Free days out are always the best! …

Today we decided to visit the CBBC Summer Social at Event City in Salford Quays.

Something for all ages‘ is something which is often used to describe family days out, but is rarely the case! 

So with a 6 year old, 2 year old and 6 month old, we decided to head down and see what all the hype was about especially as it has been one of those rare sunny days in Manchester today, which always helps. 

Arriving at Media City, there were hundreds of people enjoying the festivities. 

Patrolling around outside the barriers of the event was a 10ft giraffe puppet called ‘Dolly’ which was controlled by three staff members from ‘VIP Puppets‘ (twitter: @VIPPUPPETS). 

It looked absolutely amazing! 

Dolly received lots of attention, the children were offered leaves on sticks to give her a quick snack and were also able to pet her.

The staff were so friendly and engaging with everyone, which proved popular by varying age groups.

Music was playing from ‘The Go Jetters Disco Stage’ which caught the attention of all three children, so we headed over…. only for the testing two year old to stage bomb and join the DJ and his decks on the stage. 


….. thankfully he only wanted a quick dance! 

We walked further around the stalls and activities, and stumbled upon Dangermouse

Obviously Lilly (6 year old) was way too cool to have her picture taken with ‘just a pretend mouse!’ 

But Ellis was star struck and loved the photo opportunity! 

Eagerly dragging me away from Dangermouse and the danger car, Lilly had spotted the ‘Epic Experiment Zone’.

Now this was ‘cool’ according to Lilly. 

So with the six year olds approval, we queued up to have a go of a water pumping experiment. 

Obviously she pulled a face when she soaked herself (and everyone around her!) upon completing the experiment, but she enjoyed it.

There were other areas including ‘Fantastic Fiction Zone’, ‘Design a Dress Zone’, and the ‘Awesome Arts Zone’, but with a tiring toddler, and a double pushchair, the queues in the sun would have been asking for trouble, so we decided to give those a miss and head for the ‘Summer Central Stage’.

I expected this area to be untenable when trying to drag a Bugaboo Donkey through, but the set up was well thought through and proved easier than I thought (Happy Mummy!).

The children had lots of fun chasing bubbles and coloured confetti which had been shared from the stage during various performances, and were kept well entertained.

Finally, on the way out, we decided to choose between the outstretched queue of the ‘Spectacular Sports Zone’ or the shorter queue of ‘Shaun the Sheep Championsheeps.

The choice was obvious for us, and off to the championsheeps we went. 

After a few minutes, we were asked to choose between ‘Welly whanging’ or ‘Space Hoppers’.

To be honest, the thought of Ellis launching wellies across a small area which was full of people, absolutely petrified me. 

I mean, a two year old, chucking Wellington boots at a 7 ft structure, trying to knock it down, although fun, is seriously asking for trouble. 

So, on to the space hoppers we went.

They had a ball! Who knew something so simple could create so much laughter? 

Lilly won! To which she took great delight in telling Ellis how he had lost and was ‘too slow!’ … but he didn’t understand so both came off happy! 

In total, we spent about 2 hours at the event, and all it cost, was the price of a few drinks. 

All in all, we enjoyed our day out, especially Daddy (as it only cost him a few quid!) and we even got to have a dance to some old school classics blasting from the Go Jetters Disco stage, that was definitely mine and the other halfs highlight !! 

Highly recommend giving these free events a go! …. I was a bit sceptical and thought ‘it’s a free event, can’t be that good!’ … how wrong I was, and super glad we went. 

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