Category: past-events

Elf Adventure Challenge Review

How magical is Christmas for kids? Imagine being able to take them to Elf Training!

That’s exactly what we did today at the Elf Adventure Challenge!

Our Adventure

We were greeted by Ginger and Baubles the elves, who recruited us as elves in training, and challenged us to complete certain tasks in order to qualify as honorary elves.

Challenge 1: Building Toys

After being put into teams we were challenged to see which team could build a robot the fastest.  Then, when we thought we were defeated, we had another competition to see who could dismantle it the fastest! Those IKEA flat pack furniture making times came in handy!

Challenge 2: Stacking Presents

Armed with a chart full of clues, we had to race to see who could put the presents in the right order the fastest.  It was great to see my little one steadily stacking his presents one on top of the other until his face lit up when the pile was even bigger than he was!

Challenge 3: Fuelling The Sleigh

Given a sack full of snowballs, the kids had to throw them one by one into the buckets.  Parents/ guardians had to catch the snowballs, for them to be used as fuel in Santa’s sleigh.  How hilarious when you have a large number of kids trying to aim snowballs at buckets all at the same time!

Challenge 4: Sorting Santa’s Treats

Baubles sat everyone down to tell the story of how he had managed to mix up Santa’s treats so the kids had to search for specific items in the sack to put on Santa’s plate, including some milk, sherry, mince pie and carrot.

Elf March

Our challenge was completed by performing the Elf March, made even more magical with all the lights and bubbles.  Every one of the children seemed to have forgotten that parents were even present by this stage and enjoyed dancing and jumping around in excitement.

Honorary Elf Presentation

After learning the ‘Elf Hand Shake’, each child received an Elf Adventure Challenge Completion Certificate and a copy of ‘Sprout’s Elf Adventure Challenge’ book to take home.

What A Way To Finish The Day

As we went to The Ice Cream Farm for the Elf Adventure Challenge, it would have been rude not to finish the day with a play in the park area and, of course, an ice cream!

Don’t Delay, Book Your Tickets Today!

There are still a small number of tickets remaining for Sunday 23rd and Monday 24th December.  Don’t miss out!  Follow the links here to book your tickets!

For Elf Adventure Challenge at The Ice Cream Farm, Cheshire book your tickets here!

For Elf Adventure Challenge at Red House Farm, Dunham Massey book your tickets here!

For Elf Adventure Challenge at Rivendell Garden Centre, Widnes book your tickets here!


For further information please take a look at Elf Adventure Challenge


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Christmas & New Year Bin Collections in Bury

Christmas & New Year Bin Collections:

As we’re all busy with the festivities it’s easy to forget that bin collections can change due to the holiday dates.

With the extra waste that is generated at this time of year, it important to note the new collection dates: –

Normal Collection Date New Collection Date
Monday 24th December Monday 7th January
Tuesday 25th December Monday 24th December
Wednesday 26th December Thursday 27th December
Thursday 27th December Friday 28th December
Friday 28th December Saturday 29th December
Monday 31st December No Change
Tuesday 1st January Wednesday 2nd January
Wednesday 2nd January Thursday 3rd January
Thursday 3rd January Friday 4th January
Friday 4th January Saturday 5th January

Collections will return to normal from Monday 7th January 2019.

If you are looking to dispose of your real tree, the Council recommend that you remove all decorations, lights and the wooden base, then chop it up so it fits inside your brown bin.  If you went all out this year and won’t be able to fit it in your brown bin, you can take it to the recycling centre where it will be disposed of.

Recycling Centre

If you are wanting to take your real Christmas tree, and extra waste, to one of the recycling centres they will be open every day except 25th December and 1st January from 8am to 6pm:

  • Every Street, Bury (0161 762 4810)
  • Cemetery Road, Radcliffe (0161 723 5249)


Cockfields Christmas Experience

Come and enjoy this amazing Christmas Experience at Cockfields Farm.

This is a magical festive event packed full of wonderful activities including: –

  • Elves Workshop – make your own teddy
  • Write and post letter to Santa
  • Visit the North Pole Sweet Shop
  • Mrs Claus’ Kitchen – festive story time, decorating gingerbread man
  • Meet Prancer & Dancer, along with other animals, in Santa’s Stable
  • Meet Santa

Full details, including how to book, can be found here

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Apply To Be On The New Series Of ‘The Island With Bear Grylls’

Fancy being stranded on a desert island (or need a break from the kids/ other half)?

The producers of ‘The Island With Bear Grylls’ are looking for the next lot of adventurers to take part in the new series.

The situation remains the same, with a group of people being stranded, left to survive… but this time there is prize money to be won!

