I always like to try and get out and about to do something on the weekend at least for one of the days. This weekend was no exception as we were invited down to Heaton Park in Manchester to try out the newly opened Tree top nets adventure!
It really is what it says – Tree top nets!
Think a safe play space strung between trees which at points is 12m off the ground.
It’s hard to get a full picture because it’s hidden within the woodland area.
Theres 175m of walkways made from nets in the beautiful surroundings of Heaton Park Woodland. Don’t worry though about falling off the nets as you are always completely surrounded by high net sides so you don’t even need to wear a harness.
The lack of harness means that it’s suitable for most people age 3 and up.
If your children are aged 7-11 you are allowed to supervise up to 5 of them from the ground underneath the nets but I highly recommend taking part. It’s so much fun!
To me it seemed like you were walking on a soft trampoline base all the way around the nets. It’s almost like very slow bouncy running, an odd sensation but one you soon get used to.
What’s it like?
The nets are arranged in a large circle with ‘rooms’ off to the sides. Theres two areas with large inflatable balls which the boys really enjoyed. They joined in with other peoples games as they were rolling the balls to each other. They rolled over the balls, and enjoyed throwing them.
There is also an under 7 areas, which was great for the smaller people. As well as a little chill out area, which is a tree house. As a parent the chill out area was great to get your legs steady again and also to view all the nets and see what the children were up to! The session is also supervised by a qualified instructor who can often be found in the chill out area keeping an eye on everyone.
The session you pay for is 2 hours long which for young ones was quite a long time so we did come off before the session ended as the boys were getting exhausted. The slightly older children who took part will still very much tearing around though so it prob depends on their age and stamina!
Tree top nets prices and location can be found can be found online here.
The Best Part
I think Thomas would say the ‘funnest’ part was the rope slides. There are 4 slides made of rope which you need to use a sack to slide down.
I didn’t take part….I couldn’t…they looked pretty scary and made me nervous even watching. Being a 5 year old though it was a different story! There were lots and lots and lots of goes on the slides!
Treetop nets was great fun, and makes a great alternative to an indoor play area! Although it is a higher priced activity, you do get a longer session. I can testify that your legs will feel it the next day so it’s a great form of exercise too. Something the whole family can enjoy!
We’d like to thank the team at tree top nets for inviting us down to check it!
Geronimo 2017 is over! I can’t believe after all the build up and looking forward to it, that it’s already over for another year!
I don’t want this to be just another trip report post, I want to let the pictures do the talking.
Geronimo incase you don’t know its a family focused 3 day festival. This year it was in a new bigger and better venue Arley Hall in Cheshire. The festival site was well spread out which we loved. This year the organisers also introduced the option to camp at the event. Initially we were going to camp for the weekend but plans transpired against us and so instead we spent two full days there.
We managed to cram so much into two days we were left tired and happy festival goers by the end of the weekend. Next years date will be going in the calendar as soon as we know when it is!
Our Parenting Highlights
Enjoying being outside in massive field to run around in
Having time to sit down and watch the children free play with junk modelling
Watching the children laugh at the circus act
The Childrens’ Highlights
Professor Pumpernickel Science show
Cirque du Hilarious – they really laughed a lot!
Katy Ashworth on stage while we had our packed lunch
Monkey Do tree top nets
The fairground rides (these were an extra charge of £1 per ride)
What we thought might be improved for next year
The maps could have been a little more detailed
We’d really appreciate more hand washing stations near the porta-loos – we took our own hand foam but nothing beats hand washing
A list or rough guide of actives that need to be booked for a time slot so we could prioritise – theres just so much to do
But they were just minor points, we had THE most amazing two days at the festival, there was so much to see and do and we will definitely be back for next years. Geronimo just gets bigger and better each year! Thanks for the memories Geronimo 2017!
If theres one photo that sums up the whole festival besides the one above which my eldest adores I think its this one…..
This weekend the boy and I were invited to an event hosted by Online Golf promoting children to play golf.
Now golf is not something I’d ever thought was a children sport. I suppose for one reason is that I don’t know anyone that plays golf in our close family. The other reason I hadn’t really considered golf was that I presumed it was an expensive sport.Due to this I also thought that golf would be a difficult sport for children to play.
Well I was wrong on all counts!
