One of the great advantages of having children is the fact you are given the chance to try out new things all the time.
Whether you want to hurtle down a freezing cold tube, being bashed from side to side at the age of 44 is another matter!
But that is just what I did, with faithful funsters Ruaridh (7) and Flora (4) by my side. We were testing out a two hour Snow Park pass which allows you to try out five of the Chill Factore’s favourite things.
First things first, one of the advantages of the Chill Factore is that the building which houses is so big, you can’t miss the motorway junction. And as its near Trafford Park, there’s a chance for shopping afterwards. With free parking, you are soon inside and ready to play. Next to the snowy area is a huge climbing frame and lots of places to eat and entertain yourselves.
Luckily for us the Chill Factore was nice and quiet when we visited. Staff at the centre told me it can get busy at the weekend and the holidays, but on our visit there was a steady flow which meant we could try everything without queuing up. As well as the Snow Park there is snowboarding and ski-ing areas available for all levels, with lessons on offer too.
The staff are young and friendly and laid back, which is what you need when trying to persuade Flora that it is a good idea to wear a nice warm snow suit and boots to keep you cosy. Boots and helmets come with the passes and there are suits to hire, although as long as you dress appropriately you can get away without having to buy expensive gear. Gloves are the only item compulsory and you need them as its cold once you get in.
But you soon warm up when you see what is on offer. While Flora was happy to try out the carousel, a fun fair ride on snow, Ruaridh and I decided to live dangerously and have a go at tubing. With a choice of four lanes, each with differing options from a straight fast run to a nice and bumpy one, we had great fun being spun round by the staff and then pushed down to see how fast we could go!
From there is was to the luge, a huge slide made of thick ice, which makes trying out the tubes in a swimming pool, easy peasy. Lying on a mat, you simply bob sleigh your way down and once you have realised it’s a good idea to keep hands and legs tucked in, it’s real fun zooming down and twisting here and there to the bottom.
After what seemed like a million goes on the luge, Ruaridh and I opted for the more sedate sledging, although it turned out to be crazy as we raced each other and weaved in and out with our zippy mini sleighs.
Meanwhile Flora was happy making snow angels and trying out the mini sledging as well as hitting mum full in the face with a snowball. And for a four-year-old there is no greater pleasure…….!
Chill Factore, Trafford Park, Manchester. There are lots of options on offer from snowboarding to having fun in the Snow Park. Special rates are on offer in the holidays and parties are also available, for more information log onto www.chillfactore.com/parties/parties