Top for Tots – Activities in Renfrewshire
Gemma Scullion of Renfrewshire Mama presents this handy treasure map of fun activities for you and your little ones.
The Great Outdoors
We are incredibly lucky to have this wonderful woodland escape on our doorstep. A perfect place to visit for all ages, it often organises family events. The various play parks will keep tots entertained all day long, and there is something quite enchanting about walking through the forest and discovering a pirate ship. Several of the peaceful walks throughout the estate are pram- friendly, which is perfect if you’re trying to get your tot off to sleep. There are several picnic spots throughout the estate, bbq huts are available to book, and The Garden Café is open on weekends as well as school and bank holidays. Another unexpected find is Dolly Mixture, a museum showcasing over 700 dolls from all around the world.
This is a great place to explore nature and offers a lovely pram-friendly woodland walk along the side of Castle Semple Loch. There are plenty of opportunities to spot local wildlife on your walk and from the birdwatching hides. It also features picnic benches, a small play park and activity areas including a Nest Building Challenge and Fairy Door Trail.
Barshaw Park has been popular with families in Renfrewshire for many years. For small tots there is a large enclosed play park with plenty of swings, climbing frames and slides to burn off some of their seemingly endless reserves of energy. The newly built play park is brilliant for bigger tots and older kids. Adult exercise equipment is now available in the park, which is handy for parents or carers with prams, as you can enjoy a workout without having to sort a babysitter or gym membership. For tots learning to ride their bikes or scooters there is a great track area where they can practise their skills, and at weekends during the summer you might get the chance to hop on board the little steam train that sometimes operates in the park. Also, don’t miss the brilliant Barshaw Gala Day on Saturday 22 June.
The Great Indoors
Pandamonium not only has all the usual things you would expect of soft play, but also includes a gated baby/toddler section, Go Karts, a bouncy castle, trampolines, a sports area, a multi-lane slide and a cafe with plenty of seating. Pandamonium often features visits from favourite children’s characters from the likes of Toy Story, Frozen, Teletubbies, Paw Patrol and many more.
And we do mean BIG! The main play area is five levels tall and features a number of obstacles and slides to keep your tot exploring for hours. There is also a bouncy castle
located at the back of the building and a separate toddler and baby area with a slide, a ball pool and a mini climbing frame. Midweek during term time from 10am to 2pm there is a huge range of toys available. Babies go free and during the week the Tiny Adventures Offer, which includes entry, juice, biscuit and tea or coffee, runs from 10am to 2pm.
Most tots absolutely love being in water. These pools allow free swimming for parents and carers attending with a one-year-old. Parent and baby/toddler swim classes for ages three months to three years run midweek at On-X in Linwood, Johnstone Hub and Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley. The Lagoon and On-X pools include play areas and flumes.
The Great Indoors @ XSite Braehead
One of our favourite activities is the toddler sessions at Gravity Trampolining Park. The whole venue is reserved for tots aged 18 months to five years, so there are no worries of bigger kids bumping into them. The trampolining arena is massive, with two soft play areas and other activities to enjoy. A selection of fancy dress costumes for tots is also provided.
No need to miss the latest blockbuster because you can’t get a babysitter! Odeon Newbies, which runs on Tuesdays during term time, host special screenings for parents or carers attending with a baby. Odeon Kids runs weekend mornings, sometimes with discounted tickets. A great way to introduce tots to the cinema experience.
These fun 30 minute sledging sessions are suitable for tots aged three plus. Afterwards, head upstairs to Bar Varia and get heated up with a cuppa or some food while your tot enjoys their soft play area.
Follow Renfrewshire Mama on Facebook. This feature was published in Mill issue 5, May/June 2019.