Didn’t even realise that you could buy golf bags and clubs in so many different sizes!
The smallest one there was for 3-4 year olds. I wanted it just to display but then I love miniature versions of normal sized things!
Clearly I had preformed ideas about golf that were just wrong.
We had an afternoon of fun with some pro coaches trying out all sorts of different shots.
In small groups we got to rotate around the different practice areas. The pictures can do the talking for most of the post. Therefore I don’t want to do golf a disservice and use the wrong words to explain what Thomas was taught to do.
To me there was hitting hard, medium and gently. To a pro golfer I’m sure they all have names!
He really did enjoy taking part in a sport he’d not tried before. I’ve leave you with a short vlog.
Thanks to Online Golf for inviting us for the afternoon of fun. Golf has clearly made a good impression, this is how I found him not long after we got home!
I think I’d better start looking for a golf club locally that offers child lessons!
The official video from the day can be viewed here also!
Spring is on the way! Ok well it might not feel like it but if the daffodils are anything to go by and they usually know their stuff then it’s only around the corner. With spring brings the promise of bank holiday weekends too.
If you are starting to think about family time and weekend getaways then look no further than the fabulous Geronimo family festival! This year it takes place on the late May bank holiday. The dates are 27th-29th May.
This year its in a new home at Arley Hall estate in Northwich, Cheshire. With a great opportunity to spend the weekend together enjoying the spirit of family time.
Last year was our first time at Geronimo and we came away wanting more. You can read about our adventures here. This year for the first time Geronimo is also offering the option to camp! With a whole host of options families can either bring their own tent, caravan or motor home or book one of Geronimos’ range of accommodation. These include Bedouin tents and Tangerine tents available to suit families no matter what their size!
The theme of this year’s event is Princesses, Knights and Dragons families are welcome to dress up and join in the fun.
If you’ve got preschoolers then they are bound to love watching the stars of CBeebies on stage, famous faces such as Justin Fletcher, Mr Bloom (one for the mums!) and the stars of swashbuckle will all be there. Geronimo family festival caters for children of all ages!
For families that love music the music offering is second to none and includes the Voodoo Love Orchestra, Manière des Bohémiens an energetic and improvised Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli influenced Gypsy Jazz and Eastern European swing and Mr Wilson Second Liners – a New Orleans meets 90s club classics…a rave funeral without the body!
There is just so much going on this year at Geronimo you would be mad not to book while the second tier pricing is still available! Head to the official Geronimo website found here to book tickets and get the date in the diary!
If you’ve ever dreamed of an indoor Christmas themed fun park then look no further than Winter Wonderland at Eventcity. Event city is next door to the Trafford Centre. There are rides, shows and fun galore to be had when you walk through the doors of this very special Christmas treat!
Last year we had so much fun the boys didn’t want to leave and we can’t wait to go again! In addition to the rides there are bouncy castles and slides a plenty.
Winter Wonderland 2016 runs from 10th December 2016 to 1st January 2017. It is all indoors at Eventcity right next to the Trafford Centre. With loads of free parking available you’re sure to have a fab time. Each session lasts 4 hours and includes all rides. Also the Basil Brush Show, the Cinderella Mini Panto, the Christmas Circus and a Meet & Greet with the big man himself! Of course the sessions after the 24th December don’t include Santa as he’ll be off having a very well deserved rest!
New shows for 2016
As well as the rides, there will be a dazzling array of colourful shows. Including an exciting new addition for 2016 – Christmas pantomime – Cinderella! There will also be a brand-new Sci-Fi show, a Christmas circus, Pip Ahoy! from Channel 5’s Milkshake and a chance to meet the nation’s favourite fox – Basil Brush! Santa Claus is inviting all the children to come and visit him! Children will be enchanted by the Ice Princesses, Fairies and Elves who love to play and chat and have ‘s-elfies’ with the children.
There will also be a whole host of games stalls and a vast array of food and drinks stalls to purchase.R Refreshments including hot snacks and sweet treats.
We have been kindly offered a family ticket to give away for Winter Wonderland for use on the evening of December 12th – this session starts at 6:30pm.
When I was in my 20’s pre-children and pre-mortgage I used to spend most weekend evenings out and about in Manchester. I loved it, theres so many different areas and vibes. However there was never anything like the night out I experienced on Friday! I can’t recommend it enough to make a change to your usual night out or with a group of friends, it really is fab!
