Days Out
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Visiting Goin Golf, Stoke on Trent

Disclosure - We were invited to Goin' Golf for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

Goin' Golf is a new virtual golf experience that has recently opened in Stoke On Trent. It is the biggest golf simulator experience in the UK with seven individual bays that you can book for the length of time that suits you.

Goin' Golf, Stoke on Trent

When you play on a simulator at Goin' Golf you can choose to bring your own clubs, or borrow a set to use for your round. Goin' Golf supply the balls, which are all good quality brands that you may use yourself. If you have a spare hour you can actually get a full round of 18 holes in, on a course of your choice from over 190 available.  There are many reasons why you might want to play golf indoors - No need to walk the length of the course and you wont get stuck behind a group of slower players. There is also no adverse weather conditions to worry about either which means you will always get your full round in no matter how bad the rain outside may be. 

We chose to borrow a set of clubs from the centre as we didn't have my clubs with us at the time we visited. All clubs looked new and all had been cleaned before use. For the three of us playing we actually were given 3 sets - one mans, one ladies and one children's set which I didn't expect at all. 

Goin' Golf, Stoke on Trent
Goin' Golf, Stoke on Trent

We had the choice to play on one of the many courses, or play some of the arcade games available. We started with the arcade games and played both block breaker and darts. These are brilliant games for younger players and although Little J hasn't played golf before he loved the games and didn't want to come off them! While we played we got drinks, the menu lists everything available. We got a Latte, Pepsi Max and a Skittles Milkshake which went down very well!  Each simulator has its own sitting area where you can relax whilst waiting your turn or just take some time out for a drink. 

Goin' Golf, Stoke on Trent

Goin' Golf, Stoke on Trent
After we played the arcade games it was on to Pebble Beach to try the course out. You could choose your tee height, and use a large controller on the floor to move your angle of aim before taking your shot.  The simulator is intelligent and knows when the ball should be on the tee and when it should be on the floor. Once you have set your shot up you just need to pick your club and away you go.  

Initially I found the fact that I was indoors a bit different.  My swing was shortened and a little rushed as I thought I might hit the ceiling or maybe hit the ball too hard at the screen in front. After a few shots I was able to relax and play as I would outside. You soon get used to the space you have available - which is plenty and the ball always drops down from the screen once hit to be returned into the machine. 

The accuracy of the simulator seemed spot on. I have a natural slice to my driving which was unfortunately replicated on the simulator! Putting was a little difficult to get used to but again after a few holes you get the hang of it. 

Goin' Golf, Stoke on Trent

Once we finished we went to have a look around the building which is really impressive. The owner really loves his golf and that is evident from the decoration and the time that has gone into setting Goin' Golf up. There are some lovely pictures of golfing greats, an enormous upstairs putting green, and 2 VIP rooms where the simulator will actually replicate the lie of the ball as on a real course, whether that be on an angle or in sand or rough. The toilets where very clean and easy to access. 

Goin' Golf, Stoke on Trent

We really enjoyed our time at Goin' Golf and it was fun for us all. You can join up as a member to receive discounts on future visits which we have done.  

For more information and to book visit Goin' Golf

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Staying At The Drayton Manor Hotel

We recently planned a trip to Drayton Manor and with it being over two hours drive from home we decided to extend our trip and stay at the Drayton Manor hotel. It was the first time we have stayed at the hotel and we would definitely stay again. If you are planning a trip to Drayton Manor here is what you can expect if you stay over at the Drayton Manor Hotel.

Drayton Manor Hotel Exterior

The Drayton Manor Hotel, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B78 3TW
The Drayton Manor Hotel is just a few minutes walk to the main entrance to the Drayton Manor Theme Park. Drayton Manor Theme Park is home to over 100 rides and attractions including a 15 acre zoo and Thomas Land. 

Although Drayton Manor is probably best known for Thomas Land the hotel hasn't really picked up on this apart from a very small Thomas and Friends gift shop and a small carousel moving display in the reception area.

