Tuesday 28 February 2017

An Outdoor Adventure at Greenwood Forest Park

During the February Half Term, we visited some fantastic attractions, the majority of which have been indoors, and so we were keen to get out and about, and enjoy an outdoor adventure as well. We were therefore delighted to have the opportunity to visit the wonderful Greenwood Forest Park located near Caernarfon in North Wales.

We have visited Greenwood Forest Park in the past, approximately 3-4 years ago, and so we were keen to see what changes had taken place and whether it was still as great as we remembered. On our last visit the children were much younger, and Riley was a baby, so the kids didn't have much recollection of their last time here, which made it all the more exciting for them.

The attraction is well signposted from the A55 expressway and easy to find. The last couple of minutes of the journey is down a country lane, but there are plenty of passing spots for when you meet oncoming traffic, so this is nothing to worry about. There are two car parks which both offer free parking, one being located across the road from the attraction which is the largest of the two, and the other one is nearer to the entrance which is where you can find disabled parking, coach parking, and some spaces for cars. Due to the attraction being quiet at the time we visited, we parked in the nearer car park with ease.

A short walk finds you at the entrance to the attraction, where there are some ticket booths to pay for entry. Admission prices vary dependent on whether it is low, mid or high season, however all prices offer extremely good value for money, as there is plenty to see and do. I would recommend checking the current season on their website, as during low season some attractions may not be available or will operate on a rotation system, and so if you want to check what is available before travelling, then their website provides you with all the information you need as well as a list of any daily events or shows that are taking place. (Please note that the park is not fully open until 18th March).

During February Half Term the admission price was £8.95 for adults and £8.65 for children aged 3-15 with under 3's entering free of charge. Although the two main attractions of the Green Dragon Rollercoaster, and the Solar Splash were closed, this still represented excellent value for money and at the same price as a cinema ticket, it is a bargain for the outdoor fun that was on offer.

Unfortunately the weather was not on our side the day that we visited, with intermittent rain that was very heavy at times, however there was still lots to do, and as we had waterproofs and wellies with us, the rain was certainly not going to stop our fun. There was a large indoor play area within the cafe, and another undercover soft play area for little ones in the playbarn by the stilt walking area, and so we utilised both these places when the rain got too heavy.

As we first started walking through the park, we spotted the tracks for the Green Dragon Rollercoaster and could see the track circle looping round above the trees. This wasn't open during our visit, however I do remember riding on this a few years ago and how much fun it was. It is a really clever design in that the rollercoaster is people powered! The track is 250 metres long and can carry 20 people between it's 5 carts, it is fast, but not too fast, so suitable for younger children too, providing that they are above 97cm in height.

The first ride we made our way to was The Great Green Run which is a fantastic 70 metre sledge run that my children absolutely loved and wanted to go on again and again. You collect the sledges at the bottom of hill and make your way up the steps to the top, where you then set off on a fast downhill journey that is full of fun. Adults can join in too, so it is great to have something that us big kids can enjoy as well! At the side of the large Great Green Run, is a much smaller one on a gentle slope for younger children. My four year old son Riley was a bit nervous at first, but once he had gone down it once, he loved it, and we returned to this part of the park several times during our day. It was also nice to see that there was ample benches for parents or guardians to sit on whilst waiting and watching their children have fun. It is always nice to have somewhere to rest your legs for a few minutes.

After the Great Green Run we made our way up to the den building area. This is a great example of traditional outdoor play as lets face it, who doesn't like making a den? There is a large range of sticks that you can get together to make your own little hut and see if you can all fit in. It is also in a sheltered area and so even though it was raining, the weather didn't affect us too much at all. Adjacent to the den building area is also a wonderful look out point, where we could see the whole of the park. I would imagine that on a clear day that this also offers some wonderful views towards Snowdonia, but sadly the cloud was not going to allow us that amazing view during our visit. Whilst at the lookout point, my children quickly noticed the extremely large play area to the left of them, and so it wasn't long before we had worked our way back down the hill and to the amazing woodland park.

