Bristol isn’t a big city, especially for one coming directly from London, as I did a few months ago. However, I’ve found it to be a very locally-focused city. If you live in one area, it seems you operate as a parent there too, enjoying local friends and facilities. Trips to other parts of town seem to be quite infrequent, particularly South to North and vice-versa. This may be to do with the rather sketchy public transport offering we have, or the hills and the buggies and the walks. It’s also because we have great things to do with kids here, and a trio of play cafes of our own Bubbahub, Hungry Caterpillar Cafe and Sensory Space – reviews of the former two to be added here soon.
However, some things are worth making the trip North for. I think, if you live in South Bristol, KudaCan is one of those places. It’s a play cafe and community hub, just off the top of the Gloucester Rd. Housed in a dedicated unit with safe outdoor space at the front and a well thought out layout inside over two floors, KudaCan is a very easy place to spend time.
One of the main reasons I go is because it’s open on a Sunday, which is very useful for our household. It’s also one of the play cafes that my husband likes to visit – he finds some kids’ activities very mum-heavy and KudaCan always has a great group of Dads and Grandads.
I’m a huge fan of its fenced area of play, because of the age of my daughter. Unable to walk but very curious and cruising, the fence provides me with a secure feeling that she won’t get bowled over by older children legging it around, but also it contains the play activities and seems to focus the kids on them. Adults can leave their bags, shoes, hot drinks and other stuff at one of the nice bright orange tables and either chill with some food or drink, or join their children in the play area.
The toys and activities are bright, clean, and well thought out. There’s everything from a decent sized ball pit to a ‘domestic’ area with play kitchens and dressing up. For a cruising one year old, there’s a lot to do, grip, hang onto and grab at. There’s also a more serene baby area at the front with plenty of smaller toys and beanbags for those who might need to lie down/feed/slump exhaustedly.
Tibbs loves the slide, the large squishy soft play blocks, the circular activity table and, as usual, watching the other toddlers marauding about.
There are huge amounts of weekly activities for children and adults, from the ever popular Poco Drom’s visit to free parachute play and yoga sessions without the kids. I love the fact that all Bristol’s play cafes offer so much variety, and KudaCan really adds to that for me.
Entry fee is reasonable. I’ve not eaten a meal there but the coffee and cake is good and there’s variety for all. Pegah and her team are friendly and helpful. We first visited between Christmas and New Year, when KudaCan was one of the only indoor activities open, and I admire Pegah’s dedication to providing a really consistent community service.
We’ll continue to be regular visitors, especially on a Sunday, for a long while to come, I hope – KudaCan seems to be the sort of place where children up to around 3-4 can play happily, and older kids are well catered for with weekly classes and activities too.