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Edition 24 • July/August 2013

The local magazine for families with children 0-12 years



ÂŽ In this issue > Summer Holiday Clubs > Travel Tips > Loads of days out and events

Covering: Poynton, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Knutsford, Prestbury, Macclesfield, Congleton, Holmes Chapel, Sandbach, Northwich, Winsford, Crewe, Nantwich, Tarporley, Waverton, Chester and surrounding areas

Welcome In this issue 02: Holiday Clubs 04: Parents’ place 10: Education 14: Summer 21: What’s on

Hello! Russian playwright and master of the short story, Anton Chekhov once said: “People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.” How true! And definitely something to bear in mind this summer when we will no doubt be treated to some very un-summery weather. With so many fabulous places to go and things to do both locally and further afield in the UK, there’s absolutely no excuse for not creating some very happy family memories this year. We’ve put together a bumper issue for you and hope it helps you find some inspiration to keep boredom and stress at bay. With 14 pages dedicated to Summer, as well as 2 pages of holiday club offerings, you’ve really no excuse! But make sure you take a little time to relax too while the kids are being entertained, because we all need it by this time of year. As Chekhov also said: “Any idiot can face a crisis; it’s day-to-day living that wears you out.” Have fun, travel safely and have a fantastic summer.

Caryl Hall

Next issue: September/October 2013 Circulation: 26,000 copies of Families Cheshire are available through nurseries, schools, libraries, selected shops and other points throughout Cheshire. If you would like free copies for your organisation, please let us know. Contact details: Families Cheshire, 3 Hall Hill, Bollington SK10 5ED Tel: 01625 801 801 Editorial: Advertising/artwork: Events, diary dates, what’s on: Cover photograph by: Yours Truly Photography 01937 833758,

Dreading the long summer break? Here’s a selection of some great summer holiday camps and courses in the area to help keep the kids entertained. A-Star Sports Summer Holiday Club A-Star Sports holiday clubs offer inclusive, developmental multisports coaching for children aged 3 – 10 years. Their award winning local team delivers action-packed holiday club sessions at Cheshire County Sports Club throughout the summer holidays. Activities include a full balance, agility and co-ordination based programme, the core ten sports – basketball / cricket / dodgeball / football / handball / hockey / rounders / rugby / tennis / volleyball, plus popular activities e.g.

athletics (field & track), sofcrosse and tri-golf. Prices are from £12 per half day. Childcare vouchers are accepted for holiday club bookings. Call Gary on 07796 190169 or Sharon on 07932 182148. Chester

Jayne Keep

Design: Paul Wilson Graphic Design, Congleton. Tel: 07743 111 694, Print: Bishops Printers, Walton Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO6 1TR Tel: 023 9233 4900 Families Cheshire is part of the Families group, established in 1990 and headed by Families South West. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under license. We take every care preparing the magazine, but the publishers and distributors can’t be held responsible for the claims of advertisers, the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequences. @FamCheshMag

A Week of Party dancing through the ages Get fit and have fun whilst learning the dances through a history of Party dancing. Dancers are known to be disciplined, focused, and high achievers who tend to be successful students and hard workers. Young dancers start developing this discipline early on, which is just one of the good reasons to sign your son or daughter up for a week of party dancing. Not only will he or she have lots of fun, but they will be reaping the benefits, both physically and mentally, for many years to come!

At the end of the week your children will perform a dance medley through the ages ending with a Thriller spectacular to perform to family and friends. Snacks and soft drinks will be provided but children will be required to bring a packed lunch. Book early to avoid disappointment! The summer school is held at Caldy Valley Neighbourhood Church, Chester CH3 5PR. It costs £75, runs from Mon 5 – Fri 9 August, 9am – 4pm and is suitable for children aged 7 – 14. 07580 247105 /

Save on summer fun with childcare vouchers Cash-strapped parents are always looking for ways to make tight household budgets stretch further, and with summer holidays on the horizon there is even more reason to get thinking. More parents now realise their childcare vouchers – which many people used to think were just for nursery fees – are actually a brilliantly flexible money-saving option all year long. Childcare vouchers are a tax-free salary sacrifice offered by employers to help ease childcare costs for staff who are also parents. And far from being just a bonus for paying nursery fees, they can actually be used for a huge range

of childcare options for children all the way up to age 15. In these difficult times, it’s a saving which UK mums and dads are grasping gratefully. Britain’s biggest dedicated childcare voucher provider, Computershare Voucher Services (CVS), say they’ve spotted smarter parents storing up vouchers outside of the school term. Research carried out by CVS of the over 100,000 working parents who use its vouchers shows parents now using them much more in the summer. Only a third of parents did not realise they could use their childcare vouchers for activities outside traditional

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childcare. These include holiday camps, activity clubs and music lessons. Many popular adventure holidays also accept childcare vouchers including organisations like PGL and Camp Beaumont. It’s always worth asking. “Childcare vouchers are far more versatile than some parents realise,” explains Julian Foster, managing director of CVS. “This means lots of families may be missing out on vital savings by failing to take advantage of their many uses.” He added: “The summer holidays can be a particularly expensive time for parents, as paying for additional childcare and keeping the kids

entertained can soon mount up. “If you’re using registered care then ask if they accept childcare vouchers and start making those savings.” Childcare vouchers are completely free of tax and National Insurance. Depending on individual circumstances, childcare vouchers can bring savings of up to £1,866 per family every year. To use childcare vouchers, a parent must work for an employer who offers a scheme. CVS is the UK’s largest dedicated childcare voucher provider. For more information visit

Holiday clubs Tennis Tykes summer holiday classes for children aged 2-8 Enjoyed Wimbledon? Then why not give your child the chance to play the great game of tennis this summer? Tennis Tykes, the fun tennis play and coaching programme is running a number of exciting classes over the summer holidays for age groups 2 – 3, 3½ & 4, and 5 – 8 at Handforth Hall Tennis Club. Classes are 45 minutes long for ages 4 & under and 1½ hours long for 5 – 8 year olds. The cost is £6 per class (£12 per class for the longer 5 – 8 year old classes). A discount of 10% also applies to the total cost of the classes if you book more than one class. Class dates: Mon 29 July, Tues 6 Aug, Wed 14 Aug, Wed 21 Aug. Class times: 9.30 – 10.15am (ages 2 – 3),

10.15 – 11am (ages 3½ & 4) and 11 – 12.30pm (ages 5 – 8) Andy Murray started playing tennis at age 3, and whether or not your child is a potential star of the future, playing tennis can positively benefit your child in so many ways and is such a fun game to play! To book onto the classes please contact Caroline Buncall on 07843 342662 / and for further information log onto

Bollington Health & Leisure summer activities back for 2013

The ever popular 2 hour fun sessions are a great way to pass the time for primary school children throughout the summer holiday (and give parents a small break at the same time)! The sessions, conducted by centre staff, consist of outdoor mixed games (weather permitting) followed by an

hour in the pool. Aimed at primary school age children, they run from 10am – 12 noon and 2 – 4pm every day from Mon 29 July until Fri 30 August, and cost just £4.50 per session (£20 when you book five). If parents want to use the gym at the same time, day passes are available at £2.00 per session so you can spend the summer getting fit while the kids have fun! For more information and to book, call 01625 574 774 or email

Holiday Fun at Bollington

29 July – 30 August 10am – 12 noon and 2 – 4pm daily Mixed games and swimming £4.50 per session or £20 for days Call to book 01625 574 774

Theatretrain Summer Schools 2013 These popular sessions take place at The Forum Studio Theatre, Chester with classes from 9.30am – 3.30pm, Monday to Friday as follows: w/c 29 July - Annie w/c 5 Aug – Disney w/c 12 Aug – The Sound of Music w/c 19 Aug – Les Misérables 01978 311446 / Beech Hall Summer Playscheme Ages 4 – 11 Mon 15 July – Fri 3 August at Beech Hall School, Tytherington. Activities 9.30am until 4.30pm with supervision available from 8.30am until 5.30pm. £24 per child per day or £115 for the full week. 10% reduction for subsequent children. All childcare vouchers accepted. Offering a range of activities including Arts & crafts, sports (including swimming), treasure hunts, drama, and nature rambling. 01625 422192 / Speckled Hen Country Bakery Ages 7+. Baking days at Hollins Farm, Holmes Chapel, from 9.30am – 3pm Mon 29 July: Creative Cupcakes & Marvellous Muffins! Wed 21 Aug: ‘Farm To Fork’ Day £37.50 per day. 01477 537583 / Stagecoach Summer Workshop Macclesfield: Mon 5 – Fri 9 Aug at Tytherington High School SK10 2EE, Ages 7 - 16 Nantwich: Mon 29 July – Fri 2 Aug at Nantwich Players Theatre CW5 5BG, All ages Didsbury: Mon 29 July – Fri 2 Aug at Parrs Wood High School M20 5PG, Ages 4 – 18 Stockport: Mon 12 – Fri 16 Aug at Hazel Grove High School SK7 5JX Chester: Mon 5 – Fri 9 Aug / Mon 12 – Fri 16 Aug / Mon 19 – Fri 23 Aug at Bishops High School CH3 5XF, Ages 6 - 16. Perfect for children who love singing, dancing and acting. They will work with a team of choreographers and directors to put on a show in just 5 days. Every child will be given a part suitable for their age and ability and everyone gets a chance to shine. Limited places available. Summer Film Shoot Ages 7 – 16 Mon 29 July – Fri 2 Aug, 10am – 4pm daily in Wilmslow. £235 per child (includes DVD and tickets to cinema premiere). 5 days of filmmaking – no previous experience necessary. 0845 533 3763 / Movie Masterclass Ages 10 – 13 Tues 27 & Wed 28 Aug, 10am – 4pm in Wilmslow £135 per child (includes DVD). A two day ‘boot camp’ for young filmmakers. 0845 533 3763 / Big Kids Count Ages 4 - 14. Superhero’s, arts and crafts and bake-offs in Northwich. 01606 74100 / Kings Camps Ages 4 – 17. Held at The King’s School (Chester), Sandbach School, Cheadle Hulme School & Bridgewater School, Manchester. Week long activity camps or individual days with a great range of sports, activities, games and crafts. 0845 643 5272 /

Mad Science Camps Ages 5 – 11 Mon 22 – 26 July: Alderley Edge School for Girls (Alderley Edge), The Blue Coat School (Liverpool) Mon 29 July – Fri 2 Aug: Alderley Edge School for Girls, Gorsey Bank Primary (Wilmslow), Upton Heath Primary (Chester) Mon 5 – Fri 9 Aug: Alderley Edge School for Girls, The Blue Coat School (Liverpool), Navigation Primary (Altrincham) Mon 12 – Fri 16 Aug: Upton Heath Primary (Chester) Mon 19 – Fri 23 Aug: Navigation Primary (Altrincham) Design, build and test a multitude of science projects. 9.30am – 3.30pm, £35 per day or £150 for 5 day camps. Group, Sibling and Early Bird discounts available. 01772 628844 / Activate Sport Lymm High School Mon 12 – Fri 16 Aug: Andrew Flintoff Cricket Academy Tues 27 – Fri 20 Aug: Multi sport/activity with Brendan Cole Dance Academy The Grange Junior School, Northwich Mon 22 – Fri 26 July: Multi sport/activity Wed 24 – Fri 26 July: International Netball Roadshow Mon 29 July – Fri 2 Aug: Gold Medal Academy Mon 5 – Fri 9 Aug: Multi sport/activity with Action & Adventure Mon 12 – Fri 16 Aug: Multi sport/activity with Brendan Cole Dance Academy Stockport Grammar Mon 29 – Fri 2 Aug: Andrew Flintoff Cricket Academy Wed 28 – Fri 30 Aug: International Netball Roadshow 0115 973 1676 / Funstations Ages 4 – 14 Mon 26 July – Fri 30 Aug: Offering a variety of activities in Tytherington. From sport through dance and drama to arts and crafts. 0161 718 0342 / Parsley Pie Art Club Age 4+. Mon 29 – Wed 31 July, 10am – 2pm in Hale Tues 6 – Thurs 8 Aug, 10am – 2pm in Stockport Creativity, laughter, learning & freedom of expression and a huge range of activities, materials & projects to choose from. Forest Holiday Club, Delamere Forest Ages 7 – 12 Mon 29 July – Wed 31 July, Tues 6 – Thurs 8 Aug, Wed 14 – Fri 16 Aug, Tues 20 – Thurs 22 Aug 10am – 3pm, £25 per day. Refreshments and snacks provided, please bring a packed lunch. Booking essential. 07808 506308 / Art, Dance and Musical Theatre Courses at Waterside Arts Centre, Sale. £80 (sibling discounts available) Mon 29 July - Fri 2 Aug: Summer Splash Art and Dance Course, Ages 7 – 16, 10am – 3pm daily Mon 19 – Fri 23 Aug: Artful Playground Musical Theatre Course, 10am – 4pm daily 0161 912 5616 / Council Run Holiday Camps Try your local leisure centre for holiday camps: Cheshire East Council: Brio Leisure (Cheshire West & Chester):

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Parents’ place WORKING MUMS How to be a Million Pound Mum by Hazel Cushion Published by Accent Press Ltd, ISBN 9781908262998 Hazel Cushion launched her awardwinning independent publishing company from her spare bedroom when her triplets were just six years old. Ten years on and her company Accent Press Ltd is on target to turn over £1 million and is renowned throughout the publishing world for its feisty, independent books. To tie in with her company’s success Hazel is launching the Million Pound Mum series of inspirational business books aimed at the growing number of mothers who want to run their own businesses but don’t have the knowledge or confidence to do so. Drawing on her own experience with practical information, top tips and the real life stories of mums who have successfully started their own companies, the books offer constructive advice on how to start a

business, still be a great mum and have fun while doing it. With her own children preparing for university, Hazel shares her secrets of maintaining a successful business and happy family balance. Hazel says: ‘Being a million pound mum is a state of mind, not just a financial goal. Some of the mums featured in the books have reached the million-pound turnover; others are well on the way. It’s all about the self-belief, having the confidence in yourself and the tenacity to believe that your idea is capable of achieving a million pound turnover.’

