Places to see Santa in Manchester

Tracking down the big man with the beard in grotto’s around the region

 

There’s nothing quite like the look on a child’s face when they get to meet Santa. For some it will be joy, for others terror – beards can be very frightening.

Sometimes it can feel like Santa’s in more places than Harry Potter with an egg timer, so to make things a little bit easier we’ve rounded up our top places to visit Santa in and around Manchester this Christmas.

 

Chill Factore

 

Let your little ones have a magical experience meeting Santa Claus on real snow! At Santa’s Snow Grotto children can visit Santa any day in December up until Christmas Eve and can take part in a number of activities including sledging and tubing.

 

Santa at Chill Factore

Visit chillfactore.com/santassnowgrotto to find out more.

 

National Football Museum

 

As everyone knows, Santa is the merry manager of Lapland FC and as the one manager who looks forward to getting the sack, he’s eager to meet as many children as possible during December so he can give out lots of presents.

 

Grotto at National Football Museum

Visit nationalfootballmuseum.com/the-fc-father-christmas-grotto to find out more.

 

Manchester Arndale

 

For only £4.50 children can visit the Santa’s Christmas Tree Star Grotto located in the Arndale’s Hallé Square and receive a magical present from the big man himself.

The grotto is open throughout the week and at weekends.

 

Manchester Arndale Grotto

Find out more here manchesterarndale.com

 

House of Fraser, Deansgate, Manchester

 

The sixth floor of the Deansgate department store has been transformed into a winter wonderland where elves take children through to find Santa sitting by a fire in his living room.

It’s open from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday and from 11am to 5pm on Sundays.

Entry costs £6 including a toy or you can treat yourself to breakfast with Santa too for £7.50. Photos cost £10.00.

 

Intu Trafford Centre

 

Britain’s only The Snowman and The Snowdog Christmas Grotto can be found in Barton Square, complete with an experiential The Snowman and The Snowdog film sequence, gifts and activities, surrounded by all sorts of other festive fun and entertainment.

 

Trafford Centre Christmas Grotto

Visit intu.co.uk/traffordcentre to find out more

 

Cheshire Reindeer Lodge

 

It’s not every day that your kids get to meet a reindeer – never mind a whole farm of them! Not only can they pay Santa a visit at the all-weather grotto, but they can also get the chance to feed the reindeer and get their photo taken in a traditional sleigh.

 

Cheshire Reindeer Lodge Grotto

Discover more about the Lodge located next to Cheshire Oaks here: cheshirereindeer.co.uk/santasgrotto

 

East Lancashire Railways Santa Specials

 

Enjoy a festive family day out aboard the East Lancashire Railway between now and Christmas Eve.

Santa Special East Lancashire Railway

 

The Bury train station and train carriages will be beautifully decorated with Christmas trees and fairly lights making it the perfect setting for a magical adventure around Lancashire countryside.

Santa will make his way through the carriages saying hello to the children along with his team of Christmas fairies.

 

For prices and information follow this link: eastlancsrailway.org.uk

 

Christmas Bricktacular LEGOLAND

 

Visit a Lego-built structure of Santa at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre as part of a festive tour which will include thousands of glittering lights and spectacular Christmas trees!

Information can be found at: legolanddiscoverycentre.co.uk/christmas-bricktacular

 

Breakfast and Tea with Father Christmas at Altrincham Garden Centre

 

Follow up a family breakfast or tea with Father Christmas with the ultimate personal shopping experience as your tots use Santa’s expertise to pick out their perfect present and finish with a gingerbread decorating master class. Bookings can be made at: thegardencentregroup.co.uk

 

Zippy Santa in Albert Square

 

And finally – there’s always the ‘Zippy Santa’ who overlooks the Christmas Markets in Albert Square from his vantage point high above on the Town Hall!

 

Santa Santa on Manchester Town Hall Andy Hay flickr

 

If you know of a grotto or Santa opportunity that we’ve missed then please leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

 

Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)

 

Photographs: Chill Factore, National Football Museum, Legoland Discovery Centre, Intu Trafford Centre, Cheshire Reindeer Lodge, Manchester Arndale, East Lancs Railway, Bart Fields Flickr Santa, Dryfish Flickr santa sleigh, Andy Hay Flickr santa in Manchester

 

 

 

 

National Days May 2014

A mini celebration, or six, every day

 

Another jam-packed month of National days looms. Regular guest blogger Victoria has the low-down on the sublime and the ridiculous.

 

Over to you Victoria ……

Victoria

 

May is personally my favourite month of the year.

There’s lots to celebrate including the completion of my degree and a milestone birthday.

But for those without anything in particular to anticipate  (apart from two bank holidays- you lucky people!), you will be pleased to know that May has lots to offer.

 

Amongst others, it’s Inventors, Barbeque, Hamburger, Photo and Get Caught Reading Month.

 

Thursday 1st May

New Home Owners Day: Buying your first house, or a new house for that matter, is a stressful step in life. Celebrate your achievement by giving your house some TLC.

Lei Day: Lei is the flower symbolic of Hawaii and represents a love of colour, flowers, fragrance and laughter.

Mother Goose Day: Not actually referring to the terrifying birds, Mother Goose Day is actually about celebrating the nursery rhymes which have been passed down through generations and stood the test of time.

May Day: Dating back to pre-Christian centuries, May day is celebrated throughout Europe and North America.

Schools Principals’ Day: Or Head Teacher Day since we are in the UK. Today is all about recognising the challenging role head teachers have.

 

Friday 2nd May

International Tuba Day: Would you have a go at playing this massive instrument?

No Pants Day: Erm, wear no pants. I won’t be held responsible for any public indecency orders.

Baby Day: There’s no recollection of where this day originates from, but who cares? Let’s celebrate the innocence of new-borns and their adorable ways. Just don’t make me change a nappy.

 

Sleep Like A Baby

 

 

Saturday 3rd May

Lumpy Rug Day: Yes, there is a national day dedicated to rugs.

Two Different Coloured Shoes Day: If you’re forever leaving the house half asleep like me, you now have an excuse for that odd combo.

Garden Meditation Day: Ommm.

Free Comic Book Day: A celebration for the geeks and bargain hunters among us.

