Local Directory

Looking for baby classes? Kids’ workshops? Play venues? Sports centres? Party ideas? More? Then you’ve come to the right place! Here’s a round-up of great local resources and businesses with things to offer families in the area.

If you know of something that deserves to be listed here, get in touch.

 


 

Baby & toddler classes

Some of the activities shown here are term-based and others are available all year round, including half terms and school holidays. Some run on a membership basis where you sign up for a group of classes and others are available as drop-in sessions. Follow the links for full details.

  • Tempo Tots
    Popular weekly classes using live music making as a developmental tool for little ones, with stories, bubbles, puppets and singing. Available at lots of local venues.
  • Wild Tots and Wild Pre-school
    Outdoor play for little ones based on the ‘Forest School’ approach, with Gruffalo spotting, bear hunting, marshmallow toasting, den building, puddle jumping, singing and more
  • Caterpillar Music
    Weekly classes offering music, colourful instruments and amazing puppets. Available at several local venues.
  • Jo Jingles
    Fun and educational music, singing and movement classes with the help of Jo Jingles the doll. Available in Twickenham Green and Teddington.
  • Tuneful Toddlers
    Discover music through nursery rhymes, action songs, ribbons, bubbles and more. Available at venues in Twickenham, Hounslow and Richmond.
  • Pinxie music
    Pinxie The Rabbit is the star of these fun and interactive music classes for children aged 6 months to 4.5 years. Available in St Margarets and East Sheen
  • Tiny Tunes
    Pay-as-you-go song, rhyme and dance classes for babies & toddlers, run at lots of local venues including Twickenham Library
  • Diddi Dance
    Dance classes designed to enhance little ones’ co-ordination and rhythm. Available at lots of local venues
  • Gymboree
    Well established music and play venue for babies & young children, based runs on a membership basis and located in St Margarets
  • Colourstrings
    Established fun music methodology for ages 1-3, running at Ritz Music Centre in Richmond
  • Tara’s Music Magic
    Using songs, props and instruments, learn musicality, rhythm and association as well as sharing, tidying and taking turns! Running at Ritz Music Centre in Richmond
  • Singing Hands
    multi-sensory music sessions with games, songs and rhymes, to learn key Makaton baby & toddler signs (just like Mr Tumble on Something Special).
  • Twickenham Twins Club
    Local club for parents and carers of twins and multiples, with weekly playgroups and meet-ups
  • See saw drop-in play sessions
    Drop-in sessions offering social interaction, music, play, creative activities, stories and rhyme time in a relaxed informal environment.
  • Frenchtastic Classes
    Fun French classes for Little Ones aged 18mths – 4 yrs in Teddington, Kingston and Thames Ditton
  • For more baby and toddler activities, See the section on Children’s Centres, below.

 


 

Drama, dance, music and performing arts classes

Seeking lessons in drama, music or dance? Some of these local classes are term-based and others are available all year round, or as special offerings during half terms and school holidays. Follow the links for full details.

  • Dramacube
    Local drama workshops for children aged 5-11, including sessions on Saturday mornings and school holidays.
  • Teddington Dance Studio
    Dance school teaching varied ages from as young as 2, including classes in ballet, tap and modern.
  • Step on Stage Academy
    School in Twickenham, offering drama, music, dance and musical theatre for ages 3 -18, plus summer schools at Hampton Hill Playhouse.
  • Marble Hill Dance Studio
    Dance school in Twickenham offering classes in ballet, tap & modern for children of varied ages.
  • Dance Fusion
    Dance school in Twickenham offering classes from age 2 – adult.
  • Movement Warriors for boys
    Classes designed specifically for boys, available at multiple local venues and including street, hip hop and contemporary dance.
  • Ritz Music & Tuition Centre
    Music shop and tuition centre in Richmond offering a range of classes and tuition for all ages, plus instrument hire
  • Poppet Theatre
    Weekly pay-as-you-go drama classes for little ones aged 5-8, in Teddington.
  • Popin Theatre
    Weekly pay-as-you-go drama classes for children and teenagers aged 11-18, in Teddington.
  • Mozo-Island after school classes
    Weekly after School music clubs for ages 5-8 or 7-12, based at Ritz Music & Tuition Centre in Richmond.
  • Richmond Ukulele
    Twickenham based workshops and classes to learn the Ukulele, suitable for anyone aged 7+
  • Perform Drama Classes
    Offers a mix of drama, dance and singing aimed at bringing out every child’s true potential. Classes at various local venues.
  • Kate’s School of Dance
    Dance classes for ages 2-11 in Isleworth, including pre-school, tip tap toe, groovy moves, ballet, street & contemporary
  • Richmond upon Thames Performing Arts Festival
    This annual festival runs at local schools and includes a series of performing arts competitions that are open to all

 


 

Storytime and educational fun

All of our local libraries run free storytime sessions for pre-schoolers on a regular basis. Details of these and some other nice literary activities are listed here.

