Showing posts with label Family attraction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family attraction. Show all posts

Monday, 1 October 2018

Winter Wonderland at St Luke's "Bombed-Out" Church, Liverpool 1st to 23rd December 2018 - Competition!

One of Liverpool's most iconic landmarks will be transformed into a magical, immersive, Christmas attraction for 2018.

St Luke's "Bombed-Out" Church, situated at the top of Bold Street, will be turned into a Winter Wonderland for almost four weeks this festive season and is set to become the 'must-visit' Christmas Grotto experience of the year in Liverpool.

Set against beautiful and atmospheric festive backdrops and with lots to explore, families will be escorted by an elf and immersed into their very own Christmas spectacular full of festive characters, workshops and fun activities.

Winter Wonderland at St Luke's "Bombed-Out" Church will take place between Saturday 1st December and Sunday 23rd December 2018, with sessions available to pre-book now.

Fondly known as the 'Bombed-Out' Church, St Luke's is one of Liverpool's best loved heritage sites. The festive attraction will transform St Luke's and its grounds in a way which has never been seen before. The interior of St Luke's will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland, where families can make their way through a whole host of activities which includes a special appointment with Santa during the experience.

Two-hour timeslots are available to book in advance and the Winter Wonderland ticket price includes Santa's Workshop where youngsters can make their own bauble or Christmas Card to take home; art sessions at Mrs Claus's Art Studio; build and dress up a snowbuddy in hats and scarves in the Snowland; storytelling in Storyland with characters; show off fun dance moves in the Silent Disco; and not forgetting a trip into Santa's Grotto with a gift and framed photograph with Santa to take home. Adults are also treated to a hot drink and mince pie.

Ms Christmas from Enchanted Productions said: "We are so excited to be bringing to Liverpool a brand-new, top-quality immersive Grotto experience that hasn't been seen before, and in such an iconic and historic location! It is going to be a really magical and unique attraction for the festive season, for the whole family to enjoy."

For further information, you can visit their social media channels which are:

Facebook - StLukesConservationTrust
Twitter - @bombedoutchurch

Listing Details

Event - Winter Wonderland at St Luke's "Bombed Out" Church
Dates - Saturday 1st December to Sunday 23rd December 2018
Tickets - Children £18.99 / Adults £12.99 / Family Ticket (2 adults, 2 children) £59.99
Early Bird Ticket Offer - Quote SANTA1 when booking for a 20% discount for the first two weeks on-sale. This will be valid for sessions booked for the first two weeks of December only (excluding weekends).
Booking - Bookings can be made online at www.ticketquarter.co.uk, by telephone on 0844 8000 410 or in person at the Liverpool Echo Arena Box Office - Kings Dock.

Photo credit: David Munn 

Competition

We also have a fantastic competition for our readers, offering you the chance to win a family ticket to Winter Wonderland at St Luke's "Bombed-Out" Church in Liverpool for either the 3rd, 4th or 5th of December 2018. Please read through the terms and conditions and then enter using the gleam app below. Good Luck!

Win a Family Ticket to Winter Wonderland at St Luke's "Bombed Out" Church, Liverpool

Terms and Conditions

  • There is 1 (one) prize of a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) to attend the St Luke's "Bombed-Out" Church Winter Wonderland Grotto, for either the 3rd, 4th or 5th December 2018. Prize can be used on 1 (one) of these dates only and tickets are not transferable to an alternative date.
  • Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 years or over.
  • Competition closes on the 31st October 2018.
  • Winner will be drawn and notified within 3 working days of the closing date.
  • The winner shall have 7 (seven) days to respond to the winning notification and confirm their acceptance of the prize. Should the winner fail to respond, then an alternative winner shall be drawn from the remaining eligible entrants.
  • No bulk or third party entries.
  • Winner's details shall be shared with the promoter for the purpose of prize fulfilment and permission shall be obtained from the winner prior to doing so.
  • The family ticket is not transferable
  • If circumstances arise that prevent the event from going ahead as planned, then It's A Family Adventure accepts no liability and no alternative prize will be offered.
  • Entries shall be validated to confirm that the entry action has been completed as stated. Incorrect or invalid entries shall be removed.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Our Summer Adventure at Bristol Zoo Gardens - A Review

Last year we visited the fabulous Bristol Zoo Gardens over the October Half Term period and had the opportunity to not only see some incredible animals, but also got to join in with some fun Halloween activities. As a result it was high on our list of places to return to over the summer, so that we could enjoy the zoo and it's wonderful surroundings in the heat of the hot summer sunshine.

As we arrived at the zoo, we immediately noticed that it was much busier than our last visit. There were several coaches dropping off guests by the main entrance and the car park was completely full. Luckily we managed to find some parking down a nearby side street, though I was slightly worried that it would be incredibly busy inside and whether this may affect our day. I am pleased to say that we had an amazing day out and the increase in visitors did not have any impact on our day at all. If anything it was great to see so many people out and about enjoying themselves ranging from couples and families, to school groups and youth clubs. The weather was in our favour and this meant that guests were able to utilise the large open grass areas and enjoy picnics or treats from the operating food outlets. As a result we found that the attraction didn't seem crowded at all and my initial concerns were quickly forgotten.