Join Hands Day: The bringing together of communities to respect what we can do to help each other out from time to time.

Paranormal Day: Find a cushion to befriend while watching a scary movie.

 

Sunday 4th May

Star Wars Day: May the fourth be with you!

Petite and Proud Day: It’s cool to be shorter than 5ft4, Kylie Minogue would agree!

Firefighters Day: From saving a cat stuck up a tree to rescuing families from burning buildings, firefighters face it all with true modesty and courage.

 

Monday 5th May

Cartoonists Day: The Yellow Kid was the first ever colour cartoon to be published in 1895.

Oyster Day: I personally couldn’t think of anything worse, but if you’re partial to seafood, why not have an Oyster dinner?

 

Tuesday 6th May

No Homework Day: The best and truly rare days at school!

No Diet Day: Diets are not always good; in fact dieting can be very dangerous.

World Asthma Day: The bronchial condition affects around 235 million people in the world.

Buddha Day: Celebrated on the birthday of Shakyamuni (Buddha).

 

Wednesday 7th May

School Nurse Day: Even if it was just an excuse to get you out of Maths class, the school nurse probably helped you out at one point in your lamb.

Roast Leg of Lamb Day: Is there any greater combination that rosemary and roast lamb?

 

Thursday 8th May

No Socks Day: Set your tootsies free at the misfortune of everyone else!

Iris Day: A beautiful flower- but have you got any in your garden?

Free Trade Day: It’s all about doing someone a favour free of charge, even if it’s as simple as changing your nan’s lightbulb.

 

Flag Iris, Scarborough

 

 

Friday 9th May

Lost Sock Memorial Day: So you took them off yesterday for No Socks Day and one’s gone missing. It’s time to mourn the loss of those socks that never return from the tumble drier.

Moscato Day: A sweet wine produced in North West Italy.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day: A respectful recognition for the spouses who have lost their loved ones while fighting for their country.

 

Saturday 10th May

Fair Trade Day: A campaign to improve the lives of international workers who are mistreated and underpaid. Celebrate by swapping your regular coffee or chocolate for a fair trade alternative.

Mother Ocean Day: Introduced only last year, this national day celebrates the beauty of the ocean.

Windmill Day: Now a very distant memory to most, the traditional windmill is a beautiful piece of architecture worth celebrating. Take the kids out to admire your nearest windmill.

World Lupus Day: Lupus is a disease that many of us are unfamiliar with. It essentially causes over activity of the immune system which has devastating effects on the body. There is currently no cure, so World Lupus Day is all about raising awareness for the condition which affects 5 million people.

Train Day: Dig your binoculars out and be a train spotter for the day!

Stay Up All Night Night: Love them or loathe them, sometimes an all–nighter is needed.

 

Sunday 11th May

Twilight Zone Day: A celebration of the spooky TV series which first aired in 1959.

Eat What You Want Day: I’ll have chocolate for breakfast, dinner and tea then please.

Root Canal Appreciation Day: As morbid of a celebration this sounds, it’s more about being thankful that we have these services available to relieve our toothache.

 

Monday 12th May

Nutty Fudge Day: If you can’t make it to Blackpool, why not have a go at making your own?

Limerick Day: Release the Irish in you.

Odometer Day: The odometer (that’s the little dial in your car) was created by William Clayton in 1847.

International Nurses Day: They put a lot of time and effort into making us better, but did you remember to say thank you?

 

Tuesday 13th May

Leprechaun Day: Will you find your own pot of gold today?

Frog Jumping Day: Practice your best leap frog.

 

Wednesday 14th May

Donate a Day’s Wages To Charity Day: Sacrifice a new pair of shoes and donate your day’s wages to a good cause. It’ll feel so much better than a pair of killer heels.

Chicken Dance Day: the traditional dance of many a party, it’s time to get some practice in ready for your next celebration.

Receptionists Day: Just think how hard it must be to smile for that long, no matter what demands and complaints receptionists face.

Third Shift Workers’ Day: This is for all the night owls who are busy slaving away while we’re tucked up in bed, snoring away.

 

Thursday 15th May

Chocolate Chip Day: Now what will you have them with? Cookies or fairy cakes perhaps?

Nylon Stockings Day: Play homage to Nora Batty.

Straw Hat Day: Summer’s just around the corner, so make sure you have a straw hat at the ready.

 

3 Hats

 

 

Friday 16th May

Bike To Work Day: It saves petrol, money and protects the environment all in one!

Endangered Species Day: Changing our behaviour and attitude towards endangered species can help to protect them in the future.

Pizza Party Day: Surely the best kind of party?

Biographers Day: Pick up a new biography to celebrate Biographers Day.

Sea Monkey Day: Whether they weird you out or find them adorable, it’s time to celebrate these curious creatures.

 

Saturday 17th May

Learn to Swim Day: Are you still a hopeless swimmer? Or maybe your children are thinking about starting their first swimming lessons, it’s a massive achievement worth celebrating.

World Hypertension Day: We should all be aware of the dangers of high blood pressure and how to prevent it.

World Telecommunications Day: Where would we be without our mobile phones and the internet? It’s hard to imagine how we used to communicate before these technologies existed.

Pack Rat Day: Hoarding is a terrible, yet addictive trait to have, but today it’s about thinking of throwing away things you no longer need or use.

 

Sunday 18th May

Visit Your Relatives Day: Even if they only live round the corner, you can never visit your relatives too often.

No Dirty Dishes Day: Washing up is probably the most hated chore- treat yourself to tea out so someone else has to do it.

Neighbour Day: Why not throw a street party to get to know your neighbours better?

Museum Day: How many museums can you get round in one day?

 

Monday 19th May

May Ray Day: Today is all about getting out and catching the rays; this may or may not require a flight out of Manchester…

Accounting Day: While we may avoid it at all costs, remember this is actually someone’s job!

 

Tuesday 20th May

Pick Strawberries Day: There’s no better feeling than being able to eat fruit you’ve grown yourself, so get down to the Garden Centre and start now.

Be A Millionaire Day: If only…

Weights and Measures Day: Celebrate by stepping onto the weighing scales, or for those who are less brave, weigh the cat, dog or rabbit.

