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Things to do with Children in Guildford

Discussion in 'Things To See, Things To Do in Surrey' started by sandra, 16 Jan 2012.

  1. sandra

    sandra Surrey Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Hello All,

    This spring if all works out I will have an (almost) four-year old little boy staying with me for a month. I've not lived in Guildford long and do not have small children so I'm needing ideas for places to see and things to do while he's here. Doesn't have to be as dramatic as say, Legoland in Windsor (which is on my list too). I haven't been to the leisure centre here but I'll check to see if they have a children's swimming session.

    There are plenty of good restaurants in Guildford but I haven't looked at any with children in mind until now....any suggestions? And nope not Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway or McDonalds - he is visiting from America and can have that back home.

    I moved to Guildford from Windsor, Berkshire which I suppose because that is more of a tourist town we had a couple ice cream shops in town, I hadn't noticed any in Guildford but I actually haven't been looking for them. Any possiblities in Guildford for taking a little boy for an ice cream?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated - I just want to be prepared. This little boy is a bundle of energy LOL.:D
    JohnH and Surrey Events like this.
  2. Mike224

    Mike224 Surrey Forum Admin Staff Member

    We also had a 4 year old stay with us for about a week, visiting from France (who also had a bunch of energy ;) ).

    He loved the leisure pool at Guildford Spectrum (as did I) and it's really child friendly.
    Not only do they have slides that you can take children on, lots of shallow areas, a mini wave machine, the thing that really impressed me is that they have lots of life guard / swimming pool attendants (when we visited there were at least 4 or 5 around the Leisure pool alone). It gives you quite a lot of assurance when there is a life guard covering every corner of the pool :)

    The walk near the spectrum (with the Highland Cows) was good, but quite long for a child that age

    It's not easy taking children of that age on long walks, but if you have a little playground near your house, they're often perfect for a 1/2 day thing to do. So we spent a lot of time in the local playground near our house

    The most child friendly of restaurants we visited has to be Giraffe. Just the way they serve the food and give tiny portions to children. You would be surprised the number of restaurants in Guildford that don't really know how to accommodate children... most of them provide adult size portions which seem a little insane
    Surrey Events likes this.
  3. sandra

    sandra Surrey Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you the Spectrum sounds great and we will definitely go there. I hadn't thought about Giraffe, good idea.
    JohnH and Surrey Events like this.
  4. Alexkazam

    Alexkazam Surrey Forum Moderator Staff Member

    There's always Specky's Pirate Ship at Guildford Spectrum. Stoke park is just opposite, too!
    Surrey Events and Mike224 like this.
  5. sandra

    sandra Surrey Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Hey thanks Alexkazam - a pirate ship sounds perfect for a little boy!
    Surrey Events likes this.
  6. Joanne McGowan

    Joanne McGowan Surrey Resident

    Hi Sandra - have you still got this little boy coming to stay? I have a 5 year old boy so we have tried most kid things in Guildford and surrounding - would be happy to recommend some things.
    Surrey Events and sandra like this.
  7. sandra

    sandra Surrey Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Joanne - yes he is still coming. It now looks like he'll be with me for over 2 months :D so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!
  8. sfadmin

    sfadmin Surrey Forum Admin Staff Member

    It would be great if you can list any things to do with children in Guildford, I'm not sure if it's a bit late for Sandra, but many still bump into the thread when searching for the exact same thing ;)
    Surrey Events likes this.
  9. sandra

    sandra Surrey Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Tickets are booked - grandson will be arriving in Guildford in May and staying 3 months - help :eek:! (Actually I am looking forward to it!)
    Surrey Events likes this.
  10. Max Raymond

    Max Raymond Surrey Resident

    I noticed that someone mentioned Giraffe as a recommendation. I'm going there on Wednesday with family so I'll report back afterwards. :) I've not been to Giraffe at all, let alone the Guildford one so it'll be a new experience for me.
    Surrey Events likes this.
  11. Joanne McGowan

    Joanne McGowan Surrey Resident

    Hi Sandra, Here are some of the things we have enjoyed doing.

    stoke park is great both paddling pool and playground. the lido also fab on v hot day. We also like Broadwater Park in Farncombe, lovely walk round lake to feed ducks and great playground. down by canal in Godalming nice also goid playground there.

    Bit further afield Alice Holt Forest in Farnham fantastic as is Farnham Park. We also like Wisley - always child friendly trails/ activities to try and NT properties round here great particularly Polesdon Lacey and Claremont.

    wet weather Spectrum is great - special rates for under 5's bowling, leisure pool great too. woking leisure pool also great and has good playground there. Lookout Discovery at Bracknell great hands on Science Centre and great playground too. also Voral Reef opposite another great pool.

