Thursday, 22 June 2017

Family Summer Festival - CBBC Summer Social


The hot days are making us long for the Summer Holiday, but it's still 4 weeks plus away! If you and your children can't wait for that long either like us, here is an awesome children Summer festival to attend to quench our thirst. It's happening in 2 weeks time, is free for everyone to attend, and is suitable for all CBBC and CBeebies fans!


CBBC Summer Social 2017, Media City Manchester, Family Day Out

Event: CBBC Summer Social
Date: Saturday 8th to Sunday 9th July, 2017
Time: 9am to 5:30pm each day
Place: MediaCityUK, Salford Quays, Salford M50 2BH (outdoor around the MediaCityUK Piazza)
Price: FREE (simply turn up!)

Whats on:
- Live broadcast hosted by Hacker T Dog, Karim, Lauren, Katie and Rhys at the main stage

- Braney and Lindsey (Blue Peter), Paddy Wilde and Ellie Allen (Got What It Takes) will entertain live on stage

- Animals: Naomi Wilkinson (Naomi's Nighmares of Nature and Weird &Wild) and team will bring a huge giraffe puppet on stage to teach children all about it

- Animation: Scream Street team shows you how to bring a cartoon to life

- Crazy science experiments with Dr. Brain from Ultimate Brain

- Create your own rocket bottle with Terrific Scientific

- A chance to be an Operation Ouch doctor and perform a giant operation

- Material and Digital Creativity: Children will have a chance to try exciting hands-on activities in an arts and crafts zone

- Crafty makes with Marrying Mum & Dad

- Match of the Day Kickabout: CBBC presenter and football freestyler John Farnworth demonstrating footballing skills, and a chance to try it yourself

- Learn how to commentating on a sports match with the BBC 5live team

- Farmyard games for all the family with Shaun the Sheep's Championsheeps

- Mini-tennis with Lawn Tennis Association

- Awesome Author's Stage: Live readings, author Q&As and talks aimed at inspiring the next generation of writers and storytellers. With Dan Freedman (Jamie Johnson), Dani Garmer (Tracy Beaker) and Michael de Souza (Rastamouse)

Note: Book tickets for the Awesome Author's Stage here. Please read the details carefully

- CBeebies Zone:

  • Go Jetters Disco hosted by Go Jetters' Ubercorn and Grandmaster Glitch
  • A chance to knit your own Clanger
  • Workshops with the Royal Northern Ballet (choreographers of the recent CBeebies Goldilocks ballet)
  • Appearanced from many CBeebies characters


My kids are already very excited about the activities and can't wait to go to the CBBC Summer Social! Do make sure to check that day's weather report and be prepared. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Despicable Me 3 - Ravensburger 100 XXL Puzzle


There are a lot of movies we are looking forward to watch this year, especially the ones that we can watch with the kids. The next one is definitely Despicable Me 3, which will be out on the 30th June, and we'll be expecting lots of laughter from it!

It's not long to go now, and while we are waiting for the release, the kids had a great time putting together Ravensburger's Despicable Me 3 XXL 100 Piece puzzle, sent to us for review purpose.


Despicable Me 3, Ravensburger puzzle for kids, Minion puzzle

Despicable Me 3, Ravensburger puzzle for kids, Minion puzzle

Ravensburger has a perfect age fit guide for their range of children puzzles, and the 100 XXL piece puzzles will be perfect for children aged 6 years +. I told Abby that she should be doing the 300 XXL piece puzzles, and the Despicable Me 3 one is most likely too easy for her, but she wasn't bothered as she really liked it!

What surprised me was that both of them were more than happy to do the puzzle together. There was no fights, no domination, but actual team work involved:

Despicable Me 3, Ravensburger puzzle for kids, Minion puzzle

Despicable Me 3, Ravensburger puzzle for kids, Minion puzzle

Despicable Me 3, Ravensburger puzzle for kids, Minion puzzle

The great quality puzzle looked fantastic, and the image certainly made us want to watch the animation soon!

I'm sure Clay would have had no problem putting the puzzle together himself, where it's still do-able but still challenging enough for him. But I also love it that the kids can work together on the puzzle peacefully. Who said that puzzles are for single players only?