 

Strawberry

 

 

Wednesday 21st May

Rapture Party Day: a rather depressing ‘celebration’ of the end of the world, whenever that may be.

I Need A Patch For That Day: Every single kind of patch, including nicotine and a patchwork quilt.

 

Thursday 22nd May

Maritime Day: Celebrated on the date of the first American steamship set sail from Georgia.

Goth Day: It’s time to put the fake tan away and pull out the black eye liner and reminisce on that crazy phase we all went through.

 

Friday 23rd May

Don’t Fry Day: No, you’re fine to have a fried breakfast, as Don’t Fry Day actually refers to an initiative to raise awareness of the dangers of skin cancer.

Turtle Day: Learn more about friendly turtle and tortoises and learn how we can all help to protect them.

 

Saturday 24th May

Brother’s Day: Celebrating the special bond between brothers around the world.

Tiara Day: Female empowerment and female leaders are celebrated on Tiara Day.

Escargot Day: Sounds exotic, right? Well Escargot is actually French for edible snails. I’ll leave this one to be celebrated by someone else.

 

Sunday 25th May

Towel Day: Tribute to the late Douglas Adams, who wrote The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. In his honour, fans are persuaded to carry a towel with them all day. How many different uses can you find for it?

Tap Dance Day: Find some steel to hammer to your shoes and you’re all set for Tap Dancing Day.

 

Monday 26th May

Blueberry Cheesecake Day: Cheese and cake?

World Lindy Hop Day: Originating from Harlem in New York, this 1920s genre of dance is fun and energetic.

 

David and Lilian bought Blueberry Cheesecake

 

 

Tuesday 27th May

Sunscreen Day: The temperatures are rising, so make you’re armed with sun cream.

Cellophane Tape Day: cellotape was invented in 1930 by Richard Drew, a Minnesota Mining employee.

 

Wednesday 28th May

Hamburger Day: Would you like fries with that?

Amnesty International Day: It’s time to do your bit, whether that’s attending a meeting, signing a petition or making a donation to the human rights group.

Senior Health & Fitness Day: Get your gran into Zumba or your granddad playing Tennis.

 

Thursday 29th May

Learn About Composting Day: Should you really be putting that in the bin? Or could you add it to the compost pile?

Put A Pillow On Your Fridge Day: Apparently doing this will bring you luck, and maybe brain freeze.

 

Friday 30th May

Mint Julep Day: Known for being served in gold plated cups with silver straws and selling at $1000 a piece- you may be better making your own minty cocktail.

Loomis Day: Celebrating Mahlom Loomis’ breakthrough in his wireless telegraphing invention.

Water A Flower Day: Give your plants and flowers some extra TLC.

 

Saturday 31st May

No Tobacco Day: If you’re thinking about quitting, now’s the time to put thoughts into action.

Save Your Hearing Day: Turn the TV or radio down a few decibels and appreciate the quiet chirping of the birds in the trees.

Macaron Day: If you still haven’t tried a macaroon, now’s the time. You won’t regret it.

 

Macarons.

 

 

Which will you be celebrating?

 

Victoria x

 

Photographs: All from Flickr under Creative Commons. Click on each image for more information.

 

Other related blogs:

National Days April

National Days March

National Days February

National Days December

National Days November

National Days October

National Days September

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 picnic spots

Child friendly picnics spots within easy reach of Manchester

 

We’ve got some more top tips for you from guest blogger Victoria. Today it’s our favourite picnic spots!

 

Over to you Victoria ……

Victoria

 

Nothing beats a picnic in the park when the weather is glorious; an al fresco feast of freshly made sandwiches and homemade cakes, with nothing between you and the grass but the stereotypical tartan blanket.

Here in Manchester, picnic weather can be a bit of a rarity, so we’ve taken advantage of the hint of summer for another in our 10 days out series.

 

To make it that little bit easier for you, here are our top 10 picnic locations in the Manchester area.

 

Picnic Hamper

 

10. Tatton Park

 

Kicking off the list is Tatton Park. This beautiful park situated in Knutsford, Cheshire, is home to a historic Tudor Old Hall and hundreds of acres of beautiful gardens.

 

Tatton house

 

With an adventure playground and rare-breed farm it is the perfect environment for a picnic with the kids. The park itself actually hosts Summer Picnic Concerts among many other events. Find out more at: tattonpark.org.uk

 

9. Promenade Park

 

Promenade Park

 

In contrast, Promenade Park which opened in 2012 is quite the opposite. This urban style park is located in Trafford Wharf (opposite The Lowry) and certainly doesn’t boast acres of greenery.

It does however have ‘The Cube’ - a children’s play area, natural sun loungers made from curved grass banks, eating areas and two great sculptures to admire. visitmanchester.com/promenadepark

 

8. Clifton Country Park

 

Easily accessible from the A666 is Clifton Country Park on the outskirts of Salford. In addition to being the perfect setting for a picnic, there are other activities on offer such as fishing, bird watching and orienteering to keep the little ones entertained for hours.  visitsalford.info/cliftoncountrypark

 

7. Heaton Park

 

Heaton Park

 

Heading back to the city of Manchester now for a mention of Heaton Park- perhaps one of our favourites. Following your picnic, take advantage of all the park has to offer including the Animal Centre, orienteering, or enjoy a relaxing row across the boating lake.  heatonpark.org.uk/HeatonPark

 

6. Macclesfield Forest

 

Macclesfield Forest

 

Macclesfield Forest in Cheshire is home to an array of outdoor activities such as horse riding, walks, cycling and fishing. Settle down in the picnic area which is surrounded by beautiful forestry and four active magnificent reservoirs owned by United Utilities used to supply water to the people of Macclesfield. macclesfield-forest.co.uk

 

5. Marbury Country Park

 

Take a historic trip through the ancient woodland of Marbury Country Park for our next destination before sitting down and enjoying a picnic amongst the acres of open parkland. This Cheshire located park also boasts a play area and hosts a range of events year round. northwichwoodlands.org.uk/marbury

 

4. Platt Fields Park

 

The next picnic destination is situated in Rusholme’s Platt Fields Park. The park dates back to Edwardian times so it is full of history including a sunken Shakespearean garden and the more contemporary ‘eco-garden’ used to educate children.

