is bright and open, with a cafe area in front, a small shop selling toys, sweets and cards, and the main play/cafe areas are up a couple of steps (although it’s very buggy-friendly). The owner was extremely friendly and accommodating, and her mum who helps out was lovely and very good with the children! There were a couple of spills, as you’d expect from a group of young children, but the owner did not bat an eyelid (that’s a mum of three for you!). The cafe is extremely clean and we had no issues letting my friend’s baby crawl around the toy area.
Lucas was slow to warm up, as he had fallen asleep in the buggy on the way there and was reluctant to wake up. He soon got going though and was really excited to play with the Play-Doh table in particular – there is a fab selection of cutting and rolling tools and even us mums got involved! The children also really liked painting, and the ‘drying line’ is a great idea. Play aprons are provided while you’re there, so there’s no need to take spare clothes. Lucas enjoyed himself so much that I had to drag him away (I’m not even joking, unfortunately).
We were there for two hours and the rest of the group stayed for another hour, as the children were captivated the whole time – unheard of! Bizzy Kids is a very welcome addition to the Stockport children’s scene and we can’t wait for a return visit.