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The Ice Cream Farm, Tattenhall Cheshire

7 May 2021

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The Ice Cream Farm is a family friendly attraction that offers a children's play area, lots of pay as you play attractions and over 50 flavours of ice cream to choose from.

Boy sitting on a deck chair


What To Expect At The Ice Cream Farm, Tattenhall, Cheshire CH3 9NE
The Ice Cream Farm is located in Tattenhall in Cheshire. Like most days out and activities you now have to book in advance online. You can choose a 1, 2 or 3 hour pass. The passes cost just £1 or 90p if you are a VIP pass holder. You can choose a time slot that suits you. We went at 2pm and stayed in the farm until 5pm.

The attractions inside are pay as you play however we chose to buy a play pass online before we arrived. This cost us £15 per pass and allowed us to access the attractions inside at a discounted rate. Our play pass had 5 credits on so instead of paying £4.50 on the day per attraction it had only cost us £3.

Tree house at the Ice Cream farm

Tree house at the Ice Cream farm

boy crawling through a tunnel

Daisys garden


Once inside you have access to Daisy's Garden which is included in your entrance fee of £1. This is a lovely play area with lots of different play equipment for the children. 

There is a large treehouse with rope ladders and slide. A selection of in the ground trampolines. Balance beams and tunnels. Rope swings and lots more. 

In-between attractions it was a great place to let the kids play in whilst we waited for the next. 

strawberry falls

boy playing mini golf

boy playing mini golf


Strawberry Falls golf was a lot of fun and is probably the main attraction at the farm. There were 12 mini golf type holes on the course.

We had to book this attraction using the virtual queuing system. It was quick and easy to book your time slot and meant we didn't have to queue. 

Each player pays £4.50 or uses a credit from their play pass. You are given a scorecard, golf club and ball. Make your way around the course weaving in an out of lots of decorative yummy treats.

boy and dad looking for gems


Gemstone Cove was lots of fun. You are given a small sieve and a mesh bag and then you are ready to go and find some gems. 

All you need to do is dig in the sand and water and then sieve it out and see what you've found. 

We found lots of stones of all different colours. 

Again this costs £4.50 per person or 1 credit from a play pass. We were asked to keep to a time limit of 20 minutes. 

two boys on a quad bike


SilverCone costs just £1 and you do need a £1 coin to put in the slot of the quad. You can then drive your quad around the track and straight to the finish line

boy looking at a bouncy castle


Unfortunately we couldn't play on the marshmallow mound as little J has broken his finger so he just watched as his cousins had a turn. It's a huge inflatable bouncy pillow and they have a smaller one for little ones too.

The marshmallow mound costs £4.50 or 1 credit from a play pass. You are given a timed slot to return to the marshmallow mound and the children have a limited time bouncing.

There were a few attractions we didn't do including Rocky Road. This is another self drive attraction. The inside play attractions where closed due to restrictions and we also didn't see the farm this time. 

picnic area


There is a lovely picnic area too which we will remember for next time. 

We finished the day with Ice Cream. There are over 50 flavours to choose from. 

boy looking at ice cream flavours


The ice cream parlour usually has an indoor seating area however due to restrictions it was closed. There are places to sit around the play area though if you wanted to sit whilst eating.

boy bouncing on a trampoline

boy on a trampoline

Ice Cream Farm

Ice Cream Farm
We had a lovely day at the farm and would definitely recommend it. Pre booking tickets online meant it wasn't too busy and it felt safe. The virtual queuing system also meant less waiting times at the attractions too. 

We can't wait to go again. 

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Michelle
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Dunham Massey, Altrincham Greater Manchester

5 May 2021

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We have visited Dunham Massey twice over the past few months and it has quickly become one of our favourite National Trust properties.

boys looking at house across a lake


What To Expect At Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Greater Manchester WA14 4SJ.

Dunham Massey boasts a garden for all seasons, ancient deer park and a house that is filled with treasures and stories.

On arrival at Dunham Massey your tickets will be checked as you drive in to the car park area. Pre Booking tickets is advised and guarantees entry. Once your tickets are checked you are shown to the car park area and ready to start your day out.

The reception area is just as you enter the estate and has a cafe, toilets, gift shop and an ice cream kiosk. It is probably the largest reception area we have seen in the National Trust places we have been to, and its really modern and fresh. 

boy on grass


When you are ready to enter the main estate you can head up the steps or the accessible route which leads you to the courtyard. There is a large lake which you walk past here which has fountain sprays which fire up from time to time and are really nice to look at.  In the courtyard you have access to toilets, ice cream parlour, the gardens and the deer park.  The courtyard also has some pop up stands with freshly cooked pizza, coffee, and cakes to choose from. 

