We are just home from the BBC Summer Social at Croxteth Park, Liverpool and I am shattered! We had an absolutely brilliant day and there would definitely be enough for us to return tomorrow without getting bored. The girls fell asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow and I don’t think I’ll be far behind! So let me tell you what we thought.
This is the second year for the festival and fingers crossed it will return next year. There are so many amazing family festivals to try but, if you are a bit wary about going the whole hog and booking a full on weekend under canvas, you can’t go wrong with a day ticket. Either you have a ball and you take the plunge with a weekend ticket next time or you find it isn’t your cup of tea, call it quits at the end of the day and know better next time and we think that the Summer Social is the perfect place to start your family festival stories. Here’s our top tips if you’re attending tomorrow:
- Getting there: Car parks open at 9am and the event will open at 10am. Traffic was a bit of a nightmare this morning so leave plenty of time if you want to be there to see the opening acts. In the end we decided that the girls and I would get out and walk whilst Mr L parked. If you do the same, make sure you arrange to meet at the same entrance. Obvious but there are two (that’s 30 minutes of our lives we’ll never get back ☹ !) On the plus side; getting out at the end of the day was easy peasy but we didn’t leave the site until the gates were closing so that might have had something to do with it.
- Acts and Activities: Each of the stages and areas has a full programme of acts so if there is something you are really keen to see get there early or set an alarm so you don’t get caught somewhere else and miss it. We particularly loved the Science Museum Demonstration, The Worst Witch performance and BUSTED (OK- that might have just been me!) All the details are on line and posted around the site or you can buy a lanyard with all of the details. The Sports Arena has cricket, rugby and football sessions which you can sign up to attend across the day. The cycling, netball and tennis are all first come first served.
- Food and Drink: Take snacks as an absolute minimum but a picnic is a winner. There are some strict rules on bag sizes and what can be taken into the festival site and, due to the sheer volume of picnics the girls have had this week alone we decided we’d go with the street food option…Not one of our finest moments! The food offer was really good quality but it is festival prices (£8 for a pizza) and I think they needed a few more stands to cut down on the waiting times. A 50 minute wait for a pizza is a pain and really cuts into the time you could be watching the main stage or doing any of the other activities. There are water refill stations across the site so don’t forget your water bottles as only 1 soft drink is allowed past security per person and strict bag checks are in operation. Check the website for further info.
- Amazing inflatables: One of the things we enjoyed the most today was the MASSIVE inflatable assault course the Labyrinth Challenge. This is one of the furthest points of the festival site so heads there first or last to avoid the queues. NB- You need to be 120cm to have a go and you need socks too. I was wearing a cami and really wanted to beat Mr L so if you are in the business of looking chic, dignified and in control, you might want to hold the bags but if you have a bit of joie de vivre you’ll love it!
- Free Fairground rides: This is a real bonus- all rides such as the dodgems, the swinging chairs the fun house and the glitter face paints are FREE (or included in the ticket price anyway!!) We really enjoyed these and it felt like a nice bonus that you didn’t need to put your hand in your pocket for them. On the other hand, hook a duck and the shooting games aren’t free so beware before you queue!
The Summer Social is a fairly small, manageable event with something for all members of the family to enjoy and I reckon we will definitely head back if the BBC brings it back to Liverpool next year.
Oh…one last thing; as I type, it is raining again so make sure you pack the wellies as well as the sun screen for tomorrow. Enjoy!