Summer Fun at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet

As a mum of three, the majority of my shopping takes place on an evening, when the kids are in bed and I can head up to the Trafford Centre with a friend.  Shopping with the kids can be hard work and not always that productive. McArthurGlen Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet are working hard to make life easier for you this summer holidays with a whole range of family friendly facilities.  They invited us over to visit them last month to check out what’s on offer this Summer.

You will notice from the pictures I’m about to share that they are missing a significant member of our family.  I’d like to say that he was behind the camera and that Dave’s photography skills have stepped up a gear however that’s not the case.  Dave was actually on a stag weekend and our shopping trip was accompanied by a very lovely photographer who captured our day for us!  (Yes, I felt like a proper celebrity and it was hilarious).

Cheshire Oaks itself is really easy to find, located just off Junction 10 of the M53 and less than an hour from our home in Manchester.  With ample free parking, including 33 parent and child parking spaces, you should be able to start your shopping trip off feeling relaxed.

Cheshire Oaks offers a range of family friendly options for refreshments ranging from Giraffe to McDonalds, many of which offer baby food heating facilities and have high chairs available for use. We began our day with a fabulous brunch at Giraffe.  Ben and Chloe were most entertained at the prospect of having a backwards morning – I had explained we would be having a snack at breakfast time and breakfast at snack time.  Our meal set us up nicely for a morning of browsing the shops!

Brunch at Giraffe, Cheshire Oaks

The Mall at Cheshire Oaks is laid out like a long looped street with 135 stores lining your way.  Of course this makes life much easier as you just set off and work your way round, not having to worry about missing any of your favourite stores along the way.  The range of stores at Cheshire Oaks is huge; from high street favourites like Next and Marks & Spencer through to Mulberry and Polo Ralph Lauren.  As you work your way around the outlet there’s plenty of seating for you to stop and rest your legs along with coin operated rides to treat the little ones and break up the shopping trip for them.  There are a number of baby changing options and a quiet family room which can be used for breast feeding should you require some privacy.  It’s worth noting that the baby changing room I used was quite small and I couldn’t get the pushchair and all three children in.  In fact I couldn’t actually get the pushchair in and shut the door so I left Ben outside with the pushchair and took Chloe in with me whilst I changed Amy.  This was hardly ideal as I wasn’t keen on Ben being out of my sight and in future I would ensure I used one of the disabled toilets which have baby change stations in.  Definitely a moment where I wished I had Dave with me!

Shopping with the kids at Cheshire Oaks

Throughout the summer holidays Cheshire Oaks will be hosting a “Summer Camp” each Wednesday.  These free activities will have a different theme each week including Mad Science (29th July) and Cup Cake Decorating (19th August).  The Summer Camp is set up near the covered play area. Ben, Chloe and Amy really enjoyed being able to take part in the Growing Up Green activity.  They were each given a pot to colour in before being helped to plant their very own seed to take home.  The guys running the activity were really lovely, their warm and friendly attitudes meant the kids were immediately comfortable chatting to them and everything was really well thought out from providing wet wipes for cleaning up afterwards to making sure the pots were covered for easy transportation.  This sort of attention to detail meant that allowing your children to take part in the activity didn’t add any extra fuss or hassle to your shopping trip.

Summer holiday activities for kids at Cheshire Oaks

I must admit that shopping for us often involves a certain amount of bargaining, and I don’t mean with the shop staff.  If you’ve been shopping with kids then I’d put good money on the fact you’ll have uttered the phrase “If you’re really good whilst we do the shopping we’ll have an ice cream afterwards“.  Safe to say we all enjoyed our ice creams sitting in the fabulous wheelbarrow chairs at the Cheshire Farm Ice Cream stand.  (I can recommend the White Chocolate, Raspberry & Oreo flavour!)  A current popular deal in our family is “The longer you let me shop, the longer we’ll be able to play for afterwards“.  Ben and Chloe were thrilled with the enormous multi level adventure playground  at Cheshire Oaks and the promise of being able to explore it kept them focused for quite a while whilst I got my shopping jobs done!  The fact it was covered was an added bonus on such a hot, sunny day as I didn’t need to worry about them getting too much sun (of course this would be equally beneficial on a wet and miserable day too!)

Cheshire Oaks carousel
Children's play area at Cheshire Oaks

Shopping with toddlers can be tricky.  Amy is at a stage where I need her to be in her pram so that she’s safe and I know where she is however she gets bored easily, she loves to walk and explore.  Hiring out the McArthur car for her was a real game changer during our recent shopping trip.  She went from feeling trapped in her pushchair to thinking she was just playing and exploring!  There are 16 kiddy cabs available for use by children over 2.5 years of age.  There’s a refundable deposit of £10 and a hire charge of £5 for a full day which I think was more than worth it.  I’m not saying I’d hire one every time I went shopping but for the extra time it bought us and the entertainment for Amy it was great value.

