The Marylebone area is surprisingly poor in activities for babies and children. I've found that the majority of organised classes and groups for babies and toddlers do not have venues in the Marylebone area due to a lack of any suitable venues to hold classes in. You have to travel out to Notting Hill, Kensington, St John's Wood and Swiss Cottage to find classes.
For active play, there are Gymborees in Hampstead/Swiss Cottage and Kensington, plus the Seymour Leisure Centre Jungle Gym but that's about it.
Please do email me with listings for other groups you may know of and I will add them. Alternatively look on the Marylebone Mums Facebook group where you can find lots of discussion about activities too.
In my opinion, the best and friendliest group for babies who are not walking yet.
The group meets on MONDAY MORNINGS 10-11.30am at St Paul's Church on Robert Adams Street (just next to the Wallace Collection on Manchester Square).
It is the only group I know of that meets in the afternoon, which means its great for first time mums looking to meet others but not great for those with older children at school etc. The group is staffed by the loveliest volunteers who make you feel ever so welcome and even make harassed and bewildered new mums a well deserved cup of tea. The group costs £2 but you get coffee or tea, and cakes and biscuits. I went to this group from when my child was 6 weeks old, and some days the delicious slice(s) of cake were the first thing I had to eat all day!
The toys and surroundings are neat and clean, which is also great for neurotic first time mums like myself. There is a good mix of mothers and nannies, with more mothers due to the young age of the babies.
You can find more information here: Jellybabies
Note that Jellybabies is also a twin-friendly group so do feel free to bring your multiples along!
Once the babies are walking, they graduate to Jellybeans, which runs two times a week in the mornings. You can find more information on the link above.
St Mary's Playgroup
This group is extremely popular. It runs three sessions now, Thursday 9.30am and 11.30am and Friday 10am.
It is run in the basement of the beautiful building that is St Mary's Church at the end of Bryanston Square on Crawford Street.
The playgroup is very large, I think there are at least 30 children in each session, which means it can be quite loud. Most children are toddlers but there are a few babies and there is a baby corner with more suitable toys. As a morning playgroup, it is very popular with those with more than one child. It is also more heavily skewed to nannies than mothers. There are lots of activities, toys etc including paints. The cost is £25 per term. There are refreshments and pastries for adults to buy. At the end of 1 hour of play there is snack time and then songs.
The group is more geared to older children in my opinion. It can get very noisy as the basement hall is large and echoey, but there are lots of things for a toddler to do so can be great fun for the right age group. This playgroup sometimes has a waiting list and is obviously very popular.
You can find more information here: St Mary's
St John's Playgroup
This group is held in the church on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10-11am. Again, this group is more suited to toddlers as it can be rather noisy. The atmosphere is friendly and there are lots of toys. There are songs during the hour as well.
There are 3 playgroup sessions at St John's Hyde Park church. They all function on a drop-by basis, and ask for a voluntary donation of £2. Tea, coffee, biscuits, fruits are served. One of the priests, usually Father Antonio, comes and plays the guitar for a singalong with the children.
1. Wednesday 10-11.30 is a Russian speaking playgroup, but non Russian speaking are also very welcomed (some songs are sung in Russian)
2. Wednesday 15.45-17.00 for all ages (after school, less suitable maybe for very young ones, as it can be quite noisy!)
3. Thursday 10-11 for under 5's.
You can find more information here: St John's
This is the local centre for the area with many activities for children and advice for parents. There is a stay and play as well as more structured activities. Unfortunately local budget cuts mean that this has been converted to a nursery school and no longer is a drop-in centre. However there is now 1 open session per week so local parents can drop-in.
There is information at the link here: Micky Star
Portman Early Childhood Centre
This is another of the Westminster Council ones - more info here: Portman
I admit to not having been there but if you do visit the Health Visitor clinic at the Marylebone Health Centre, there is a timetable of activities on the notice board there. Contact them on 020 7641 5436.
Poco a Poco Music Classes
These fab music classes are run by a local mum and are great fun as well as being educational. Run by a fab local mum!
Visit www.pocoapocomusic.co.uk to book and for further information.
Mini Mozart Music (minimozart.com)
Runs at St Marylebone Church from Jan 2017. We would love you to join in the musical fun, specifically designed to get children actually listening -not just hearing.
Our fun classes, for babies and toddlers, are taught by professionally trained musicians who play real instruments during class and also treat your little ones to parachute & scrunchie games as part of our themed sessions.
Please feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or minimozart.com
Rhyme Time Music Classes, Marylebone on Wednesdays 10am
Greenside Community Centre NW8
24 Lilestone Street, NW8 8SR
07958 66 22 96
£7 (£3 sibling or nanny share)
0 months to 5 years
Rhyme Time's lively preschool music and movement classes help children develop their abilities, skills and confidence by unlocking their natural love of music. Sessions are interactive and are fun for you and your child. They use songs and music you know and love, plus new songs you'll love learning, along with pom-poms, maracas, parachutes, puppets and instruments, all topped off with lots of bubbly fun.
Drop in classes, no need to book. Just turn up and enjoy the fun!
There are 3 baby swimming classes that I know of in Marylebone.
The Marriott Marble Arch, Hilton Metropole Edgware Rd and Fitness First on Baker Street all have classes for babies.
You can find out more info at the websites of the companies that run classes in the area or by checking the above hotels.
www.aquababiesuk.com run classes at the Marriot Marble arch
http://www.swimmingnature.com also run classes in the area.
The Seymour Leisure Centre also run classes so you can also check there - they are run by Everyone Active.