  • The Alligator’s Mouth
    Fabulous specialist children’s bookshop in Richmond, with frequent author signings, events, storytime sessions and a range of book clubs for kids of different ages
  • Storytime for under 5′s
    Free weekly storytime sessions running at Richmond, Twickenham and other local libraries
  • Tiny Teddies Bounce and Rhyme
    Free regular sessions for babies and young toddlers at Richmond, Twickenham and other local libraries
  • Storytime at The Alligator’s Mouth, Richmond
    >New: scheduled story times themed around a selection of picture books and poems. Suitable 2-6yrs (contact the shop for upcoming dates).
  • Storytime at Waterstones, Richmond
    For childen aged 2-6, regular free weekly storytime in the kids’ books area at 11am on Saturdays
  • Young People’s Library Service
    The local libraries offer a range of other activities for children of varied ages, such as Chatterbooks book club, Manga book club and more.
  • Story Explorers
    Book and toy shop in Richmond/North Sheen offering story and play workshops for pre-school children
  • Richmond Literature Festival
    Annual event every November in Richmond Borough that always includes a good range of activities for children

 

Free outdoor playgrounds

There are a large number of children’s playgrounds dotted all over the borough. Here are a few to look out for. (For a fully exhaustive list, visit Richmond Council’s Directory.

  • Jubilee Gardens, Twickenham Embankment
    Centrally located in a raised park on Twickenham riverside with equipment suitable for children under 14
  • Orleans playground, Twickenham
    On the riverside opposite Orleans House, this popular playground has a good range of equipment and includes a stand selling drinks & ice creams
  • Twickenham Play Beach
    Located on Twickenham riverside, this is now open all year round and was revamped in 2013 with a Viking longboat and other play features.
  • Kingston Gate Playground, Richmond Park
    Designed for under 5s, this popular playground includes timber play sculptures, a bark pit, a hammock and children’s tables and seats.
  • Petersham Gate Playground, Richmond Park
    Designed for children of all ages, this playground includes a sandpit, a bark pit, climbing frames, balancing planks and water play
  • Moor Mead Playground, St Margarets
    Located in Moor Mead Park, St Margarets, this includes swings, slides and more for children under 14
  • Kneller Gardens, West Twickenham
    This playground caters for children of varied ages and is located close to a football pitch and tennis courts
  • Radnor Gardens, Twickenham
    A lovely setting on the riverside at the Strawberry Hill end of Twickenham, there is play equipment for children under 14
  • Cambridge Gardens, East Twickenham
    Located in East Twickenham, Cambridge Gardens has tennis courts and play facilities for children under 14
  • Holly Rd Playground, Twickenham
    This small playground is very handy for anyone out shopping along Twickenham High Street, and is undergoing improvements by the Council

 


 

Other Places to Play

The list below includes a mixed selection of indoor play cafes, soft play centres, adventure playgrounds and Forest Schools which are dedicated to outdoor play.

      • Frankie and Flo’s Play Cafe, Teddington
        Play cafe for children aged 0-5, where parents and carers can enjoy a coffee and cake and free wifi
      • Snakes and Ladders
        Large soft-play centre in the grounds of Syon Park. (Currently closed but will re-open in Spring 2014 after a major refurb)
      • The One O’Clock Club
        Drop-in indoor & outdoor play centre in Marble Hill Park for ages 0-5 (opens from April – September each year)
      • Marble Hill Adventure Playground
        Outdoor adventure playground for children aged 5+ in Marble Hill Park (opens from April – September each year)
      • Wild Education
        Organised Forest School activities in Twickenham, encouraging child led learning in a natural environment.
      • Tree House learning
        Forest School based in Ham, with a range of workshops offering an educational approach to outdoor play and learning
      • Nature Links
        Forest School working in Whitton, Hounslow and nearby areas, offering a range of activities and workshops for children
      • Mum’s Play Shop
        Play cafe in Hampton run by a local mum and primary school teacher, offering soft play, crafts, ride-ons and more whilst parents and carers relax.
      • Gymboree
        Membership-based soft play and development centre for babies & toddlers in St Margarets
      • The Lollipop Club
        Drop-in play cafe in Richmond for ages from 6 mths – 6 yrs.
      • Greenacres Kids Cafe
        Supervised kids’ Cafe in Hampton Hill where parents can relax, play or get creative with their children from 9am – 2pm.
      • Little Hamsters Play Cafe
        Play cafe in Ham, where parents can enjoy a coffee while little ones play
      • Toddler Fun Time
        Soft play sessions for toddlers at Orleans Park Sports Centre in Twickenham, open on weekends and school holidays
      • The Little Gym Hampton & Teddington
        Purpose built air conditioned gym for children aged 4 mths – 12 yrs with a range of programmes on offer
      • Don’t forget to visit our Everyday Fun page for a list of free parks and outdoor spaces where children can play every day

