Category Archives: Manchester

AD Student Nannies – Flexible Childcare for Families in Manchester

When I was a student at university, I was lucky enough to get a job working as a nanny in the holidays for a local family. It was a great job, it was really flexible and I’d spend my days doing fun stuff with their kids and getting paid for it. The arrangement suited them too, and it was one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever had.

It was an arrangement which I can hand on heart recommend for other people. I was really excited when I heard about Student Nannies, a new service which matches up families needing babysitters with students who have childcare experience and other skills to offer.

AD Student Nannies - Flexible Childcare for Families in Manchester

Student Nannies have already registered over 350 students from Manchester University; Manchester Metropolitan University; the University of Salford and Trafford College. All potential nannies on the books have an interview and a thorough background check; details of which can be found on their profiles.

Registering on the site is really simple to do, and it’s free. You just create a profile outlining your childcare requirements, then it’s up to you to search for someone suitable. You can search for a nanny by course and interest, so you can find students who can share their skills with your children; whether it’s music, art, sports or languages.

Student Nannies simply provide a smart network through which students and parents can discover local matches. Then it’s up to you to contact your potential nanny, meet up and see if you are a good fit for each other. Students and parents negotiate their own rates, and Student Nannies don’t charge commission and there are no hidden fees.

I am returning to work next month and after school childcare is a bit of a worry for me. Finding a suitable student who lives locally and is able to have my son for a couple of afternoons a week is suddenly much easier. Having worked as a Student Nanny, I can see what a great thing it is from both sides.

You can find out more about this brilliant new service on the Student Nannies Manchester website, there is a comprehensive FAQ section as well as testimonies from both students and parents. If you don’t live in Manchester, you can check out the Student Nannies website to see if they’re also available in your area.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.

10 places for Outdoor Adventure in Manchester

Now that spring has sprung, the fine weather is making us want to go outside and be in the great outdoors a little more. We don’t mind getting a little adventurous either, so I’ve put together a list of some of the most exciting places for outdoor adventure in Manchester.

10 places for Outdoor Adventure in Manchester

10 places for Outdoor Adventure in Manchester

Debdale Outdoor Centre, Gorton is a huge outdoor activity centre run by Manchester City Council. It has an exciting range of activities to try, and something for almost everyone. There’s everything from dinghy sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking; power-boating, rock climbing, abseiling, hill walking, gorge scrambling and orienteering.

Venture Out are based in the grounds of Burnage Rugby Club, on the banks of the Mersey in Heaton Mersey, this adventurous holiday club really makes the most if its location. With activities each week that are a mixture of team building, nature handicrafts, outdoor sports, bushcraft, forest school, nature games, canoe trips, there are lots to do for adventurous kids to get stuck into.

Carrington Riding Centre is based just a few miles south west of Manchester in the Mersey valley green belt. Their facilities include one indoor school and four, all-weather, rubber surfaced outdoor floodlit menages with viewing facilities and fully stocked café. During school holidays they offer a range of activities for both children and adults 

Go Ape! Rivington near Bolton is just the place to explore the forest canopy on an exciting treetop rope course. There’s also a thrilling 200 metre long zip wire over the edge of the Rivington reservoir.

Helly Hansen Watersports Centre in Salford Quays is the ultimate urban watersports venue. Choose from a wide range of activities and courses including; sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, climbing, raft-building, bell-boating, wake-boarding, Open Water Swimming, power-boating. It’s a cracking venue and great for all the family!

Treasure Trails – for outdoor adventures as a more sedate pace, Treasure Trails maps are available to download. There are all kinds of trails and a large number around Manchester. It’s a great way to find hidden gems wherever you are.

10 places for Outdoor Adventure in Manchester

Treetop Trek is in Heaton Park, Manchester and is an aerial adventure completely encased in nets. Visitors aged 3+ can bounce, run, jump and slide in complete safety without the need for a harness. You can read a review here.

