Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Half Term Fun in Salford and Trafford for #FamFest14

This half term, the arts are staging a take over in Salford and Trafford bringing some great entertainment to families.  The Lowry have partnered with major local attractions, including Media City UK, Ordsall Hall, Sea Life Centre Manchester, Lowry Outlet, Manchester United Museum and LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre to deliver some exciting activities to the region up until November 3rd.

Family Arts Festival

We were invited to come along and see some of the attractions for ourselves, which is fabulous for us as both my older daughters Ella and Megan live in Manchester.  It was the perfect excuse for some half term fun and an opportunity to see the girls.  We booked into the newly refurbished Travelodge at Salford Quays ready to experience #FamFest14.

With pop-up workshops, activities and performances taking place, there is a whole host of things to choose from, from arts and crafts, to theatre to literature.  While in Salford Quays you can enjoy shopping at the Lowry Outlet where they  have a free Halloween Trail that takes you around the shops collecting stamps. Once you collect them you can exchange your card for a really cute bag of Halloween sweets!  Kids can enjoy some Halloween crafts from 12 - 3pm on the 31st October in a free workshop.


The Big Family Play Date, on Sat 1 November, sees venues  popping-up  with activities from 10am – 5pm.  The cast of acclaimed new comedy Peter Pan Goes Wrong head to intu Trafford Centre, before their run at The Lowry this Christmas, for a shambolic photo-shoot at Sea Life Centre Manchester! The Octonauts are also appearing at Sea Life Manchester until November 30th and there is a downloadable Kids Go Free voucher on the Family Arts Festival website.

Best-loved children’s books come to life, with music, drama and audience participation at the Lowry Outlet (Sat 1 November) with interactive readings of  We’re Going on a Bear Hunt! and Emily Brown and The Thing.  

Emily Brown and The Thing also has its own stage show which runs at The Lowry until Sunday 2nd November.  It's a great show for children aged 3 and up, taking place in the smaller Quays Theatre in the Lowry.  We had tickets to see the show, which is based on the much loved children's book by Cressida Cowell and Neal Clayton. .

theatre, The Lowry

It tells the story of Emily Brown who is trying to get to sleep, but keeps being disturbed by The Thing who wants her to help him at bedtime.  Along with her toy rabbit Stanley, Emily goes on some amazing adventures to find his pink cuddly, his bedtime milk and his green medicine. But Thing just can't seem to settle.  Will Emily ever find out what he really needs?

The show is really kid friendly with lots of music, action and fun.  The cast of three give their all in their energetic and comedic performance, getting totally into character and delivering the story brilliantly. It's a lovely introduction to the theatre for young children. Freddy loved it, especially when Emily demonstrated her ninja moves! He laughed and joined in with the audience participation.  It was perfectly pitched for little ones.

The global phenomenon STOMP! are bringing their signature style of percussion, humour and dance to the Lowry Theatre until November 1st.  I was lucky enough to have tickets to the show and took my girls for a night of STOMP! action!

STOMP, the lowry

The show sees the super talented cast playing their tunes on anything and everything they can lay their hands on...including the kitchen sink!  From matchboxes to Zippo lighters to their trademark dustbins, the eight highly energetic performers create the most incredible rhythms with some insane choreographed routines.  The cast never miss a single beat in their fast, fresh and very funny performance.  It is a truly brilliant, inventive and entertaining show.  The talent of the six guys and two girls as they make their own brand of music on drain pipes, shopping trolleys, buckets, brooms, balls and plastic bags is really breathtaking.  The humour that runs through the show is really engaging, with perfect comic timing complementing the amazing routines.  The scene with the Zippo lighters is simply incredible and quite beautiful, quite unlike anything I have ever seen before.  The whole audience seemed as enthralled as we were and the standing ovation at the end was completely deserved!

The ferocity of the banging and jumping did kick up a lot of dust into the air, which actually triggered my eldest daughter's asthma, so if you are asthmatic, don't forget your inhaler!!  It's also very loud so be prepared for some noise.  


We had a fabulous couple of days in our favourite city.  It is a great place to visit as a family with so much to see and do.  You can find out all the details of what is going on by checking out the Family Festival website.  You can check out what's coming to the Lowry at or follow them on Twitter @The_Lowry.

1 comment:

  1. How lovely that Megan and Ella were able to share your great day at Salford. It sounds as though you had a really fun time.. I am trying to imagine what kind of tune you can get from a kitchen sink but the cast sound extremely talented. How lovely that you were able to spend a couple of fabulous days in your favourite city. xxxxx



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