The play area is constructed out of wood, and is built into the hill and woodland. As you can see from my pictures it is absolutely huge and my children were in their element. The larger play area also has a sand pit at the bottom where you can sit and play, and again there were places for parents to sit and have a rest. The play area also features some fantastic long slides, and Emma and Ben enjoyed running up and sliding back down. As it was raining at the time, the play area was really quiet, so they loved the fact that they had this huge wooden adventure zone all to themselves.

Riley was a bit overwhelmed by the size of the larger play area, and so he opted for the smaller play area that is designed for younger children. This play area was lovely and bright with seating around the side. There was a range of tunnels, slides, and climbing areas, and he absolutely loved playing hide and seek in there whilst I ran around trying to find him. His laugh kept giving away his hiding place though!

In between the two play areas is a picnic area with ample picnic benches which must be lovely in the spring and summer months to enjoy some al fresco dining. There were plenty of bins for rubbish, and also some vending machines for drinks. More and more attractions nowadays seem to be preventing customers from taking their own food with them, and so it was nice to see that this is encouraged at Greenwood Forest Park, and throughout the day we came across numerous other picnic areas. If you don't fancy a picnic though, Greenwood Forest Park have several huts around the park selling snacks and drinks during peak times, as well as an indoor dining option called the Green Oak cafe if you fancy a hot bite to eat. The cafe is open both in the main season and in the winter.

As it got nearer to lunch time we experienced some really heavy rain, the kind that is so heavy it actually hurts, and so we moved indoors to the indoor soft play area for toddlers for Riley to play for a while, whilst Emma, Ben and Mr F, went and queued for the Archery which was also undercover. The Little Forest Playbarn was absolutely fantastic. It featured a wide range of soft play activities, as well as two sensory areas, a fun elephant ball machine, and a ball blower. The area was well padded and Riley enjoyed running around, collecting the balls and putting them in the elephants mouth and watching them come out the other end! He also enjoyed climbing and sliding within the play area, along with pressing all the animal sounds on one of the sensory walls. Like the earlier outdoor play area, there was a nice selection of seating as well as tables so it could also be used as an indoor picnic spot.

Once the rain had eased, we made our way up the small hill towards the Solar Splash ride. This was closed during our visit, however we had spotted it whilst in the den building area and wanted to take a closer look. It looked huge from a distance, and appearances weren't deceiving. This giant solar powered water slide looks amazing, and stands at 12 metres high and 60 metres in length. The Solar Splash features a spiral tube chute, along with two wave chutes which all look great fun and something we will definitely be hoping to try out in the summer.

Whilst I was admiring the Solar Splash, Emma and Ben decided to climb the Wild Web which is located just beside it. This is a 6 metre tall rope pyramid, which provides the challenge of being able to tackle the web and climb to the top. Both Emma and Ben managed to climb to the top of this relatively easily, however the biggest struggle was getting back down, which took them much longer, and was more of a challenge. They both really enjoyed this and ended up turning it into a race to get to the top and down again.

We then followed the walkway to Rabbit Village, where there were some gorgeous rabbits, all in large sheltered enclosures. They were all so beautiful and at 2:30pm every day you can have the chance to meet them and get up close with these lovely animals. Opposite Rabbit Village there was also a large aviary, that was home to some chirpy colourful budgies!

As it had began to rain heavy (again) we made our way back to the cafe, and decided to have a hot drink whilst waiting for the rain to pass. The cafe area is also home to a large indoor play area suitable for older children, and a smaller area for the younger children, enabling parents to relax with a drink, whilst knowing the children can play safe nearby. We had hot chocolates and cappuchinos which were both delicious, and the service was great. We opted to sit in the quieter conservatory area so that we could look outside, and we found this area to be very clean and comfortable. A member of staff regularly came round to check for any tables that needed clearing and so it was nice to see that this was kept on top of.

Luckily the heavy rain soon stopped, and the remainder of our day at Greenwood stayed dry. After we had finished our drinks and the children had enjoyed the soft play area, we made our way back past the Rabbit Village towards the Jungle Boats. This was lots of fun, and involved working together to make our way around the river using the over hanging ropes and one oar. We struggled at the beginning to get the hang of using the oar, as my daughter wasn't quite sure what to do, but it wasn't long before we were on our way and making our way through the Jungle forest. This is a great activity to do as a family and encourages you to work as a team to make your way around without getting stuck!

