Living in the Midlands, or Stoke on Trent to be precise, there doesn’t tend to be a great load of blogging events on our doorstep, and many of those we are fortunate to be invited to are either on a £200 return travel to London or during the week when I’m at work.
That said, I recently received an email from our local shopping centre, Intu
At first thoughts I have to admit thinking that shopping and my nearly 5 year old son are not a great match whether for 30 minutes or 3 hours however upon reading the email, I realised that despite me admitting I could do with a fashion overhaul as mentioned previously, it was intact an invite to check out the free children’s activities being ran by the centre throughout the half term week.
Intu run various activities throughout the year in order to try and help stressed out parents, and their children, to take some time out and regain some kind of calmer state. During any school holidays they add even more events on to ensure that if you do need to brave the task of shopping for some new school shoes, clothes etc, then at least you don’t need to fork out several pounds at a soft play centre or expensive activities too.
This half term was focused around the forthcoming third instalment of Kung Fu Panda and features activities on each weekday of the half term period, activities such as:
- Creating your own personalised Kung Fu head tie
- Kung Fu workshops
- Decorating Kung Fu Panda 3 cupcakes
- Digital Kung Fu Panda Graffiti wall
- Facepainting and Chinese Glitter Tattoo’s
Getting time off in my new job has been pretty difficult in the first couple of months with so much to take in and learn however I did manage to get Tuesday off during the half term week which meant a Daddy and H day, something which we haven’t had for a long time.
For those not familiar with Stoke on Trent shopping scene, it has been trailing a little behind in recent years however since its main shopping centre has been take over by national shopping centre company Intu, it has recently seen a new dining and entertainment section opened (The Hive) with various well known restaurants as well as a brand new Cineworld being opened so we thought we’d go and view a movie together, visit the free Kung Fu activities in the centre, stop by the museum and ending with a bite to eat.
Another reason for passing by the shopping centre was to see H’s recent generic propecia Lego creation on display there. He recently created his own replica of the centre using his Lego and as they were so impressed when they saw it, was asked if he minded letting Intu Potteries display it during Half Term week.
When he saw it on display he was chuffed to bits, although if I’m honest, he was equally drawn to the giant sized cookie in the glass box next to it just as much 🙂
Sorry, I digress… baring in mind holidays can be expensive if wanting to do any form of activity, we wanted to make sure we didn’t spend too much and thanks to Cineworld offering cheap showings of previously released children’s films in the mornings, we were able to watch Hotel Transivainia 3 for a total of £3.50 for the both of us. H loves the cinema and although it was his first time at this one, he was clearly impressed, at both the film and the cinema.
Following this we then went and transformed H into a Panda with the help of the lovely ladies faceprinting in the potteries. H is always a little unsure about having his face painted however the lady made sure she was very attentive to him and talked him through each stage.
He loved the finished article and was happy to pose for several pictures at the centre (included one for Intu Potteries very own Instagram account) before we made our way to the museum, not before stopping by the centre’s reception to pick up the free goody bags they were also handing out to kids during the week.
The museum was full of usual history related facts to feed H’s inquisitive mind as well as featuring a half term space section which included being able to try on an old space helmet, glove and boot. H is extremely interested in Tim Peake and his current space mission through learning about him at school so this was great in helping to reinforce his knowledge and again, a free activity.
We then stopped for some lunch before venturing back home, both tired and content from our day out, happy to snuggle up on the settee with a warm drink and relax prior to Mummy and D getting home…
Total spent including lunch, £10, who says fun days out have to be expensive?
Until next time…
P.s. If you want to see whats on at your local Intu shopping centre or if you live in Stoke on Trent like us, keep your eyes open on the Intu Potteries website for details of whats happening in the centre