The Garden House, Marple

The Garden House, Lakes Road, Marple, SK6 7DH

A few Sundays ago me and the twins went with Becky and their cousins to The Garden House.

Steven had been on my brother’s stag do in Vegas for the past few days, so I had been trying to keep myself very busy. This place had been on my list for a while so seemed like the perfect time to give it a go. Not quite Vegas but much cheaper  with fewer gamblers and slightly less lunatics.

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It’s free, but run on donations and there are lots of boxes dotted about for you to make a donation, they also have a café which sells tea, cakes and snacks.

My first tip would be to wear wellies, and puddlesuits and that’s just the adults! Also take your pushchair, we walked from the car park down to the farm which meant walking down a very muddy sloped pathway. Walking down was fine, but trying to get two toddlers to walk up hill and not jump in every single muddy puddle proved a little more difficult! When will I learn..

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The farm itself is great, they have a large play area with a slide and swings and a load of free standing plastic stuff, and some bikes. There are a fair few picnic tables dotted about which is good if you bring your own food.

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We spent most of the time in the playarea, licking muddy rain water and jumping in puddles! Of course there are farm animals too, which I are very smelly. I know farms are smelly but this one particularly so, maybe because the pigs are right next to the play stuff.

They have a small enclosed area near the café which has bunny rabbits and you can have a pony ride for a few pounds.

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One ‘highlight’ was a guy dressed up as Peppa pig who came out to say hello and walk around the farm with a helper, sounds ideal, but unfortunately for us this was where it all went wrong. My almost three year old niece and Luke were both petrified, Luke just got hysterical whenever he/she walked by. Martha was devastated and kept shouting that it wasn’t Peppa, why is Peppa so long!! I mean it was hilarious but the worry was they would be put off Peppa for life, which is not good! Luckily this is not the case, but the scary man dressed as Peppa was definitely an imposter we named Ben. Obvs.

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Unfortunately, we had to leave shortly after as the prospect of long imposter Peppa walking passed us again was too much to deal with..this meant we didn’t manage to look at all of the animals and take the woodland walk which is supposed to be worth a butchers.

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All in all, the place is a winner complete with animals, large play area and a café. Peppa wasn’t a hit with us but I am sure there were lots of kids that weren’t so scared. It’s muddy and dirty and very, very smelly but if that dosen’t put you off make the trip. It wasn’t too busy and kept us all entertained.

Monkey Forest

Trentham Estate, Stone Road, ST4 8AY

After a recommendation over on the Facebook site, we decided to head to Monkey Forest last Sunday. Slightly further afield, but we timed it with a nap and the twins are still ok in their car seats, most of the time.

The park had reopened for the season as it was half term on the Monday, we arrived as it opened at 10am, which is something I like to do, mainly because I flap at the idea of places being too busy and no seats for lunch or long queues with screaming babies (mine, might I add). I was right of course, was a good time to arrive as it was still fairly quiet.

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We started off with a coffee, which at 2.80 for a machine coffee wasn’t great, but who cares really. It did the trick. We then headed over to the forest entrance, passing a play area and facepainting stall. Again, the boys are probably a wee bit little for both but not long to go i’m sure.

There is only one type of Monkey at Monkey Forest, the Barbary Macaque, this is mainly due to the climate, they must thrive off the sunny climes of Stoke, I mean who wouldn’t?

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We thought it might be a bit of Jurassic park moment, whereby we wouldn’t see any monkeys. (Not that we were about to get eaten by a Tyrannasaurus Rex) But after a quick stroll we came face to face with loads of the buggers. Thomas and Luke love pointing, and there was a hell of a lot of pointing going on. They seemed to be pretty interested in the monkeys, and the trees, and the magpies and most of the surroundings not so bothered about the Monkey’s bottoms yet, think that was just me. We had to cover their eyes at one point when we saw what looked like a couple of monkeys entertaining one another in an ‘adult’ way. Maybe they were just licking one another’s tummys. Who knows, but Steven and I found it pretty funny.