Take advantage of the hilly gardens for the perfect picnic and follow it with a game of tennis or be more adventurous and have a go at BMX biking. plattfields.org

 

3. Daisy Nook Country Park

 

Daisy Nook

 

Take a trip to Daisy Nook Country Park in Failsworth for a great wildlife adventure. You will be spoilt for choice with over 40 hectares of greenery within the Medlock Valley to choose from to set your hamper down. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the foxes, owls, squirrels and woodpeckers! oldham.gov.uk

 

2. Runway Visitor Centre

 

Runway Visitor Park Map

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Our penultimate picnic experience is one with a difference as we head to Manchester Airport to the Runway Visitor Centre. Sit back and tuck into your picnic as you admire the planes taking off and end your day out with a tour of the famous BA Concorde!

Summer holiday prices start at just £5.00. manchesterairport.co.uk/runwayvisitorpark

.

.

1. Wythenshaw Park

 

Wythenshawe Hall

Ending our top 10 is the magnificent Wythenshawe Park in South Manchester. The park which is home to three Grade 2 Listing Buildings has received Green Flag Awards in both 2011 and 2012 making it the perfect destination for the perfect picnic. Check out their events page to make the most of your day out. manchester.gov.uk/wythenshawepark

 

We’re certainly keeping our fingers crossed for a rain-free time! There’s always a first for everything, right?!

 

Victoria x

 

Photographs: WickerfurnitureDavid Smethurst via Wikipedia, Mark Buchan Jones,

 

Other articles by Victoria:

Top 10 places to go and see animals

Top 10 family adventure days out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Days April 2014

This month’s reasons to celebrate!

 

We’re back yet again with a jam-packed month of national celebrations. You truly will be spoilt for choice.

 

Over to you Victoria ……

Victoria

 

If you were to ask your children what they associate with April, two weeks off school and limitless chocolate eggs would probably be high on their agenda.

However if you’re looking for excuses to tear them away from the TV, this month has plenty in terms of National Days.

 

 

To get you started, April is Garden, Decorating, Couple Appreciation, Poetry, Straw Hat and Jazz Appreciation Month.

Which will you be celebrating?

 

Tuesday 1st April

Batman Day: Celebrate the anniversary of the character’s first ever appearance by going about your daily duties dressed up in full memorabilia.

Reading Is Funny Day: Trying to persuade children that reading is fun can be difficult, so buy them a joke book or impress them with riddles.

Fun At Work Day: Dress up silly, get the fancy dress out and have a laugh.

Sourdough Bread Day: There’s nothing better than fresh homemade bread, so why not try your hand at baking a batch of Sourdough?

Atheist Day: Related to a spoof story that went viral in 2003, gaining irony from the fact that it shares its national day with April fool’s Day.

 

Wednesday 2nd April

Reconciliation Day: An annual holiday celebrating black and white South Africans bonding.

Ferret Day: A strange animal to lend a day of celebration to.

Children’s Book Day: On the birthday of Hans Christian Anderson, children are encouraged to pick up a book and enjoy reading.

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1000 Book Stare

 

Thursday 3rd April

Mule Day: This is celebrated with events loosely based around the animal and suitable for all the family.

World Party Day: An international celebration of everything that it is good in the world.

Find A Rainbow Day: With all those April showers, this should be a fun task to partake in.

Fish Fingers and Custard Day: WHAT? You don’t actually have to eat this. For all Doctor Who lovers, this is to mark the second anniversary of Matt Smith’s Fish Fingers and Custard scene.

Tweed Day: We all know that certain tweed person, but today is time to embrace the ‘trend’ for ourselves.

 

Friday 4th April

Walk To Work Day: It’s good for your body and also the environment.

World Rat Day: Fun fact- rats aren’t actually dirty, it’s only a myth!

Vitamin C Day: Grab an orange or two.

Deep Dish Pizza Day: Now to decide which toppings to choose…

 

Saturday 5th April

Tangible Karma Day: Those celebrating are urged to de-clutter their lives and give to those less fortunate.

Pillow Fight Day: If you’re sick of fighting the same duvet hogger, why not take part in an organised pillow fight event? Yes, they really do exist.

 

Sunday 6th April

Tartan Day: Embrace your inner Scot.

Army Day: Appreciate the army – fighting for Queen and country.

.

~New converses~

 

Monday 7th April

No Housework Day: No questions asked.

Beer Day: The perfect excuse for an ice cold refreshment after work. It’s okay to pick lager instead, we won’t tell if you don’t.

Beaver Day: Appreciate the loveable bucked teeth furry mammal.

 

Tuesday 8th April

Be Kind To Lawyers Day: Today is apparently about injecting some law based fun into your day.

Draw A Picture Of A Bird Day: Have a doodle of the birds who swarm to your garden.

 

Wednesday 9th April

Winston Churchill Day: Today marks the anniversary of Churchill’s status as Honorary Citizen of America.

Cherish An Antique Day: Raid your loft and garage for what you think might be old bits of tat. Chances are you’ll find something of surprising financial or sentimental value.

 

Thursday 10th April

Sibling Day: An honorary day for the special bond between brothers and sisters.

International Safety Pin Day: You never know when you might need one.

 

Friday 11th April

Pet Day: Dog, cat, lizard or cockatoo, it’s time to show your pets just how much you love them.

Day of Silence: Could you manage a whole day?

Barbershop Quartet Day: Why not form your own for the day?

 

Saturday 12th April

Walk On Your Wild Side Day: It’s all about doing the unexpected. Scared of heights? Then why not try a bungee jump!

Liquorice Day: Love it or hate it?

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day: Everyone is a fan of a toastie.

 

Sunday 13th April

Thomas Jefferson Day: A celebration of the iconic inventor’s birthday.

Scrabble Day: Nothing passes the time of day quite like a game of Scrabble.

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Scrabble

 

 

Monday 14th April

Dolphin Day: To raise awareness for the severity of dolphin hunting with the aim to put a stop to it.

Look Up at the Sky Day: What shapes can you see in the clouds?

 

Tuesday 15th April

One Day Without Shoes Day: Could you go a whole day without wearing shoes? Thousands of children in developing countries have no choice but to do it every day.