The house, mill and stables are closed at the moment but there is still plenty to explore.  The house itself looks really impressive, and well preserved so we are looking forward to being able to have a look around when it opens.  

boys sat on a bench


From the courtyard you can choose to head out onto the deer trail, or into the gardens. Both are different experiences and I would recommend you visit both when you go. 

The Gardens are a lovely walk through brightly coloured plants and flowers and large open spaces too. There are plenty of benches dotted around for a break or just to take in the views.  The open spaces are really flat which makes it a great place for a picnic, or to play some games. We played frisbee and the area was perfect for that.  As with most National Trust areas a lot of the trees and flowers are labelled so if you want to have a look and see what everything is you will be able to. 

deer park at Dunham Massey



The Deer park is a much larger and open spaced part of the property. You can choose to wander across some of the more open wooded areas, or you can walk the deer park paths, which in places you can't go off as you have the Deer Sanctuary areas which are left alone for the Deer.  There is so much space to explore and the wide areas reminded us of Tatton Park.  If you follow the defined path you will be able to walk all the way to the end of the estate and come back along another path where we did see some deer from a distance.  There is lots to explore and plenty to climb over, run through and generally enjoy the outdoors. 

boy holding an Ice cream


All paths will lead you back to the Courtyard area, which is a good idea as you can get refreshed and have an Ice Cream before you head back to the reception area and have a look in the shop if you like. 

Anything Else?
The car park at Dunham Massey is free and has lots of parking spaces. It's open daily from 9am-5:15pm (weekends) and 9:30am - 5:15pm. (weekdays)

Please check the individual opening times for the gardens, cafe, shop before you visit.

Well behaved dogs are welcome in the parkland (9.30am – 5pm) and gardens (12 noon – 5pm), but must be kept on a short lead at all times to protect the herd of deer.

Pre Booking tickets is essential. 
Prices are 
£8 per adult
£4 per child
£20 per family

There is plenty to see and do at Dunham Massey to keep you busy and makes a lovely day out. 

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

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Michelle
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April 2021 | Looking Back

4 May 2021

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April was a busy one for us. It was nice to have the boys off school so we could enjoy half term and some adventures together. Like most of the months this year, April just flew by and I actually cannot believe we are in May already. We did have a lovely month  and I have really enjoyed looking back at our April. 

boy lying on the grass


National Trust
Once again we tried to make the most of our National Trust passes this month. Sometimes it can be hard to plan in advance as you have to book up to a week in advance. The tickets for the week ahead go on sale early Friday morning.  So far we have been lucky and have visited every time we have booked and the weather has always been kind to us. 

boy completing an easter egg hunt

boy completing an easter egg hunt

Easter egg treat


First we headed to Speke Hall. There was an Easter Egg Trail around the estate for the children to enjoy. It was lots of fun and little J enjoyed following the arrows, solving the clues and getting a chocolate treat at the end.

boy on grass

boy on grass

meeting percy the park keeper


Tatton Park was also on our visit list for this month. Here we enjoyed a different type of trail. Percy the Park Keeper has created a secret path to follow to help find his friends and gather all the tools he needs for a big spring clean up. We really enjoyed this trail in Tatton Park Gardens and got to meet Percy at the end. 

Quarry Bank Mill

Quarry Bank Mill

Quarry Bank Mill


Next we visited Quarry bank Mill where little J enjoyed another Easter Egg Trail. We’ve never visited Quarry Bank Mill before so had no idea what to expect. We all enjoyed lovely views of the gardens, the mill and then headed on one of the walks. 

I am so pleased that we bought our National Trust memberships last year. It’s really helped us get up and go over the past few months and enjoy some lovely properties, gardens and walks.

