I’m always on the lookout for fun days out to enjoy with Spike. However, I never really expected to have a great day out at Southport Flower Show with her. My dads big into horticultural events and has 3 allotment pitches. Spike loves nothing more than to go down to them to feed his chickens and help grow her own veg. Which is just one reason why I thought she’d enjoy it. The other was the Celebrity Theatre, which this year hosted CBeebies’ very own Justin Fletcher AKA Mr Tumble.
Finding our way to Southport Flower Show
Southport is an easy drive for us, just done a main road and we’re there. It takes about half an hour. We knew the town would be busy because of the show but as we had a parking pass, we weren’t too concerned. We got there just after opening and it was heaving already, the pass was a godsend and we got parked within a few minutes.
Heading into the park
Once we got parked up there were plenty of signs and crowds to follow to make it to the gate. The entry process was fairly simple and once our passes were scanned we got in within a minute or two. It was busy, especially as the layout means that almost as soon as you are in, the area splits into 3 pathways, the pathways were a little busy, but Spike was happy walking. We found our way to the press tent and grabbed some maps, but there were plenty of information points for usual visitors and we made our way to the Celebrity theatre.
Justin Fletcher on stage
The celebrity theatre was compact, but not so much that it was a hassle getting in. We got there a little bit before Justin Fletcher was due to start and nearly got on the floor area in front of the stage. There were a lot of young kids there who’s parents were keeping them entertained and it was a little noisy but not too bad. Once Justin Fletcher came on and the music started it was all fun. Spike loved seeing him but she was a bit shy, as she usually is at these things. She wouldn’t join in but there was plenty of space for the kids who wanted to to join in.
Singing and Dancing
Justin’s set was a full 40 minutes of singing, dancing and silly sound effects. Not only was Spike transfixed, the crowd was laughing and everyone was joining in. There was a real feel good vibe and I loved seeing all the kids happily singing and dancing away. One boy in the crowd had a sign saying it was his birthday and Justin happily obliged in singing him happy birthday. It was a great show.
After the Justin Fletcher’s show we went to eat in the food area near the celebrity theatre. Although we took our own food, there was plenty on offer. We would have easily found something that all three of us liked and I would have definitely been keen to try the prosecco van had I not had Spike with me! There was live music playing and a kids area which included a bouncy slide, giant inflatable darts, chequers board, hula hoops, face painting and more. Spike was a little tired so we didn’t have a look at these straight away but came back later and she loved the bouncy slide! Though I had to help her on that because she’s still so small!
Contemporary display pieces
Once we’d eaten we hit the the contemporary flower show tent. I wasn’t prepared for how incredible these displays would be and was blown away. The theme was obviously ‘Once Upon a Time’ and most displays had a fairytale theme. From ‘Hocus Pocus’ to ‘Timepiece’ the displays and their sub-themes were amazing. Spike was just as awed as I was and we didn’t realise just how much could be done with flowers! The awed continued as we saw just how talent some youngsters are in the under 12s and 12-16 categories!
Eagles hawks and more
We then headed to the arena to watch the incredible Ben Forster with his eagles and hawks show. This was the highlight of the show to me as I love to see animals, especially huge animals fly and prey. Ben spoke about how they had reduced and helped these birds become what they are today, after they had been in the hands of people who weren’t as firm or well trained to look after them. It was incredible to see a huge hawk swoop over the crowds and Ben catch it on his arm.
Ice cream galore!
There were loads of local food stalls and we passed approximately 7 ice cream stalls. And that was within two minutes of leaving the arena. We treated ourselves to some gorgeous Cheshire ice cream. It was a massive hit with Spike and we listened to the Manchester Rock Choir while eating.
More amazing flower displays
The Grand Floral Marquee was next on our tick list and wowed Tali straight away with a Shrek themed display! This came complete with see-sawing giant teddy bears and a button you can press to have the big bad wolf come out of the cottage chimney! Donkey was there and the whole thing was breathtaking especially for Spike who adores those movies!
We went from there to a sleeping beauty castle display, which was amazing. Then made friends with a dog named Hans Solo and had a family photo taken by his owner. We saw some beautiful floral displays which were crafted into clothing and jewellery and headed into the family play area. Once we’d had fun there we took a walk through the final area, the show gardens, which were amazing. I would love to have my own house and implement some of the design of those gardens into our every day life! I loved the child centred one which incorporated outdoor toys into the design, definitely my favourite!
Leaving Victoria Park
We found the show itself cramped in some areas and Spike didn’t like walking around the narrow ‘streets’ which were created. It didn’t cause too many problems until it came to getting out due to where we were parked and the heat making us a little more stressed. It wasn’t easy to navigate the pushchair but we got there. I think it will definitely be easy to get in and out if you don’t have that to contend with!
We’d definitely visit Southport Flower Show again, there was plenty to keep everyone happy, and if it wasn’t for the heat and Spikes grumpy mood we’d have probably spent a lot more time exploring the huge variety of stalls we walked past! I enjoyed it a lot and finally saw my dad’s fascination with all things horticultural!