Pyjama Drama, Stockport South & Cheshire East Franchise for sale Bronze winner, Netmums Favourite Pre-School Activity 2012

If you’re enthusiastic about working with young children, have a love of drama, are looking for a more flexible way of working and would like to run your own rewarding business, then this business could be for you. Pyjama Drama (BFA member) offers drama and creative play classes to babies and children up to 7 years old with classes held in public venues, nurseries, schools and playgroups. The franchise has a wide

exclusive territory in which to operate and includes the following postcodes: SK7, SK8, SK9 & SK12. Alison has been running Pyjama Drama for three years and has established public classes and on-going private nursery contracts (e.g Kids Allowed) which are included in the selling price. Acting experience is not necessary to successfully run a Pyjama Drama franchise, more a natural enthusiasm for drama, a love of working with children, a warm friendly nature and an ambition to continue to develop this already successful business. Contact Alison on 07714 204 350. For more details on Pyjama Drama please go to:

Exciting low cost franchise opportunity for Mums! Pink Spaghetti was started by two busy Cheshire mums in September 2009 when they spotted a gap in the market for an affordable PA service that could support busy professional people who were trying to juggle running a home and small businesses around a family. In September 2012 they launched their first two franchisees and they are now looking for like-minded mums to share in their success and expand Pink Spaghetti across the UK. A Pink Spaghetti franchise has low start-up costs and high profit levels and will allow you to build a business around your family, providing you with the perfect

work life balance. You can choose your working hours and the model allows for your own business to grow as your children grow up. As a franchisee you will get full support every step of the way and access to their award winning website, marketing materials and everything you need to get your business up and running. This franchise is designed to be a second income, usually for someone who has come from a good career before children, and now wants a challenge and an income but also time to spend with their family. For further information visit

Own business opportunity Gifts at the mill is based in Congleton in a large refurbished 3 storey mill. In the top floors are Bryn Hall, the home of bespoke English furniture and Samuel Charles Interiors, renowned for their exquisite wall papers. On the ground floor is ‘Gifts at the mill’, a collective of small businesses selling a variety of products; jewellery, gift and home wear, pottery, toys and more! There is the opportunity for someone with innovative or unusual

products to rent shelf space. There is also a café area, seating and kitchen which would be an ideal opportunity for the right person to rent the space and set up their own tea / cake shop. There is also a small room which might be suitable for a nail bar, balloon shop or similar.  For more information, call Caroline Birchall-Slack on 01260 278111 or Heather Keyte 01782 515775. Or email

ARE YOU FEELING LUCKY? Win an Easy2Name Off to School set

We have 5 Easy2Name Off to School sets to give away! Each set is worth £18.90 and contains 30 waterproof stickers, 30 iron on name tapes, 1 set of shoe covers, 1 bag tag and 1 shoe bag. To enter the draw, simply enter online at Closing date for entries is Wednesday 31 July. The full Easy2Name range can be seen at

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Parents’ place

What is hay fever? By Dr Adam Simon, Primus Healthcare

Hay fever is a condition caused by an allergy to pollen – the fine powder produced by plants, flowers, trees and weeds to fertilise other members of the same family. Different species release pollen at specific times of the year. This can often help doctors work out which species a patient is allergic to. • Grass pollen is produced May to June • Tree pollens are produced March to May • Weed pollens are produced March to September What happens in hay fever? Normally, any small particles that are breathed up into the nostrils, go straight to the back of the nose and are swallowed. When pollen is breathed up through the nose, it irritates the nose lining and causes production of histamine. This is the same chemical that causes itching and swelling on the skin when we encounter nettles. The nose lining becomes slightly swollen and inflamed, leading to an itchy, runny, congested nose. It also causes sneezing and sore throats. Some people with Hay fever can also get asthma symptoms (coughing, wheezing & shortness of breath) The same happens in the eyes where the eye lining becomes swollen and inflamed after being in contact with pollen. This leads to itchy eyes that water clear fluid. Other symptoms include headaches, tenderness on the sinuses and sleep disturbance.

Dr Simon’s Top ten tips 1. BE PREPARED! Most hay fever sufferers get symptoms during the same months each year. Taking precautions & starting medication in advance of that time may make your spring / summer much more enjoyable. 2. Look at the pollen count forecast on line, on your phone weather app or on TV/radio . When the pollen count is high, stay indoors especially during the morning and evenings, when the pollen count is at its highest. 3. If you are out & about, keep car windows shut and when your car is serviced ask the garage to fit pollen filters in the air vents. 4. When you come home in the evening, shake pollen off coats / clothes and consider washing your hair in the evening. This will reduce pollen exposure during the night. 5. Anti-histamines: Use a non-drowsy anti-histamine. Your GP will be able to advise you on the most appropriate one for you. But BE AWARE: even non-drowsy anti-histamines can make some people drowsy. Do NOT drive or operate machinery if you are affected. See your GP who can change you to an alternative. 6. Nose Sprays: There are 4 types of nose sprays – Decongestant, Anti-histamine nose sprays, Cromoglycate and Steroid nose sprays – your GP can advise you which one is the best for you. But remember, family members may not necessarily respond to the same type of spray. There is also a very

new combination spray which combines steroid and anti-histamine called Dymista. It is available for UK GP’s to prescribe, but do not be surprised if your GP has not heard of it yet. 7. Eye drops: There are several available. They reduce the production of histamine in the eyes and reduce the itching, watering and discomfort symptoms that many hay fever sufferers endure. Your GP can advise you of the best for you. 8. Leukotriene receptor antagonists: These work to block the chemical that causes the symptoms of hay fever. They work in combination with antihistamines in hay fever sufferers who also have asthma (either due to the hay fever or separately). 9. Immunotherapy: This is a treatment used when symptoms are severe and do not respond to the other treatments above. The treatment involves either tablets or injections and it involves exposing your body to small amounts of grass pollen. The effect of this is to reduce the body’s response to the pollen it encounters in the hay fever season. It has to be supervised by a specialist immunologist and is not suitable for everyone. Your GP can advise if it would be suitable for you. 10. BE PREPARED. I know it is also number 1. But it is the most important point. Early treatment, even for a few weeks before symptoms normally start, may well make the difference between a miserable, sneezy, congested spring / summer and a happy symptomless one.

How common is hay fever? Hay fever is very common, affecting 15 – 20% of people. It is thought to develop in school age and teenage children but I am seeing more younger children with typical symptoms each year. How is hay fever diagnosed and why is diagnosing hay fever important? Thankfully, unlike many other conditions, hay fever usually causes quite typical symptoms and this means in most cases your GP will be able to make a diagnosis at the first appointment. However in rare cases where the diagnosis is not clear, the GP may request breathing tests or blood tests. Hay fever is an unpleasant condition that due to the symptoms listed can interfere with a patient’s life. This can affect home, school and work. Thankfully, there is medication available that can reduce most if not all of the symptoms.

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Parents’ place Say It Personally launch

Real Nappies – Real Futures! Ever felt a slight twinge at the amount of bin bags filled with disposable nappies you’re putting out each week? Or are you feeling let down by the closure of the Nappy Recycling Scheme (Knowaste) but don’t know what else to do? There is an alternative to disposable nappies – ‘Real Nappies’ or ‘Washable Nappies’ – which save on landfill waste and can be up to 40% better for the environment than disposables. What’s more, residents of Cheshire West and Chester are being offered the chance to try Real Nappies for FREE through a scheme run by Go Real – The Real Nappy Information Service. Landfill Waste Using Real Nappies is an action that can be placed at the very top of the waste hierarchy as it helps you reduce the waste that you are creating in the first place and also means that you are reusing an item again and again. Consequently Real Nappies have next to no impact on landfill sites as opposed to the 3 billion disposable nappies that

are thrown away each and every year in the UK; 90% of these are landfilled. A baby in disposables will need about 4,000 nappy changes in total – that’s 4,000 disposable nappies in a landfill site. Replace this image with 24 or so colourful Real Nappies creating a rainbow on your washing line or in storage and the future starts looking a little brighter for your children...and their children’s children, etc! Better for the Environment Using Real Nappies can be up to 40% better for the environment than using disposables but it does depend on how you use them. Follow these washing guidelines and eco nappy actions to help you achieve the maximum savings: environment/washing-guidelines environment/eco-nappy-actions For more information on the FREE Trial Kit scheme visit, email or call 0800 328 8175.

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Labelling clothes is such a chore, and so time-consuming! Not anymore though because Snappy Tags, from on-line gift retailer Say It Personally, is the one-click way to label school uniforms, clothing and other items quickly and securely. No more sewing in labels or taking time ironing on adhesive tags that come off in the wash. Snappy Tags is similar to a small button and very simple to use. Say It Personally just laser etch the name you need onto the Snappy Tags. Using Permanent EtchRM laser processes they guarantee that the name won’t fade or wash off. So you always know who the garment belongs to. Families decided to test Snappy Tag - and who better to ask than an 11 year

old who needs to label his clothes for scout camp in 2 weeks’ time? Isaac’s verdict: I found out that Snappy Tags is a simple yet effective way of labelling clothes. In your Snappy Tags package you will receive a Snappy Tags applicator, your chosen tags and the tag backs. All you have to do is pop the tag into the applicator, put in the strip of backs, pick up your garment and snap it onto the label. It only takes about 30 seconds once you know what you’re doing. The good thing is that when you snap the tag and the tag back together, it doesn’t puncture a hole in the garment, so it doesn’t look all tatty. You can also reuse the snappy tags so when they are removed with the special tool, you can use the same one on another piece of clothing – you only need to buy more backs. I’d highly recommend Snappy Tags and so would my mum - mainly because she HATES sewing!

Parents’ place Advertise in Families Cheshire Call Jayne on: 01625 801801 or email advertising@

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Parents’ place Kids Allowed turns 10 Kids Allowed has enjoyed phenomenal success since it opened its first childcare centre at Cheadle Royal in 2003, and has since launched three additional centres across Cheshire and South Manchester, at Didsbury, Knutsford and Macclesfield, with a fifth under construction in Stockport. Over the past decade, they have looked after the needs of around 3,000 families combined across all four centres, and provided 50,000 free cups of tea and coffee to parents with their ‘coffee to go’ service looking after “Mum and Dad too”! As well as winning a raft of awards over the years including Nursery World’s Nursery Chain of the Year Award 2010, and being the first UK nursery to have its menu accredited by The Vegetarian Society, last September saw the launch of the Kids Allowed Training Academy combining study for a recognised childcare

qualification with a full-time paid job. The Academy currently has 50 learners giving colleagues the opportunity to work four days a week at one of its centres, with one day in the Academy learning theory and training for Level 2 or 3 childcare qualifications. The aim is to soon launch the Kids Allowed Degree. 0870 750 1021 /

Pillow talk By K Bajwa, Consultant Osteopath at SOS clinics UK & “Beyond Bedtime” The Kids’ Pillow Specialists Fact: Not enough or poor quality sleep is a significant factor in lowering the achievement of school pupils. Recently published research by Boston College, USA, found that the school performance of 73% of 9 and 10 year olds was adversely affected by insufficient sleep. If kids are unable to concentrate, they are unable to achieve at their optimal level.

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Sleep is a fundamental need for all children. In my clinics, more parents have brought their children to me for treatment because their child will not sleep than all other conditions put together. A good bedtime routine, no television, computers, electronic games or mobile phones near to bedtime can all improve sleep. The correct bedroom temperature is also important. We all realise the importance of the correct size shoes and clothing for our growing children but often overlook the fact that they need the correct support for their head and neck when sleeping. Beyondbedtime. are kids’ pillow specialists, selling fine 100% cotton machine-washable pillows with hypoallergenic fill just for children. Lack of sleep can often be the difference between a high performing child and an average one. Sleeping on the right height kids’ pillow can definitely help them to sleep better.

Advertise in Families Cheshire Call Jayne on: 01625 801801 or email

Contact: Ranger Dan Coates | 07765 890385 |

Education Inspiring children to achieve their dreams By Melanie Machin, Terra Nova School

Based six and a half miles from Alderley Edge our location is rural but our technology connects children to the world, whilst they benefit from a peaceful environment in which to thrive. If you would like to see our School, and meet our Headmaster and teachers, please contact Melanie Machin on 01477 571261. It’s a big journey for a little child. That’s why our classes are small, personal, and staffed by dedicated and experienced teachers. From the age of three we help to give children the best educational start in life, nurturing every aspect of their personal, social and academic development with tailored learning and the highest quality of education. Our Nursery and Pre-Prep facilities include a large outdoor learning environment, adventure play area, multi-sensory zones, and woodland giving children the freedom to explore beyond the classroom in a safe environment.

Our pupils can stay until Year 6, 7 or 8, after which they attend leading day and boarding schools across the UK. Those extra two years here can help to ensure that pupils are well-rounded, confident and have a continuity of education at a crucial time in their educational and social development. In Prep, children are given opportunities to excel academically, socially and through our extensive sporting activities, all of which take place on our 36 acres of stunning grounds. They are also introduced to the flexibility of boarding or ‘staying the night’, with our flexible boarding options which work to fit with family life.

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“We liked the atmosphere at Terra Nova and the ratio of staff to children, and we felt that our daughter would benefit from this. It was the best decision we have ever made. She has thrived at TN; her progress in reading is huge, she is more confident in her abilities and is more willing to try without being held back by fear of failing. The way the children learn is fun and enjoyable, not pressured.” Pre-Prep parent

Teachers losing confidence A new survey by Ofqual reveals that 80% of head teachers are losing confidence in GCSEs, believing that as many as a quarter of pupils have received the wrong grades. This is largely due to last summer’s exam grading disaster but also to a lack of information about the standards pupils are expected to reach, and could mean that 150,000 pupils every year end up with the wrong marks. Education Secretary Michael Gove said that this lack of confidence has increased the need for reforming the exams, and has plans to scrap the modular and coursework approach to GCSEs and go back to end-of-course exams. He also proposes introducing more rigorous questions, with the new-style GCSEs being introduced into the classroom in September 2015. However, many head teachers argue that the lack of confidence is due to the exam boards being pressurised by Ofqual to change the boundaries while keeping the results roughly the same as last year, and not to do with modular exams or that the GCSE is not fit for purpose.

Education Header Award-winning tuition – 25% off when you join in July

Explore Learning centres across the country provide maths and English tuition to 5 to 14 year olds of all abilities, and also run special courses in 11+ exam preparation. The centres are open 7 days a week, and are Ofsted registered, meaning that families can use Childcare Vouchers to pay for membership. Children attend up to twice a week on a drop-in basis, so that Explore tuition fits easily into busy family life. As Explore members, children work with tutors who are great educational role models, enthusiastic about learning and fantastic motivators. Each child has

an individualised learning programme tailored to meet their needs, and all Explore courses map to the National Curriculum. This combination of benefits has led to the company being named Supplementary Education Provider of the Year at the prestigious Education Investor Awards for the past 2 years running. July is the most popular time of the year for families to join Explore Learning, as parents across the country look for an engaging way to keep their children’s brains active over the long summer break. Also, families joining in July will receive 25% off their first full month of tuition at participating centres, so now is a great time to join if you haven’t already! Explore Learning has centres across the UK - try them for free to find out how your family can benefit! To book your trial, visit or call your local centre.