 

 


 

Creative activities for children

Here is a list of local venues offering arts, crafts and creative writing activities for children. Some are available on an everyday basis while others tend to run as special events (e.g. during school holidays). Follow the links for details.

      • The Pottery Cafe
        Pottery cafe in East Twickenham/Richmond with activities for all ages and an adjoining toy shop
      • Wendy’s Workshop
        Craft centre in Richmond/Kingston offering a range of children’s activities
      • Landmark Arts Centre
        Venue in Teddington offering a rolling selection of term-based and drop-in creative classes for kids
      • Happy Potter Ceramics
        Teddington-based pottery cafe, with activities for all ages
      • Little Star Writing
        Award-winning local organisation providing creative writing classes & events for children of varied ages
      • Squires Garden Centre
        Garden centre in Twickenham that offers children’s drop-in craft activities during school holidays
      • Dad day at Richmond Town Hall
        Drop-in weekend arts and crafts specifically for dads and children (aged 0-10)
      • Sunday Afternoon Art
        Monthly art workshops for children and parents at Orleans House Gallery
      • Kiddy Cook
        Twickenham based branch of Kiddy Cook, offering cookery classes and parties for children

 


 

Sports, swimming and horse-riding for children

There are a range of council-run and private venues in the area offering sports, swimming, riding and other types of active fun for children. Some activities involve signing up for a term and others are available to book at any time. Follow the links to see timetables and booking details.

      • Whitton Sports Centre
        Whitton venue offering a Junior programme of classes and facilities during term time and school holidays
      • Teddington Sports Centre
        Teddington venue offering a Junior programme of classes and facilities during term time and school holidays
      • Wings Swim School
        Teaches children, babies and adults to swim at venues in Twickenham and SW London.
      • Pools on the Park
        Swimming pool and fitness centre based at the Richmond Old Deer Park with a range of junior classes
      • Teddington Pools
        Swimming pool offering a range of classes for children in term time and school holidays
      • Hampton open air pools
        Lovely open air pool with sessions for all ages. Also hosts summer concerts.
      • Isleworth Leisure Centre
        Isleworth pool offering a Junior programme of classes during term time and school holidays
      • Waterbabies
        Swimming lessons for babies available at various locations
      • Springboard Swimmers
        Swimming lessons for children at local schools, including crash courses during school holidays
      • Patterson’s Penguins
        Swimming lessons for children with venues at Twickenham
      • Little Kickers
        Football lessons for toddlers and children, available at various local venues
      • Little Rugby
        Rugby lessons for toddlers and children, at various local venues
      • Kiddikicks
        Toddler sports classes in East Twickenham, giving a positive introduction to sport, with super-fun football in a safe, creative environment. Free trial available.
      • Catch a Balls
        Ball skills and movement classes for toddlers and young children, at various local venues
      • Twickenham Martial Arts College
        Local college offering martial arts classes for children of varied ages
      • Rugby Tots
        Rugby classes designed for ages 2-7, available at various local venues
      • Tennis Courts
        Richmond Council’s directory of local parks with tennis courts
      • Park Lane Stables
        Friendly riding school in Bushy Park, Teddington for children aged 2+ including drop-in weekend sessions for beginners
      • Horse Rangers Association
        Charity based in Hampton Court, teaching young people horsemanship and how to care for horses and ponies.
      • London Karate Shop
        After school & weekend karate classes in Richmond for children aged 4+, giving children with low self esteem a boost and teaching the importance of good manners.

 


 

Local theatre & entertainment

The local theatres run shows for children throughout the year and some also run theatrical courses where children can perform. Follow the links to find out what’s on.

