moscow-state-circus-review-feature

We are going to the Circus! – The Moscow State Circus #Review

What a great start of our half term holidays we had on Saturday visiting the Moscow State Circus at Event City in Manchester. We were kindly invited to review the show. It was a fun family experience indeed.

It had been ages since I went to the circus. Actually, my mum who is visiting us from Barcelona, told me that the first time they took me I was only one year old, just the same age as our little boy now. On Saturday morning we went to the box office to collect the tickets.  We were assigned the Grandstand area, which gave us a good view of the stage. But I would say, if possible, get the VIP ringside seats, you will be just in front and have more chances to engage with the artists.

opening-moscow-state-circus

Our 5 year old was super excited! We didn’t know what to expect since we had never been in a circus in UK before, but it definitely exceeded our expectations. We got there 45 minutes before the show since our seats weren’t numbered. Our day had been full of things from very early in the morning so we kind of had to rush a bit to get to Event City. Luckily for us this is quite local and we had no problem finding it. They also have parking available, if not right next to it, at intu Trafford Centre, the Barton Square area. We decided to leave the pushchair inside the car, but we could have actually taken it with us since they have a space where you can leave them.

Before the show starts you have some time to hang out at the cafeteria and get some snacks.  We had some popcorn and a couple of drinks for 8 pounds. J wanted us to buy some cotton candy but we thought that was going to be too much “excitement” for her! You know the show is soon to start cause it gets crowded and people start to line up. When they let you in you feel like sardines in a can but once you go inside it clears out and you are able to get the most convenient seats for you.

clown-stage-moscow-state-circus

Finally we got them! at the top, right in front of the stage. Our little J had a crisis of “OMG I Ccircus quoteAN’T SEE ANYTHING!!” she started crying and we had to change seats with her I can’t recall how many times… the truth is that she could see the stage perfectly but for some reason she just panicked. All that went away when the clown entered the stage. She loved it! Definitely her favourite one of all the artists.  She loved it so much that at the end of the show she told us she wanted to marry him. Oh well, another one to add to her long list of candidates! haha…

 

The performances were outstanding. All of us, adults and children, were amazed at all the things they could do. They challenged gravity in the most creative ways. It was all well thought and organised cause in between you would always have little acts with the clown who would make sure that everyone had a good laugh. The best parts were when he would be looking for volunteers to go up to the stage with him and do something. So get ready, if you go, you could be the next one playing clowns! lol

walking-moscow-state-circus

We had a 20 minutes break in the middle of the show, which is good for the little ones cause the show lasts for about a couple of hours. Little E needed to have a nappy change so Sam took him to the baby changing area, which was right outside in some facilities they had arranged for families. They were clean and well looked after, so that’s a plus if you go with children.

j-smile-moscow-state-circus

The second half of the show will leave you with the mouths opened for sure. Everyone was in awe and we can definitely say the artists deserved the final big applause they received from all the audience. My favourite part was the woman who did all sorts of acrobatics inside a sphere representing like she was up in the moon, with “Hijo de la Luna” (Son of the Moon) a Mecano’s song, playing in the background. I love that Spanish group from the 90’s and that’s a beautiful song. As soon as J heard it she turned around and said to me “Mum! That’s Spanish! Probably that girl (the artist) speaks Spanish!” haha…so cute. I was happy she could recognise one of the 3 languages she speaks.

moon-moscow-state-circus

We can definitely say that the Moscow State Circus was a great family experience. Everyone enjoyed themselves. My recommendation if you have young children is to get the early session so they don’t feel that tired at the end. But even our 1 year old loved it! He clapped along with everyone and danced on his seat with the music. Our 5 year old wanted to meet the clown, but we had to leave that for another occasion. As for us, adults, can say that we were quite surprised and astonished with the show. You enjoy 2 hours of performances but if you think about it -can you imagine how many hours of training they must go through?!- That is just a prove to me that nothing is impossible if we work hard enough to achieve it. Just like they did! The Moscow State Circus.

moscow-state-circus-night

“Moscow, Moscow Join us for a casatchok, We’ll be dancing ’round the clock, Ha ha ha ha ha Hey!”

final-moscow-state-circus

You are still on time to see them! They will be at Event City, Manchester, until Sunday 26th February. Visit their website to choose the best option to buy the tickets.

