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Pennington Flash, Leigh

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A few friends have told us about visiting Pennington Flash recently so during the Summer holidays we decided to put on our walking shoes and head to the flash for an afternoon walk. As we had never visited before and couldn't really find much online we didn't know what to expect, other than the flash is a very large body of water. 

pennington flash



What To Expect At Pennington Flash, Leigh WN7 3PA
When looking at the map of the flash both online and upon arrival it's quite difficult to see which path leads where so we started out at the car park and took it from there.  There are maps dotted around the car park to show the different paths so we took a photo of the map to help us navigate . 

The car park is chargeable at £1.50 per day. There were plenty of spaces even though some of the car park was taken up by travellers.

boy walking alongside a lake



When looking at the flash we headed right towards a toilet block which was closed. These were the only toilets on site which made it a little tricky as we were expecting to be at Pennington Flash for at least a few hours. Someone did tell me that there is a Morrisons about a 15 minute walk away if the toilets are closed on your visit. 

boy on a swing


Just behind the toilets is a children's playground. It had the usual play equipment, swings, see-saws, climbing frame. 

We then followed a path which led us alongside the flash, in towards the woods and up alongside the Liverpool Leeds canal. 

bird watching hideout


There were hideouts alongside the paths which are great for bird watchers and were very popular. Some of the seats where marked as belonging to people, which I assume is just their way of saying they spend a lot of time here watching the wildlife over the year. 

bridge over the liverpool leeds canal

the liverpool leeds canal


After we had walked alongside the Liverpool Leeds canal we had to find our way back on the path which was a little tricky and very steep so we did double back. Luckily we were able to watch a canal boat going past, the man on board looked like he was enjoying himself waving to the kids as he went past.  There is a large bridge which takes you over the canal just here and its a great place for taking photos and looking out onto the canal. 

We then joined the path but somewhere on that path we should have turned and followed a path back to the car park which is approx a 1-2 mile walk if we wanted a short walk that wouldn't have covered the entire flash. 

mum and son walking

dad and son walking


We continued on a path which took is right around the flash. The path was mostly defined however it was wet and muddy in places so we did have to go in to the bushes a few times and climb over a fence. We managed to get really close to the waters edge at times too which meant we could stop to throw stones and have a little break watching the birds and swans.  

We then ended up on a main road but managed to get back in to the country park again on clear paths that took us through some private land with public footpaths through. There are signs to let you know where you need to go and which areas are private.

boy sat by the water


This walk wasn't what we expected and took us around 3 hours and was approx 7-8km. However it was enjoyable and there was plenty to see along the way including the boats on the flash from the nearby sailing club. 

Walking shoes or boots are definitely essential as even though there are defined paths they are rocky and proper walking boats will protect your ankles. 

There is an ice cream man at the car park until close each day. Luckily we had £10 cash with us as the ice cream man wasn't taking cards when we visited. 

Pennington flash



We really enjoyed our walk around Pennington Flash and although we only expected to walk 1-2 miles it was a nice walk and was easy on the legs for most of it. The hideouts are great if you want to spot birds and the walk along the canal was really calm and peaceful. 

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Flip Out Trampoline Park, Liverpool

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

We have been trying to keep busy this Summer, getting out and about so the boys don't just sit on their screens all day. As we can't rely on the British weather we have had to plan a few outdoor days out and also some indoors. Luckily we have quite a large selection of indoor play centres in the North West and we recently visited Flip Out, Liverpool.

flip out trampoline arena
What To Expect At Flip Out, Liverpool L9 5AT
Flip Out, Liverpool is not just a trampoline park, it is so much more. Flip Out is home to a 65ft donut slide, total wipeout, cyber towers, drop slide, stunt boxes, a huge interconnected trampoline arena and lots more.

The arena is split in to different sections. There are steps down away from the trampolines which lead you in to an area that has a play structure, donut slide, and climbing frame. It's a great addition to the trampolines and the boys spent a lot of time there, climbing and sliding. 

flip out trampoline arena

flip out trampoline arena
The simple trampolines are a great way to get you used to bouncing and work out where everything is. There are also some high power trampolines that allow you to launch yourself into a foam fit, flipping as you go if you wish.

