Geronimo Festival 2017

Prior to visiting Geronimo Festival we had never been to a children’s festival before, and for that reason I wasn’t really sure what to expect! Although the festival ran from Saturday to Monday, due to it being Harry’s birthday weekend we decided to visit on the Monday, and the children were very excited!

Based at Arley Hall, Cheshire, we were pleased to find that the venue was well signposted and we were able to park easily. I  was a little disappointed to discover that there was a £10 parking charge on arrival which, considering the price of the tickets, I would have expected to be included.

After a misunderstanding at the entrance where we were told our tickets were invalid (it turned out that she had scanned the wrong tickets!), we finally made it into the festival and were directed to a tent where we were given free samples of sun cream, rice cakes and magazines for the children. I thought that this was a really great idea!

I had imagined that the festival would be bustling with excitement, lots of music and things to do, but our initial reaction was a little under whelming.

Our first stop was a donkey ride and, after waiting patiently in the queue, the children finally took their turn. Megan would have been quite happy to stay on that donkey all day long, her little face was adorable!

Unfortunately, just a minute later when their turn was over, Harry really wasn’t very happy at all!

We soon cheered him up with a ferret race, a game where you had to crawl through a tunnel to beat the ferret. I’m not sure if he really won or not, those ferrets are fast, but the stall owner gave him a prize and he was over the moon with that!

Despite the lovely weather that weekend, the Monday was rather wet and dull, but luckily we found places to shelter and each tent had something different to entertain the children.

We had been looking forward to the Horseman of the knight show, and got to the arena early to watch. Unfortunately the speaker system was not working on the day, meaning that we couldn’t hear the commentary, and with the majority of people losing interest and leaving, the show fell a little flat.

Feeling a little let down by what we had seen of the festival so far, we decided to head over to the fairground, the part that the children had been the most excited for. Regardless of any other attractions, I knew that the children would be in their element on the fair rides and even the wet weather wouldn’t spoilt their fun!

After queuing for twenty minutes for the first ride, which is never fun with three little ones, we got to the front of the queue to be told that our wrist bands didn’t cover the fair ground rides and that we would have to purchase our tickets separately at the cost of £1 per child, and the same per adult to accompany them on the rides as they were too small to ride alone!

After having to fork out for the tickets, we got back in the queue, endured another twenty minute wait, and although I was feeling more than a little bit fed up by this point, I can’t deny that the children enjoyed it!

Luckily the queues had died down a little for some of the rides and the children loved every moment. The carousel has always been their favourite ride and mine too, and I loved sharing those moments with them.

Due to the fact that each ride cost us £4, and none ran for more than a couple of minutes, we couldn’t spent the whole day on the fair, and so convinced the children to check out the other attractions to break things up a little.

We were lucky to catch the dinosaur show, where a human operated dinosaur wandered around the crowd, much to the children’s squeals of delight – and fear!

Harry was over the moon to get to ride a real life “binosaur”, which was definitely the highlight of his day, or even his year!

Unfortunately a couple of the attractions were a little too old for the children but they did look like fun.

By lunch time the children were starving, and having never been before we assumed that it would be easier to buy something to eat there – how wrong we were! For the five of us, lunch cost £50 and, although I appreciate that food tends to be expensive at these events, given the fact that we had just a small portion of fast food and a drink, it did seem a little over priced.

After heading to the main stage to watch a show whilst we ate our lunch, we were looking forward to some of the big names we had seen advertised. Unfortunately it appeared that all of the main acts were on over the weekend and instead we sat and listened to Peppa Pig singing nursery rhymes and a two man Bollywood dancing show.

With just a small audience, and very little atmosphere of any kind, the children seemed rather fed up. I’m not sure if the weather had kept people away, or perhaps some of the acts had packed up and left once the weekend was over, but either way I had expected more in the way of entertainment.

There were parts of the festival that the children really enjoyed, one of our favourite being the bubble display. The children were amazed by the smoke bubbles and particularly enjoyed stomping all over them!

Megan was very excited that she was able to have a turn of the bubble guns, and it was lovely to see the children enjoying themselves.

The children were also able to play with hoola hoops and there was a lot of laughter from Gaz and I as we watched them trying to swing their hips!

One of my biggest bug bears with the festival was that the map was very basic, and it was impossible to know where everything was! We found ourselves walking around aimlessly at times and it was only afterwards when we returned home that we realised we had missed a couple of things further out of the main arena. I think had the map been clearer we would have been able to plan our day much easier.

I hate to be negative about any event, I appreciate that something like this must have taken a huge amount of planning and hard work. And I also know that having spoken to other bloggers who visited the festival for the full weekend, their experiences were very different. For that reason I can’t help but wonder whether it was simply a case of us attending on the wrong day which is unfortunate, but also disappointing, as I believe that if an event runs across three dates, every date should provide the same experience.

And although our day at Geronimo wasn’t quite what we had imagined, children are very good at forgetting the negatives and focusing on the positives. Even now, two weeks later, the children are talking about the Helter Skelter, even if I’m still begrudging the £12 it cost me for them to go on it!

