I love city breaks although they’re not always conducive to children unless they’re fairly open to trying new things and doing museums. But when we visited my best friend who’s 8 months pregnant, I didn’t expect we’d be heading out further than a nip to the park. I managed to offload 2 huge bags of hand-me-down clothes to my godson, and after a brief catch up we decided to head out to Media City where there was a makers market on and the Imperial War Museum nearby.
The bonus of being in Manchester is that N gets to go on the trams. We don’t have them anywhere near us, so they’re a real treat. Although my godson wasn’t impressed that N kept calling them trains, he kept correcting N.
We stepped off the tram to be met by some giant white animal sculptures. The weather was a bit grey and moody but it only served as a dramatic backdrop for some of the shiny glass buildings. The boys enjoyed chasing each other over the bridges, as we first went round the makers market – lots of nice food to look at, and random gifts you think are cool or weird, but can’t ever see yourself buying.
The boys weren’t that excited about it, so we decided to head to the Imperial War Museum North and see how they got on there. Even with the 2 year age difference there’s still not that much difference between the boys and their interest levels. N is happier with the people and the noises of the announcers and audio displays. He was interested in listened to the phones and watching the videos from the wars. But generally, they were both fans of the space, doing a brief look only at the exhibits, and being drawn to big vehicles or items they can look inside.
Neither got very excited about the museum (N’s dad would be really disappointed because he’s really interested in the world wars so would have been in his element). But both had hungry tummies so we headed down to the café. And here was our first disappointment in the day.
The café that my friend would usually go to wasn’t there due to building works and the remaining café was very much grown up deli style. No children’s food, the sandwiches were all new York style flatbread with exotic mix of flavoured fillings. Most I wouldn’t have chosen, let alone the majority of children. So we decided we’d let them have a drink and crisps, then we’d do another 15 minutes round the museum before heading to a chain coffee shop over the bridge and back at media city. Let’s just say N was in smoothie heaven at Pret a Manger. It does amuse me the things that excite children, but being allowed to have smoothies is definitely high up on N’s list.
Before getting back to the tram we detoured slightly to the Blue Peter garden via some interestingly shaped benches. I’m not sure they’d have been very comfortable but the boys enjoyed walking along them. It seems that all children prefer to use them as climbing frames!
We don’t often do low key days out, but this was very chilled out and just enough to keep the boys entertained while giving my friend and I chance to chat.
What do you like doing when you meet up with friends?
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