Library Workers Day: Say thank you to your local librarian for their helpful service.

Take A Wild Guess Day: Don’t you just love that feeling of being a genius when you guess the answer to a question and get it right? Today is all about embracing that. Celebrate by putting a bet on a low odds race.

That Sucks Day: Held on the same day as the sinking of the titanic and and income tax pay day, it’s not surprising that today sucks.

Bicycle Day: Is yours sitting in the garage in a thick layer of dust? It’s time to get it out again.

 

Wednesday 16th April

Eggs Benedict Day: An excuse to have posh eggs on toast.

Bookmobile Day: A common sight at schools across the country, a mobile library can be a great thing for children. Why not find out where your local one will be?

Save The Elephant Day: Putting a stop to ivory poaching and the trafficking of these beautiful animals is a very good cause.

 

Thursday 17th April

Nothing Like a Dame Day: A celebration of the traditional pantomime dame. This calls for one thing: putting makeup on your other half.

Blah Blah Blah Day: Sick of hearing the same old criticism from friends or family? It’s acceptable to put your fingers in your ears and block it all out today.

Kickball Day: A combination of football and baseball, this fun game dates back to the 1900s.

Ford Mustang Day: The Ford Mustang was first introduced on this day in 1964.

Bat Appreciation Day: Most of us see them as freaky rodents that hang from the ceiling but bats have amazing talents including pest control as they are responsible for keeping mosquitos away.

Poem In Your Pocket Day: Set your children the fun task of creating their own poem that they can carry with them to impress their friends.

Haiku Poetry Day: Haiku poems originate from Japan are short and abide by a strict syllable pattern.

 

Friday 18th April

Wear Your Pyjamas To Work Day: This would just be bliss.

High Five Day: Surprisingly, this isn’t about the hand gesture, but actually about raising awareness for cancer. As two in five people will be affected by it at some point in their lives, so raise money by having a sponsored high five competition.

Columnists Day: Celebrating the journalists responsible for sourcing and writing articles for our local press.

Amateur Radio Day: A celebration of the start of the International Amateur Radio Union in 1925.

Pet Owners Independence Day: A hypothetical holiday where we swap lives with our pets for one day. The idea is that we stay home all day napping and chewing the carpet while our cats and dogs go to work for us. If only…

 

Saturday 19th April

Record Store Day: It may be an old fashioned concept now but today is all about commemorating the humble record store.

Garlic Day: You’ll be needing plenty of mouthwash tomorrow…

Hanging Out Day: Hang out your washing on the line instead of using the tumble drier in order to do your bit for the environment.

Auctioneers Day: Put the kettle on and settle down with an episode of Dickinson’s Real Deal.

 

Sunday 20th April

Easter: It’s happened every year since you can remember, so I don’t think this one needs explaining.

Chinese Language Day: Try your hand at Mandarin, even if it is to order your weekend takeaway.

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Painted egg and Easter bunny

 

 

Monday 21st April

Kindergarten Day: The birthday of Friedrich Froebe who opened the first kindergarten in Germany in 1837.

Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day: Hug a bulldog and show it just how beautiful it is.

 

Tuesday 22nd April

Jelly Bean Day: You can’t surely have tried all 50 flavours?

Earth Day: Spend Earth Day exploring environmental issues to preserve our planet for generations to come.

 

Wednesday 23rd April

Administrative Professionals Day: They spend their lives organising us. Where would you be without your resident photocopier?

World Book Night: Turn off the television and get lost in a good book instead.

International Marconi Day: Held to celebrate the career of Guglielmo Marconi who established Italian wireless.

Talk Like Shakespeare Day: Celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday by embracing his Old English terminology for the whole day.

 

Thursday 24th April

Teach Your Children To Save Day: Set them up for life by teaching them how to start saving money now. A simple piggy bank that they can put their unspent pocket money in is a good starting point.

Pig In A Blanket Day: No, not an actual pig wearing a blanket, as cute as that would be. This day refers to the festive roast dinner accompaniment of pigs in blankets.

.
Little piggy bank

 

 

Friday 25th April

Malaria Day: an international day of awareness to help put a complete stop to this terrible disease in the future.

Hug A Plumber Day: If you’ve ever been without hot water for more than one day, you’ll truly appreciate the work of a plumber in getting it back up and running.

Hairball Awareness Day: A day for pampering and grooming our pets to relieve them of the dreaded hairball.

DNA Day: The anniversary of the completion of The Human Genome Project in 2003.

 

Saturday 26th April

Hug An Australian Day: Any excuse for a round the world trip?

World Veterinarian Day: They make our poorly pets better and totally deserve a full 24 hours of appreciation.

Pretzel Day: Sweet or savoury?

Dance Day: Whether you’re a professional or amateur, today its time to lose your inhibitions and dance to your heart’s content.

Richter Scale Day: Celebrating everything about the Richter Scale on the birthday of the man responsible for creating it- Charles F Richter.

Sense Of Smell Day: Can you imagine having no sense of smell whatsoever?

Save The Frogs Day: Raising awareness for the declining number of these funny looking amphibians.

 

Sunday 27th April

Tell A Story Day: To encourage story telling everywhere.

Morse Code Day: Held on the birthday of the inventor, Samuel Morse.

Pinhole Photography Day: Put away your digital camera, and experiment by making your very own pinhole camera.

Prime Rib Day: Is there anything better than steak and chips?

 

Monday 28th April

Cubicle Day: No, not a toilet cubicle, an office cubicle! Today is about customising your office and making it your own.

Blueberry Pie Day: Tasty and good for you as blueberries contain antioxidants

International Astronomy Day: Celebrate with a spot of stargazing.

Workers’ Memorial Day: A commemoration for all who have lost their life while working and a campaign to make safer working conditions.

Biological Clock Day: Our biological clocks are very clever and amongst many things, they tell us when to wake up and when we need to eat. If you’ve had one too many late nights, take this opportunity to sort your sleeping pattern out.

 

Tuesday 29th April

International Dance Day: Getting everyone around the world dancing since 1982.

