Cub Play Cafe Blyth Review

This post was published by Bethanie and is based on a visit in October 2023. Please check with venue direct for the most up to date info (especially regarding pricing and opening hours). Over to Bethanie: 

 
Cub Play Cafe Blyth Review


In October I took my youngest daughter along to the Cub Play Cafe which is in Blyth. We both had a really enjoyable morning, playing and snacking, so I wanted to share with you our experience and what to expect from your visit. 


This was our second experience of a play cafe and I know there are a few of them around the north east.

Unfortunately a lot seem to have closed over the past few years (I believe this is a combination of being hit by the pandemic and then the cost of living), but they are a wonderful space for children and their parents/grandparents to play and learn in a warm and inviting environment. 


The normal set up is you have to book a time slot ahead of your visit. These are normally done via their website ( https://www.cubplaycafe.co.uk/ but you could also ring up to book. Time slots are usually 90 minutes long. 

This does seem to be a perfect amount of time to spend in a play cafe, although we loved the Cub Play Cafe so much, we would have happily stayed longer.  


What to expect from a visit to Cub Play Cafe. 


Cub Play Cafe can be found using this postcode on Albion Way in Blyth: NE24 5BL




It was easy to drive to and there was plenty of free parking outside. You will find a ramp to the side of the building and the toilet is wheelchair friendly. 


I had booked our time slot for 11.15 - 12.45 and arrived five minutes early so went up to the main door and was buzzed in once I gave my name. My first impression was of how tidy and clean everything was.




 I could tell my daughter, Lily, was itching to get started, so we found a table in the cafe to leave our bags and shoes and started to explore the many different toys straight away. 


The play cafe is a montessori and loose parts play inspired cafe. I LOVE this and having worked in early years previously, I know the benefits of this child led play to encourage independence with a child focused approach. 





All the toys were very clean and sorted into wicker baskets that were easily accessible for children to explore by themselves. 



The session filled up quickly and was obviously very popular. I would say on the day of our visit, there were a mix of one to three year olds but the setting is suitable for ages zero to seven. 



There are plenty of opportunities for open ended play and for children to explore different materials and toys on their own. Having said that, it wasn’t a case of the grown ups sitting in the cafe while the children played, everyone seemed to be enjoying the toys and resources together. 



After we had explored all the toys, we went back to our table for a bite to eat as it was lunch time. I enjoyed a delicious homemade raspberry and dark chocolate brownie and Lily had beans and cheese on toast. All very reasonably priced and a perfect portion size for a little one. 




Lily didn’t sit for very long as she was desperate to get back to play, but she did manage to gobble up all her food before she got down. 


There is an outdoor area which looked just as fun, but on the day of our visit this area was closed. I presume because it was a bit damp and cold. 






Towards the end of our timed session, everyone started to tidy up all the toys. I loved the way everyone helped out and before long it was back to looking tidy again, ready for the next session.

There was then time for a sing-along where everyone joined in and Lily received a sticker which she was made up with.




 Sometimes they read a story instead of song time. It was a gorgeous end to the session and Lily definitely wasn’t ready to leave. If this was on our doorstep we would be there every week I think! 



Prices of sessions are below: 


  • Children under 1: £3.60
  • Children over 1: £6.60
  • 1 Adult free with each child
  • Extra adult: £2.50
  • Babies 3 months and younger: FREE




Sessions times: 


Term Time


Mon - Tue: 9.15am | 11.15am | 1.15pm

Wed - 9:45am | 11:45am | 1:45pm | 3:45pm

Thurs - Sat: 9.15am | 11.15am | 1.15am


School Holidays


Mon - Sat: 9.15am | 11.15am | 1.15pm

 

If you want to find out more about montessori play there is a lovely explanation on their website. You also need to book your session here too. 







They do offer party packages which would be a great alternative to a soft play party.


You can follow Cub Play Cafe on social media as they share special events (such as Christmas, Halloween etc) and updates on toys as they seem to change these up seasonally. I think this shows the care and thought that goes into each session, making it quite a unique experience. 



Are you looking for other play cafes/soft plays? Check out these options: 












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