As we entered the zoo, my children began to remember the layout of the zoo and where some of their favourite animals were located. Riley immediately ran over to the flamingos, which are situated opposite the entrance, whilst Ben and Emma took a left turn and headed straight for the lions with their dad.

The lion enclosure is fronted by large glass panels, which means that you can see these beautiful creatures really up close. At one point one of the lions was stood right by us and we could see every detail on its stunning face. My children found this fascinating and could have literally stood there for hours admiring them. My daughter took a wonderful photo during our previous visit, which shows just how close you are!


As we made our way along the path, the full beauty of the landscaped gardens became apparent. The pathways looked wonderful on our previous visit during the Autumn, but seeing all the flowers in bloom in the summer was absolutely stunning. Benches were ideally situated all along the walkway, so it was also the ideal place to just have a sit down and relax. The gardens are clearly extremely well cared for and appeared immaculately maintained.


The children then made a bee-line for the Twilight World, which is home to some fascinating nocturnal animals. It is very dark in here, so my youngest son Riley did get a little scared, but with a bit of guidance he was able to make his way around and spot some interesting creatures. However, he absolutely loved the area at the end, which has been recreated into a kitchen area. At first glance you may think, why is there suddenly a mini replica of the inside of a house, but on closer inspection, all is revealed. Riley began peering into the cupboard doors and noticed some small furry animals scurrying around in between the grocery boxes.......Mice!

The reptile house was up next and my children were excited to see the lizards. Riley remembered that we had seen some brightly coloured frogs on our previous visit and he was looking forward to spotting them again. All my children enjoyed learning more about the reptiles, by reading the information signs by each animal. This helps to make the visit to the zoo very educational and it was very interesting finding out some new facts.


As we exited the reptile house, we could all smell some of the fantastic food being cooked on the outdoor barbecue, so we took this as our call to have a sit down and enjoy a bite to eat. There is a large grass area where families can sit and children can play. We also found some benches around the outside of the area, so we chose to take a seat on these and enjoy our freshly cooked burgers and hotdogs, which were delicious.

One of our favourite areas on our last visit, was the lemur enclosure, so once we had finished our lunch we made our way over to the entrance. It was a hive of activity in here with lemurs circling around above us and jumping from tree to tree. The opportunity to get so close to them is incredible and they didn't seem nervous at all about having guests.

As we left the lemurs we checked the time and realised that if we were quick, we would just make the Gorilla talk and feed session over on Gorilla Island. Their size and beauty is just astonishing and they are an incredible animal to watch and learn about. The talk was really informative and Riley thought it was hilarious how the gorilla's could catch their food with their hands, when it was thrown to them. We learnt all about their diet and how they behave in the wild, which we all found really interesting. We spent a further half an hour on Gorilla Island before visiting some of the other monkeys and watching them play, swing and climb in their enclosures.


The Butterfly Forest offered yet another area of amazement and delight as stunning butterflies flew around us and in an out of the trees. My children enjoyed trying to spot as many different species as possible and Riley was fascinated by the cocoons and learning how butterflies develop. A lovely lady who was there also provided Riley with some information and pointed out things to him through the viewing window. He was mesmerised!

Overall we had a wonderful time at Bristol Zoo Gardens which echoed our previous experience. It was lovely visiting in the summer as it was beautiful being able to see all the gardens in bloom and enjoy the outdoor facilities. It was also delightful to walk around in the sunshine and enjoy an ice cream whilst appreciating the surroundings. We found the talks and information boards really helpful and it was nice to be able to provide the children with not only a fun experience, but also an educational one too. We believe this to be an excellent all year round place to visit and would definitely recommend to others.


Attraction Details

Address: Bristol Zoo Gardens, Clifton, Bristol, BS83HA
Website: www.bristolzoo.org.uk
Opening times: 9am til 5pm, 364 days a year.
Ticket Prices: Tickets can be purchased both online or on the gate. Prices vary, so please visit the Bristol Zoo website to obtain the most up to date details here: Ticket Information


Disclaimer: We were provided with complimentary admission for the purpose of providing an honest review of our experience. Opinions and photographs are my own, unless stated otherwise.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Our Summer Holiday Visit to Puxton Park, Somerset - A Review

One of our favourite places to visit in Somerset is the wonderful Puxton Park. We have been fortunate enough to have visited this family friendly attraction twice previously, however these visits have always been in the Autumn months and so my children were eager to return in the Summer sunshine.

Since our last visit there have also been a number of new additions to the park which include a High Ropes Course and a Wallace & Gromit sculpture installation. The Puxton High Ropes course was new for the Spring 2018 season and offers a 20ft high, thrilling challenge that both children and adults can enjoy.

As mentioned in my previous reviews, Puxton Park is described as "The Ultimate Fun-Filled Experience for the Whole Family" and they're not wrong. With activities to entertain all ages, the Puxton Park attraction has clearly taken careful consideration into what families look for in a day out and have worked hard to provide an enjoyable experience for everyone.