Y6 Small Choral Group Winners

Festival Expectations Exceeded at The Ryleys The Ryleys have been celebrating another highly successful year at The Alderley Edge Festival, with talented youngsters picking up a grand total of 71 places across the Music, Speech and Drama categories. In the Music sections, there were First Places for the Chamber Choir, Junior Choir, Year 6 Choral Group and the Year 7 Choral Group. These all contributed to 12 top awards in total, with some outstanding solo performances

across a range of instruments and vocally. In the Speech & Drama categories, The Ryleys children picked up 13 First Places, 4 of which went to Year 6 pupil Oliver R. in Solo Drama, Solo Mime, Set Poem and My Favourite Poem. Competition was fierce across all categories – some with 20 performers – so to have placed so well is a really major achievement. Congratulations to all involved! 01625 583241 /

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Education Surviving the summer slide By Janet Sherlock, Leaders are Readers

Summer holidays bring excitement and adventure. Students look forward to their days off, knowing the long months will offer respite from their school year. What they do not understand is that whilst those days may relax and energise, they can also stress them academically. Summer learning loss, also known as the summer slide, can occur quickly during the summer. Recent studies published through a management tracking information system utilized by over 22,000 schools throughout the UK, indicate many students can go an entire summer without even picking up a book. This can be extremely detrimental to a child’s learning progress. When children mentally go on holiday for the summer, they are often at risk of losing one to three months of education with some dropping behind by as much as two to four national curriculum points. These students enter the classroom in the autumn term significantly behind their classmates. This makes it challenging for educators to meet the needs of their students. As a parent though, you have the ability to minimise that academic loss. Support learning at home Learning begins in the home but parents do not have to be educators to support that learning; you can do so by extending your children’s summer activities. Have them find a book about the play they are studying at drama camp. Participation in a summer football or rugby camp can be turned into a journaling activity. Maths can be practised through a trip to the grocery store. Turn any experience into a learning opportunity.

Support learning through the library Reading is arguably one of the most important components of your children’s education. Local libraries present opportunities to participate in reading programmes, group discussions, or other literacy events. Use your local library to find grade level appropriate books and activities. Support learning through summer programmes Sometimes though, children need more support than can be received at home. Between your work hours, a lack of resources or simply not knowing where to focus, you can be overwhelmed. If that occurs, reach out to an established summer school programme. Learning is directed in a setting with real, live teaching, as opposed to in front of computer screens, and in small classes that allow your child to receive individualized instruction. Enrolling your children in a vibrant and authentic programme may be the perfect opportunity to revise learning from the previous school year, extend learning and prepare for future challenges such as entrance exams. Janet Sherlock is head tutor at Leaders are Readers, the award-winning Saturday and Summer Schools.

International swim meet for city schoolgirl A Chester schoolgirl qualified to swim at an international meet in Cardiff in June after her intense training regime paid off. Isabelle Anwyl, 12, from near Holywell, and a pupil at The Queen’s School, Chester attended the Cardiff International Open swim in June representing Flintshire. The Queen’s School pupil has already achieved two golds, two silvers and a bronze at the Swim Wales North Regional Championships in February, with breaststroke being her favoured stroke. But Isabelle has not rested on her laurels and even continued to train while on holiday in Antigua with her family this Easter where she took part in a two-mile open water swim called ‘Sharkbait’. Izzy said: “I’ve always loved swimming and have been competing in galas since I was eight years old. Swimming enables me to meet new people and visit new places.

Isabelle before the ‘Sharkbait’ swim in Antigua

I love to train with my team mates but by far the best feeling is getting a new personal best time. Fitting my swim training around school work can sometimes be tricky but the plus side is that I don’t have time to get bored!” The Queen’s School (Senior School) is holding an open day on Monday 8 July. Open to girls in year 5, the activities day will include sampling various lessons such as science, ICT, cookery, Drama and even Mandarin. Apply online, or call the Admisions Officer. 01244 312078 /

Let your child be the teacher Do your children enjoy playing school when they are home? Perhaps with siblings or soft toys? If so they are sure to love the role pay game ‘Playteachers’ created by local teacher Frazer Moyes. The game is aimed at children aged 4 – 10 years and lets them create their own mini classroom with a huge supply of props such as a register, behaviour cards, timetable sheets, certificates, stickers, whiteboard and pen plus much more. Frazer’s own two children love making up their own lessons with the props; as have children Frazer has taught in school when the game has been used as a bit of fun through wet playtimes. ‘Playteachers’ is a shift away from the electronic games and a step back to the traditional game that encourages a child to use their imagination. The packs can be purchased online at or for information on local stockists email

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Summer Header The Big Summer Holiday Tips for Travellers By Robina Cowan

Yippee! It’s the break we’ve all been dreaming of and looking forward to through the dank winter and spring months – here comes this year’s summer holiday. Hands up who remembers when it was just you and your beloved, grabbing a cheap deal, filling a backpack at the last minute and heading for the sun? Those were the good old days... Now you’re a family, there’s a third ‘p’ to add to ‘passport and packing’ – ‘planning’. Here at Families (now a mighty group of 40 local magazines), the editors have children spanning all ages from three months to the early twenties, so you could say we’ve been there, done that. We put our heads together to pool our experience and best ideas for you. Happy travelling! BEFORE YOU GO • Label your child’s clothes, towels and backpacks, especially if you will be using kids’ clubs – they WILL go missing. Labels 4 Kids ( and Easy 2 Name ( both stock packs of instant labels, so the job’s a breeze and it’s a much cheaper solution than replacing lost items. They also have ID wristbands so you can label the children with your contact details. Or try Snappy Tags (

• Use Google Street View with the children to look round your planned location and help get familiarised with the landscape, ‘foreign’ signs and local attractions. You can also use it to create a list of places to visit. • Photocopy everyone’s passport and keep the copies in a different place. If the originals go missing, proof that you had passports will make it much easier to tussle with overseas authorities when it’s time to come home. • Have up to date pictures of your children on your phone - if they go missing you can show authorities what they look like. • Freeze food to await your return - even fresh milk can be frozen - so you don’t come home to an empty kitchen. Some very organised mothers even do an online shop towards the end of their holiday, for delivery on their first day home. Now, that’s organisation! • Lost luggage is a nightmare. Rather than filling one suitcase per person, pack a couple of daytime and evening outfits for everyone in each case so you can all get started while the hotel / airline tracks down the missing bag. • Involve your children in the packing even if just a small part is their responsibility. It occupies them while you are busy and gets them into the

holiday mood. Then check their choices: you may find fancy dress costumes and nothing sensible (OK, I admit this is from experience!) • Add a small ‘emergency bag’ to your hand luggage, with plasters, tissues, sachets of paracetamol, cotton wool, needle and thread, safety pins, wetwipes and a few sweets (for bribing and wiping away tears). Oh the satisfying feeling to have what you need just at the right time! • Pack spare clothes in your hand luggage in case of ‘accidents’. • Leave a spare set of keys with a friendly neighbour in case of home emergencies, losing yours or locking yourself out (I’ve done that just when we were about to leave!) • Cancel the newspapers and ask your friendly neighbour to return the wheelie bins to your property on collection day, so you’re not advertising an empty home. ON THE WAY • Long car journeys are not all about being plugged into gadgets. Try story tapes - as a family, we are all totally addicted to the ‘How to Train your Dragon’ series. The ‘Michelin I-Spy’ activity books are great fun, as are the free downloads from advice/car-knowledge/top-ten/ car-games. I made up some sheets myself for a journey through France and they kept my boys amused for hours. • For flights, Usborne’s ’50 Things do on a Plane’ will keep them occupied, rrp £5.99, while the Top Trumps range is great for older children, especially if you’re willing to join in. • Flying is the one time I am relaxed about screen time – if you have electrical gadgets, use them. Make sure you have some child friendly headphones to hand so as not to ‘share’ your child’s love of Peppa Pig with the entire plane. • Sucky sweets (as they are known in our house) are great for little ones who struggle

with their ears on take-off. Give babies a bottle (or breastfeed) to stop their ears popping. • Pack an extra layer for the flight even if you’re flying from a warm UK to a tropical destination. Planes can be chilly and children won’t relax if they’re not cosy. • If your child is crying on the flight, don’t panic. Most of passengers on board will be either parents or grandparents and will have sympathy for you. Your priority is settling your child in the best way you can. If your child has a favourite teddy or comfort blanket, make sure it’s in your hand luggage. It may help calm them and that in turn will calm you. WHILE YOU’RE THERE • Resist the temptation to Facebook your day’s antics - you’re advertising that you are away and your home’s empty. Not a good idea. • When packing to come home, check the back of every drawer, cupboard and even under the beds for favourite toys that might be lurking unseen. Have a quick rifle through the hotel/resort Lost Property box for mislaid hats/t-shirts etc (patting yourself on the back for labelling them beforehand). WHEN YOU RETURN • Take your holiday laundry for a service wash - it’s a small price to pay for not having to sort, wash and dry all those gritty beach towels and sunscreen covered t-shirts. AND FINALLY Work on a 70:30 ratio. Holidays are not effortless when you have children, just as life at home is not effortless. If you can enjoy 70% of the time you are away together, that’s a result. 30% will be about tantrums, tiredness and bad moods. But if you come home knowing that for most of the time, you relaxed, laughed and enjoyed the time spent together as a family, it’s been a success!

Destinology Travel Store now open Leading luxury tour operator Destinology has now opened its very first travel retail store on Alderley Road, in the heart of Wilmslow, Cheshire. The new Destinology store embraces the latest technologies to offer customers a modern retail experience and environment. Guests can browse a vast array of holidays at their leisure using the purpose built Destinology Travel App on touch screen

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displays. A collection of stylish hotel and destination videos are displayed on the cinemaesque screens with friendly and helpful staff on hand to answer any questions or discuss holiday requirements. The arrival of Destinology is generating a real buzz amongst the local community, and excitement surrounds the brand as they bring a fresh approach to the town. Unparalleled customer service and vast destination

knowledge comes as standard, setting the bar for a memorable customer experience. This is a positive addition to the Wilmslow high street and provides shoppers and local residents with a unique and cutting edge ‘destination’ facility for the ultimate in travel inspiration. The Destinology team hope to welcome you at the new store soon! 01625 885 588 /

Summer Header Travel Britain No matter where you’re going in the UK this summer, look no further than for what’s on in the area. With 40 local magazines across the country, we can keep you and the family entertained! Here are a few recommendations from some of our editors for great days out both in their area and further afield. Warwick Castle and Stratford-upon-Avon are our best local offerings, but we’ve also enjoyed Legoland, Drayton Manor’s Thomas Land (when my son Luca was small), Brighton Pier and the Eden Project. Plus pretty much any beach with rock pools and crabbing! National Space Centre in Leicester was the highlight of Luca’s year last year. Gabrielle Starkey, Families Warwickshire

We could easily write a whole page on Scotland, there is so much to see and do up here! Stirling Castle, Falkirk Wheel, Wallace Monument to name but a few.... Louise Boyle and Fiona Logan, Families Central Scotland

I spent a large chunk of Sunday at Hollycombe Steam Museum in Liphook, Hampshire. It was my 3 year old nephew’s birthday party and all the kids loved it. And all the Dads and Grandads loved all the engines. For a one off trip it was fairly expensive but the ticket price covered you for a whole year (just in case dads and kids want to return on a regular basis)! Sarah Adair, Families Edinburgh

Legoland Windsor would get my vote as one of the best family attractions for younger age groups. The Harry Potter Studios are great for older kids who are Potter fans. And on a local level – Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire was a great family day out. Wendy Flynn, Families Birmingham Plugging my area, we have the fab new All

About Me gallery at Eureka! which is the UK’s museum for children in Halifax, West Yorkshire. It is right in the heart of the Pennines and around us you have the moors and valley with villages (which pre-date the Industrial Revolution), North to the Yorkshire Dales via Haworth where the Bronte’s lived and created, and the Railway Children was filmed on the Keighley So many places I could mention in my local Worth Valley Railway, North East to the area but we love Yorkshire Sculpture Park and it’s free, except for parking. And further North Yorkshire Moors and Coast and South to the Peak district. afield, I can’t agree more about Harry Potter Rachel Bentley, Families Pennines experience - highlight of my year so far! Belinda Maunsell, Families Vale of York

My daughter is 4 and recently loved The Riverside Museum on Clydebank in Glasgow, Edinburgh Castle and The Falkirk Wheel – you’ve guessed it we were in Scotland! Locally, my vote goes to Hobbledown in Epsom (which has something for every age range). Linda Stone, Families London upon Thames

Chill out Having never done anything more than build snowmen, throw snowballs and sledge, Jayne and I headed off with some trepidation recently to a taster skiing session at the Chill Factore. Convinced we were going to end up with at least one broken bone between us, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that it was remarkably simple and really great fun. Our lovely instructor Dan was very patient as we puffed and panted our way gradually higher and higher up the slope, learning the basics of ski control. We even ended the session with a race (I’m convinced it was a tie, although Jayne may have had an inch or two on me) – and the only time I hit the deck was when I tried to take my skis off! We’d highly recommend it for first time skiers (and children) – and may even sign up for lessons over summer, when the indoor slope is a bit quieter. Lessons aren’t cheap, admittedly (then again,

When my son was very little we used to spend lots of summers down in Dorset (Bridport) and never missed an opportunity to go to Pecorama. It’s located on the cliffs above Beer with some beautiful sea views and ride-on miniature railways. I suppose it is quite old fashioned but absolutely delightful. We stopped going to Dorset when he was 5 years old but at 18 he still remember what lovely days we had there. Shelley Cooper, Families Herts

My children are 5 and 8 and over the past couple of years they’ve both really enjoyed the following… Chatsworth House, Derbyshire Castle Howard, Yorkshire Eden Project, Cornwall Jorvik Viking Centre, York Warwick Castle, Warwickshire Alton Towers, Staffordshire Sudbury Hall Museum of Childhood, Derbyshire Helen Hill, Families Leicestershire

nothing relating to skiing is really), but it’s a fun activity that all the family can enjoy together. And if skiing’s not your thing, then Chill Factore also offers snowboarding, a 12m climbing wall and a Snow Park with revamped Tubing lanes, a 60m long Luge, a Snow Play area for ages 2 – 10, and a newly launched Snow Carousel. Appropriate clothing is available to hire, and there are various special offers for sessions currently running – more info on their website. You can make a real day of it with onsite eateries and shops too. Pre-booking for sessions strongly recommended. 0161 749 2222 / Caryl Hall, Families Cheshire

The Great Escape Road to Rouen Ben Hatch, best-selling author of Are We Nearly There Yet?, is back – and this time he and his family are travelling in France. Imagining that the family would return as relaxed, cultured food sophisticates, ten thousand miles later his family’s been attacked by a donkey, had a run-in with a death-cult and, after a near drowning and a calamitous wedding experience involving a British spy, his own marriage is in jeopardy. Funny and poignant, Road to Rouen asks important questions about life, marriage and whether it’s ever acceptable to tape baguette to your children’s legs to smuggle lunch into Disneyland Paris. Road to Rouen is published by Headline, £11.99. It’s available online at Amazon as both a paperback and Kindle.