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The walk round the forest is fine with the pram. There are a few steep bits, but I cleverly thought ahead and made sure it was Steven’s turn during these points. There are sign posts along the way with various facts and questions about the Monkeys, which would be great for older ones. Apologies to the bloke with the camera who saw Steven’s impression of a Monkey mating when we played “guess which action off the sign I am doing”.

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We hung around for the talk given by the staff, who all seemed very knowledgeable but after a while the twins got a bit squiggly and we meandered back to the café for lunch.

Lunch was fine, the twins had sandwich boxes and Steven and I had average meals. I had a mediocre Jacket Potato and Steven had sausage and chips. Again, fine but nothing to write home about, but then I don’t suppose you come to Monkey Forest for the food.

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All in all we had a good time, but I think the boys would really love it in a few years time. Personally, if you are heading this way I would head to Peak Wildlife Park but again, just my opinion.

We also should have purchased a joint ticket with Trentham Gardens (sorry Katy, you did say but we didn’t see any sign of it when we arrived!)  which looked really pretty but at £8.50 each per adult to enter we decided to head to a Soft Play Centre as the boys needed a crawl about. We found one, it did the trick but I am pretty sure we all caught something there..I jest, but, well, I am sure you can imagine.

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All in all, I would say go and have a visit. If monkeys are your thing you will love it as you can get up really close to them and maybe if your kids are old enough to enjoy play areas and facepainting it might be an even better experience.

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Have a look on their calendar as they have various events on throughout the year which may tickle your fancy.

 

Adults: £8.50

Concessions: £8.00

Children 3-14 years: £6.50

Disabled & Carers: £5.50

Under 3: Free

 

 

 

 

Our Kids Social 1st Birthday bash

Having read about http://ourkids.social/on social media, I have been tempted to go to a few of their events, and when this one came up on my facebook feed, I bit the bullet and got us some tickets. Their events are held at various different venues, this particular one was at Sale Masonic Hall.

The twins are at that slightly annoying inbetweeny stage, not quite toddling but definitely not babies anymore. We used to take them for walks of a weekend, but they get bored in the buggy and WHINGE!!! Soft play is a nightmare on Saturdays and Sundays and swimming, well, id need to shave my legs etc for that and I can’t be arsed. They aren’t walking just yet, though Luke has taken a few steps, so until then I feel a little stuck. Also, it’s winter and freezing cold so we cant roll about on the grass quite yet.

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This was a life saver, and just what we all needed. It kicked off at 2pm and there was a disco in the main room, complete with blow up instruments, bubbles and DJ’s playing pretty decent music to be fair. There were lots of disco lights and the boys were mesmerised and quickly crawled about full pelt. Trying to keep up with them is proving tricky, so apologies if you tripped over two little boys in puffin leggings!

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There was also a bar, yep a licensed one. I only had one beer, but the idea of getting a little tipsy and dancing like a loony with your little ones actually sounds quite fun. In the bar area was facepainting, dress up and cupcakes for sale. (am guessing for the kids, but putting it in the bar area might be more for the grown ups!)

Upstairs was probably best for the boys, there was a sensory room and Jo Jingles sessions all afternoon. If you haven’t been to a Jo Jingles before, expect over the top singing, instruments and clapping. Thomas got a bit scared of the parachute bit so I had to take him for some quiet time, daft bugger, but Luke was in his element.

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For the older kids, https://twobytwohurrah.co.uk/ were getting messy and making hats. It looked a lot of fun. Nice to see my old next door neighbour Zoe manning the stall. It’s her company and having had a mooch on the website will definitely be checking out their other events.

The whole event was brill for kids, and we had fun too. The venue was reminiscent of those days in dirty nightclubs, waiting to climb stairs to other rooms. Though with children in tow, and maybe not quite so much booze.