    Basingstoke way Milestones living museum great on a rainy day and Wellington Country Park lovely day out.

    legoland always fun and do special under 5 rate during term time but you have to hunt for it on website. chessington also great but also has under 5 rate.

    Runnymede pleasure grounds and Windsor itself good day out.

    In London we have enjoyed Science Museum great basement section for under 5's and then trip to Diana Memorial playground after.
    Surrey Events likes this.
  12. Joanne McGowan

    Joanne McGowan Surrey Resident

    Some more ideas I have thought of and apologies for spelling above was typing on phone.

    Birdworld in Farnham is a good day as is Bocketts Farm in Leatherhead - great farm but also great outdoor playground and indoor soft play. Further field Priory Park in Reigate is also a lovely day out, great playground, duck pond and walks in the woods.

    Most of the restaurants in Guildford are very accommodating of children so don't think you have to stick to chains - some of our best meals out with our son have been at the Tapas , local indian, chinese or Italian. Pubs wise The Percy, Chilworth, The Spotted Cow Farnham and the Duke Tilford have great playgrounds and lovely beer gardens.

    We have also enjoyed many garden centres. Secretts Milford has Pick your own during the Summer and many events during school holidays. Squires at Badshot Lea has a family room in the cafe, but also a little playground, and great reptile and pet section. Notcutts at Cranleigh also good.

    Walks - we have enjoyed seeing deers close up at Hindhead Common/Devils Punchbowl, exploring the old gunpowder mills in Chilworth spotting llamas and climbing up to St Martha's. There is also a great walk you can do round Chobham which literally takes you to the end of the runway at Fairlands Airport - another good spot as you can view the planes taking off and landing in the cafe there.

    Soft Play - Little Angels and Farncombe Funzone are adequate but not brill. There is a new one in Camberley called Magic kingdom which is good and there is bowling and cinema there too.

    We also have several great miniature railways that are open in the summer normally on Sundays. There is one is Stoke Park that is open one Sunday a month and Mizens Railway in Knaphill is great too.

    Free magazines like Families Surrey West, The Family Grapevine and websites netmums.com and surreymummy.com are invaluable resources for events and days out.

    Oh and a blatant plug I also run holiday events and classes for this age group if you fancy a look www.actoneadventures.co.uk

    Hope they are of use - do let us know how you get on.
    Surrey Events likes this.
  13. Max Raymond

    Max Raymond Surrey Resident

    As mentioned, we went yesterday. It was pretty decent. Their menu wasn't really my cup of tea but they do some interesting stuff like a red bean and pumpkin moussaka that taste lovely. The staff were also extremely helpful and one of them even followed me out of the restaurant to give back a scarf I had forgotten to take with me! I think if their menu is your thing then you'll probably have a good experience there.
    Surrey Events and sandra like this.
  14. sandra

    sandra Surrey Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Joanne thank you - so much good advice!!! We will probably be spending most of our time right in Guildford as I don't drive here but I'm very near the bus depot so that's always an option.
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  15. Joanne McGowan

    Joanne McGowan Surrey Resident

    Hi again Sandra,

    Just to let you know I am going to be running some Summer holiday events in Guildford which will be up on my website soon. I will post a link here when they are up.
  16. pauline

    pauline Surrey Forum Admin Staff Member

    Great posts Joanne, you've given me ideas of things to do (with or without toddlers :) thanks!
    Sandra for scrumptious ice cream I'd recommend thortons on the high street. I wish I could recommend an independent shop/caf but for the life of me can't think of any other ice-cream parlour in Guildford! If you find any PLEASE let me know :D
    For info the library in Guildford has a cute little children section, it could be nice to visit on a rainy afternoon ;)
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  17. sandra

    sandra Surrey Forum Moderator Staff Member

    That would be great if you could Joanne. I had no idea we had a miniature railway here at Stoke Park and it looks like there is an open house event this Sunday - we will be there!
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  18. Marymh

    Marymh Guest

    Hi Sandra
    Have you discovered G Live? They have lots of children's events and a weekend at the end of January which has Shakespeare for Children (possibly a little strong for a 4 year old but catch 'em young as they say….) and also a Family Classics concert on Sunday Jan 26th. It's given by Southern Pro Musica (I do their marketing!) and your small person would have the chance to have a go at loads of musical instruments as well as concert full of very well known classical tunes. We've created it absolutely with children in mind so it'll be noisy mayhem but a lot of fun. Hope you can make it.

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