**Tickets were given to us for the purpose of this review but all our opinions are genuine and our own.

 

christmas-market-feature

Visiting Manchester Christmas Market with kids

Even though we are on our 4th year since moving to UK we have never thought of going to the so well-known Manchester Christmas Market, let alone going with the kids. So we decided that this year would be different and taking advantage that we had family staying with us over the weekend we decided to give it a try. It is always a good excuse to go when you have someone who is not local.

Let us share our experience with you and maybe you can get some tips so that if you decide to visit you can make the most out of it.

Because we live 20 minutes drive from the centre we went by car, but usually the most affordable way of going is by Metrolink. If you’re travelling with the family they have a family ticket you can get, which I think goes around £6 for a day travel card (2 adults + 3 children) which is really good. So as I said, we drove there cause it was just more convenient for us, but unfortunately we had to spend a bit too much on parking. It was raining and to be honest, I wasn’t in the mood to walk 20 minutes so I could get a better price. Sometimes it’s worth doing it if you’re with little ones and you know they will get tired easily.

Before going I checked their website and saved their Manchester Christmas Market trail map.

market-trail-map

It is quite useful cause then you know which areas you want to skip and which not. As I said, we were with family on that day so we decided to start our little tour on Albert Square. There it has the main concentration of food stalls, some crafts, and yummy hot chocolates., AND the giant Santa! The lights, the atmosphere, always busy on a Saturday, so you need to be very careful with the kids. I didn’t let my 5 year old go for a second. As soon as she started smelling the frankfurts, burgers, etc and “begging” to try some of it we took off and went somewhere else. haha.. it’s not we’re stingy, but we weren’t going to spend 10 pounds per head on food on that day. I was ready with some snacks that I had brought from home. 🙂

albert-square-christmas-market-bw

We walked down Market street, all the way up to Cathedral Gardens, where you can find the family friendly area.

No alcohol allowed, more space to walk around and a few rides the kids can go. Also they have an ice rink. You can find exact prices on the website but it goes around £10 for an adult, £7 something for an under 14, for a 45 minutes session.  Rides are usually 2 tokens and each token equals 1 pound. You can get them from the Ice Rink ticket office too. We weren’t that lucky on that day cause a couple of rides weren’t working but J had some fun at a little train.

christmas-market-family-area

Oh well! As usual, anywhere you go, if you’re accompanied with the right people it doesn’t matter that much so we can say our day out was lovely. J enjoyed herself quite a bit, and we all had a nice walk around the market, which for the first time for us we went intentionally, and not just by accident! Probably locals and frequent attenders must think we missed many things but for our little family of 4 with 2 under 5’s was more than enough for a first visit 🙂

**We’ve got really cool pics of the day on our Instagram account. Don’t forget to pop by and follow us there too** 🙂 

Goldilocks and the three bears with Northern Ballet #fdMiniCritic Review

Last weekend we had the amazing opportunity to experience our first live ballet watching the Northern Ballet play Goldilocks and the three bears.

First Direct, sponsors of the Northern Ballet, helped us be completely ready for the event by sending to us a special box full of lovely items so we could have our own picnic at home just as Goldilocks!  When J saw everything that was in it she got super excited! So we did enjoyed a great meal at home and talked about the story we were going to see later on.

picnic box goldilocks and the three bears

J’s first thoughts after reading that tale to her were:

-Mummy! I don’t think Goldilocks is behaving too good…you cannot go into other people’s houses and steal their food!

Haha…oh well…at least she knows that that is something you’re not supposed to do..

picnic at home goldilocks and the three bears

So we finished our tasty lunch and got in the car and drove all the way up to Leeds, to the Stanley and Audrey Theatre, first time for us, by the way. As soon as we arrived we joined the Craft activities that they held in one of the rooms where you could make your own goldilocks or bear mask.

little bear

This little bear had a snout too..just went missing at some point.

J decided she wanted to try goldilocks while E became a little cutie bear. The atmosphere was busy, full of parents and kids running around, everyone seemed quite excited, our little ones blended quite well.  As soon as we went into the theatre our little princess got more than excited and started literally jumping off her seat! Then the lights on the stage turned on and the three bears’ kitchen was there. J turned out to me and yelled:

-Look mummy! They have a table and food just like in the story!! I am so so excited!