Triple Room at Drayton Manor Hotel

Bathroom at Drayton Manor Hotel

Bathroom at Drayton Manor Hotel

The hotel has a variety of bedrooms to meet all needs including

Thomas and Friends Themed Room
Rooms are spacious and include a double bed and Thomas theme bunk beds. Adults can relax in front of their own TV, whilst the children watch a DVD in theirs. 

Family Room
Family rooms are spacious enough for two adults and two children or a maximum of three adults. Each room has a double bed and a sofa bed.

Family Deluxe Room
Family Deluxe Rooms have 2 double beds giving you extra space for the little ones. 

Presidential Room
A separate staircase leads up to the Presidential Room which offers a queen size bed and lounge area. 

Executive Room
An Executive room can accommodate two adults and one child when adding a single bed or cot.

Accessible Room
A spacious room with all areas accessible by wheelchair. 

Triple Room
The Triple room can accommodate two adults in single beds and one child in a pull out trundle bed.

We stayed in a Triple room and you if you want to take a look click our triple room tour at Drayton Manor hotel

Stay and Play
The Drayton Manor Hotel offer a Stay and Play package. The package includes a stay in one of the rooms at the hotel, a full english breakfast and tickets for Drayton Manor Theme Park for each member of your party.

reception at drayton manor

One of the reasons I think the hotel hasn't gone for a Thomas and Friends decor throughout is that the hotel is very popular for meetings, conferences and events. There was an event on while we stayed and it was very popular. 

fish and chips

pizza and chips

Restaurant and Bar
The Parklands Restaurant and Bar offers a wide variety of meals including steaks, grills, pastas and risotto. They do offer a children's menu too.

If the restaurant and bar isn't for you then you can head to the park for Fish N Chips or Safari Pizza and Pasta with both restaurants staying open till 7:30pm after rides close. All you need to do is show your room card. You can also order Fish N Chips to your room. 

Arcade at the Drayton Manor Hotel

Arcade at the Drayton Manor Hotel

Arcade at the Drayton Manor Hotel

outside seating area Drayton Manor Hotel

gift shop at Drayton manor hotel

Anything Else?
There is a small arcade on the ground floor close to reception. It has a selection of games and machines for the chance to win.

The Thomas and Friends Gift Shop is also situated close to reception and is stocked with lots of Thomas  goodies. 

Outside at the back of the hotel is an outside patio with a selection of table and chairs.

There is also a small woodland play area for children. 

There are plenty of car parking spaces situated at the front of the hotel and an overflow to the side. 

If booking a Stay and Play trip you can use your tickets on the day of your arrival or on your departure day, the choice is yours. 

There is no pool, gym, sauna or steam room at the hotel which is a shame as I think this would be a great addition. 

When leaving the hotel on foot you can follow the yellow path marked PE (park entrance) this will take you to the back of the theme park within a few minutes. 

We booked our room quite late so there where limited rooms available. We chose a triple room which suited our needs. We did think we would be able to push two of the single beds together however this wasn't possible as there was a nightstand between the beds which was fixed to the wall. 

The rooms all come with tv, free wifi, toiletries and tea making facilities. 

Our room had an interconnecting door. I am not sure how many rooms are available with this choice but if required I would contact the hotel directly as I did not see an option when booking.  

If you would like to see our full room tour video you can see it here. Like I said earlier we stayed in a triple room however I think the room size, layout and features in the room are all very similar unless staying in the Presidential or Executive room. 

Would We Stay Again?
If the price was right we would definitely use the Stay and Play offer again when visiting Drayton Manor. Although the hotel is situated just 5 minutes away from the park, it was the school holidays and there was an event taking place it was extremely quiet. 

The rooms were spacious and breakfast set us up for the day with a full english available, cereals, croissants and fruit.

The Theme Park has a great mixture of rides and attractions and makes for a great day out. 

To find out more information about the hotel and to check out the special offers visit The Drayton Manor Hotel website.

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

Comments - I love reading your opinions and thoughts - Have you visited Drayton Manor before?Leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought.

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Dino Kingdom, Manchester Review

Disclosure - We were gifted tickets for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own unless stated.  

Dino Kingdom is an epic prehistoric exploration from the creators of the award-winning Lightopia Festival. Dino Kingdom lands in Manchester this Summer until the 15th August. It will then head to Nottinghamshire from 15th– 31st October.