MdArthur Glen Designer Outlet, Cheshire Oaks - cars for kids

I was really quite nervous about taking my three small children on a long shopping trip on my own but actually it was a great success, so much so that we’re going over again this Sunday but taking Daddy for support!  Perhaps this time I’ll look at a few bits and pieces for myself instead of them!

*Disclaimer – We spent the day at Cheshire Oaks as guests of McArthurGlen.  All thoughts and opinions remain our own*

52 Comments

    • July 14, 2015 / 10:21 am

      Aren't they! If only I had a pro photographer running around after me all the time! x

  1. July 14, 2015 / 11:18 am

    I absolutely love it there are we go to the MacArthur Glen outlet in Swindon all the time. I love a designer outlet and there's always so much to do as a family and great places to eat too x

  2. Angela Cheung
    July 14, 2015 / 12:25 pm

    Amazing pictures! People have to pay hundreds for this kind of service lol. We love shopping at Cheshire Oaks and will always bring overseas family and friends there to do their fancy shopping. Like you, we have to bargain with our kids as well, from ice-cream to hitting the playground haha.

  3. July 14, 2015 / 8:24 pm

    Looks and sounds like it was a lovely day shopping. I've not been to a MacArthur Glen for years, going to Swindon (and I think York?). Much better and more realistic than Bicester which is near us. Great that they've got so much for kids too.

  4. Ting Yn
    July 16, 2015 / 7:13 pm

    Wow this sounds like a great place to visit. I am in the area a few times a year but don't stop by. I should change that!

  5. July 16, 2015 / 8:11 pm

    This is so my kind of shopping experience! Fab. Those photo's are totally amazing too Colette! Enjoy your next trip!

  6. July 16, 2015 / 9:00 pm

    We have a McArthurGlen (The East Midlands Designer Outlet) only a few miles away from us and love it, although it looks like this one has more than ours!! *slightly jealous face*

    My mother in law does visit that one and says she loves it so maybe i need to take a trip!

    • July 16, 2015 / 9:15 pm

      I believe that the Cheshire Oaks one is the biggest 😀 X

  7. Pippa Ainsworth
    July 17, 2015 / 4:07 pm

    It's ages since I last went to Cheshire Oaks but I think we might take a trip over the Summer holidays as it seems really family friendly. Thanks for linking up to #WHWH.

  8. July 21, 2015 / 7:06 am

    I'm going to look out for this shopping centre as we have relatives that live close by, I love the #triedtested linky, there are always so many useful reviews 🙂

  9. July 21, 2015 / 7:08 am

    I love the summer camp activities, what a great idea for Kids on a shopping trip.

  10. July 21, 2015 / 7:11 am

    looks like you all had a fab time and what gorgeous family pictures #triedtested

  11. July 21, 2015 / 7:25 am

    This looks very similar to the Ashford McArthur Glen – haven't been for a while but they have lots of play areas too #triedtested

  12. July 21, 2015 / 7:28 am

    Shopping aside (it's bad enough with two at the moment) these photos are just so awesome! It's too far for a trip for me but if i'm in the area we'd definitely visit!

    • July 21, 2015 / 9:58 am

      Aren't they! I was so thrilled with them. If only I had a pro photographer by my side all the time 😉

  13. July 21, 2015 / 7:31 am

    Oh yes, we've been to Cheshire Oaks a few times and love it there. Fabulous photos, too x

  14. July 21, 2015 / 7:34 am

    Aww! What lovely photos! It looks like you had a great time! It looks a fantastic place to shop x

  15. Karen Bell
    July 21, 2015 / 8:50 am

    That looks like a fantastic place to shop with children, great to have a playground too.

  16. Stacey Memories
    July 21, 2015 / 8:52 am

    We really enjoy Cheshire Oaks. When we need a lot of shopping we usually visit, especially for school shoes. We have not tried any activities apart from the play areas.

  17. July 21, 2015 / 7:55 am

    We went to the one just outside York and had a great time too. Like your children, I loved the shopping car and the kids play area! Looks like you had a very successful trip! #TriedTested

    • July 21, 2015 / 9:59 am

      We visit the York one regularly, it's so convenient and the covered play area means it doesn't matter if it's raining!