World Wish Day: This dates back to 1980 when Leukaemia sufferer Chris Greicius wished to become a police officer. The seven year old was granted his wish and worked with the police force for 24 hours. This prompted the formation of the Make A Wish charity.

Zipper Day: They keep the cold out on our jackets and secure our handbags, so show them a little appreciation.

 

Wednesday 30th April

International Guide Dogs Day: They are caring, loyal and loving and their work is admired by everyone.

International Jazz Day: A whole day of jazz events and festivals.

Honesty Day: Tell the truth, it’s as simple as that.

Oatmeal Cookie Day: This is regarded as the healthiest type of cookie, so all the reason to eat more than one.

.
Hokkaido Guide Dog Association

 

 

Now, I’ll be utterly amazed if your children complain of being bored this month!

 

Victoria x

 

Photographs: All main photographs are from Flickr available under Creative Commons. Click on the images for further information.

 

Other related blogs:

National Days March

National Days February

National Days December

National Days November

National Days October

National Days September

 

 

National Days March 2014

This month’s reasons to celebrate!

 

Which ones tickle your fancy?

 

Over to you Victoria ……

Victoria

 

So, the year marches on and with the new month, there also comes an even more bizarre array of National Days.

In March you can celebrate everything from false teeth to napping.

It’s also worth noting in your diary that March is Caffeine Awareness, Umbrella, International Ideas, Credit Education, Cheerleading Safety and Craft Month!

 

Saturday 1st March

St David’s Day: a day to embrace all things Welsh – Tom Jones, daffodils, roast lamb – thanks Wales!

Fruit Compote Day: a fun way of getting your five-a-day.

World Compliment Day: How easy is it to say something nice to a friend or work colleague? If you’re not usually the complimenting type, now’s your chance.

Plan A Solo Vacation Day: a terrifying prospect perhaps, but at least there’ll be no controversial decisions on where to visit and how to spend your holiday.

Pig Day: this national day dates back to 1972 to celebrate all things pig- from the delicious bacon sandwiches they provide us with, all the way to their intellectual prowess. Really?

 

Flying pig ornament

 


Sunday 2nd March

Banana Cream Pie Day: Or the humble Banoffee Pie to us Brits.

Namesake Day: Spend the day researching the origins of your name.

Dr. Seuss Day: Children and adults alike adore his poetic books. Today is about celebrating the life of Seuss Geisel.

Old Stuff Day: We all love to a bit of nostalgia now and again. Now’s your time to get all sentimental by flicking through old family photos.


Monday 3rd March

Mulled Wine Day: mulled wine in March?

National Anthem Day: if you sing one thing today, let it be the National Anthem.

Fun Facts About Names Day: learn exactly what your name means and trace it back to its historical roots.

What If Cats And Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day: the age-old question.

 

Tuesday 4th March

Pancake Day: Do we really need an explanation for this one?

 

Pancake

 

Unique Names Day: The whackier, the better. If you have a name like no other, take the time to celebrate it today.

Grammar Day: If you’re still left in a state of bemusement by apostrophes and semi colons, grab a dictionary and learn their true functions in celebration of Grammar Day.


Wednesday 5th March

Cheese Doodle Day: American for what we may call a cheesy Wotsit – the smelly, messy snack we can’t help to get our hands on.

Absinthe Day: It’s certainly an acquired taste, but one which has reportedly led to inspire acclaimed writers such as Oscar Wilde.


Thursday 6th March

World Book Day: Let’s all dress as hobbits and celebrate the magic of books.

Frozen Food Day: We all rely on frozen food after a long day in the office. Rejoice for the preserving saviour which saves us from hunger.

White Chocolate Cheesecake Day: Enough said.

Dentist’s Day: You may have nightmares about yours, but at the end of the day, they do save us from tooth decay and improve our overall oral health.


Friday 7th March

Doodle Day: Recognition for the creative sketches you make while you’re put on hold or bored in meetings.

Crown Roast of Pork Day: Why not have your Sunday Roast early this week?

Middle Name Pride Day: OK, so maybe your middle name is Mavis or Ethelred, but that’s no reason not to take pride in it. Hide your embarrassment, even if it is only for a day.

Cereal Day: A quick and easy breakfast favourite that keeps us going until lunch.

 

Saturday 8th March

Genealogy Day: Let the fun begin by retracing your ancestors.

Proof Reading Day: Even if it’s just the shopping list, re-read it for any errors to mark Proof Reading Day.

Peanut Cluster Day: Some would argue it to be one of the greatest combinations.

Women’s Day: Hurray! Today is all about raising awareness for gender equality.


Sunday 9th March

Check Your Batteries Day: An act which could potentially save your life. Check your smoke detector and replace the batteries if needed.

Get Over It Day: Still hung up on your ex? Longing for the gorgeous hunk across the road who clearly isn’t interested? It’s time to take a big step and get over it.

Panic Day: deadlines, bills to pay, jobs to do. Your life is probably just one big panic, and today is the time to take advantage. Yes that does permit you to have one public hissy fit.

Barbie Day: Everyone’s favourite doll.

 

Barbie

 


Monday 10th March

Pack Your Lunch Day: Lay off the butty wagon, walk away from the office cafeteria, a homemade lunch is a much healthier option.

Fill Our Staplers Day: I wonder how many staplers you would have to have to spend a whole day filling?

Napping Day: Doesn’t this just sound like bliss?

Dream Day: Combine this with napping day and you’re onto a winner.


Tuesday 11th March

Organise Your Home Office Day: If you can’t see your desk, that’s a hint that you need to tidy your office space.

World Plumbing Day: It’s the small things in life, like having clean, running water that we should be appreciating.


Wednesday 12th March

No Smoking Day: Encourages smokers to give up smoking.

World Maths Day: An annual event which encourages students from around the globe to ditch their text books in exchange for a more competitive style maths lesson.


Thursday 13th March

World Kidney Day: World Kidney Day aims to raise awareness for kidney disease and related health problems.

Ken Day: Ken’s got to have his day too and when better to celebrate the existence of Barbie’s romantic companion than on the date he made his first appearance back in 1961.

Earmuffs Day: It can be pretty chilly in March, so best to keep your ears protected from the cold.

