The best 5 places for a low-cost family day-out in Manchester

Hey! You’re not going to believe this but there’s actually a sunbeam coming through my window while I’m typing this post! Yep, that only means one thing…Summer, or the Manchester version of Summer is getting closer! We can’t complain…this weekend, a heatwave is apparently reaching the mancunian valley. For those who are from a warmer country don’t build up your hopes that much, “heatwave” means a bit over 20 degrees, but trust me, you will appreciate it!

So we’ve thought it would be a good idea to share with you our 5 favourite “low-cost” places to visit in Manchester. We are a high-standard family with a low-cost budget so if you want to save some pennies but still have some fun read through our suggestions! 🙂

#1 Wythenshawe Park (Park and Farm)

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Easy access if you don’t have a car. The metrolink will take you there. You have play area, green areas to play some football and an admission free farm. It was one of the first parks we found when we arrived to Manchester. It can be a good place to visit if you want to have a picnic and give some fresh air to your little ones. They usually have an ice-cream van by, but just in case they don’t it’s better if you bring your own drinks and snacks.

Cost: only petrol or public transport tickets. 🙂 See more info here

#2 Manchester Aquatics Centre

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We like this one because of the 2 slides they have on the baby pool, plus facilities are usually well looked-after, you’re close to town if you want to go for a walk later on and price admission is cheaper than other leisure centres. Children go free but must be accompanied by an adult. I recommend checking their website or giving them a call before you go, just in case the baby pool is closed.

Cost: petrol/parking/ public transport + admission fees (adult £3.20 – junior or +60 £2.00) Check their website here.

#3 Children Centre

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You can find them in your neighbourhood. They are community centres that will provide you with a handful of activities throughout the week for your kids and yourself. There’s no charge. You just go and have a good time, and if you’re quite sociable you will make new friends easily or at least enjoy a good chat with another parent. This last week Sam and I went to a Baby Massage session. It was…interesting! haha..I’ll tell you more about it on a different post.

Cost: just the calories you burn to walk there 😉 Go to your local gov.uk website to find the closest one to you.

#4 Going to the Cinema

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What?? Wait a second?! didn’t we say that these were “low-cost” activities? Don’t worry, we’re not going mad and spend 10 pounds per ticket plus the popcorn. BUT, we love watching films, and we do watch a lot at home, however, every once in a while we do go to the big screen, even with E, that’s a whole new adventure, breastfeeding in the middle of the dark while “enjoying” a movie! (but again, that’s a different story!) Going straight to the point: Odeon Kids where prices start from £2.50. The screen times are usually mornings during the weekend and bank holidays. You will need to check first though, and not all that glitters is gold, they won’t show you the latest releases, so don’t expect to see the Jungle Book for 2.50…probably in a few months. 😉

Cost: petrol/public transport + £ 2.50 per ticket

#5 Manchester Natural History Museum (The Manchester Museum)

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Or the place with the “big dinosaur” as J says. We’ve been to MOSI (The museum of Science) and we like it there as well, but J has more fun in this one. All museums in Manchester are free of charge, so the only cost, your time! By the way, they both are quite accessible by public transport, and if you’re driving and need a cheap parking place in town, you can find a few for 3.50 all day. It will depend how long you want to walk for.

Cost: petrol/parking/public transport      Check their latest news here

These are just a few suggestions based on our own experience trying to find affordable places and have fun at the same time. Very close to you, you will probably have green areas or a good park where to play with your kids. Indoor playgrounds are a good option as well, depending on which one you go, it will be more or less expensive. Libraries offer some entertainment for the kids. At the end, it all falls into your creativity and a good attitude to have a good family time regardless of the circumstances!

Which one are your favourite affordable places in Manchester or other areas in UK?

 

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Why I love being a mummy blogger

It’s been almost a month since I started blogging again on the Family Treasure. It was back on 2013 when we moved to UK from Barcelona that I decided to share our family experiences on a blog. In the beginning it was hard to decide which language I would use, since, as you can probably tell, English is not my mother tongue, and most of all I wanted to involve both of our families, my husband’s, who are Portuguese speaking and my side, who are Spanish speaking. That is why you see on the menu the Spanish Version of my blog, which is basically a replica of the English one.