We Are Adventurers! Chorlton is a forest school where you can go for holiday clubs or parties. We’ve been several times for parties and woodland adventures. It’s brilliant fun and we all absolutely loved it. You can read our write up here.

Trafford Watersports Centre in Sale Water Park, offers water sports taster sessions where you can try kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing or sailing. Book for lessons or hire kayaks, canoes and katakanus. If you don’t fancy getting wet, there are lovely walks around Sale Water park to be had, as well as fishing, bird watching or other activities.

Geocaching is where a container holding a number of items is hidden at a particular location for GPS users to find. Coordinates are posted on the Internet and geocachers have to seek out the item. It’s great fun and great for all the family. If you want to get involved, google Geocaching in your area.

Those are ten great places to go outdoors in Greater Manchester, lots of different things to do for people of all abilities and fitness levels. What are you waiting for? Go forth and adventure!

If you enjoyed this, you might want to check out these 20 family walks in Manchester.

10 places for Outdoor Adventure in Manchester

21 Places to Craft with kids in Manchester

Children love doing crafts, but it can sometimes be a messy business. We do quite a lot of crafts at home, but sometimes it’s nice to go somewhere else to do a craft; especially if it’s a craft beyond your own skill as a crafty parent; even better, someone else gets to do the tidying up! I’ve picked out 21 places to craft with kids in Manchester; there are probably many, many more, so if I’ve missed any, please do comment below.

21 Places to Craft with kids in Manchester

21 Places to Craft with kids in Manchester

Crafts and Makes, Didsbury – this is my local craft place. They have crafts to do with kids every day, plus special workshops for children and adults. It’s a lovely place to spend an hour or two with the kids and they do all the tidying up too!

Minikin Emporium, Sale – I love this place. We’ve been going since my boy was a baby and we’ve made so many lovely things there. They also do imprint jewellery, which is such a lovely memento.

The Art Garden at The Haworth, Accrington – The Art Garden is a craft cafe based in The Haworth Art Gallery in Accrington. It’s the most wonderful place, with lots going on for crafty types of all ages; but their messy and sensory play is brilliant fun!

Emily’s Paint A Pot – located in Manchester’s Arndale Centre, Emily’s Paint A Pot is a lovely place to drop in to spend an hour or two decorating pots together.

Bean & Brush Family Art Cafe, Sale – located in the heart of Sale, Bean and Brush is an interesting Art Cafe where you can try your hand at anything from painting pots to decopatch. The studio is stocked with all manner of pots and projects, so you can let your artistic side run wild. Create unique pieces for yourself or personalised gifts for friends!

21 Places to Craft with kids in Manchester

Pottery Corner, Chorlton – this is a lovely pottery painting place on fashionable beech Road in Chorlton. We’ve been to paint pots and to have our handprints done in clay. They run adult workshops and children’s parties too!

Brooklyn Pottery, Stockport – Pop in for some pottery painting, book a party or just go along for an afternoon with friends or family and paint some pots for friends or family.

Create It! Cheadle – this bright and cheerful craft cafe in Cheadle, offers Paint-a-Pot and decoupage activities for all the family. Whether you fancy a spot of ceramic painting or gluing and sticking with their fantastic Decopatch selection; you’ll find a great range of pottery pieces to paint; from useful items like plates and bowls to fun, decorative pieces like figurines, piggy banks and lanterns!

Kidz Kreationz, Altrincham – With Saturday Art Club and After School Sessions, Kidz Kreationz is the arty place in Altrincham for kids to hang out.

The Star Tree Studio, Littleborough – The Star Tree Studio in Littleborough provides high quality, fun, educational, art, craft & creative activities for children aged 6 months to 12 years old. They organise baby, toddler and preschooler creative classes as well as art and craft birthday parties. It’s a gorgeous place to drop into for a spot of art.

John Rylands Library, Manchester – this historic library runs all kinds of children’s craft activities throughout the year. For something a little different, a visit to John Rylands is a must if you’re in the city centre.

