Monday, 20 February 2012

The Quays Open Day & BBC Children's Big Birthday Bash

Hot on the heels of our Manchester mini-break we crossed the border into Salford on Saturday to wish Children's BBC a very happy 10th birthday and see what 'The Quays Open Day' had to offer.

Our plan was to watch The Chinese State Circus warm up in the Lyric Theatre from 12.00pm - 1.00pm. Watch the '6ft animatronic Stegosaurus in its own Jurassic setting' in The Lowry Outlet Mall at 1.30pm, do the 'Unlocking Salford Quays Tour' at 2.30pm and in between dip into the Children's BBC Big Birthday Bash at MediaCityUK.

A very good plan!

But like all good plans, sometimes they go a bit wrong.

Arriving at 12.30pm we saw a whole 30 seconds of a small Chinese girl balancing on the top of someones head before being ushered out of the theatre. Boooo!

Never mind - we hooked up with some friends with small children and headed for Children's BBC. I love the development down at Salford Quays. The sky was blue and The Quays never looked more impressive.

30,000 people applied for the ticketed events, so it was hardly surprising that we weren't successful. The queues were long, but the kids were given lots of freebies. It's amazing how happy a balloon and a packet of crayons can make a four year old!

While I didn't see Mr Tumble (I think someone had tipped him off that I was going to be there - so he'd gone into hiding) I did see Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton, who is like a beautiful tiny little porcelain doll. I found it really hard to believe that this was the same person who had canoed the Amazon and walked to the South Pole. Hats off to her, she's clearly an extremely determined and very special young lady. I think I might have a bit of a crush!

I also saw Hacker the Dog (from Wigan) and his half brother Dodge!

And my second (and third) Dalek of the weekend along with The Tardis!

Leaving our friends behind in the queue for the face painting, we headed off in search of dinosaurs. It was raining by now and we weren't the only ones on the hunt for Dino.

It wasn't the best view - there weren't any vantage points and Tris refused to let me sit on his shoulders. I had an idea. Go up to the next level and then back down on the escalator just behind the crowd. It was a bit left field, but I thought it might just work.

It didn't - and as I was moving at speed, the photo isn't even in focus!

Denied a dinosaur we canned the 'Unlocking Salford Quays Tour' and did what any nice newlywed couple would do - we bought a tea infuser and headed home.

All in all, a bit mixed but good fun, free and right on our doorstep.

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