Next up was the Moon Karts, which are pedal powered karts that you can steer round the track. I loved the fact that some of these were two seaters, as it meant that Emma was able to ride round with Riley, who wouldn't have been able to have managed it on his own. The seats are adjustable and adults are welcome to ride on them too. It was funny watching everyone speed down the down hill part, to then realise that they then had to pedal back up on the opposite side. Certainly a great form of exercise!

Located near to the Moon Karts is the Barefoot Trail. Here you can remove your shoes and socks and experience walking barefoot over different terrains such as sand, straw and water. Don't worry about getting your feet dirty though, as taps are provided to give them a clean afterwards, so you can kick off your shoes and enjoy a fun sensory experience. Whilst your shoes are off (and once you've cleaned your feet of course) you can also head over to the Giant Jumper which is basically a huge bouncing pillow that you can jump up and down on. Due to the rain, this would have been extremely slippy, and so it was closed during our visit, but it looks great fun, and is something we will try on our next visit.

Once the children had ridden on the moon karts again, Riley wanted to return to the Play Barn area, as he had previously spotted some tractors located outside it. This is an extra payable ride as it is coin operated, but at only £1 it certainly doesn't break the bank, and lasts quite a while. Riley really enjoyed navigating himself around the other vehicles and the trees, and I was proud of how well he actually did. He certainly got the hang of it pretty quickly.

As you can see in the background, there was another large undercover picnic area here, and we were very impressed by just how much seating and picnic benches there were around the park. Whilst Riley had another go on the tractors, Emma gave stilt walking a go. She was a little unsteady at first, but stuck at it, and eventually managed to balance well enough to walk on them. I really liked the fact that in each area, there seemed to be something for all age groups, so instead of any children getting bored waiting for their siblings or friends, there is always something else to do nearby. Greenwood Forest Park have clearly put a lot of thought into the layout of the park, and I personally feels that this works really well.

After a bit more puddle jumping, Riley decided that he would like to have a go at archery, like Emma and Ben had done earlier. I thought that he may have been too young, but the friendly staff member working on the archery range, said that he could have a go with his assistance. Of course with the young man helping, Riley managed to fire a bow and hit the target, which gave him a huge confidence boost and made him feel very proud of himself. I was pleased that despite there being other people waiting in the queue, the employee took the time to help Riley and didn't rush him at all. It was also nice when everyone in the queue also joined in and cheered when he hit the target.

Emma on the other hand, has tried archery several times previously, so was quite happy to give it a go without any assistance, and did really well.

Just before we were about to leave, I remembered about a post on Twitter I had seen regarding a magic chair. I hadn't seen this on my way around the park, so we quickly pulled out our pocket size map and found where it was located. I am so pleased we did, as we had so much fun taking our photos and had a really good giggle. I had spent a bit of time trying to figure out how it is done and so I was amazed when I saw it and actually realised how easy it is. ( I won't spoil the secret of how you do it!) It really is a great optical illusion and there are no computers, or photo editing involved.

Prior to leaving we visited the shop, as the children had some pocket money left over from the weekend to spend, and I was very surprised to find such a wide range of pocket money priced items. The shop was full of items, gifts and toys to suit all budgets, and you can also find a cash machine in here too that offers free withdrawals which is always handy.

Overall, we had an absolutely fantastic time, and if you are looking for an outdoor adventure packed with lots of fun, then I literally cannot recommend this place highly enough. We had a brilliant time on what was a wet and rainy day, and so I cannot wait to see how much fun we have when we return in the summer. The entry prices offer excellent value for money, and there is something for everyone on the park, including adults, so there will definitely be no boredom setting in here. During peak season there are also a variety of shows on during the day featuring entertainers, clowns and magicians, so even if you don't fancy joining in on the adventurous side of things, there will still be something to keep you entertained. We will definitely be returning!

This attraction fully reopens on the 18th March so to keep up to date with the latest news, events or to obtain further information, please visit their website here: Greenwood Forest Park

Disclaimer: We were provided with complimentary admission for the purpose of providing an honest and impartial review. All opinions and photographs are my own. Entry prices and opening times when mentioned are correct at time of writing. These may be subject to change so would always recommend visiting the attraction's website prior to visiting.

