The other weekend the kids and I were invited to participate in a family day out at Soar, intu Braehead. The centre has undergone a recent refurbishment, and since I last visited there have been a number of new additions: Cocobean chocolate workshop, Gravity trampoline park and soon there will be a giant slide added to Climbzone (what I didn’t realise was that Climbzone is one of the largest freestanding climbing walls in the UK – pretty impressive! My kids were too young for Climbzone however, so we enjoyed the other activities).
We started our day at Cocobean, and the kids were whisked away to participate in a chocolate workshop whilst I sipped a salted caramel hot chocolate in the cafe (I paid £4.95 for the hot chocolate and I felt this was a bit pricey, and the price didn’t reflect the quality – it was average. Don’t want to dwell on the negatives, but thought I should mention it). Anyway, the staff that hosted the workshop were very engaging and the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Premise was very similar to The Chocolate Factory that used to be at Charing Cross. The kids made a chocolate mould of their choice – teddy bear, rabbits etc, they also made a huge chocolate bar (covered in jelly sweets and more chocolate) and then finally they decorated chocolate dipped marshmallows. As they worked on their creations, they were filling their mouths with chocolate and sweets at every opportunity. I even clocked their teacher squeezing the chocolate from the piping bag straight into their mouths! Needless to say, they felt the first activity was a huge success. The children’s workshop is £16 per child, and workshops are available 7 days a week – there isn’t a requirement to pre-book.
With tummies full of sweets, our next stop was Gravity. I was just keeping fingers crossed that we had no vomiting incidents… that would have been disastrous. This time I joined the kids, and we did an hour of bouncing. Watching the safety video before we started made me a little nervous – there were little cartoon stick figures breaking bones all over their body, and there was one that died. Really important though to follow the safety guidelines, and this definitely got the message across. I tried to not let this put me off.
There were so many trampolines to jump around on, and there was also air bags, battle beams, slam dunk zone, dodge ball and a interactive climbing wall. The trampolining was great exercise – I was suitably tired afterwards! I wasn’t really able to do any cool moves… I did attempt to bounce off one of the trampoline walls, but failed miserably and landed in a heap laughing out loud (much to the amusement of the staff nearby!). It was a fantastic family activity, and I’m pretty sure we’ll be back. Littlest loved it when they dropped the lights and there was a disco. I’m happy to report that I didn’t wet myself (another fear of mine!), and no-one was sick – hurrah. I spotted whilst I was there that they offer adult exercise classes, Trampolean, which I’m sure would be a laugh – dates/times to be announced. The hour open session, at peak time, is £9.95 and the socks are £2.50.
Lastly, we headed to Bar Varia Restaurant at Snow Factor, overlooking the ski slope. We really needed some proper food, not chocolate, and a drink to quench our thirst after the jumping. Bar Varia is a family friendly, independent Bavarian themed restaurant and Bier Halle. I can testify to the fact that they are family friendly… we had an excellent time and I found the experience rather relaxing – which doesn’t necessarily always happen when eating out with children.
Adi, and Robyn our waitress, welcomed us and saw to our every need. They even played The Final Countdown over the speakers as my son had mentioned we were going to see Europe at the Hydro that week!
The food was good, although my son did mention that the pizza was too small – but he didn’t manage to eat it all, so on reflection the size was ideal!! I had the foot long hot dog with pulled pork and mustard, and demolished it. The plus points for me were the mini soft play, so the kids could disappear and entertain themselves whilst waiting for dinner, and most definitely the service. Adi made paper aeroplanes with them from their kids menus, and they flew them across the restaurant. The kids were also invited to make their own ice cream dessert, and Adi filled their mouths with squirty cream… they had so much sugar that day, crazy!!
It was fun to watch all the skiers on snowboarders at Snow Factor, and Adi shared some interesting facts with us about the slope. Did you know that the only car that has been able to drive up to the top of the slope was a Bentley (my son was disappointed to hear that the Range Rover failed the test). And the fastest person to make it down the slope was going at 33 mph… and he was 6 years old!!
Overall we had a fantastic day at Soar, intu Braehead and I’m sure we’ll be back. Thumbs up from all of us!
Our day out was complimentary, but as always opinions are honest, and are our own.