Almost a month ago, after experiencing the water birth of our second child and enjoying maternity leave I decided it was the perfect time to go back to writing and creating entertaining, and if possible, useful and uplifting content.  This time, I wanted to be more consistent, more committed and more open to other networks as well. I don’t know how many followers you’re supposed to have or how many views or posts you need to reach in order to call yourself a “mummy blogger“, but I like to think I am one because I am a MUMMY and I blog about it! 🙂

So here just 5 of the main reasons why I’m loving it so much so far:

1 Our families love it!

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Yes, they are our most faithful and encouraging followers. For them, all the posts we write are perfect and wonderful, so well written, so inspiring! haha and with such a Fan Club, you cannot stop doing it. Being away from them is difficult enough so if there is something that can bring us all together and get them involved with our ups and downs of living abroad we will take advantage of that.

2 Makes me have some “me time”

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This is a bit of a selfish reason, but the truth is that since I have started blogging more frequently I can enjoy some time to reflect on our family, on our adventures and experiences. I’ve always liked writing, it was a main tool on my career and now I can create my own content without the pressure of a client pushing you to a deadline or the challenges of running your own business. I have to admit though, that since being so involved in other social networks, I’m learning how to find the right balance as well, because it would be quite ironic to invest so much time in front of the computer or the mobile phone telling you how wonderful my family is while my children and husband are begging me to actually spend some time with them, don’t you think? 😉

3 It’s becoming a learning path

Little by little I’m starting to realise that blogging is not a piece of cake. It’s time consuming and you’ve got to learn how to create and edit good images, footage if you do videos as well, how to organise your editorial calendar, how many times you will post, what you will talk about, which other social networks you will use, what their analytics reports mean…but you know what, I’m loving it! It can be frustrating some times, but it’s pushing me to the limits. For me, it is rewarding when I put into practise things that I learn and I see the positive outcome of them. It has become the perfect hobby for this break and I wish I can continue doing it when I go back to work. And who knows, maybe one day I could even collaborate with brands and other bloggers getting our stories out there!

4 Connecting with minds-alike

It is nice to read and see other mummy or daddy bloggers, and how they love the same thing that I treasure the most, the family. It is comforting to read some posts about motherhood challenges and how they deal with them or feel that you’re not alone on a rough day after looking after your little ones. When I receive a comment, a follow, a like, from them or any other of our friends just makes me realise that no matter how far we are from home or how often we see each other you are not alone on this journey towards happiness.

5 Sharing the gospel, and if necessary, using words.

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As a Latter-Day Saints family we strive our best to emulate Jesus Christ and follow his teachings. Thus said, we don’t like to be “preachy”, we’d rather let you have a look into our lives and see how we cope with challenges or how we have a blast, how we fail and fall and how we stand up again, cause for us that is what the gospel is all about. It shows you the why, when, what and how to achieve happiness regardless of the circumstances. It works for us! and if any time you get curious about our beliefs you’re more than welcome to ask. We love sharing our ideas from a respectful and heartfelt point of view, and vice versa, learning from yours would be a pleasure.

Not that the main reasons why I love being a mummy blogger narrow down to just 5 but join us in our adventures and together we can discover many more.

I would love to learn what other hobbies help you in your parenting daily lives, so please, don’t be shy and leave a comment. 🙂

 

How the Brexit would affect our family

We try not to think too much about the IN our OUT question on 23rd June since there is not much we can do about it because as Europeans we are not eligible to vote, which I suppose it makes sense, since even though it will affect us, all of us would vote IN, don’t you think? who would kick themselves out anyway!

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But, hey! we can still give our opinion and share with you our thoughts on this, which as an Immigrant family we kind of have the duty to do. I’ve read the propaganda, I’ve read comments on Facebook and other sites for both parts and everything sounds so familiar…

We, ourselves come from different countries. Sam’s family emigrated from Brazil to Barcelona almost 10 years ago, and my family moved from Peru to Spain when I was a baby, over 30 years now! We’ve heard the same topics again and again: immigrants stealing our jobs, taking advantage of our benefits, causing problems, terrorism..all sorts of things!

