Earlier this month Grace and I went to the intu Metrocentre baby brunch event in support of their Independent Retailer Week. We were promised story telling, face painting and the Metrognomes (more on those later), as well as a flower arranging demo from one of the independent retailers, Rebel Flower Company.
I have lived in the North East for over 25 years and I always remember the Metrocentre for shopping trips and days out as a child. It’s in Gateshead, just near Newcastle and is the largest shopping centre in the UK. intu Metrocentre has everything from department stores to pound shops, fashionable fast food to pasties, a bowling alley and amusement arcade, a train station and even an IMAX Odeon cinema. Some of my favourite places in the centre are: Debenhams, The Disney Store, Primark and TGI Friday’s (so you get an idea of whats on offer). The best part of all? FREE PARKING!!!
Anyway, back to the baby brunch!
The baby brunch event was held in The Village area of the the centre, which is filled with lots of lovely independent shops. The shops in this area range from a Yankee Candle retailer, a traditional barbers, a florist and children clothes retailers, to name a few. They are all lovely little stores so I would recommend checking them out for something a little different.
Baby brunch was a free event for all shoppers (it wasn’t just bloggers who had been invited) and Grace had lots of fun.
Things to Do
There were a few different activities. In the centre, on the “grass”, there was Duplo, MegaBloks and floor puzzles so this was the ideal section for us. Grace could play with something different and crawl around without hurting her knees.
Small tables and chairs were set up around the grass area, where older children could do colouring. There was also a selection of books on the tables, Grace in particular liked a board book “Mike the Police Motorcycle”.
There was free face painting as well, but we didn’t have a go at this. Grace is only 10 months, so she’s a little young for face painting yet, and I thought I might get funny looks walking round the shops with a butterfly on my face!
We stayed at the event for the full two hours it was on, mainly as Grace was enjoying something different but I was also busy chatting to another mum, so we were lucky enough to see the Metrognomes twice. If you’re not from the North East, or have never been to the Metrocentre then you’ve missed out… The Metrognomes are the mascots for the Kids’ Club at the centre, and they also do shows throughout the holidays to entertain the little ones as mums/dads/grandparents drag them round the shops. Maggot and Rusty both came to the baby brunch and were happy to meet the children and have their photos taken.. The older children I saw were really interested in them, Grace was just a bit confused I think!
Things to Eat
Now essential to any brunch activity is of course food, and we weren’t disappointed here. On offer “for the children” were fruit cups, raisins, cartons of juice, mini muffins and croissants. Grace isn’t a big eater, so she didn’t make full use of the selection but we did share a croissant!
The flower arranging was aimed at the adults visiting the baby brunch, and it was nice to be given some ideas as I’m USELESS at displaying flowers. I just cut open the bunch of flowers, stick them in a vase and hope for the best ?
This was a little more involved, using floral foam, leaves, real and artificial flowers, but it was interesting to see how easy it can actually be and I enjoyed watching as much as Grace would allow.
While we were at the baby brunch, I found out about the Metrocentre Kids’ Club and some great offers which they have available at the moment. If you have children I would definitely recommend signing up to the club, which you can do here. You get a Kids’ Club lanyard for each child you register and they need this to qualify for some of the deals, details of which are on the Metrocentre website.
I signed Oliver up (Grace is still too young really), and I’m looking forward to saving some money next time we eat at the Metrocentre… exactly what is needed as the summer holidays are looming!
Grace and I really enjoyed our morning at the Metrocentre baby brunch, and I’m hoping the centre run more of these events. As I mentioned earlier, the Metrognomes do shows in the school holidays, and there are often other activities in the holidays, but this was something nice for younger children.
It was at an ideal time for parents who may have older children at school or in a nursery, as it started at 10am. I had plenty of time to drop Oliver at school and drive over.
I do think it was aimed as slightly older children than Grace, as she was limited in what she could play with, but that didn’t bother her. She just enjoyed having lots of new things to look at. It would be ideal for children over one.
So, fingers crossed there’s another Metrocentre baby brunch soon, and if you’re nearby maybe I’ll see you there!
*Disclaimer* I was invited to this event and I was given a goodie bag as a thank you, however all views and opinions are my own.