As official blog ambassadors for Geronimo Festival we were invited to attend this weekend as VIPs. We chose to visit on the Saturday and my goodness did we strike it lucky with the weather! I’ve decided to write this post a little differently to my usual write ups after an adventure so I’d love to know what you think! Hopefully you’ll get a good feel for our day out without having to read a “diary of our day” if you see what I mean.
Without further ado here’s 20 things we love about Geronimo Festival:
1. Plenty of parking and no traffic to worry about – I had expected to perhaps queue off the road to get into Tatton Park or perhaps on the grounds themselves but everything flowed really nicely and we were directed into a parking space on the grass relatively close to the main event. It always galls me when events charge you a further £5 for parking on top of the entrance fee however this is a standard fee for parking at Tatton Park all year round so I imagine the Geronimo Festival organisers actually had very little to do with it. We also had no issues as we came to leave – the car park emptied out steadily with no big queues – at the end of a long day, this was a big win in my eyes!
2. Meet & Greets – As VIPs we had a special timetable for VIP meet & greet sessions in the VIP area but there were also timetabled meet and greets out in the public arena for a number of the performers. (It’s worth noting that not all of the performers were doing meet and greets and some were VIP only eg Cook & Line, which was a little disappointing for our friends who were with us.) We missed meeting Katy and Mr Bloom as we were on the other side of the site in a queue however, we loved meeting Alex Winters and Cook & Line – they were fabulous with the kids who were just so excited to see them in real life. Alex particularly was so lovely with the kids, making a special effort with Amy who was in her pushchair so that she wouldn’t be nervous of him. He just spoke to them all as though they already knew him (which of course they felt they did!)
3. No sneaky added extras – Once you’re inside the event all the activities are included within your ticket price, there’s no sneaky added extras tempting your kids and causing you to fork out again and again. This is a big win for me as I hate being made to feel the bad guy when I’m saying “No, I’m not spending any more on that”. It was great to know that we could just say yes to pretty much anything they wanted to do! (Of course there were plenty of stalls you could spend your money on if you felt so inclined however they were situated in such a way as to be able to avoid them easily if you wanted to.)
4. Amazing burgers – We could have taken a picnic with us but we decided it was only right that we sample what was on offer from the different food vendors (and because I couldn’t be bothered to organise and carry one). There was plenty of choice to suit everyone though you must be prepared to pay through the nose, these are festival prices after all. Dave and I thoroughly enjoyed our chicken, spiced beef and grilled halloumi burgers from “V Fresh Street Food” (£6.50 each)
5. Ice-cream – Of course it would have been rude not to enjoy an ice cream on such a beautifully sunny day! Again these are not the cheapest ice creams you’ll ever buy at around £3 a pop but boy were they worth it.
6. Donkey rides – Who says donkey rides are just for the seaside! The queue for the donkey rides moved relatively quickly as there was a group of donkeys taking around 8 children at a time for a couple of laps around their enclosure. (Ben was particularly amused that his donkey was called Finn just like his best friend!)
7. Alex Winters & Mr Yipadee – I know I already mentioned Alex when I talked about the meet and greet but I feel he needs a mention all of his own! He was great fun to watch on stage with Mr Yipadee and the kids thought he was hilarious. They really interacted with the crowd, leaving the stage to involve everyone in an enormous Conga was a particular highlight.
8. Time with friends – We were really lucky to spend the day with some of our best friends which of course just added to our enjoyment of the day!
9. Zip wire – Ben is a tried and tested thrill seeker so we knew the Zip Wire was a must. The queue for the climbing activity and zip wire was a really test of patience for our 5 year old boys (I think they queued for around an hour while the girls played on the bouncy castles!) so it certainly wasn’t an activity you’d do more than once but safe to say they all loved it.
10. Helter-skelter – Ben and Chloe spotted the Helter-Skelter the moment we got out of the car and were very excited by it! The queue seemed to be pretty steady throughout the day but moved quite quickly. Ben was off like a shot when it was his turn whereas Chloe chose to ride down with me. She panicked initially but once she realised I had tight hold of her she loved it!
11. Mountain bike display – Dave and Ben really enjoyed the lads performing tricks and stunts on their bikes. I just hope Ben didn’t get any ideas!!
12. Circus skills – This kept our little gang entertained for quite some time with a wide range of equipment laid out ready for them to test out their circus abilities. I think we might have our very own little circus troupe within another few years with a bit of practice!
13. Princess walk about – Chloe was enthralled with the princesses and whilst I wasn’t particularly impressed with Elsa, I thought Cinderella was lovely. Chloe thought they were all wonderful though and kept spotting them during the day and running off to wave at them all. For a princess mad little girl this was heaven seeing princesses wandering around the festival!
14. Sofa area – although we didn’t actually sit down here we loved the idea of having loads of old sofas and standard lamps set out like a great big cosy living room in the middle of the site! It made for the perfect area to relax and chill out (particularly if you had a little one to feed.)
15. Samba workshop & parade– The samba parade and workshop was a really lovely end to the day. Chloe loved watching the dancers and having a go herself. Both Ben and Chlo really enjoyed having a go with the instruments and the samba parade itself meant that the whole day ended on a real high as it guided people towards the gates.
16. Bouncy castles – With at least 4 bouncy castles and no time limits this was just kid heaven! It kept our girls occupied whilst the boys stood in a rather long queue for the zip wire and climbing area.
17. Beautiful surroundings – if you haven’t been to Tatton Park before you really should add it to your list of places to visit. There’s so much beautiful park land to explore for your £5 car parking fee and our kids adore the adventure playground. We can easily while away a day there with a picnic (and plan to do so more than once this summer!)
18. It was clean underfoot – Despite the fact the weather had been pretty wet in the run up to the event the ground was impressively dry and yielded no need for the wellies we had chosen to wear (though I shouldn’t think that was the case for the rest of the weekend)19. Hammocks – Who doesn’t love a hammock?! These made a beautiful bright centrepiece to the site and I can’t say I didn’t want to get in there myself!
20. The sunshine – cheers to whoever ordered that one! I’d been frantically checking the weather all week and was thrilled with the steady forecast of warm but cloudy. As it turned out we really struck it lucky and got the most perfect bank holiday weather of bright blue skies and sunshine. It was a real joy to feel the sun on our faces for a change and was most definitely the icing on the cake of an already fabulous day.
There are so many things we didn’t even get chance to visit – the petting zoo, the under 3 foot area, the craft tents to name but a few! The festival really did provide something for everyone and we’ll definitely be looking to go back next year!
I’ll leave you with this video of some of our highlights:
*Disclaimer – We were invited to attend Geronimo Festival free of charge as blogger ambassadors for the purposes of writing this review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own*