We almost didn’t make it to the Little Street opening* last Thursday. Our front door fell off. Yes, that’s right – totally and completely off the hinges (or at least it was once I’d asked a kindly gas man on our street to help – he tried to push it back into the frame and the whole lot ended up in his hands. It was awkward.) Anyway, said gas man was a hero and managed to fix it and slam it shut.
Apart from being cross that I had to ask a man to solve a problem (although I will say, I did try calling my friend Zoe first. She is super-strong), I was also utterly gutted that we might miss this blogger’s event to celebrate the opening of Maidstone’s Little Street: a unique play centre aimed at young children.
Having previously been to their original branch in Frimley, I knew we were in for a treat. And, after getting lost round Maidstone’s giant one way system, we arrived puffing and panting and ready to PLAY!
Little Street is just that: a little street built for little people. There is so much to explore and, because you have to book a session rather than walk in any time, it’s always presented beautifully when you first arrive. Of course, the kids see to it that it looks a bit different when you leave.
There is a police station (complete with jail and handcuffs), mini supermarket, doctors, school, stables, construction site, fire engine and theatre stage complete with dressing room and rail of imaginative dress up clothes.
My two were in their element and were so spoilt for choice. They are both food obsessed so headed for the supermarket first, shoving giant plastic loaves of bread and bottles of Febreeze in their little trolleys. The littlest one moved on to the construction site, donning a hard hat and singing “Bob the Builder” whilst manoeuvring some boulders. I managed to sneak off to the (grown up) café area for a quick coffee, all the while able to see what they were up to. The great thing is, you know they are totally safe. Obviously you keep an eye on them, but they were so engrossed in play, they didn’t care where I was. Until they realised snacks of the chocolate variety had kindly been provided. Then I couldn’t shake them off til I’d fed them a few brownie squares each.
The session was rounded off sitting in the (children’s) café, being brought cakes from the oven, “smoothies” they had whizzed up in the blender and microwaved bananas (each to their own).
We could have easily stayed on past the allotted hour and a half slot, but I think it’s just about the right length of time to fully experience Little Street. It’s the details that are so impressive; the layout of the supermarket, the school uniforms hung up in the classroom, the computers in the doctors’ surgery showing medical information. It’s a fantastic idea, and one that is sure to grow in popularity – Little Street have already announced a further centre is to open in West Byfleet.
The team behind it have clearly put their heart and soul into producing a beautiful, quality and imaginative experience for little ones. All of us are desperate to return. It’s a 40 minute drive for us, but Little Street is most definitely worth it.
Visit http://www.little-street.co.uk for more information.
- We were invited to come along as guests for the opening of Little Street.