On the last weekend in May we went to Geronimo Festival at Tatton Park – a family festival set in the grounds of the historic estate in Knutsford, Cheshire.
We had the weather, we had friends, we had so much to do we could have gone round the festival two days in a row and still not done everything we wanted to. It was an amazing day and one I enjoyed just as much as the kids.
I’d been telling Sam and Florence we were going to Geronimo for weeks – we were asked to be ambassadors for the festival and having heard about how good it was last year was really keen on having a look myself. But even with all this build-up about how Justin Fletcher was going to be on stage, there would be den building, pony rides, and ice cream, I still don’t think they got it until we parked up on the site.
The sun was out, the bunting was up and when Sam saw the helter skelter his eyes popped and he just laughed and said ‘Wow, Flo, look! This is going to be awesome!’
It was our first family festival and my word did it deliver. The event is set over two weekends over two sites, having already visited Harewood House in Yorkshire earlier in May. I must admit I was a little concerned after reading about a few teething problems at Harewood, but I put that down to it being very wet that weekend and the first year it had been held there.
With the sun shining we already had the weather on side, and although there was the inevitable queuing for the most popular rides, there was just so much to do as you walked round that it didn’t put the kids off at all.
The queues did mean that you had to choose which things you went on, but the things we chose were so good that missing some of the others didn’t bother our little crew at all. If there was something we had to miss out on then there was always going to be another activity nearby that you didn’t have to queue for, and some of the waiting times weren’t that long anyway.
We did wait in line for nearly an hour for the zip wire, but we were entertained in the queue by some performers who were walking round the site, singing songs to weary waiters. The zip wire was such a great experience for the kids that I don’t think they minded the delay. We met up with my friend Caroline and her daughter Taran, who is the same age as Sam, and they loved going on the zip wire at the same time – even going up twice. I honestly don’t think Sam would have done it without being egged on by his friend!
I think the photos tell their own story and you can see how much fun they had. We started off with the carousel, going on the mini one rather than the main one as it was more Florence-friendly. Then we moved onto the craft tent for rubber duck decorating, hat making and a chance meeting with the lovely Hayley from Hayley From Home.
We put our names down for a kids’ cooking session later in the day before going off to explore the animals and minibeasts in the Pasture Zone.
We met up with Karen and the Mini Travellers by the pony rides, before checking out a bit of ferret racing and bug handling! My heart melted as I saw Flo ride the cute little pony, then it recoiled a little as I saw her confidently pluck giant millipedes from a plastic box! Yuk! Some kids are fearless, aren’t they?!
We moved from the minibeasts to the Library Zone, where we joined in with a bit of music with a samba band. From there we headed to the ice cream van, then to the Woodland Zone to meet our friends and do the zip wire.
Finding activities to suit different ages kids wasn’t too much of a problem; they all loved the helter skelter (again, worth the wait), the tightrope walking and the (wait for it) carrot whistle making. Yes, you can really make a whistle from a carrot and now we know how, just in case we ever get stuck somewhere with nothing but a bag of veg!
Walking between activities we always passed the Arena Zone, where we saw an impressive motorcycle display as well as a horse show and performing dogs.
At the main stage (it really is a little like Glasto for littlies), we saw Andy Day and the Swashbuckle team while we had a sit down and ate our lunch.
I have to say if I could make one improvement to Geronimo it would be to please, please provide more food stalls as the queues were just so long! We had some gourmet fish fingers and chips which were really fresh and delicious, but I’m not sure they were worth the hour wait. Next time I will definitely be more organised and pack a picnic.
Towards the end of the day we walked around some of the stalls and Sam and Taran spray painted their own t-shirts, which they had loads of fun doing and came out with something they could keep, and wear, so we were all happy.
While Caroline stayed with the older ones, I took Flo to the My Little Pony tour bus which being honest I was desperate to go on! It was a purple and pink double decker bus where you could play with ponies, have your face painted, do My Little Pony crafts and have your photo taken in their fancy dress photo booth. Florence absolutely loved this part, and was so proud of her Rainbow Dash face paint and the tiny pony she got to take home. I make no apology, I love these ponies and could have stayed longer had it not been quite late in the day.
We headed off about 5pm after a jam-packed day of fun. I was really impressed with the festival, I think one of the best things about it was that your ticket price covered most things inside, so you could just say yes to most things the kids asked to do. We really did love our day at Geronimo and the kids are already asking when we can go back.
Next year, I hope!