The 65ft tube slide, which is very similar to an ice slide is lots of fun. You sit in a rubber ring and slide to the bottom. I haven't seen one of these anywhere other than in ice adventure areas, and it was just as much fun.

flip out trampoline arena

flip out trampoline arena
The stunt area has higher powered trampolines all around a well padded Lamborghini car that can be jumped on, or over.  This was a really good area to get some height into your bouncing. This area has a minimum height restriction of 1.2m.

There was also an assault course type area, again with minimum height requirement, this was similar to a play area structure with climbing, rolling, and a decent size slide at the end which was very quick.

You are guaranteed lots of laughs on the total wipe out zone. This is an activity where you stand on a spot and have to either jump over or duck under a moving bar. 

flip out trampoline arena

flip out trampoline arena


Anything Else?

Each standard jump session is 90 minutes which we felt was just the right amount of time. We were able to explore the large arena and enjoyed all the features inside. A 90 minute session costs £15.

You can enjoy some toddler time at Flip Out during off peak times. Monday 1pm then Tuesday to Friday at 10am, 11:30am and 1pm. Costs for the Toddler and Parent session is £12 with one adult free (term time only).

A family bounce is available which saves you money. Each family ticket is for 4 (must include one adult over 18) and costs just £50 anytime on any day.

For those who would like to enjoy a reduced sensory environment with dimmed lights and reduced noise you can enjoy an additional needs session. The sessions run on a Tuesday 5:30-7pm and Sunday 10am-11:30am. Price is £12 and carers go free. We found it very loud and busy when we visited so I would highly recommend these sessions to those who may be overwhelmed.

An after dark session brings a party atmosphere to the arena with light shows and super sound systems. After Dark runs for 2 hours every Friday and Saturday at 6pm. Cost is £16 or you can upgrade to a Flip Feast which includes a 9" pizza and drink for £20.

If you are thinking of a party there are some dedicated party rooms with plenty of space throughout and even free wifi for the parents. We didn't try the cafe although it looked to serve a good selection of food and drinks and there was plenty of seating around too.

It is recommended you book online to guarantee entry. 

Arrive at the venue 30 minutes before your bounce time and sign your waivers before you arrive to save time. 

Flip Out socks can be purchased from reception for £3 per pair. 

There are plenty of parking spaces however near the session times it was very busy to park.

We all really enjoyed our visit. The separate areas, slides and climbing frame really give the trampoline park that extra something. 

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.

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Afternoon Tea On Board The Floating Grace

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John and I are always looking for places to go for date days and nights. Whilst looking online for something to do, John recently came across The Floating Grace. The Floating Grace is Liverpool's only floating restaurant and bar. 

The Floating Grace Boat



What To Expect On Board The Floating Grace, Salthouse Quay, Liverpool L3 4AE
The Floating Grace is docked in the Salthouse Quay within The Albert Dock. There are a choice of cruises available which will take you on a historical tour of the Albert Dock taking in beautiful views of 8 of Liverpool's Docks. 

We bought an afternoon cruise and boarded the boat just before 2pm. The seating plans were already arranged and we were shown to our table for two. There were tables of two, four and six on our cruise and it was at full capacity. 

views from the salthouse quay


Once seated we chatted amongst ourselves, looking at the views whilst the staff came and took our drinks order. There is a bar on board, no draught beers or soft drinks but plenty of choice of bottled beers, wines, Prosecco and soft drinks. A drinks menu is on your table upon arrival for you to glance over. If you don't want to order drinks that is absolutely fine as you will be served tea or coffee with your afternoon tea. 

views from the salthouse quay


The captain introduced himself shortly before setting sail at 2:30pm. He did a safety chat letting the passengers know where to find life vests and emergency exit. He was able to give us lots of information about the different docks we sailed in and out of and so much history. It was quite obvious that he loved the docks and his passion really came across. 

Afternoon Tea on board the floating grace

Afternoon Tea on board the floating grace


Afternoon tea was served shortly after the cruise began. The three tiered afternoon tea had ham and tomato, tuna and mayonnaise, cheese and onion and egg mayonnaise sandwiches. Two scones with clotted cream and jam, two small pieces of lemon drizzle cake, two small cupcakes, two coconut macaroons and two wafer biscuits. It was more than enough for two. 

Your tea and coffee is served to you in large mugs. You do not have your own teapot however we were asked if we wanted a top up of tea. 

