Ready Snow Go festival at Chill Factore
The summer holidays are well and truly upon us and I have had lots of parents asking for fun and different activities that the children can do during the time off school. We had recently visited the Chill Factore to review their lovely mini moose play area for under 5s and thought it would be a fantastic place to come for a day out during the holidays. We found out that during the summer holidays, there was a Ready Snow Go Festival at Chill Factore every Tuesday, so we decided to go with Maya and some older family children to check it out.
What is the Chill Factore
The Chill Factore is one of the UK’s leading indoor snow experiences and over the years has continued to grow in popularity and with ever increasing range of activities that are available for families. I love the different experiences that are available and that children are able to have a real snow/winter sports experience in the UK. Chill Factore is located in the Trafford Leisure Village outside the Trafford Centre so is easily accessible for families across the north west.
What is the Ready Snow Go Festival
Throughout the summer holidays, the Chill Factore is hosting special family events to get children and families out in the summer trying out new activities. Chill Factore have some fantastic offers on every Tuesday until the 25th August 2015 with lots of exciting activities to enjoy between 10am – 4:00pm. There a number of great free attractions on during these days including the snow trek, climbing and additional activities on Alpine Street. The snow trek is a 20 minute walk that will introduce you to all the exciting activities at Chill Factore I loved the sound of the session with a free sledge on the main slope. This activity is not surprisingly very popular and was fully booked on a number of the time slots. In order to avoid disappointment we recommend pre-booking using the Book Online or speak to a member of our Guest Services team to book the next available session when you get there. The trek is on every quarter past and quarter to every hour until 4:00pm so remember to get there early. As you will be out on the snow remember that you will need warm clothing, suitable footwear (wellies), gloves and a hat. Please note the Snow Trek is suitable for those aged from 4+. Not everyone will be a fan of the snow so Chill Factore have a great climbing wall for everyone in the family to have a go at. The minimum age for this activity is 6 years old and you get to have a try at reaching the top. It is a great activity to have some friendly family competition going as all the ages can compete. In addition, there are also a lot of additional smaller activities for all families to enjoy from face painting, dancing with Mini Moose and lots of competitions.
During the summer holidays, visitors will also be treated to some fantastic offers which allow you for 2 for 1 on a number of paid activities from the snow park, have a go on the snow, taster sessions for skiing and snowboarding and ski lessons. These offers are great for getting the children having a go at something new and will be a great way to spend a day out and save money! The 2 for 1 offers have some restrictions so please check these before booking the sessions. It is also important to note that if your children are under 10 that an adult must accompany them on the activity.
So what did we think
We visited Chill Factore on Tuesday 28th July 2015 to try the free activities and also the 2 for 1 on the ski taster sessions. We arrived at Chill Factore at 2:30 and the sessions for the snow trek were fully booked, so if you hoped to do this activity and recommend that you either make use of the online booking or getting there early. We visited the session with a range of children from 13 to 6 years old so we thought we would give the wall climb a try. Tickets need to obtained and you can join the queue for the wall climb. The wall was quite high and a decent size so even an adult or older children will find it a good challenge. My 13-year-old nephew (fast approaching 6 foot!) was up for the challenge to get to the top. They have a leader board on the wall of some crazy fast times, the fastest being 9 seconds which is amazing! We all really enjoyed the wall and the instructors were really good at encouraging the children along and stopping and helping them down if they were scared.
Around the corner form the wall climb they have the face painting and i think its great that this is free, the dancing moose made the girls in our group laugh with its super funky moves and would be great for younger children.
We were there later in the day so it was quieter and I am sure in the morning/midday there would be lots of the extra activities in the area. However, with it being busier I would expect the queues and waiting times to be longer.
We then went to get kilted up for the ski taster sessions. We also included the clothes hire but this is chargeable at £6 for the jacket and trousers and if you wished to avoid this cost, we recommend thick warm trousers and jacket. The cost of the session includes the skis and boots but you must bring your own hat and gloves and would recommend water proof gloves for any of the snow activities. We arrived about 20/30 minutes before the session start to get changed and have the shoes and skis fitted. I can imagine the queue being quite long in busy periods so get there with plenty of time to spare. After getting changed we had the fun task of having our skis set up. This process was pretty cool (you can tell I am the other half of a geek) and Doc was intrigued by the machine which measures your feet and shows the size that the skis need to be set at for them to fall off during a fall in the snow.
Once the children were all changed we met the instructor and went onto the snow. It is funny, that even though you know the snow is they’re going out in the cold really hits you and it makes the whole indoor snow experience so much more real. We were in a group of 8 people who were all new to skiing and the taster session last for approximately 50 minutes. The instructor in charge of our group was great and walked the group through all the basics of skiing from how to wear the skis, how to walk and stay upright in the skis. Even though this is often considered the boring part of learning and experiencing a new activity all of our group really enjoyed the activities.
Once the group had mastered the very basics, they were taken 1/4 of the way up the slope to have a go at skiing down the slope. The children had to master walking up the slope with the skis which is a lot harder than it sounds, but they all made very valiant efforts of getting up the hill. After making it to the start point, the group had 4 attempts at the ski slope, the first two was just getting used to coming down the hills with skis and where to place your by weight. The last few tries saw the instructor incorporate more elements like doing head, shoulders, knees and toes on the way down so concentrating more on staying upright.
Overall the taster session is a good introduction into skiing and I think doing the first attempt in a group is a great way of getting the children’s confidence up as everyone is a complete novice at the activity so children are quite happy to have a fall or two when they see everyone else experiencing the same issues. The 50 minutes passes very quickly but by the end of the session the children were ready to get into the warm! I would recommend these sessions to families who are looking to get children into skiing or anyone wanting to try a different activity with their families. With the special offer it is a fantastic way to enjoy this activity in the snow and have a try at something new 🙂
With the costs always rocketing in the summer holidays it is refreshing to see free activities and good discounts on a well known attraction and I would ecourage families to go and make the most of the great 2 for 1s. Combining one of the paid activities with the free sessions would make for a fantastic day out. Highly recommend it for families who haven’t tried this activity before and for those who may have tried one of the others before. Overall a great day out, you will have a fantastic time!