Ever since I can remember I’ve loved snow, which is odd really as I feel the cold a lot and like to be warm. But I love the fun that you can have when it snows. As long as I don’t have to drive anywhere I’m quite happy for it to snow.
Sadly where we live in the south of the UK we don’t see heavy snow that often. We have a sledge in our garage that has never been used, as the rare occasion it has snowed I’ve either been pregnant or just had a baby.
It also means that our girls have never really had a chance to experience snow and definitely haven’t been sledging. So when Snozone got in touch to see if we would like to try out their family session for sledging, I didn’t need to be asked twice. I’ve always been a bit of a dare devil and whilst my anxiety has held me back over the last couple of years, they must have caught me on a good day.
We booked in for 11am last Sunday and the session would be 45 minutes. On the confirmation that I received it advised that we needed to be there 60 minutes before our session started. I assumed this was for us to get changed and have a safety briefing.
It meant an early start for us to set off, but we get up early anyway with the girls which meant it wasn’t too much of a problem. With our warm waterproof clothes, gloves and welly boots packed we were ready. We set off for Milton Keynes and Snozone is located in the Xscape complex in the city centre.
When we arrived we parked the car and paid for our parking, then headed into the complex where we found signs directing us to Snozone which is located on the ground floor in the corner.
As we checked it, it was exactly 60 minutes before our session was due to start. The man checked we had all the required clothes we needed, otherwise there is the option to rent jackets and trousers. He then advised us to get ready about 20 minutes before the session was due to start, grab a helmet from the rack and wait in the allocated area 5 minutes before the session.
So, in fact we only needed to arrive 20 minutes before the session and not the 60 minutes it advised us to on the confirmation. This was a little bit frustrating, but we headed over to the viewing gallery to show the girls the ski slope.
About 30 minutes before our session we headed to the changing rooms, unfortunately there wasn’t any family changing areas and so the girls and I went in and got ready. I had dressed them in legging and a warm jumper, Holly then had a snowsuit, wellies and gloves. Alice had some waterproof fleeced lined dungarees and then a waterproof fleeced lined coat, wellies and gloves.
Andy and I both just wore jeans, jumper, waterproof coat, wellies and gloves. We placed our bags in the lockers provided and made our way to collect a helmet for the girls. Anyone over 16 years old isn’t required to wear a helmet.
At 11am our instructor arrived and gathered everyone around. I was surprised by how many people were in our session and wondered what it would be like out on the slopes with everyone. We then made our way out onto the slopes.
The coldness hits you straight away, but its amazing how quickly your body climatises to it. We made our way over to an area that had been roped off for the sledging. There was a pile of sledges in the corner and more than enough for everyone to have one each. I hadn’t seen sledges like this before. You sit on the dark green area, hold onto the handle and if you had someone sat with you there was space for their feet.
We had a quick safety chat and directions on how to use the slope. It was then time to head up to the top of the slope. This was quite a climb in the snow, but my little Holly made it up there bless her.
The first time down Andy and I took one of the girls each sat with us. This was the only option for Holly as she is only 3 years old. Which is the minimum age you have to be to join a session, she isn’t allowed to go down on her own.
After that first go, Alice wanted to go down on her own and off she went with Andy. The instructor had advised that if a child was a bit unsure on their own you can hold onto their handle of the sledge and go down together. Like a double sledge.
Which is what they did…
But Alice was super confident and wanted to go down on her own. I wonder where she gets that from!
Look at her, my brave 5 year old little girl sledging on her own. She loved it…
Holly has always been a little dare devil and I had no doubt she would love it. After her first go, she was shouting ‘again, again’.
A few times as we walked up the slope, Andy would carry Holly as she was getting tired, but she did amazingly well. Even I was tired from it all.
Over in the corner where we collected our sledges they had large foam plastic cushions in the shape of animals. Something that you would normally expect to find at soft play. However these were not to play with, but they used them for children to sit on if they needed a rest without having to sit in the snow. Which was a great idea!
As the session went on it would get less crowded at the top of the hill, as people would slow up, take breaks and I was surprised by how many people didn’t make it to the end of the session.
With only 5 minutes left, the girls were tired and had a rest giving me one chance to have a go on my own. It was a brilliant end to a great experience.
We had a great time and the 45 minutes whizzed by, before we knew it we had to leave. But with big smiles on our face, wet gloves and a love for sledging.
Snozone is at both Milton Keynes and Castleford, where you can go skiing, snowboarding or sledging. The 45 minute sledging session that we did costs, Adults – £17.99 and Children – £14.99. Or you can get a family ticket for 4 – £49.99. To find out more head over to their site.
It really was a great way to spend time as a family and something that you can do whatever the weather. The girls are now praying for snow and we can finally get our own sledge out…
Disclosure: We were kindly invited by Snozone to experience their sledging session, in return for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.