Early in the summer the Worsley Park Marriott turned 20 years old and to celebrate yesterday we went along to a family fun day!

Worsley Park Marriott

7 year old boy sits in a swing boat with a smile on his face

I’ve been to the Worsley Park Marriott quite a few times for meals, celebrations with family and friends and events as it’s local to us. I always have a great time as the staff are lovely and the food is always delicious too. So when we were invited along to take part in the fun day we were going to say yes!

The trip out also gave hubby a chance to try his new iPhone XS Max camera too.

a happy couple are smiling holding a baby

The highlight for the boys was collecting conkers, something they haven’t done before and there were hundreds in the beautiful hotel grounds. The hotel facilities include a golf course, country club, spa, driving range and well regarded restaurant ‘Grill in the Park’.

young boy shows delight in collectting conkers from the ground

I also can’t mention the Worsley Park Marriott without linking to their wonderful breakfast which we reviewed last year.

As people are starting to think about Christmas I thought it was worth mentioning all the wonderful events that the Worsley Marriott are planning for this year. If you are North West based I thing Worsely Park Marriott will be a strong contender for meeting the big guy himself Father Christmas. For children they are holding two Santa Lunch events on consecutive Saturdays in December (8th and 15th December 2018) For more information or to make a booking call: 0161 975 2000.

I haven’t seen the hotel decorated for Christmas but every time I go they have some beautiful decorations out for the season so I imagine Christmas there is extremely magical.

floral decorations at the worsley park marriott

 

Thanks again to the Worsley Park Marriott for inviting us along to join in the fun!

This past week I went to Friendsfest with my mum. This is not a paid post or an advert. I paid for the tickets as any other person had but wanted to put up a post mainly of the pictures as we had such a great time! If you are interested in visiting then you can find the friendsfest website here.

Friendsfest is a small travelling festival incorporating set mock ups and real props from the sitcom Friends. It happens to be one of my all time favourite TV shows and I still find it as funny now as when it first aired back in the 90’s.

If you want to watch Friends all 10 series are currently on Netflix.

I’ve also put together a vlog of our trip which I’ve linked below if you wasn’t to have a watch!

But for now here’s our highlights!

We started our trip in Central Perk where we were able to stand behind the counter, sing smelly cat and sit on the famous couch!

 

 

 

 

This scene of course is very famous and if you know Friends then you’ll be shouting ‘PIVOT’ right now in your head!

The One with the Set Tour


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Could I BE any more cheesy with my grin?

 


 



friendsfest


If you want to watch the vlog about our trip to Friendsfest click below

 

This week we were kindly invited to try the new Jurassic Cove adventure golf at Bents Garden and Home centre.

I’ve written about Bents lots of times before, more recently at Christmas for their fantastic Christmas food market. I love Bents, it’s such a fantastic family friendly destination. I’m lucky that we only live 20 minutes away from it. I’d definatly recommend a trip if it’s within reach for you. Bents has grown to be an amazing place over the last few years.

It’s a shopping destination for everyone, young to old. The food is fantastic wherever you chose to eat while there and for children they playground and indoor beach will keep them entertained for ages.

Bents have had a 9 hole dinosaur adventure golf for a while but this year they have doubled the size of the course.

You can now play 18 holes which are both dinosaur and pirate themed!

The first 9 holes are the original dinosaur theme, whilst the last 9 are the pirate ones. Yarrrrrrr me hearties (thats pirate speak!).

We played all 18 holes and had a fab time. The boys were loving it. It has all the elements of a great adventure golf. Fun obstacles combined with tilts and curves. It’s sure to be a fun time for the whole family. When you’ve worked up an appetite I highly recommend eating there too.

After the Golf

 

Even after all the years Bents is still a family buisness and it shines through with how proud they are and how lovely all the staff are when you visit.

The food is locally sourced where available and is soooooo delicious!

If you’re interested in a visit to Bents their website can be found here.

We made a video of our trip too, we loved it!

Thanks to Bents for inviting us to try the adventure golf. I have not been paid for the post and all opinions are my own.

Last bank holiday we headed to the beach. Living in the UK we are very lucky to be surrounded by beautiful beaches. No matter where you live you’re never that far away from a beach. Even if you don’t drive you can get out and about with a trian or bus!

On bank holiday Monday we went to St Annes beach in Lancashire. We are quite practised at beach days. We tend to go to the beach quite a lot. So we know what to take with us to have a great day. However while we were there I realised there are still things I’d forgotten. So this is how the blog post was born. A list of things to take with us, a reminder to myself and others what things make a great day!