For older children there is Swimming rocks at the Thirdspace gym, Bulstrode Place, Marylebone, W1U 2HU
You can contact them at Marylebone@swimmingrocks.co.uk or 07802261543
Kids lessons from 3:30 to 5:30 weekdays
Weekends 10:00 to 12:00
30minutes per lesson at £49 for 1:1 £33.50 per child for 2:1 and Payment is for the term.
During holidays they run crash courses
Adults lessons are before and after the kids times and are charged at the personal training rate.
The nearest Gymboree is in Hampstead (Finchley Road) which does have direct bus links from Marylebone.
Wigmore Hall holds classical music concerts for babies every 2 months called For Crying Out Loud. They are very popular, especially the earlier performance of the day. The concerts are for babies up to 1 year old.
For babies from 1-2 years old they hold Toddler Bop. Unfortunately they rarely hold these and tickets sell out pretty much immediately which is a real shame for local mums.
All the local Westminster libraries run sessions for younger and older children. Depending on how far you want to walk, you can find events at Marylebone Library but also Mayfair library, Church Street, St Johns Wood etc. You can find lots more details here: Under 5s Library Events. The sessions are only during term time (yet another gap in the market - under 2s don't go to school and school holidays are when we need activities most!). They are also very popular and can get very busy so get there early if you want to find somewhere to sit.
Sing and Sign
Classes run at the Rudolph Steiner House on Park Road/Baker St NW1. There is information on our blog www.marylebonemums.com/blog.html or here
The Marylebone Ballet School
Vacani Ballet and The Marylebone Ballet School have been established for many years. Vacani Ballet was owned by Madame Vacani, who used to teach the Royal Family. The Marylebone Ballet School has been established for over 20 years. Kezia Mitchell became the Principal of The Marylebone Ballet School in 2003 and Vacani Ballet Bayswater branch in 2004. Both locations now run ballet classes for children from age 2 upwards. Our Baby Ballet Classes have been carefully created and established throughout our years of experience with this age group. They are story based incorporating basic ballet steps and nursery rhymes. As children get older they can progress through the ballet school and take their ISTD Cecchetti Ballet exams. We have had success with children being accepted as Royal Ballet Associates, The Ballet Boost Programme held at Rambert, Cecchetti Associates, and the English Youth Ballet.
They hold classes at Seymour Leisure Centre, Sylvia Young Theatre School and St Mary’s Bryanston Square Primary School in Marylebone and St Sophia the Greek Cathedral in Bayswater. Contact Kezia to register for a free trial class on 07887574390 or email email@example.com.
Bluebird Ballet School
Bluebird Ballet Schools runs classes on Monday and Thursday afternoons at Hinde Street Church. Classes are for children aged 18 months and over. More information can be found on the blog or here.
Rosy Thompson Ballet (3+yrs)
The Rosy Thompson Academy of Dance is located in Regents Park, London. We offer the highest standard of dance and performing arts training, with limited class sizes and individual attention given to every pupil from the age of three through to adults.
The Academy provides a wide range of classes including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Drama and Singing all taught by leading industry professionals. Classes run from Monday through to Friday after school and on a Saturday.
During the school holidays the Dance Academy holds dance workshops for ages 4 years and upwards which have proven extremely popular and early booking is advised to avoid disappointment.
Visit the website www.rosythompsonacademyofdance.com for more details
Fitzrovia Community Centre
The Fitzrovia Community Centre is a great place running lots of classes and activities for those with children, and also for the broader community. Some examples of classes include:
Teeny Turners – A stay and play weekly art activity for under 5s
Performing Arts Club for children aged 7-11
Dancercise for children and adults
For parents and carers: Free First Aid and baby resuscitation classes
Please see the link below for the additional classes we run for children, which includes external providers http://www.fitzroviacommunitycentre.org/content/children-and-families
In terms of room hire for a children’s party, there are a number of rooms which would be ideal for this. http://www.fitzroviacommunitycentre.org/roombooking/our-rooms
The lovely Xtend Barre Studio on Marylebone High Street runs classes for mummy and baby and for older children too. You can find more information in our Blog post on our experience of the classes here http://www.marylebonemums.com/blog/xtend-barre-petites-and-babies-classeswww.marylebonemums.com/blog/xtend-barre-petites-and-babies-classes
The yoga studio on Baker Street runs baby and toddler yoga classes. You can find more info at http://totalchi.com
Buggyfit class provide a platform for healthy exercise at the right level for mothers with babies in buggies, whether newborns or toddlers. Each class includes group exercises specifically selected to strengthen and tone particular muscle groups, and enable us to cope with the demands of motherhood. Cost = £10 per session, or block of 10 for £90 (used within 5 months), or block of 5 for £45 (used within 2 months). Cash only.
Starting from 25th January 2017 Term time only
Contact Becky either firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/bumpbabyandmefitness
Primrose Hill Park,
Meeting point: Trim Trail Entrance Gate next to toilet block
Time: Wednesday: 9.30am and Thursday 11am
Meeting point: Hub café bottom of the tunnel toilet entrance tunnel
Time: Wednesday 11am and Thursday 9.30am
Marylebone Farmers Market
On Sundays from 10am-2pm, you can go to the Farmers Market in the car park behind Waitrose on Marylebone High Street. Its always bustling with activity, good things to eat and delicious cooked and raw foods to take home. Its a nice community atmosphere and there is always something interesting for children to look at.
Paddington Street Gardens
Are just nearby and there is a nice playground area for children.
These are the only activities I have been able to find so far in the central Marylebone area. As you can see the list is somewhat sparse, especially if you don't want to take a bus or car journey (or a very long walk). No Tumble Tots, Monkey Music or any of the other organised activities for babies and children!
Please do get in touch if you know otherwise.
Activities in Neighbouring Areas
If you are happy to venture to neighbouring areas, there are many classes in SJW, Maida Vale, Notting Hill etc which I will list over time.