Since the Metrolink spread to the south of the city we’ve enjoyed exploring new places and going on new adventures. My son loves the tram. I love the tram too, for the simple reason that we can now get to The Lowry reasonably stress-free, without worrying about traffic jams and parking.
With this whole new world opened up to us, one damp Friday we hopped on the tram and headed to Media City and The Lowry. This wasn’t just your average tram based adventure for the boy, we were visiting a zoo. A zoo like no other. We were going to see Dinosaur Zoo.
Dinosaur Zoo is an interactive dinosaur show for children aged 3+. It’s an Australian production and the dinosaurs are realistic, life sized puppets. The audience learn all about dinosaurs from the southern hemisphere, as well as getting the chance to touch them, feed them and help the zoo-keepers out.
We attended the matinee performance and the theatre was heaving with parties of primary school kids and parents with younger children. All the kids seemed very excited and engrossed in the show, cheering and screaming in all the right places.
The zoo-keeper, Lindsey Chaplin was enthusiastic and engaging. She explained what the dinosaurs ate and all about the habitat they lived in. There was an awful lot of information to take in and I think some of the children got a little bored. However, the real stars of the show were the dinosaurs which really captured everyone’s attention.
It was perfect for the slightly older child, but much of the information was lost on my three year old, although he was fascinated and got incredibly excited when the dinosaurs moved around and roared. It is quite a scary show and it was too much for some of the smaller children, but the older ones loved the sense of danger and the cheeky antics of some of the dinos.
After the show some of the dinosaurs came out to meet the children in the foyer. This was a fantastic bonus, as only a few children got to meet them on stage. It was great to see them close up and this was most definitely the highlight for us. It was a truly child friendly, educational show. If they toured again in a few years we’d definitely go back as I’m sure he’d appreciate it more.
As parents we think The Lowry is a great venue. It’s easy to get to and there are a range of dining options across the way in the shopping mall and cafes in the theatre itself. The Lowry is modern, spacious and has excellent facilities for families.
Both the ladies and gents toilets have baby changing facilities which are clean, well organised and spacious. There’s plenty of free guarded buggy parking. The decor is bright and colourful and the theatre is designed to be spacious and open, not cramped like some older theatres can be. It’s really buggy friendly too with slopes which make the whole theatre accessible. We were impressed with the comfy seats which you could happily sit in for an hour or so with a baby or small child on your lap.
Our little family particularly enjoyed a post show coffee in the cafe next to the quays, where our son sat peacefully for a while looking out of the window and taking in the sights. Salford Quays is fast developing and beautiful. There’s always a lot to see, especially if you’re a construction mad little boy.
For my money The Lowry is probably the most family friendly theatre in Manchester. They have a huge range of shows, activities and exhibitions tailor made for families and small children. There’s plentiful parking in the shopping mall and it’s so easily accessible by public transport. What’s stopping you?