Dino Kingdom Sign

What To Expect At Dino Kingdom, Manchester M23 1DW
Dino Kingdom is located at Wythenshawe Park, Altrincham. Until the 15th of August you can pre book 3 hour slots for what is to be Manchester's biggest outdoor Summer adventure. 

Step back in time and explore roaring and moving Dinosaurs and state-of-the-art 3D and AR technology. Immerse yourself in unforgettable interactive activities and enjoy a range of thrilling fairground rides, delicious food and drink and much more.

Dino Kingdom is dinosaurs like you’ve never seen them before…

Dinosaur at Dino Kingdom
On arrival you are guided to a separate car park for Dino Kingdom guests. Car parking costs just £3 and allows you to park for 3 hours. Once parked you follow the signposts to the Dino Kingdom entrance. It's quite a walk from the car park to main entrance and the ground is mainly gritty however there was an alternative route for those in wheelchairs. 

Once our tickets had been scanned we were shown inside and greeted by a huge T-Rex. Lots of people queued for their first photo with the dinosaur. There was no queuing system although everyone took turns and didn't hang around too long so the next person could get their photo.

Dinosaur at Dino Kingdom

Dinosaur at Dino Kingdom

Dinosaur at Dino Kingdom

After the initial T-Rex at the entrance the dinosaurs were dotted around the enclosed part of the park and getting up close wasn't a problem as they were huge. 

The dinosaurs each had their own rope around their space and it's encouraged that you don't touch the dinosaurs however the little ones visiting did find it hard to resist. 

Dinosaur at Dino Kingdom

Dinosaur at Dino Kingdom

Each dinosaur moves and has sound and comes with its own facts board. The boards confirm the dinosaurs name, where they lived and how long ago. It was really interesting finding out some of the names and I hadn't realised there were so many different types of dinosaur.

Dinosaur at Dino Kingdom

Dinosaur at Dino Kingdom

There were interactive features along the way including a personal favourite of ours. We were given a colouring in sheet of a dinosaur and we used the provided highlighters and pens to colour him in. We gave our dinosaur a name and wrote it in black pen on his legs as instructed. We then went in to a tent were the lady scanned our dinosaur and within seconds he was brought to life and projected on to a big screen, walking around. 

There was another tent that projected 'what was inside a dinosaur' onto a huge dinosaur figure. The short video only last 3 minutes however some of the younger audience got bored as there was no sound and it was very hot inside the tent. 

There are lots of food options around the park including a smoke house serving burger and chips, a german kiosk serving sausages and other options such as  Chinese noodles and greek wraps. You can also purchase waffles, cakes, sweets and other treats within the funfair area. There are a few picnic tables in the main food area however there are not enough for everyone to take a seat but you should be able to find space on the grass. 

There are toilets located at the car park before you head in to Dino Kingdom. There are portable cubicles and on the day we visited only 1 out of 6 was in working order. There are also toilets with in the Dino Kingdom enclosure. I saw two lots, one near the food area and some located in the funfair area.
fairground rides at Dino Kingdom

fairground rides at Dino Kingdom

fairground rides at Dino Kingdom

fairground rides at Dino Kingdom

There are a small selection of rides at Dino Kingdom however these are not included in your entry ticket. The rides on average cost £3 per person. You pay at the individual rides, there is no need for tokens or tickets. 

As mentioned earlier the car park ticket is valid for 3 hours. We needed more than this. The walk to and from the actual Dino Kingdom enclosure took us a while as the boys ran off to explore in the woods and play areas. Also if you want to make sure you see all the dinosaurs, join in with the activities, grab a bite to eat and enjoy the rides 3 hours just wasn't enough. We did over run so I'm not quite sure how strict the 3 hour time limit is. 

There are a range of ticket options available. 

Adult Tickets (aged 16-65) £15.00
Child Ticket (aged 3-15) £13.00
Child Ticket (0-2) FREE
Family Ticket £54.00
Concession £14.00
Fee and tax will be added on to the total. 