Works of Heart, Bolton – Choose from a great selection of pottery to paint, or book yourself in on a workshop or two. There are always things to do for all ages and abilities at Works of Heart!

Hatworks, Stockport – The Hatworks in Stockport has an ever changing selection of crafts for adults and children. This quirky museum has lots to offer, check out their website before you visit to see what’s on!

A Place to Potter, Heaton Park Garden Centre – The Place to Potter is a cosy and creative hub specialising in pot painting, slime making, bear building and birthday parties! They also host workshops during the school holidays and toddler/pre-school sessions during the week. Check out the website for more info.

Brookside Pottery at Brookside Garden Centre, Poynton – Paint at pot as you watch the steam trains go by. This little pottery painting workshop in Poynton is great for birthday parties and crafty afternoons. Booking advisable!

Bisque and Beyond, DidsburyLocated in the heart of Didsbury village, Bisque and Beyond are a truly independent family owned and run art café offering a wide range of art projects, from paint a pot to decopatch, clay imprints and commissions, belly casts, personalised gifts and beyond!

Ordsall Hall, Salford  – Ordsall Hall in Salford is a great place to visit with kids, and they have lots of things going on, like arts and crafts workshops for adults and children. Have a look on their website to see what’s on.

Elizabeth Gaskell House – from Crafternoon tea for grown ups, to half term craft sessions for kids, there’s always something going on at this beautiful historic house in Manchester.

Whitworth Art Gallery – This wonderful art gallery in Manchester has an ever changing array of events and arts and crafts activities for all the family. For a delightfully different day out, keep an eye on the website for what’s coming up.

Bents Garden Centre – I love Bents, it has a superb craft shop and they do run regular craft activities and workshops for both adults and children alike. Keep an eye on their website for what’s on!

Have I missed anywhere? Is there somewhere near you which hosts family arts and craft activities on a regular basis? Please comment below so I can add them in.

21 Places to Craft with kids in Manchester

20 family friendly walks around Manchester

At this time of year, there’s something really nice about wrapping the family up and going for a winter walk. Being stuck in the house all day is a recipe for boredom and I know if I don’t get my lot out at least once over the weekend, chaos will ensue. Finding family friendly walks isn’t always easy, but where is good to go and easy to get to from Manchester?

Having a dog means we are out a few times a day in the park or down by the river anyway, but packing a flask and some treats, clambering in the car and setting off to explore somewhere a little bit further afield can be a fun but budget day out. If you’ve got buggies to contend with too, finding good paths to push a pram along can make all the difference on a country walk.

20 family friendly walks around Manchester

With the help of some other Manchester based bloggers, I’ve gathered a list of good family walks in and around Manchester, each with a little write up or review, so you know just what to expect when you’re planning your walk. Some of them are in and around National Trust properties, so if you’ve got a membership card, it’s worth checking and taking it with you.

20 family friendly walks around Manchester

Abney Hall – a lovely little walk, pond dipping optional. Cafe and free parking.

Alderley Edge – magical walks, huge views across Cheshire and beyond and a little bit of folklore and magic too!

Boggart Hole Clough – is a large woodland and urban country park in Blackley, Manchester

Clayton Vale –  is a natural wildlife habitat and a Local Nature Reserve.

Clifton Country Park – is a local nature reserve in the Irwell Valley at Clifton. Home to a fairytale trail!

Delamere Forest – managed by the Forestry Commission, there are recreational trails, a visitors centre and a cafe. There’s a nearby train station too.

Dovestones Reservoir – is on the very edge of the Peak District National Park and it a gorgeous place to walk with the family.

Dunham Massey – deer park, house and gardens. Lovely flat paths and lots to explore (National Trust).

Etherow Country Park – boating late, flat paths, cafe and good family walks to be had.

Fletcher Moss Park, Didsbury – woodland walks, a botanical garden, a nature reserve, a great cafe and walks by the river. What more do you need?

Jumbles Country Park – reservoir, wooded walking paths, a cafe and year-round fishing.

