Friday, 19 July 2013

A day out in Bristol!

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the lovely Rachel from Kiddicare asking if I was interested in attending the Blogger Event at the new Kiddicare Store in Bristol. Being new to this blogging malarkey, I'd never heard of "Blogger Events" before but, happy for a day out with the kiddies, I thought it'd be fun, so agreed.

Not knowing what to expect, I went with an open mind. I've had previous experiences with the brand of Kiddicare before - I've bought baby items from Morrisons in the past, and found they were really good quality for a cheap price, their own-name wet wipes were just as good as branded ones at a portion of the price, and I had heard good things about the pushchairs, toys and such from friends.

The day got off to a bad start. As the girls were in school, I was taking J and Baby B. I wanted to be in the train station by 8am. J rolled out of bed at 7.45am and decided he was going to take as long as possible to get ready. Not even the excitement of "We're going on a train" would motivate him! Eventually he moved faster, and we managed to get into the station for 8.45am. The train to Bristol Temple Meads were every half hour, and we'd just missed one, so had to wait for the next one.

The journey went well after that, we got off the train and managed to find the bus really easily and quickly, which is definitely a first for me! The bus ride was a bit tiring mind, almost an hour, and I got off feeling a little queasy (I get travel sickness). But we'd arrived.

From the outside, the store looked amazing! Big, bold, bright colourings meant it's easily spotted and noticeable. I noted that there were plenty of car parking space which were very spacey - a must for any parents trying to get their child(ren) in and out of the car. Upon entering the store I could see it was well laid out. There were different sections, and you could clearly see what each section had. The car seats were in one corner, which moved onto home safety, then the Cafe and toilets, pushchairs, bedrooms, feeding and changing, and finally toys in the middle. J was ecstatic to see they had little trolleys that he could push himself!

After a quick look around, I tried to find where I had to go. As we were late, we'd probably missed the biggest part of the event but I still wanted to know more about this wonderful store. Eventually, we found the lovely Jennie, who gave the boys and I a quick tour of the store and explained the reasonings behind some things (which I'll go into later).

We met up with the other Blogger ladies in the "Event Room". As explained to us, this was a room in which "Mum-and-me" activities will take place, such as baby massage, baby yoga - you could even hold a birthday party or baby shower there! We took part in singing and music playing! Well, J did, Baby B decided he wanted feeding!

All the children took part, from playing instruments and stomping around the room, to singing "Row, row, row your boat", they even had hand puppets and animals to use!

J normally comes across as very shy when children he doesn't know are about. But it didn't take him long to get involved and enjoy himself!

From there we went to the cafe to have some refreshments. There was a wide range of different food and drink to suit all ages. J opted for a box with sandwiches, crisps, a drink and a Freddo and I had a panini. I've found before in store cafes that food, especially sandwiches, can be quite dry and tasteless. But this wasn't the case here. They were fresh and very yummy! J even ate all his sandwiches - which is a first! We sat for a while and I had a quick look around the eating area. They had a breast-feeding area, where any parents wishing to feed in private, could go and feel comfortable in doing so. This is a great idea! Whilst looking around the area, I realised there wasn't much space for pushchairs. We were sat right in the middle mind, and I’m sure if we sat around the outer area we would have had a bit more room. I couldn't help but think that maybe they could have had somewhere to store the pushchairs, like the little lockers you see in supermarkets by the cafes, to allow a bit more space.

From there, we made a quick pit-stop to the changing room. Big, bright colours hit us as soon as we walked in, yet it felt peaceful and warming. Little mobiles hung from the ceiling, four changing mats laid out on the shelf, little bins underneath in the cupboards for ease. Most importantly, the room was spotless and didn’t smell. I've lost count of the changing rooms we've used and there’s been a smelly or overflowing bin. Not good when you involve dirty nappies. But this one was perfect. Baby B loved looking at the mobiles on the ceiling whilst being changed. J liked the big bright spots on the wall. However, he loved the measuring wall just outside the changing room even more! He informed me he was smaller than everything! Bless him!

From here we took a slow wander around the store. This enabled me to actually look at the products on sale and the reasonings, which I mentioned earlier. For example, the price tags are all digital. This is because if the item goes on sale online, the price will immediately change instore, and it will show on these digital tags.

Now any parent who drives, or travels alot in a car, knows how precise you have to be with a car seat for your child. Is it for the right age? Is it right for my car? Will my child be comfortable? Well, at Kiddicare there is someone to help answer those questions! As Jennie explained earlier to us, each department has specially trained staff. These staff stick to their department. So you won't see someone from pushchairs in the car seats or vice versa. I think this is wonderful because it means that they'll be where you want, when you want them!

The car seat area has a special thing about it!

To the right of this picture is a desk - if you wanted to enquire or purchase a car seat and a few other people had the same idea, you can leave your details and you'll be put in a queue. You can then carry on browsing the store, have a cuppa etc., and you get called when it's your turn! I think it's a fantastic idea and will save people's feet from standing so long on a busy day or when you are with the kiddies!

In the middle of the store is a lovely little play area, which J wanted to try! Although only a small area, there was plenty for J to play with, and it gives us parents a chance to see what the toys are like before committing to buy!
  In fact, every single item that a parent needs to buy for their child (car seat, pushchair, cot, walkers, high chairs etc) all have a model on show that you can look and try before deciding whether to buy! This is major plus in my books, especially with the pushchairs, as I'm tall and always struggled to find a nice pushchair that wouldn't hurt my back pushing. At least this way you can get a general idea of which items are ideal for you.

 The bouncers and walkers on display. Having them out like this meant you could see how they look when they're up, what the vibration or music is like on the bouncers (if any) and basically to allow you to make your mind up before purchasing!

Plenty of different makes, models and styles of high chairs for you to look at and try before you buy!

Even the booster seats had their own little section!

Again, you could try them to see which suited you the best!

Some of the lovely pushchair displays. Again, you could try them to see how suited they are to your own needs. J loved the little race track, even though I tried telling him it wasn't for real races!!

The nursery / bedroom items were set out lovely. With the little rooms, you could see how much space you would need and what the sets look like together! Genius!

There was a little area for home safety, fire guards on the wall so you could see what they looked like, how big they were etc. 

The stair gates had a little area too! These were also up so you could see how to open them, what they looked like. Come on, let's be honest, how many of you have struggled to open a stair gate before now? It's like the "Child safety" caps on medicine and bleach - I can never open the silly things! Haha. I thought that having them set out like this was a fantastic idea!

We ended up purchasing a lovely toy for Baby B's pushchair - on sale too!

So, from J, Baby B and I, we give Kiddicare Bristol 9.5 / 10! We had a fantastic day and will definitely be visiting again as soon as we can!

Disclaimer: We were not paid for this post, we did receive a goodie bag but all comments are our own and 100% honest!

Check out these lovely bloggers that we met on the day:
Side Street Style
Snowing Indoors
Family Fever
Mum to Baby Insomniac


  1. Kiddicare looks a great place, I almost wish my son was little again to go!

  2. interesting, we have one not too far from us, we will have to check it out.