Open An Umbrella Indoors Day: We’ve all been taught that doing such a thing brings bad luck – now’s your time to challenge the famous myth.

 

umbrellas

 


Friday 14th March

Pi Day: Sadly not the kind of pie we would all prefer.

International Ask A Question Day: Ask as many pointless or crazy questions as you can today. Google most probably has your answer.

Moth-er Day: No, I’ve not made a typo. Moth-er day is all about celebrating the moth.

Potato Chip Day: Crisps!


Saturday 15th March

Brutus Day: not exactly a chirpy national day, Brutus day ‘celebrates’ betrayal, backstabbing and immoral politics, recognising the fact that it’s not a new development.

True Confessions Day: it’s time to release your darkest secrets.

Quilting Day: a whole day dedicated to quilting, originally set up in 1991 by the National Quilting Association.

 

Quilting

 


Sunday 16th March

Freedom Of Information Day: raises all matters related to the Freedom Of Information Act.

Lips Appreciation Day: celebrate the day by trying out a new shade of lipstick.

 

Monday 17th March

Submarine Day: we all live in a yellow submarine…


Tuesday 18th March

Biodiesel Day: make a change to the more environmentally friendly fuel.

Awkward Moments Day: we all have them, choose to embrace them today.

Forgive Mum and Dad Day: even the best of parents make mistakes, accept their flaws and forgive them.


Wednesday 19th March

Chocolate Caramel Day: Can you think of a better combination?

Poultry Day: What chicken-based dish will you be cooking tonight?


Thursday 20th March

Ravioli Day: go all Italian and try your hand at some homemade ravioli.

World Storytelling Day: the first known Storytelling Day took part in Sweden in 1991.

Proposal Day: a whole day dedicated to popping the question!

French Bread Day: do we need an excuse to indulge on this French staple?

 

Friday 21st March

Single Parent’s Day: a celebration of those who look after their children single-handedly and do a brilliant job.

Memory Day: as unreliable as your memory is, celebrate it today, as it’s only going to get worse.

Common Courtesy Day: it’s as easy as saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’

Puppy Day: this has got to be the best National Day EVER.

 

Chocolate Labrador Puppy

 


Saturday 22nd March

Goof Off Day: time to be silly and stop taking things seriously, even if it is just for one night.

As Young As You Feel Day: age is but a number, lose your inhibitions and plan a night on the tiles.


Sunday 23rd March

Near Miss Day: on March 23rd 1989, a large asteroid missed hitting planet earth by around 500,000 miles. Maybe not such a near miss, but celebrate the smaller near misses in your life today.


Monday 24th March

Tuberculosis Day: dedicated to raising awareness for TB and the risks.

Chocolate Covered Raisins Day: again, what a fabulous combination.

 

Tuesday 25th March

Waffle Day: sweet or savoury?

 

Waffles

 

Tolkien Reading Day: set up to encourage readers that there’s more to Tolkien’s talents than just Lord of The Rings.

Pecan Day: go nuts!


Wednesday 26th March

Go Birding Day: never has being a bird watcher been so cool.

Make Up Your Own Holiday Day: don’t fancy going into work today? Make up your own holiday!

Purple Day: purple day is all about raising awareness for epilepsy. The condition affects around 65million people worldwide.

Spinach Day: it’s not just for Popeye. Make spinach one of your five-a-day.


Thursday 27th March

Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day: well that isn’t half a mouthful.

Spanish Paella Day: if you can’t afford to jet off to Spain, plan a themed evening with your friends.


Friday 28th March

Something On A Stick Day: kebabs? Lolly?

Black Forest Cake Day: it’s a traditional dessert.


Saturday 29th March

Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day: this is to celebrate the event in 1848 which saw Niagara falls come to a complete halt.

Lemon Chiffon Cake Day: sponge, icing and lemon. Mmm.

Smoke and Mirrors Day: celebrate with some harmless deception, like a visit to a magic show.

 
Sunday 30th March

Mothering Sunday: a day to spoil your mum rotten and to be spoiled by your kids.

Take A Walk In The Park Day: sometimes it’s the simple things in life.

Pencil Day: a much under-appreciated tool.


Monday 31st March

Bunsen Burner Day: the bunsen burner is the creation of German Chemist Robert Wilhelm Eberhard von Bunsen and today is a celebration of his birthday.

Eiffel Tower Day: today celebrates the completion of the Eiffel Tower in 1889.

Crayola Crayon Day: go back to your childhood with a colouring in session using some of the 400 shades of crayon available.

 

Eiffel Tower

 

I can’t wait to start this month’s calendar of events – which ones will you be celebrating?

 

Victoria x

 

Photographs: Michael Coghlan, Thomas Hawk, Travel Oriented, Erica Cherup, Ralph Daily, Franklin Hunting, Freddycat1, 23am.com under Creative Commons on Flickr

 

 

Other related blogs:

National Days February

National Days December

National Days November

National Days October

National Days September

 

 

 

National Days February 2014

February’s not just about the love!

 

After a month long break to recover after all the festive shenanigans, you will pleased to hear that we are back with our ever growing compilation of National Days. Victoria has had a hard task in researching the fantastic and completely bizarre. Which ones will you be celebrating?

 

Over to you Victoria ……  

Victoria

 

Up until now, I thought that February was all about declaring your love to your other half over a cliché candle lit dinner and trying to toss the perfect pancake (although this year Shrove Tuesday is in March). But how wrong was I?

February (A.K.A. bird feeding, hot breakfast, bake for family fun, library lovers, heart and cherry month) must be the busiest month of the year with up to six National celebrations each day!

 

If you’re up for trying something new, Working Naked Day and Clam Chowder Day may tickle your fancy. And for all the singletons dreading the return of February 14th, never fear as you can have your own little celebration earlier in the month for Satisfied Staying Single Day.

 

Saturday 1st February

Ice-cream For Breakfast Day: put the cornflakes back in the cupboard. Today is all about indulging in a few scoops of your favourite flavour.

 

Ice Cream & Waffles

 

Baked Alaska Day: sticking with the ice-cream theme, why not celebrate with a homemade baked Alaska – the creation of physicist Benjamin Thomson in the 1800s.