Saturday 25 February 2017

Our Visit to Manchester Sea Life

As a family, we love being able to enjoy fun days out together, but isn't it great when you come across an attraction that isn't only fun, but also educational too?

In our previous post, we wrote about our recent visit to the Legoland Discovery Centre, and situated just next door to there, is the wonderful Manchester Sea Life, which you can visit on its own, or for added value you can buy a combined ticket to both attractions.

On arrival we joined a short queue which was for customers who were pass holders or who had pre booked tickets. There was another queue for guests wishing to pay to visit on arrival, and this was also short at the time of our visit which was just after 1pm on Monday. A member of staff spoke to each customer waiting to make sure that they were in the right queue, and to also make sure that any customer queries could be answered straight away prior to getting to the ticket desk. I think that this is a great idea as it prevents any hold ups being caused in the queue and keeps things moving quickly.

Once we had our tickets we made our way towards the entrance and had our photograph taken together before waiting to begin our Sea Life adventure. The start of the Sea Life experience begins with a short educational talk, which helps to stagger entry into the attraction and make sure that it is not too busy inside. We have visited several Sea Life attractions both in the UK and in the USA, however the beginning of this particular one is my personal favourite.

We entered into a large room with a staff member and stood behind some barriers, the lights then dimmed and we were taken on a beautiful mini adventure to Turtle Beach, which taught us all about sea turtles. With the help of some clever lighting trickery the talk became quite magical and my youngest son Riley found it fascinating. I was very pleased to see that the talk appealed to the younger ages as it can often be hard to maintain Riley's attention with lengthy talks, but the visuals made it a lot more interesting for him. We were also told about the resident Sea Life turtle Ernie and Riley couldn't wait to try and spot him inside. After five minutes we were able to enter the main part of the attraction and were ready to see thousands of wonderful and amazing creatures.

Our journey began in the Shoaling Ring where we became surrounded by beautiful fish circling around us before moving on to the Rocky Hideout. This area was one of my children's favourite areas of the attraction, as there was so many wonderful creatures to spot and learn about, and children were able to climb through tunnels, enter small caves, and stand under glass bubbles within the tanks so it felt like they were underwater with the fish. This made the hideout area feel quite interactive and Riley enjoyed trying to find new places to seek out some fish and other underwater creatures.

We then made our way to the Jellyfish Seas where there was a lovely large window to view the amazing jellyfish. There were a number of coloured buttons to the left which allowed you to change the colour of the mesmerising display tank. This really made the them look stunning and you could see their every detail.

Next up was the Shark Shipwreck, which featured a whole host of wonderful fish. The appearance of some were literally amazing, and despite visiting other Sea Life centres in the past, I definitely saw some creatures that I had never seen before. As we made our way out of the Shark Shipwreck area, we entered the amazing Underwater Ocean Tunnel, where my children were very quick to spot the beautiful Sea Turtle Ernie. He swam so gracefully through the water and I literally could have stood there and watched him for ages. Before long the children became distracted from Ernie though, as they spotted a large shark swimming above and became very excited at being only inches away.

Our underwater adventure continued into Turtle World, where we saw some beautiful turtles swimming amongst the water and climbing on the rocks. Tyler the Talking Turtle provides you with interesting facts and information and there is the opportunity to get hands on in the interactive zones. We were very impressed with how well cared for the turtles looked, with all tanks being really clean and there being ample space for the creatures.

The Tropical Ocean area that followed was beautiful with an array of hundreds of colourful ocean fish swimming effortlessly through the water. You could even catch a glimpse of some sharks and rays, and at certain times, you can even spot some of the Sea Life divers or SeaTREK experience guests exploring the underwater world.

My son Ben, really enjoyed the Stingray Bay area as he loved to watch the rays swim swiftly through the tank, with what looked like beaming smiles on their faces. All my children enjoyed reading the fun facts that were located around the whole attraction and learnt lots of new information, that my daughter in particular can't wait to tell her friends.

