Funzy

A wet August Bank Holiday weekend made us search for indoor activities, especially ones which allowed Heidi to burn off some energy. We came across Funzy, which is Bradford’s newest attractions and thought that we would give it a go. This is what we found…

The basics

So, what is Funzy? Think of it as a huge bouncy castle with slides and climbing parts. That probably undersells it a little because it is also a bit like an obstacle course as well. There are bits to climb under and through and obstacles to avoid. There isn’t a set path and so if you just want to bounce, there is a flat part. If you just want to do the big slides, you can just do that.

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Layout of Funzy’s

You have to sign a waiver form before starting, but there isn’t anything considered dangerous in my opinion. However, with bouncing and physical exercise, there is clearly a health risk, especially with ankles and knees.

Age Range

Under 4’s are only allowed in the mini area and that feels right as the main area will be too big for them and they wouldn’t be able to do much. We had a pair of 5 year olds with us, and they got on absolutely fine with no help.  For children that age, you’re probably best to go on with them, just for support, especially as at the beginning. This is because it can feel a bit daunting at first.

Clothing

If you can, please dress as if you’re going for a work–out! It is energetic activity and if you end up following your child around, you will be hot and sweaty! There were people wearing jeans and I don’t know how they coped to be honest!!

Price

As at August 2018, it costs £9.95 for everyone aged 4 and over, with under  4’s costing £2.95 for an hour. An additional hour costs £5.95. Spectators are free of charge.

Unless you are super fit or your child has endless energy, you will not need the extra hour! It is really hard work and after an hour, you will have had enough. Check out the Funzy website to see if there are any online discount codes before turning up.

Facilities

There is a snack bar, lockers and toilets, as well as a seating area for spectators/recovery. The snack bar was decently priced, with 2 slushies and a can of coke costing less than £5. As you can see, the toilets are decent and there is enough room in the cubicles to be able to get changed. (I’m definitely not putting a photo of me getting changed!!)

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Funzy Toilets!

Location

The location is ideal really, with it being in the middle of Bradford, in the Leisure Exchange Centre. However, it is on the ground floor, downstairs from Cineworld. As a result, if you’re parking in the multi-story, try and park on the lower floors. There is loads of parking available, so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

If you want to make a day of it, I have a blog post about the Hollywood Bowl in Bradford, which is here.

Verdict

I’m writing this the morning after going to Funzy and whilst my legs ache, it is because it is a good workout. We had a really good time there and I am sure that we will be back, both with children and without! It is open 10am to 10pm and so trips after school in the evening are a possibility, All in all, Funzy is a really lively, fun place and hopefully it will be a great success going forward.

Continue reading Funzy

Bradford Ice Arena

One of my main weaknesses is my lack of co-ordination and balance (I’m 6ft 1in tall and not exactly slim!!) As a result, going ice skating isn’t something that I would normally do. This is especially given our last visit,  which you can read about here.

However, the lure of Frozen and a kiddie-friend get-together meant that ice skating was going to happen. However, with a new girlfriend (you can read about me dating here) who was eager to get on the ice (or eager to get away from me for an hour!) we joined the rest of the Kiddie Crew for a trip on the ice.

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Not sure the shades were needed!!

The Building

Truth be told, I didn’t actually do any ice skating, which meant that I was in peak blogging mode and seeing what would be good for a blog post!! From the outside, Bradford Ice Arena doesn’t look that appealing as it is a few floors up a 1970’s city centre office block. The lift was broken, so taking a pushchair up takes some effort. As the building is quite old, some of the interior is a bit aged, but this is made up by helpful and friendly staff.

Get there early!

We went to the Family Session, which is akin to a beginners session. As the weather outside wasn’t great, the place was very busy and there was a big queue to get in. As a result, arrive in plenty of time!!

You need to get your skates on after entering the arena and there is often a queue for that. As such, I would recommend arriving 30 minutes before the session. At worse, you are sat around watching the session before you.  There are loads of seats (they host ice hockey games there) so no problems on that front!