Opening is daily between 10am-7pm with last entry at 5pm

We really enjoyed our day at Dino Kingdom. The weather was sunny and dry so not sure how I would have felt if it had been raining and the ground was soft and muddy. There is plenty to do and as I said 3 hours didn't feel like enough time. It is a must for dino fans as the dinosaurs themselves were huge and felt so real. 

To pre book your tickets or find out more visit Dino Kingdom

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

Comments - I love reading your opinions and thoughts - Have you visited the Ice Cream Farm? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought.

Growing my social media is something I work hard on. If you would like to follow us - Like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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Big Little Tent Festival This Easter | AD

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Disclosure - This is a paid collaboration with The Little Big Tent Festival 

The clocks have sprung forward so the nights are getting lighter and for us that means more time in our garden. We spent so much time in our garden last year due to being in lockdown and staying at home. The weather was kind to us and we had lots of fun playing garden games, playing in the pool and also making tents and camping outside. 

The little big tent festival bunting

While we were safe at home last year we were introduced to the Big Little Tent Festival. The Caravan Club created the idea of Big Little Tent Festival during lockdown. It was an idea that meant we could still enjoy all the fun of the great outdoors but from our own home. 

Big Little Tent Festival is back again this year and is taking place over the Easter weekend which falls on the 3rd and 4th April. Restrictions in the UK are still in place so this is the perfect way to get outdoors, pitch a tent, and enjoy nature all from your own garden. 

There are lots of festival fun and activities to join in with across the weekend including a Zoom party to meet The Mermaid Princess and The Friendly Neighbourhood Hero for games, superhero training, and a campfire song! You can take part in their facebook love children's quiz, enjoy bushcraft and so much more. 

You’ll find all the information you need on their Facebook page - Big Little Tent Festival

To get you in the festival and camping mood the Caravan Club have created a free downloadable pack which contains everything your and your family will need for a home camping festival experience. 

Little big Tent Festival wristband

Create your own festival wristbands. Use the wristband templates in the pack to make them as colourful as you like. 

Decorate your garden or home with The Big Little Tent festival colour your own bunting. 

Create a To Do list. Everything you need to make the festival fun.

Whether you're camping indoors or outside there is a packing list perfect for you. 

Boy colouring in

Lots of fun activities for the kids to enjoy, word search, garden bingo, spot the difference and much more, 

When you download the pack you will be entered in to a draw for a chance to win with Raleigh. Raleigh are offering the chance to win one of two amazing bikes. 

Raleigh's Pop and Molli children's bikes are worth up to £350 each. Perfect for exploring the great outdoors and getting some exercise too. 

Make sure you join in with The Big Little Tent Festival Twitter party on Wednesday 31st March between 7-8pm to find out lots more about the Caravan Club and The Big Little Tent Festival. There will be chances to win prizes too. Make sure you follow @BigLittleTent and use the hashtag #BLTF21 in your tweets. 

boys in a tent

Not matter whether you have a tent or have to improvise, camp indoors or out, the Little Big Tent Festival is fun for all and the perfect way to spend an Easter Weekend

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Buyagift - The Perfect Present | Review

Disclosure - We received a Buyagift experience in return for a feature on our blog. The idea for this post was my own as is all thoughts, opinions and photographs. This post contains affiliate links.

A wrapped present
We are those people that when it comes to birthdays or Christmas we never want anything. We really struggle to think of something and in the end we usually ask for a voucher. Over the past few years we have asked experiences vouchers such as Buyagift and for people like us it really is the perfect present. We have selected some of  our favourite experiences that we have enjoyed so far using Buyagift.

Drayton Manor Theme Park

Theme Parks
If you know us then you will know that we are quite the thrill seekers and are usually head to theme park at least once a month. This Summer we headed to Drayton Manor which was perfect for both big and little J.

As there is an 11 year age gap it can be tricky sometimes to find somewhere that is suitable for both their age ranges however Drayton Manor had something for everyone.

Drayton Manor Theme Park
Drayton Manor Theme Park
The park has lots of thrill rides suitable for big J including Shockwave and Maelstrom and little J loved Thomas Land which has lots of rides based around the popular character Thomas The Tank Engine.