Lyme Park – (National Trust) deer park, hall, mill and a brilliant playground, miles of walks and a cafe!

Lyme Park 20 family friendly walks around Manchester

Macclesfield Forest – lovely woodland walks with views to match!

Rode Hall – snowdrop walks, bluebell walks and a regular farmers market, plus the best cafe ever!

Sandstone Trail, Cheshire – one of the most popular long distance walks in the North West.

Speke Hall – (National Trust) a Tudor manor house with a maze, woodland walk and gardens to explore.

Tandle Hill Country Park – is a large country park with woodland areas, sweepings views and a countryside centre.

Teggs Nose Country Park – explore the meadow, moor and woodland areas around the 380m high hill, ideal for walking and cycling.

Werneth Low Country Park – panoramic views are offered from this grassy hilltop, which also features a country park.

Yarrow Valley Country Park – 700 acre parkland with a lake, waterfall, adventure playground, cafe and a visitors centre.

I’ve made a map with every single walk I’ve mentioned above in it, so you can find everything easily. Just click on the map and away you go!

Don’t forget your flask and waterproofs, this is Manchester after all. Where are you going on your next walking adventure?

20 family friendly walks around Manchester

Review: Treetop Adventure Golf, Manchester

Last week Treetop Adventure Golf opened at The Printworks in Manchester. Being keen adventure golfers, we went along to check it out.

The Printworks is an entertainment centre in Manchester, near Victoria Train Station. We go to The Printworks quite a lot, there’s a cinema there and lots of bars and restaurants. The addition of the Treetop Adventure Golf is the icing on the cake for us; an afternoon playing adventure golf is an afternoon well spent as far as we are concerned.

Review: Treetop Adventure Golf, Manchester

The new Treetop Adventure Golf is located on the second floor of The Printworks and whilst it is tucked away around the back, it’s well signposted. There are two adventure golf courses to play and it costs £9.50 per person to play a round, or £31.50 for a family of four. Some discounts and reductions are available, but you can check the current prices here.

Treetop Adventure Golf is aimed at all kinds of people, from families, friends and students. During the day when we went there were mostly families playing; but late at night I suspect it attracts a different crowd.

Review: Treetop Adventure Golf, Manchester

There are two courses to choose from – Tropical Trail or Ancient Explorer. In the interests of thoroughness (and because we were having a really good time) we played both courses.

We began with the Tropical Trail, it’s a lush 18 hole adventure golf course which takes around 30-40 minutes to complete. Each hole is well thought out, with bunkers and obstacles to contend with. There are also interesting things, like talking toucans and trees which comment on the quality of your golfing. It’s compact but well done. The boys absolutely loved it, especially when they got a hole in one; someone comes round with stickers so you can show off your golfing prowess.

Once we’d finished the first course, you can play the “19th hole”. If you hit the ball at the target you get a free round of golf, though that’s only for the successful player. My son won another round, so we decided to try the Ancient Explorer course while we were there.

Review: Treetop Adventure Golf, Manchester

Although we all really enjoyed the Tropical Trail course, the Ancient Explorer was our favourite of the two. The obstacles were a bit more challenging and it felt a bit like Indiana Jones golf, and who wouldn’t enjoy that?

The new Treetop Adventure Golf at The Printworks is brilliant fun. It’s well thought out, there’s a good bar where you can get drinks, snacks and small meals and it’s really family friendly. The boys absolutely loved it and they’re very keen to go back. I liked that it was indoors and warm, which makes a big difference at this time of year. If I could change anything, I’d add a par for each hole so you know how well, or not so well you’re doing.

Review: Treetop Adventure Golf, Manchester

It’s exactly the kind of thing I’d do with the boys on a weekend, or with friends or work colleagues on a night out. I think it’s a great addition to The Printworks.

For more information about Treetop Adventure Golf at The Printworks, Manchester, visit their website.

We were invited to play a round of golf in exchange for this blog post. All images and opinions are our own.

