Legoland Manchester

We had lots of fun at legoland Manchester at the weekend. We’ve been once before and the children loved it but a lot has changed since our last visit. The biggie was the soft play area, it was now a ninjago themed soft play area that was pretty dark with neon lights. Minnie isn’t keen on dark, closed spaces so I wasn’t expecting her to go in, but she did and she loved it. She really liked the ball pit with its tubes you could put balls in and they’d shoot out the top! Minnie was desperate to go on the climbing wall and gave it a good go but got bored after a few minutes of climbing and being in more or less the same place (she didn’t really get the whole point of the challenge being how long you could keep going). A lot of legoland was geared towards kids 4+ so Raimi spent a lot of time on the sidelines watching her sister. She enjoyed the duplo area but it was a tiny area in comparison to some of the other areas. Minnie built a huge tower in the duplo area and kept climbing in and seeing if she could get back out. Raimi helped out by passing bricks and had a go at climbing in herself (with a little help). Minnie had a go at driving a police car, she had fun but it seamed to go really quickly, the children only did 1 lap, I suppose it’s to keep queues down. Minnie quite liked building and racing her own cars and Raimi enjoyed climing on the tracks! We had a go at the creative workshop but got about 10 minutes in and left, then head off to the bat cave. Both children loved running and jumping through the lasers and spinning the big batman character blocks round to make different characters.

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30 Days Wild (Day 11) #30dayswild

Another sea life visit! This time to the Manchester centre. I loved all the tunnels for the children to run in and out of and there were a lot more interactive activities, but it seamed much smaller than Blackpool’s. We learnt about fossils and recycling to keep the sea life safe. We loved the turtle area with the eggs and playing the interactive games.

30 Days Wild (Day 10) #30dayswild

Yesterday we spent the day at Park View 4U’s family fun day. It was raining but we weren’t going to let that stop us! We threw on our rain suits and headed out. The parks there are fantastic, the local children were asked what they wanted to see in the park and then the park was designed around their ideas. I love that idea and you can really tell it was designed for children to explore and problem solve. Every time we go there the kids can never decide where to start so we spent a while running back and forth  before we settled on the outdoor gym equipment. Minnie​ loves the cross trainer, it was hard to get her off! Next we headed in to the woods. Minnie said it was like a different world and that’s what is brilliant about playing in the woods, you can really use your imagination to come up with a whole new world! The children loved exploring and climbing and making up stories about who lived there. After the woods we headed back to the parks and played on the train and pirate ship before going in to the sand/water area. The sand and water area is always a big favourite. We played in the sand and on the climbing frames but we had lots of fun in the splash area. The children understand now that it’s a chain reaction so you have to pump the the water to make something shoot water and then when that stops you move on to the next. As they were already wet from the rain they loved running in and out of the water and splashing each other. It really is an area that can keep children occupied for hours! 

Geronimo Fest 2017

It’s taken me a while to write this post and it’ll become apparent why at the end of the post.

We decided to go to Geronimo Fest for just 1 day this year, mainly because we opened our new tourist attraction (The Horror Crypt) a few months ago and were expecting a busy bank holiday. This year Geronimo had moved to Arley Hall and they used the space really well. The first thing Minnie spotted was a reptile and snake exhibition so she was off like a shot to look at and stroke all the reptiles she could. We spotted the Jurrasic Park jeep next to the tent, dad and me reverted back to giddy children as we grinned and stared at it, trying to explain to the kids why it was the most amazing thing ever! They were more bothered about some feathers they’d found in the grass 😖. Next up was Pip Ahoy and their giant sand pit and deckchairs. The kids ran straight in and started building castles and kicking them down. We got given some free Sunflower seeds from Pip Ahoy to grow, which we planted last week.

We’d bought our tickets early with the incentive of ‘free fairground rides’, unfortunately what they meant was 5 free rides per ticket purchased. We had loads of fun on the helter skelter (Minnie’s first time). Another first for Minnie was rock climbing! I didn’t think they’d let her do it as she’s only 4, so she was ecstatic when they said she could. She climbed on 2 different walls but wasn’t too keen on how high she was so wouldn’t attempt to go past about half way. The staff there were amazing! They were really good at explaining in an age appropriate way what was going to happen and the safest ways to climb. Minnie was really proud of herself after her climb and made music with Raimi and danced with a living topiary.

Our next stop was to the Ape Project. This was one of my highlights of the day. As someone training to run forest schools I’m a huge fan of activities that let children get messy, be free and to try out traditional skills and this place had it all! A sign read ‘help us build a castle’ and they provided paint, brushes, cardboard boxes, slats of wood, tape, nails and hammers and encouraged children to try hammering nails in to wood to make the walls of the castle and paint them, they had staff on hand to help and a separate area where children could practice their hammering skills if they wanted a dry run. The kids loved painting and Minnie hammered nails in to her own piece of wood. They loved climbing around the castle and going down the slide. It started raining part way through so we threw on some splash suits and off they went sliding down the slide and then across the wet and muddy grass with glee. From up on the hill we spotted a dinosaur so ran down to meet him, he was a bit scary and a bit cheeky and all the children in the crowd were in awe of him!