For me, this is the first time it feels kinda personal because as a child in Barcelona was oblivious to all that, and never felt “attacked” as an immigrant, unless for a few times where closed minded people would say some inappropriate words. It is now, having emigrated as a grown up woman with my own family that these issues cause me some concern.

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Let me tell you to all those who want to vote OUT, I understand your point of view and you just want your country to be a better, safer, more successful place for you and your families. BUT, please, don’t blame it on US. As many of you, you will have people, British citizens who are working hard, who are successful in business, who are raising their children in good values that will contribute to the society. You also have the other side of the coin though, young people refusing jobs because they’d rather be on benefits, unstructured families, teenagers raising kids..So what makes you think that we are any different? We do have both sides of the coin as well. And let me tell you, if you start asking around you will learn many stories like ours: young families leaving their homes looking for better opportunities to be more self-reliant, to provide for their offspring, coping with home sickness, having to adapt to a new culture, making new friendships, finding themselves alone in many occasions.

I heard not too long ago that this country was built upon diversity, and I think that’s what made it strong. So it is not a matter of IN our OUT, it is a matter of HOW. How can we make this country strong again? When trying to point someone, look for a mirror and ask yourself how you can contribute in your neighbourhood to make it a better place. Don’t look to the side searching for that Rumanian or that Spaniard that  apparently is stopping you from achieving all your goals. So, How would affect the Brexit to my family? It would make us grow, as it did when we decided to come here, cause “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God”  I am not being naive, don’t get me wrong, but I think if people is unhappy with their government they need to choose better or propose other options. At the end, we are the “guests” here, but we just wanted you to know, that most of us are the polite type of guest and not the scrounge one.

Note: This post has been written more as a reflection than not a debate but we’re still opened to read any comments. 🙂

If you’d like to join us on our family adventures do so by clicking here for Bloglovin or at the end of this post for WordPress.

Pros and Cons of living abroad

Well, we finally got to our 6 months mark! Yep, we made it! We arrived to Manchester in June and we are still around here with no intentions, for the moment, to go back to Barcelona. We thought now it could be a good time to reflect upon the pros and cons of this British adventure, maybe it will be useful for those ones thinking “I might give it a try and move to another country!” So here we go:

1st of Pros: economical improvement.
One of the main reasons to leave Barcelona was to look for better job opportunities, and well, we haven’t achieved all our financial goals yet but we can say there’s been a noticeable improvement since we moved to the UK. Samuel found a job on the third week we got here, and we can see God’s hand in that miracle, because we know of many other people that are still looking and have been here almost the same amount of time than us. He is learning new skills, building good relationships with his workmates and looking after our family’s needs and self-reliance. About myself, I changed my mind about the initial idea of me getting a full time job, I decided to start my own business as TuBa Advertising and I got to realise that I feel much more fulfilled being able to look after my little troublemaker than missing her stories, new words, amazing little adventures because of working for a company more than 40 hour per week. Of course I still want to get more experience and feel that I am a successful professional in my field but I can still do that being self employed, it might take me longer…but it is worth trying it.