Crafternoon Tea at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Here in Manchester we are lucky enough to have a large number of historic buildings and houses. Hidden in plain sight on one of the busiest roads leading to the city centre is Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. The house is the former home of the famous author and her family. Her novels include Mary Barton, Cranford, North and South, Ruth and Wives and Daughters. I went along to enjoy a “crafternoon tea” session in the Servant’s Hall. Craft, tea, cake and a beautiful historic house – what’s not to like?

Crafternoon Tea at Elizabeth Gaskell's House, Manchester

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House have been running Crafternoon Tea sessions for the last few months. I’ve really wanted to go to them but I was a bit worried that my sewing skills were not good enough; but I need not have worried. I went along to try my hand at some Victorian Crazy Patchwork; a craft I’ve never heard of  before but one which is ideal for people like me who have fairly basic sewing skills.

The Crafternoon Tea sessions are run by talented volunteers. The Victorian Crazy Patchwork class was run by Margot, a very experienced and helpful teacher who provided everything we needed to create our own crazy patchwork. Margot began by talking us through, step by step through the process. One of the best things about Victorian Crazy Patchwork is if your sewing isn’t especially neat, it doesn’t matter because the stitching is covered by the fabric, making it ideal for beginners.

Crafternoon Tea at Elizabeth Gaskell's House, Manchester

Victorian Crazy Patchwork, Margot explained, was a style of patchwork which fine Victorian ladies would do to occupy themselves. They usually used scraps of silk from old dresses or from dressmaking to create colourful patchworks. I remember my husband’s Grandma having what I now know to be a Victorian Crazy Patchwork cushion.

Margot gave us all a pack including a template, a piece of calico and a notebook we could cover with our patchwork. There was a large bag of silk pieces on the table and we all selected a few pieces for our patchwork. We cut out our hexagon shaped centre pieces and stitched them onto our calico; then we cut pieces of contrasting silk and stitched them on. Sewing them so the stitches are underneath (this is hard to explain but hopefully you can get the idea from the photo below).

Crafternoon Tea at Elizabeth Gaskell's House, Manchester

Around half way through the session we stopped and made our way into the tea room for a pot of tea and a slice of really good cake. The tea room is a lovely airy space with the original stone floors from Elizabeth Gaskell’s days at the house. It was the hottest day of the year so far and it was the perfect place for some cool respite from the temperature outside.

Crafternoon Tea at Elizabeth Gaskell's House, Manchester

After we’d been fueled by tea and cake, we returned to the Servants Hall to carry on with our crazy patchwork. It soon became clear that despite my best efforts, I wouldn’t be able to finish it in the two and a half hour craft session. Thankfully Margot let me take everything I needed to finish it at home. In fairness, it was ambitious of me to try to finish within the time. But I left armed with the skills and knowledge to finish off my work at home.

The Crafternoon Tea at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House costs £19 and includes everything you need to create your craft as well as a hot drink and cake. Keep an eye on their website for more craft and literary events. I do know they have a few limited places left on their Crochet Afghan Squares Crafternoon Tea on 17th May and Paisley Woodblock Printing Crafternoon Tea on 21st June 2018.

Crafternoon Tea at Elizabeth Gaskell's House, Manchester

My not quite finished Victorian Crazy Patchwork.

I had the most lovely relaxing afternoon. Even though I went by myself, the rest of the crafters around the table were all very nice and chatty. It was lovely to switch off and concentrate on sewing the patchwork and enjoy the peaceful and historic surroundings of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is located at 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, M13 9LW

New Space Mission at Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester

Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester is one of our nearest Merlin attractions. We like to visit a few times a year, but we’ve not been since they refurbished last year. We’d heard that over Easter they’d launched a new Space Mission area and we were very keen to check it out. Plus there was the relatively new Ninjago area which we still hadn’t seen. Over the Easter break we swung by for an afternoon of Legoland fun!