Closing date is 19th October so get those entries in 👍

Doctor Dolittle

As the new stage production of Doctor Dolittle begins to take shape in the rehearsal room, The Lowry is pleased to provide a first glimpse at images and footage showcasing some of its exotic menagerie of animal friends.

Doctor Dolittle, with book, music and lyrics by double Academy Award-winner Leslie Bricusse, will head to The Lowry this Christmas (Tue 11 December 2018 – Sat 5 January 2019) as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the original film starring Rex Harrison.

Nick Barnes and Caroline Bowman are responsible for creating the collection of puppets that will be an integral part of the production. Caroline Bowman, Associate Puppet Designer, said “Nobody has ever seen puppets like these before. I think these are puppets beyond your wildest dreams.” Nick Barnes, Puppet Designer, added “It’s a real privilege to be able to create puppets for a show like this where there’s going to be a wonderful cast of people operating them and performing with them. We’re very excited.”

Meet The Puppets


The show will feature amazing puppetry, take a sneak peak here…


Mark Williams will play the title role during the show’s run at The Lowry with Brian Capron, Vicky Entwistle, Adèle Anderson, Mollie Melia-Redgrave and Patrick Sullivan playing Albert Blossom/Straight Arrow, Polynesia, Lady Bellowes/Poison Arrow, Emma Fairfax and Matthew Mugg respectively.


Eccentric Doctor Dolittle embarks on an extraordinary adventure to find the Giant Pink Sea Snail that holds the secret of life and makes the world a happier place. Helped by his human companions and an exotic menagerie of animal friends, including the Pushmi-Pullyu and trusty sidekick Polynesia the parrot, the larger-than-life Doctor Dolittle teaches us not only to talk to the animals but to listen to them as well!

The new stage production of Doctor Dolittle will be directed by Christopher Renshaw (Le Grand Mort, Zorro, Taboo, We Will Rock You, The King and I), with choreography by Josh Rhodes (Carousel and Sweeney Todd at the London Coliseum, Company starring Neil Patrick Harris for PBS, and Cinderella and Bright Star on Broadway), design by Tom Piper (Associate Designer at the RSC from 2004 to 2014, and designed the installation for the Tower of London poppies installation and subsequent tours – original concept and Poppies by Paul Cummins), puppet design by Nick Barnes, puppet direction by Jimmy Grimes, lighting by Chris Davey, sound by Ben Harrison, and musical supervision by Mike Dixon (most recent theatre includes Mrs Henderson Presents, Oh What A Lovely War, Bodyguard, Taboo, Hair, Zorro, Never Forget and We Will Rock You).

Doctor Dolittle is based on the Doctor Dolittle stories by Hugh Lofting and the Twentieth Century Fox film.

Doctor Dolittle is performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Ltd.

The UK & Ireland Tour of Doctor Dolittle is produced by Music & Lyrics Limited, the producers behind the highly successful recent tours of The Addams Family, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Oklahoma!, Fiddler on the Roof, High Society and The King and I, in association with Churchill Theatre Bromley.


Dates: Tue 11 December 2018 – Sat 5 January 2019

Times: 2pm & 7:30pm

Prices: £19.50 – £47.50. Concessions £3 off (selected performances). Discounts for group bookings.

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

Buy your tickets here


Read our review of Doctor Dolittle The Musical here…

Organic Cookery School Duke of Edinburgh Courses

Is your child currently taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award and a lover of cooking?  Take a look at The Organic Cookery School!

They are the only DofE Approved Activity Provider offering cookery skills opportunities to teenagers, and young people, across the UK.

Does your teen love cooking?

Cooking is an extremely popular choice for the Skills requirement of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

The Organic Cookery School are offering a great opportunity for participants to take part in the popular home study DofE skills ecourse.

The current course is focused on Street Food, and offers 18 hours of cookery skills, over 3 months (or 6 months if preferred), with flexible fortnightly modules.  The course includes the opportunity to master over 30 street food recipes from around the World.

Upon enrolment, students are allocated an Organic Cookery School Tutor who will also be their DofE Assessor and complete students online assessment report at the end of the course.  There will be the opportunity to join a study group, including 16 other students, who will all be completing the course at the same time.





With 10 years experience, you can have every confidence that your child will be guided through their online assessment professionally and efficiently by The Organic Cookery School.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you would like to know more, and read the FAQs, take a look here.

Book On The Course

Book your child’s place on the course here






Head For The Hills


The award-winning family festival, Head For The Hills, returns for it’s 8th year on 14th, 15th and 16th September.

Surrounded by beautiful panoramic views of rolling Lancashire hills, this fun-filled family friendly festival, is renowned for showcasing exciting new music, alongside world-class headliners, as well as its great taste in food and drink.

