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Free Stick Man trail relaunches for Easter with new characters

The free family-friendly trail is now open and it’s around an hour and a half drive from Manchester

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@nat_mem_arb / Instagram & The National Memorial Arboretum

Families looking to entertain their little ones can visit a free Stick Man trail which has relaunched for the Easter holidays, with some new characters.

The free self-led trail follows the story of The Stick Man from a twig for a nest to a mast for a flag as he tries to make his way home to his Family Tree.

The trail, which can be found at the National Memorial Arboretum near Lichfield, Staffordshire, was open during February half-term and promises to be even better as it sees imaginative young visitors go on an adventure through its acres of woodland.

The National Memorial Arboretum

As little ones help The Stick Man on his adventure, they will enjoy discovering five new ‘carved and colourful wooden characters’ as well as the ever-popular Stick Man sculpture, on the mile-long route.

New characters to be discovered include the dog that loves fetch, to the swan that uses The Stick Man to build a nest.

Visitors can pick up a free self-led trail sheet on arrival at the Welcome Desk, and head out into the Arboretum to explore the new trail.  

The Julia Donaldson classic story-inspired by trail relaunched on March 23rd and will be open during the Easter holidays, and for the rest of the year. Its opening times are from 10am-4pm every day.

@nat_mem_arb / Instagram

Also available at the site is a restaurant selling hot food, sandwiches, cakes and beverages suitable for all ages, which is open 10am-3pm daily. There’s indoor and outdoor seating as well as designated picnic areas.

Visitors are advised to wear suitable footwear and clothing as the outdoor route does venture through woodland and can get a bit muddy, so it is unsuitable for some pushchairs.

Visitors are also urged to book parking in advance to avoid any disappointment on the day.

Dogs are permitted as long as they are kept on a short lead and the site says visitors should note that children’s bikes, balance bikes, scooters and rollerblades can not be used in the Arboretum grounds.

@nat_mem_arb / Instagram

“Our original Stick Man trail has proven to be a huge family-favourite, with thousands of visitors exploring the route since it opened in 2019,” explains Rachel Smith, Head of Participation and Learning at the National Memorial Arboretum. 

“This new trail is longer, more interactive than ever, and features stunning woodcarvings that will really capture the imagination of our visitors as they follow The Stick Man’s journey back to his Family Tree. 

“We’d love for fans of The Stick Man young and old to join us at the Arboretum for our full day of free activities to celebrate the opening of the new trail, a fantastic way to start the Easter holidays!”

The huge site is around 150 acres and holds around 400 memorials of all shapes and sizes dedicated to the Armed Forces.

The National Memorial Arboretum / Facebook

Guests of all ages are welcome to explore the grounds as they discover the memorials tucked away in gardens and woodland glades among 25,000 trees.

“At the National Memorial Arboretum, we share the incredible stories of those who have served and sacrificed for our country in many different ways, from the 400-plus memorials in the gardens and woodlands, to our changing exhibition and events programme,” continues Rachel.

Adding: “One of our key ambitions is to pass on this baton of Remembrance to the next generation, and The Stick Man trail is a wonderful way to introduce young children and their families to the Arboretum.

“Along the trail, they will also encounter some of these memorials and stories and, as their families grow, we look forward to welcoming them back to the Arboretum many times to explore more about our shared history and to commemorate those who lost their lives in service.”

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Hot Wheels interactive experience hosting its first-ever European event in Trafford

This will be mint!

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Hot Wheels City Experience

A Hot Wheels interactive experience is coming to Trafford Park this summer, the first time the event has ever taken place in Europe.

Coming from Live Nation, BeFUN, and Mattel, the Hot Wheels City Experience is heading to the B.E.C Arena in Trafford Park this August, making its European debut as it brings the legendary toy cars to life.

Spanning a series of immersive stations and interactive activities, the event will have something for families and devoted collectors alike.

Hot Wheels City Experience


The 6,000 square metre experience will let fans step through a nostalgic and educational journey consisting of 10 stations, including a design centre, immersive museum, playground, gamer zone and Hot Wheels Lab.

Fans will go on a journey through the colourful world of Hot Wheels, starting with an introductory video which will take a deep dive into the history and culture of the brand.

Luís França / Hot Wheels City Experience


The next station features an immersive museum and expo where visitors will get to see the best of the Hot Wheels collections – including graphics with the history of Hot Wheels, classic arts of the brand, and the Hot Wheels legendary life-sized cars. 