Spending Time With Family and Friends
This month we managed to squeeze in some time with our family and friends within the lockdown restrictions.

boys in the woods


We took little J and his friend to another National Trust favourite of ours, Formby Red Squirrel Reserve. They spent the day building dens, swinging from a tree swing, rolling down sand-hills, enjoying a picnic and even finding some animal bones. It was lovely to see them play together and catch up on all the things they’ve missed out on over the past few months.

boys playing


We also had the chance to head to the park for a lovely afternoon with family. Watching Little J and his cousins play together made us all so happy as they have missed out on so much time together over the past few months.

boy on a trampoline


Another family day out was to the Ice Cream Farm in Cheshire. This was definitely our favourite day out this month. It's been a very long time since we visited the Ice Cream Farm so we were pleasantly surprised how much it has changed with lots more to see and do. They boys spent their day climbing, bouncing, crawling and digging for jewels. We finished off the day with an ice cream.

broken finger


Another Injury
Unfortunately there was another injury this month.  Last month was big J hurting his ankle and ending up on crutches, this month little J broke his little finger. It happened while he was playing for his football team. As he is the goalie he has to make lots of difficult saves and sometimes gets trampled on. We’re not quite sure which one caused the break, maybe it was a mixture of the two. 

boy with a bandaged arm


We hesitated at first about taking him to A&E and thought about strapping his little finger together to the next with a bit of cotton wool and tape. We are so glad we took him because his little finger was broken. He ended up with a full cast up to his elbow. This is a new procedure for broken fingers at our local hospital and hopefully it means that he will be on the mend sooner. The bad news was it did mean that his goalie duties were passed on to somebody else and he had to watch his team from the sidelines.

Looking forward to a fun May with lots planned.

Michelle
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Ideas To Keep You Busy In May

3 May 2021

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Other than December, May is one of my favourite months. Not just because it's my birthday month but because the weather is always warm, we have lighter evenings and we get to enjoy two bank holidays. There are also lots of other reasons to enjoy May and here are some ideas to keep you busy. 

hello may


This month is Get Caught Reading month and also Bike month.

Get Caught Reading
The idea behind Get Caught Reading month is some people see book readers as book nerds, as secluding themselves away in a fantasy world and not living in the real world. If you are a book reader you will know that reading a book is so much more than that. It's a chance to relax, step away from the screen and yes you are whisked away into another world for a short period of time, but so what. Get Caught Reading month is the chance to show your friends, family and other people that reading might not be for everyone but it is for you. 

Bike Month
Riding a bike has become so popular over the years as a way to get to and from work, a way to get fit or just a fun activity getting you out and about. Bike month is the chance to appreciate your bike and use it more. If you haven't ridden a bike in a long time, dust it off and get back on the saddle again. 

Bank Holiday Monday (3rd)
The first if two bank holidays this month. Unfortunately this doesn't mean an extra day off for everyone but if you do have a day off then I hope you enjoy it.  However it does look like it will be a wet one. 

boy hugging a wookie


Star Wars Day (4th)
May The 4th is known as Star Wars day. Star Wars has been a huge part of our lives both individually and as a family and I'm sure we will celebrate Star Wars day by playing some Star Wars games we own and watching a movie too. 

Revenge Of The Fifth (5th)
If May the 4th wasn't enough for you to show your appreciation to Star Wars then you have another day to celebrate. Revenge of the Fifth was created to extend the Star Wars celebrations and see who will turn to the dark side?

Big J's Birthday (6th)
A personal one for us as today we will be celebrating big J's birthday. 

Password Day (6th)
Today will definitely keep you busy as it is password day. It's a day when you are supposed to sit down and change all your passwords. Make your passwords strong, add special characters and numbers to help protect you online. 

Nurses Week (6th - 12th)
I'm sure in our lifetime we have all benefited from the help and care from a nurse. This week we can show our appreciation to all the nurses out there who have helped us especially those risking their own lives and spending time away from their families over the past year. 

My Birthday (7th)
Another personal celebration for us as I celebrate my birthday. 

Golf Day (10th)
Whether you're a regular golfer, new to the sport or would just prefer a round of mini golf, today is for you. 

Stay Up All Night (10th)
I may have pulled a few all nighters when I was younger but I couldn't think of anything worse now especially on a school night. For those that are up for a challenge, good luck. 

Eat What You Want Day (11th)
Eat what you want day was originally created and founded by Thomas and Ruth Roy. The idea behind the day is to help people break away from the constant reminder from magazines and now social media that we should all be on diets and have the perfect body. Take today to just eat something that you may have wanted for a while or just something you really enjoy. 

National Dinosaur Day (15th)
A day dedicated to Dinosaurs and the perfect day for all dino lovers to express and enjoy their love for Dinosaurs. 

Bring Flowers To Someone Day (15th)
I'm sure flowers have many many purposes but I think their main purpose is to make someone smile. If you hand someone a bunch of flowers their face will instantly light up and a smile will appear. If someone needs cheering up then I would definitely recommend using today to bring flowers to someone. 

boy baking
World Baking Day (17th)
World baking day is the chance for us to head in to the kitchen and spend some time baking. Some people find baking very therapeutic and others like to bake with the kids. If you don't have time to bake today maybe head to a local bakery and support them by buying some freshly made bread or cakes. 