Ravensburger Despicable Me 3 100 XXL Puzzle (RRP £7.99) is available now online and in stores, and I'm sure any Minion fans will love it!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Geronimo Festival 2017


After spending 1.5 weeks of half term holiday with the kids, sharing lots of cuddle and fun times, we are charged up and ready to face the next 6 weeks of school and work! We didn't go away for holiday as we just wanted to chill at home, but we did go to the Geronimo Festival in Arley Hall, which we've been looking forward to since last year's visit (at Tatton Park).

The weather had cooled down quite a bit on the Sunday after the mini heatwave, making it much more comfortable to spend the day there than last year when we were sitting under the hot sun. Photos last year looked way better of course!

Anyway, here is how we spent an amazing day at the Geronimo Festival this year.


Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

We loved it last year, but it was even better this year! There were a lot more going on, yet it was even more organised. It's definitely an event worth going to for more than a day, so the new offer where people can choose to camp as well was definitely a great idea. We didn't camp, but a friend of ours said that they really enjoyed it and they would have camped for longer (they already camped for 2 nights) if they didn't have to be somewhere else.

I do however think that it seemed quieter on the day we went, compared to the day we went last year. I'm not sure whether it's because of the weather, or because of the Manchester Attack that happened a week before the festival. It could also be because the main stars Andy Day and Justin appeared on Saturday, and I'm sure a lot of children would have preferred to see them (it was a really warm and sunny day too!).

We chose to go on the Sunday anyway as our kids love Cook and Line from CBeebies' Swashbucklers!


Arrival:

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

Security was much tighter especially upon arrival, but people were more than happy to wait for them to do their job. A lot of dads (including hubby) didn't think of bringing a child with them when they went to pick something up from the car park (we never did in the past hehe) and had difficulty going back to the festival ground. The security guards did the right thing of course, and we thanked them for keeping everyone safe.

There were also additional police patrolling the ground, so we could freely enjoy the fun. Look at how excited the kids were:

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

It was still early, so we just strolled around to see where everything was, while taking pictures of the eye catching decorations. "Mummy! The trees have eyes!!!":

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

The field was really wide and we can see a lot from far away! We made our way to the Adrenaline zone and started our visit with lots of excitements (last year we started at the main stage first to avoid sitting there in the afternoon sun)!


Caving:

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

To avoid long queues later on, the kids went straight for their first activity - The Trailer Cave! The kids got to experience caving in this safe, man-made mobile cave (there is a ball pit inside!), with the cool gear too, while we watched them on screen. I have to be honest though, watching the inside of the cave on screen is like watching an Alien movie! But the kids were hilarious, making funny poses in front of the cameras hidden inside the caves.


Air Bag:

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

We queued for the Air Bag, which, I think, is like experiencing jumping off a building onto the firemen's air bag? We booked for a half an hour slot for both kids, but as a protective mum, I told Clay (6 years old) to stick to jumping off from the bottom platform only, as the fall and hitting on the air bag from the top surely will cause some kind of pain, especially for little ones. Abby (9 years old) jumped off the top platform twice and she choked from impact. It wasn't permanent and they both did have lots of fun (thrill seekers!).

I want to give an extra thumbs up to the staff helping out at the Air Bag activity. Not only were they very helpful and friendly, they never once showed impatience or boredom. They always carried a smile, had fun with customers and provided encouragements to children and adults alike. The 3 days festival can be long and tiring for the staff, but I think it's important to maintain patience and friendliness, especially when you are around children.


Obstacle Course:


Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

The kids also did the parkour and assault/ obstacle course. The ACE assault course was especially popular and you can just kids going on it again and again.


Zip Line:


Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

Abby has been wanting to do the zip wire again since her first taste at Geronimo Festival last year, and she enjoyed it as much!


Circus du Hilarious:

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

We noticed from the line up that Cirque du Hilarious would be at the Geronimo Festival this year, which made us really excited because they were absolutely hilarious when we went to see them in Blackpool 3 years ago, so we couldn't wait to see them again!

The show was shorter (the Blackpool one was a full show), which made sense as it's part of the festival, but they had some new tricks up their sleeve, and even their classic joke was just as funny as we have heard it first time!

