11 things you need to know before visiting Yaya’s House play centre
- Credit: Archant
Nicola Warren and her daughter tried out the newly opened play centre near Ipswich.
Last Friday, I took my daughter Jessica and my dad along to Yaya's House in Hintlesham.
This play centre at Birch Farm in the village opened after much anticipation on Saturday, February 22, and we were keen to try it out.
What is there to do?
The main attraction is Yaya's Town - with the vets, school, theatre, building site, salon, café, shop and fire station, plus ride-on cars to whizz around on in the middle. I was keen to get Jessica moving around each area as we were there to try it out, but she could have stayed in several of the areas a lot longer. She particularly liked the vets, with its toy veterinary equipment and toy animals, and the fire station, with bell, fire engine, helmets and toy fire extinguisher. She (and Grandad) also liked playing the instruments and dancing on the stage in the theatre while I watched from the comfort of the sofa for the audience.
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What do I need to wear?
Something warm! Before visiting, I'd been advised by friends that Yaya's Town, which is in a barn, is cold, and to wrap up warm. This has also been detailed on the website and Facebook page, and it was mentioned when we arrived, too. It was cold in there, so we were glad we wore fleeces and I was happy that Jessica had decided to wear her fleecy hat on the day too.
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What else is there to play with?
Back in the warmth of the Yaya's Café, children will find Rose Cottage - another area with plenty of role play toys such as a washing machine and clothes airer. There are also some low tables with all sorts of toys on, plus a baby corner with toys suitable for the youngest visitors.
What about the facilities?
There are toilet cubicles, a baby changing table and steps in front of the sinks so children can wash their hands more easily. There's a lovely feeding room with a comfortable chair and foot stall if you'd rather feed baby privately. Equally there are comfy sofas in the café where you can feed. One even has some books on the windowsill behind it, so if your little one is cluster feeding make yourself at home!
Is there somewhere to eat and drink?
Yes, there are tables in the café and in Yaya's Town and the café serves hot and cold drinks, cartons and cans of Cawston Press and cans of San Pellegrino, plus squash. Food available includes sandwiches, paninis and jacket potatoes, plus a selection of cakes and baby snacks. Children's hot and cold options cost from £2.50 to £3.50. When we visited, we shared two flapjacks between us, Jessica had a carton of drink, I had a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and my dad had tea. It all came to just under £10, which I thought was a good price.
When is it open?
Yaya's House is open daily, between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Friday and 9.30am to 5.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.
What time is best to visit?
We got there at 9.15am and it was nice and quiet. All of the tables in Yaya's Café were taken when we left at about 11am. Although it was busy, Yaya's Town is so big there was plenty of space to play for everyone. Jessica would have happily stayed for longer and told my husband Phil later "Yaya's House so fun", so we will definitely be going back.
How much does it cost?
Entry is free for babies aged up to six months, £3 for babies aged six to 12 months and £5 for children aged 12 months and over.
Where can I park?
There's plenty of parking at Birch Farm.
Do classes run at Yaya's House?
Yes, Baby College classes, and messy play sessions, have started at Yaya's House this week.
What's next for Yaya's?
This spring, Beauty at Yaya's House and Yaya's Creche are set to open, so you can enjoy a beauty treatment while your child is being looked after.