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We had a fab time (especially Luke!!) and will 100% be back.

Soft Play @ The Trafford Centre

First of all, apologies I haven’t posted for a while. I am back in work and the twins are as boisterous as ever and attempting to walk. I am not prepared for walking twins. As a result I have been absolutely knackered and have had no time to do anything. I am a mess.

Anyway, this is a guest review done by my much better, and much more patient half Steven, of The Ste Review (have a look he’s very good). I have been a bit apprehensive about posting this because he is a better writer than me!

I hope you enjoy it. x

 

So, forgive me if I’m being presumptuous, but my guess is that if you’re reading a blog about places to take your children in Manchester you’ve probably heard of, and visited, the Trafford Centre. Now, I grew up in Urmston. If you don’t know it, it’s the place you get to if you turn the other way when you come off the M60 at junction 10. I can’t claim to speak for all Urmstonians, if that’s the right word for us, but I know a lot of us had our Saturday jobs, or even full time jobs at the Trafford Centre. We’ve seen behind the faux marble, the oddly naked statues (especially in the newer bit with the home shops and the sea life centre – full of statue boobs), and the glitzy blue dome. We’ve been behind the scenes. A lot of us from Urmston – and this will shock some of you I’m sure – don’t like the Trafford Centre.

Personally, I’ve always preferred town, or should I say Manchester City Centre. It’s more vibrant, it’s got more character, there’s more going on. But nothing changes your perspective quite like parenthood, eh? The part of me that still thinks I’m eighteen sighs at the thought, but when it comes down to it, the Trafford Centre is a good place to go with your children.

For starters, there’s free parking. Bloody loads of it. Considering the sheer amount of parking spaces, parent/child spaces are a bit lacking, and I swear one day I’m going to see some people come to blows over them, but it would be a stretch to argue that parking’s a problem.

Then, of course, it’s all weatherproof because it’s indoors (except for the booby statue sea life centre bit). I mean we’ve all gone to bed planning an idyllic walk around Dunham Massey with our young cherubs, feeding grass to the young deer, getting back to nature; and then woken up the next day to pissing rain and said, “F*ck it, we’re going the Trafford Centre.”

And then, I don’t know about your kids, but our boys just seem to like it in there. I don’t know if the lights, the general hustle and bustle, or that frigging water fountain that shoots up to the ceiling (and grown human beings go “Ooooh!”), but as long as it’s not too busy something about the place just puts them in a good mood.

So, when one day I was looking after the boys on my own and my plans for the afternoon were to visit Grandma and Granddad in Urmston, since I was heading that way anyway, where else was I going to spend the morning?

Now, on this particular day, the boys were about 7 or 8 months old and were loving a bit of not-quite-crawling about the place, you know when it’s mainly dragging themselves using the arms and looking like commandos. They were a bit less happy to just be pushed around in a pram than they used to be so I decided to give the play area a try to let them have a play. If you don’t know, it’s in the Orient on the ground floor, next to Nandos. As if you don’t know where Nandos is.

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When you look at the price list, it’s not encouraging. When your first two choices are half an hour and 45 minutes, you have to wonder if it’s really worth it, but as the boys were under 1 they got in free, and because it was quiet the staff were happy for us to stay as long as we wanted. In the end I spent about an hour in there and I’ll explain why I didn’t hang on any longer.

One major drawback, at least as a parent with twins, is that you can’t take your pram inside. They have an area where you have to chain it up before you go in the door, and because our double pram is such a big ‘un they made me fold it up. So, I had a member of staff holding Luke, and an unsuspecting but helpful mum holding Thomas while I sorted the pram out.