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Summer Header What I learned on my holidays... By Joanna Moorhead

The long summer break is almost upon us; but whether you’re having a staycation or going away, why not fold some learning into your vacation plans? We’ve got 20 great ideas for skills you and your family can master over the weeks ahead – wherever you are. 1. Sleep outdoors: nothing says ‘summer’ like the chance to kip outside. If you can, find a campsite where you can go for a few days; but if you can’t get away, put up a tent in the garden. No tent? Borrow one. You’ll be amazed at the amount of fun kids can have with a few torches under canvas. Make sure they have lots of snacks – and don’t forget the singsongs! 2. Find a geocache: geocaching is like a treasure hunt where you use a GPS device to find a container which will have some small items (maybe toys) inside. It’s fun, exciting, and there’s lots to learn (about orienteering, geography, exploration, the environment). For more information see 3. Go wild swimming: swimming in rivers and lakes may sound an experience not a learning activity – but swimming in a natural environment helps kids learn about nature, and it’s a totally different experience from swimming in a pool, even an outdoor one. See for ideas of where to try it out. 4. Climb a tree: there’s so much to learn in tree-climbing: how to deal with the unexpected, how to trust your own judgement, how to take a risk and how to manage failure. You learn that it’s harder






to come down than to go up, and you learn how to look after your friend who falls out of the tree. And they’re all life skills that are useful for ever. Fly a kite: gem up on wind direction, find a suitable open space, and make or invest in a kite. Read up online on how to launch a kite, and go for it! You’ll get a tremendous sense of satisfaction as your kite dances across the sky. Have a treasure hunt: there are loads of different ways to run a treasure hunt, so read up on the different methods online. It’s all down to good planning, so don’t stint on that: you’ll spend more time on planning than on the event itself. As a rough rule of thumb, kids can manage twice as many clues as their age. Make a movie: with the arrival of the iPhone and the iPad, it’s never been easier to make a (surprisingly professional) home movie. Choose your location, put together your storyboard and...action! There are various apps that can make filming easier (eg filmic pro, which locks the camera’s settings for the duration of a shot). Build a den: it’s come to symbolise childhood freedom, and there’s little doubt it’s an activity children (and their parents) absolutely love. Dens are best built in woods, but even a small garden or a bedroom will do as a venue. The secret is to allow your child to let his/her imagination run wild (and not worry too much about the tidying up afterwards). Ride a horse: some kids are pony-mad, but even those who don’t do regular lessons usually love at least

the occasional chance to ride. Look up a riding school and see what they can offer in terms of a one-off experience; ideally, you’ll want to go too. 10. Find your way using a map and compass: whether you’re in a city or the country, whether it’s somewhere you know or somewhere new to you, there’s loads to learn from this. It’s tricky to work out the compass points, so a good activity to do en famille; also great to acclimatise children with maps and their usefulness. 11. Track wild animals: again this is something that can be done in the outback, the local park, or your back garden. Your children are looking for signs that animals have been here: pawprints, claw marks, scuff marks and – most fascinating of all for most kids – poo. 12. Catch a fish: if you’re new to fishing, use a net. Find water that’s clean and clear, and where you can see there are lots of fish. Then be patient, and ready to pounce. 13. Identify wild flowers: there are so many beautiful wild flowers, and it feels knowledgeable when you know what’s what. Choose an area rich in wild foliage, and take a book or leaflet with you to help you with identification. 14. Cook on a campfire: sausages and marshmallows are the obvious contenders – but you can be more ambitious than that! You can cook anything on a campfire. Try frying eggs, grilling fish, warming burritos, making risotto. Kids will eat things they’d never eat at home when they’ve been whizzed up on a campfire. 15. Go bird watching: if you’ve never done it, and know little about birds, the best thing to do is go to an RSPB

sanctuary. Take your binoculars, read the guides, and use the hides. 16. Build a raft: there are courses in raft-building; but there are also instructions (on the internet). It takes time, and teamwork, and effort; but there’s nothing like the feeling of finding it floats! 17. Identify at least ten constellations: invest in a good chart, wait for a dark night, keep your eyes peeled. You get a huge sense of satisfaction, and awe, when you manage to do it. 18. Make a family tree: learning about your family history is a fascinating way to put flesh on the bones of history lessons. What’s more, grandparents and great-aunts and uncles won’t always be around to fill you in – so ask the questions now. 19. Start a collection: it can be anything – football cards, postcards, photographs of funfairs you’ve visited, pebbles from beaches you’ve been to. You can collect experiences as well as items: keep a book where you write a short review of every film you watch, every book you read, or a description of every day out you have. Collections aren’t about WHAT they are, they’re about learning to organise your thoughts in a coherent, logical way. 20. Learn a good card or magic trick: it takes practice, but it’s enormous fun and if you get good at your trick, you really can surprise people (especially visitors). It’s part-performance, part-agility, part-confidence; all useful skills for every child.

Just So Festival back for 2013

The award-winning festival, which takes place in Cheshire each August, takes families out of their day to day lives and invites them to sing, dance, play, explore and discover art together in a spellbinding natural landscape. The festival is unique in its offer of a weekend packed entirely with performances and workshops specifically for families. It has grown from strength to strength in its first three years and organisers are certain that Just So Festival

2013 (16/17/18 August) will be the best yet. In 2013 the festival team will be delving further into the woods on the Rode Hall Estate to bring the audience some exciting new areas including Telling Tales, a world full of books and The High Chaparral where everyone can release their inner cowboy. Buckets & Spades, the beach installation from 2011 will be making a return and what better setting than the banks of the lake at Rode? Peekaboo, their area for 0–3 year olds will again be providing high quality performances and experiences designed around their smallest visitors. The festival will take place at Rode Hall Park, Scholar Green, Cheshire, ST7 3QP. Tickets are on sale from

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BUGS! at Chester Zoo A ‘world first’ exhibition set to open at Chester Zoo on 13 July is aiming to put invertebrates in the spotlight. The exhibit will feature 13 large-scale robotic bug replicas including a scorpion, a ladybird and a 33ft-wide tarantula, and promises to be one of the most breath-taking displays ever seen in a UK zoo.

The huge creations are being custom built for the zoo by a top animation studio in the USA. Conservationists from the zoo hope the exhibition will provide a showcase for invertebrates and the need to conserve threatened species. BUGS! will be free with normal zoo admission prices and will run until 3 November.

Summer Header Have an adventure

The National Trust has taken advantage of the warmer weather to update their list of 50 Thing To Do Before You’re 11¾. There’s nothing quite like fresh air, exercise and family time, and you can’t beat the fun you can have in the Great Outdoors.

Join the Summer Reading Challenge However, sometimes convincing your kids can be a bit of a struggle, so the Trust have come up with 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾ to encourage kids to get mucky, discover their wild side and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer. Check out the website, where you can interact with your very own virtual Outdoors Explorer - keep track of activities, earn rewards, get top tips for each adventure, unlock cool games, earn badges, collect certificates and discover some secret challenges. Camp out in the wild, build a den, go star gazing, hunt for fossils, set up a snail race, explore a cave and much, much more.

There are plenty of spine-tingling surprises waiting for you at your local library! From Sat 13 July, all children can register at their library for Creepy House. They’ll get a Creepy Fold out poster and a set of stickers (including some smelly scratch and sniff ones!) and a glow in the dark wrist band on their second visit! To receive a certificate and a medal for completing the challenge, children need to collect

all 6 stickers, and record 6 of their favourite books. There will be lots to do in the library – quizzes, events, competitions and all completely free of charge!

Funstock 2013: a feast of family fun for charity

Full steam ahead

Astle Park is to host its Annual Steam Fair on Sat 10 & Sun 11 August. One of Cheshire’s biggest steam and vintage events, there wil also be the opportunity to help drive a steam engine!

An action packed arena programme will run from 11am – 5pm. This exciting day out has plenty for children with both old time and modern funfairs, quad rides, puppet show, birds of prey displays, a giant inflatable slide and castles, climbing wall, face painting and trampolines. New for 2013 is Ken Fox’s Wall of Death, the oldest surviving Wall of Death in the UK. The noise, the speed, the smell, the proximity of the bikes ridden to the top of the vertical wall, barely 6 inches from the audience – an experience never to be forgotten! For more information visit

Brit Chic for summer These Iconic A-line dresses are a fashion favourite for both little and big girls alike. Made in Britain, all 3 dresses in the range are 100% cotton, fully lined and gorgeous to wear all year round. These hippy chic dresses come in 3 designs: • Designer orange fabric with bold purple lining and contrast funky big buttons. • Designer pink fabric with bold orange lining and contrast funky big buttons. • Limited Edition - Designer floral patterned fabric with bold red lining and contrast funky big buttons. Available in sizes: 0-5 years and priced at £49 each. Now if only they did them in mum’s sizes…..

Prolong the summer holiday fun this year, and join The Co-operative Bank for one of the biggest family days out in the North West. Funstock 2013 will be held on Sun 8 September at Stockley Farm, Arley from 10.30am until late, and is organised in aid of Carer’s Trust. Start your day with a tractor and trailer ride from the car park down to the farm, and enjoy the following activities: • An animal corner and sheds with a wide variety of animals • Bottle feeding baby lambs and goats

• Sheep racing • Birds of prey displays • Watching cows being milked in the farm’s on-site dairy • Indoor and outdoor play areas • Craft and gift stalls Relax in the farm Tearoom and enjoy a wide selection of home-made food, including hot and cold meals, snacks and home-made cakes. Or, enjoy the BBQ (vegetarian option available). Locally produced real dairy ice cream is also available.

Sunshine, Vitamin D and tired tots Our understanding of the sunshine vitamin has improved in recent years, as we have become aware that exposure to natural sunlight can affect our levels, and with too little sun we are in danger of becoming deficient. We are all keen to slap the sunscreen on our children and to keep them out of the sun when it is at its highest which is of course important, but children do need some sun. A lack of Vitamin D is not only responsible for poor bone health but a new study has found a strong correlation between excessive daytime sleepiness and Vitamin D. In fact, researchers found that for most participants in the study, sleepiness increased as blood levels of vitamin D decreased. So, if you or your

little one suffers from excessive daytime sleepiness, it may be time to take action. According to The Department of Health, Vitamin D deficiency is a concern, particularly for at-risk groups such as pregnant women, infants and young children. The Department advises that daily Vitamin D supplements should be taken by all pregnant and breast-feeding women and children under five, due to the fact that breast milk, on average, contains only 10% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin D. Other recent studies show that more vitamin D during infancy, whether this is gained through supplements or natural sunshine, can help reduce the risk of major health concerns later on in life.

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Summer Leeds Castle

Lose yourself in this spiraling Yew Maze and return to civilization through an underworld grotto, complete with macabre forms and mythical beasts. There is also a Turf Maze designed for younger children, the circles of turf leading to a wooden castle in the centre. 01622 765400 /, Maidstone, Kent ME17 1PL

Image: Istock

Maze World

Amazing mazes Get thoroughly lost this summer in an exciting maze. From yew mazes to water mazes and the traditional to the modern, these 3D puzzles are sure to test your maze-solving abilities. Here are some close to home options close to home, as well some recommendations for further afield if you’re travelling over summer. Reaseheath College

Reaseheath’s premier family attraction has been open to the general public each summer for the past 15 years! Each year a Maize Maze is formed in a crop of forage that can grow up to 3 metres high, and this year the maze has been designed with a circus theme, so you will find an array of fun circus themed clues to help you complete the quiz that forms part of the journey around the maze. They also cater for younger visitors and anyone with less time to spare by offering a smaller Maize Maze. And while you’re there, you have the option to purchase a ticket to visit the zoo where you will find an array of animals including meercats, reptiles, aquatics and birds of prey. 01270 625131 /, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 6DF

Red House Farm

A new design every year, which starts at around 1 metre at opening weekend, to around 3 metres towards the end of summer. Plenty of other family friendly fun in the large courtyard area and onsite refreshments. 0161 941 3480 /, Altrincham, Cheshire WA14 5RL

Adlington Hall

There’s a unicorn at the centre of the yew maze – but can you find it? Planted in 1996, the maze offers a real challenge for adults and children alike. 01625 820875 /, Adlington, Cheshire SK10 4LF

Apple Jacks

Maize Maze open from July, as well as wooden maze. Full adventure playground too with Adventure Hayride, Jumping Pillow, Haystack Mountain, Stilt Walking, Roller Skating rink, and more. 01925 268495 /, Warrington, Cheshire WA4 4NW

Brimstage Maize Maze

Getting people lost since 2003, there’s now a whole range of additional attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy too. All activities included in the standard entry price. 07709 339490 /, Brimstage, Wirral, Merseyside CH63 6JA

York maze

An award winning, seasonal attraction with a giant maze and over 20 rides and shows. Set in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, but only 10 minutes from the centre of York. New ultra violet mirror maze for 2013. 01904 607341 /, York YO19 5LT

Hever Castle

You will definitely get lost in this one! Created by William Waldorf Astor in 1906, the Yew Maze sports hedges 8 feet high and is one of a few traditionally designed mazes in the country. Hever also has a Water Maze of stones that tilt and water jets that spring into action to soak the unwary visitor. Reach the stone grotto in the centre without getting wet! 01732 865224 /, Hever, nr Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7NG

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Be a-mazed as you travel the world in one day. Home to the UK’s largest collection of permanent mazes, Maze World has six mazes themed around continents, including Canadian Hedge Maze, English Hedge Maze, Antarctic Labyrinth, Japanese Trellis Maze, African Reed Fence Maze and Australian Wooden pole Maze. 01827 713438 /, Mancetter, Warwickshire CV9 1RF

