When I initially saw Geronimofest advertised, I thought it sounded brilliant! When I saw the cost however, I decided we couldn’t justify it, not with spending money on the house. It was then I spotted an advert on Facebook asking for volunteers, in return you received a free family pass. Daddy was on a stag do that weekend, so Granny, had the pleasure of the kiddiewink’s company on the Sunday 7.30am- 5.30pm, while I volunteered at the festival. I had an absolutely brilliant day, (albeit exhausting). I am so glad I volunteered as I love every minute (even the rain and cold weather). The organiser, Simon, really worked hard to act on feedback received, and will build on its successes and tweak it,based on what families would like to see next year, I am sure. Keep an eye out for this one and if you can get an early bird ticket, and you plan it carefully, it actually seems well worth the money. I was skeptical about this due to initial outlay being quite high, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The festival itself was set in Tatton Park and was full of exciting and memorable things to do and experience. Despite being there 7 hours, we still didn’t get chance to experience everything. Volunteering helped as I knew where things were, useful tips etc and it really did help us get the most out of the day. The weather was bloomin freezing, but even that didn’t dampen our spirits (well maybe Daddy’s a little). With so much to see and do, the children wanted to be here, there and everywhere. It helped that lots they did together, and when kiddiewink 2 & 3 got fed up in the circus show, we left daddy and kiddiewink 3 to it. Having two adults really helped, as for the few things we needed to queue, one could wait and one could let them run of steam somewhere. On arrival we were directed towards information to get free t shirts (these had been five pounds the previous two days), the lanyard guides were also free (previously £3). Thre freeness meant, not all those that wanted them got them, and a few families abused the ‘freeness’ (although the pretty sure they were in the minority). We ended up with two 9-11 t-shirts which they loved wearing to bed.
The festival grounds were split into different zones, spread out well in the venue. Funky zone (DJ, samba, Zumba), Cookery and craft, princess tent, a bear hunt and wigwams, bikes, sea life and legoland, CBeebies and other performances with meet and greets. On arrival, mean mummy made them walk past all the fun, to book onto ‘Monkey Do’ as the previous day’s it had become booked up quickly. I am glad we did, as there were lots of sad children who didn’t get a turn and my two loved it. Such a ‘different thing’ for them to experience.
Neither child wanted to get off, but the circus show tempted them off. Eventually, hubby and I tempted them to the stage area so we could grab a quick sit down and a bite to eat. Kiddiewink 1 nd 2 just tore around, occasionally stopping to check out the stage; kiddiewink three chased them around like an injured dog ( her crawl really is something else).
Pip the flying circus we timed to perfection, getting there for half two, we discovered the next session was about to start, they can’t accommodate many kiddiewinks, so mine were doubly lucky to have a go. The staff were super and the kids loved the dressing up, and helping manoeuvre the strange contraption.
The performances didn’t really interest my three particularly so there was never an urgency to get to the stage.(Daddy was relieved, but I had quite fancied meeting Mr Bloom…) While eating lunch, they enjoyed the shows but other than that, they just loved the atmosphere and festival environment. As for kiddiewink 3, she had a twenty minute power nap all day, and loved being on my back, or crawling around the grass.
The tamer things they enjoyed were donkey and pony rides, seeing the ducklings and the helter skelter… The cookery lesson didn’t really impress the kids or daddy, I was supervising kiddiewink 3 in the soft play at this point.
At the end of the day, we finished with the high ropes and zipwire and what a way to end…despite a long queue, it was well worth it. My eldest two kiddiewinks proved to be proper daredevils and my eldest particularly surprised me! She can be very shy and get sad if she finds something a challenge, however, she does have great perseverance which she demonstrated in abundance today. She mastered pulling her own safety rope along the course, which could be quite stiff and tricky. She was really very confident. Little man was too, until he lost his footing, then his bottom lip briefly trembled until the man helped him move his safety rope. Considering he is only four and the ropes were too high to reach, he did brilliantly. They both love the zip wire and as we were almost the last people of the day, they even got two goes, much to the kids excitement.
Then to end the day, we popped to the market stalls, to buy some discount muffins and sweets (last festival day so 50p muffins to be had)
We had three exhausted children (and parents). A fun, fun day we will all remember for a long time!
Things that weren’t perfect (although these didn’t take away from the fun for us)
- lack of consistency with charging for merchandise some days, but not others
- not enough coffee vendors, massive queues because of the weather
- Clearer guides and suggestions with regard to booking activities (we told everyone who ventured to information, but not everyone headed to the ‘Info point’ so didn’t realise
- more to see and do while waiting in queues (for this I have had a few ideas)
- a few more activities for under twos needed perhaps (I had a few moans)
- order the sunshine next year please