I took Thomas back and the staff member let me in to the play area via a door with a combination lock – at least you know it’s pretty secure if the child catcher ever decides to make an appearance. They showed me around to the infant and toddler area and pointed out the toilets and changing facilities, and the problem was immediately obvious: without the pram, what was I supposed to do if one of them needed changing? I can’t leave one out in the play area to play on his own, and I can’t really take him in and leave him to drag himself around the floor of the toilets while I deal with god-knows-what’s come out of his brother. So I stuck it out for an hour, because sometimes I like to live dangerously, but then I got out of there before I had to deal with that particular riddle.  (although Jenny has just told me that she just scoops them both up and leaves one on the toilet floor!)

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For that one reason, I can’t recommend it for someone on their own with two young babies. The set up just isn’t designed to accommodate that. Apart from that drawback, I have to say it wasn’t a bad play area. They’ve made the most of a relatively small space, and there was a lot more in there than I expected, especially in the bigger kid bit. The smaller kids get quite a small area but there’s plenty of toys in there (mainly with dead batteries it has to be said) and a little climbing course and slide for those that are starting to toddle. I don’t know if Jenny’s mentioned it but the boys are happy if they’ve got something to spin, and there was plenty of that to be done.

Overall, if you’re out in the Trafford Centre and your kids are of an age that they won’t tolerate a day in the pram or get bored shopping, then a quick trip to the play area might be just the ticket to get you through the day. Not suitable for one parent with twins though – and that’s what this blog’s all about.

Pssst – one last Trafford Centre tip: sack off that baby change by the Orient – that place is hellish. Our advice is try the baby change in John Lewis. It’s probably the most luxurious baby change I’ve ever dealt with. It feels like when you treat yourself and pay the extra tenner to sit in first class on the train.

Oh and one last thing while I’m here – can people just get over pooping in the pub? I’m sick of waiting outside the disabled loos to change one of the boys, only for the door to unlock and some red-faced man or woman sheepishly walk out leaving an almighty stink behind. Everyone poops. It smells, get over it. Do it in the standard bogs because the stink from the nappies is bad enough without having to work around your stink too.

The crèche and play area is open Monday – Friday 10am-7.30pm, Saturday 9am-7pm and Sunday 11am-5pm.

Up to half an hour £2.60
Up to 45 mins £3.70
Up to 1 hour £4.50
Up to 1.5 hours £5.00

Father Christmas @ The Chestnut Centre

The Chestnut Centre, Chapel-En-Le-Frith, High Peak SK23 0QS

Our second visit to see Father Christmas was on Sunday. We all went this time, along with my brother, his fiancée and my gorgeous nieces. They had taken their eldest last year, and couldn’t recommend it enough, so we all got tickets to go this year. Tickets were £3.50 per child and worth every penny. 


We were due to meet Santa at 11am. We met in the coffee shop, where I had a lovely coffee and a mince pie (would have been rude not to, with it being Christmas and everything) we were told we could go to the grotto, which was behind a door next to the toilets. Magical or what! We knocked, and the door was opened by a lady dressed as an otter (worth noting, the Chestnut Centre is an owl and otter sanctuary) the room was all dark with twinkly lights and lots of Christmassy foliage. They also had real live chicks, guinea pigs and even a barn owl which was sitting on a Christmas tree behind Santa. It really was lovely.


My eldest niece has just turned 2, my youngest 9 months and Luke and Thomas 13 months so this would all probably be a bit more exciting for older ones, though we all enjoyed looking at the animals. Santa was sat on an arm chair, and we took turns sitting next to him. Martha covered her eyes, Molly looked disinterested, Thomas cried and Luke loved him. Standard really. Though I probably shouldn’t have laughed quite so much at Thomas’s distress. Mean mummy.


They were each given a little present and a sticker from Mrs Otter stating they had seen Santa at the Chestnut centre.

I have to say, this was a really lovely experience. They had pulled out all the stops and the added touches of real animals was brilliant.


The centre itself, is well worth a visit, Father Christmas or not. It isn’t pram friendly though, we made the mistake of visiting earlier in the year and missed the sign stating as much so spent a lot of time lifting the buggy up and down steps and roots. Our fault entirely for not reading large signs. A must do for walking children or carried babies. Or just people without babies!