      • Richmond Theatre
        Lovely theatre on Richmond Green that includes children’s shows, such as the very popular annual panto
      • Orange Tree Theatre
        Richmond-based theatre committed to encouraging new and ‘undiscovered’ writing from the UK and abroad
      • Rose Theatre
        Kingston-based theatre that offers a very good range of children’s shows for ages 3+
      • Polka Children’s Theatre
        Specialist children’s theatre in Wimbledon with a big range of shows for a wide range of ages
      • Hampton Hill Playhouse
        Nice theatre offering an interesting mix of shows, often performed by local theatre groups
      • Twickenham Theatre
        Small venue showing music, comedy, cabaret & theatre productions.
      • Lyric Theatre
        Eclectic theatre in Hammersmith with a regularly changing programme, including shows for children.
      • Waterman’s Theatre
        Theatre and cinema in Brentford with a regular selection of children’s shows on stage and screen
      • Brilliant Monsters
        Fabulous small business offering discounted London theatre trips and kids’ shows to members of their Facebook group
      • Puppet Theatre Barge, Richmond
        Puppet shows on a barge that usually run during the summer months on the riverside in Richmond

 


 

Child-friendly eateries in and around Twickenham

This is in no way an exhaustive list of cafes and restaurants that welcome children – just a few that we (and our Twitter followers) have found to be very welcoming. As always, get in touch if you know a place that deserves a mention.

      • Brouge
        Belgian/British restaurant in Twickenham, deemed one of the friendliest family places around. Offers colouring competitions to win a free meal from the kids’ menu and very popular with local parents.
      • Brocca Antica, St Margarets
        Lovely Italian restaurant in St Margarets offering delicious food and a great attitude to kids. Popular with families at weekends
      • The Three Kings
        Pub on Heath Rd, Twickenham, recommended to us as “brilliant for a Sunday roast and really lovely with our kids!”
      • Cafe Nero
        Major mum hang-out on Twickenham High Street and Richmond – spot the NCT groups!
      • Osteria Pulcinella
        Lovely Italian food in Church Street, Twickenham with high chairs and outdoor seating when it’s hot
      • Masaniello
        Another excellent Italian venue on Church Street, Twickenham, with animal-shaped pizzas and lots of buggy-room indoors
      • York Street Cafe
        Cafe in Twickenham that has been recommended to us by a local mum as “my 6 yr olds favourite Twickenham cafe.”
      • Rubens Bakehouse
        Comes recommended to us by local parents for great pizza and welcoming to children
      • The Tea Box
        This Richmond-based tea house offers a children’s afternoon tea
      • Mooca Cafe, St Margarets
        Baby-friendly cafe, often mobbed by the post-Gymboree crowd wanting a coffee fix
      • Squires Garden Centre Cafe
        Child friendly haven in Twickenham with a kids’ menu and toys. (Kids also love the aquarium!)
      • Giraffe
        Ultimate child-friendly restaurant chain in Richmond, with surprisingly good food. Giraffe at Tesco in Twickenham also comes recommended by local mums.
      • Pizza Express
        Reliable favourite for parents everywhere, with branches in Twickenham and Richmond

 


 

Local Children’s Centres

The local area has several Council-run centres offering activities for parents, carers and pre-school children. Richmond Borough’s Children’s Centres are located in Whitton, Teddington, Ham, Barnes and Hampton.

Typical weekly activities include musical fun, messy play, baby signing, baby massage, yoga and developmental play as well as social groups for mums, dads and carers. Find out what’s on at your local Children’s Centre

 


 

Local youth clubs and scouts

The local area has several Council-run youth clubs offering a place to go for school-age children and teenagers. There are also scout groups and similar groups available for children and teenagers.

      • Richmond Borough’s Youth Clubs
        These are located in Twickenham, Whitton, Hampton, Ham and Mortlake. Many offer a programme of weekly activities & clubs to keep kids occupied during after-school hours, as well as special activities during school holidays and weekends.
      • Scouts & Sea Scouts and Girl Guides
        There are lots of branches of the Scouts and Girl Guides available in the local area. Follow the link to find your local branch.
      • Woodcraft Folk
        This is a volunteer-run movement for children and young people from birth to adult, offering a place where children to grow in confidence, learn about the world and more.
      • More ideas
        This blog post by Richmond Community Links has more great ideas about local clubs and activities for children and teenagers

 


 

Children’s party ideas

A lot of the businesses listed on this page offer a secondary service running children’s parties, either at their own venue or as a party entertainer at yours. Here we have pulled together a mixed selection of ideas.