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This year, headliners include: –

  • Slow Readers Club
  • The Bluetones
  • The Boomtown Rats
  • The Lovely Eggs
  • Stealing Sheep plus much more




Friday 14th September

The Slow Readers Club will open the festival in style on the Friday, with a double headliner spectacular.  They will be accompanied by underground surreal-psych punk rock Lancaster duo, The Lovely Eggs, and Manchester post-punk three piece LIINES.


Saturday 15th September

The Bluetones will head up an eclectic day full of music and arts with, Stealing Sheep, Barry Hyde (of The Futureheads), Alice Jemima and returning North East Newcastle folk rockers Holy Moly & The Crackers


Sunday 16th September

On Sunday, legendary Dublin rock band The Boomtown Rats will fulfill the legendary closing set. With a career spanning four decades and fronted by legendary Irish singer-songwriter Bob Geldof, the band announced in 2017 that they plan to release their first album in over thirty years and are set to close the family festival in style with the final headline show of the weekend.



Family Fun

With an inclusive family focused ethos, a relaxed atmosphere and an impressive arts programme, Head For The Hills has maintained a strong reputation as a great festival for parents and children.

Kid friendly highlights include: –

  • Performing Arts
  • Workshops
  • Face painting
  • Arts & crafts
  • Theatre shows –
  • Walkabout comedy
  • Installations

The event also has a fully dedicated baby changing tent, and is easily accessible for prams and strollers.


Theatre Shows

The shows at the event are set to include: –

Travelling Light Circus

Showcasing installations including the ‘Pendulum Wave Machine’ and new production, ‘The Playground of Illusions’, a collection of ‘giant toys’ that each contains a visual or auditory illusion; these toys are placed in an area that festival goers will be free to wander around and explore.

Mufti’s L_ve Hangman

A life-sized, 3D version of the timeless pen and paper favourite with a catchy original soundtrack, tongue-in-cheek puppetry and awful dress sense, L_ve Hangman is set to bring a huge amount of interactive fun to the weekend.

A Bird In Hand Theatre

A Bird In Hand Theatre will be offering a sweet and gentle alternative piece of puppet theatre called ‘Special Delivery’, which is a show without words that appeals to both adults and children, blending beautiful puppetry with a good dollop of silliness.

Dizzy O’Dare

Topping off the theatre programme will be ‘Baba Yaga’s House’ a new unique and bizarre walkabout from contemporary circus theatre company Dizzy O’Dare.




There will be some exciting interactive workshops, including a new playful, physical comedy workshop by Shifting Sands Theatre called THE FILM KREW, where families can help re-create epic films such as Spartacus, Star Wars, Gone With The Wind as you’ve never seen them before.

Manchester and Bury collective, Gang Of Five, will be setting up their spectacular ‘ART-tillery Tent’ at the festival – a special art studio space, that is set to inspire festival goers’ artistic flare with exciting and interesting arty sessions inspired by the whole Head for the Hills experience including creating a Monster Head Army, making your own festival Zine and lively figure drawing with a difference.


Food & Drink

The festival will feature a wide variety of food stalls and beverage tents offering a range of locally-sourced produce including its very own beer festival, organised by festival partners, Hollinworth & Price and Silver Street Brewing Co. The beer extravaganza will be a celebration of the region’s brewing talent with over 30 cask ales from across the North West.



Tickets are now on sale for the event, which is organised by The Met in association with Blueprint Studio and Scruff of the Neck.

Ticket prices start at £40 for a day ticket and £100 for a weekend ticket, with discounts for children and families.

Further information, and updates, for the event can be found here

Buy tickets here



The event is to be held at Ramsbottom Cricket Club, Acre Bottom, Ramsbottom BL0 0BS


Travel & Parking

Further information regarding getting to, and from, the event can be found here


Take a look at our Weekend Guide for more information on local events and activities.

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Heaton Park Open Air Cinema: 23rd – 28th August 2018

The UK’s first open air cinema designed for kids will be showing hit films this Summer at Heaton Park from 23rd to 28th August.

There will also be a full bar serving food and drink so you can enjoy the event with a glass of something cold and bubbly. The Luna Kids Bar will also be serving soft drinks, healthy juices and water.   There will be plenty of tasty gourmet food options available too.

Bring a blanket/ picnic chair, sit back and enjoy!

What’s On

Click on the links below for film times and how to book:

23rd August

24th August

25th August

26th August

27th August

28th August



Heaton Park, Middleton Road, Manchester M25 2SW


General Tickets:

Adults £12.50

Children (3 to 15) £7.50

Family Ticket (2 adults & 2 children/ 1 adult & 3 children) £32.50

Premium tickets:

Adults £17.50

Children £12.50



*In the event of bad weather, the events will still take place (however please check with the event organiser) so please go prepared.  There will be ponchos available and a small covered area.