New Space Mission at Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester

We were pretty impressed with the new layout of Legoland Discovery Centre. The cafe area had been tucked away in a colourful room of its own, most of the old favourites were still there. Mini-land had been improved with the Manchester bit looking more Mancunian than before. I especially liked the new Lego Media City building and the working tram trundling about.

As we rounded the corner to get into the main area, the boy spotted the huge Ninjago area straight away. There are a few Ninja training zones where lively kids can burn off some energy, so he dabbled a bit there, striking Ninja poses and generally getting stuck in. There’s a soft play area/temple and he disappeared in there for ten minutes, returning to us with a big smile on his face. There’s also a moving climbing wall which had quite a long queue, so we might have a go another time.

New Space Mission at Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester

Obviously apart from the awesome soft play temple, his highlights from that area were the huge Ninjago figures made of Lego and the free building area where he just let his imagination run wild. It’s excellent, really excellent. If you like Ninjago, you’ll love this. It’s perfectly thought out.

Time was ticking and we needed to go and check out the new Space Mission area. It’s a reasonably small space compared to the Ninjago area, but they’ve really packed everything in. You can build and launch your own Lego rocket, or drive remote control buggies and explore the surface of the Lego planet. There’s an animation desk where you can create your own Lego animations and lots more.

New Space Mission at Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester

I especially liked the space shuttle which takes off every five minutes. The level of detail is pretty awesome. We spent quite a lot of time looking at everything and exploring the area. The boy really liked the control desk and anything where he can just build Lego is always a hit.

Living half an hour from Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester, we really ought to visit a little more often. We’ve got Merlin Annual Passes, so it’s no bother to pop in for a quick hour of Lego fun, or a bit longer if we have the time.

If you’re local we can totally recommend the new Space Mission area and the Ninjago area is fantastic. Everything else has been spruced up for 2018 too.

New Space Mission at Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester

For more information about Legoland Discovery Centre and Merlin Annual Passes, visit their website.

Disclosure: We are Merlin Annual Pass Ambassadors this year. All images and opinions are our own.

What’s on in Manchester this Easter?

The two week Easter break is looming ever closer and the “fancy a playdate?” texts are flying thick and fast. Two weeks is a lot of time to fill; my son needs to relax and chill out after a busy term, but he also wants and needs to do some fun things too. I’ve picked out some fun and interesting things to do in and around Manchester over Easter 2018.

Easter Egg Hunts

Local Easter Egg Hunts are being advertised all over Facebook. It’s well work keeping an eye out for what’s on local to you, but I’ve spotted they’re happening at Abney Hall in Cheadle, Didsbury Park, Wythenshawe Park, Heaton Park and lots more locations.

What's on in Manchester this Easter?

Elizabeth Gaskell House

Visit Elizabeth Gaskell House this Easter for some springtime fun. With Easter egg trails, Easter crafts, visits from our Victorian servants, and more throughout the Easter holidays.

The House is open from 11-3pm on Easter Sunday and on Wednesdays and Sundays throughout the Easter school holidays. For more information about what’s on and when, visit their website.

Museum of Science and Industry

There’s always so much going on at the Museum of Science and Industry, you could go at any time and find lots of things of interest. For space fans, they’ve got some real treats in store this Easter.

Space, the final frontier, is waiting to be explored this Easter holiday with activities and shows packed with more fun than an astronaut’s freeze-dried dinner. Families can make their own space mission patch, race DIY space rovers, and help decide which is the best space invention. Plus they can take a (virtual) trip from the International Space Station to Earth with everyone’s favourite spaceman, Tim Peake, in Space Descent VR. Then see his actual Soyuz capsule and spacesuit up close in the superstar display. And don’t miss the Soyuz demonstration to find out more about how Tim came home. With all this and more, any visit is bound to be ‘out of this world’.

Tim Peake science

Waterside Arts Centre, Sale

We always try to take a trip to the theatre during school holidays, so I’ve already booked tickets to go and see The Sagas of Noggin the Nog at Waterside Arts in Sale. They always have an interesting programme of shows and events on for all the family.

