Ever thought to yourself “why aren’t there more playgroups near me? There’s a good chance there is. Hoop is a handy app that you can download to your phone to help you find local activities for children.
As a father of three, one of my frustrations in life is finding things for the kids to do. I can’t remember the last time I bought a local newspaper, so I mainly rely on word-of-mouth or trawling through Facebook. And then there’s nothing worse than hearing about an event after it’s finished and thinking that the kids would have loved it. I also know plenty of zoos and other outside attractions, but during the winter, I struggle to find indoor activities for kids.
This is where the Hoop app comes to the rescue.
The Hoop app
The Hoop app has been introduced to take the hassle out of planning things to do with your children. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you enter your postcode, the age of your children and then you’re ready to go.
How suitable is it?
The app is aimed at parents with 3-11-year-olds. You can filter activities by age. After all, you don’t want to find suggestions about attending a baby gym event if you have an 11-year-old! If you have more than one child, then you can look for activities for all the children.
You can also search by date. This makes it far easier if you’re trying to make plans for the week. You can even look at dates up to three months into the future. However, this does rely on companies that use the Hoop app to list their activities somewhat in advance. Plus, quite a lot of things can change in a few months, so I prefer to just use the app for arranging activities over the next couple of weeks.
There is also an option to search by category. So if you have children that prefer certain activities, such as arts and crafts, just click the button and you have an instant list. As you can see from the selections below, there’s quite a variety to choose from.
I have found this app great for finding local parent and toddler groups and other playgroups near me.
How much does it cost?
Nothing. It’s completely free to download and use. Of course not all the groups and activities you’ll go to are free, but there is also an option to find free events.
Does it work in my area?
Although Hoop has their headquarters in London, the app covers most of the UK. I live in a small town in the South-East which doesn’t even have a McDonalds but there are still plenty of events listed.
One possible problem is bank holidays. When I checked, there were plenty of clubs listed as running on a bank holiday Monday, when I knew for a fact they would be closed. During these periods it would be best to contact the club beforehand.
I have yet to find an app that offers a similar service to Hoop. Of course, there are events not listed on the Hoop app. If you’re looking for things to do and the Hoop app hasn’t helped, then try visiting local Facebook sites or County specific sites such as Visit Kent, Visit Essex, Visit Sussex etc. Local online papers may also have some events listed.
To find out more about Hoop, visit their website.
Or you can download their app for your iPhone
or for Android.
Alternatively, if you would like to find other activities to do with children, read about the Kids Pass.