Can you BREAKOUT…?
If you’ve never heard of it before Breakout is an escape room. For those of you who remember the crystal maze, its like that but with your friends and for a whole hour!
When I was first asked to go and experience a breakout room and write about it I did wonder how I would write about it if we didn’t get out……
But now I know, even if you don’t get out they let you out….phewwwww
On arrival we made sure to get there 10 minutes before as we had been instructed to for our briefing! We were going in the room called Facility X!
The secretion goes a little bit like this:
You arrive at an unknown location for a once in a lifetime opportunity; a conference held by the critically acclaimed, Dr. Andrews. His work is widely known throughout the research circles, but he has remained hidden in the shadows for years. What you don’t know, is that Dr. Andrews has gone mad, creating a string of tests that have gone disastrously wrong. He has brought you here for his final experiment. You have one hour to escape his maze of tricks and games, before a deadly virus kills you all.
Right ok we thought, what could we be facing?
If you thought that was a picture inside the room, sorry it’s not! This was just to entertain us while we waited for everyone to arrive!
The anticipation built and before long we were ready to go.
We were told bits and pieces about the room, mainly that we can touch and explore everything unless it had a do not touch sticker on. This was for things that were not part of the game i.e. live plugs!
I am not here to spoil it for anyone who wants to play Facility X so sorry if you came looking for clues!
Each room has a clock which counts down the hour for you from being locked in (and don’t worry there is always an escape button if you need to leave so you can if you have to, but obviously thats cheating!) There is someone from the behind the scenes team always watching you via the cameras but they can’t hear you. Every so often if they think you need help they will pop up a cryptic clue on the screen.
The room fits 5 so I took a snap of the team in action…sorry still no clues! But you can see we still had 30 minutes 44 seconds to go!
Do these look like happy faces?
Thats because they were happy faces that we escaped! With just 3 minutes to spare we actually cracked all the clues and escaped the room, we were on a massive high! We could not believe it! We did it! We will now call ourselves the A team!
To celebrate our brain power we headed off for cocktails.
We had an amazing time at Breakout, it really surpassed my expectations as a night out! I’d love to give you some clues but it would spoil the fun. We all brought different strengths to the game, had a laugh working together to get out and were elated that we made it out before the hour (just!)
Breakout prices vary but the more players you have the less it costs per person. Breakout now have two sites in Manchester so be sure to check which one you are playing at after you have booked. You don’t want to arrive late and feel flustered thats for sure. Bring your brains and find a great team to go with. We are already planning out next night out there, to a different room of course! Check out Breakout Manchester for more information.
Thanks to Breakout Manchester for inviting us to try the room!
Geronimo has been and gone for another year, this year was our first year visiting Geronimo at Tatton Park. In case you don’t have time for the whole post I’ll summarise it for you now. We had an amazing day out that surpassed my expectation in everyday although it was very busy we still managed to enjoy everything.
And for those of you sticking around to find out what we got up to here goes! We headed the warnings on the website and made sure to arrive early. Thankfully the weather was on our side and it was set to be a sunny day at Geronimo!
Flixster was sad in this photo because he’d just broken (again) the shark he loves a lot – we’ve spent more money repairing that shark than it cost to buy in the first place!!
The festival itself was due to open at 10am but I noted that it did open a little earlier than planned which I think was a great move by the organisers considering the crowds that had already begun to build up. We arrived around 9am and were parked up pretty easily with no queues, the whole car park seemed well organised which makes a refreshing change for a large festival. Grateful for no queues to sit in on the already hot day we headed to the entrance. We were through the main gates in no time and wristbands on our arms headed to get a map. The map listed everything going on at Geronimo that day and gave you a rough idea of where things we happening. It would have been easy enough to wander around Geronimo without a map but the times guide was very useful!
Our first stop was the 3ft and under area, there was a mixture of things in here, some soft play for the little ones, some story telling, some mini shows etc. We quickly came across Mini Professors who explained that we could book the boys on to a science class about bubbles. Now the boys are mad about bubbles and the eldest loves a good learning session so it was a no brainier. With them booked on we had 45 minutes to do something else at Geronimo before it began. So off we headed the big inflatable area, bound to be a winner!