The staff on board were very friendly and approachable. The lady serving us was the captains wife and the waiter seemed like a family friend. The cruise had a lovely feel to it and was very enjoyable. 

views from The Floating Grace


The captain spoke about the history all the way along the docks and it was so interesting to hear. Once we had reached the end of the docks and we could not go any further the captain switched off his mic and we sailed back to some music. 

We boarded at 2pm and we got back to the Salthouse Quay at just before 4pm. The price for the cruise is £20 per person. 

Anything Else?
The afternoon tea cruise runs Wednesday to Saturday

There is an evening dinner cruise which again runs Wednesday to Saturday. Enjoy a three course meal on board with a glass of bubbly on arrival. Boarding at 7pm, set sail at 7:30pm and return at 9pm. The price for the evening dinner cruise is £35.

You can also enjoy a Sunday lunch cruise on board The Floating Grace. The 2 hour cruise offers a 2 course lunch with a glass of bubbly on arrival. You can choose to board at 12pm or 3pm. The price for the Sunday lunch is £25 per person. 

If you have any allergies or specific dietary requirements you can let them know beforehand via email or in the comments when booking. 

man and woman eating afternoon tea


We really enjoyed our cruise on The Floating Grace. It was a lovely relaxed atmosphere, great food and lots of historical information. We would definitely like to book another cruise to experience the Sunday Lunch or Evening Dinner.

To find out more about the cruises, menus and booking information visit The Floating Grace.

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.

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Brickosaurs Brick Trail, Blackburn

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Disclosure - We were invited to complete the Brickosaurs Brick Trail for the purpose of this post. We have been compensated for our time. 

Brickosaurs Brick Trail comes to Blackburn this Summer from 20th August - 1st September. It's the perfect day out for dinosaur fans as you roam around the town centre in search of 15 large Brickosaur models. 

brickosaurs brick dinosaur


What To Expect At The Brickosaurs Brick Trail, The Mall, Blackburn BB1 5AF
If you want to take part in this years Brickosaurs Brick Trail then all you need to do is head to The Mall Ask Me Point to pick up a trail map and quiz. From here you can then follow the trail to find all 15 models. If you would prefer to be more interactive, you can download the free experience Blackburn app to join in with the QR code trail. Both trails will give you the chance to win a prize too. 

dinosaur made out of bricks

If you would like an sneak peak of where you can expect to see the dinosaurs this year here are some confirmed locations 

Trespass, The Mall
Rhode Island Coffee, The Mall
Victoria Court, The Mall
New Look, The Mall
Blackburn Market – mini trail
Ainsworth Street (rear of Boots), The Mall
Primark, The Mall
Grays Outfitters, Northgate
Morrisons, Salford
Blackburn Cathedral, Darwen Street / Cathedral Square
Hobkirks Sewing Machines, Darwen Street
King George’s Hall, Northgate
Blackburn Library, Town Hall Street

dinosaur made out of bricks


The highlights this year include a whopping 2m tall Velociraptor and a Parasaurolophus measuring over 3m in length, made of over 113,600 bricks!

It's such a family friendly fun event and we completed a similar trail a few years ago when Paw Patrol took over the town centre and we went on a Paw Patrol trail. It was a great day out and one we still talk about now as we saw some parts of Blackburn we hadn't seen before. I know this trail will be just as fun and to make it even better it's free to join in. 

The Brickburn Brickosaurs trail is led by Blackburn BID (Business improvement district) and focuses on 'Summer being what you MAKE of it'

If you do join in the trail I would love to know please do tag us in your social media posts @playdaysrunways and also include @experiencebbn #brickburn and #brickosaurs.

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.

Leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought. 

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Breakout Liverpool, The Detective Office

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One of the things we have really missed over the last year and a half is date nights. John and I love heading out but not for the usual trip to a restaurant or cinema, we love doing something different. One of our favourite things to do is an escape room. We have visited quite a few escape rooms and also played lots of escape room games at home. We recently played our first Breakout room in a long while, The Detective Office. 