Odds Farm Park

Explore the exciting Maize Maze. Weather and crop dependent! 01628 520188 /, Wooburn Common, Bucks HP10 0LX

Willows Farm Village

Check out their A-maize-ing 20,000 metre maze. 0870 1299718 /, London Colney, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL4 0PF

Tulleys Summer Maze Park

The giant Maize Maze is created with a different design each year. They also have Torchlight Maze Evenings, giving visitors the chance to complete the maze in the dark. 01342 718472 /, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 4PE

Millets Maize Maze

Manydown Maze

You’ll have a farm–tastic time at Manydown Maze, over 2 acres in size. To help you navigate around the maze there is a treasure hunt. 01256 220398 /, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG23 8PU

Cliveden Maze

Have fun getting lost in the Maze, as large as the world famous Hampton Court Maze. There is no ‘quick exit’ so you have to find your way out as well as in. 01628 605069 /, Taplow, nr Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 0JA

Blenheim Palace – Marlborough Maze

The world’s second largest symbolic hedge maze, designed to reflect the history and architecture of the Palace. Covering over an acre, it has two wooden bridges which provide vantage points. Within the maze is a model of a Woodstock street, putting greens, and giant chess and draughts set. 0800 849 6500 /, Woodstock Oxfordshire OX20 1PP

Stansted House Maze

A family attraction with over 500 yew trees nearly 2m tall. 02392 412265 / www.stanstedpark Stansted Park, Rowland’s Castle, Hampshire PO9 6DX

Hampton Court Maze

Britain’s oldest surviving hedge maze. Designed by George London and Henry Wise in 1690, it is the most famous maze in the world and arguably the most visited. There is also an effective sound installation enticing visitors through the labyrinth. 0844 482 7777 / HamptonCourtPalace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU

Split into 3 mazes, Mega, Midi and Mini, each of them have a different game to play. Or venture in by moonlight. 07826132416 /, Frilford, Nr Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX13 5HB Reaseheath’s Olympic themed maze for 2012

Summer Places to visit for great days out THE GREAT OUTDOORS:

Aerial Extreme, Knowsley Safari Park, Trentham Estate, Trafford Centre Bruntwood Park Carden Park, Nr Chester Crocky Trail, Waverton Delamere Forest Go Ape in Delamere Forest or Buxton Macclefield Forest Marbury Country Park, Northwich Pooles Cavern, Buxton Tittesworth Water, Leek


Blackpool Zoo Blue Planet Aquarium, Ellesmere Port Chester Zoo, Chester Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre, nr Tarporley Gauntlet birds of prey, Knutsford Knowsley Safari Park Sealife, Manchester The Chestnut Centre, Chapel-en-le-Frith Trentham Monkey Forest, Trentham


Backford Belles, Acre Farm, Chester Blaze Farm, Wildboarclough Cheshire Farm, Tattenhall Great Budworth Real Dairy Ice Cream Farm Snugbury’s, Nantwich


Alton Towers, Stoke-on-Trent Blackpool Pleasure Beach Drayton Manor, Tamworth Gulliver’s World, Warrington


Lakemore Farm Park, Haslington Red House Farm, Dunham Massey Stockley Farm, Northwich Tatton Park, Knutsford


Beeston Castle, Nr Tarporley Bramall Hall Congleton Museum Dunham Massey, Altrincham Grosvenor Museum, Chester Hatworks, Stockport Imperial War Museum North, Salford Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Macclesfield Lyme Park, Disley Macclesfield Silk Museum Manchester Art Gallery Manchester Museum Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester Museum of Transport Nantwich Museum People’s History Museum, Manchester

Quarry Bank Mill, Styal Staircase House, Stockport Stockport Air Raid Shelters Stretton Water Mill, Stretton The Lowry The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Weaver Hall Museum, Nantwich


Barnaby’s Playbarn, Blakemere Village, Northwich Crazy Daisy’s Playbarn, The Ice Cream Farm, Tattenhall Fun4All, Chester & Macclesfield Funky Town Play Centre, Chester Funsters, Crewe Pirates Paradise, Holmes Chapel Play Factore, Trafford Playworld, Shavington Polar Palace, Winsford The 2 Gyms, Winsford Wacky Warehouse, Congleton, Crewe and Northwich


Airkix, Trafford Park Audley Climbing Centre Awesome Walls, Stockport, Liverpool & Stoke-on-Trent Chill Factore Gulliver’s World Splash Zone Manchester Climbing Centre

North West Face, Warrington Rockover Climbing Silver Blades Ice Rink, Altrincham The Vertical Chill Ice Wall, Manchester


Bean & Brush Café, Sale Brookside Pottery, Poynton Cheshire Workshops, Burwardsley Legoland Discovery Centre, Trafford Park The Potter’s Barn, Hassall Green Cheshire Craft Workshop, Blakemere Village, Northwich The Spotty Pig, Chester


Brookside Garden Centre, Poynton Churnet Valley Railway, Cheddleton Dragon Miniature Railway, Marple East Lancashire Railway, Bury Grosvenor Park Miniature Railway, Chester High Legh Railway, Knutsford Hills Garden Centre Miniature Railway, Knutsford knutsford-branch MOSI steam train, Manchester Rudyard Lake Mini Steam Railway, Leek Walton Park Trains, Sale


Anderton Boat Lift, Northwich River Dee Cruises, Chester Trafford Water Sports Centre

Macclesfield Amateur Swimming Club (MASC) Teaching children and adults to swim since 1893 MASC is a non-profit organization run by volunteers who are dedicated to teaching children and adults to swim. One in four children of school age and many adults cannot swim. Are you or one of your children in this category? Or, if you can swim, would you like to improve your ability in a safe, friendly, non-competitive environment? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, MASC is the swimming club for you.

You will be taught by fully ASA qualified teachers and helpers who have many years’ experience and run several sessions a night for the various levels of attainment in swimming and synchronised swimming. This ensures you and your children have a happy and rewarding experience during club nights, enhanced by their badge nights and in-house galas. Galas are a friendly competition for all sections of membership from width splash in the training pool upwards.

Because they are an amateur club, they are pleased to offer the most cost effective way to teach you and your children to swim. Volunteer swimming teachers, pool helpers and administrators are always welcome and they also invite any pupils wishing to gain the experience required for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. For further details see or call Judith on 01625 617960 or Lindsay on 01625 503521.



These listings are for guidance only – please check before you go To include your upcoming event in our listings, email

In the Night Garden Live – Back In Manchester Don’t miss your chance to see In The Night Garden Live at The Trafford Centre in Manchester from Thurs 15 August for two weeks only. See Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy and Makka Pakka brought to life with beautiful costumes, magical puppets, enchanting music and breathtaking projections. In the Night Garden Live takes place in

its own family-friendly Showdome. With just 13 rows of seats, you’ll be close to the action and everyone gets a great view! You really must be quick to get tickets. Seats are limited, and premium tickets have already sold out. Watch the trailer and book online at

Beep Beep! Winston pulls into Thomas Land As Thomas Land™ commemorates its fifth anniversary at Drayton Manor Theme Park, near Tamworth, Staffordshire, a brand new ride based on a celebrated Thomas & Friends™ character is set to arrive. Winston’s Whistle Stop Tour features the willing, loyal and extremely helpful Winston, who will be on hand to assist The Fat Controller with his terrible driving skills, whilst keeping all of his visitors and younger guests entertained when he officially launches on Friday 19 July.

Winston joins the 21 other rides and attractions based on the ever-popular Thomas & Friends series. Families can experience the magic of Sodor and interact with their favourite characters like never before and the new Winston’s Whistle Stop Tour ride will allow them to be able to see everything from a bird’s eye view. In good weather the Winston vehicles will also be open top to add to riders’ enjoyment. 0844 472 1960 /

interactive zone which includes a Manhatten skyscraper, a log tunnel and an Ogre Swamp. 0871 282 9200 /

New What’s on Guide to Inclusive UK Did you know there are over 1,300 events for people with learning disabilities and autism taking place every week around the UK? They’re all listed in the new What’s on Guide to Inclusive UK – online at

Tatton Park, Knutsford Mansion Exhibition: Beatrix Potter’s life Normal mansion opening times and charges apply. 01625 374400 /

Until Sat 13 July

Chester Cathedral Chester Mystery Plays An extraordinary community theatre only taking place every 5 years. Iconic Bible storeis are transformed into a truly spectacular, dynamic theatrical experience through tales of ambition, intrigue, betrayal and passion. Guaranteed to enrapture, astound and delight! 01244 500959 /

Every Sat & Sun in July

World’s First Madame Tussauds Children’s Zone completed Marvel’s Spider-Man, one of the most popular characters in the world, and everyone’s favourite Ogre, DreamWorks Animations’ Shrek have been immortalised by Madame Tussauds Blackpool. Joining TV star Bob the Builder, the two new figures complete the World’s first Madame Tussauds Children’s Zone. The new figures of the iconic web-slinging Super Hero figure and the seven-foot-tall Shrek, who is Blackpool’s tallest figure, will be featured in the new

Until Sun 1 Sept Given the thumbs up by Liam Gallagher and DJ Jo Whiley, you can add your information about inclusive events too – just email

20 Families Cheshire |

The Weaver Hall Museum, Northwich Coffee Shop Crafts for Children 2.30 – 4pm. Children’s craft activities in the coffee shop (included in the standard admission charge). Free to season ticket holders. Make a medieval tile, a Roman helmet, a peg doll pauper, or many more crafts reflecting the museum’s collections. 01606 271640 /

Thurs 4 July – Sun 8 Sept

Liverpool ONE Tickle the Ivories Fit a spot of piano playing into your day of shopping! The pianos, which are scattered throughout Liverpool ONE for 10 weeks, will host a range of pianists from professionals to members of the public. If you want to get involved yourself, there are free play days every week.

Sat 6 July

Tatton Park, Knutsford Pick your own for Peter 10am – 12pm, £20, Max age 12. Join the guide in the gardens for storytelling and pick your own fruit, vegetables and salad to create dishes inspired by Beatrix Potter’s tales. Then cook your harvest in the Victorian Mansion and take it home. 01625 374000 / Beech Fields, Timperley Altrincham Festival 11am – 5pm, Free (donations welcome) Displays, food, funfair, inflatables, fun train, puppets and more. Antrobus Village Hall Antrobus Rose Queen Fete The Antrobus Rose Queen Fete is celebrating 60 years! Procession starts at 1.30pm on Knutsford Road. Adult: £2, Child: £1 (Babies in pushchairs free)

Sat 6 & Sun 7 July

Biddulph Grange Garden Garden Gnome Weekend 11am – 5.30pm, Free, normal admission applies. The garden has become over-run with naughty garden gnomes and we need help to find them all! uk/biddulph-grange-garden

Stretton Water Mill, Stretton (nr Farndon) Tudor Festival 12 noon – 5pm, free admission. Step back in time to 1596 and meet the miller, a herbalist a storyteller and musicians playing Tudor tunes. The sergeant of the local militia will be keeping the peace, with offenders being placed in the stocks. Tatton Park, Knutsford Stars and Stripes Classic American Car Show 10am – 4pm, Adults 7.50, Children 10 – 15 £5, Under 10s Free, Normal Park Entry Charge applies. The North West’s premier event for lovers of all things American! 01565 723863 / Tatton Park, Knutsford American Civil War at the Old Hall 12pm – 5pm, Adult £6, Child £4, Family £16. Normal Park Entry Charge applies. Gunfire and skirmish, bugle and drum as well as rest and recreation offer vignettes of other lives. A spectacular and noisy battle each day. 01625 374400 / Verdin Park, Northwich Northwich Carnival Starting with a procession at 1pm from Albion Road near Sainsburys, then through the town up to Verdin Park for the crowning of the Queen. Family Fun Day on Saturday, loads of sports, Stongman competition, Soapbox Derby, music, Carboot Sale and a Dog Show on Sunday. Blue Planet Aquarium, Cheshire Oaks Wimbledon Weekend 0151 357 8804 /

Sun 7 July

Castle Park, Frodsham Festival In The Park 2013 Stalls, music and activities for all ages. William Scholes Playing Field, Gatley Gatley Carnival Parade and Festival Fun Day Free entry, donations welcome. Parade starts 12.30, arriving at Scholes Field at 1.30. Crowning of royalty at 2pm. Honford Hall, Handforth Handforth Craft Fair 11am – 2pm, Free entry 40 stalls including children’s activities, also a charity tombola and cash prize raffles (drawn at 1.45pm). Red fun play bus parked at the Bulls head car park. Fabulous café.

Sun 7 July & Sun 4 Aug

Kingsway School (lower site), Cheadle SK8 1NP Kids Car Boot & Swap Shop 10am – 12pm, Pitch costs £15

Fri 12 July

Wilmslow High School Wilmslow Music Festival

What’s on 5.30pm, Adult £12, Under 18s £5. Brand new festival showcasing Wilmslow’s home grown musical talent – from choirs to rock bands. Pavilion Gardens, Buxton Buxton Food & Drink Festival 4 – 11pm, Free. Over 25 stalls serving up delicious foods from around the world plus local beers and street entertainment. Outdoor seating will be available.

Fri 12 & Sat 13 July

Congleton Parklive 2013 Featuring over twenty local and national music acts and on Saturday, Free In The Park will be a huge eco zone, with entertainment, circus sensible, trade stands and more. www.facebook/parklivecongleton

Fri 12 – Sun 14 July

Blakemere Village, Northwich Mid Cheshire Scooter Rally & Beer Festival Custom and classic scooter show, parts and goods fair, hog roast, charity and retail stalls, win a customised Lambretta build. Grosvenor Garden Centre, Chester Summer Real Food Festival 10am - 5pm (4pm Sunday). A selection of their favourite Farmers’ Market producers and local suppliers, showcasing their exceptional, tasty, homegrown and home produced fare. 01244 62520 /

Fri 12 – Sun 21 July

Manchester Town Hall Manchester International Festival - Once Upon A Story A treasure trove of stories of and about childhood, where anything is possible and audiences find themselves at the heart of the action. Four shows, each aimed at different age groups.

From Sat 13 July

Chester Zoo BUGS! 13 large-scale robotic bug replicas promising a breath taking experience. Free with normal zoo entry.

Sat 13 July

Teggs Nose, Macclesfield Geology at Tegg’s Nose Age 5+, 11am – 3pm, walks at 12 and 2pm Learn about the area’s geological story on the walks, and have fun in the visitor centre making fossil casts and looking at rocks, minerals and fossils. 01625 374833 / Torkington Park, Hazel Grove Hazel Grove Carnival Parade starts 1pm, arriving at the park around 2.15pm.