Beach Essential List

  1. Sun Shelter

We have had a few beach shelters in our time. The one we found to be most useful is a pop up one as it offers the most protection from the sun as well as being ready in seconds. My only word of warning though is practice putting it down before you use it on the beach for the first time! Once you know how to put it down its really easy to do in future. You don’t want to look like a complete fool on the beach though when you come to pack up! This one is a fab pop up version as it has mesh panels which are great if its windy!

 

2.Wind shelter

When you think of a beach wind break, you think big stripes and poles. Thats exactly what I’m talking about. I made the mistake first of buying one that you would use at camping and on the beach its no good as the poles you drive into the ground aren’t sturdy enough for sand. You need to get one with big wooden poles. This one is so cheery and I love it!

3.Dry Bag

Use this once your set up to store your valuables in so you know where they are when it’s time to leave. Things such as house keys, car keys, wallet, purse etc. The last thing you want to do is get to the end of a wonderful day to find that you’ve lost your car keys in the sand somewhere when they fell out of your pocket! As the description says the bag will keep things dry (and most importantly safe!)

 

4. Picnic Basket

Apart from the obvious a picnic basket is great for storing all your food in to keep it cool of rite day. IF you get a silver lined one like below the frozen ice packs will keep your food and drink nice and cool all day long. Be sure to store it in the shade of the sun shelter though.

beach day essentials

5. Chairs

Rather than lugging big fold out chairs with us to the beach we prefer these anywhere chairs as they literally fold up when your done and are so easy and light to carry. The weight of your bottom makes a great support for the back part and as a breastfeeding mum you defiantly need that when feeding on a beach. No one wants to come home with a sore back after a day in the sun!

beach

6. Towel

I always take one or two travel towels with us. They are super lightweight but absorb a lot of liquids. Great for drying of wet children (if they venture into the sea) or mopping up spills if there are any in the sun shelter.

7. Bucket and Spades

It’ kind of obvious but I forget nearly everytime and end up having to buy more! Theres so many great sets you can pick up for making sand castles etc. Our boys use the buckets and spades in all sorts of different games using their imagination.

8. Picnic Blankets

Now I’ve purposely written picnic blankets as a plural because we always need more than one. We use one to line the bottom of the sunshade tent to sit on then one out a little bit onto the sand for picnics etc. They are not expensive but save wet bottoms for those not wanting to sit on any wet sand! Again they fold up small and are lightweight.

There are other things we take too like spare clothes just in case I need to change the boys as well as a travel potty. Of course all the things that you need with a baby nappies etc. As long as I’ve got the above items though I feel like we are set up for a fab day on the beach. Is there anything else you like to take? I’d love to know so please drop me a line in the comments below!

I’ve dropped the link below for the short video I made of our day out!

Items on this list are affiliate links which means if you click through to buy an item I will get a couple of pence at NO EXTRA cost to you at all.

Winter Wonderland Manchester – Eventcity

Winter Wonderland Manchester is back and we’ve been to check it out!

Manchesters biggest indoor Christmas attraction is not to be missed!

This week we kindly invited to check out this years Winter Wonderland at Eventcity, right next to the Trafford Centre.

We’ve been before so knew what to expect but this year really is bigger and better!

Legendary children’s TV show Rainbow are the star attraction of this year’s Christmas extravaganza, Winter Wonderland 2017!

 Winner of the Best Family Day Out at the Raring 2 Go Awards 2015, the festive family favourite event is back for its fifth consecutive year.

 The fabulous festive event will return to Manchester from Saturday 9th December 2017 toMonday 1st January 2018.

The mammoth 22,000sqm exhibition space at EventCity will be transformed in to an unbelievable wonderland extravaganza, featuring over 50 family rides and attractions all under one roof – including new rides for 2017, and all included in one ticket price.

When you book you’re tickets you can chose a 4 hour time slot. During that 4 hours you can ride as many rides and see as many shows as you want to. Tickets are available to buy here. But be quick, it’s a popular event and some dates may sell out so it’s advisable to book online before you travel.

winter wonderland

We had so much fun in the fours hours we were there. I lost count of the amount of rides we went on. Theres rides suitable for everyone. Theres even a baby chill out zone for those little people who just want to play with some toys.

We took little Roo who is only 10 days old and he was really good. I even saw a few friends I know who were more than happy to have cuddles with Roo!

winter wonderland

With food stalls a plenty, a visit to Father Christmas included and a whole host of fun. Winter Wonderland is once again sure to be a great day out for the whole family this Christmas. Have you been yet? If you have let me know what you thought!