Roadmap Step 3 Begins (17th)
Today is the day we see some of the restrictions lifted as part of step 3 of the roadmap. The restrictions on gatherings outside will be lifted and although they have said to use your own common sense on the level of risk, gatherings over 30 will be illegal. Indoor hospitality can reopen as can cinemas and children's play areas. Hotels can reopen and indoor gyms and classes can resume. For a full list just head to the gov.uk website.

Work From Home Day (17th)
Today would have been something we all would have loved over a year ago but now working from home is our new normal and some may even want to return back to work.

Visit Your Relatives Day (18th)
Now that the restrictions have been lifted for outdoor gatherings plan some time when you can visit your family today and have a much needed catch up. 

Be A Millionaire Day (20th)
Unfortunately today doesn't mean we will all become millionaires overnight. The day was created to remind people that anything is possible and if your dream is to become a millionaire, today is the day you can start making your dream come true. You need to start off by reviewing your spending habits, look at your debts and see how you can make better money choices in your life. 

Bike To Work Day (21st)
Riding your bike to work has proven to help with better performance, helped towards your personal health and fitness, saved you money and also saved the planet. 

Pizza Party Day (21st)
Fridays for us usually mean fish and chips however today we may make an exception and eat pizza instead. 

Lucky Penny Day (23rd)
We have all heard of the saying 'See a penny pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck'. Whether you believe pennies are lucky or not today is lucky penny day and I know we could all do with a little bit of luck sometimes. There are so many superstitions abut pennies and how they can bring you good luck at certain times. Would you pick up a penny or walk straight past?

brothers on a trampoline


Brother's Day (24th)
One we will definitely be celebrating here. Brother's Day is a day to appreciate the bond between brothers. Eleven years between our two and they are the best of friends. 

Sun Screen Day (27th)
Today is just a reminder of how important sun screen is. It should be part of your daily routine whatever the weather. You only get one skin so we should protect it as much as possible. 

Hamburger Day (28th)
No fish Friday again for us this week as I know the boys would much rather have a cheeseburger. 

Put A Pillow On Your Fridge Day (29th)
This day is a result of an old tradition where people would place a piece of linen or nightwear in their larder. As it was an item from the bedroom they believed it would bring them good luck with fertility. Over the years and the power of social media it has now turned in to a special day and people do believe it brings them good fortune. 

Bank Holiday (31st)
What a great way to end the month with yet another bank holiday. 

I am always so grateful for any support I receive on my blog and social channels. If you did find this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

What are you looking forward to this month? Leave us a comment below and let us know.

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Michelle
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Too Good To Go App

28 April 2021

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A few months ago a friend of ours used the Too Good To Go App. I had heard of it before but had no idea what it was. If you haven't heard of it I have since found out it's an app that allows you to save food from local restaurants, cafes and stores from going to waste. 

Cafe Nero


As you may already know we love money saving and cash back apps so we decided to give it a go. We were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to use and we were impressed with the food we collected. 

How Does It Work?
Too Good To Go is an app available to download for free from your devices app store. Setup was quick and easy with just a few questions to answer including your name and email address. 

When setup is complete,  you then search for food in your local area. Find your location by pinpointing it on the map, searching by city or using your location. 

Once you have selected your location you can then decide to search within 3, 5, 10, 15 or 30km. The larger the range then the further you will have to travel, but the more choice you will have. 

That's it - you are now ready to browse available food that will go to waste in your local area. 

You can browse via a list or a map and choose food you would like to buy and collect. 

Sandwiches


What Food Will I Get?
Each restaurant, cafe and store offers magic bags. The magic bags are mystery food bags that you will not know the contents of until you collect. Stores can't predict exactly what food will be left over at the end of the day so they offer a magic bag which will be full of surprises. 

What Restaurants, Cafes and Stores are included?
I think this depends on your local area as there are well known brands such as Costa, Cafe Nero, Baruritto and Spar but there are also local stores close to us that are not part of a bigger chain.

How Much Does A Magic Bag Cost?
The price of a bag varies depending on the restaurant, cafe or store. The cheapest bag I have seen is £2.59 for £10 worth of products and the most expensive is £10 for £40 worth of products. 