As for the Santa experience here, it was brill. We will definitely be back next year and hopefully we will all be as excited as Luke (and the grown ups in the group!)

 

Peak Wildlife Park

Peak Wildlife Park, Winkhill, Leek, ST13 7QR

A good friend told me about Peak Wildlife Park, and I am really glad she did. It’s not close by, in fact it is on the same road that leads up to Alton Towers on your right. You will probably have driven past it on your way to Alton Towers when  life was a tad more exciting than animal parks and soft play. Although, to be fair, I probably prefer animal parks and soft play to being flung around until I puke. Weird.

The park is brilliant, really hands on. You aren’t just looking at animals in cages, or driving through gates where drugged up lions look miserable huddled together under trees. Here, you can actually walk amongst the animals and stroke wallabies should you want to. We took the pram through various different enclosures “Lemur Heights”, “Wallaby Wanderland” & “African Village” were our particular favourites. By our, I mean Steven and myself. The boys made some grunts to show their appreciation too. This place would be amazing for toddlers/younger children as it is really hands on and fun.


There are also some penguins, otters, tortoises and lots more animals to see. They also had some pigs and chickens wandering around to stroke and feed. Maybe not stroke, I mean good luck if you manage to stroke a chicken. Can’t imagine it is much fun.

For us, a HUGE bonus to this park is that it has an indoor soft play bit. It had only just opened so is all shiny and new. The baby bit isn’t huge but the older kids area looked a lot of fun. Not that I am complaining about the baby bit, the twins are more than happy just crawling around through tunnels and spinning upturned wheels. Worth noting, there are picnic tables in the soft play area so it’s advisable to bring your own lunch as the café wasn’t that great.

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The park also has an outdoor play area, which we didn’t go to as it was fooking freezing, wrap up warm. Seriously it must be quite high up so make sure you have snowsuits, hats, gloves, wellies, balaclavas, and that is just for the grown ups! I jest, but it was colder than we had anticipated.

There was another craft room, which again we didn’t enter but again, looked fun for the older ones.

The only downside was the café, it was small and we had to leave the buggy outside. There weren’t very many high chairs and the food was a bit crap. Maybe I missed something, but the sandwiches were ropey and there wasn’t much choice for little ones, so my advice would be take your own.

The park is open Monday – Sunday 10am-5pm

Adults £10.95

Children £8.95

Under 2s are free.

 

Peak Wildlife park is really worth a visit, so much to see and do and the up close and personal approach is refreshing and a lot of fun. We are looking forward to taking the boys when they are a bit older. And maybe in the summer.

xxx

 

 

 

 

Walton Hall & Gardens

Walton Hall & Gardens, Walton Lea Road, Warrington, WA4 6SN

Another recommendation, we visited Walton Hall back in October and am very glad that we did. It’s a decent enough park, nice walks round the formal gardens and the not so formal ones. The twins were in really bad moods that day. Teething poops, which basically means we have to take lots of pairs of trousers and nappies with us, puts all of us in a bad mood to be fair, so what better way to cheer us all up than a brisk stroll on a freezing Autumn morning!

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The biggest selling point for us was the children’s farm. It was really good, quite large it had all sorts of different animals; pigs, peacocks, donkeys, chickens and red squirrels to name a few. The boys were mostly excited by the pigeons. Apparently they run regular events throughout the year for children to learn about the animals (Walton hall does, not the pigeons) so well worth checking that out

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The playground was fun too, as the boys aren’t old enough for slides and climbing frames, they have only ever experienced the swings, which to be fair they love. This park had a little round about for smaller people too. Look how thrilling it is!! White knuckle ride for babies.  The playground really cheered the twins up. Makes me feel guilty for not having a garden for fun stuff like swings. Instead we have a grotty back yard for not so fun stuff like slugs.

