**This article first appeared in Pontcanna & Canton Matters**
Oh, those words that bring joy to every parent’s heart….Mam, I’m Booooorrrreeed! I’m going to pretend, for the purposes of this article, that I never, EVER, respond with the words ‘well, go and play with one of the thousands of toys that appear to be cluttering up every inch of floor space’. So what exactly DO I do with the little sweethearts?
One hour: Thompsons Park is our fallback. There’s no play equipment, but the climbing tree, Death Valley, duck feeding and manic scooting can easily take up 60 minutes, with the added bonus that there are always other bored and freezing grownups to moan to. AND you can pick up freshly cooked pakora from Mandy and Bharat’s shop on the way, which goes some way towards making up for the the being bored and freezing bit.
Two hours: Victoria Park will probably keep the kids entertained for a bit longer due to the play equipment and the extra potential for fleecing parents at the snack bar. In the Summer the paddling pool is a lot of fun, though since we’ve had, like, seven years worth of sunshine this year, it’ll probably be about 2020 before it gets warm enough to enjoy it again. Alternatively, there’s Bambeans on Cowbridge Road East, but be warned – though billed as suitable for kids up to 10, I think much above 5 is pushing it. However they do a decent coffee and also meals for kids which don’t cost the earth.
Three hours: Chapter Arts Centre have kids’ films at 11am and 3pm on a Saturday, and with pre-and-post film wee stops and a coffee afterwards, you’ve almost killed A QUARTER OF THEIR WAKING DAY! It’s worth checking what’s on as sometimes the film will be a 12 or PG; they also sell out very quickly in the winter or on rainy weekends, so be warned!
Four hours plus: Not a great deal to do in Canton itself, but with this sort of window you could walk along the Ely Trail to the Bay. Or, pick up the clipper from the Castle (departs on the hour) and get off at the barrage, then walk across with a stop at the sandy Pirate park. Once in the Bay there’s ice cream for them, coffee for you, and a direct bus (no 1) back to Canton.
Or the little darlings could JUST play with the THOUSANDS of toys…oh, sorry, done that already.
This article was brought to you by Michelle Davis – say hi @michelledavis or read more pearls of parenting wisdom* at learnermother.co.uk
*not a true and accurate representation