It is easily accessible from junction 21 of the M5 and well signposted from the motorway. There is also a large sign located at the main entrance which makes the attraction easy to spot whilst driving. We made our way along the driveway to the car park and my children began to get very excited as they remembered all the activities that were available.

As we approached the main reception area we saw this wonderful statue, that had been sponsored by Puxton Park for the 2018 Gromit Unleashed 2 Arts Trail. The purpose of the sculpture was to raise money for Bristol Children's Hospital and the Special Care Baby Unit at St Michael's Hospital.

It was great to see Puxton Park supporting such a worthy cause and my children thought that the Merry-Go Gromit was superb!


We had arrived shortly after opening time and it was a beautiful sunny day, so my children asked if we could head straight over to the Bumper Boats to beat the queue. This activity is great fun and allows you to travel around a water filled pool, in a circular bumper boat, with a water gun located on the front. This means that you can fire water at other guests, which everyone seemed to find hilarious! Emma and Ben enjoyed shooting the water at one another and came off the ride absolutely soaked. Fortunately the sunny weather soon dried them off and they spent half an hour on the nearby park before we made our way towards the High Ropes course.


We had visited Puxton Park expecting to pay at least another £5 each in order to enjoy the high ropes course, so we were extremely surprised to learn that this was INCLUDED in the entry price. We couldn't quite believe that there was no additional charge, considering that there must have been quite a large investment required to create such an exciting facility. Safety harnesses are provided and fitted by staff and you are shown how to use the equipment prior to accessing the course.


For safety reasons you must be wearing fully enclosed shoes, so this is something that you need to bear in mind before visiting and in order to avoid any disappointment. Unfortunately guests wearing crocs, flip flops, open toe shoes or similar will not be allowed to participate, so make sure you are dressed appropriately before attending.

The Puxton High Ropes course has been described as being one of the most exciting and challenging courses in the West of England, so we couldn't wait to put it to the test. Standing at over 25 feet tall, it features a wide range of fun and challenging elements including a rolling log, wave tunnel and walk the plank, that will certainly put your nerves to the test as you step out over the miniature railway track.

You need to measure above 1 metre in height to participate, but for toddlers or children under this height, there is the great addition of a Sky Tykes Junior ropes course. This is designed for children aged two to seven and is a miniature ropes course packed full of fun, to ensure that even the youngest of guests can enjoy the activity too. We thought this was a wonderful idea and felt that both courses were well constructed and felt really safe.


Like our previous visits, my parents had come along with us for the day and they have always commended the parks layout as being very disabled friendly with easy access to the majority of the site. My dad walks with the aid of the stick so uneven surfaces can prove tricky for him at times, however the paths around the park are smooth and level with plenty of benches available to have a rest if needed. There was some seating nearby the high ropes so they sat and enjoyed some drinks together whilst we climbed high on this new thrill-seeking activity.

My son Ben usually has a fear of heights, but after watching Emma, he plucked up the courage to give it a go and attempted all elements of the course apart from the rolling log. Admittedly none of us quite managed that one!


After the excitement of the high ropes, we had worked up a bit of an appetite. As we were visiting on a Sunday, we decided to enjoy the carvery together in the restaurant. I had booked a table a couple of days earlier and so we made our way over at lunchtime. The food was absolutely delicious and really well priced too. We all enjoyed our meals including the children, with two out of three managing to clear their plates completely! It was certainly one of the nicest Sunday Lunches that we have had in a while.

Once we had let our lunch settle, the children wanted to try Water Zorbing. Again this was included in the price, which makes the entry cost seem such excellent value for money, given the amount of activities you can participate in. We have visited other attractions before where you have had to pay £5 each to enjoy something like this, so again we were shocked at no additional payment being required.

Both Emma and Ben had a few minutes each inside the balls and certainly burnt off a lot of energy, trying to stay upright!


The remainder of our day was spent enjoying some of the children's favourite activities from our previous visits. Riley has always loved the Puxton Miniature Railway and also likes seeing all the farm animals in the barn. Ben and Emma on the other hand absolutely love the indoor play area and could literally spend hours going down the drop slides. They are definitely braver than me!

Overall we had a wonderful visit to Puxton Park and it has firmly become one of our favourite family friendly attractions in the UK. There is something for everyone to enjoy and I believe that the entry price offers superb value for money. The Puxton High Ropes course is a superb addition to the site and it is great to see that investments are being made that enhance the visitor experience.We will definitely be returning in the future!

