The Hive

A buzzing hub bringing the community together

Hive staff member, bouncy castles, studio room & kids going down slide

The Hive, located at the Hill Top in South Hatfield, is a large leisure facility that has become a fantastic community hub serving local residents, community groups and charities. It offers multiple spaces suitable for a wide range of indoor sports, children's activities, parties, conferences and functions.

It houses a popular soft play venue, Freddie's Den, open every day.

The Hive is also home to Footsteps 123 Nursery, open Monday to Friday all year round.

To make a booking or enquiry, please call 01707 270 066 or email


Over the years, The Hive has been the heart of the community. Originally opened in 1990 as the Jim McDonald Centre, it was named after a former chairman of Welwyn Hatfield who passed away in 1987. Jim McDonald was a well-known local figure who, during his years as a councillor, took great interest in community leisure and welfare. He served on Welwyn Hatfield Council's Voluntary Service, the Hertfordshire Association for the Disabled, and the Hatfield Sports Hall management committee. The centre is seen as a fitting tribute to Jim's commitment to Welwyn Hatfield.

To mark the 30th anniversary in 2020, the centre received a fresh look and name, The Hive, which reflects the popularity and buzz of all the activities happening within the centre.

Serving the community 

In 2021, the Hive achieved some great success: 

  • The facilities are currently used by 40 community groups and sport clubs
  • 45 birthday parties held since September 2021 after Covid-19 regulations changed
  • 5,700 hot meals served to Jimmy Macs clients since May 17 2021
  • 550 HAPpy FSM Holiday Activities places filled for the summer and winter programme in 2021

The centre has also received lovely feedback over the past year including: 

"Both of my children love going to the centre and when they are there, all the staff are so friendly with them. They are all brilliant you couldn't ask for better staff"

"I love the concept of the centre-such a great place for the old and young. The activities are great value for money."

"Your staff were very friendly, welcoming and very adaptive to our individual needs, I was very impressed. The staff were happy and very approachable, nothing was too much trouble. The soft play was clean and the equipment was in good condition and everyone in the group was very happy."


The Sports Hall

The large multi-use sports hall is a great facility to run a range of sports and leisure activities.

You can hire the hall for children's parties and sports bookings, including badminton, table tennis, basketball and 5 a side football.

The hall is used by a range of local sports and social clubs including gymnastics, judo, boxing, dancing and bowls.

The Studio

The multi-purpose studio plays host to a range of activities. With built-in mirrors and air conditioning, it's an ideal facility for dance and exercise classes.

Groups currently using the studio include:

•             Bounce exercise classes

•             FK Dance Academy

•             Brooks Academy of Irish Dance

The Dining Room

Another of the Hive's multi-purpose areas, the large dining room, is available for hire and suitable for meetings, dance and exercise classes as well as an ideal
area for a range of community groups. 

The dining room is currently used by a variety of groups including:

Soft Play at Freddie's Den

Freddie's Den is a soft play venue that provides a fun and safe area for toddlers and children aged 0 - 8 to play, climb and explore.

Whilst your children have fun, you can enjoy fresh food, snacks or a hot drink at the Café which is located next to the den. 

Kids' Parties

Freddie's Den hosts birthday parties with 3 different party packages to choose from, at a range of prices. The parties are 2 hours long and can host up to 15 children.
There are also different options for party food.

Bouncy Castle Parties

The Hive also offers bouncy castle parties for up to 30 children. These parties are 2 hours long and include 1 hour and 15 mins with the bouncy castle in the sports hall,
and 45 minutes for food and drinks in a private room.

You can choose hot or cold buffet options or bring your own food.

The friendly team at The Hive will be on hand to provide help and support so that the party can be tailored to your needs.

Meeting and Conference Rooms

The Hive now has fully equipped meeting and conference rooms for up to 70 people. Each room comes with a projector, screens and flip chart stands.

Catering can be provided which includes tea, coffee and biscuits, a continental breakfast or lunch buffet options.

For more information and to book, please call 01707 270 066 or email


Get in contact

Whether you would like to hire a room, book a children's party, join a community group or find out more about what the Hive has to offer, please get in contact with their friendly staff.

Please call 01707 270 066 or email

Freddie's Den cafe, softplay, badminton & party