We were also very impressed with Stephanie King's (I think that's her name) acrobatic performance, especially when she was hula hooping with a lot of colourful hula hoops! Not sure if inspired by that, Abby went straight for the hula hoops lying around in front of the firetoys store later that day as soon as she spotted them. I had no idea that she knew how to hula hoop! She attempted with 2 and did really well for her first time (I just noticed that the song performed on stage fitted really well for this video haha):


She's now saving up to buy one of these professional one as they gave her better control than the kiddy ones.


Food:

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

We had lunch after all the excitement, but we didn't realise that the main lunch area (where all the great food were!) was where the main stage was.We totally missed out! This area had its quirks though, there was a seating area with lamp shades decor and sofas for people to sit on. And! They had the best chippy Ever! We forgot to take a picture of their stall, but their chips were so good, we didn't even need any sauces to go with them (probably the reason why they didn't bother serving sauces).

The refillable Slush Stations were there as well, although we were a bit disappointed that it wasn't a free refill anymore like last year. We still loved all the different flavours and colours available, which you can't normally get.

We moved on to do other activities while waiting for Cook and Line's Swashbucklers performance. It's a shame that some places were located a bit further from the main activities (probably for safetly reasons), and we missed archery for the second time! It'll have to be the first thing we'll do next time!


Donkey Ride:

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

The donkey ride was near the entrance and had a long queue since the morning. Although it was just one round, the kids really enjoyed it, especially Clay as it was his first time ever riding anything alive!

It was a bit weird when parents had to sort the kids out themselves with helmets and carrying them up on the donkeys though.


Football:

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

The new football corner held by the Manchester City Football Club had lots of fun activities for the kids to do. I think more for children at Abby's age, but even the little stage for younger kids to kick balls into holes was fun for Clay (he was probably a bit too old for it, but a bit too young for the other activities as well).


Stalls:

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

We then strolled around the stage area. The kids were absolutely fascinated by the Bubble Inc each year, and they were glad to take part in an experiment! I'm not sure if the giant bubble was meant to cover them entirely, but being half engulfed by it was still very exciting!


Arts & Craft:

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

There was lots to do at the craft corner as well, but we lost most of our adrenaline at the adrenaline zone by then and couldn't pick up much energy to work on projects. I think the whole area was nicely decorated though and much more attractive than last year. I have always wanted to make something, but it is kids priority first. If only if I could visit the adult spa!


Tiny Tots:

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

The baby and toddler area was located near the entrance, and it was a very large area too. If my kids were still little, I know that they would have enjoyed it there. And it's really close to the craft corner and main stage as well, so they didn't have to travel far for more fun activities.


Main Stage:

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

Every so often during the whole day, I had been looking at the main stage (it was good to be able to see from afar!), and there were always a massive crowd. By the time we got there in the late afternoon for Cook and Line's second performance, things had quieten down a bit, and the kids were able to stand near the stage. Cook and Line were as silly as ever, bringing lots of laughter around!


If it was last year, Geronimo Festival would have come to an end soon around that time. But because there was camping involved, they extended the festival to 9pm, with bands singing on stage. This definitely gave children a taste of what festivals are like!


Fun Fair:

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

After the performance, we started heading towards the entrance as we adults were really tired by then. But the kids were still full of energy (how?!) and had to go on a few rides before they were satisfied. There seem to be more rides than last year, keeping everyone entertained.


Other Fun Stuff:

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

Geronimo Family Festival 2017, Summer Festival for Kids, Family Day Out May Half Term

There were a lot of other fun things to do, such as crazy golf, getting close to dinosaurs (the egg Clay was holding was making noise, like something was about to hatch!), face painting, learning about bees, etc.

It was definitely a great idea to spread the fun out for at least 2 days, but the kids were quite happy with what they did in the one day. Clay, like last year, asked yesterday if he can go back to Geronimo to do caving again, and was disappointed that he had to wait for another year! But it's always good to have something to look forward to!


Overall, we have thoroughly enjoyed Geronimo Festival this year. Even people we knew who went had enjoyed their time there. It was definitely bigger, better and more organised than last year, and I think the camping was a great idea. We will definitely be looking forward to next year's!