Attraction Details

Puxton Park, Cowslip Lane, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset
Parking - Yes, there is plenty of free parking available.
Opening times - Daily from 9am til 5:30-pm Monday to Sunday (excl. 25th/26th December and 1st January).
Entry prices - Entrance costs vary, so please visit Ticket Prices to obtain the most up to date information.
Website - www.puxton.co.uk/
Twitter - @PuxtonPark
Facebook - Puxton Park


*Disclaimer - We received a complimentary family ticket to provide our honest opinion and review of the attraction. We purchased three additional tickets for our accompanying guests. All opinions and photographs are my own unless otherwise stated. Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing, but can be subject to change. Admission, prices and opening hours may differ from those stated. I would therefore always recommend visiting the attractions own website prior to visiting in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Dates for your Diary - The Siege of Christmas at Contact Theatre, Manchester

It is only a matter of weeks now until Christmas and there is a whole host of fun events taking place throughout December, that are sure to get you in the festive spirit.

One of those wonderful events is The Siege of Christmas, being held at Contact, from Wednesday 13th December to Wednesday 20th December 2017. Following last years sell-out production, Contact and Slung Low have once again joined forces, to present this high-octane, energetic and family friendly performance piece.

This theatrical adventure, allows you to immerse yourself in this interactive and fast-paced Christmas show. Once you are armed with your individual headphones, instructions and clues will be provided as the action kicks off from the theatre's main entrance. You can join your hosts who will lead you on your way, on this festive and fun-filled assignment throughout the building's many spaces, which have been transformed into a Winter Wonderland.

Photo Credit: Joel Chester-Fildes
The show is sure to delight thrill-seekers of all ages, as well as highlight the wonderful work that Contact continues to produce with its Young Company - for many of whom this marks their first professional engagement.

So book your tickets and get ready for militant mince pies, rapping wrapping paper and other unexpected seasonal surprises. Remember.... Christmas won't be Christmas until the Siege has ended!

Alan Lane, Director at Slung Low says: "We were overwhelmed by the audience response to The Siege of Christmas and the chance to revisit it and work again with the excellent Contact Young Company is one we're really excited about."

For more information or to book tickets, please visit www.contactmcr.com

Listing Details

The Siege of Christmas

Venue: Contact, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6JA
Box Office: 0161 274 0600
Website: www.contactmcr.com
Dates: Wednesday 13th December to Wednesday 20th December
Times: 11am, 2pm & 6pm

Tickets are available priced £13, £7 for concessions and £5 for Under 10's.

Groups booking offers are also available.

Photo Credit: Joel Chester-Fildes

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Our Visit to Bristol Zoo Gardens - A Review

We actually came across Bristol Zoo Gardens by accident as we were travelling to Burnham-on-Sea during the October half term. I noticed a sign for it as we were driving along the motorway and realising that it was less than an hour away from our accommodation, I found the website online to see what the attraction had on offer.

The website was very informative and provided a really good insight into zoo life, the animals and the facilities that were available. There was plenty of information for visitors, as well as further facts about the Bristol Zoo Garden's charitable mission and conservation work.

I also learnt a little bit more about the history of the zoo and was astonished to find that it is actually the fifth oldest zoo in the world, having first opened its doors to the public, back in July 1836. Since then the zoo has helped save over 175 species from extinction both in human care and in the wild. Over 90 million guests have visited the zoo over the years which is an incredible number! Having discovered more about Bristol Zoo Gardens, I made the decision that it was somewhere we would definitely have to visit.

We were very lucky with the weather during the half term week and managed to pick a day to visit, that was abundant with sunshine. We followed the sat nav using the postcode provided, however this did take us over the Clifton Suspension bridge (toll required) and along some small roads. My parents who decided to come along with us for the day, followed the signs from the motorway instead and found it with no problems.

When we arrived at the car park, we found that the parking costs £3 or a reduced rate of £1 for Zoo members. This is cash only and is paid to an attendant on arrival, so make sure you have some change spare. It isn't a huge car park, so I would recommend arriving early during peak periods to make sure you can find a space with ease. Once you have parked up, it is then a short walk to the entrance.

Credit: Emma Foster
The main entrance was very welcoming and the staff all seemed very friendly and polite. We were asked if we would like a map and whether there was any information we required before entering. The children could see all the items available in the shop behind the main kiosk and so we had to make a promise to let them have a look around before leaving. Once we had obtained our tickets and map, we made our way out of the foyer and into the beautiful Bristol Zoo Gardens.

Although I had read all the information on the website beforehand, I was still a little unsure as to what to expect and how the layout would be. It soon became apparent that the whole zoo looped round so it was easy to visit each enclosure in order, whilst surrounded by the beautiful landscaped gardens and features. The first animals we came across were the flamingos. They all looked so elegant and perfectly still whilst resting on one leg. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to stay in this area too long as the children heard a loud roar on the opposite side of the path, so they all ran over excitedly, with us not far behind.


The lions were absolutely magnificent and it was quite breathtaking to be able to see such stunning creatures up close. I could have literally stood there for hours just watching them and they didn't seem phased at all by the public observing through the glass viewing panel. All around me I could hear the gasps of children along with shouts of "Wow" as everyone watched whilst they prowled around the enclosure. There was also an informative sign nearby, that provided plenty of information on the Asiatic Lions, which I always find interesting to read.




