Sunday, 10 July 2016

Roxy Lanes Leeds Family Bowling Fun

Thinking of new things to do each weekend can be a drag - but lately it's just been one blogger event after another, which is fine by me. This weekend it was the turn of Roxy Lanes to throw a big blogger bash, and we were lucky enough to be invited for some bowling fun! The idea of something to do in Leeds that is actually very family friendly is very appealing to me - there are only so many times you can look at weapons in the Armouries and stuffed tigers in the Leeds City Museum, sometimes only bowling will do! This particular weekend, my husband is away with work for a few days, so it would be the very first time that I had taken all three children into Leeds alone. I had a plan of action for what time we would set off, where we would park and exactly how I was going to get there - and for once I was actually mega organised and we were only ten minutes late - it was pouring with rain so I am blaming the weather for getting in the way.

The staff at Roxy Lanes in Leeds are brilliant and very clued up when it comes to dealing with kids. Not only was it my first outing into Leeds alone with the three kids, but also the first time we've visited a normal place since we got a diagnosis of Autism for the oldest - so loud noises, bright lights and music were always going to be challenging. But the staff were great with him and that always makes a big difference. After being served some lovely drinks and sorting our shoes out, we set to the challenge of bowling - not easy with a screaming child in a pushchair and a child with Autism - plus a five year old who isn't quite sure which lane to bowl down each time. But anyway, we had fun, and the bloggers around us all seemed very understanding, which was blessed relief to me.

Although there aren't many lanes at Roxy Leeds, in my opinion that's a good thing when you go with kids - it means that you don't need to worry about your child wandering off as it's very easy to keep an eye out. There are lane guides and a rail to send the ball sailing down if they aren't strong enough to throw - and there is even a cool sparkly/disco ball! Woohoo!

After the bowling, the guys at Roxy Lane came up trumps again with a colouring competition to give the parents a breather whilst we waited for the food. Full working felt tips and a nice age appropriate picture to colour whilst we had a breather.

Here you can see the kids menu - which was spot on - basically everything that kids like to eat - pizza, burgers, chips, dough balls - bonza! Sadly I didn't get any photos of lunch as I was too busy dealing with three children at that time and pizza! It would have been nice if perhaps Roxy could get a couple of highchairs as it was quite tricky eating whilst holding a hyperactive 1 year old... However there are baby changing facilities and a lift up and down to enable pushchairs and wheelchairs to enter.

Roxy Juniors is a special "club" that takes place weekdays 3 - 6pm and Saturday 10am - 3pm and is £10 each for pizza, unlimited soft drinks and a game of bowling. Roxy Lanes also hold kids parties and it's well worth a thought as it's always nice to "contain" kids in a small area when there are many of them!

The day finished with some fun games and a cupcake for everyone - which were well received by all - especially baby girl.

Cupcake heaven

We were invited to Roxy Lanes Leeds to take part in a blogger day but all thoughts are my own.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

A Day Out With Wynsors Shoes

Like many families, we struggle to come up with new ideas for what to do at the weekends. Since I work from home, usually by the weekend I'm chomping at the bit to get out of the house and get amongst the humans again - have social interaction, smile, that sort of thing. But with one child with ASD, a baby and a boisterous five year old, sometimes our outings are less than successful if truth be told. The other thing of course, is that there is nothing more annoying than spending £100 on a day out that is stressful and no fun - something that happens to us all too often. So when we were invited on a bloggers day out with Wynsors World of Shoes, I knew I would be amongst non judgmental parents who would probably be too busy focusing on their own children to worry about what mine were doing...

The point of the day out was to make people aware that Wynsors have recently launched a new ‘Outdoor’ range for all ages, featuring great brands such as Regatta and Merrell, so getting out into the great outdoors seems like the perfect way to celebrate!  Luckily for me the walk took place in Bingley - where I actually live - so we had a two second drive down the hill to join the other bloggers. We were also joined by Cedric, from Bingley Walkers are Welcome, and a lady from the Canal Trust who came to lend her expertise. We were kindly given a fun pack which included some duck feed - not many people know that it's actually not a good idea to give bread to ducks as it's bad for them - so this food was a healthy alternative.

Healthy Duck Food
Sadly the weather wasn't on our side, so we were a pretty wet crew trudging towards the canal from Bingley station - but fresh air is always good and a little rain never hurt anyone. 

Cedric expertly guided us along the canal tow path and pointed out the wildlife we should look out for. Even though we are from Bingley and have walked along the canal tow path many times, we had never been to "North Bog" - which was a fun diversion for the children. Cedric told us to look out for herons on our way, and told the children how to tell the difference between male and female ducks. 

Duck Feeding
The children had good fun running around and having races, they didn't seem to mind the weather - just means more puddles to splash in. 
Three Rise Locks Bingley
We walked up to three rise locks, where Cedric explained that this allowed boats to travel through what is actually quite a steep part of the waterway. 

Five Rise Locks

After three rise locks comes five rise locks. Boats have to travel through five locks and it takes 30 minutes to travel downstream, and 45 minutes to travel through the locks upstream. Each time you have to wait for each lock to fill up and "rise" to the appropriate level to let your boat through. The canal at Bingley is really fascinating and I can see why people are so interested in it. It's a great way to spend time as a family whilst at the same time not spending any money! It's also really popular with local dog walkers, cyclists and mums with prams. 

Lunch at The Potting Shed

After our walk we had a great lunch a The Potting Shed in Bingley with pizzas and posh burgers - great food and location. I haven't been with the children before and I thought it was really child friendly. We were also given a Wynsors goodie bag with information about the canal, and a nice Karrimor back pack - very useful for all our future walks!

Son 2's take on the day.

All in all a great way to spend the morning in the fresh air with nice people, have a chat and a nice lunch. You can find the Canal & River Trust information for yourself if you want to visit Bingley - there's a section on their website here with the activity sheets available to download: 

I was invited on this bloggers day by Wynsors World Of Shoes and was given a back pack and free lunch as part of the day, but all thoughts are my own.


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