The Costellos visit Chill Factore, Manchester

These are pictures of my children having a brilliant morning. A morning that they are still rabbiting on about 3 days later. Ok, I know the picture of Tara looks like I’ve squashed her into a rubber ring (and to be truthful I had but she looked really funny) but believe me she was having fun.

Last Saturday saw a rare visit to Manchester that didn’t involve a pool and all 5 of us could take part in. The Costellos landed at Chill Factore. We were there to take part in sledging (anyone aged 4 +), Meet Father Christmas in Santa’s Grotto and encounter Peppa Pig.

When we first arrived we were quickly whisked through to the changing area. There’s no messing here so you don’t feel like you are wasting time. It was here I developed a love of ski pants that can be worn over jeans – I’ve never felt so comfy and cosy! Myself and Tara were only going to the snow play area suitable for ages 2-4 so we didn’t need helmets but were still given trousers, boots and jacket (I wore my own). Clever Tip: Put the bottom of the trousers over the heel of a child’s boots if they are too big – will stop them falling off.

There’s plenty of soft padded toys to play on in the snow play so our time passed quickly but the real gem of the morning was reserved for Millie & Vi in the sledging area. They thought it was fantastic – so much more enthusiastic than I gave the place credit for. Pretty safe to say we’ll be going back again and again.

Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the changing area (Alas dear trousers may we meet again some day) and get ready for meeting Santa – I’m pretty convinced it was the real one you know. He wasn’t like the fake Santa’s you get round here with tattoos up their arms and elastic holding their beards on. Seriously though, he was fab – He asked all the right questions and his grotto was magical. Every child gets a present which were so appropriate for their ages. Millie (10) got a sequin art pack, Violet (6) got a craft set and baby T got a cute cuddly toy. We did have quite a queue to see the big man but the elves made it better by bringing out story books and reading to the children – genius idea! And there’s a vending machine if you get a bit peckish!

Oh, and a huge Peppa Pig. How could I forget? I’ve never seen so many kids (and adults if we are being honest) get themselves into such a frenzy over a fluffy fancy dress costume – and I HATE people dressed up.

Me trying to pretend I’m not stood next to a HUGE Peppa Pig

Our morning was brilliant – I’d highly recommend a visit especially if you are not sure if skiing is for you and you want to try it out before spending £000’s on a skiing holiday.

To Answer some common questions about Chill Factore

  • Is it cold inside? – a bit but not nearly as cold as I thought it would be. Still advise to take your gloves and a hat.
  • Do you go right up to that pointy bit you can see from the motorway? – you do if you are skiing rather than the sledging ramp/hill/piste?
  • Do you pronounce the ‘e’? – Still no idea – I will admit to always thinking people were a bit poncy for saying Factoreee.
  • Does it feel like real snow? – Yes
  • Would you go again? – Definitely, Violet in particular is insistent that we do.

Disclosure: We were invited to the Chill Factore Santa Experience as a blogging opportunity and didn’t have to pay for our morning’s entertainment. For an idea of what a similar experience would cost see below:

Sledging and Santa (Both Peak and Off-Peak)

  • Child (age 4+) = £20
  • Additional Adult = £15
  • Family of 2 = £35

Prices are the same if you choose to do the Luge or go Tubing instead of Sledging

Snowplay and Santa (Both Peak and Off-Peak)

  • Child (age 2-10) = £10
  • Additional Adult = £5
  • Family of 2 = £12