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We visited the Heritage café to give the boys their breadsticks, it was fine. Steven and I just had a cup of tea but the food looks pretty standard, potatoes, paninis, sandwiches. Worth noting they only had the big wooden high chairs which aren’t ideal for littler babies. TIP ALERT: We have found this a big problem with the babies, especially when they were first using high chairs, the majority of eateries only have the big wooden high chairs which are far too large for the average baby. We took our Ikea highchair inserts out with us when we went out and they worked a treat.

Worth noting, you have to pay for parking but it isn’t very expensive, £2.50 per day.

Walton Hall and Gardens is open every day of the year from 8am until dusk.

The children’s zoo 

The children’s zoo opens daily at 10.30am and closes at 5pm in the summer and 4pm in the winter.  Entry is free of charge.

Feeding times are 2pm in the summer and 1pm in the winter.

Heritage cafe 

The heritage cafe is open:

  • Monday – Friday: 11am – 3pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 10am – 4pm

Car parking

Walton Hall and Gardens operates a pay and display car park.

Daily charges:

  • Mon-Fri: £2.50
  • Sat-Sun and bank holidays: £3.50
  • Coaches: £6.60

Walton Hall is deffo worth a visit in my opinion for the farm yard alone. The pigeons were awesome.

 

 

 

Jellybugs & Cafe Nest @ Mothercare

Mothercare, Manchester Fort Shopping Park, Cheetham Hill Road, M8 8EP

I have to admit I am pretty sad and love Manchester Fort. Having recently moved to Salford from South Manchester I stumbled across this gem of a shopping park. It is fab for babies, as in shopping for babies, especially the Mothercare there. It’s all shiny and new and I like things that are shiny and new, probably because at the moment I feel the complete opposite of these things. I feel dull and old.

Cafe Nest is situated upstairs next to the Early Learning Centre, as is Jellybugs, but I will come on to that later. The cafe is bright and airy and the high chairs are something else. It is quite pathetic how excited I now get over bloody high chairs, but really these are something else, apparantly they are made by Stokke, nice if you can afford it. We’ll stick to our standard white Ikea ones thanks.

The Menu is small but decent, note that the tea is shit. Coffee is good though. I like taking the boys to lunch there, a) because its bright and there are lots of lights and a few toys to play with, and b) you can be as messy and loud as you want and no one bats an eye lid. Same goes for the twins too.

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They have kids meal deals, the usual sandwich, juice, pomme bears etc. The far end has a blackboard and chalk and some craft tables for older kids. They also provide microwave, bottle warmer etc. (Picture above was taken in Summer, note the bare legs. I am not a mean mum who freezes her babies during winter months. Also note the ever present breadstick. I would say breadsticks but as usual the majority ended up on the floor waiting for me to stand on)

Next to the cafe, is Jellybugs soft play. It’s small but perfectly formed. We have been twice, we went today. The baby bit is tiny, the sign says it fits a maximum of 13 children. I’m not entirely sure what size of childthey are referring to. Maybe a few Borrowers chucked in for good measure. Today, at one time there were 5 kids including my two and that was more than enough. There is a small ball pool, which my two hogged. Sorry everyone else, can’t be helped. They are obsessed with ball pools, they find them hilarious, as in piss funny. Each to their own I suppose. There are a few toys and some soft play favourites but that is that.

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It’s not cheap, time is limited to an hour and costs £3 per child. There is a sibling discount of £1. So it cost me £5 for an hours play. Not great value considering there isn’t enough room to swing a cat. However, the twins enjoyed it and the ambiance is fab there. The equipment is new and clean and the lady who worked there was lovely. The space for older children looked better and you can get a decent cup of coffee and watch them play.

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Also worth noting there is one toilet with baby change upstairs. If you go back down stairs there are a few toilets at the back of the store near the shoes.

In a nutshell, I have this strange love for Mothercare in Manchester Fort. Please tell me it’s not just me?!