Costa Sandwiches


How Do I Collect The Bag?
This was really easy as every store we went in had the bags ready and understood what we asked for when we mentioned the magic bag.  We found it easier for us to show the app and explain we had a bag to pick up and this worked really well.  
                                    Michelle

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A Mole Like No Other Children's Book

27 April 2021

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Disclosure - We were gifted a copy of A Mole Like No Other for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. This post contains affiliate links. 

I love finding a book that is the perfect balance of a good bedtime story and also a book little J is confident reading alone. Although we read to little J before bedtime he likes to follow along with the story and will sometimes take over reading. Our most recent bedtime story is A Mole Like No Other by Julia Grantham.

A Mole Like No Other Book


The story is based on a toy mole. He is an unwanted toy animal that for as long as he can remember has been in a dark and stuffy box. With a bright yellow tractor pressed up against him and a smelly old football boot near his over sensitive nose Mole can only dream that one day he will see the light of day again. 

When he feels the box lift off the ground, Mole is sure his life is about to change and begin again. Mole soon hears a familiar voice, one he hasn't heard for a long time. His owner Lorna. Lorna has taken Mole to an Easter fair to sell him however she is sure no one will want an 'ugly old mole' so even offers him for free. Will Mole find a new owner that will love and care for him?

Luckily Mole is bought by a little boy called Ashley. Ashley decides to call him Moley and takes him home to be with the rest of his stuffed toy animals. 

Moley's new home is a beautiful English cottage surrounded by nature and animals. Follow Moley as he makes lots of new friends thanks to Ashley's stuffed animals and real animals on his adventures. 

A Mole Like No Other is a lovely bedtime read which touches on emotions and friendships. It's funny in places and a perfect choice book to read aloud. 

If you would like to be in with the chance of winning A Mole Like No Other I have two copies to giveaway. All you need to do is complete the entry form below and pop back daily for bonus chances to win. 

If you are not lucky enough to win you can purchase A Mole Like No Other in paperback on Amazon or it is completely free on Kindle. 



Michelle
Terms

Competition closes on Sunday 16th May 2021

Entrants must have a valid UK address. 

Bulk, third party or any other entries using automated software will be disqualified. 

All entrants and entries are checked and verified. 

2 lucky winners will be chosen at random by the Gleam application. 

Playdays and Runways will contact the lucky winners within 7 days of the competition closing. 

The winners will be emailed to the email address given at the time of entering. 

The winners will not be announced on my blog or social media until they have agreed that their name can be displayed. 

The winners must respond within 28 days, if no response a new winner will be chosen. 

This prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative 

The Prize : A Mole Like No Other Children's Book

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Dino Falls Adventure Golf, Trafford Manchester

22 April 2021

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Dino Falls Adventure Golf offers 36 holes over two courses. No need for golf experience the Dinosaur themed golf adventure is perfect for all ages and all abilities. 

dinosaur golf



What To Expect At Dino Falls, Trafford, Manchester. M17 8PG

Dino Falls Adventure Golf is situated in The Trafford Golf Centre close to the Trafford Centre. There are two courses to choose from each consisting of 18 holes. 

tyrannosaurus rex

boys head in a tyrannosaurus rex


Dinosaur fans will love this themed adventure golf featuring prehistoric caves and winding fossil paths. There are a range of moving dinosaurs including Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops and Velociraptors.

Course 1 - Rapids
Navigate along the winding river and the following waterfall on the Rapids course. Make sure you don't get sprayed by the Pterodactyl overhead. 

Course 2 - Volcano
Head out on the ultimate adventure along the Volcano course complete with colossal erupting volcano. 

boy playing mini golf


Both courses feature engaging obstacles with a pre-historic twist, selfie stations and fascinating facts to keep you informed as you play. 

boys playing mini golf


Prices
£8 Adult
£6 Child Under 16 and students
£24 Family (2 adults and 2 children)

Booking is essential and guarantees your entry however payment is not taken online, you will need to pay on arrival. 

Opening times are 7:30am-10:30pm daily. Last tee time is 9:25pm. 

The cafe and bar is open for takeaway only and does not allow sitting/waiting inside. 

Dino Falls Adventure Golf is all outdoors so it would be wise to come prepared for all weathers. 

You must arrive 10 minutes before your tee off time. It is estimated that a round of 18 holes will take 1 hour when playing as a group of 4. 

Parking is free at the Trafford Golf Centre. 

Close by is The Trafford Centre which is home to lots of shops, bars, restaurants, cinema and amusements. 

Dino Falls sign
If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Have you been to Dino Falls Golf? Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit.

Visit our Days Out In The North West post for more walk ideas

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Michelle
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