Daisy’s Days Youtube channel visited and reviewed our Dino Disco Adventure Challenge interactive children’s event that we held in Manchester in April 2018. See her review of the event here….
Spring feels a long time coming but finally Easter is around the corner and with school holidays and family time to enjoy it’s time to get cracking and see a round-up of the Easter family activities in the North West; here’s our pick of the most egg-cellent children’s events!
Egg-citing Easter Fun at Tatton Park
Friday 30 March – 2 April
There’s entertaining egg-themed activities to enjoy in all the attractions, plus magic, puppetry and face painting for the kids in the Stableyard. Drop into our Easter Fair (Saturday – Monday) and Tatton shops to pick up last minute Easter gifts! Each child receives a bag of Nestlé Smarties chocolate eggs when they visit the Farm, Mansion or Gardens.
Easter Biscuit Decorating at Bents
Monday 9th April & Wednesday 11th April.
Let your children get creative this Easter! Learn how to decorate Easter shaped biscuits and take away two of their very own creations. Online booking is required, book online at bents.co.uk. Places are limited.
Egg-cellent Easter Fun at Greenwood Family Park
24th March – 15th April.
Make a splash on the UK’s only solar powered water ride, Jump aboard the world’s first people powered roller coaster or zoom down the longest sledge run in Wales! Children will love discovering the super bouncy and newly refurbished Giant Jumper, exploring the turrets of TreeTop Towers, taking their shoes and socks off for the BareFoot Trail or aiming for gold at Archery.
In the Forest Theatre, you’ll find extraordinary entertainment this Easter holiday, including Erwyd the Jester, Smarty Marty the Clown and Harley’s Showtime – they just can’t wait to make you laugh. Or get creative in the craft area where you can see local crafts people and make something unique to take home with you!
Keep a look out for the Easter bunny whilst they help you on the FREE Easter Egg Hunt and spot the giant Easter Eggs in the Trees.
Family Easter Egg Hunt at Cholmondeley Castle
April 1st 2018
Let the children run free in the gardens hunting for the hidden bunnies. Find the bunnies and collect your Easter Treat. With the extensive grounds, children’s play areas, lakeside walk, adventure Den, and Tea Room there are lots of things to keep the family occupied. Cheshire Wildlife Trust will also be in attendance with lots for children to enjoy. Easter Egg Hunt clue sheet will be available between 11.00 am and 3.00 pm whilst stocks last.
It’s Easter at Ness Garden’s
Easter Family Trail Saturday 24 March to Sunday 15 April – Who’s egg is it? Fun family trail to find out more about eggs, big and small with a few jokes or is that yolks! Complete with a chocolate treat. Trail takes about an hour. Daily 10am-4.30pm.
Look at Those Seeds Grow -Drop in to the Coach House 1-3pm and make a recycled paper pot, sow vegetable seeds, and prick out seedlings to take home and grow: 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th April
Easter art sessions for families at Manchester Art Gallery
This Easter join in the creative activities linked to the new mindfulness exhibition And Breathe…
In these artist led sessions you will create tactile taking notice tools to take home. And if you’d like too, learn how to practice fun mindfulness techniques together as a family.
There will be two studios open for you to explore, one for early years children and one with activities for older children.
All sessions are free. Drop in anytime between 1-3pm. Sessions run Wednesday – Saturday. April: 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th
Easter adventure quest at Beeston Castle
Calling all valiant adventurers! Go on a hunt for legendary dragon eggs. Set off on a quest to crack the clues, meeting characters from the past along the way, then claim your chocolate reward. Fri 30 Mar – Mon 2 Apr 11-5pm
Dino Disco Adventure Challenge
If you’re on the hunt for a fun-filled family activity this Easter then look no further, as the Dino Disco Adventure Challenge is stomping its way to The Great Northern in Manchester. Guaranteed to capture the imaginations of children aged between two and eight, this unique experience immerses them in a prehistoric playtime full of fun and games. Watch your child become a Dino hunter, and take part in energetic jurassic themed games with Gus, their dinosaur hunter host. This GRRRReat family activity will be available on Saturday 7th April and Sunday 8th April with sessions running from 10am – 3pm.
