Mumbler content writer Louise visited Crafty Owls in Ossett with her daughter.
Here’s how they got on:
Painting on the other hand is a regular occurrence in our house but my daughter’s headstrong attitude to do everything herself (to be expected but equally frustrating) often leads to a tense morning and that’s before I even think about the mess!
So the idea of sipping a hot barista coffee whilst my first-born paints in harmony was a chance to be taken.
Craft Owls is a family run business and owner Julian made us feel very welcome. I picked a quiet time – Wednesday lunch time – and we had the studio virtually to ourselves.
The studio is colourful and cosy with an array of creations on every wall.
To the far side of the studio stacking shelves provide an opportunity to purchase pots for painting.
My daughter’s love of unicorns motivated her choice but there were plenty of other animal creatures to choose from.
There are also some tiles mugs and bowls for the more creative.
All the items are individually priced in size order from around a few pounds for the smallest.
It’s a good idea to have a budget in mind before unleashing your little ones to the pots as some of them are on the pricey side with money boxes from £20.
Tables were well organised with small pots of paint in a variety of pastel colours and brushes. Children’s aprons were are also available.
The studio also has highchairs and baby changing.
My daughter took straight to task and enjoyed pouring the paint out as much, if not more so than painting her unicorn.
Pottery painting is great for kids, easier to master, and require less of a time commitment than their squishier counterparts.
Plus, it has been found to assist child development, helping children to develop fine motor skills, problem-solving skills, imagination, initiative, and curiosity (among other benefits).
All of which makes pottery classes a good idea for many kids.
They also provide a more family-friendly experience if you’re just looking for an afternoon of family time or an activity to beat the winter blues.
It’s great to have a messy and creative afternoon out and not have to worry about gathering all of the supplies and then wiping paint off the table or the floor!
It’s on the pricey side as for us it only filled around 40 minutes but next time I’d take some friends and have a coffee and cake, to make it last a bit longer.
Julian says they are also looking to reintroduce their pre-school classes which involve a story and painting on theme, which would be a great idea.
They are also running a variety of classes during the holidays.
Mondays; 10 12pm & 1-3pm Art Classes only
Tuesday- Friday 9.30am -2.45pm & 3.30pm – 5pm
Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Sunday: 11am – 4pm (advance bookings only)
*Mumbler was not paid for this review. All of the comments in this review are our open and honest opinion. Details correct at time of publishing; June 2019.
Mumbler feature writer Louise visited The Secret Garden, Horbury with her two daughters to see how it fairs up.
The days of a soggy cheese sarnie and luke warm cuppas are gone and now it’s barista style coffee and toddler tapas.
So in search of the latter, I headed to The Secret Garden.
The first thing that strikes you when you enter is the size of the cafe and the high ceiling.
There’s at least 20 tables, smooth tiled floors – great for pushchairs – plus space to store them so no need to be asked to leave at the door – perfect for nap time when you’ve got a baby and an older child.
And although there is space, they’ve also made great use of it and kept it on theme.
The garden theme runs everywhere from the colourful wall art to the potted herb plants and wooden table numbers.
Lots of thought has gone into this play gym to make it not only safe and great fun, but also look good.
The majority of the seating is four chairs per table and the back wall has benches. Again a clever use of space.
The cafe area has floor to ceiling windows so plenty of natural light so you don’t feel shut off from the world!
There’s an under 4s area plus junior children’s area.
The play structure is safe to industry standard from Doncaster-based King of the Kingdoms who have been designing structures for 25 years.
With multiple slides, rollers, a rope bridge and a basketball hoop there’s hours of fun to be had in the play gym.
Towards the back of the structure there is a mini football pitch. A great bonus for groups of friends.
There is also a large mezzanine ‘Treehouse’ party room which overlooks the soft play structure which is used for birthday banquets.
We ordered a Sailors Sandwich (Fish fingers) £3 and a mozzerella and sundried tomato panini.
Our table needed wiping and was quickly cleaned on request and a high chair brought for my youngest daughter.
The staff were friendly and welcoming and the food came fairly swiftly as we arrived around 1.30pm, so possibly missed the peak lunchtime rush.
My daughter’s lunch was a generous size with four slices of bread.
It came with grapes, pepper, cucumber and crisps.
She was keen to tuck in but as I was juggling my baby mid-feed, a minor niggle, it could have been cut into quarters as it was a child’s meal afterall.
The panini was tasty and hot and generously filled. It came with crisps and homemade coleslaw.
Overall, I’d say the food was well above average for a play gym and more city centre cafe quality. I also noted it’s five star food hygiene rating on the door.
With later opening times than a lot of alterntives, it is also a great place for a tea-time play date, something we’ll look at in the future.
My daughter would probably have liked some fancy dress costumes which some play gyms have, but there was still plenty to keep her entertained.
The only downside I’d say for younger children is you can’t see into the play gym from the cafe area – maybe a TV screen could be placed on the wall?
Just a thought.
How to find it:
The Secret Garden, 223 Bridge Road, Horbury, WF4 5QA
Cost: Up to 12 months FREE 1 – 9 years old £4.50
Opening Times: Monday – Saturday 9.30am – 6pm Sunday 9.30am – 4pm
*Mumbler was not paid for this review. All details correct June 2019.
Leeds Street Lane
96-98 Street Lane Leeds LS8 2AL
Ideally situated on upmarket Street Lane in leafy Roundhay, we’ve got Roundhay Park on our doorstep and the Moortown shops close by. You’ll discover a warm and welcoming atmosphere, and a fantastic al fresco area for the warmer months.