Next, we made our way through the Twilight World which featured a wide range of nocturnal animals. As you would expect, it was very dark inside and Grandad struggled a bit to see his way through, but managed ok with a little bit of guidance from the grandkids! On leaving the Twilight World we entered the fruit bat enclosure which then led us out to the Red Pandas. Whilst our family was busy watching the Red Panda's climb down from the tree, I took Riley over to the Carousel on the Piazza where he enjoyed a short ride. He was very excited to find a painted pebble as we made our way back to the rest of the family, especially as someone had decorated it with Peppa's teddy!



One thing that I was already impressed with, was the maintenance of the site. Everywhere was really well kept, clean and tidy. I was also pleased that there was plenty of benches scattered at regular intervals along the terrace, providing a lovely area to sit down and simply enjoy the surroundings. Grandad is disabled and so it was ideal for him to have somewhere he could sit and rest whilst the kids ran around.

Credit: Emma Foster
Our next stop was the Reptile House, where we saw some very large and fascinating creatures, including bright and colourful frogs, as well as large and scary looking snakes. My son Riley loved looking at all the reptiles, especially the lizards.

Credit: Emma Foster

Credit: Emma Foster
The exit from the Reptile House, took us to the Aquarium entrance, where we found an abundance of vibrant and lively fish. My children always enjoy looking for "Nemo's & Dory's" and so they were very happy to find a beautiful Dory near the exit.


By this point we had started to get a little thirsty so decided to purchase a drink. We made our way to The Hide Cafe Restaurant, which is a really nice dining area. On arrival you are taken to a table and provided with menus, then someone comes back to take your order. I found this to be a really lovely setting for a sit down meal, but thought it was a bit formal for just a few soft drinks and I also felt a bit awkard about taking up such a large table for just a drink. My husband then spotted a kiosk that had opened outside serving hot & cold drinks, along with some savoury snacks such as sausage rolls and pies, so we made our way over to this instead and enjoyed our drinks on one of the outdoor picnic benches instead. If we had wanted to have a meal though, then I wouldn't have hesitated to stay in The Hide Cafe Restaurant as it looked lovely, with a good selection of food available.

Credit: Emma Foster


After our drinks, we began to explore the monkey jungle and our favourite part of the zoo, which was the Lemur enclosure. We were fascinated watching the lemurs run around us and there were staff on hand to answer the hundreds of questions that the kids kept firing at them. It was amazing to witness them running around our feet and then swinging and chasing one another through the trees.



My children stopped to take a look at the map and saw that we were by Gorilla Island. We were just in time for the Gorilla talk and feed, so we hurried over to find out more about these incredible animals. We were astonished by just how big they were and Riley was convinced that the one in the picture below was actually a statue, until he put his hand in the air to catch a lettuce that had been thrown over.



Their size and physique was incredible and it was really interesting to hear about the diet the Gorilla's eat. We had seen a large board at the entrance to Gorilla Island that details Jock's daily menu and we had intially thought this was a joke!


In addition to the Gorilla talk, the map detailed numerous other talk and feeding sessions ranging from Lion's and Meerkats, to Penguins and Seals, which is always really useful if you want to learn more. We were going to visit the Seal and Penguin Coasts after Gorilla Island, but Ben spotted the sign for the Children's play area, so all the children quickly demanded a visit to the park for a play.


There was a wide range of play equipment available, as well as a sand play area. My only negative comment, would be that it was very hard for some of the smaller children to climb up to the slide and could have done with some additional steps inside the tower. Some children were able to pull themselves up with ease, but Riley and a few others were struggling. It was also in such a position that it was hard for parents to help from the outside. That being said, Riley did manage it twice and enjoyed the slide very much once he had managed to reach the top.


Once the children had finished burning off some energy in the Play Area, we returned back to the Seal and Penguin Coasts area, where we enjoyed a lovely stroll through the enclosure. The penguins all seemed busy, wandering around together, whilst the seals rolled gently in the water.

Credit: Emma Foster
We ended our visit to Bristol Zoo Gardens, with a lovely walk through the Butterfly Forest, where stunning butterflies of all different colours, flew around us. Some of them were really beautiful and Riley enjoyed looking for all the different species, that were on a sheet we had been provided with as we entered. There was also a fascinating area where you could see the cocoons that had been built ready for butterflies to emerge from.


As we made our way to the exit, the children enjoyed a quick run around the Turtle Maze. This was a lovely fun area, surrounded by lawns that looked really peaceful and well cared for. We all agreed that we had enjoyed a wonderful day at Bristol Zoo Gardens and felt that it was a great attraction for families to enjoy together. Nana and Grandad also commented on how beautiful it was and that they felt the layout was perfect and easy to follow. Overall we were very impressed and had a brilliant time. We would definitely return in the future and would recommend to others.

