We were fortunate enough to attend this year’s superb Geronimo Festival at Tatton Park in a very sunny Cheshire. It was a fun filled day which flowed nicely, with a diverse mix of events, activities and shows.
After reading several articles from unhappy visitors who went to the first ever Leeds event at Harewood House earlier in the month, we were a little anxious about making the trip the focus of our Bank Holiday Weekend but excited to take Little M to his first ever festival!
On the day, signage was a bit hit and miss near Tatton and directions on arrival were scarce. However on the plus side we arrived around midday and didn’t have to queue at all. Parking was £6, and we also got to drive through the fabulous grounds of Tatton Park which was great on such a glorious day had a great atmosphere.
The weather made a huge difference to our experience. At the Leeds Geronimo, the weather was horrible, and it apparently dampened spirits. In Cheshire, it was perfect, not too hot with a refreshing breeze. While there were several undercover areas, most of the primary activity was outdoors, including the main arena and main stage.
Once we were in, it was clear there was plenty to do. We had duly printed out our map and event timings from the website (which was a bit of a faff – I would have liked a professionally printed guide) and had a rough plan of things we wanted to see and do!
Our first stop was one of the craft tents. There were some inspirational creations, story sessions and a variety of activities. We started with this little bumble bee creation by Mrs M and Little M.
Little M then decided he would like us to make a clay caterpillar, which looking at the pre-made example and with my creative credentials was going to be an absolute breeze… If nothing else I learnt that I can’t model clay! Mrs M was very amused!
After this, we sat down to enjoy a little picnic. It was great that we could bring in our food and ‘pass out’ to the posh Tatton Toilets and car if needed. Mrs M also pointed out how good it was that the great mix of food and drink trailers were all positioned in one area separate from the other attractions, so parents aren’t pressured into ditching the picnic! After the picnic, we did enjoy a few treats from the ‘festival’ priced food and drink.
The big goal of our day was the Circus. Almost is everything is free once you’re inside the festival gates, so it was the perfect opportunity to try out new things, that perhaps you wouldn’t risk if you were paying for them separately. The Circus was our bonus for the day, but after queueing to get in for the penultimate show of the day, we were told that the tent was at capacity and that it was almost full 30 minutes before the show started.
We attempted the final show, aware that even though the weather was fantastic, it had been full at each performance. This time, we were the last to get in, and although we had prepped Little M, he was far from sure about entering this magical gateway. It was full, hot, loud and being pumped with atmospheric smoke. The atmosphere and anticipation were perfect… Little M hated it! So we quickly retreated outside!
Then there was the ‘Human Cannonball’. I quite liked him and until he set his canon on fire so did our ice cream eating Toddler (Thanks, Fireman Sam).
The IMP motorcycle display team seemed a bit grumpy that they had to park a long way from the arena, but did their thing. The Goose herding dogs appeared to be a little happier, but we didn’t watch anything properly apart from the ‘Horsemen of the Knight.’ These guys performed various impressive stunts at speed on some incredible horses. With great storytelling and plenty of action, these were excellent.
Little M isn’t a big follower of Cbeebies or CBBC, but I was keen to see Andy and his prehistoric stage show, which didn’t disappoint with a giant terrifying Dinosaur.
The best bit on the main stage that we caught were the dancing superheroes. Dressed as Batman, Spider-Man, Captain America and Bumblebee they performed Uptown Funk and a few other numbers and had us all showing our best moves!
For Little M, his highlight was the Helter Skelter and the fairground rides which all had fairly short waiting times.
He also enjoyed making a den, playing the outdoor musical instruments, watching the incredible African drummers, the giant walking giraffe and so much more.
That’s what was great about the festival; it had something for everyone at different ages. Our three year old could scout out the things he liked, try some new things and follow his flow. Even the little side shows and wondering performers all made sure we were never bored.
Arriving before midday, we left just before 6 pm and still had things we would like to have done.
Geronimo was packed with activity and entertainment, and although it’s an expensive family day out, it does cater perfectly for its target audience and will remain a highlight of our year. The only consideration as with any outdoor activity is how much fun would it have been if the weather hadn’t been so lovely!
Geronimo was packed with activity and entertainment, and although it’s an expensive family day out, it does cater perfectly for its target audience. The only consideration as with any outdoor activity is how much fun would it have been if the weather hadn’t been so lovely!
I would definitely go again, we made some great memories and enjoyed a fun, sunny and enjoyable family day out.