The queues for rides and attractions weren’t too bad early on and so whilst the boy had some bouncy fun I took Flixster to the mini roundabout, he loved it!
I really love it when things like this are included because with little ones you never know which way it’s going to go, will you pay your money and have to endure a ride full of tears? On days like this it doesn’t matter if they love it and want to go on 10 times or are not so sure and don’t enjoy it, because at Geronimo its all included! No need to spend extra on all the rides!
The time quickly passed and we were heading back to Mini Professors to do some bubble experiments!
The boys loved it, I promise, despite Flixsters face on the photo! They learnt all about how bubbles are formed, what they are made of and how to hold one. The boy was enthralled, and I’m still hearing all about it now, he even had to pass on his knowledge to the grandparents recently when he saw them. So I know he learnt quite a lot at the one short session.
After our session we went on a general explore of the site, there was so much to see and do, we saw live music acts and lots of general street entertainment. The boys were fascinated by the Hippo, where else would you see a huge hippopotamus just trotting along?!
The sun shone beautifully and it was soon time for lunch. We did bring some snacks to keep us going throughout the day, and lots of water to drink too, but we had a mooch round the various food stall and picked the wood fired pizza. We were not disappointed, it was very very nice! It didn’t last long with the boys around!
After a lunch sat in the shade and a rest for the boys, it was time for more fun to be found and we didn’t have to look far!
The heater skelter had a long queue but with a few rounds of I-spy we didn’t seem to be waiting too long, plus with the added distraction of the never ending entertainment the boys weren’t bored thats for sure. the giraffe spotting also helped pass the time!
I didn’t get a photo of them coming down the heater skelter, I wasn’t sure when to expect them but from the smiles of happiness as the boy got up off his mat he certainly had a good time!
The sun was really beating down by mid afternoon and even with water, hats and lots of cream on the weather was really making the boys flag so I suggested we get a spot to watch the main stage, it just so happened that we caught the end of Mr.Blooms show followed by Swashbuckle which the boy adores. He’s always asking to go on that show, he loves the idea of the games and the challenges. It was Cook & Line from Swashbuckle on stage (and if you don’t have preschoolers or young children who watch CBeebies then you won’t know who I mean!)
As you can see from the pictures we were miles away from the stage but could see and hear everything perfectly well which was great for the boys, especially Flixster who enjoyed the dancing most of all!
The shows on the Geronimo stage were great and the boys loved watching, it was a nice relaxed atmosphere where it felt ok to just let the boys dance if they wanted to, no one was packed in and there was plenty of room for everyone which was really great.
Even after a full day of shows and experiments and having fun the boys still wanted to go on the rides again a few times before we had to say goodbye to Geronimo for this year and as it was their day I wasn’t going to stop them, so off we went. The boat was Flixster favourite by a mile!
The time did sadly come to have to say goodbye, and of course any trip out wouldn’t be complete without a child saying as you get back to the car “I need the toilet”……… so back to the entrance we went……then back to the car again….and finally we were setting off home. Both of them were spark out snoozing within minutes of leaving the Tatton Park site. Happy boys and happy parents. What a fab day we had enjoyed together as a family and another day for the memory banks. Thank you Geronimo team for inviting us to enjoy the day together.
When hubby and I first started dating around 11 years ago, our first date was spent in the Printworks Manchester, back then if I remember correctly the Printworks to me seemed to be full of bars and clubs, with a couple of restaurants thrown in as well as the Odeon cinema. I wouldn’t have thought of it then as a family destination. Todays trip has changed my perspective. Having spent most of our day there today has defiantly changed my mind and I’m grateful we got the chance to go and have a family day together.
Family Time at the Printworks
We started the morning with a trip to the Odeon cinema to watch the new Angry Birds Movie which was just released the day before we visited. It was Flixsters first time at the cinema so it was exciting for him to be having a ‘first’ too. Although he had been before when he as only a few weeks old, he was fast asleep in a sling on my chest so that doesn’t count! This time he had his very own seat and his very own childrens snack box. I wasn’t sure what to expect with a film based on an app but the film was pretty funny in parts, even for adults!
