Holy Trinity Church, Walton Street, Aylesbury. HP21 7QX
This is a free, weekly playground near the town centre. As you come in you’re greeted by the leader of the playgroup who is very friendly and tells you the format of the group. It’s a popular, well organised and busy playgroup, in fact it’s one of the busiest that I’ve been to, but because it’s in a large hall it doesn’t feel cramped. There is plenty of buggy parking in one of the rooms as well.
It’s run by members of the church, so there is a tie-in with bible stories which are based around a specific story each week. The group starts with songs (these are child-friendly songs that reference God rather than nursery rhymes), then there’s a short story (the one around which the weeks’ activities have been themed). After that the craft area is opened (which again ties-in with the weekly story), all the toys are brought out and refreshments are available. There is fruit and juices for the kids and hot drinks for the adults.
The first Monday of each month is cake week where members of the group donate either home-made or shop-brought cakes. All refreshments are by voluntary donation. We had a chocolate and a coffee & walnut cake and they were both very nice.
They also regularly have small companies / sellers come in whilst the group is on. Usbourne books were there when we were, but the following week there is a handmade soap company coming in.
I was slightly surprised about the extent of the religious tie-in. There are lots of playgroups run by churches around Aylesbury, but this had the largest Christian element. Whilst this absolutely isn’t a problem for us, I know some people may not be comfortable with that so I thought I’d mention it. That said, you don’t have to sign along with the songs and you don’t have to say the quick prayer at the end.
I was also very confused initially because you start with the singing and story before all the toys come out, which is the reverse of most playgroups. I did wonder if there weren’t going to be any toys at all! Don’t worry though, the did come out and there was a good range of toys available.
The group runs every Thursday in term time from 10:30 – 11:45.
Entry – FREE, donations gratefully accepted
Parking – very limited. You can park on Croft Road, but only on the first half of the road for a max of 2 hours.
Toilets – on-site
Food – snacks provided for the kids. Cakes available on the first Monday of the month.
Rating – 4 / 5 – it’s a well organised playgroup with a good range of things to do.