We are trying to make the most of everyday of the holidays despite the rather grey, damp and slightly dismal weather we are getting so far.
To escape the rain we headed to the cinema, a pricey, but good fall back activity when the weather isn’t so good. We packed a picnic too to give us options of what to do and where to go after the film had finished.
* Handy tip – to keep costs down, we called in at Aldi on the way for treats – popcorn, chocolate and sweets for 6 kids (ok, and me too!) was under a tenner rather than in the region of £30 it would’ve been to get the same stuff at the cinema.
We decide on Vue cinema at Kirstall, I’d not been to this one for ages, and it being on a complex with other things such as bowling and offering loads of different options of places to eat such as Macdonalds , Nando’s, Pizza Hut, Frankie & Bennys and many more, so should the picnic idea not work out (no relying on the WEATHER!!), we could still grab something to eat.
It wasn’t as busy as I expected which was good. What I didn’t like though is that you had to get your tickets at the same kiosk as where you purchase food. A good marketing ploy I know, but it also meant queuing times increased as families with indecisive kids (lol) sorted out food orders. It also meant it allowed pester power to ensue as the kids were faced with options of more chocolate, more sweets, more drinks.
But, it was good customer service. I told the server the number of adults and kids, and she quickly worked out the best price deal she could, you also chose where you would sit and the seat numbers booked to you before you went it.
The cinema was clean, seats were comfy so we settled down for a couple of ours of Minion entertainment!
Toilets however were back in the main lobby, so a bit of a trip back a few times with the kids.
The weather had improved a little, still drizzly, not very warm, but onwards and upwards – we decided to head to Kirstall Abbey just down the road.
There is free parking just across the road next to a small playground, and there is Abbey House Museum too which is worth a visit (but something for another day).
I always enjoy Kirstall Abbey, lots of history, lots of green space, a bit of a path round too so ok for bikes, scooters and pushchairs.
The kids made the most of the ruins – climbing, jumping, running round (not 100% sure if this is allowed, but you try and keep 6 kids from scrambling over walls, rocks etc – impossible).
The kids happily ate sandwiches before taking themselves off again on scooters to explore a bit more.
There were plenty of other families, and games were taking place on the grassy areas around us. We firmly planted ourselves on a bench, under a tree which gave adequate shelter from the rain (you know, in the immortal words of Peter Kaye, that fine stuff that gets you really wet).
There is the visitors centre there with a charming gift shop. You can get activity sheets and pencils – great for the older kids to keep them occupied as you wander round.
But to be honest, they were more than happy just exploring the different ‘rooms’, hiding places, columns to stand on, tunnels to run through, corners to peek round.
Had it yet again not been for the wet weather, we could quite happily have spent all afternoon there, and will return again and a dryer day.