 


 

School holiday camps

Many of the businesses listed on this page run activities during school holidays, so we’ve not listed them all again here. What we’ve included below are places that specifically offer ‘holiday camps’ or ‘clubs’, where kids can typically attend for all or part of the week during half terms and school holidays.

 


 

Health, well-being and classes for parents

This section contains a selection of local workshops, fitness classes, clubs and social meet-ups aimed at local parents & carers.

      • Scrummy Mummies Healthy Cooking Club
        Innovative club in Teddington where mums can cook the week’s meals together while children are cared for in the creche
      • The Mobile Massage Therapist
        Friendly massage service in Twickenham & SW London, tailored to your needs and convenience and well-rated by local mums.
      • Baby Steps
        Local organisation offering parental training first aid and weaning, at various local venues
      • Tots, Squats & Coffee Pots
        Friendly fitness classes in Twickenham where you can bring your little one along
      • Mum & Baby Boost at Quest Fitness
        Fitness session where mums can bring their baby along and lose weight, get back their confidence and reduce two inches from their waist in 4 weeks.
      • Twickenham NCT
        Twickenham-based antenatal classes and weekly meet-ups open to all, where you can meet other mums or mums-to-be
      • Richmond NCT
        Richmond-based antenatal classes and weekly meet-ups open to all, where you can meet other mums or mums-to-be
      • Pick N Mix Antenatal Classes
        Antenatal classes in Twickenhan & Teddington allowing you to pick and mix the classes that interest you
      • For Baby and Me
        Local baby massage classes at various venues
      • Baby Massage with Bettina
        Learn baby massage and meet other parents in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, at venues in Twickenham and Kingston
      • Hands on Babies
        Friendly and informal baby massage & baby yoga courses at venues within the Richmond borough. Courses last five weeks, or baby yoga courses can be run as drop in classes if enough interest.
      • Sally’s Yoga
        Yoga sessions for adults or children, at various local venues
      • Stretching the City Pregnancy Yoga
        Weekly yoga classes for mums-to-be at Orleans Park School in Twickenham
      • Amanda Wilkes Yoga
        Vinyasa Flow Yoga teacher offering classes in Teddington and Whitton, from beginners to advanced and including Yoga for Runners.
      • Sleep Babies
        Sleep consultancy run by Sian Thomas, a local nurse and health visitor. Supporting you in teaching your child to sleep with a gentle and child-centred approach.
      • Tempo Tots
        In addition to the music classes for babies, Tempo Tots organise adult classes and lectures on topics such as first aid and potty training
      • Up Beat Mums’ Choir
        Friendly local choir in Twickenham – open to all
      • Teddington midwives antenatal classes
        Popular anetenatal classes in Teddington
      • Richmond Ukulele
        Not just for kids – Richmond Ukulele classes and workshops are for anyone!
      • For other parenting-related classes and meet-ups, see the section on Children’s Centres, above.
      • Kooks Unlimited
        Bespoke one-on-one or small group baking classes in Richmond, including cakes, cookies and sugarcraft techniques
      • Blackbird Bread
        Local community bakery offering bread-making classes in Twickenham, from introductory level through to specialist breads
      • Knitting and Crochet classes at Mrs Moon
        Lovely yarn and haberdashery shop in St Margarets, Twickenham, offering a range of beginners’ and specialist courses

 


 

Useful local resources

Last but not least, here are some of the area’s local movers and shakers – be sure to check out their websites

    • Richmond Council
      Place to go for more information about any of the council-run services and events in the local area
    • Twickenham Town Business Association
      The TTBA organises lots of local events throughout the year, including activities for children
    • Richmond Business Association
      Responsible for the Richmond town guide and various events during the year.
    • Try Twickenham
      Local non-profit organisation – check out their website for local news, surveys and events
    • Twickenham Alive
      Local enterprise running a variety of events, including Twickenham Film Festival, Richmond Rink and lots of family fun days
    • Arts Richmond
      Voluntary organisation that promotes arts activity within the borough
    • Twickerati
      Very popular local blog and tweeter with a finger on the pulse of local issues and a tongue-in-cheek sense of humour
    • TLC Family
      This local organisation is well worth signing up with. You’ll get a loyalty card that gains you discounts at businesses in Teddington, Twickenham, the Hamptons & surrounding areas, with a special focus on things for kids and families.