Last week we visited the new Dinky Street kids role play centre near Cheltenham – it’s located in Bishops Cleeve 15 or so minutes away. I’ve never been like this and straight off I must say it was a fantastic hour and a half. The time flew by much like my phone did onto the floor! One cracked screen wasn’t enough to dampen our spirits though, and, the absolutely lovely ladies who worked there gave me some tape and scissors and in minutes we were back playing hairdressers. I think Dinky Street is a much needed new activity for the area, and something, although a bit more expensive than a weekly activity (£5.80 first child, £5.30 siblings), it’s definitely a place we’ll visit at holidays and sometimes in between. Maybe I’ll store it in my back pocket for a reward too!
Dinky Street review
Location: Opposite Tesco in Bishops Cleeve (near Cheltenham). We parked in Tesco and crossed the Tesco car park using the zebra crossing, the crossed the road, which brought us right to Dinky Street’s door. I don’t know Bishops Cleeve and so was relieved it was so easy to find.
Address: Dinky Street, Church Road, Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 8LT
How does Dinky Street work?
You have to book a session online. Sessions run 9.30-11, 11.30-1, 1.30-3, 3.30-5.
Cost: £5.80 first child, £5.30 siblings
Sessions are run very strictly to allow staff time to tidy up and clean. I do not envy them tidying the supermarket room!
First impressions of Dinky Street
Going in the door there was first a room where a few prams had been left. Through a second door we were immediately greeted with a huge shoe rack for everyone to use, adults too.
So do remember socks! We gave our name to the lady to register and after removing our shoes she opened the gate remotely for us to get in. A great and safe start to our play time.
Inside Dinky Street:
On entering the cafe is to the right, kind of behind you, and all of the role play rooms are straight ahead. We set off to explore. Ok, I chased the girls as they ran off excited!
First up we came across the doctor’s surgery complete with syringes, gloves, x-rays and a doctor’s bed.
There’s even a sink and (empty) soap dispenser. The effort and detail in this room was absolutely fantastic! The girls had a great time and also loved inspecting the x-rays and playing on the crutches.
The next room was a hairdressers and again it was just so cute. There was even a cleaning set, lights around the mirrors, aprons and so many hair accessories and make up for little ones to play with.
We spent a lot, LOT, of time playing hairdressers. I didn’t realise that at four H is actually in to this sort of thing. She can stare at herself in the mirror forever! I remember playing with my Girls World when I was much older than she is, but maybe that’ll be a good present sometime.
Of course every play place must have a cafe and this cafe is the best stocked I’ve ever seen! From menus on the tables to checked curtains, every sort of food, and applicable they could wish to play with. I did love the wee aprons.
The supermarket had shelves and shelves of real products, all of which were nearly empty when we ventured in as we’d played elsewhere first. I’d definitely head there first in future, if we could get past the hairdressers!
The tills actually ding when an item is scanned and the conveyor belt moves with the turn of a handle. It’s the simple things that make this place awesome. Ok they’re not simple but they are little details that just make Dinky Street a fantastic place to visit, to play and learn about real life.
I absolutely loved the toy pull along baskets, just like we have in shops now!
The construction room again, I can’t think of anything they could add to make it better. Life size bricks for building, a cement mixer, high vis jackets and hard hats. There’s also a huger fire engine to play in along with fireman air canister back packs and hoses too.
Out near the entryway there is a large area with an enclosed baby toy area, plus a stage and a rail of dress up clothes. Not just the ‘usual’ role play clothes but H became a unicorn!
We did pop to the real cafe as I was parched, and the coffee and cakes all looked lovely.
I was also sure I i was, the girls would be too. Squash is provided for little ones and mini donuts only cost 30p.
The coffee was very nice however I was very aware I wanted to finish to quickly to get back to playing, so I think we’d make sure we eat and drink right before visiting next time. The girls had a drink of squash and donut and finished them in minutes, so eager to get back to played. I let them play at the role play/baby area so I could finish drinking as I’d barely started my coffee. There was a wee picnic bench for the kids to sit at.
There are also loads of fancy dress costumes along with ride-on toys for the kids to play on too.
I think when B is slightly older I’d be more than happy letting them play themselves while I have a cuppa!
Verdict Dinky Street review:
New Mummy Blog thoroughly recommends Dinky Street! I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s fun and really when the time flies as fast as it did on our visit we must have had a brilliant time. The details really do make Dinky Street feel unique and that it’s been created with loving care. The cleanliness was also second to none. I do wonder how it will fare as there really we’re toys everywhere when we left, but they do allow 30 minutes between sessions to tidy and clean so I can’t imagine it will get too bad with time. It’s also run by two local mums so I’m quite sure they’ll keep it in tip top condition. We’ll definitely be back!
Update: June 2019
We’ve just been back to Dinky Street for a morning with friends and had a brilliant time. Dinky Street is just as clean and well kept as it was when we first visited a week after it opened in April.
I didn’t get a photo last time of the baby play area: here it is! Isn’t it fab! It’s got such a lovely soft rug floor and so many toys. There is actually loads of space around it, along with the Dinky stage and a rail of dressing up clothes.