“Look, Mr. Bloom is here!” I let out an excited scream. I don’t know who is more delighted to see Mr Bloom, my son or me. We are in the meet and greet queue as Mr Bloom from CBeebies makes his way to his fans.
It is Bank Holiday Monday, and we have driven down to Tatton Park in leafy Cheshire to visit Geronimo, the fabulous family festival. It is our first time at Geronimo, and we are looking forward to experiencing all that it offers.
Arriving at the VIP tent, we get our colourful lanyards with a map and details of all that’s happening at the festival. A quick browse helps us decide on a few must-dos; meeting Mr Bloom is one of them.
We start off with a donkey ride for J. It is not often my son sits astride a four-legged animal with such aplomb. I am honestly surprised by the confidence on display and the complete lack of whingeing. He comes off the donkey and immediately decides he is hungry. We have packed a picnic, but the weather is not great. So we settle inside the VIP tent on comfy sofas to munch on our sandwiches and wait for Mr Bloom to make an appearance.
My patience is rewarded and before long we are at the front of the queue. J gets his picture taken with the man himself and goes off to finish his lunch. We then set off again to explore Geronimo.
The entire area is divided into zones. So you have the main entertainment stage for the live shows, an adrenaline zone, an indoor creative area for when the weather is not great, a circus zone, a dance floor and an area for toddlers and little ones. In addition, there are lots of stalls selling a variety of food and drink. From burgers and chips to churros and chocolate dips, there is something for everyone.
M wants to see the sheep shearing, so we wander off to take in the action. And then check on newly hatched chicks, ducklings and goslings. It is my first time holding a tiny fluffy chick in my hand. J strokes it gingerly, but doesn’t want it in his palm. He has no such qualms about Shetland ponies though, and astounds me once again by his confidence astride one. My boy seems to have a flair for riding, something I will have to look at closely in the future.
J is in his element in the adrenaline section, his favourite by far. He adores the den-building and is off dragging sticks twice his size, propping them, stacking them and then hiding in his den. Bouncy castles are up next, and it is only the lure of ice-cream that stops him carrying on bouncing, climbing and sliding.
And then M and J decide to have a go on the Helter-Skelter. I stand at the foot-end, my camera poised, as they come whooshing down the giant slide. Both boys would have done that all day long, if there wasn’t so much else to see and do.
It is a day of huge firsts for J. He has been using his balance bike very efficiently for over a year now, and we are considering buying him a pedal cycle without stabilisers. We spot the IslaBikes on display and pop over to see if J can handle one. He does rather well, helped along by a friendly assistant. I am seriously contemplating buying an IslaBike for him this year.
Our day at Geronimo is drawing to a close, but not before we take in a spectacular circus show. And J has checked out the arts and crafts corner. We go in and come out armed with a spoon-person and a sparkly duck!
We are about to head home, but get caught up in a colourful carnival making its way around the grounds. It is performers from the Manchester School of Samba regaling visitors with music and dance.
Geronimo has lived up to all our expectations and more. It has indeed been a fantastic, fun day out for the whole family. I hope the festival is back next year and we have a chance to visit again.