If you’re looking for a great excuse to shop local or just after a fun, free morning out with your baby or toddler, pop along to Minitown’s Play and Learn at Marketown Newcastle.
Minitown’s Play and Learn is a specially designed program for children under the age of five and runs every Wednesday of the school term from 9.30 – 10.30am at the Minitown playground, located just outside Big W on Level 1 of Marketown, Newcastle West.
The program has been running for approximately 18 months and now attracts around 30 children per week. Although it’s popular there’s no need to book ahead, you can turn up at at anytime during hours of operation and stay for as little or as long as you like.
On the morning we attended we met Brad, who runs the program through his business Mowday Promotions. With four young children of his own, he’s had plenty of experience entertaining little ones and was friendly, interactive and engaging. My kids warmed to him right away.
We arrived early, while the activities were still being set up, so my two and four year old played on the foam jungle gym playground while we were waiting. The activities change from week to week and this week there were wooden puzzles and colouring in.
As more children began to arrive, more activities were added. My kids loved the ‘sticky’ bubbles, hula hoops and soft ball games. Although it is a small space it didn’t appear to be overcrowded and the kids happily rotated, at their own leisure, around the activities and playing on the jungle gym.
Storytime and a craft activity are also included every week. My two year old sat happily through the book and both kids were very proud of the masks that they decorated. There was also some great, kid-friendly music being played and for a short while, my four-year-old was happy just to dance with some of the other kids.
The hour went quickly and all the babies and kids appeared to have a great time. There is ample seating at the back of the playground where adults can sit and relax but still have full view of the playground, making Minitown’s Play and Learn a great place for a coffee playdate.
There are no coffee shops on Level 1 of Marketown, but a number of options for takeaway coffee located on Ground Level. I was told that if I ordered a coffee from the Coffee Guru, located on Ground Level, one of their friendly staff would bring it upstairs for me.
There is plenty of parking located on the P2 parking level of Marketown, accessed via the Ravenshaw Street entrance. When the little ones need to use the toilet there is a clean and spacious parent’s room at the bottom of the escalator located near the playground.
I’ll definitely be taking my two back to Minitown’s Play and Learn and, as it’s all undercover, I’m judging it as as a great rainy day activity.
- February 2020
- 5/2/20 – First Play+Learn session for 2020
- March 2020
- April 2020
- May 2020
- June 2020
For further information about Minitown’s Play and Learn, visit the Marketown website.
Meg is a born and raised Novocastrian whose interests include gardening, reading and writing poetry. In between writing for Newy With Kids and working casually as a School Learning Support Officer, Meg enjoys camping and travelling with her family and exploring Newcastle and all it has to offer. Meg has two energetic kids and is passionate about kids having the opportunity to be outdoors as often as possible.