The three bears appeared and the small orchestra started playing the music in the background. I must say that we were all quite surprised seeing how well the dancers interpreted the story and no words were necessary to put emotion and entertainment to this well-known tale.

During the show our little princess made up her mind and decided which one was her favourite character of all, she said:

-I love the little bear, mummy! I think I wanna marry him.. 🙂

Yes, our cutie is such a romantic girl that anytime she likes someone she wants to “marry” that person, so so far she’s already been iron man’s wife, captain america’s, a friend of ours, a famous singer…oh! yeah, and a power ranger… and now we can add little bear to the list. I know someone will have a lot of work to do when she grows up!

Anyway, after the show was over we had the opportunity to visit the backstage and see all the bibs and bobs that made the play possible. A lot of hard work, uncountable hours and plenty of creativity are done behind the curtains. See all these pictures!

stage prop northern ballet

Did you know all the items are stuck to each other so nothing falls off when transporting!

stage pushing northern ballet

Too heavy for these #fdMiniCritics!

backstage tour goldilocks and the three bears northern ballet

He is not Goldilocks…promise! lol (just the kind technician that showed us around)

We were quite pleased with all the experience and went off with a happy 5 year old and a tired 8 months old baby boy. She loved it and of course, since she knew she was going to be a #fdMiniCritic, took the role very seriously and wrote her own notes!

at the theatre goldilocks and the three bears northern ballet

I’ve just helped “translating” all that in to this post, but on this occasion she’s been our special reviewer for the event! 😉

You can read not only our #fdminicritic review but the other families too here!

*We were sent out  the picnic box and invited to attend the event for the purpose of this review but opinions have been genuine and our own.

 

Have you got sunshine in your pocket? Trolls #MovieReview

If you’ve been reading us for a while you already know that we are movie and series lovers! So we’ve thought on sharing some of our love for movies with you on our #moviereview posts!

Better than talking just about the movie we want to share with you what we’ve learnt from it, cause you know, there’s always a life lesson that you can put into practise if you watch and listen carefully to it. Just like we did for Alice through the looking glass movie.

Oh by the way, our little disclaimer here, we haven’t been “lucky” enough for anyone to give us free tickets to the cinema so our review is just for the pleasure of it, and hopefully you will find it useful too.  If, by any chance, we would be invited to review something we will add our usual disclaimer 😉

trolls-2016-movie-review

So…which movie have we chosen this time? If you’ve got little ones and have a sticky memory for soundtracks you already guessed it..yep, Trolls, the last animation movie from Dreamworks. I’m not going to spoil you with any details, but you can expect lots of cool songs, old and new, good sense of humour for little ones AND grown-ups and very colourful, energetic characters. It is one of those films that everyone can enjoy.

What did we learn from the trolls?

These little cute creatures live in the forest in a state of never ending happiness, while the Bergens are these grumpy beings that don’t know how to be happy until they find out that if they eat a troll they will experience “true happiness”.

trolls movie review

In the beginning of this week I was thinking about this post, about how I was going to tell you how to be happy, cause you know, I was feeling happy myself, and thought yeah! maybe this will help someone…OK now I know that I am the one that needed this post the most. For various reasons I felt more than justified to feel as “grumpy” or even as sad as the Bergens. Thinking to myself, oh, if hubby had another type of job, or oh! if I could have someone to help me with the house chores, or If I could feel less tired… I didn’t realise then I was looking for my “troll” to experience “true happiness” Thinking that if I only had “that thing” I would be able to know what happiness feels like.

If you see the movie, you will understand that the trolls don’t live on a state of never ending happiness, they live on a state of never ending good attitude. The way how we react to things, how we face the challenges of life will make us find sunshine in our pockets, or empty dirty pockets. It is up to us. I can say that as for today, I have been able to find sunshine, while watching my kids laugh, and me laughing with them, while getting excited with hubby watching one of the last episodes of a series we are hooked at or just appreciating that I no longer have back pain any more.

There is sunshine in your pockets, you can’t stop the feeling, so just dance dance dance…

Just like our little J at this kids flashmob:

(created by Z-arts during half term holidays, at Manchester Printworks. )

 

**If you’ve liked this post don’t forget to give us a shout on our Facebook Page, or tweet us a Hi! OR even get a little bit nosier and sneak on our Instagram 😀