[ad: this post is written in collaboration with The Lowry Outlet Food Festival 2019, who asked me to come along with my family and review the food festival. All thoughts are my own, as always!]
It’s been a while since I’ve been so excited that I’ve come home from an event, edited a vlog and written a blog post that very same evening. That’s how I feel after the Lowry Outlet Food Festival 2019 today, aka #LOFoodFest…
Lowry Outlet Food Festival 2019
Having a nearly-4-year-old and a just-over-1-year-old can be a bit tricky when trying to entertain both of them at the weekends. Their needs and wants are quite different and as our youngest isn’t quite walking yet, it can be hard finding anything outdoors that’s suitable for him, as well as his big sister.
When the Lowry Outlet invited us over to their food festival, of course my interest was piqued as I love anything to do with food, but I did wonder if it’d be an event better enjoyed without the kiddies. They quickly assured me that the Lowry Outlet Food Festival 2019 was a family day out! There’d be plenty of activities, food, music and fun for all the family to enjoy in Salford Quays.
So we agreed to go along on the second day, the Sunday, to see what the food festival was all about…
Having had Masterchef’s Greg Wallace on the Saturday, I was excited mostly for the cooking demos that would be taking place throughout the day. On the Sunday it was TV Chef Dean Edwards that would be starring…and he didn’t disappoint. My daughter and I sat in on his first demo, which was 2 dishes: Mac n Cheese (it’s like he knew!) with a chorizo and breadcrumb crust and then Indian spiced sticky chicken wings – both were delicious and surprisingly simple to create.
My little girl is a great eater and really likes to cook, so it was super cool for her to see a real life Chef cooking and she couldn’t wait to go and meet Dean afterwards. We bought his latest book [affiliate link], which he signed for her:
In fact, we were so inspired that we popped out to the shops to get the ingredients to recreate the mac n cheese dish ourselves that evening for dinner. What a success it was:
The Family Fun
I knew the Lowry Outlet Food Festival 2019 would be packed full of tasty delights, but I wasn’t sure if the kids would quickly tire. After all, they’re not as excited about street-food as us. However, the Lowry Outlet were fully prepared for families and it was great to see lots of us enjoying what was on offer. Our eldest got straight into the vegetable themed mini-golf and enjoyed dancing along to the live singers. Our youngest made the most of the enclosed kiddy area where he could happily crawl around on soft astro-turf, play with giant Connect 4 and stretch his legs out of the pram safely, whilst we watched on from the comfy deck-chairs.
I was impressed to hear they planned to look after us families throughout the Summer too with kid-friendly activities:
- To celebrate we are going on a Bear Hunt that is on throughout the Summer at Lowry Theatre, the Lowry Outlet will be home to some huge bears, children will explore the centre to find the bears and answer some bear questions. Once the trail is complete the children will be able to collect a certificate from the information desk on the ground floor. Children will be encouraged to take pictures of themselves and the bears and there will also be the chance to win tickets to ‘The Grinch’ which is on a the Lowry theatre at Christmas.
- Lazy reading garden: The Lowry Outlet will be having a small pop-up reading area throughout the summer holidays where families can take some time out to read a book whilst shopping in the centre and buying all those back to school essentials.
On to the shopping (the bit I’ve always known and enjoyed The Lowry Outlet for). As part of our collaboration, The Lowry Outlet challenged us to see what we could find for the family with a £100 gift card and this is the sort of challenge I was more than happy to accept. We’ve frequented GAP, M&S and the Cadburys shop for years now, but I’m pleased to see the outlet is growing and thriving in recent years, with the addition of some new retailers, bringing their shopping up-to-date.
Starting with shoes – we headed to Clarks to have the little one’s feet measured for the very first time…eek! I also wanted to check out their school shoes, in preparation for our eldest starting in September. FYI – Clarkes are having Back to School promotions throughout August, including an additional measuring area to take the stress out of getting school shoes. There will also be the chance to win free school shoes for a year too so one not to be missed – all with up to 70% off RRP!
Then onto the M&S Outlet for some basics – PJs for the kids and underwear for me (can’t beat M&S underwear!), before heading onto our fave, GAP, where we picked-up the cutest romper for the boy to wear this Summer and some jeans for me (I find that GAP jeans fit me well!).
Being a family day out, we couldn’t leave the outlet without visiting Toy Town, so a quick pit-stop for some beard-oil for Dad from The Bodyshop and onto find some toys. I think this was the place we spent the most time lol – the eldest was overwhelmed and ended up walking round saying she wanted everything (doh!). Bordering combustion, she finally opted for a “big sister” doll and we chose a Thomas the Tank Engine building block set for the boy (who was fast asleep by this point!).
Time to go home…
Nearly 5 hours after we arrived, we were fed, watered, shopped-out and knackered from our fun day at the Lowry Outlet Food Festival 2019. We got through the day laughing, exploring and tear-free, which, you parents out there will know, was an epic success!
With The Lowry and Media City being a 10-minute drive from us, with great parking and lots to do, I think we’ll be spending plenty of time there this Summer. I’m going to check 0ut some of the kid-friendly theatre productions and take the kids on the Bear Hunt for sure. I might just also enjoy a kid-free afternoon of shopping, as I spotted a few shops I’d like to look in without a toddler hanging off my leg!
I’d highly recommend a trip to The Lowry Outlet and I’ll be keeping my eyes-peeled for more of their events and next year’s Food Fest as it was a win all round for us!
If you like this, be sure to check out some of my other family content such as our trip to The Bull and Swan in Stamford.