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1st of Cons: loneliness.
Oh yeah, it is good Samuel found a job! Of course, but that also means that we don’t have normal weekends anymore, just one day off, that we always wait for him until he gets back from work around midnight and if we get lucky and there’s a nice day out there we might go out and do something fun. So basically I don’t have much time left to talk to another adult, and plus, because of my “social skills” I don’t get to do friends as quickly as I would like to, and sometimes, even when I try really hard, I might not catch some of their sense of humour or bits of a conversation…so yes, we miss our families, we miss our friends, I miss not having to make an effort to feel that I fit in in whatever sort of activity we attend… But I guess this is something that we will be able to overcome as time goes by.
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2nd of Pros: learning a new language
How good is that?! Isn’t it! So apart from Spanish and Portuguese now we get to become more fluent in English. But let us tell you that it is not an easy task, specially if we just speak more often one another than actually with the locals. That means you really have to try hard to take advantage of opportunities to talk to other people at church, at activities, wherever you are and not just to the bus driver asking for a “day rider”! We feel we have improved, Samuel specially is doing really good since we got here and Julia, she is soooo adorable saying some words in English, such as “bye bye, yeshh (yes), go! and many others.. 🙂
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2nd of Cons: the darkness
Don’t worry, it is not a spiritual darkness! But a physical one! Seriously! Here in Manchester gets dark at 4 in the afternoon! How strange is that? And can you believe that at midnight gets lighter than in the evening! Amazing! We even took pictures to prove it, to ourselves of course, I don’t think anyone else is too bothered about it, hehe…but anyway, I get a bit scared every time I have to go out at 6pm or later than that…cuz it truly gets really dark out there,..we’ve been told it’s because of the season… Oh well, we will just have to wait until summer!
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3rd of Pros: spiritual growth and uplifting experiences
The scriptures tell us that we need an opposition in all things, words of truth indeed. Since we got here we’ve seen how important we are to our Heavenly Father, how closer we can get to each other as we trust in His words and try to apply them in our lives. We have been trying to get more involved in missionary work as a family and we have had the opportunity to share the gospel with some spanish speaking friends, one of them is listening to the missionaries and is working hard to prepare himself for baptism. Our testimonies have been strengthened because of that and even tho we might not understand everything that is said at church when you become part of the Lord’s work you feel blessed.

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3rd of Cons: Public Transport
Ok, I really didn’t want to end this post with something negative…seriously, Manchester has many assets, that for sure, but public transport is not one of them! It is expensive, the journeys are too long and the fares are not unified, so if you buy a travel card with one Company you might not be able to use it with another. On Sundays it is not-existent! And they don’t keep it too clean…I feel bad saying this… But just consider these as suggestions from a regular user 😉

This is it by now! Who knows what our thoughts will be after our 1 year mark! Maybe we love the darkness, we own a car already and we have become the souls of every party-activity and have loads of friends! OR maybe we are back in Barcelona!!…only God knows.

Daddy-daughter special moments

Now it’s my time to share with you some of my experiences here in England, hahaha.

Supposing that the reason why fathers come to England is for working, and working a lot, since the “good life” that used to be in Spain doesn’t exist anymore and more over you get paid per hour, I would like to give you a brief idea of things you could do to enjoy the few spare time you may have with your child.

It is a fact that’s Summer, and this is actually one of the hottest ones that England has gone through, so you have to take advantage of the good weather. Parks in Spain are nice, but here they are even better, very wide-opened and divided in different areas so that children under 5’s can enjoy by themselves without being bothered by the grown-ups and at the same time in good company of those ones around their age. For those people who have children under 14 there are other more complex playgrounds , and if it turns out that you are a sporty father and you are not too bothered in playing up and down  you can find other options as well, such as: tennis pitch, basquetball, football, picnic area, a little climbing, among other activities.

It is true though that not all the parks are equiped with the same stuff, but all of them seem to have a nice wide-opened grass area where with a bit of imagination you can enjoy an amusing daddy and daughter time.

So here you have some bits of what we usually do in our spare time with our little one, sometimes just the two of us, sometimes the whole bunch toghether.

Moving to Manchester

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Ok! So now that you know a bit more About us let’s explain WHY Manchester! When you tell people you are moving to England most of them will say “oh! to London?!, that’s a very nice city” as if it was the only one of this country… ¬¬’ But the truth is that we actually thought about moving there in the first place, we didn’t get the right feeling to do so though, so…we kept looking. And one day, when it seemed that our plans were getting frustrated, the idea of “why not Manchester?” came across! Oh DSC_0034Thank you so much Wikipedia for all the information you gave us!haha Of course we didn’t base our decision in just that. We carefully thought about it, we took into consideration all the posibilities, the challenges as well as the opportunities that would be ahead of us, and here we are! After many months of preparation, never enough to feel completely ready though, we arrived to Manchester in June and we can say now, that we are in the right place at the right time. We miss our families and can’t wait to see them again but we know that whatever comes out of this stage in our lives everything will be for the best.