The theme park also has a 15 acre zoo which was fun for all of us and a 4D cinema too.

Our voucher included two adults and two children with lunch to Drayton Manor Theme Park

Prezzo Restaurant

Dining Out
On a recent day out to Southport, John and I ended our day with a trip to Prezzo. Using our voucher was easy we just made a reservation online and we were sent a redemption code to hand to the waiter when we had finished.

On arrival we were handed the Buyagift set menu which has so much to choose from. John started with the Garlic Bread with Mozzarella and I had the Tomato Bruschetta.

For our mains we both went for Spaghetti Bolognese. I assumed as this was a Buyagift menu that the portion size may be smaller but it wasn't.

We both saved some room for desserts. I went for Honey Smash Cheesecake whilst John chose his favourite Tiramisu.

The voucher was for a Three Course Meal With Wine For Two at Prezzo

View from the Shard

Days Out
We like to go to London at least once a year to visit the London tourist attractions. One of our favourite attractions is viewing the London Skyline from The Shard.

View from the Shard
Once at the top of The Shard you can get a great view of St Pauls Cathedral, The River Thames, The London Eye and if you look closely you can also spot Wembley too.

There was no need to book beforehand for this experience and the voucher we used was View From the Shard - Two Adults and Two Children

Go Ape
I managed to keep my feet firmly on the ground for this experience however I did enjoy watching both John and big J making their way through the trees on Go Ape.

Go Ape is a tree top high ropes adventure that has you climbing across obstacles and rope ladders through the trees.

Go Ape
Once they had finished their course they used a zip wire to fly head back to the ground.

Go Ape
This experience was really fun for them both and we did enjoy watching them as they challenged themselves to reach the end. The experience we used was a Tree Top Adventure at Go Ape

These are just a few of our favourite experiences we have done so far but our list is huge and we still have so many more we want to do. There are so many experiences to choose from with Buyagift and if you are unsure on a what experience to choose you can always buy a Smartbox which gives you 1000's of experiences to choose from. If you don't like your chosen experience Buyagift offers free exchanges and once you pick your new experience you can have your voucher sent direct to your email.

For more experience ideas you can visit Buyagift

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Italian Gathering Menu At Prezzo

Disclosure - We were gifted a voucher to cover the cost of the Italian Gathering Menu. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

Italian Gathering Menu At Prezzo
Last week we wear invited to Prezzo restaurant to sample their Italian Gathering menu. We have visited Prezzo many times in the past but it's always nice to try out new menus. We headed to Prezzo  in Media City, Manchester before a trip to the theatre. It was a glorious night but we decided to sit inside even though there were tables outside overlooking the green.

On arrival we were given a main menu and also the Italian Gathering menu which has a choice of starters, mains and desserts.

John decided to start with the cheesy garlic bread and I went for tomato brushetta. For mains John chose the Spaghetti Bolognese and I chose the light chicken pizza. Included in the set menu is a choice of drinks, house wine, Peroni beer or a soft drink. John went for a Peroni and I got a Pepsi Max

We didn't wait long for our drinks to arrive. When they did our order was wrong, however it was rectified very quickly.

Cheese Garlic bread
Our starters arrive a few minutes later and I was pleased to see a full portion, even though it was on a special menu. Sometimes in other restaurants when we have ordered from set menus the portion size seems smaller however this wasn't the case at Prezzo.

I didn’t taste the garlic bread although it smelt delicious. My tomato bruschetta was very tasty and like I said earlier, a decent portion size.

Spaghetti Bolognese
Lighter choice pizza
Whenever we go for an Italian John always orders Spaghetti Bolognese it's his favourite dish and he wasn't disappointed. The bowl was huge but he still managed to finish it is all. My pizza was chicken and broccoli, it was smaller than a normal size pizza, however I knew this at the time of ordering, it is a lighter choice.

The Italian Gathering menu is two courses plus a choice of drink for £16 95. You can add a desert for an extra £3.

If you choose to add mozzarella to your starter you will be charged an extra £1.

I will definitely be dining at Prezzo again in the near future and hopefully the Italian Gathering menu will still be available. It's really good value for money.

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