We were having a bit of a pants time last week. I had come down with a really, really bad cold and, since I normally provide the get up and go in our family, Tom and Mr Techno had been hanging out indoors with me whilst I wandered around being grumpy and sleeping a lot.
Fortunately I was feeling better by Wednesday, which is also a day off for me and usually for Mr Techno too. We were all getting a bit stir crazy, having not left the house at all on Tuesday, so we decided it was time for a family trip out. And where better to go for a family trip in December than Winterville in Victoria Park?
I somehow completely missed this event last year. Having a 3 month old who never slept might have had something to do with it. But I’m glad I heard about it in time for us to go this year. It’s an ‘alternative’ Christmas theme park – although what makes it alternative seems mostly to be the food on offer which was 1) amazing and 2) not at all Christmas themed. Apart from the mulled cider. Which was much appreciated!
Winterville opens at 3 pm, so we headed out after Tom’s afternoon nap, arriving just after 4 pm. It was already dark, which added to the atmosphere and made the sparkly lights all the sparklier. Since Tom was with us (and I am not a big fan of heights), we bypassed the rides – but there was a pretty good selection for those who are in to that kind of thing.
There was a pretty good Kids Shack, which included a soft play area, a face painting stand, a ‘meet Santa’ tent, and a coffee hut for the adults. Entry to the park had been free, but there was a charge for Santa and the face-painting, so we used the excuse of Tom being too young to save our pennies and headed for the pop-up shop instead. This, sadly, was a complete disappointment – not many stalls, nothing we really wanted to buy and stall holders who seemed uninterested in taking any notice of prospective shoppers. We escaped quickly and headed for the food tent instead.
If the pop-up shop was a disappointment, the food tent was the star of the show for us. There was a really good range of options – from Vietnamese, to pulled pork, to a crab shack. Lots of veggie options too. And a bar with a good range of ales, plus mulled wine and cider and probably a whole bunch of other things that I stopped noticing after someone said ‘mulled cider’.
We grabbed some chicken strips and chips for Tom, and some Vietnamese for us (it was a bit on the spicy side for a one year-old). I can’t speak for the chicken, as Tom very selfishly ate it all, but his chips were tasty and not too salty, so good for young toddlers. Our Vietnamese was amazing – full of flavour and a good large portion. We were pretty stuffed, but managed to fit in some churros on the way out.
Although we mostly focused on the food, the event was worth a visit. I’m hoping it will be back next year, when Tom might be old enough to appreciate a few more of the things on offer (there was a cinema and pantomime somewhere on site as well, but we didn’t even bother trying to find them). Anyway it got us out of the house and helped me over the last of my cold-related hibernation, so was definitely worthwhile.