Out and about

All posts in the Out and about category

Winter Wonderland Manchester

Published December 15, 2014 by Bizzimummy

On Saturday (13th December) me and the three took a trip to The Winter Wonderland event at Event City in Manchester. It's a yearly festive event which is hosted by the Bill Elms company and it wad our first visit there.

Tickets need to be booked online as it obvious,t sells out quickly. The event opened on Saturday and will run until January 4th so plenty of time to arrange a visit. The event is aimed towards families with children under 12 years. It is operated on a session basis and each session is for 4 hours this is to avoid huge queues and crowding, it was very busy when we went on Saturday.

The best way to describe the event is like a massive winter fun fair indoors. There are so many rides and I don't think we got round every single one. The rides vary from ones for the toddlers and younger children to small roller coasters for the older braver ones. All of them have height restrictions and some of them allow parents to ride with children. I wad relieved that every queue was minimal, hardly any waiting for any of the rides. This was quite surprising considering how many people were there.

The arena was magically decorated and lit up with Christmas trees, lights and festive decorations. Character elves were walking about and we even saw some very cute little baby reindeers near the entrance.

As well as the many rides there are also a few shows and attractions to watch at various intervals. First a Meet and Greet Elsa and Anna from Frozen. This is a short show with songs from the famous movie and afterwards the children can get photographs and meet the Princesses. This got very very packed to a point where it was very warm and we could barely move. We did not do the meet and greet afterwards as the queue got fairly long.

The Sooty show was amazing with the real puppets and Richard straight from the TV show, lots of fun, games and music. Izebella loved it as you can see here.

Unfortunately we just did not have time to visit the circus but I hear it's really good, maybe next year!

Of course no Christmas event would be complete without a visit to see the big guy (Father Christmas) himself and there is a grotto right near the entrance. I made sure we did the Santa visit first before anything else and I'm glad I did as when we came out the queue was huge. Visiting Santa is free but to receive a gift is £3 per child. A photograph is taken too by an elf and there is an option to buy either a photo, key ring or snow globe. Santa does not give the gifts his self, instead children can pick their own from a stall just outside the grotto. I'm undecided as to which option works best with Santa visits but my children all picked something they wanted and seemed pretty happy. The choices include various cuddly toys, teddies, cars and a few other things.

There are many places to get food and drinks. Prices are what I would expect at a normal outside fairground, not cheap but not ridiculously expensive. It's £3.50 for either a burger or hotdog and I think it was £2.50 for chips. Dinner for 4 of us with drinks came to just less than £15. Finding a table to sit is impossible but there is a carpeted flooring area to sit in too. The queue for the food was long and probably took over 10 minutes until I was served.

Just like a fairground there are lots of prize stalls everywhere. These cost extra and include hook a duck and ring toss.

We had an amazing day despite all 3 of my children feeling a little unwell, they all enjoyed it and it seemed to cheer us all up. It felt very festive and Christmassy. Lots of things to do and we even saw the snow.

I was so tired when I got home and it was freezing outside but well worth the visit if only to see my children so happy.

Four hours just wasn't enough for us. There were a few odd rides which we missed including the snow globe. We also did not have time for the circus.

Jordanna went missing whilst we were there. She had walked off whilst Izebella was on a ride. The staff were amazing and security guards raced around trying to find her. Luckily we found her safe and well thanks to the staff acting very quickly.

Tickets for Winter Wonderland cost £18.50 each for adults and children and children under 3 years go free. A family ticket for 4 costs £60.00. Tickets can be booked here and more information can also be found about the event along with images.

It's well worth a visit if you live in the North West. Event City is located next to the Trafford Centre.

 

 

 

Bernard Matthews blogger event

Published December 5, 2014 by Bizzimummy

Last month I was invited to a special blogger event in behalf of Bernard Matthews. The event took place at the Horniman museum in London and this was my first blogger event outside of the North West. It was also my first trip to London in over ten years and I was very excited to be going.

I got up early at 6am to catch the early train to Euston and was greeted by a taxi driver waiting to take me to the event. I was one of the first to arrive shortly followed by about 10 other bloggers from all over the UK.

The first session was hosted by chef and food stylist Olia Hercules who showed us all the best way to take photographs of food and recipes. She explained that we don't always need a professional camera to take good photographs and I found this session very useful and informative as I currently rely on my iPhone for my pictures.

We were all given various food products including ingredients to make a turkey salad followed by turkey dinosaurs and advised on the best way to get good photographs.

This was followed by a brief introduction to some of the Bernard Matthews chefs who bought out even more delicious food for us to eat and photograph as we wished. I felt quite full after it all.

After the delicious lunch and drinks there was an innovations session with the Bernard Matthews team. For this we were shown some upcoming new food products which we of course got to try too. We were given information about each of the products including what goes into them. We were asked our opinions on taste and texture, whether it's crunchy, spicy etc and asked which we preferred and disliked.

At the end of the sessions we were all given a lovely goody bag with enough products to make some dinner with once we got home and more besides. I enjoyed the event and felt very full after it which is a good thing as a long delay meant it took over 5 hours to get home.

It was a great opportunity to meet the Bernard Matthews team and sample lots of products. I was also very happy to meet up with a blogger who I have been chatting with from the start and that is the lovely Lilinha at Lilinhas World. It was nice to meet some new bloggers too.

A big thank you to the Bernard Matthews team for a lovely day and I hope to work with you again very soon.

 

ScreamPark Manchester review

Published October 17, 2014 by Bizzimummy

Last night I along with a friend attended the opening night for the new horror attraction ScreamPark. It is set in Event City Manchester right next to the Trafford Centre and is open until November 2nd.