Attraction Details

Address: Bristol Zoo Gardens, Clifton, Bristol, BS83HA
Website: www.bristolzoo.org.uk
Opening times: 9am til 5pm, 364 days a year.
Ticket Prices: Tickets can be purchased both online or on the gate. Prices vary, so please visit the Bristol Zoo website to obtain the most up to date details here: Ticket Information

Disclaimer: We were provided with complimentary admission for the purpose of providing an honest review of our experience. Opinions and photographs are my own, unless stated otherwise.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Dates for your Diary - Cheshire Fest 2017 - A Family Friendly Festival

Cheshire Fest 2017 is a two day festival filled with music, food and drink and is a guaranteed end of summer celebration in the heart of the Cheshire Countryside. It will be held at the Manchester Rugby Club in Cheadle Hulme on Saturday 23rd September and Sunday 24th September and offers a fantastic entertainment programme, including some of Cheshire's finest talent.

The organisers have now revealed a full schedule for the weekend, detailing the wide range of activities that revellers can expect from the family friendly festival. The weekend festivities kick off from 11am on both days, with a full main stage programme of live entertainment throughout the day. Cheshire Fest 2017 also offers FREE entry for children aged 15 or under, with adult tickets starting at only £10 (plus booking fee) and includes a free drink.


On Saturday, the #RememberWhen Main Stage plays host to Cheshire's finest tribute acts including Want You Back (Take That Tribute), Dan East is Ed Sheeran, Be-Beyonce, MJ Mimms (Michael Jackson) and Elvis. Also joining the line up are some of Cheshire's finest local artists Leon Meya and The Sound, as well as Britain's Got Talent finalists' MD Productions.

Sunday's musical programme is sure to get the crowds rocking as the #FestivalAnthems Main Stage, delivers rock anthems. The line-up includes Antarctic Monkeys, Oashish, The Absolute Stone Roses and Yellow (Coldplay tribute). Local artists Nolan and Leon Meya complete Sunday's main stage line-up.

Elsewhere across the festival site, attendees can head to the Street Food Village to enjoy an array of gourmet street food and international cuisine. Beer lovers can sample the delights of the Mini Beer Fest with over 30 varieties of beers, cask ales and ciders from across the UK.

In addition to the Mini Beer Fest, festival goers can enjoy a relaxing G&T in the tranquility of The Gin Garden, grab a cocktail at the Cocktail Bar, enjoy a glass of fizz in the Champagne and Prosecco Bar or savour the taste of Summer at the Pimm's Bus.

Photo credit - Jazamin Sinclair

If you are in the mood for a dance, then a silent disco will also be on site, where you can dance to your hearts content with music as loud as you please, with passers by continuing to enjoy the festival. Comic Con and Sci-Fi fans are also being catered for, with Star Wars characters parading around the site, which is well worth a selfie or two!

The Kids Tent will keep the younger festival goers entertained throughout the weekend with a whole host of workshops, games and live entertainment. Stars of the TV show The Voice Kids UK will entertain throughout the day. Frozen meets Beauty and the Beast offers children the chance to meet and greet some of their favourite characters, as well as enjoy stage performances. There will also be a huge range of giant inflatable castles in Bouncy World, a Family Fun Fair and Little Explorers Activities.

Festival Director Philip Osbourne said, "After launching our first festival in 2016, we've taken huge steps to bring on board a cracking team of organisers this year to reinvent the festival. We're all about big days out with family and friends and we think this new format, location and programme will offer just that! It has been an absolute pleasure to put together the programme for Cheshire Fest, we hope the people of Cheshire enjoy what is sure to be a great weekend."

Tickets start at just £10 plus booking fees, which includes a free drink for every ticket buyer! Book now for the perfect end to summer. Tickets are available now at www.cheshirefest.co.uk and selected venues across Cheshire.

Listing Information

Dates - Saturday 23rd September & Sunday 24th September
Times - 11am to 11pm
Address - Manchester Rugby Club, Grove Lane, Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, SK8 7NB

Website - www.cheshirefest.co.uk
Facebook - facebook.com/cheshirefest/ 
Twitter - @festcheshire

How to Book

Book online at www.cheshirefest.co.uk
Tickets: £11.25 (Including Booking Fee) for a day pass & £17.85 (Including Booking Fee) for a weekend pass.
(All paid tickets include a free drink).
Under 16's go free

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

A Day Out at Diggerland Yorkshire - A Review

I am really excited to share this attraction review with you today as we had an absolutely fantastic time at Diggerland Yorkshire on Saturday, finding out what the site offers for family fun and adventure.

We are very lucky to have experienced many wonderful attractions around the world, but it is always very exciting to have the opportunity to try out somewhere new and enjoy some family fun together and Diggerland was definitely no exception.

Diggerland currently has four theme parks in the UK which are based in Kent, Devon, Durham and Yorkshire, so it is great to see that the theme park has expanded over numerous sites across the UK. The theme park is unique in the sense that it doesn't contain your usual rollercoaster rides that you may find at other attractions and instead all the rides and activities are based around..... (yes you guessed it) Diggers!

It is an award winning attraction which offers both children and adults the chance to drive full size construction machinery including diggers and dumper trucks, as well 4x4 vehicles and mini Landrovers. After reading everything that was on offer on the Diggerland website, we couldn't wait to visit for an exciting and unique experience.


