Having lived in and around Cheshire for most of my life, and having three children of my own, I thought I’d share with you my top ten places to visit as a family in the area.
Our top family days out in Cheshire…
1. Chester Zoo
Chester zoo is a big favourite with us. I went as a child myself and we’ve taken our own children on numerous occasions too. It is a fairly costly day out with a family ticket costing just short of £80 on a weekday in August. I’d say it’s definitely worth the money though. Take a packed lunch to avoid costly food and book online as it works out cheaper.
The zoo boasts 500 species of animals, it really does take a full day to explore them all. I think my favourite is the two-toed sloth who slowly makes his way across a rope above the heads of people below, they’re fascinating to watch.
As well as animals, the zoo has a fantastic outdoor adventure play which the children are always reluctant to leave.
It really is a fab day out.
2. The Ice Cream Farm
We only discovered this place earlier this year but it’s fast become a favourite. The Ice Cream Farm is so much more than just an ice cream parlour. There are lots of activities for children of all ages to try. We went in the Easter holidays and all three children had a fantastic day out.
Our children particularly enjoyed Honeycomb Canyon, believed to be Europe’s biggest indoor sand and water park. They spend ages in there! Definitely take a spare set of clothes for this as they come out covered in wet sand!
The Ice Cream Farm is slightly different to other places we’ve been as you don’t pay a set entrance fee. You buy a play pass on your way in (or in advance online) which entitles you to a set number of plays. I went with a friend and we had five children with us in total and bought the yellow play pass for £50 between us. At the end of the day we only had a couple of plays left so this worked pretty well for us.
The Ice Cream Farm don’t allow picnics, we had something in the restaurant which was fairly reasonably priced and tasted pretty good. Oh, the ice cream is pretty tasty too! We’ll definitely be going back there over the summer.
3. Dunham Massey
We’re very fortunate to have a number of National Trust properties in the area. Dunham Massey is a big favourite of mine. Situated on the outskirts of Altrincham, Dunham Massey is a real treasure trove. You can pay to enter the gardens and the house, however we usually just pay for parking (£6 per car) and have a walk. The majority of the park is flat which is a big plus for us, Little Man still gets tired so we usually need to take the pushchair with us, it can be tough going if it’s all uphill! The parkland is home to free-roaming deer which the children always find fascinating, it’s lovely to see them in their natural habitat.
4. Play Factore
We’ve only managed to get to Play Factore once but we were really impressed with it. I’d love to go again in the summer holidays if we can.
Play Factore is the UK’s leading indoor family entertainment arena. The state of the art arena houses the largest play frame in Europe along with a host of other unique attractions that are second to none.
We met up with some friends and spent around 3 hours in the centre. We had children aged 2-10 and all had fun. The children particularly enjoyed the zip wire, there was an extra charge for this but as it has to be manned by two staff I could kind of understand why. We didn’t get to test out the laser tag so we really need to go back for this! The actual play equipment is really high, I had to go on with Little Man otherwise I fear I would have lost him forever.