I really like going to the cinema on a weekend morning as it’s usually full of other children so you know you that even if your little one talks it won’t be disturbing other peoples film experiences which is great as most people there will be understanding and have children themselves. The boy has been going to the cinema on weekends with one of us since he was about two and a half so he’s very used to sitting and enjoying a film, he takes after his dad who’s film mad!
The family snack deal went down very well with everyone and at £9.99 for two childrens packs (with popcorn, snack and drink), a medium popcorn and two adult drinks I thought that was pretty good considering what you would expect to pay normally for each individual item.
Towards the end of the film I did take Flixster out for a little walk and then we watched the very end of the film from the exit corridor so that he wouldn’t be disturbing people, but it was only the last few minutes of a 90 minute film for someone who’s just turned two I don’t think thats bad. For the rest of the film he mostly sat watching and enjoying the big screen, it went far better than I had expected!
After the film i could tell he was tired as it was hitting nap time so we popped him into the buggy and off he went to sleep as we had a little walk before lunch.
Lunch at Frankie and Bennys
Lunch was booked for Frankie and Benny’s which in the Printworks is almost opposite the cinema entrance. All the restaurants in the printworks look nice but I picked Frankie and Bennys as its somewhere I’ve not been for about 10 years. When I was dating hubby we went a few times but it never seemed to change much so I guess it sort of fell out of our radar. The boys had never been to Frankie and Bennys either so it was a nice treat for them.
We were seated in a booth which was great for the children as hubby and I could block the exits and easily stop them from running around, sometimes when you sit at a table I seem to spend the entire meal repeating the words “please sit down”. The staff were very accommodating with the buggy too which was lovely of them, so we were able to have Flixster asleep next to us at the table whilst we had some food. He did wake later on in the meal and helped finish the chips and the dessert.
The boy was super chuffed at his childrens menu, he loves being able to make his own choice of food and I love that he can feel grown up by reading and making his choices.
Our waiter who if I remember correctly was called Janis was great with the boy, he really made him feel welcome which is lovely when you have children, you feel more relaxed about the meal and get to enjoy the family time together.
As we were there at lunch time we choose our food from the lunchtime menu, I went for the fish with salad as I’m following a health eating plan at the moment and hubby went for burger. The boy also went for the build your own burger choice and decided to have it with cheese , bacon, ketchup and some fries and beans as side orders. We also ordered a starter of dough balls to share.
I’m glad we did share them as there were lots to go round. Sometimes with dough balls at other restaurants you’d don’t get very many but I think the portion at Frankie and Bennys was just right.
My food was lovely and the salad was nice and fresh which to me is always a good sign, hubby said his burger was yummy and the boys plate was gobbled up pretty quickly and finished off by Flixster when he awoke from his nap! thankfully the soft drinks were unlimited refill which I prefer as you don’t have to worry about the cost or how thirsty you get, you know what you’re paying up front and theres no hidden extras when you get the bill!
The childrens’ meals came with a choice of drinks and as milk was on the menu thats what the boys ordered, milk lovers the both of them as they don’t like fizzy drinks.
I skipped dessert but there seemed only one obvious choice for the boys to share and my boy had already spotted it on the menu! It was the Ice Cream Candy Shop, you do pay a little extra for it as its not part of the kids included desserts but having seen the enjoyment my two had with it, I’d would treat them to it again next time. It does say great to share and I would say it was two much for just one of them so I’m glad they did share it between them. It came in a little wooden crate with a bowl of ice cream and various sweets to sprinkle on as well as a little jug of chocolate sauce. Upon seeing it for the first time the boy exclaimed “This is the best day ever!” which made me laugh quite a lot!
It even came with a little paper bag to take any remaining sweets home which was a nice touch!
Hubby choose the waffle and ice cream on recommendation from our waiter, he was not disappointed, I could smell how nice it was from across the table and sadly he had already tucked in before I got a photo!
By the end of the meal we were all perfectly satisfied and came out having had a lovely family day together, the trip has proven to me that the Printworks is much more a family destination now, and I look forward to more days out there together in the future to try out some of the other restaurants although the boy is already requesting to go back to Frankie and Bennys!
Thanks from us to the Printworks for inviting us to come and enjoy some family time together!
This past weekend we were invited to an event run by TheHut.com in Manchester at Artisan kitchen and bar in Spinningfields which is one of my favourite areas of Manchester. This is a link to the hut’s website.