Would I return to Geronimo? I’m still undecided. I think if we did go back I would avoid the Monday, give the weekend dates a try, and be sure to pack a very large picnic!!

For a review of the Saturday/Sunday please do pop over to my lovely friend Louise’s blog who loved the festival so much she hailed it the best festival we’ve ever taken the kids to!

 

 

 

 

 

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We received passes to Geronimo for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are my own.

49 Comments

  1. June 14, 2017 / 8:25 am

    I’m sorry to hear the day wasn’t as you expected. It sounds like there were a lot of unexpected costs, which they really could have made you aware of before going. And £50 for lunch seems ridiculous. Thank you for giving an honest review.

    I think my little one would have adored the bubble display too. I’m glad your little ones have forgotten the negatives of their day.

    • Laura Dove
      June 14, 2017 / 4:18 pm

      Thanks Debbie. It just wasn’t anything like I expected it to be. I thought it would be this huge, atmospheric event full of hustle and bustle, and it was just so quiet and not in a good way! I would love to try it on a different day next year as I do think the other days were better. xx

  2. June 14, 2017 / 10:03 am

    Sounds like a mixed experience; like you say it could just be that you went on the wrong day. Although tbh, the amount you fork out for these things you should expect every day of it to be awesome. The ferret racing bit made me laugh though, I think my girls would love that!

    • Laura Dove
      June 14, 2017 / 4:15 pm

      Yes that was my opinion too, you pay so much for these days out, you at least expect things to be included when you get in there! The ferret racing was a new experience, the kids loved it! xx

  3. June 14, 2017 / 10:18 am

    It does sound like a very mixed day and I think I would have been disappointed in the price of the food. Picnics are the way forward. I am sorry it did not meet your expectations x

    • Laura Dove
      June 14, 2017 / 4:14 pm

      Thanks Cathy. The kids didn’t mind, they never do, do they? They had fun on the rides, it just cost us a fortune!! xx

  4. June 14, 2017 / 10:43 am

    Ahhhh what a lovely day out we would love to go to this one year a little far from where we live but one day maybe!

    • Laura Dove
      June 14, 2017 / 4:14 pm

      We were so disappointed with it, but I think the Saturday and the Sunday were much better days. xx

  5. June 14, 2017 / 2:58 pm

    This is such an interactive park for kids! I also want to ride on a pony. I am sure the kids would have had lot of fun!

    • Laura Dove
      June 14, 2017 / 4:13 pm

      My kids love a pony ride, sadly no adults allowed! xx

  6. June 14, 2017 / 7:15 pm

    Ah that’s a shame! i think you have every right to feel disappointed-I would have too. We went to Just so festival last summer which we enjoyed-maybe one to try?

    • Laura Dove
      June 15, 2017 / 1:12 pm

      Oh I’ve had lots of recommendations to that festival!! I’m going to look into it – thank you! xx

  7. June 14, 2017 / 9:05 pm

    Wow! The rides are so expensive! It would broke me for sure. I’m glad the kids have had a gone time though. Xx

  8. June 14, 2017 / 9:33 pm

    £50 for lunch is more expensive than Glastonbury! And it’s good food there too.

    • Laura Dove
      June 15, 2017 / 1:10 pm

      Yes that’s what I thought, you expect it to be a little expensive but not that much! xx

  9. June 15, 2017 / 7:18 am

    hmmm sounds like it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be although as you say it could have been the weather and the monday which is a shame! It always astounds me how they can get away with charging for absolutely everything, makes you wonder what the ticket is even for!

    • Laura Dove
      June 15, 2017 / 1:07 pm

      I know!! When the fair is listed as an attraction you kind of assume it’s included!! There was nothing to suggest it wasn’t until we got to the front of the queue! xx

  10. June 15, 2017 / 3:58 pm

    It sounds like such a disappointing day although there were a few positives. I think I’d be livid after the expense of the tickets and parking to then have to pay for each ride. Glad the kids had a good time at least.

    V ❤️

    • Laura Dove
      June 16, 2017 / 6:48 pm

      Yep Vicky that was a real annoyance!! Especially to have to pay for each adult to accompany them too! xx

  11. Ali Rost
    June 15, 2017 / 5:38 pm

    I know how you feel. When my kids were little, we went to a few different things like this and they really could be hit or miss. Certainly there were little bits of the days that were fun, but I sometimes left with an overall sense that I wished for it to be better. Oh well .. it takes days like this to teach (all of us) that there is good and bad in everything x

    • Laura Dove
      June 16, 2017 / 6:48 pm

      It’s hard isn’t it with kids stuff as, although they are enjoying parts of it, you do have to weigh up whether it was worth the expense! It feels like a lot of the time it’s really not!

  12. June 15, 2017 / 8:26 pm

    Sounds like a little on the expensive side considering the cost of tickets and then parking.