We visited the Diggerland Yorkshire site as this was the nearest one to us here in North Wales. It took us 90 minutes to drive there with the majority of that being motorway driving so the time passed quite quickly. The attraction is only a very short distance away from junction 31 of the M62 so it is really easy to find. On arrival we were pleased to see that there was ample parking available for customers and the main building looked really modern, clean and inviting.


As we entered the building we were greeted by the Diggerland mascots Duggy and Dotty who provided a friendly welcome and gave the children a wave and a high five. We had arrived just shortly after opening time so there was only a few people in front of us in the queue and within five minutes of arriving we were ready to begin having some fun!


As we made our way outside, the children all ran off in different directions all excited to see what rides were available. We waited a couple of minutes for them to take in the view of all the rides before they came back asking what they could go on first. By the entrance there are a few rides that require a £1 coin which included some toy motorized diggers, some electric cars and the dodgems. As no-one else was on the dodgems I said it would be best going on later when there were more people to dodge and so we made our way to the first included ride which was the Mini Tractors. Both Emma and Ben were tall enough to drive this and Riley was the right height to be a passenger so everyone enjoyed our first fun experience.




After this Ben and Riley made their way over to the Mini Landrover's. Riley was a bit nervous about driving one of these on his own and so Ben went on with him as a passenger to help him the first couple of times with the steering. Riley soon got the hang of it though and loved driving round the little course. There wasn't a queue and so he was lucky to have a few goes before we moved on to the next ride.



After this there was a series of games using mini diggers. These were Buried Treasure, Dippy Ducks and Skittles and you need to try and use all your skills to complete the challenges. Buried Treasure involved digging deep for bricks amongst a pit full of stones and rubble. Once you had managed to grab a brick you then needed to position these on the ground at the side of the pit. This involved a lot of hand to eye coordination and was great fun watching all the children get competitive and try and beat one another. 

The Dippy Ducks game was similar to the old fairground favourite Hook-a-duck where you had to lift three ducks from a little pool. There didn't seem to be any time restrictions with it being quiet and so the kids were able to take their time in collecting all three of the ducks. 

In the skittles game a small metal bar had been placed at the end of the digger which you then had to swing to knock all the skittles down. Ben really seemed to get the hang of all of these and won every single challenge against his siblings.






Whilst the boys continued to play on the challenges for a while, Emma decided to give the Dumper Truck driving a go. Ben was slightly too short for this so it was the ideal opportunity for her to have a go whilst the boys were occupied. She absolutely loved this and went on a couple of times. Once Ben had finished on the skittles the member of staff running the ride saw he looked slightly disappointed and said that it would be ok for him to drive with his dad's help and so they both had a go much to Ben's delight.




After the fun of the dumper trucks it was time for another challenge, with Mr F attempting to stack more tyres than Emma on the StackAttack. On this ride you get to drive a specially adapted, four-wheel-drive, AVANT 200 Series Loader and try and stack as many tyres as you can whilst racing against the clock. My husband expected to do really well on this, but found it was much harder than he initially thought. Participants need to be a minimum of 140cm to drive this so again Ben was slightly too small, but we had known this prior to our visit having checked all the height restrictions on the website, so he was more than happy to sit this one out and shout directions to his sister from the other side of the fence to try and help her position the tyres correctly.



The next ride was one that Ben had really been looking forward to and was called Robots. This is where you can drive JCB Skid Steer Loaders around a purpose designed course. It had been raining prior to our visit so the course was really really muddy which added to the fun. Riley was also able to go on as a passenger with his dad and although he wasn't driving it, he felt like he was and was really proud of himself when he completed the course.



Located adjacent to this ride was the go karts. These were speed limited to allow younger children the chance to drive them too and everyone enjoyed this especially Riley. Both Emma and Ben would definitely have liked to have been able to put their foot down and race a bit faster but they had lots of fun regardless. There was also a large grass play area with plenty of picnic benches in between both of these rides with plenty of room for children to have a run around. There was a small catering kiosk where you could purchase ice cream or drinks and it was the ideal place to have a little rest and a snack.


Once we had enjoyed a little break the kids quickly demanded that we took a ride on Groundshuttle. Now unfortunately for me, I hadn't read what this ride entailed before embarking and foolishly thought that it was a bit like a tractor ride along a track and round a field at a leisurely pace. I was wrong. I am pretty sure that I have also left my stomach back in Yorkshire as still feel queasy even thinking about it. Usually I would be at the front of the queue for any thrill ride, but this absolutely terrified me. 

Basically the ride entails taking a seat on a special carriage at the front of a Manitou Telehandler which then takes you on a journey into a field. Once you reach the field you are then taken on a stomach churning ride as the telehandler rocks and spins you in the air whilst you cling onto the bars. I'm not going to lie I was screaming, but the kids were all laughing like crazy and went on it a further two times so I am clearly turning into a bit of a wimp as I get older. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of this ride for fear that I would lose my phone over the side, but there is a video on the Diggerland website which can be found here if you want to take a look.