The Sagas of Noggin the Nog (on Tuesday 3 April at 14:30) is based on the original stories and films by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin. A company of rather English Vikings tells a story in live action, with puppetry, live music and projection of clips from the original films in this delightfully different theatre show for families and Noggin the Nog fans. The show consists of two 35-minute stories with an interval in the middle.

On Easter Saturday catch a new spin on the classic tale – Red Riding Hood. Robyn starts to read the classic fairy tale and, frustrated with the story, she begins to tell her own version, featuring her beloved wolf at its heart and told from his perspective. He’s not big, bad or scary – he’s an all-round nice guy. And Red Riding Hood is not what she seems. The play is suitable for ages 7 and above and there are performances at 11:30 and 14:30.

intu Trafford Centre

The intu Trafford Centre has so much going on this Easter, it’s impossible to fit it all into a couple of paragraphs. As well as LEGOLAND Discovery Centre and SEA LIFE, there are lots of events for Easter 2018 in store.

There’s the Sylvanian Families Town Roadshow will take place at intu Trafford Centre from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 31st March. The character performances will be staged on lower Peel Avenue. Sylvanian Families fans and fashion lovers alike will love this free family event featuring the world’s smallest catwalk on Saturday 31 March. Throughout the day, children can watch their favourite characters singing and dancing or pose for photographs with them between the shows.

On Friday 30 and Saturday 31 March, Selfridge’s will be hosting an Easter Eggstravaganza for children ages 3 – 10 years old. There will be eggciting games, a delicious breakfast and the annual Selfridges’ Easter Egg Hunt.  For more information and tickets visit – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/easter-eggstravaganza-selfridges-trafford-tickets-43445533761

Plus John Lewis have a whole range of events on in store. In the toy section on Friday 30th, Saturday 31st and Monday 2nd April you can join in with story time; colouring for fun and Easter card making.

What's on in Manchester this Easter? Easter Eggs

Dobbies Garden Centre

I love a nice family breakfast at Easter, just before the onslaught of chocolate eggs!  Why not head down to your local Dobbies Garden Centre for a Family Easter Bunny Breakfast? Enjoy a delicious breakfast; then afterwards children will get to meet the Easter Bunny and receive a free Lindt chocolate bunny to take home and enjoy. These breakfasts are available from Friday 30th March until 2nd April and are £8.95 per child and £4.95 per adult. For more information, visit their website.

Have I missed anything? What will you be doing during Easter 2018?

There’s more to The Printworks than meets the eye!

Living and working in Manchester, I am spoilt for choice for places to hang out for an afternoon or evening. The Printworks has long been a place we visit as a family, usually to go to the cinema and then for lunch afterwards. Last week I went along to The Printworks to hang out for the afternoon with some friends and discovered there’s more to The Printworks than meets the eye.

There's more to The Printworks than meets the eye!

My first stop was a sauna and a swim at Nuffield Health at The Printworks. I’d always known there was a gym somewhere inside, but I hadn’t really thought about where it was in the building. You hop in the lift and go up to the first floor and you’re met with a huge, beautiful state of the art gym.

I was given a quick tour of the facilities, then I took myself off for a swim. The pool is a good sized 20 metre long pool with a jacuzzi, sauna and steam. I bashed out 30 lengths (that’s 600 metres fact fans!) and enjoyed the fabulous view across the city centre. I then went for a well earned sauna and a steam, grabbed a shower, got dressed and headed off into The Printworks to see what else was on offer.

The Printworks is mostly known for the wide variety of bars and restaurants it houses. I have a few favourites I always go to when I visit, but it’s always good to expand your horizons.

I went to Waxy O’Connor’s for a post-gym drink. Waxy O’Connor’s is an Irish themed bar and if you walk downstairs there’s a huge bar area with lots of tables. They do food too, and I was tempted, but I stuck to my Black Velvet cocktail and was later joined by my friends. By this time it was 5pm and the bar was starting to fill up with people popping in for an after work drink with their colleagues and friends.

