Days Out

Dragons, Warriors and Snaps: The recipe for a perfect Chinese New Year

As a busy family, we really value our days out together. Sometimes we get sucked into thinking we need to spend a fortune to make these days special but recently I have begun to see that often the reverse that is true.

Last Sunday we were able to make a day trip to Manchester to take in the Chinese New Year celebrations. I try to engage The Dude with cultural events as much as possible, he still talks about the monkey picnic we had last year, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to assemble enough toy roosters to replicate it this year – it is good to know there is actually a toy we don’t have!

As Manchester has one of the oldest and largest Chinese communities in the UK and there was a host of events on, it seemed like an opportunity not to be missed, plus it was technically free! I say “technically” because me and Big Bear have a way of making even the freeist of free days expensive!

We did well though, we found a cheap all day car park, limited the rides at the funfair to just two and took a picnic. If we overlook the impulse buy of a £13 dragon puppet that The Dude neither has the skill or inclination to ever play with again, we were positively perfect in our desire not to spend on unnecessary things.

Obviously if you like the look of this event you will need to put it in your diary for next year, but despite a bit of chaos at the start of the Dragon’s Parade, it is definitely worth it. We had watched videos of parades on YouTube but judging by The Dude’s face, they were no match for the real thing. Even The Pea was mesmerised by it all from the sanctuary of her carrier. Living in a small, rural town, I love the opportunity to be able show them more of the world.

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The impressive Dragon’s Parade as it weaves its way through the crowd.
Although we had some vague hope of hanging around until the fireworks, we all knew our time was up long before that. But we did get to experience The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors in Exchange Square just as dusk was hitting. Ignoring the near misses as we each walked clumsily around them (perhaps the post would have been made more memorable if I had just let them topple over!) they were certainly very striking against the darkening, winter sky.
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An army of 7ft high warriors standing guard in Exchange Square.
So, a day with no tears or tantrums from any of the tribe. A day where we took in culture and learned about history. A day with lots of laughter. I would definitely call that a successful.And the highlight? As if to prove me right in my desire for a simpler life, it was a close call between jumping over stones in Exchange Square or throwing 50p snaps on the ground!

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50p fun snaps is all that is needed to make the day go with a bang!

1 thought on “Dragons, Warriors and Snaps: The recipe for a perfect Chinese New Year”

  1. I love the excitement of an almost free day! Shows that great expense isn’t needed for an enjoyable day out. It’s hard to get out of that mindset though that you need to spend money to have a good time. Judging by the dudes face he had an amazing time!

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