We also came across an added piece of fun that we weren't expecting in the form of a soft play area. This wasn't huge, but really that was ideal, as it meant that you could see your child easily and there was no worry about you losing sight of them. It was busy, but we noticed that some children didn't stop here for long and so it wasn't as busy as the main attraction and it was a nice place to stop for 15 minutes to have a little rest whilst our kids had a play.

Once they had burnt off a lot of energy we spent some time in the Rockpools area where you were able to get up close to some beautiful sea life and even touch some of the creatures. Experts were on hand to supervise, and answer any questions and my children enjoyed learning about the creatures habitat and being able to touch a starfish.

Overall, we had a lovely experience at Manchester Sea Life. The staff members we met were all friendly and knowledgeable and they were able to answer any questions that my children had. The walkways in between each area can get busy, and so I would imagine it could be quite hectic if school or group visits are taking place, so it may be best to call ahead and check if any are booked in before visiting, as this may impact your visit.

The displays are all wonderful, and all the creatures look very well cared for within the tanks. The addition of informative facts around the attraction make it a fun place to learn, and the interactive areas make it exciting and interesting for children. In total we spent around 2 hours here, but combined with the Legoland Discovery Centre next door it can be a full day out to enjoy as a family. The introduction to the attraction here is my favourite of any other Sea Life attraction we have been too, and it also made my children eager to get inside and try and spot their resident turtle Ernie.

Tickets are available online here and cost £15 for an adult entry, and £11 for a child aged 3-17. Under 3's are admitted free of charge.

For extra value, you can also buy combination tickets which combine your trip to Manchester Sea Life with a trip to the Legoland Discovery Centre, so you can enjoy both attractions on the same day. However should you run out of time the Legoland Discovery Centre entry is valid for 90 days from the date of purchase meaning you can come back at a more convenient time if need be. These tickets cost £25 for an adult and £16 for a child aged 3-17 when purchased online. Under 3's are admitted free of charge.

You can also purchase tickets on arrival at the attraction, however these will be at a slightly higher price than the saver option online.

Disclaimer: We were provided with complimentary admission to the attraction for the purpose of providing an honest and impartial review. All opinions and photographs are my own. Ticket prices and opening time when stated, were correct at time of writing. 

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Our Visit to the Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester

With the Christmas holidays now being a distant memory, we have been counting down the days to February half term so that we could spend some quality time together as a family. My husband works in a school in England, and our children attend a school in Wales and so a lot of the holidays unfortunately don't match up this year, so we have been really looking forward to getting out and about and finding some fun new things to do!

Despite only living 45 minutes away from Manchester, somehow we have never got round to visiting the Legoland Discovery Centre. We frequent the Trafford Centre quite regularly and have often seen it advertised but for some reason we have never quite made it through the doors to experience what it has to offer. I was therefore really excited to be invited along on Monday as a family to discover what it was all about, and my youngest son Riley was absolutely ecstatic to discover that someone else very special would be there that day too - Lego Batman!

We began our journey at 9am on the Monday morning, stopping for a cooked breakfast at a restaurant on the way. I often do this when heading out for the day, as it keeps the kids full and prevents those recurring questions and comments of "I'm hungry" and "When are we going to get something to eat?"echoing through my ears every few minutes as they take it in turn one by one to ask the same questions throughout the morning. We therefore arrived at The Trafford Centre at around 10:40am and parked in the Barton Square car park which is the nearest car park to both the Legoland Discovery Centre and Sea Life.

Riley became really excited as we made our way from the car park to the attraction, with him noticing a huge window display on the outside of the building. We knew that it would be a popular place however we were shocked to see the size of the queue when we first arrived. Therefore if you are not a fan of queues then I would recommend either getting there just before opening time so you are near the front, or making your way there later in the afternoon. You can also pre book your tickets online if you want to be sure of securing a specific time slot for entry. One piece of advice I would give is wrap up warm and take a brolly, as the queue is outside so it may get a little cold or wet.

Once inside my children declared that they were in Lego Paradise. We have visited Legoland Windsor before and knew that this would not be on the same scale, but my children were in their element right from the very beginning.