  18. July 21, 2015 / 8:00 am

    Amazing pics, I want a photographer for the day haha Glad it went well, I dread taking Toby shopping once he can walk, at least the worst he can do at the moment is scream (which he does!)xx #TriedTested

    • July 21, 2015 / 10:01 am

      Snacks, a pushchair, reins and bribery . . . these are all used to varying degrees to get through shopping trips 😉

  19. Carrie Landeryou
    July 21, 2015 / 9:06 am

    Looks like a really great day out for you all

  20. July 21, 2015 / 8:17 am

    Looks like a great day out – and such fabulous photography! I wish I looked as glamorous as that when shopping with wee ones in tow, ha! 😀

  21. July 21, 2015 / 8:22 am

    I think it is great when shopping centres try to accommodate families, our local one had a beach and funfair this weekend which was great fun.

    #Tried/Tested

  22. Helen Porter
    July 21, 2015 / 9:28 am

    I love that you had someone taking the pics for the day the pictures are great! I wish all shopping centers had a children's play area however the bribery in my case would start before the trip had begun i am sure if they all had one!
    I agree though £5 for a little car hire for the day is really good value for money and I am sure my boys would love it I have been meaning to go here for ages having heard good things so i think i am going to have to take a trip over the summer!

  23. July 21, 2015 / 8:39 am

    What an amazing place to shop, I just need to talk hubbie in to taking us now. That ice cream sounds amazing x

  24. July 21, 2015 / 9:10 am

    This sounds good. Shopping with the kids is not the most fun! #triedtested

  25. July 21, 2015 / 9:59 am

    Sounds like a great shopping centre, bit of everything for everyone. The photos are lovely, some really nice one of all of you.

  26. Odd Socks and Lollipops
    July 21, 2015 / 11:44 am

    This looks like a great place to shop – great that there is stuff for the little ones to do too! Lovely photos too =)

  27. Mummy & Bean
    July 21, 2015 / 12:03 pm

    Looks like a great day and some good facilities and shops there too. The photos are wonderful, glad you had fun #TriedTested

  28. July 21, 2015 / 12:20 pm

    The pictures are amazing Colette. It looks like you had an amazing experience. I don't enjoy shopping with the kids normally, but maybe I'll try out local outlet after this

  29. July 21, 2015 / 12:43 pm

    Anywhere than can making shopping with a toddler a less harrowing experience gets the thumbs up from me!

  30. July 21, 2015 / 1:57 pm

    This looks like a great place to shop, and as my son hates shopping anything that will get him to let me have just a few more minutes browsing is a bonus. Looks like a lovely place to go and I would consider it next time Im up that way! Thanks

  31. Emma Lofthouse-Burch
    July 21, 2015 / 3:15 pm

    I love the photos in this post! I'miss glad you had a good day xx

  32. July 21, 2015 / 4:01 pm

    We have family over in Chester so I have a great excuse to go. I have been before, but that was before kids. We may pop over during the summer hols.

  33. July 21, 2015 / 4:48 pm

    I love the summer camp idea, great to bridge the gap between keeping the parents and the kids happy.

  34. Sophie P
    July 21, 2015 / 7:18 pm

    This looks like so much fun. I am lucky that M is ok with going shopping and doesn't cause too much fuss. I love your photos too 🙂 #triedtested

  35. July 21, 2015 / 6:58 pm

    Wow! You are a braver woman than me. I avoid supermarket shopping with my two girls on my own. Those cars sounds like a a great idea for getting a bit of extra time #triedtested

  36. Becky Gills
    July 21, 2015 / 8:31 pm

    Such great photos, it must have been odd having a photographer accompanying you shopping! We live quite close so will have to pay a visit, the shops sounds fab!
    Becky xx

  37. Karen Monkeyfooted Mummy
    July 21, 2015 / 9:41 pm

    We loved our trip to MacArthur glen and I HATE shopping centres, tgeyve got it sorted very well for families IMHO

  38. July 21, 2015 / 9:24 pm

    Ah suddenly I don't have to feel guilty about going shopping… love the little car and the play area, some lovely photos too I hope you made the most of having a professional photographer for the day 🙂 thanks for hosting #Triedtested

  39. July 21, 2015 / 11:14 pm

    It looks like you all had a great time!! The little car is cute.

  40. July 22, 2015 / 10:34 am

    This is one I haven't been to yet. My brother-in-law works near Chester and he goes there a lot. I know from the quality of the designer Christmas presents we get!

  41. mummyslittle peeps
    July 25, 2015 / 9:12 am

    Great pictures. Looks like they have had lots of additions since I last went. The play area looks fab and a great bargaining tool too!

  42. July 26, 2015 / 8:21 am

    It is a great place to shop,
    I love the photos, I bet you felt like a celebrity hehe 🙂 x
    #TriedTested

  43. Claire Ridewood
    July 27, 2015 / 6:21 pm

    Looks like you had a great day out! I hate shopping at the best of times so having to go to an outlet place fills me with dread! But the addition of some child friendly fun makes it a little more appealing! #triedtested

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