There’s also the Gamer Zone, where gamers can show off their skills, the Design Centre, where the latest technology is used to introduce colour and graphic projection onto virtual cars, and a Digital ‘build your car’ and painting workshop where fans can create and have their work emailed to them or projected on the walls.

Hot Wheels City Experience


Lastly, the Hot Wheels Lab will let guests play with the most popular Hot Wheels toys, including giant tracks and pre-built racecourses – with the opportunity to win prizes.

The Hot Wheels City Experience opens its doors on August 13th and runs until September 12th 2024, with presale tickets launching at 10am next Wednesday, April 24th – sign up for pre-sale HERE.

On-sale tickets will be available at 10am on April 26th, starting from £27.50 for adults and £22.50 for children – head here for more info.

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Epic indoor inflatable park reopens with huge new ball pit filled with nearly half a million balls

Take advantage of the discount while it’s still available

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@inflatanation / Instagram & Inflata Nation

A Greater Manchester indoor inflatable park has reopened after a revamp revealing the addition of a huge new ball pit filled with nearly half a million balls.

Inflata Nation has reopened its doors in Trafford Park after undergoing a renovation, revealing some exciting new features for visitors to enjoy.

If you’re wondering what you can do to keep the kids entertained, why not take them to this newly upgraded indoor park?

Inflata Nation

An incredible blue ball pit filled with 418,000 balls looks like an ocean as it floods the open space. Other new features include the epic double tipping slide, a ballcano, ball pit blasters and obstacle courses.

The park has also upgraded its mini arena, which is exclusively for children under four.

Packed with ball pits and engaging soft play activities, this area offers sensory stimulation and opportunities for cognitive development, tailored specifically for the little ones, the park says.

@inflatanation / Instagram

Since opening back in 2017, the site has attracted thousands of visitors looking for fun-packed family days out. 

Visitors have jumped into its ball pits, bounced on its inflatables and dived down its slides, where they’ve enjoyed plenty of fun and laughter that has brought them back time and time again.

Tickets for Inflata Nation Manchester cost £13.99 for visitors aged four and above and £6.99 for under fours. You can add an extra hour for £8.50 and £3.50 respectively. The park is also offering 15% discount of all visits when booked in advance online until April 17th.

To get the discount simply head to the booking panel on the website, choose the location, complete your details and enter the correct discount code at checkout. For Manchester use the code: EASTERMANC. For discount on bookings and more information, click HERE.

Inflata Nation Manchester is located on Textilose Road, Trafford Park, Manchester, M17 1WA. 

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Charity pop-up with up to 70% off designer clothes coming to King Street

Funds will be used to help women looking for employment support

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Smart Works Greater Manchester

A sustainable charity fashion pop-up is coming to Manchester’s King Street this month.

The pop-up marks the first event as part of a new concept ‘King Street Presents’ and will feature some of the best and newest names in fashion including the likes of Adanola, Barbour, Nobody’s Child, Pretty Lavish, Rixo, Saint & Sofia, Whistles and more.

Shoppers can enjoy up to 70% off items with all proceeds raised being donated to the female-founded charity, Smart Works.

Smart Works Greater Manchester

Smart Works Greater Manchester can be found at 35 King Street from Thursday, April 18th to Saturday 20th, with its sustainable fashion pop-up shop, selling brand new high street, designer and pre-loved clothing and accessories.

The pop-up will raise vital funds to support Smart Works’ two Greater Manchester centres, in Manchester city centre and Stockport.

The team will also be on hand to provide advice and guidance on how to access their free services to any women looking for support in finding employment and preparing for job interviews.

During its time on King Street, Smart Works will share the postcode with its roster of high- profile tenants which include; GAIL’s artisan bakery, The White Company, El Gato Negro restaurant and vintage football shirt hotspot, Stunner, to name just a few.

Smart Works Greater Manchester

Thomas Royston, director at DTZ Investors, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Smart Works Greater Manchester to King Street. At its core is a female founder on a purpose-led mission to make a difference to women. 

“For them to choose King Street as their platform for reaching and showcasing their offering and commitment to women across Manchester is a testament to the reputation this now renowned street has developed in recent years. 

“As part of our ongoing ESG policy we will be continuing to work with a selection of exclusive brands throughout 2024 to take up pop-up stores in currently vacant units on the street, enriching the retailer experience for visitors and giving a physical presence to out of area and online brands.”

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