On entry to the attraction we were asked to sit down whilst a photographer took our picture against a green screen. We always have these photos done at attractions, sometimes I buy them and sometimes I don't, but I always have the photo taken just on the off chance that they somehow manage to capture a beautiful family photo where all three children are smiling and facing the camera at the same time, as believe me this is quite a challenge! We were asked to smile and pose in several ways so that the picture would fit the image that was later applied to the background. After our picture had been taken, we were given a ticket so that we could view our photograph at the end.

We then made our way up in the lift which took us to the entrance of the factory tour, where we were introduced to the Professor. He provided us with a short interactive demonstration of how lego bricks are created and invited the children to get involved in the process. There was lots of jumping and button pushing to get the machinery going and the children were rewarded for their help with an individual brick each.

As we then entered the main attraction area, we came across our first ride which was the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride. We were all able to fit in the one car which was great as we are so used to having to split up into separate seats on these kinds of rides so it was nice to be able to enjoy it all together and compete against one another in getting the highest score. We all really enjoyed this ride and there was no queue at all, we simply walked straight on, and were made to feel really welcome by the lovely gentleman running the ride. Riley who is 4 was able to hold his laser shooter with ease and was happy that it went at a gentle speed so he wasn't scared at all.

After the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride we carried on our adventure into Miniland, that featured a whole host of recognisable landmarks and structures all made out of Lego. I loved the Blackpool Tower display especially when the main lights dimmed and the tower then all lit up, it looked spectacular. There was even a mini Coronation Street!

Although I could have spent a fair amount of time wandering around the Miniworld area, the kids were keen to try out some more of the rides and so the next stop was the Lego City Forest Pursuit Ride where children can drive around in Lego police cars. Children need to be a minimum of 4 years of age to ride on this, and my son was so happy to be both old and tall enough to go for a drive. Unfortunately he wasn't the best at steering, but one of the staff members helped him round and made sure he had no bumps.

The vehicles are a great little design and look just like the Lego police cars you can build in the Lego City sets. They are operated by a one pedal system so it is easy for children to understand how to use it, and they simply need to keep their foot on the pedal whilst driving and steering around the course.

 The course is in a simple oval shape so there is nothing too complicated to try and manoeuvre around, and they are speed limited so there is no need to worry about anyone going too fast.

Next to the Lego City Forest Pursuit area was the Lego Racers Build and Test Area where this fabulous racing car was also located. The racing car looks fantastic and is big enough for children to sit in to pose for a picture, or pretend that they are speeding round a race track. The build and test area allows you to use your imagination to build a racing car creation that you can race down the speed test track.

After the fun and excitement of the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride, and the Lego City Forest Pursuit, Riley decided he wanted to rest and sit in one of the many lego pits that were full to the brim of lego to build and you could make anything you could think of. I genuinely believe that Riley could have sat here for hours, and he began to make a house on one of the built in boards around the edge.

Next up was the Merlin's Apprentice Ride. On this you have to pedal fast as you go round and round, which helps to raise your vehicle to the skies, so that you can help Merlin with his magic. Riley loves rides that go up and down, especially as he knows that I am not a big fan of heights, and so he often finds this hilarious. Emma and Ben also equally enjoyed this ride though, and thought that having to pedal was a fun feature.

After we had been on Merlin's Apprentice ride, it was the moment that Riley had been excitedly waiting for. It was time to meet..........Lego Batman!

Riley absolutely loves Lego Batman at the moment, and has been collecting the mini figures in the blind bags with his pocket money. He waited patiently in the short queue and when the moment arrived he ran straight to Lego Batman and gave him a huge hug. That moment alone literally made my day, as he was just so so happy. All my children then posed for a picture which we were able to take ourselves and Riley then gave Lego Batman a further big cuddle before heading back to play with the Lego again. 

The costume was fantastic, and Riley is now insistent on me either buying or creating the very same costume for him to wear to school!

After another play in the Lego we visited the 4D cinema and watched a great short film that followed Emmet, Wyldstyle, Unikitty, Metalbeard and Benny on an adventure in a strange theme park that is actually part of an evil secret plot. The 4D film features some great effects, however we had squeezed into the last 5 seats that were together on the back row, and so we didn't feel the full effects of some of these. If you want to get the full effect then I would recommend sitting in the first couple of rows, however you get a good 4D view from wherever you are sat, and my children were more than happy with this. I kept watching Riley trying to reach out for objects that came out of the screen, and when asked what he thought of it after the show, he described it as being magic!