We then made our way over to the Joyrider but unfortunately this was not available for driving experiences due to ground conditions. This was understandable as the ground was very muddy and boggy in parts which I could imagine some children would find quite difficult, especially when driving a vehicle for the first time. Everything else was available during our visit though so this was not a problem.

We chose to go on a bit more of a relaxing ride after the Groundshuttle experience and so we headed over to the Skyshuttle. On this ride you can enjoy some fantastic views as a specially adapted carriage lifts you 50 feet up into the air. It remains stationary when in the air so it is suitable for most ages as there are no scary movements once you have been lifted and you can simply relax and enjoy the views. Even Ben enjoyed this ride who is normally afraid of heights, but he was very comfortable on this and enjoyed spotting some of the rides we had been on from the sky.




Once our feet were firmly back on the ground, the kids enjoyed playing on the dirt diggers and crazy carts (a crazy cart is now also on Emma's wish list for her birthday). In the Crazy Carts you can skid and do doughnuts whilst spinning at speed. Funky helmets are provided and I must admit it looked lots of fun.


Emma and I then chose to ride on Spindizzy whilst Riley, Ben and Mr F took a trip to the indoor soft play area. This was my personal favourite ride of the day. There was a small queue but we must have waited about five minutes at the most before taking a seat in the specially adapted digger bucket which then raised you into the air and spun you in circles at speed. I really enjoyed this in comparison to the ground shuttle as I felt a lot safer and enjoyed the speed it moved at. It really was great fun and I enjoyed being able to spend some fun time with Emma laughing and joking on the ride.

Once we had enjoyed a couple of goes on SpinDizzy (you are advised to wait ten minutes between each ride to ensure you don't get too dizzy) we went to join the boys in the soft play area. This was a really nice space with decorative paintings on the walls. There were a few arcade games, a toddler play area, large soft play area and plenty of seating. There were steps to take you upstairs to the Dig In restaurant where you could purchase drinks and food at reasonable prices. One important thing to note however is that the on site catering is franchised and only accepts cash payments. Luckily I was aware of this before our trip but usually I don't carry cash and it could have caused an issue had I not been aware.


As we were in no rush to go home we decided to do another circuit of the park so that the children could enjoy their favourite rides again and also go on the dodgems which we had skipped earlier. The Dig-a-round was a popular choice with both Emma and Ben who really enjoyed riding on this again.


In total we were at Diggerland for 5 hours and had an absolutely fantastic time. As it had been raining in the morning I think this had put off some guests and so the park remained really quiet throughout the day despite the sunshine coming out in full force after lunch. This was great for us as it meant that we didn't have to queue for longer than five minutes for any ride all day. We loved how different and unique this theme park was in comparison to others we have visited and we found all the staff to be very polite and helpful. 

Hints & Tips

If you are planning a visit to Diggerland Yorkshire then I would recommend the following:
  • Take some cash, you will need cash to purchase food and drinks and also pound coins if you wish to make use of the dodgems or electric cars.
  • Don't wear your best clothes - The paths around the park are very well maintained, however when driving the machinery it is almost inevitable that you will come into contact with mud or dirt at some point during the day.
  • Get there early - The park was at its quietest from 10am til 11am and we were able to walk straight on to the majority of the rides. If you aren't a fan of queuing then you could try out the most popular rides in this time.
  • Check the height restrictions before you visit - The height restrictions for all rides are clearly displayed on the Diggerland website. All of the rides have either height or age limits which all vary so make sure you check that your child will be tall enough to enjoy the experience to the fullest and avoid any disappointment.
  • Take a picnic - The onsite catering is reasonably priced if you are wanting to purchase hot drinks or a meal, but if you are after a light lunch or snack or simply want to save a bit of money, then take a picnic and make use of the numerous picnic benches around the park.
  • Don't forget your free certificate - Children can obtain their free Diggerland certificate when exiting the shop. Simply ask at the till at the front of the shop.
Important Information

Address: Diggerland Yorkshire, Willowbridge Lane, Castleford, WF10 5NW.

Opening times: Opening times and dates vary so I would suggest visiting the Diggerland Website for the most up to date information. 

Entry prices: 
On the day - Adults under 65 & Children 90cm and over £19.95 per person on arrival
Prebook & Prepay - Adults under 65 & children 90cm and over £16.99
On the day - Age 65+ (ID required) £9.95 per person
Prebook & Prepray - Age 65+ £7.99 per person
Children under 90cm - Free
Disabled Carer (one per paying visitor) - Free
On the Day - Groups of 10 or more £16.99 per person 
Prebook & Prepay - Groups of 10 or more from £13.99 with further details available here


Diggerland Yorkshire offers baby changing facilities, disabled parking, free on site parking, free coach parking, gift shop, disabled toilets, indoor eating facilities & outdoor seating/picnic areas.





Disclaimer: We were provided with a complimentary family ticket for the purpose of providing an honest review of our experience at the attraction. All opinions and photographs are my own unless otherwise stated. Opening times, ride availability & entry prices were correct at time of writing, but these are subject to change and so I would always suggest checking on the attractions own website for the most up to date information.