With thanks to Winter Wonderland for inviting us to come and have some highly recommend festive fun!

Tatton Park Half Term Fun

This Halloween half term at Tatton Park there’s some spooky goings on. We went today to explore whats on offer. You have the rest of the half term week to enjoy the haunted happenings!

Tatton

There’s some secret haunting at the Old Hall which is open everyday from 11am-4pm (last entry 3pm). Dare you step into what is reported to be one of the most haunted buildings in the country? You can discover the paranormal activity and secret legends.

Spooky fun in the Tatton Mansion

If less haunted activities are your thing then do what we did and go play “I Spy” in the amazing mansion. I love that children are welcomed into the mansion to learn all about what life was like in the past. The trail was enjoyed by the boys and I’m pretty sure the eldest got all the questions right!

Tatton

Tatton

TattonLittle fingers are welcome to explore the interactive displays too.

You can snoop around the mysterious mansion, looking for clues to answer the questions. Follow the trail and discover the treasures of Lord Egerton. The mansion is open daily from 12pm-4pm (last entry 3pm)

Tatton

tatton

Mystery Maze at the Farm

If being outdoors is more your thing then trek on down to Tatton Park farm. Where you can follow your instincts through the mystery maze and discover surprises along the way! Or you can collect your conker from the secret tree and join in all the creepy conker fun!

tatton

Last but not least if you’re not exhausted by all the other activities then head to the Secret Garden behind the beautiful mansion. The garden is open everyday from 10am-6pm (last entry 5pm) where you can hunt out the spooks. Use your spooky skills on the secret garden trail everyday during half term Sat 21 Oct- Sun 29 Oct!

For more information check out Tatton Parks website for updates and more information.

 

Christmas at Bents just got better!

If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know that I’ve posted about Christmas at Bents previously. Not because they asked me to. Not because they even got in touch. But I posted about it because I absolutely love the place. It’s like no other garden centre I know. Still family run after all these years. With family at the heart of everything they do. I love going there for its family friendliness. The playground is fabulous for little and big ones. The toilets cater for all ages and are always clean (this is very important to me!). The variety of food on offer is just great, something for everyone. And since the expansion in recent years the children just love the toy shop. While we get to view the craft and kitchen shops. I’m always recommending it as a go to family destination, which says a lot for what started as a garden centre.

Bents is on Warrington Road in Glazebury, WA3 5NT.

bents

Bents are celebrating their 80 year anniversary this year. As ever at Bents Christmas is a fabulously big affair. People come from miles around to see the displays, room setups and decorations. You are positively encouraged to show from the displays. See something you like on displays just pick it up and buy it!

Christmas at Bents

Christmas at BentsChristmas at Bents is a grand affair – Room displays are a visual delight

 

This year however just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, they just added a whole other level of fabulousness! Bents very own Winter food market! Think Manchester Christmas market food on a small-scale. Its been constructed especially for Bents and is set within the glass house building. So if it rains, it’s no problem the roof gets closed, and you stay dry.

Christmas at Bents

We went along to the opening night and got to sample the delicious food on sale.

Christmas at Bents

In the middle of the food market is the traditional German sausage stall. With its charcoal fuelled hanging grill. Theres a choice of 3 different authentic German sausages, a premium bratwurst, a chilli bratwurst and a vegan hot dog. The bratwurst are all served in pretzel buns and you can help yourself to condiments. Even the condiments are authentic from Germany.

Vegan hot dog in a Pretzel bun with sauerkraut

Christmas at Bents

Neil tried the premium bratwurst and the boys shared one. I had the vegan version with sauerkraut. I’m not vegetarian but I’m not keen on meat so I usually go with the vegetarian choice.

Neil reports the bratwurst was delicious. To eat the we sat in a little hut. Decorated with hops and Christmas lights, I loved it!

Winter Food Market Opening Times

The food markets are open every day as follows:

Mon & Tues: 12noon to 5pm

Wed – Fri: 12noon to 8pm (Fridays they plan to have live music 6pm-8pm)

Sat: 12 noon to 5pm and Sun: 12 noon to 4pm

The other food options at a different hut are pulled pork in a pretzel bun. Alongside pulled mushroom in the same pretzel bun and a snack choice of pork scratching. We couldn’t pass on trying food from here. It smelled delicious. So after listening to the live music for a while we shared one of each choice. Neil said the pulled pork was delicious but the boys said it was a little spicy for them. I tried the pulled mushroom, my goodness it was so nice. It came with a slice of cheese and some fresh rocket. I would highly recommend this choice if you prefer a vegetarian choice.