Manchester Museum Big Saturday: Dig Now 11am – 4pm, All ages, Free. Meet curators and archaeology students and find out more about archaeology today. Children can roll up their sleeves and fine tune their archaeology skills as they explore the dig boxes. Smash pots and explore the science of putting them back together again. 0161 275 2648 / museum

Sat 13 – Sun 28 July

Biddulph Grange Garden Scarecrow Trail 11am – 5.30pm, Free, normal admission applies Find all of the Scarecrows in the garden, made by local community groups, schools and staff. biddulph-grange-garden

Sat 13 & Sun 14 July

Manchester Airport Runway Visitor Park Aviation Fair Tatton Park, Knutsford Kiddy Cook 10am – 12pm, £22, Booking essential Pick your own fruit and vegetables in the Walled Garden then cook it in the Victorian Mansion and take it home. 07976 619648 / Daresbury, Warrington, WA4 4AG Cheshire Steam Fair 10am to 5pm, Adults £8, Under 16s £4, Family Ticket £20. Pre-booked Weekend Camping including Family Admission £35. Not just for the Steam enthusiast! It’s a great family day out with hundreds of exhibits on display, attracting visitors from throughout the UK. 01751 200839 / Dunham Massey, Altrincham Sports Day 12 – 4pm, Free (normal admission applies) Fun and games in the garden. Who will be your family’s egg and spoon race champion? 0161 941 1025 / Capesthorne Hall, Siddington Great British Food Festival £6, (under 12’s free). Over 100 producers showcasing the best in local, seasonal and speciality food and drink. Also a great big, traditional, British summer party. Games and activities for the kids, a balloon race, bake-offs, bunting aplenty, excellent live music and of course a fantastic array of food and drink from the exhibitors! Bring your blanket... the picnic awaits!!

Sun 14 July

Higher Poynton Station Higher Poynton Summerfest 2013 11.30am – 4.30pm, Free (£2 car park charge) Morris dancing, birds of prey, bouncy assault tunnel, children’s rides , a magician, Punch & Judy, balloon modelling , free canal boat trips, dog training, pony rides, food and music. 01625 878495 or 01625 872238 /

Wilmslow High School Wilmslow Show 11am – 5pm Adults £5, Children £2.50, under 5s free A fabulous day out for the whole family with dog shows, air shows, shire horses, funfairs and loads of entertainment. Marbury Park, Northwich Greyhounds in Need Dog Show Fun dog show in support of Greyhounds in Need. £1 entrance fee classes include prettiest bitch, best child handler, best in Show and more! Rosettes and prizes, everyone welcome. 01606 271822 / Grange Park, Bradburns Lane, Northwich Picnic in the Park (Beach Party) 12pm, free entry. Beach themed fun day including surfboard simulator, children’s entertainer, sausage sizzle, volley ball, doggy dash and other beach games. 01606 77739 Delamere Forest Dragonfly Walk 11am – 1pm, All ages, £3 . Join one of the rangers for a walk around Black Lake on the hunt for beautiful dragonflies and damselflies. Weather dependant. Bring binoculars if you have them. Booking essential. 07808 506308 /

Wed 17 July

Norton Priory Museum & Gardens, Runcorn Treasure Island! 6pm (pre-show workshop 4.30pm £3) Swashbuckling family fun on the high seas with Cambridge Touring Theatre’s open air performance of Treasure Island. Suitable for all ages, interactive, full of laughs and catchy tunes. Bring a picnic and blanket for sitting on the lawn. Wear your best pirate fashion and have a photo taken with members of the cast. There is also a Treasure Island children’s workshop before the show for those aged 5 - 10 years. 0843 208 0500 /

Fri 19 July

MOSI, Manchester Experitots – Big Machines £3 for one adult and one child, £2 each additional adult/child. Activity session for under 5s in the hands-on science gallery. Fun, creative activities, puppets and storytelling help toddlers get the most out of the gallery. Sessions have limited places - booking highly recommended. 0161 833 0027 /

Sat 20 July

Marbury Park, Northwich FoAM Picnic in the Park 5pm. A special musical evening to celebrate summer in the Park. Bring your own picnic or food to barbecue. 01606 44728 /

Woodbank Park, Stockport Stockport Carnival Procession starts in Belmont Way, Heaton Norris at 1pm, arriving at Woodbank Park at 2pm. Funfair, giant car boot sale and crowning of the new Royalty at 3pm.

Sat 20 Jul – Early Sept

MOSI, Manchester Made in Manchester Follow in the footsteps of Manchester’s many pioneers. Find out what Manchester’s famous for and be inspired to make, invent and create in our workshops and activities. Let your imagination come out to play and maybe you could be the next great inventor.

Sat 20 & Sun 21 July

Blue Planet Aquarium, Cheshire Oaks Creepy Crawly Weekend 0151 357 8804 /

Sat 20 July – Sun 11 Aug

Nationwide Big Butterfly Count This survey is run by the charity Butterfly Conservation, and endorsed by Sir Richard Attenborough and Alan Titchmarsh MBE, among others. Simply count butterflies for 15 minutes during bright (preferably sunny) weather and submit results online.

Sun 21 July

Norton Priory Museum & Gardens, Runcorn Victorian Fun Day! 11am – 4pm, £2 per person. Traditional games, stall and summer fun with the Norton Priory Victorians in the Walled Garden. Family activities including donkey rides! 0843 208 0500 /

Mon 22 – Fri 26 July

Manchester Museum Ancient Worlds 11am – 4pm, All ages, Free, Drop-in. Hands-on activities, part of the Festival of Archaeology 0161 275 2648 /

Wed 24 & Thurs 25 July

The Weaver Hall Museum, Northwich Holiday Family Activities: Play with Victorian Toys 10am – 4pm, Free to season ticket holders. Play with Victorian Toys and make a marble game. 01606 271640 / Delamere Forest Minibeast Hunt 10am–11am, 12pm–1pm or 2pm–3pm, Age 3+, £4. Investigate the minibeasts of the forest and discover why they are so important. Den Building. 10.30am–12pm or 1.30pm– 3pm, Age 5+, £4. Can you survive in the forest? Try creating natural dens. Booking essential. 07808 506308 /

Families Cheshire | 21

What’s on Thurs 25 – Sun 28 July

Tatton Park, Knutsford RHS Flower Show A stunning blend of inspirational gardening with all the magnificence and grandeur of a garden party. 0844 871 3070 /

Fri 26 July

Delamere Forest Bush craft 10am – 12pm or 1.30pm – 3.30pm, Age 6+, £6. Learn the ways of the forest. Make survival shelters, whittle a stick and try your hand at fire lighting. Finish off by toasting marshmallows. Booking essential. 07808 506308 / Water Tower, City Walls, Chester Medieval Chester at the Water Tower 11am – 4pm, Free drop in. Discover some medieval characters and the history of this tower at a time when it stood beside the port of Chester. Manchester Museum Magic Carpet 10.30 – 11.30am & 11.30am – 12.30pm, under 5s, Free, Drop-in. Storytelling and activity session for under 5s and their families/carers. Book from a week before. 0161 275 2648 /

Sat 27 July

Grosvenor Museum & Chester Castle Discover Life in a Medieval Castle 11am – 4pm, Free drop in Discover some medieval characters and learn more about life as it would have been in the city, with activities at the museum and in the castle. 01244 972197 /

Sat 27 & Sun 28 July

Dunham Massey, Altrincham Edwardian Garden Party 12 – 4pm, Free (normal admission applies) Bring a picnic and celebrate this elegant era in style. Family fun with a brass band, Punch & Judy, circus workshop and croquet. 0161 941 1025 /

Sat 27 July – Sat 3 Aug

Wythenshawe Park Wythenshawe Games A free, week-long, fun, festival of sport and culture for all ages. Football, rugby, softball, tennis, badminton, running, cycling, rock climbing and more. Drop in any time in the week to the specially constructed Sports Arena to take part in sports. Also special events throughout the week, such as an over 50s day, under 5s day and a youth games.

Sun 28 July & Sun 25 Aug

Capesthorne Hall, Siddington Cheshire Classic Car & Motorcycle show 10am – 4pm, Adults £7, Children 7-14 £3, under 7’s free. Hall opens from 12 noon - £2 admission (under 16s free) 01484 667776 /


These listings are for guidance only – please check before you go To include your upcoming event in our listings, email

Sun 28 July

Chadkirk Chapel & Country Estate Chadkirk Festival & Well Dressing 12 – 5pm, Adult £2, Child (5 – 15) £1, under 5s Free. A day of live music, fantastic shows and demonstrations, a variety of stalls including crafts and hand made goods. 0161 474 4444 / Audlem Festival of Transport 12pm. Over 300 vintage cars, vans, trucks, buses in a parade from Hankelow to Audlem. Starting at Hankelow Green and ending at the village playing field. A record number of vintage canal boats also expected at the Audlem Warf next to Audlem Mill and the Shroppie Fly. Eaton Estate, Eccleston, Chester Eaton Hall Gardens Charity Open Day 10.30am – 5pm. Adult £6, Child £1.50 Ride on the Eaton Railway powered by Katie the engine (tickets subject to availability). Refreshments and light bites available with proceeds to charity or bring your own picnic. Falconry displays and Shetland Pony Carriage Driving. Dogs on leads welcome.

Mon 29 July

Lyme Park, Disley Den Building 1 – 3pm, Free (normal admission applies) Enjoy an afternoon of fun and mud as you build dens in the woods. 01663 762023 /

Mon 29 July – Fri 2 Aug

Dunham Massey, Altrincham Meet the Rangers 12 – 4pm, Free (normal admission applies) Meet the ranger team in the north park. Find out how they take care of Dunham and get some inspiration for how you can do some of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4’ at Dunham. 0161 941 1025 / uk/dunham-massey Quarry Bank Mill, Styal Cool shades 12 – 4pm, Free (normal admission applies) Make your own sparkly spectacles! Plus . . . Wild Wednesday – why not cool down in the garden and design your own wild art. 01625 527468 / uk/quarry-bank-mill

Mon 29 July – Fri 23 Aug

Jodrell Bank Summer Holiday Fun 4 weeks of family holiday fun including science shows and hands-on experiments.

Mon 29 July – Fri 30 Aug Manchester Museum Nature’s Library 11am – 4pm, All ages, Free, Drop-in 0161 275 2648 /

22 Families Cheshire |

Tues 30 July

Grosvenor Museum, Newstead Gallery Surprising Printing 2 – 4pm, Free drop in Experiment with everyday objects and create unusual print effects to mount on an Almanack calendar, just like the ones by William Monk in Gallery Two.

Tues 30 July & Thurs 1 Aug

Hat Works, Stockport Summer Flowers 10.30am – 12 noon and 1pm – 2.30pm, Ages 5 – 11 £3.50. Make a beautiful bunch of flowers that will last all summer long at this fun crafts workshop. Booking essential. 0161 474 2399 /

Tues 30 July & Tues 13 Aug

Lyme Park, Disley Below Stairs Apprentice 1 – 3pm, All ages, Free (normal admission applies). Explore Truelove the butler’s rooms and find out how Edwardian Lyme ticked. Polish the silver, learn deportment and become the perfect servant. 01663 762023 /

Tues 30 July – Fri 23 Aug

Tatton Park, Knutsford Beatrix Potter Summer Farm Activities 12 – 5pm, normal charges apply. Milking demonstrations, meet the newly born ducklings and Sally Henny Penny’s chicks! Learn more about all the new arrivals at the daily farm fact talks. Beatrix Potter quiz story telling sessions (Sundays) Closed Mons except Bank Holiday. Activities vary daily. 01625 374400 /

Wed 31 July

Dorfold Park, Nantwich The Nantwich Show A bigger than ever Cheese Marquee, celebrity chefs James Martin, Matt Tebbutt and Will Holland, Arena Displays, Livestock and Craft Shows, traders and exhibitors. Delamere Forest Bat Walk 8 – 10pm, £5. Join a ranger as they explain all about these fascinating creatures. Head out into the forest to discover the bats using detectors. Suitable for families. Booking essential. 07808 506308 / Tatton Park, Knutsford Viking Morning 10.30am – 12.30pm, Age 8 – 12, £9, advance booking essential. A fun-filled morning exploring the life of a typical Viking settlement, including outdoor cooking, storytelling, shelter building and animal tracking. 01625 374428 / Marbury Park, Northwich Holiday pond dip Help the rangers explore the denizens of the deep at the Ice pond. Suitable for children of all ages. 01606 77741 /

Grosvenor Museum Galleries Don’t Blot Your Copy Book 11am – 12.30pm & 2 – 4pm, Free drop in Come and experience the subjects that were taught in school and find out what happened if you misbehaved! Then try your hand at writing with a slate and stylus, and with an ink pen. Air Raid Shelters, Stockport Children’s Explorer Tours 6.45 – 8pm, Age 7+, Adult £2, Child £3.95 Exciting children’s version of the ever popular explorer tours. Brave the darkened tunnels as you go back in time and experience the life of a child during the war. Booking essential. 0161 474 1940 / Imperial War Museum, North Fit For Action 11am – 3pm, All ages, Free. Fun, exciting sport and fitness themed events taking place around the museum with staff from Trafford Community Leisure Trust. No booking required. Activities include table Tennis Taster sessions and Fencing for children.

Wed 31 July & Thurs 1 Aug

The Weaver Hall Museum, Northwich Summer Holiday Family Activities: Home Life Chores 10am – 4pm, Free to season ticket holders. Make a Victorian milk bath. 01606 271640 /

Wed 31 July, Wed 14 & Wed 21 Aug

Lyme Park, Disley Garden Apprentice 1 – 3pm, All ages, Free (normal admission applies) Water the plants in the garden and learn how to care for them, just like Mr Addison, the Edwardian Head Gardener. 01663 762023 /

Thurs 1 Aug

Tatton Park, Knutsford Survival Skills 10.30am – 12.30pm, Age 8+, £9, advance booking essential. Ever thought you could survive in the wilderness? Build a shelter in the woodland, track wild animals, play games of stealth and find out where wild foods can be found. 01625 374428 / Lyme Park, Disley Animal Kites in the Garden 1 – 3pm, All ages, Free (normal admission applies). Create a wonderful kite using traditional techniques. 01663 762023 / Grosvenor Museum, Newstead Gallery Three Little Mice 2 – 4pm, Free drop in. William Monk hid three little mice in one of his etchings in Gallery Two. Can you spot them? Have a look, then come and make some mousey ears to take home and wear.

