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Finding your own social Bubele in London as a parent

Bubele is an App for parents about to go out in London - take it with you to find playgrounds, restaurants, activities; lots of things that your kids will love to do. It might even give you a space five minutes!

I was asked to take a look at the Bubele App which was recently released for free on both the iPhone and iPad for those living in and around London and the M25. The idea of the App is simple; it is there to help you to find activities, and plan visits into the capital with kids aged 0-7.

What is the Bubele App?

London is a very big, confusing place. Whether you live there, or are going to visit, it can be rather daunting finding events and places your kids are going to enjoy. What is even worse though, is not being able to find an open space to let your kids run about in after they have been co-oped up in the tube for 30 minutes…..

Bubele is designed to help with both of these situations; the App provides information on a number of different types of kid-friendly locations near it’s user through its location specific technology. You need to filter by what you are looking for, and the App selects those relevant sites nearby. For example, if you are looking for a playground,  you use the Play filter. Other options are:

  • Eat
  • Learn
  • Shop, and
  • Events.

Bubele has a number of different filters to enable easy navigation through the app based on your current location.

You can also select, via quick buttons, events, and activities that are on today, tomorrow or later to make planning straight forward.

The results you are given are shown on a map, so you can decide which ones are within distance and click on their icons to get more information, including price details if this is relevant. The App has over 12,000 activities listed currently (March 2015), but is updated regularly. All events and activities are independently audited as well.

Results for your lcoation specifc searches on Bubele are displayed in map form.

What do we think of Bubele?

Well, after I got over the initial disappointment that Bubele wasn’t offering up the opportunity to meet with Michael Buble

Don't be confused by the Buble Bubele connection like me - you are not going on a date with the man when you use this app - shame....

….we decided it was rather helpful! ;-)

Though we don’t live in London, we are regular visitors there as you can tell from our posts around London activities and events, but we are a wee bit rubbish at:

a) planning ahead; we never quite seem to have enough time, and generally start looking at stuff on the train in the way in

b) knowing what on earth the kids are going to like that doesn’t break the bank, and

c) remembering where everything blooming well is.

The premise for the App is that it helps with all of these things. As its an app, it is designed with “lastminute” parents in mind.

The ability to save your well loved locations within a favourites section also means you won’t forget the gems you have found on your travels. You can also share activities, etc with friends through Facebook, email or Bubele itself. The app can even send information on the activity through to your parent pals, including its lcoation. Though this does worry me a little, as there won’t be any reason for me to get lost now will there….? *panics*

After you have registered your details with the app, the Bubele interface for searching for relevant activities is *uber* simple.

Even a child could do it –  you could easily let you daughter pick their own activities – but be careful, she might book you and your mum into Zumba accidentally *just kidding* The app is clever enough to customise the answers based on weather, location and the age of your kids – so you won’t be given the option of a baby massage class if your child is 6. Information on the events is concise and relevant too:

Information on Bubele is simple and well structured making it easy to find the info you need - you can also contact the provider if you need too directly through some records.

The only downside is that I can’t find the ability to search by specific location or postcode. We appreciate that this app is much more of an “on the go” tool, but the planning aspects do suggest that you are meant to be able to work in advance. This means that you might not be in the required location when you are using it for the first time. A search option would therefore be useful, perhaps in a sub-menu, so it doesn’t effect the simplicity of the interface.

The Bubele app homescreen presents your results using engaging photos, which can be scrolled through using the swipe action. It would be worth getting a few stock photos for the shops filter though – I was getting a little bored of looking at the same shot.

Activities that are nearby on Bubele can be easily flicked through using a simple swipe action via the pictures on the homescreen after filtering has been completed.

Overall – 8/10

This is a great tool for parents in London; helping them connect with their friends to entertain the kids. Importantly, it has a lot of coverage of outdoor spaces in London, which is something that many other apps lack. We all need a good playground once in a while….

In time, we hope that they will introduce a search function to make it easier to use the app as a planning tool for those that are going into London rather than those that already live there. In order to get a full list of activities, we had to turn off the location services to enable us to see anything at all on the app. However, this is a relatively small issue given that the priority use is likely to be for those already within the M25.

Download it now so you can get planning!

Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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