There's more to The Printworks than meets the eye!

We could have picked anywhere in The Printworks to carry on with our evening; but we headed to Wagamama for a steaming bowl of ramen. Then off to Hard Rock Cafe for a few cocktails and a good old gossip.

There’s something for everyone at The Printworks; whether you’re taking the kids to the cinema and for a bite to eat afterwards, painting the town red or if you’re in search of a workout and a pool with a view; The Printworks has it all!

For more information about what’s on at The Printworks visit their website.

I was offered a free swim and a cocktail when I visited The Printworks. I was not asked to write this blog post.

5 places to take Science mad kids in the North West

As the parent of a science mad child, we seem to spend a lot of our free time in science museums and visitors centres getting hands on with the sciences. As a result we’ve had some brilliant days out in our hometown of Manchester and across the North West. Today I’m sharing with you five of our favourite places to visit in the North West for science mad kids.

Manchester Museum of Science and Industry

I can’t even contemplate writing about science in the north without mentioning the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. It’s a huge and iconic site, you can pop in for a quick hour or very easily spend a whole day exploring, learning and getting hands on. They have a wide range of permanent and temporary exhibits as well as lots of hands on things to do.

Tim Peake science

As I write this they have Tim Peak’s Spacecraft on display as a temporary exhibit as well as the vast number of permanent displays including the Power Hall, Air and Space Hall, Textiles Gallery, Revolution Manchester and explore some artifacts from the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Take a ride on one on the working steam trains along the track at the museum.

It’s such a great day out, slap-bang in the heart of Manchester City Centre. Find out what’s on at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry on their website.

Catalyst Science Discovery Centre, Widness

The Catalyst Science Discovery Centre is the only museum in the UK which explores the science and technology behind the chemical industry. Packed with lots of hands-on exhibits, activities and demonstrations it’s one of our favourite places to visit with our son. They have an ever-changing programme of hands on exhibits as well as a fabulous observatory, a “Scientrific” Gallery and the Alchemy Theatre & Catalytic Discovery Lab.

It’s a brilliant science-packed place to visit, we love it there! For more information about the Catalyst Science Discovery Centre, visit their website.

Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire

Most people will recognise the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire as the place where Stargazing Live is filmed. Jodrell Bank is owned and run by the University of Manchester and it is the home of the Lovell Telescope, the third largest steerable radio telescope in the world. It is open to the public and has a lovely new visitors centre as well as fantastic hands-on exhibits and gardens to explore, as well as the chance to have a look at the Lovell Telescope up close and personal.

You can read about our visit to Jodrell Bank Observatory here. For more information about Jodrell Bank Observatory visit their website.

Jodrell Bank science

Spaceport Planetarium, Wallasey

Spaceport is small, but well worth a visit if you’re in the area. With its focus on space and space travel, this attraction is suited to visitors aged 7+. Visitors learn about space as they walk through different themed galleries, which all have a variety of interactive and audio-visual exhibits, the highlight of which is a visit to the brilliant Spacedome planetarium itself.

Read this review of Spaceport Planetarium from Mini Travellers.

For more information, visit the Spacedome Planetarium website.

Manchester Museum

Manchester Museum is such an iconic place to visit for Mancunian children. It has so many interesting things to explore and is packed full of science exhibits. There are lots of natural history exhibits, plus geology, archaeology, botany and Earth sciences to go and see. The big draws for us are Stan the reproduction cast of a fossilised Tyrannosaurus rex and upstairs the frog filled Vivarium, home to a large collection of endangered Costa Rican Frogs.

We visit Manchester Museum with almost alarming regularity. It’s a brilliant place to spend a few hours exploring and learning about all kinds of things.

For more information about Manchester Museum, visit their website.

There are so many fantastic places to visit in the North West. Where are your favourite places to take the kids to learn about science?

5 places to take Science mad kids in the North West