The 4D films run regularly throughout the day, so if you miss one showing, don't worry, just enjoy one of the many other activities and keep an eye on the countdown board which will tell you when the next show starts.

After the show, Riley had become thirsty and so I purchased a Capri Sun juice drink from the cafe for him which cost £1.40. There was also a range of sandwiches, snacks, fruit and cakes available if you were feeling hungry, and there was a meal deal available for £5. Even though I was only purchasing a drink, the lady on the till was so friendly and took the time to ask my son whether he had enjoyed his day so far, and asked what is favourite part had been. It is so easy to take the time to be friendly and polite to customers, but it is something that many people forget to do, but not in the Legoland Discovery Centre! Every single member of staff we spoke to came across as really friendly and enthusiastic, and I think that this always helps to improve the experience for guests. At one point I asked a staff member for directions to the toilets, and rather than just tell me, she said "Come with me, I will show you the way". Again this may seem like a little thing, but I appreciate the fact that she took the time to help out.

At present, some of the attractions are currently closed, but if you visit during this time then you will receive a ticket to return once the work has been completed which seems very reasonable as there is still plenty to do in my opinion. The area where work is taking place is all boarded off, and pictures have been placed up on the boards to try and divert you from the fact that work is taking place. The pictures are really cool and based on the Lego Batman characters which look like they have been spray painted onto the wall. 

After nearly two and half hours here, we decided to make our way out, stopping by Miniland again on the way to take a look at some of the amazing creations once more. Whilst leaving we came across a fun spy activity where you had to try and pass through laser beams, Riley was a pro at this, as he was able to pretty much fit under the lowest one and so simply crawled under on his belly. This made him feel like he was capable of being Batman's sidekick and was really pleased to have managed the task! 

There was also a fantastic batman themed mural board where you could add lego to the design. This looked fabulous, and I wish I could get something like this for Riley's bedroom.

Like most attractions nowadays, the exit is via the shop, which has a huge range of lego available to purchase. I always set my children a limit before we visit anywhere, so that they know exactly how much to spend and saves any awkward demands for money at the end of a trip. They each purchased a small memento, and Riley also bought a Lego Batman minifigure blind bag to add to his ever expanding collection.

Overall we had an absolutely fantastic morning at the Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester, and seeing Riley's face when he met Lego Batman was amazing, and has definitely created a lovely family memory for us. In total we were in the attraction for nearly 3 hours, however had we not been limited on time that day, we could have quite happily stayed another couple of hours. I feel that the staff are a credit to the attraction, and were more than happy to help customers and always with a smile. The facilities were all clean and tidy, and I regularly saw staff walking round checking all the lego building areas and tidying up any bricks that had fallen on the floor. We visited the Legoland Discovery Centre, not quite sure what to expect, and came away with some fantastic family memories. We can't wait to return when the other attractions reopen, and I would definitely recommend to others.

Tickets are available online here and cost £15 for an adult entry, and £11 for a child aged 3-17. Under 3's are admitted free of charge. Adults are not permitted to enter the attraction without being accompanied by a child under the age of 17, however the attraction does run Adult only evenings on certain dates to cater for their older Lego loving guests too. Tickets are also available on arrival at the attraction, however these cost slightly more than the online saver rate, and are subject to availability.

For extra value, you can also buy combination tickets which combine your trip to the Legoland Discovery Centre with a trip to Sea Life Manchester, so you can enjoy both attractions on the same day. However should you run out of time the Sea Life entry is valid for 90 days from the date of purchase meaning you can come back at a more convenient time if need be. These tickets cost £25 for an adult and £16 for a child aged 3-17. Under 3's are admitted free of charge.

If you would like to learn more about the Legoland Discovery Centre then please visit their website which can be found here: Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester

Disclaimer: We were provided with a complimentary family admission for the purpose of providing an honest review of our experience. We hope to return when the refurbishments have taken place and will update the blog post accordingly with the other available attractions at the point. All opinions and photos are my own. Any entry prices, opening times, or attractions stated are correct at time of writing.