The Easter Bunny Hunt at Norton Priory Walled Garden.
2nd & 3rd April
Catch the Easter Bunny on a fun Easter hunt around the Norton Priory Walled Garden.
Family fun stories, trails and activities!
11am – 4pm.
Bluebells and Butterflies at Quarry Bank
3rd – 13th April 2018
Quarry Bank comes to life with the arrival of spring. Enjoy being outdoors with lots of activities and wild adventures this Easter holiday. Look out for the signs of spring!
Bluebell Family Walks At Rode Hall
28th April – 7th May 2018
Experience one of the finest Bluebell Walks in the North West at Rode Hall & Gardens in Cheshire. Families can enjoy Rode’s carpets of ancient bluebells as well as daffodils and azaleas.
Easter Classical Family Concerts at Heaton Hall
1st & 2nd April
The Classical Concerts feature graduate singing stars from the Royal Northern College of Music; Jenny Carson (soprano), Thomas D Hopkinson (bass), Dan McDwyer (tenor) and the Vine Quartet conducted by Alex Robinson. The Classical Concerts will reveal the story of the Egerton family’s musical past at Heaton.
St Ann’s Hospice – Easter Egg Hunt
Wythenshawe Park and Heaton Park, Manchester
St Ann’s Hospice is holding Easter Egg Hunts at Wythenshawe Park and Heaton Park.
As well as an Easter Egg Hunt there will be a range of stalls, crafts and activities.
Tickets are £3.50 per child and each child receives an Easter egg.
Plus there will be a very special guest – the Easter Bunny.
All the proceeds from the event go to St Ann’s Hospice.
Sometimes the craze happens as young as two or three, when an articulate tot manages to pronounce the word “tyrannosaurus” before he can wrap his mouth around “please” or “thank you.” Often it happens a bit later when kids are just starting to come to grips with scientific concepts and can differentiate the appearance and behaviour of dinosaurs from the wildlife they see at the zoo.
It’s such a familiar craze that I think a lot of us forget how weird it is that children even like dinosaurs in the first place!
So why, exactly, do kids love dinosaurs so much?
1./ THEY ARE BIG….AND REAL!!
Dinosaurs are the ultimate child fantasy. They’re like dragons, but real. OK. The visual splendour of a towering T-Rex cannot be disputed! And, to a tiny tot, the sheer size of them makes them the ultimate untamed entities, which only makes a kid want to identify with them more. And when you are told that your favourite toy dinosaur was actually the same size as three double deck buses, it makes it so real and yet so enormous to a young mind!
Also, when playing with dinosaur toys or reading Dinosaur books together, the sheer size of these beasts, tamed and placed into a book, gives the child reader power over these monsters which is incredibly intoxicating! Suddenly the kid is the one who can determine whether the dinosaur stays on the shelf or comes down to play. For someone small, who is constantly at the mercy of the adults around them, dinosaurs (which belong only to children and almost never to grown-ups) provide the ultimate in escapism.
2./ THEY ARE SCARY….BUT EXTINCT
As we’ve already indentified Dinosaurs are generally big (ok not all species but the ones that kids like best are!) which makes them scary. However they are also dead; which makes them very safe! So ironically they’re huge and fiercesome – and completely not a danger to the child.
The trick is to be scared just enough, but not too much. Imagination is what gives them life and the child is in charge of that.
The average Dinosaur crazed kid may have only a vague idea when dinosaurs went extinct, but she knows, for a fact, that they’re no longer around. A full-grown Tyrannosaurus Rex, no matter how huge and hungry, is thus rendered completely harmless, since there’s no chance of accidentally running into one during a nature walk!
3./ YOU DON’T ARGUE WITH A DINOSAUR
Dinosaurs represent, in kids’ minds, the ultimate kid principle: when they want something, they go out and get it, and nothing had better stand in their way!