What’s on Macclesfield Silk Museum Teenage Art Class - Abstract Art 12.30 – 3.30pm, Ages 12 – 16, £6. Learn to paint like Picasso, Pollock and the other greats! Booking essential. 01625 612045 /

Thurs 1 & Fri 2 Aug

Macclesfield Silk Museum Childrens Craft Club - Egyptians 10am – 12 noon, Ages 6 – 11, £6. Children are invited to embrace their inner pharoah in this craft club! Make a selection of Egyptian masks including Tutankhamen and the Animal Gods such as Osiris. Then make mixed media tomb pictures. Booking essential. 01625 612045 /

Thurs 1 – Sun 11 Aug

Little Moreton Hall, Congleton Lammas at the Hall 11am – 5pm, Free (normal admission applies) The first of August marked the beginning of the harvest in Tudor times. Come along to find out more. Daily activities with costumed interpreters including quill pen writing and wool spinning. 01260 272018 / uk/little-moreton-hall

Thurs 1, Mon 5, Mon 12, Fri 23, Thurs 29 Aug

Delamere Forest Minibeast Hunt 10am – 11am, 12pm – 1pm or 2pm – 3pm, £4 Investigate the minibeasts of the forest and discover why they are so important. Den Building 10.30am – 12pm or 1.30pm – 3pm, £4. Can you survive in the forest? Try creating natural dens. Booking essential. 07808 506308 /

Fri 2 Aug

Lyme Park, Disley Stone skimming and grass trumpets 1 – 3pm, All ages, Free (normal admission applies) Ever wanted to skim stones better than your dad? Join in the fun at the mill pond. 01663 762023 / Sandiway & Cuddington Village Hall and Playing Field Family Fun Day 10am – 3pm.

Fri 2, Fri 9, Tues 13, Mon 19, Tues 28 Aug

Delamere Forest Bush craft 10am – 12pm or 1.30pm – 3.30pm, £6 Learn the ways of the forest. Make survival shelters, whittle a stick and try your hand at fire lighting. Finish off by toasting marshmallows. Booking essential. 07808 506308 /

Sat 3 Aug

Tegg’s Nose, Wilmslow Tegg’s Nose Bilberry pick with Food4Macc 10am – 1pm, Age 5. Healthy, organic, tasty and free. Bilberry, blueberry, blaeberry, whin; whatever you want to call them they grow wild all over Tegg’s Nose Country Park and all you have to do is bring a container and get picking. 01625 374833 / Tatton Park, Knutsford Kiddy Cook 10am – 12pm, £22, Booking essential. Pick your own fruit and vegetables in the Walled Garden then cook it in the Victorian Mansion and take it home. 07976 619648 / Dunham Massey, Altrincham Guided Walk - Family Wildlife Walk 11am – 1pm, Free (normal admission applies) Bring all the family to discover Dunham’s deer and other wildlife on a guided walk around the park. Dogs on leads welcome. Limited places available. 0161 941 1025 / Paddock, Handforth Handforth Paddock Fair 11am – 4pm, Free entry. Great family day out. Unique stalls and Mediterranean food, Children’s activities such as face painting, bouncy castle, canvas painting and a chance to meet Peppa Pig. MOSI, Manchester What’s Cool about Nuclear Science? Did you know that we are constantly being bombarded by nuclear radiation from outer space? Or that radioactivity occurs naturally in some common foods we eat? Join scientists from the Nuclear FiRST Doctoral Training Centre and take part in some hands-on activities to find out lots more about radioactivity and nuclear energy.

Sat 3 & Sun 4 Aug, Sat 17 & Sun 18 Aug, Sat 31 Aug & Sun 1 Sept

Hat Works, Stockport Children’s Tours 2.30 – 3.30pm, Ages 5 – 11, Adult £1.50, Child £2.50. Step back in time to learn how hats were made and experience what it was like to be a hatter’s apprentice! Booking essential. 0161 474 2399 /

Sat 3 – Sun 11 Aug

Manchester Dig the City Manchester’s urban gardening festival, transforming the city centre into a natural wonderland. Pop-up park and workshops with TV gardener Monty Don, a fine food market, stunning art, the National Trust’s “50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾” campaign for kids, plant-swops, craft markets, and an urban twist on a traditional country fair.

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What’s on Sun 4 Aug

Tatton Park, Knutsford VW North West Car Show 9am – 5pm, Adults £7.50, Children under 16 free, Car entry charge applies. The largest gathering of VW’s in the North of England. Children’s rides and Entertainment on the day. A great family day out! 01625 374400 / Arley Hall & Gardens Vale Royal Classic Car & Motorcylce Show 10am – 4pm, Adult £7, Child £3 (7 – 14), Under 7s Free. Expert commentary in the arena and a concours competition taking place throughout the day. More than 700 early pre 1950 vehicles through to modern day classics. Also an opportunity to walk around The Gardens & Hall and plant fair by a separate admission. Manchester City Centre Skyride Manchester From 10am. A fantastic traffic-free bike ride through Manchester. Experience some of the city’s highlights in a very special atmosphere. Loads of free family activities happening on the day. Delamere Forest Butterfly Walk 11am – 1pm, £3. Join a ranger and head up Old Pale, one of the best places in Cheshire to see a variety of butterfly species. Steep climb, suitable footwear is essential. Bring binoculars if you have them. Booking essential. 07808 506308 / Chester Racecourse Family Funday A fabulous day of fun with free entertainment for children. Cholmondeley Castle Gardens Teddy Bears Picnic A fun family day out. Face painting, tombola, games, Professor Humo-Punch & Judy, treasure hunt and much more.

Mon 5 Aug

Lyme Park, Disley Nursery Rhyme 1 – 3pm, Free (normal admission applies) Come dressed as your favourite character and follow a fun trail around the garden. 01663 762023 /

Mon 5 – Fri 9 Aug

Quarry Bank Mill, Styal All in a spin 12 – 4pm, Free (normal admission applies) Make and decorate your choice of twirling toy! Plus . . . Wet Wednesday –Play with the ‘wheely’ good water wheels in the Mill. 01625 527468 /

These listings are for guidance only – please check before you go To include your upcoming event in our listings, email

Tues 6 Aug

Tatton Park, Knutsford Myth and Magic Morning 10.30am – 12.30pm, £12 (includes park entry), advance booking essential. Hear fantastic tales from the Dark Ages, explore the amazing power of plants and try your hand at making a scented bag to take away. Make a willow wand to take home and practice your spells. Places must be booked in advance. 01625 374428 / Grosvenor Museum, Newstead Gallery Midsummer Night’s Dream Masks 2 – 4pm, Free drop in. Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ will be performed in Grosvenor Park this summer. Join us to make a character mask from the play: either Titania, Queen of the Fairies, or Bottom, whose head was transformed into that of a donkey.

Tues 6 – Sat 31 Aug

Staircase House & Air Raid Shelters, Stockport Discovery Bucket Free with normal admission, suitable for families. Collect a Discovery Bucket from Reception and use its contents to help you find out lots of things about Staircase House and the Air Raid Shelters. There are magnifying glasses, torches, quiz sheets and clues to follow as you go exploring. 0161 474 2388 / 0161 474 1940 /

Tues 6 & Thurs 8 Aug

Hat Works, Stockport Summer Mobile Ages 5 – 11, 10.30am – 12 noon and 1 – 2.30pm, £3.50. Make a cool mobile to hang in your room at this fun crafts workshop. Booking essential. 0161 474 2399 /

Tues 6 & Tues 20 Aug

Lyme Park, Disley Summer Jam 1 – 3pm, £7 (normal admission applies). Make your own Jam in the Still Room, just like the Edwardians. Decorate your jam jar too. Bring an apron or old shirt as we can get messy! Booking essential. 0844 249 1895 /

Tues 6 & Tues 27 Aug

Bramall Hall Be a Tudor Builder 1 – 4pm, All ages, Free (normal admission applies) Try your hand at wattle and daub as you find out how the Hall was built. 0161 474 2020 /

Wed 7 Aug

Tatton Park, Knutsford Children’s Cycling Boredom Busters 10am – 1.30pm, Age 7+, £10, advance booking essential. Fundamentals of off-road skills, including a bike-safety check. Explore farmland trails and woodland single-tracks. Bring a packed lunch. 01625 374428 /

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Grosvenor Museum, Chester Defending a Medieval City 11am – 4pm, Free. Join some colourful medieval characters and discover more about unrest and defence in medieval Chester. Manchester Museum National Play Day 11am – 4pm, All ages, Free, Drop-in 0161 275 2648 / The Moor, Knutsford National Playday 2 – 4pm

Wed 7, 14, 21 & 28 Aug Manchester Museum Warriors of the Plains 11am – 4pm, All ages, Free, Drop-in 0161 275 2648 /

Grosvenor Museum, Newstead Gallery The Waverton Christening Gown 2pm, 2.45pm & 3.15pm, Free drop in. Explore the fascinating story of the Waverton Christening Gown, using photos, maps and local records, and then start your own family tree. Macclesfield Silk Museum Teenage Art Class - ‘Collage’ 12.30 – 3.30pm, Ages 12 – 16, £6. Teenagers are invited to explore their creative side through the use of collage. Incorporating paper, fabric, lace, card and many more materials. Booking essential. 01625 612045 /

Thurs 8 & Fri 9 Aug

Macclesfield Silk Museum Childrens Craft Club - ‘Peg Figures and Costume Design’ 10am – 12 noon, Ages 6 – 11, £6 First make your very own peg friend before designing and making a selection of clothing to keep your peg dolly warm! Booking essential. 01625 612045 /

Wed 7, 14, 21 & 28 Aug, Thurs 8, 15, 22 & 29 Aug

Fri 9 Aug

Bramall Hall Brass Rubbing 1.30 – 3.30pm, All ages, from 75p depending on size of Brass. Come and try your hand at Brass rubbing in the grand setting of the Great Hall. 0161 474 2020 /

Lyme Park, Disley Animal Tracking 1 – 3pm, All ages, Free (normal admission applies) Join the rangers on a walk around the park, discovering what lives at Lyme. 01663 762023 /

Wed 7, Thurs 22 & Wed 28 Aug

Sat 10 & Sun 11 Aug

Lyme Park, Disley Estate Apprentice 1 – 3pm, All ages, Free (normal admission applies) Have a go at dry stone walling and path laying. Find out how the workers built the 18 miles of walls around the park. 01663 762023 /

Thurs 8 Aug

Tatton Park, Knutsford Junior Longbow 10.30am – 12pm, Ages 8 – 17, £16, advance booking essential. Young people from medieval times would practise the art of longbow. Try longbow, put on armour and live the life of an archer. 01625 374428 / Dunham Massey, Altrincham Bug Walk 11am – 12pm, 1 – 3pm, 3 – 4pm, Free (normal admission applies). Join in a bug hunt in the garden, then see some creatures up close with microscopes. Please note limited places for walks, collect a timed token from the ticket office on the day. 0161 941 1025 / uk/dunham-massey Lyme Park, Disley Mini Masterpiece 1 – 3pm, All ages, Free (normal admission applies). Paint your own watercolour, inspired by Lyme’s garden. 01663 762023 /

Hat Works, Stockport Paper Hat Making 11am – 4pm, All ages, free. The chance to decorate your very own hat. Pick up your pack of craft materials from reception, then make and decorate your paper hat on the gallery floor! 0161 474 2399 / MOSI, Manchester Manchester Mini Maker Faire Join the Maker revolution at the second annual Manchester Mini Maker Faire. An explosion of hobbyists, inventors, 3D printers, hackers and crafters will take over the Museum for one weekend to show off the wonderful things they’re making and share what they’re learning. It’s the place where craft joins engineering, technology fuses with fashion and robots meet art.

Sat 10, Sun 11 & Wed 14 Aug

Churnet Valley Railway Peppa Pig Peppa Pig and George will be delighting their fans when they make guest appearances at the railway. The popular duo will make personal appearances at certain times throughout the day to coincide with train arrivals and departures. Face painting, bouncy castle, games and activities, tombola and walkabout entertainers. 01538 750755 /

What’s on Sat 10 & Sun 11 Aug

Astle Park Annual Steam Fair 11am – 5pm. Funfairs, quad rides, puppet show, birds of prey displays, a giant inflatable slide and castles, climbing wall, face painting, trampolines and Ken Fox’s Wall of Death! Beeston Castle, Beeston Clash of Knights! 11am – 5pm. The ultimate in competitive historical combat. 4 teams – each of 12 fully armoured Knights-attempt to emerge victorious. 01829 260464 /

Sun 11 Aug

Tatton Park, Knutsford Fun Dog Show at the Farm 12noon, £2 entry per class. Normal Park Entry Charge applies. 10 novelty classes including Saddest Eyes, Waggiest Tail and Scruffiest Dog plus a fun agility course (try it if you’re fit enough). ‘Show Champion’ trophy to be won and rosettes to 6th place. Viking Sunday at the Old Hall 12 – 5pm, Adult £6, Child £4, Family £16. Normal Park Entry Charge applies. Experience skirmish and domestic life, have a go at archery (small charge). Try on armour. Falconry demonstrations and performance of Nasty Norman Justice. 01625 374400 / National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port Horses At Work 10am – 5pm. Celebrate the early days of canals. Heavy horses will be visiting the museum to give a spectacular demonstration of horse-drawn canal boating – as well as old style horse and carts clip-clopping around the extensive museum grounds. See costumed performances, a harnessing demonstration, and join special tours of the site which highlight the horsepowered history of canals. Horse drawn cart rides in the waterfront and pony rides available from the Parkgate Pony Sanctuary for the youngsters.