Pulled Pork in a Pretzel bun with cheese and rocket

Christmas at Bents

There are two more food huts. The one in the middle sells pancakes, honeycomb and waffles. The last hut sells drinks.

The pancakes were a popular choice!

Christmas at Bents

The drinks menu is extensive and sells hot, cold and alcoholic choices. I was told that all the alcoholic choices, bottled bears etc are from Bents very own food hall, so if you taste something you like there’s the option to take it away with you too.

Christmas at Bents

Being pregnant and driving I couldn’t really have a drink but I did ask to have a small sample of the hot mulled wine. After all Christmas food markets aren’t authentic unless there’s a smell of mulled wine and apple toddy in the air. To me mulled wine is Christmas, so I slowly and carefully enjoyed a few tiny sips of the wine. I can tell you it was lovely. Baby is due in 5 weeks now so thankfully I’ll be able to go back for a full glass before Christmas once he’s arrived!

I’m not sure there’s much more I can say about the Winter Food Market at Bents this year. Except if it’s not on your list of festive things to do add it now! Its family friendly atmosphere, all-weather ceiling and delicious offerings are upping Bents game once again!

bents at christmas

 

 

 

 

 

Treetop Trek

Treetop Trek is now now open at Heaton Park, Manchester and we were delighted to be invited down to try it out! Well one of us was delighted.

Treetop trek

My 5 year old has been nagging me since he first saw it being built to go. I would have loved to go up and have fun but being pregnant it’s a no no for me sadly. So I recruited some lovely friends of ours who were happy to help out and give the Treetop Trek a try.

There are two types of Treetop Trek available the mini trek and the full trek. As my oldest is only 5 he couldn’t take part in the full trek as you have to be 7 or over. The mini trek takes between 1-2 hours and the full trek is longer taking 2-3 hours.

Starting at 5m high, this lower treetop adventure features 16 fun challenges, including 3 zip lines. Perfect for the younger and less confident trekkers or those with a bit less time on their hands.

The first step is to get the harnesses on and attend a brief safety demo.

treetop trek

treetop trek

Then they were off!

With both the mini trek and the full trek you are continually clipped on. There’s no need to clip and unclip at any part. The wire is continuous and so children should feel extra safe.

Getting Started

Treetop trek

The only issue our children had was getting round the trees, its quite tricky for smaller ones to get the right ‘whipping’ action with the harness to pass to the next obstacle. Staff were on hand to help but if you are the only adult with more than one child I’d recommend being in the middle of them so that you can help each one to make sure the clips get around the trees. It didn’t happen all the time but just sometimes the smaller ones struggled with it and needed a little help.

The obstacles started off at around 5m off the ground but as confidence built the platforms got higher!

The first zip wire came shortly after two obstacles and by then the nerves seem to be fading in all the children, they started to love it! As a spectator you need to wear a wristband to be able to view the start and finish of the Treetop Trek but it’s free to watch. You can view the trek from outside the spectator area but you won’t be able to see it all. The full trek goes much further into the woods and you can’t see most of that one from the spectator area.

Treetop trek

Even my friend was loving the challenge!

The obstacles vary but the children were all agreed that this one was the most nerve wracking, they all completed it though without a wobble or slip!

treetop trek

I was so jealous that I wasn’t up there with them. I love doing activities like this!

It took a little under an hour for all of them to get round the whole mini trek. Which seemed to be just the right amount of time for them not to get too tired.

Finishing the Trek

The trek finished with a zip wire to the floor. Despite all of them trying to run as they hit the ground everyone ended with a muddy bottom! That was all part of the fun though.

And the verdict….

Treetop trek

Two thumbs up from everyone and they are already talking about going again!

Booking, information and prices can be found on the Treetop Trek website. 

Big thank you to Treetop Trek for inviting us to try it out. Special thanks to my lovely friend Kristen who volunteered to everyone on!

Tree Top Nets – Heaton Park, Manchester

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!

tree top nets

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.

tree top nets

 

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!

tree top nets

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.

tree top nets

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.

tree top nets

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

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.

tree top nets

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!

geronimo 2017

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!

geronimo 2017

Geronimo 2017

geronimo 2017

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

geronimo 2017

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)

geronimo 2017

 

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…..

geronimo 2017