We visited the main stage area and watched Katie from ‘I can cook’ while we had a picnic, up next was Bollywood dancing, Minnie loved this last year and the minute it came on she abandoned the picnic and danced non stop until it was finished. Kapow super heroes were next on the stage and both children ran to the front, watching as their favourite super heroes danced and defeated the villains. I must ask dad what the song was they came on to as it was an awful choice for a kids festival.

We made a few sock puppets in the creative tents and then spotted a messy play tent called Mess Around, this was another highlight for all of us. It was a huge tent filled with messy play activities and the children were encouraged to get stuck in and us adults could too if we wanted. Raimi loved the activities that used shaving foam and Minnie tried out every activity there. They made some pictures and chased us around wearing scary animal masks! A Venga boys song started and the staff encouraged all the children to come back on to the mat area to dance with them, this was in fact an ingenious ploy to get every one close before they turned on numerous foam cannons. I don’t think there was a child or parent there that wasn’t having a fantastic time. The children loved being covered in foam and running and dancing around. It was the perfect end to the session.

We visited a few tents as we wandered round including a peppa pig dance tent. Raimi is peppa pig mad so we thought we’d never get her away but she lost interest surprisingly quickly. Probably more to do with sheer exhaustion than the activity.

Our final stop was Petits Filous Play City. This was an expansive area filled with cardboard boxes, tubes and tape. The message to parents was to sit back and let the kids play freely. Our girls were in there for hours. They build a house, a car, a plane and all sorts of other things. They helped to stack boxes on top of each other and took turns running at them to knock them down. This place was so much fun and showed perfectly that children can have an amazing time without spending a fortune on toys or play places.

We were about to head to the play doh tent but decided to have a toilet break enroute. The portaloo’s had doors on them that sprung shut once you let go of them, which is fine for adults but this festival was aimed at under 6s. As Minnie came out a portaloo Raimi decided she wanted to go in, she opened the door and ran in and I quickly tried to follow. Then all I could hear was screaming! The door had sprung shut on her finger (not all the way luckily as I’d got myself in between it. I had to open the door to free her thumb and there was blood everywhere. I went in to nurse mode and put pressure on it and held it up high, trying to comfort her as I ran towards the entrance hoping to find a first aider. I ran past dad telling him to follow us to a first aider. The blood poured down my arm and I wrapped my shirt around her trying to stop it. We saw the first aiders, then more first aiders and then were taken to the medical centre. All of the medical staff and volunteers we saw were amazing. We were taken to Warrington hospital in an ambulance and then transferred to Alder Hey for specialist treatment. Raimi ended up having x-rays and then surgery, all because someone decided that spring shut portaloo’s were what a children’s festival needed. It probably makes a bit more sense now why she has a boxing mit dressing on now in our 30 Days Wild posts.

30 Days Wild (Day 8) #30dayswild #worldoceansday

Today we visited the Sea Life Centre to learn more about the creatures that live in our oceans. Minnie stroked a starfish and a crab and thought the starfish felt like marshmallows! We had lots of fun exploring and even found Dory!! We listened to a talk about the sharks and fish in the biggest tank, learning all about how certain fish keep others clean and how they hunt and feed. Minnie enjoyed being able to climb inside, sit next to and walk through the different displays, her favourite parts were the sharks and the rock pool.

30 Days Wild (Day 6) #30dayswild

Yesterday we found a strange feather in our garden so we decided to research on the internet to see if we could find out which bird it came from. My first thought was seagull as we leave next to the sea but it turned out to be a guinea fowl! I’ve heard birds clucking from a nearby garden so can only assume it came from there. We were very surprised at what we found out.

Horrorcon 2017

Better late than never!! We had lots of fun at horrorcon 2017. After meeting Ursula at last year’s horrorcon I made Minnie her own Ursula costume to wear this year. We dressed Raimi as Ariel, complete with her own little Sebastian crab! When we arrived we ran in to the real Ursula straight away and she loved Minnie’s outfit and took her round to show her off to everyone. Minnie loved being center of attention and having lots of photos taken of her. We had some AMAZING cakes from Janine makes cakes. I was especially happy with my Jaws cupcakes!!! They were so beautiful I didn’t want to eat them. We met lots people like the Killer Klowns from Outer space and KaViTy the clown. Minnie even blew a raspberry at KaViTy!

Minnie Ursula and the real Ursula entered the horrorcon cosplay competition. Minnie snarled her way round the crowd, striking poses and won best under 15s cosplay!!!! She was so shocked and couldn’t believe she’d won, she also won 2 horrorcon t-shirts for winning at arm wrestling and axe throwing.