Mon 12 Aug

Lyme Park, Disley Brilliant Bugs 1 – 3pm, All ages, Free (normal admission applies). From butterflies to millipedes, find out which bugs live in the garden and create your own to take home. 01663 762023 /

Mon 12 – Fri 16 Aug

Quarry Bank Mill, Styal Time and tide 12 – 4pm, Free (normal admission applies) We’re all at sea, catching fish, with a splashingly good craft activity. Plus . . . Wet Wednesday – Sail away with your own mini boat or raft. 01625 527468 /

Tues 13 Aug

Alderley Edge Down the Mines! 7 – 9.30pm, Age 6+, £7 (Advance booking and payment essential). Join Derbyshire Caving Club for a trip down the old copper mines of Alderley Edge. Helmets with lamps provided, but please wear old clothes. Some ladder climbing and crawling involved. 01625 374833 / Tatton Park, Knutsford Beatrix Potter Cottage Crafts 10.30am – 12.30pm, Age 8+, £12. An introduction to Victorian cottage crafts inspired by the tales of Beatrix Potter. Learn how to rag rug, have a go at weaving on a loom and drop spindle spinning and create beautiful and useful items for your home. 01625 374428 / Bramall Hall Kill or Cure? 1 – 4pm, All ages, Mostly free, 50p for herb bag (normal admission applies). Feeling under the weather? Pop into Bramall Hall to find a cure, but be warned – some are not for the fainthearted! Make a herb bag to take home and ward off further illnesses! 0161 474 2020 /

Tues 13 & Thurs 15 Aug

Hat Works, Stockport Summer Decoration 10.30am – 12 noon and 1 – 2.30pm, Ages 5 – 11, £3.50. Create your very own Topiary style decoration that will brighten up any room at this fun crafts workshop. Booking essential. 0161 474 2399 /

Tues 13 & Tues 20 Aug

Grosvenor Museum Galleries Hiding Trolls 2 – 4pm, Free drop in. Sylvia Hikins shows you the hidden faces in pieces of volcanic larva which inspire many Icelandic folktales. Find the faces for yourself and make a crafty likeness to take home.

Wed 14 Aug

Tegg’s Nose, Macclesfield Nature Crafts 10am – 1pm, £3 (Advance booking and payment essential). Learn the art of hapa zome (leaf pounding) to make beautiful handcrafted calico items, do some tasty painting, make a picture frame or a beautiful dream catcher. 01625 573086 / Tatton Park, Knutsford Boredom Busters Nature Day 10am – 1pm, Age 5+, £3, advance booking essential. Join the Rangers to hunt for mini-beasts in the park’s ponds and woodlands and take a trailer ride to get a close look at Tatton’s deer. 01625 374428 /

Families Cheshire | 25

What’s on Header

These listings are for guidance only – please check before you go To include your upcoming event in our listings, email

Grosvenor Museum, Lecture Theatre Trouvère – The Instrumentarium Free, but collect your ticket from reception for each performance as places are limited. Roll up for a musical history tour with the Trouvère Medieval Minstrels! Try out an amazing array of musical instruments and discover some wonderful sounds of the Middle Ages: 11am – A tour through time from Saxon to Tudor music. 12.30pm – Attention please! Fanfares and noisy music-making. 2pm – Stepping Out, music and dance in the Middle Ages. 3.30pm – Sweet Harmony, the gentler side of medieval music.

Lyme Park, Disley Underwater Minibeasts 1 – 3pm, All ages, Free (normal admission applies). Grab a net and find out what lives under water at Lyme Park. Parking charge applies. 01663 762023 /

Thurs 15 Aug

Fri 16 – Sun 18 Aug

Grosvenor Museum, Newstead Gallery Racing Prams 2 – 4pm, Free drop in. Have a look in the Period House to find out a bit more about what ‘Motherhood’ means, then design a speedy pram to race with your friends. Macclesfield Silk Museum Teenage Art Class - ‘Creative Paint’ 12.30 – 3.30pm, Ages 12 – 16, £6. Teenagers in this class can get creative with paint and learn different techniques for painting. Booking essential. 01625 612045 /

Thurs 15 & Fri 16 Aug

Macclesfield Silk Museum Childrens Craft Club - ‘Weaving and Material Art’ 10am – 12 noon, Ages 6 – 11, £6. Children are invited to weave a selection of items before moving onto drawing pictures which will then be decorated with a selection of fabrics. Booking essential. 01625 612045 /

Thurs 15 & Tues 27 Aug

Lyme Park, Disley Terrific tales in the garden 1 – 3pm, All ages, Free (normal admission applies) Fabulous stories told by a professional storyteller. 01663 762023 /

Fri 16 Aug

The Carrs Park, Wilmslow Batty about Bats 9 – 10pm. Dispel a few myths and find out more about these fascinating creatures during a short stroll. Bring a torch. 01625 374833 / Marbury Park, Northwich Bat walk and talk 8pm. A chance to find out about the different bats that live in Marbury, followed by a guided walk with detectors by the Cheshire Bat Group. 01606 77741 /

Dunham Massey, Altrincham Family Bird Walks 11am – 12pm, 1 – 2pm, 3 – 4pm, Free (normal admission applies). Bird spotting in the garden, then make a bird feeder at the end of the walk. Please note limited places, collect a timed token from the ticket office on the day. 0161 941 1025 /

Rode Hall Park, Scholar Green Just So Festival Award winning family arts festival aimed at children, young people and their families.

Sat 17 Aug

Stockport Town Hall Jewellery & Craft Fair 10am – 3pm, Free entry. Personalised and unusual gifts, hand crafted jewellery, scarves, cushions, beads, hand carved tableware, trinket boxes, keepsakes, needle craft, wall art, vintage jewellery, cards, pictures, print, semi-precious stones, stained glass, leather goods, purses, handbags, wind charms, children’s toys and dolls clothing and much more. 0161 474 3451 / Macclesfield Forest Bats in the Forest 9 – 10pm, booking essential. A very short walk in search of the forest’s nocturnal furry fliers. Bring a torch. 01260 252832 /

Sat 17 & Sun 18 Aug

Tatton Park, Knutsford The 27th Classic, Vintage & Sports Car Spectacular with Giant Auto Jumble 9am – 4pm, Adults 7.50, Children 10 – 15 £5, Under 10s Free, Normal Park Entry Charge applies. Around 2,000 vintage and classic cars, lots of general trade stands, children’s rides and refreshments. A great family day out! 01565 723863 /

Sun 18 Aug

Tatton Park, Knutsford Babe The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith 3pm, Adult £11, Child £7, Family £32 (2 adults, 2 children). Outdoor Theatre at the Old Hall. 01625 374400 /

Mon 19 Aug

Lyme Park, Disley Bare foot walk 1 – 3pm, All ages, Free (normal admission applies). Do you dare to do the bare foot walk? Squidge the mud between your toes at Lyme. 0844 249 1895 /

26 Families Cheshire |

Mon 19 – Fri 23 Aug

Quarry Bank Mill, Styal Aliens have landed! 12 – 4pm, Free (normal admission applies) Turn yourself into an alien! Plus... Wet Wednesday – Try your hand at water experiments which are out of this world! 01625 527468 /

Tues 20 Aug

Bramall Hall Play in the Past 1pm – 4pm, Free (normal admission applies) What did children play with in the past? Come and find out by playing with toys and games from Roman to Victorian times. 0161 474 2020 /

Tues 20 & Thurs 22 Aug

Hat Works, Stockport Crafty Games 10.30am – 12 noon and 1 – 2.30pm, Ages 5 – 11, £3.50. Make your own game at this fun craft workshop. Booking essential. 0161 474 2399 /

Wed 21 Aug

Tegg’s Nose, Macclesfield Tegg’s Nose Games Day 10am – 1pm, £5, booking essential. Play some outdoor environmental games while getting to know this beautiful countryside site better! 01625 265093 / Grosvenor Museum, Exhibition Gallery One The Journey Man – ‘Lord, have Mercia!’ 11am-12noon, 1-2pm, 2.30-3.30pm, Free drop in. Ever wondered what those saints did to be remembered by the churches in Cheshire? Listen to the incredible, but inspiring stories of those saints who touched the mysterious lands of Mercia.

Thurs 22 Aug

Tatton Park, Knutsford Defence of the Realm! 10.30am – 12.30pm, £9, advance booking essential. Your country needs you! Join the guides at the Old Hall to explore personal and national defence and daily life throughout history. Build an Anglo-Saxon fort, become a medieval archer and travel back to World War II to practice your rifle drill. A great activity for all the family. 01625 374428 / Grosvenor Museum, Newstead Gallery Water Babies 2 – 4pm, Free drop in. It’s 150 years since Charles Kingsley wrote ‘The Water Babies’. Have a look around the Natural History Gallery to see if he was inspired by the creatures in the collection and then make your own 3D watery scene to take home.

Fri 23 Aug

Marbury Park, Northwich Teddy Bears’ Picnic 1pm. A family day to enjoy fun and woodland games in the park and find the hidden bears. 01606 44728 /

Lyme Park, Disley Create Wild Art 1 – 3pm, All ages, Free (normal admission applies). Be inspired by nature, create your own piece of wild art to take home. 0844 249 1895 /

Sat 24 Aug

Marbury Park, Northwich A ‘Grand Day out’ for all dogs 10.30am. Kennel Club of GB Annual charity fund raising event. 07768 980918 / Capesthorne Hall, Siddington Firework Champions Gates open 5pm, displays start 9pm. Pre-booked price Adults 15, Child (5 - 16) £6 (under 5s free). 4 spectacular firework displays all on one night! The event runs as a competition format with 3 teams firing against each other. The audience have the chance to text vote for the winning display and the result is announced after the final display. 01327 876037 / Poynton Poynton Show Chariot Races, Air Displays, Novelty pet show, food market, music and crafts.

Sat 24 – Mon 26 Aug

Tatton Park, Knutsford English Country Weekend at the Farm A terrific celebration of English country life. Visit the farm for a weekend of traditonal English fayre and fun. Egg and spoon race, tug of war, meet the Shire horses and enjoy their fabulous ridden displays. Sheep and chicken racings, sheep dog demonstrations on Sunday and Morris dancing. Traditional stalls include local honey, old fashioned sweets and Tatton’s own produce. Gain an insight in to traditional country crafts with bee keeping, woodturning and dry stone walling demonstrations. A great day out! Normal opening times and charges apply. 01625 374400 / Weaver Hall Museum Woolly Weekend 2 – 5pm (Sat/Sun), 10am – 5pm (Mon) Members of North Cheshire Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers will be demonstrating their skills and encouraging visitors to try some simple techniques for themselves such as hands on braiding and drop spindles. Lots of fun with a woolly end product! 01606 271640 / Cheshire Game & Country Fair Cheshire Showground, Tabley, Nr Knutsford 10am – 6pm daily. All day action packed arena entertainment, and endless opportunities to try, buy and sample everything country.

Sun 25 Aug

Blakemere Village, Northwich Summer Fair 10am – 5pm. £1 entrance (under 16s free) – proceeds to charity. 01606 883261 /

What’s on Tatton Park, Knutsford Farm Sheep Dog Demonstrations 1.30pm & 3pm. Local sheep dog trainer Peter Hall from Buxton will be giving two demonstrations with his sheepdogs. Normal Park and Farm entry charges apply. 01625 374400 / Eaton Estate, Eccleston, Chester Eaton Hall Gardens Charity Open Day 10.30am – 5pm. Adult £6, Child £1.50 Ride on the Eaton Railway powered by Katie the engine (tickets subject to availability). Refreshments and light bites available with proceeds to charity or bring your own picnic. Falconry displays. Dogs on leads welcome.

Sun 25 & Mon 26 Aug

Blakemere Village, Northwich Circus Workshops Free event in the courtyard – have a go at juggling, diablo, plate spinning and more with assistance from the hands-on workshop team. 01606 883261 /

Mon 26 Aug

Heaton House Farm, Rushton Spencer Country Fayre and Farm Fun Day Family fun day featuring animals, motors, demonstrations and arena entertainment. Bramall Hall Peek into the Past 11am – 5pm, timed tours at quarter past and quarter to the hour, All ages, Normal admission applies.. Meet characters from the Hall’s history as you travel through time from 1599 to 1914 and find out about the families who have lived here. 0161 474 2020 /

Mon 26 – Fri 30 Aug

Quarry Bank Mill, Styal Funny faces 12 – 4pm, Free (normal admission applies) Create your own fantasy masks inspired by the exhibition. Plus . . . Wild Wednesday – Look for funny water creatures at pond dipping sessions. Limited numbers, timed tickets on the day. 01625 527468 /

Tues 27 Aug

Dunham Massey, Altrincham Bug Walk 11am – 12pm, 1 – 3pm, 3 – 4pm, Free. (normal admission applies). Join in a bug hunt in the garden, then see some creatures up close with microscopes. Please note limited places for walks, collect a timed token from the ticket office on the day. 0161 941 1025 / Grosvenor Museum, Newstead Gallery Sweet Smells 2 – 4pm, Free drop in. Explore the Period House and the ‘Motherhood’ exhibition, then make a decorated lavender bag for the person who looks after you.

Wed 28 Aug

Tatton Park, Knutsford Children’s Cycling Boredom Busters 10am – 1.30pm, Age 7+, £10, advance booking essential. Fundamentals of off-road skills, including a bike-safety check. Explore farmland trails and woodland single-tracks. Bring a packed lunch. 01625 374428 / Grosvenor Museum, Lecture Theatre Richard and Elizabeth York – Medieval Music 11am – 12noon, 1 – 2 pm, 2.30 – 3.30pm. Free, but collect your ticket from reception for each performance as places are limited. Meet and hear a huge collection of instruments –– and play some too, to experience some of the rich variety of medieval sounds. Performance, entertaining explanations, and chances to participate. There may even be chances to dance too! Air Raid Shelters, Stockport Children’s Explorer Tours 6.45 – 8pm, Age 7+, Adult £2, Child £3.95 Exciting children’s version of the ever popular explorer tours. Brave the darkened tunnels as you go back in time and experience the life of a child during the war. Booking essential. 0161 474 1940 /

Thurs 29 Aug

Marbury Park, Northwich Holiday Pond Dip Help the rangers explore the denizens of the deep at the Ice pond. 01606 77741 / Lyme Park, Disley Edwardian Sports at Lyme Park 1 – 4pm, Free (normal admission applies). On 14 September 1910 a sports day was staged to celebrate the coming of age of Richard Legh the 3rd Lord Newton. In 2013 you can test your skills at Lyme’s Edwardian Sports day. 01663 762023 / Grosvenor Museum, Newstead Gallery Family Photograph Frames 2 – 4pm, Free drop in. Using craft materials, make and decorate your own photograph frame to take home.

Fri 30 Aug

Lyme Park, Disley Den Building 1 – 3pm, Free (normal admission applies) Enjoy an afternoon of fun and mud as you build dens in the woods. 01663 762023 /

Sun 8 Sep

Stockley Farm Funstock 10.30am. Family fun day in aid of Carer’s Trust. Indoor and outdoor play areas, get up close and personal with the animals.

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Families Cheshire Issue 24 July - August 2013  

Families Cheshire Magazine for July and August 2013

Families Cheshire Issue 24 July - August 2013  

Families Cheshire Magazine for July and August 2013