Dora’s Ballet Adventure – the review

H is only just two, so only just entering into the world of Dora the Explorer – so we’re all learning as we go along. What I have to say, most of all, is I love how we get dialogue in spanish and english – we’ve both been teaching bits of french to H, so we’re all learning random words (and bits that crop up in Nick Jr trailers).

Dora's Ballet AdventureSo, Dora’s Ballet Adventure – H has a fairly low attention span, and usually gets bored around 15 minutes into longer programmes – but we found with this one that the characters all have their own individual parts (the map, for example) that there was enough going on we were able to sit and watch in one sitting – plus Dora getting the shoes and getting back again had plenty of different things happening.

The songs are catchy, and simple and repetitive – which is perfect for H as she picks things up straight away at the moment. The story was easy to follow, and the dialogue not too complicated – even the spanish bits. There were plenty of interactive sections which H joined in on, and Dora would reply (obviously on the review DVD we were sent, so an appropriate gap is left) – which in turn made her feel a part of it.

All in all, a fun and enjoyable episode – and we’re already looking forward to the Halloween Special I’ve started to see being trailered… (which may well be an old episode, but to us it’s new!)

Vines Bar & Grill, Carshalton

This place has only just opened, although (and this is a guess) is probably owned by the people who had the Greek Taverna in Carshalton – which is now closed.

There’s good buggy access, and already some good deals – buy a coffee and get a free croissant, buy a meal and get your child’s one free. The menu is a good selection of regular and meditteranean foods, and a good selection of vegetarian meals.

The downside – at this point there’s no baby changing, although the man I spoke to said they’re converting an office, so that will happen soon.

There’s also an outdoor area at the back.

Although I’ve not dined here, it looks good, it’s reasonably priced, and definitely worth checking out. Open now (just!)

 

The Hub @ Tooting & Mitcham Football Club

This is a soft play area which is well worth a visit. It’s £4 for a single child and I pay £6 for my two (age 6years & 20months June 2011) This is for a two hour session and it closes at 6pm.
The “playzone” for children is in the style of a ship. There is a dedicated area for the under fours however the sides are very low and my 20month old climbs out to get into the big kids bit.
It’s on two levels, with slides, playballs and various knock about bits you expect to find in soft play.
The area is generally quite clean although the only baby changing area is in the disabled toilet, and sometimes that’s not working or a bit smelly. The adult toilets are in good condition and have always had a supply of toilet paper & soap.
They serve hot and cold food. We’ve had the hot food a few times and I’ve always been more than happy with the service and quality of food. Kids portions are huge! Tea & coffee is very reasonable and I might note; drinkable. They have a range of snacks and drinks available for the kids and do ask that you don’t bring your own food. They have about 5 ikea high chairs for the smaller ones.
It’s hard to determine how busy it gets. I’ve been on days where it’s rammed out and you can’t get a seat and I’ve been on days when we’ve been the only family in there.
For older children, across the hall from the “playzone” is the “challenge zone” this is a high up soft area for climbing. My 6 year old is tall and finds some of it a bit difficult.
All in all, a good place to go on a rainy day to burn up some energy or to meet your Mummy friends and have a coffee.