    • Laura Dove
      June 16, 2017 / 6:38 pm

      Yeah I think adding on parking charges like that is a little rough! xx

  13. June 15, 2017 / 8:37 pm

    This is a really honest review hun with some real pros and cons. I definitely think all the extras are a bit naughty and all acts should be on over the whole 3 days. Saying that the kids did look like they had fun!! Thanks for sharing wth #bestandworst

    • Laura Dove
      June 16, 2017 / 6:38 pm

      Thank you, I couldn’t have glossed over the things that we weren’t happy with, it was a disappointment. That said the kids did enjoy parts of it and I think that other bloggers had a great experience on the other days, just bad timing for us! xx

  14. June 15, 2017 / 8:37 pm

    It really annoys me when venues charge extra when you have paid a fortune for tickets. I think I would have been disappointed if we had attended

    • Laura Dove
      June 16, 2017 / 6:37 pm

      Me too Kara. The fairground wasn’t even that great, but I’d have been much happier had the rides been included so the kids could have gone on over and over, there wasn’t much else to do! xx

  15. June 15, 2017 / 9:22 pm

    I have never been to a festival before but it is such a shame most of the acts were not on, if it is advertised as a full weekend event then they should be on all weekend. £50 for takeaway lunch seems crazy expensive and you would have expected car parking to be included in the ticket price. It sounds like your children enjoyed themselves though and your photos are fab xx

    • Laura Dove
      June 16, 2017 / 6:36 pm

      I agree, a two day event would have been much better received I think given by the other views I’ve heard. We would go again on one of the first days but I would definitely be taking a picnic!!! xx

  16. June 16, 2017 / 3:15 pm

    It looks like a very interesting day. Some of it looks like it was cool. I liked the night. Sorry that it wasn’t all you hoped it would be.

    • Laura Dove
      June 16, 2017 / 6:29 pm

      I think that we were there on the wrong day, it wasn’t the organisers fault that some of the acts left early, but perhaps a two day event would be better next year! xx

  17. June 16, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    Such a shame! I think parking and rides should have been included in the ticket prices and the organisers should have been more honest with their schedule for each day so that tickets can be booked accordingly 🙁

    • Laura Dove
      June 16, 2017 / 8:14 pm

      I do too, or at least made it very clear that the funfair wasn’t included! xx

  18. June 16, 2017 / 9:42 pm

    Oh no that’s such a shame. I would hate to pay those prices for food and the funfair. It sounds like you went on a really bad day. There should definitely be constant entertainment. 🙁 At least the little ones remember some of the good stuff though. xx

    • Laura Dove
      June 17, 2017 / 6:47 pm

      Yes I agree, if an event is a three day affair then make sure every day is to the same standard. It’s really disappointing but the kids did enjoy it in part. xx

  19. June 17, 2017 / 6:16 pm

    That’s a crazy amount of money for lunch! Such a shame it wasn’t as good as you were expecting, looks like it’s one of those events that could be amazing if they made a few changes xx

    • Laura Dove
      June 17, 2017 / 6:43 pm

      Yes I agree, make all three days to the same standard and I’m sure we would have had an amazing time! xx

  20. June 18, 2017 / 3:04 pm

    I think is a little ridiculous that they make you pay for parking and rides, should this not be included in the ticket? Also how insane that food came to £50, shame that performances were underwhelming, I am guessing that the weekend would have been better but it would make sense to make all the days at the same standard right? x

    • Laura Dove
      June 18, 2017 / 7:59 pm

      Yeah I totally agree. I feel sad that we went on the wrong day but it can’t be helped, the kids enjoyed the rides and the bubbles so all wasn’t lost! xx

  21. Natalie
    June 18, 2017 / 6:30 pm

    It’s refreshing to read a nice honest review… and £50 for lunch!! X

    • Laura Dove
      June 18, 2017 / 7:58 pm

      Thanks Natalie, yep – I’d be wanting 3 courses each for that! xx

  22. Rachel
    June 18, 2017 / 8:12 pm

    It does look like a great day out but it’s a shame you didn’t have the best experience. Forking out for additional costs is never great – Can’t get over how much lunch was! xo

    • Laura Dove
      June 18, 2017 / 8:13 pm

      I know! Nor me! Luckily we had been gifted the tickets but for those who hadn’t what an expensive day it was! xx

  23. June 19, 2017 / 1:43 pm

    Great review – it’s good to know the full story with these places. Personally, it drives me crazy to have to pay extra for rides after paying an admission fee. The ferret race is adorable though! Thank you for sharing with us at #BloggerClubUK x

    • Laura Dove
      June 20, 2017 / 9:00 am

      I agree, especially when they haven’t made that clear beforehand. xx

  24. July 2, 2017 / 10:50 am

    Grat pictures! I love the one with ferrets especially! such great fun. 4£ per ride is quite expensive when you have to consider spending for more than one kid and sure they would want to go on everything! 🙂 But definitely a great day out if we plan carefully with the budget and food! 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      July 2, 2017 / 6:42 pm

      The ferret racing was so much fun! Just a shame it wasn’t quite what we were expecting! xx

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