 

 

 

Head over Heels, Chorlton

Head Over Heels, Unit 1A, Albany Trading Estate, Albany Road, M21 0AZ

We probably head to Head over Heels,Chorlton more than any other soft play centre, and that’s saying alot. Mainly due to it’s location and being the only one in that immediate area. It’s located just next to Chorlton tram stop. The car park can get full but there is always Morrison’s next door.

It’s a decent enough soft play centre, again verging on the more expensive due to having to pay for adults and the food is on the pricey side too. It can be a tight squeeze and I tend to leave the buggy in the cafe bit outside for fear of blocking the aisles. It’s also not the easiest in the way of carrying both babies into the toddler area. It’s become alot better now the boys can sit up. I just plonk one down while i open the gate, failing that there is always someone on hand to help out. Biggest downside for me is the sensory room. I have seen pictures and heard that it’s great but to get there you have to climb up the soft play equipment to get into the room which is impossible, and a tad dangerous with two babies/rugby balls under your armpits so we haven’t actually made the ascent.

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I sound really negative don’t I? It does have many positives too. The toddler section is big but not too big where i can’t keep an eye on the boys. They have some really good equipment and a ball pool and the staff are really nice too. The twins seem to like it there too, which I suppose is the main thing 😉

As mentioned before, the food is pricey but tasty and the menu is extensive. Lots to choose from for adults and children. Be warned though the inside cafe can be tight for double buggys during busy periods.

We went, totally by accident, one morning to the Kwirky Club toddler morning which is on weekdays between 9.30 and 11.30am. There were crafts laid out and we had a dance and a sing song with Big Blue Buddy. He was kind of scary, but the children bloody loved him. It was busy during this time but soon quietened down afterwards.

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Price per 90 min session
0-5 Months FREE
6 – 11 Months £2.55
1 – 2 Years £4.65
3+ (must be under 4ft 9 (1.45m) £5.60
Non Players £1.60
Discounted Extra Time £0.50 per complete 15 minutes
Discounts and Deals
Monday to Friday on School Days only
3 amazing offers in 1
1. No Time Limit
2. Discounted entry for childminders, twin groups, NHS workers, seniors, mums, dads, relatives….everyone, just £4.40 for children ages one and over. Non players only £1.50
3. Complimentary Kwirky Club toddler morning from 9.30 until 11.30 including crafts, toys and sing along with our big, blue buddy Hairy at 11.00

Chorlton Head over Heels isn’t the most twin friendly soft play centre, but don’t be put off. We do fit, but maybe avoid at weekends. The staff are more than happy to help. As are the other parents.

Cholmondeley Castle

Cholmondeley Castle, Malpas, Cheshire, SY14 8AH

Ahhh Cholmondeley Castle I bloody love you. This place was my favourite day out when I was a little girl so it was beyond lovely to take the twins there on Father’s Day this year (with their Dad of course!)

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The gardens are so magical and pretty and you really feel as though you can go off the beaten track a little and explore to your hearts content. This was quite a selfish visit really, was all for nostalgia purposes but it really is a super day out. The twins will probably appreciate it a bit more when they are older.

Aswell as numerous gardens, my personal favourite being the Temple Garden, there is a playground, little chapel and a farm you can visit.

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They also have a little cafe which has the most amazing home made cakes, but remember to take cash as they don’t accept card payments.

It is quite a drive from Manchester, but well worth the journey. In my opinion it is a hidden gem, but that may be because not many people I know have been. More fool them.

Definitely twin friendly, wide path ways and a changing room big enough for the buggy. We didn’t use high chairs when we went because the boys were too little.

The Gardens are now closed until April 2017 but please visit when they are. You won’t regret it. (I hope!) but note it only opens on Thursdays and Sundays.

Adults £7.00
Children £4.00 (under 5’s free)
Reduction for groups of 25 people or over to £6.00 per person.

Oh and they hold Tough Mudder there, if you’re tough and you like mud.

xx