TheHut.com Summer Fun
As we are so fond of Spinningfields and the weather was so nice, we arrived early so we could have a nice walk around and enjoy the sunshine. Theres always something to look at in that area of Manchester and even the boys love exploring to see whats changed and whats new.
I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’d not shopped with thehut.com before. I had heard of the company but I am not familiar with what they sell. The invitation was extended to family’s so I was hoping the boys would be kept entertained while I got a chance to look at the products.
On arrival we were greeted by this site, which was very welcome on such a hot day.
The boys enjoyed some soft drinks whilst I indulged in a glass of prosecco, it’s not often I get to drink whilst we are out as I’m usually driving so I jumped at the chance to have a small glass since I wouldn’t be driving home!
The juices looked so refreshing!
The boy made a beeline for the games and spotted a Disney version of Monopoly. He loves monopoly although his attention span isn’t very long so he plays his own made up version most of the time.
Being a Disney mad family this is perfect for us and is on our ‘wish list’ now. I loved the details of the game, the playing pieces were just so lovely and intricate. Daddy tried to explain the rules again to him but often it’s just best to go with the flow and try to follow his own made up rules!
While he was busy with the game Flixster spotted the Ninky Nonk (if you haven’t got young children this is a vehicle from a television show called In the Night Garden) and was very happy to spend a long time just pushing it around and playing with it.
Perfect conditions for Mummy to indulge in a little browsing. The tables were set out with various different items and my first call had to be to the shoes, a little passion of mine although I haven’t been able to indulge in a while.
I love the Vivenne Westwood ladies shoes, shame they weren’t my size but a fellow blogger did try them on and exclaim how comfortable they were (jealous!) We are already converse fans in our house so I was interested in the Superga shoes as I think they’d be much easier than laces for the boys whilst we are on holiday. If only I had a girl for the pink converse too!
Homeware from thehut.com
The other things I spotted were some lovely housewares (yes I know I should like an old person when in my head I’m still an 18 year old running wild!) These Calvin Klein towels would defiantly be kept for best and not rolled out with the regular pile the kids are ill! (yes everyone has those don’t they!) They are just so soft, if only I could have an adult only (no make that women only) bathroom.
The clothes too looked lovely, in particular I had my eye on this Boss top, so floaty and summery it has to be on the wish list from thehut.com, I can see it being worn with some lovely skinny jeans and heels and a statement necklace.
I was genuinely surprised at the range that thehut.com stock, I’ve since had a look at the website and there’s loads more choice on there too. They currently have a voucher on the website for 15% off for new customers so I’ll be making use of that myself. If you spend over £20 p&p is free and if the total is over £50 then next day delivery is included at no additional cost (I’m an impatient person so this is a nice bonus for me!)
I was genuinely surprised at the diverse amount of products that thehut.com sell and have enjoyed browsing through the website, there’s definitely a fair few things added to our family wish list.
My favourite thing though about thehut.com event apart from the chance to get my hands on some fabulous products was the chance to have a little family time together in a lovely surrounding on a sunny day and being able to chat to other lovely blog writers and hopefully make some new friends!
We can not wait to attend Geronimo this year, having never been before every time I read a new announcement it makes me more excited!
This week Geronimo have announced that as well as all the children’s favourite already announced you will also be able to look out for Luke & Emma, Clangers and My Little Pony who will be joining in the fun at the festival. This is alongside children favourites Mr Bloom, Andy Day, Alex Winters and Cook & Line from Swashbuckle! Geronimo is shaping up to be a fabulous family even aimed at children aged under 12 and tickets are on sale now priced £25. Children under the age of two go free!
To find out further information and buy tickets visit the Geronimo website by clicking here but if you want to enter to win a family ticket for Tatton Park on 30th May enter below. Good luck!
T&C’s: The competition closes on 29/04/16. We have one family pass to giveaway. Each pass admits 4 people, one person in the group must be aged over 18 (NB children under the age of 2 years do not require a ticket). The winning family can attend May 30th (Tatton Park). Travel and accommodation are not included. The prize is non-refundable and no cash alternative will be offered. The prize is non transferable and ID will be required at time of collecting the ticket wristband upon arrival. The prize includes all events and activities at Geronimo but not food and drink from any stalls or bar. Winner chosen at random.