Kelly works every other Saturday so Sundays are precious to us. I made sure our meal plan was done for the week ahead and the food shop was done so we had Sunday free to have a family day out. I was trying to think of somewhere we could go and remembered that one of our friends had been to Imagine That in Liverpool. I had a look on the website and it looked like great fun. I don’t know if you’re like me but I like to have a plan! What time to set off, can we park there, do they have a cafe (Amelia is obsessed with cafes!)? The website answered all my questions so I mentioned it to Kelly and we decided to go.
My plan didn’t start off well as we all woke up late! I wanted to set off at 9:15 and we only got out of bed at ten to. Although I like a plan, I’m also trying to ‘go with the flow’ which I find hard at times so we just all got ready as quickly as we could, had breakfast and set off. Liverpool is about 40 minutes away from where we live and Amelia isn’t the best on car journeys but I have found something to keep her quiet..an apple! Apart from saying ‘I don’t like that bit’ and handing me pieces of chewed up apple (lovely) Amelia was happy on the way there.
There is a good sized car park outside and there is another car park on the industrial estate that you are allowed to park in if it is full. We went in and didn’t have to wait very long to pay and go in. In the first area of Imagine That it is all about role play. You can go from a diner to the hairdressers to the supermarket to a car wash. There was a dress up area, a stage and a play bus. I think Amelia was a bit young to really appreciate this area properly. She enjoyed looking around but I don’t think she understood that she could pretend to go to the shops or be a hairdresser.
The next area is all about construction. You can put bricks on a conveyor belt or put them in a bucket and pull them up and then build a wall with them. Amelia wasn’t too keen on this area but mainly because it was very busy. Most of the children in this area were a lot bigger than Amelia and I think she felt a bit intimidated. I picked her up and we had a go at some of the things but I think it will be better when she’s older and can stand her ground with the other kids.
In the next area there is a sand pit, craft area and the cafe. This was definitely her favourite area. Amelia loved the sand pit and went in there a few times. There were bucket and spades for them to play with but unfortunately it wasn’t the type of sand you can build with. Amelia didn’t care though and bossed us about at one point saying to Kelly ‘go and get it then’ referring to a bucket so we could help her with the sand! In the craft area Amelia painted some magnets and even did some painting on a car. I’d like it if they could provide some toddler size overalls as they were massive on Amelia which made it difficult and it kept coming undone.
There was a walkway from that area that was called the ‘ConservARTory’ In here there were art supplies like paper, pens and chalk. You could sit down and do some drawings in here and just take a little time out from the other busy areas. Amelia did some faces on the chalkboard which is all she draws at the moment!
The next area was the science area and mine and Kelly’s favourite. Amelia enjoyed it to but obviously didn’t understand the science aspect of it. She especially liked the wind tubes and could have stayed playing with that all day. You scrunched little bits of fabric up in a ball and put them into a machine that pushed them using air through a maze of tubes and then they came out of the top and floated down to the ground. Amelia loved collecting all the bits of fabric up and watching them wizz round the tubes.
There are two cafes at Imagine That. One is near the entrance and I think they just do drinks and cakes. A lot of parents of older children who were happy going around on their own seemed to be sat here as it’s an ideal place to sit and still be near them. The other cafe was in the craft area and this is where we had lunch. Amelia got a kids lunch which included a sandwich, crisps, cheese, a yoghurt, a drink and an ice cream. Kelly and I both had a tuna wrap; Kelly’s was gluten free. We were impressed with the gluten free options. There were wraps, sandwiches, crumpets and jacket potatoes. I’ve been trying to be a bit better with food recently but as we were having a day out I got a slice of the carrot cake and Kelly got a gluten free millionaires shortbread. Amelia helped us with both!
We ended up spending about 3 hours here. Amelia didn’t want to leave but she was so tired and was flat out in the car on the way home. Imagine That is definitely somewhere we want to return to and we know Amelia will get more out of it every time we go and I can’t wait to see her be able to experience the other areas she was too young for this time.