We arrived 15 minutes early and the queue was not long at all. On entering we were plunged into a dim lit smoky room which resembled a military zone, soldiers everywhere and people with microphones warning us of a imminent zombie attack. Then the main gates opened and into the main arena we went.

This area very much resembled some sort of horror movie zombie apocalypse. Military personal everywhere with tents, medical rooms, men in white suits etc. Then everywhere we went – Zombies, ghouls and a whole hoard if hideous undead creatures pounced.

Some of them very frightening indeed. They would scare, chase and even grab unsuspecting visitors and would be waiting on every corner.

One if the scariest ones was probably this clown. He seemed to be everywhere I went and enjoyed chasing me around. Even came right up to my face singing cry baby.

The main area was pretty big with a few different things going on which we had to walk past and have things jump and chase us constantly. One of the attractions included a zombie containment cage in which several monsters were apparently locked inside a big electrified cage and they would bang and growl as we walked past.

Only the cage was nor actually locked and every so often they would burst through the gate and chase someone.

The other attractions included a military style show in which soldiers would check mouths and hands of visitors for zombie contamination and then ended up being over run by zombies. Gun shots would go off and the lighting and whole mood was quite eerie.

This actually reminded me of those horror films where there is a disease outbreak and the diseased come back from the dead.

 

 

In another section a temporary medical station had been set up. Casualties lay on beds and a doctor in a white coat is there. He goes over to a female patient and….Watch the video to find out what happens.

You should beable to hear everyone's screams in the background too. It was a spooky place to be.

A bar was available too which provided a little safe haven from the creatures. Food was sold and the hot dogs were rather tasty. Outside the main arena are fair rides including a ghost train, fun house, big wheel and a few fast rides. No zombies were here either so when we needed a break from being chased, out we went. The rides were all free as they are included in the admission price of £20.

The whole event is on for 4 hours, but after 3 hours or so we felt we had pretty much seen and done everything quite a few times over. The actors were very good with some scary effects and costumes and managed to make quite a few people scream including myself. I did feel that there could have been more, but this was the opening night so maybe there will be as the nights go on. Tickets cost £20 which I think is a little expensive for what we actually saw. I think this should be a little lower. However we enjoyed the experience and it certainly made a much welcome change than the usual evening routine.

This undead soldier scared the hell out of me!

Behind him is the zombie cage I mentioned.

If you want to go to ScreamPark then visit their website for more information and to buy tickets. It is open from 7pm to 11pm until the beginning of November.

Don't have nightmares now!

 

This guy was also one scary dude!

 

 

 

You can view my rather silly ghost train video here too.

Saturday Shopping

Published May 4, 2013 by Bizzimummy

My older two kids (Ryan and Jordanna) stay at their dads most weekends do it was just me and Izebella today. With it being nice I decided to go see my mum who lives in Manchester (about 20 miles away)
We went on bus and as we change over in Manchester city centre anyway I decided to do some shopping and buy a few bits.
Firstly was my fave store TK Maxx it sells so much lovely stuff, lots of it designer for very low prices. I got this lovely bag.

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And a little outfit for baby

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And a few other bits and bats I was probably out shipping at least two hours luckily Izebella slept most of it.
I then got yet another bus to my mothers house and went to her local church for a lovely buffet lunch, stayed another hour and headed back on a tiring journey home, I’m now ready for my bed after all that walking and in for a rather quiet bank holiday.
Have a good one cx

Cocktail making @ Malmaison Hotel

Published April 29, 2013 by Bizzimummy

i_2013042815131860My little sister is getting married next month and Saturday night was her hen do. It was secretly arranged without her knowing anything of where she was going or what she was doing.

All 17 of the hens plus bride to be met at the Malmaison hotel in Manchester. There were several different groups; none of whom I really knew so it was nice to meet some new people. This also happened to be my first proper night out since having Izebella.  Mal_Manchester_Exterior_01After a few introductions at the bar we went into the ember lounge for a cocktail making course. The room was lovely, beautifully decorate tables and balloons. Sis arrived last and looked lovely in her blue dress

After a while of chatting and complimenting how lovely Ell looked, We all gathered around the bar to watch the barman make the first cocktail.

i_2013042723030296He made a lovely drink for my sister and then it was our turn to make cocktails. We were put into groups of three or four and I was put forward to make the first cocktail in our group which was a Cosmopolitan and consisted of Cointreau, vodka, lime and cranberry juice with ice. This one unfortunately for me involved tipping and shaking which uneventfully ended with some spillage.  It was a lovely drink tho.

The second cocktail which was even nicer was a Bellini made with champagne and peach. I didn’t make this one tho this seemed a lot easier to make than my one. i_2013042723030281By this time my poor head already felt a little fuzzy after two lovely cocktails and a vodka but somehow I managed stay alert and remember what came next Rasperry Mojito made from Chambord liqueur, mint leaves, ice and maybe something else which I can’t quite remember. Again another delicious drink tho very sweet.

And that was our amazing cocktail session for which I for one felt extremely giggly and woozy, I have no idea what  I was saying or who to, tho probably a load of incomprehensible rubbish.

Afterwards we went into a private dining area for a lovely two course meal. I had duck with orange and plum sauce followed by Panna cotta. Both of which were lovely tho I forgot the picture of the desert. i_2013042723030240After the meal some of the hens and the bride to be headed on to a club. As I live quite a distance away and was relying on trains; plus have a teething baby I decided to head home instead. I had a great night out and hope my lovely sister did too. I was glad to get in my warm cozy bed tho once I got in and rest my sore party feet.

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