Breakout Liverpool


The Detective Office
Oh no! A dear detective friend of ours has been murdered. As we were the last people to see him alive there is a warrant for our arrest. We are definitely not the killers but we must prove our innocence and find out the real killer. We have managed to sneak in to the building where the detectives office is and we know that all the officers will leave for a one hour lunch. We have an idea that our friend the detective would have left clues to help us solve the mystery of his murder, who the killer is and prove our innocence.  We manage to sneak in to the detectives office, shut the door and we have just 60 minutes to find out who the killer is and escape arrest. 

Once inside the room you can expect to find lots of locks which need to be opened by key, numbers or codes. The idea is you search high and low to try and find clues which might help to solve the puzzles and escape. 

There is a large TV on the wall which will show the clock. This will count down from 60:00 to the time you escape or to 0:00 if you don't manage to break out.

The screen will also offer you clues if you are stuck. It will get your attention by playing a sound. While we were inside we found a key which we were certain opened a specific lock but it didn't. We got a message on the screen to let us know it was the right lock and to keep trying giving it a little wiggle. 

The Detective Office is rated 3 out of 5 for difficulty. We haven't tried a 4 out of 5 yet...maybe next time. 

Each Breakout room is suitable for 2-5 people. Detective Office actually have two identical rooms so would be ideal if you were a larger group and maybe wanted to race. 

Prices vary depending on the number of players and also the day of the week. 

For more information visit Breakout

man and woman escape room


Both John and I were nervous upon entering The Detectives Office as we have a 100% escape record and we would like to try and keep it. Did we escape - Yes we did, just! We had about 1 minute and 45 seconds to go but we made it. We found out who the killer was and proved our innocence. 

This was my favourite of the Break Out rooms we have done so far. It took us the longest but I really enjoyed the story and the puzzles were good. 

To view the range of rooms available and for more information visit Breakout

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.

Leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought. 

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Share This Post With Friends Who May Also Find It Useful. 

Michelle
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Dino Kingdom, Manchester Review

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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.

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Where To Spot The Gruffalo In The UK

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Oh Help! Oh No! It's The Gruffalo! The Gruffalo has been one of our favourite stories since little J was younger and we have followed the Gruffalo trail through Delamere Forest many times to try and find him. Over the past year several of the Gruffalo trails and orienteering have been closed however now as some restrictions have lifted there are quite a few Forestry England places in the UK where you can join in with the Gruffalo Trail. When planning a day out with the kids please do check with each Forest before you visit to check opening times and temporary closures.

boy looking at a Gruffalo orienteering sign


Gruffalo Orienteering
Gruffalo Orienteering is the perfect outdoor activity with fun for all the family. Pick up a map and certificate at the Forest's visitor centre for just £1.50 then follow the route to find the Gruffalo. 

There are twelve Gruffalo markers to find using the simple map. 


Alice Holt
Cannock Chase
Dalby Forest
Delamere Forest
Fineshade Wood
Grizedale Forest
Haldon Forest Park
Mallards Pike Lake 
Salcey Forest
Sherwood Pines
Wendover Woods
Whinlatter Forset
Wyre

The Gruffalo Sculpture


Spot A Gruffalo Sculpture
If you take a stroll in the deep dark wood, you might spot the Gruffalo and it will be good! The wooden sculptures of the Gruffalo have all been carved in to different positions so you can spot him in his different positions by visiting different locations.


Alice Holt
Bedgebury
Cannock Chase
Dalby Forest
Delamere Forest
Fineshade Wood
Hamsterley Forest
High Lodge
Kielder Castle
Moors Valley
Sherwood Pines
Wendover Woods
Westenbirt Arboretum
Whinlatter Forset
Wyre

Gruffalo Sign


The Gruffalo Spotters Trail
Interact with all your favourite characters from the Gruffalo story as you search for him in the deep dark wood. Download the Gruffalo Spotters 2 app before you arrive to help bring the characters to life.


Alice Holt
Bedgebury
Beechenhurst
Cannock Chase
Dalby Forest
Fineshade Wood
Hamsterley Forest
Hicks Lodge
High Lodge
Jeskyns Community Woodlands
Kielder Castle
Moors Valley
Salcey Forest
Sherwood Pines
Wendover Woods
Westenbirt Arboretum

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 any of the above? 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

If you have found this post or our blog useful you can say thanks by - Buying Us A Virtual Coffee

If you think a friend of family member would like this post - Tap the share button below.

Michelle
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