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The ice is over THERE!!!!

You can hire a penguin or snowman skating aid for a small charge. These are issued on a first come first served basis and you only have them for an hour (and they enforce that!). To be honest, after an hour, either you’ll have enough confidence to get rid of the aid, or you’ll have given up!!  For more advanced skaters, there are Disco sessions and General skating sessions. However. for little ones, the Family sessions are ideal.

There are a good number of friendly marshals on the ice. They are very good in looking after little ones who fall on the ice!

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For an adult and a 4 year old with a penguin aid, it cost £14. This seems like good value for almost 2 hours of fun, especially as it was so much better than last time!!


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Hollywood Bowl – Bradford

We were invited for the PR Launch of the refurbished Hollywood Bowl in Bradford and whilst the evening was geared towards the adult end of the market, there is plenty for families to enjoy. As such, here are 5 reasons to go:

Easy Access

If you park on Level 4 of the adjacent car park, you’re on the same level as Hollywood Bowl. This, coupled with a 100 yard walk, means it is ideal for families. There is step free access throughout so the venue is open for all. Follow the signs for Bradford Leisure Exchange (BD1 5LD)

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Step free access throughout

Bowling Shoes are not needed

If you’re in flat shoes, obviously, you don’t need to get changed! Obviously if you actually like the shoes, you can wear some, but you don’t need to!

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Bowling shoes never go out of fashion!

It looks cool

As some of the photos hopefully show, the lanes do look really cool and a little bit different to the old bowling lanes from the 1990’s

It is family friendly

There are bowling ramps between every 2 lanes and because it has just been refurbished, the toilets are of a decent size in case you’re still going into the toilets with a little one. Importantly, they offer a host service to the lanes and as such, they can bring drinks/food to the lane for you so you don’t have to stop the game.

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Nacho, Nacho man!!

There is more than just bowling

There is a Diner for snack meals and drinks as well as arcade machines to play on.  The arcade machines are split into 2 sections – one where you play for fun and one where you play for tickets which you can collect to get prizes

You can find more about the Bradford venue here https://www.hollywoodbowl.co.uk/our-centres/bradford  If you like the venue, they also do children’s birthday parties. Having seen the party area, it is importantly a little bit more secluded than the rest of the attraction, so it might be worth a visit if you’re planning a party!


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Odeon Luxe Leeds-Bradford

I was invited to the official opening of the Odeon Luxe Leeds-Bradford to watch “Murder on the Orient Express” in absolute luxury. I did keep more than half an eye as to how the venue would be suitable for a family evening out.

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View from the back row

The cinema itself is the first Odeon in England to have the “Luxe” treatment, with reclining seats, extending footrests and tables for each seat. One of the benefits of this is the extra legroom meaning that if little ones (or big ones!) have drunk too much, they can get out without the entire row having to stand up to let them out!

One thing we didn’t realise until the end of the film is that the seat arms move up. As such. it is possible to have a family hug in the spacious seats and still get all cosy!

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Yummy nachos!

The venue is quite isolated in terms of other attractions (there is only a curry house next door). However, there is an excellent snack bar/restaurant on site serving traditional snacks such as nachos, pizzas and hot dogs. Above and below are a few pictures of the food that we were given to sample!

Of course, there are other snacks available including child-focused slushy machines and the cinema favourite, popcorn! I can confirm that it is a challenge to eat a box of popcorn during a film. However. they do taste just as nice the following day!!

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The facilities are top notch, including the toilets, as the venue has been rebuilt. If you’re still at the stage of taking your children to the toilet, there is plenty of space and more importantly, very clean.

All in all, it is really good to see a national brand invest in the region. The venue really raises the bar in terms of what is expected of the cinema experience and is perfect for an evening night out for all the family.

For more information about what’s on and special offers at the Odeon Luxe, go to: http://www.odeon.co.uk/cinemas/leeds_bradford/103/

Full disclosure: I received 2 tickets to the film/event for the purposes of this review. However, no influence has been made as to the content.


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