It’s much easier for a parent to deal with a kid pretending to be a fierce Brontosaurus as they can be allowed to be hyperactive, let off steam and have an element of disobedience within the world of make believe play. And it’s much easier for us to parents to deal with a pretend dinosaur than a human kids having full blown toddler tantrum. So to re-frame a tantrum as a pesky, hyperactive Dinosaur could save many a grey hair!!
Books like Dinosaur vs. Bedtime exploit this dynamic perfectly; by the last page, the dress-up dinosaur has finally settled down for a night’s sleep, after winning a series of dramatic battles against a playground slide, a bowl of spaghetti, and talking grown-ups.
4./ THEY HAVE NAMES THAT ARE LIKE ANOTHER LANGUAGE…BUT MOSTLY END WITH -AURUS!!
Dinosaurs in reality are mere bones in museums with long Latin names and yet, whilst giving most 4 year olds a list of Latin verbs would result in a look blanker than a landscape being approached by a T-Rex, but give the same 4 year old a list of Latin dinosaur names and he can very likely not only pronounce each one but tell you how many metres long it is!
When palaeontologists of time gone by of seriously engaged in bone wars for fossils, one has to seriously doubt that they had any inkling that the fruits of their labours would lead to dino-obsessed three-year-olds for generations to come!
5./ THEY ARE CRAZY LOOKING!
They are incredibly crazy looking, and new ones are discovered all the time. Their very image and size inspire awe. Any child who is curious and observant can dream up their own ideas about what these extinct creatures looked like and how they may have acted.
6./ THERE IS SOME SCIENCE AND SOME REALITY WITH THEM
In contrast to most magical creatures that we read about in books and see on TV and in films with our kids, Dinosaurs actually existed. In this way Children can see how science often gives us a world even more spectacular and amazing than our imagination can ever create.
The love of dinosaurs, turns these children if only for a moment, into scientists. For great numbers of children, Dinosaurs introduce them to non-fiction books. A child might go from the very clever “Uneversaurus” by Aidan Potts to other topics that interest them. Maybe they’ll start to delve into sharks or knights or almanacs of facts. However they go about it, suddenly non-fiction is feeding their interests like never before.
7./ IT’S NEVER ENDING
There’s so much information; so many species, periods of time, fossils, bones; and it is all so exciting and inspires imagination through Science!
And then, like all childhood interests, Dinos make way for other toys. Kids are expected to grow out of them, just like they’re supposed to grow out of LEGO or princesses or fairy wings. Dinosaurs are often seen as a babyish craze as kids move on to other interests.
But the great thing with Dinos is that sometimes, when they think no one’s looking, they come back. They’ll play with the dino toys they handed down to little brothers and sisters. They’ll tear through Dinosaur! by Peter Sis and smother their giggles. They’ll surreptitiously read I’m Bad by Kate McMullen to their younger siblings and pretend that they’re doing it out of the goodness of their golden glorious hearts. They’d sooner die than confess that maybe, sometimes, dinosaurs can be pretty cool. Especially the ones with the fangs and the claws and the blood!
GREAT OF OUR FAVOURITE DINO BOOKS
There are some great books that Capture all that kids love about Dinosaurs perfectly…..
Bob Shea’s Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime
Dinosaur Roar by Paul Stickland
Dinosaurs by Simms Taback.
Martin Wadell’s The Super Hungry Dinosaur
Dinotrux by Chris Gall.
Jane Yolen’s How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems.
And no childhood is complete without the marvellous Harry and his Dinosaurs!
And lastly Sid Hoff’s wonderful Danny and the Dinosaur takes you practically into adulthood.
If your Dino Crazed little person wants to come and meet Gggreggg the Disco Dancing Dancing then bring them to The Dino Disco Adventure Challenge this Easter in Manchester ….it’s roaring good fun!!
Venue Website: https://thegreatnorthern.com