Working Naked Day: I probably wouldn’t suggest this one if you work in a call centre with 200 others. For the self-employed, however…

Decorating With Candy Day: why not throw some sweets on your ice-cream breakfast?

Take Your Child To The Library Day: Reading is very important and kids love it. Let them get lost in a good book at your local library.

Car Insurance Day: Admittedly not the most exciting of national days, but important all the same. Spend some time shopping around for quotes.

 

Sunday 2nd February

Hedgehog Day: apparently originating from Roman tradition and the release of Sonic The Hedgehog 3 in America, hedgehog day is about appreciating these adorable yet equally dangerous creatures. Take all measures to make your garden hedgehog friendly.

Crepe Day: If you can’t wait for Shrove Tuesday which is all the way in March, put a French twist on things with a crepe or two.

 

Monday 3rd February

Carrot Cake Day: technically good for you because it’s got vegetables in. Right?

Dump Your Significant Jerk Day: Valentine’s Day is just around the corner so if you need to ditch your other half, now’s the time to do it. Don’t get bogged down with Mr Wrong.

 

Tuesday 4th February

Homemade Soup Day: Step away from the Heinz tinned stuff. As good as that is, nothing beats homemade soup. It’s hearty and will keep you warm on these cold winter days.

Thank A Mailman Day: It’s as simple as saying ‘Thank you’ to your postie who braves all weather conditions in his trusty shorts just to make sure you get your electricity to bill on time.

 

Wednesday 5th February

Weatherman’s Day: Just think where we would be without a weatherman. Most people would be without a topic of conversation and stuck in a rain storm without an umbrella.

Digital Learning Day: A celebration of digital learning and its development within classrooms all over the world.

Nutella Day: Today is a good day.

Chocolate Fondue Day: The origins of Chocolate Fondue Day may be a mystery but I think I can deal with that if it means I have yet another excuse to eat too much chocolate.

 

Thursday 6th February

Lame Duck Day: Nothing actually to do with ducks, but rather those people in your office who have overstayed their welcome, and similarly political leaders who are also on their way out.

 

Friday 7th February

Send A Card To A Friend Day: Cheer a pal up with an unexpected hand-written card through the post.

Ballet Day: Reminisce on your younger days as a little girl with hopes of being the next Billy Elliot or if you can’t be bothered, go and appreciate somebody who can actually pirouette without falling flat on their face.

 

Kids ballet class

 

Bubblegum Day: In America Bubblegum Day is a charitable event. But why not let your kids have some fun with it, providing they don’t swallow too much of the stuff!

Wear Red Day: Wear red to show your support for heart disease.

Wave All Your Fingers At Your Neighbour Day: Opposed to the one finger you may want to show them after Friday Night’s house party which resulted in you having no sleep, wave all your fingers at your neighbour in a calm friendly manner.

 

Saturday 8th February

Laugh And Get Rich Day: If only it was that easy…

Kite Flying Day: Definitely one to enjoy with the kids over the weekend. Take to the skies at your nearest park.

Opera Day: Whether you are a fan of opera or have little appreciation for the talent, celebrate Opera Day with a trip to the theatre or a CD of your favourite Opera singer.

 

Sunday 9th February

Marriage Day: I’m not suggesting you go out and get married today, but give yourself the time to appreciate marriage and if you’re still expecting a diamond off your man, now is the time to drop hints.

Read In The Bathtub Day: The perfect relaxation solution after a hectic day at work.

Stop Bullying Day: Do everything you can to stop bullying happening in your workplace or child’s school.

Man Day: Not as sexist as it first appears, Man Day is to acknowledge men’s health.

Toothache Day: This just sounds awful. Why would anybody want to celebrate toothache? Other than dentists, of course. Take this opportunity to learn more about toothache and its most common causes and preventions.

 

Monday 10th February

Plimsoll Day: A dedication to Samuel Plimsoll who played a fundamental role in the amendment of Britain’s Merchant Shipping Act.

Clean Out Your Computer Day: Take action against slow internet and frequent crashing with a clean-up of your PC.

Umbrella Day: Arguably the best accessory a British woman can own.

 

Tuesday 11th February

Make A Friend Day: Take some time out of your manic life to talk to somebody new, whether it’s sparking up conversation with someone on the tube or asking a work college how they are.

Pro Sports Wives Day: Behind every successful man is a great woman, sports personalities included.

Get Your Own Guitar Day: Even if it is badly tuned and you can just about remember the EastEnders theme tune.

Extra-terrestrial Culture Day: Everybody loves a conspiracy theory. Celebrate the alien species on this day which is officially acknowledged by New Mexico.

White Shirt Day: This is a mark of respect for the end of a 1937 union strike by employees of General Motors.

Satisfied Staying Single Day: The single person’s answer to Valentine’s Day. Takeaway for one, Sex and the City Marathon and a bottle of bubbly should do the trick.

 

Wednesday 12th February

Plum Pudding Day: A celebration of plum pudding, a delicious desert which in fact contains not a single plum.

Darwin Day: Celebrated on the birthday of one of the world’s greatest scientists.

 

Thursday 13th February

Get A Different Name Day: Confuse your friends by adopting a new name for the day.

Madly In Love With Me Day: Founded by self-help guru Christine Arylo, Madly In Love With Me Day is all about sparing sometime to love yourself before focusing on your man the following day.

Employee Legal Awareness Day: Established by Australian Lawyer, Paul Brennan with the emphasis on the value of legal advice for employees.

 

Friday 14th February

Ferris Wheel Day: Why not celebrate with a visit to Piccadilly Gardens for a romantic ride on the newly returned big wheel?

Donor Day: Show some gratitude to all those who have donated their organs to other people’s in need of life saving transplants.

 

Saturday 15th February

Gumdrop Day: Relive your childhood with some classic sweet shop favourites.

Hippo Day: A celebration of the third largest mammal on our planet.

 

Submerged hippos

 

 

Sunday 16th February

Innovation Day: Think of new, better ways of doing your day-to-day tasks.

Almond Day: With numerous health benefits including weight loss, appreciate the trusty almond for more than just a cake flavouring.

 

Monday 17th February

Random Acts Of Kindness Day: Put the bin out for your neighbour or help an elderly person carry their shopping. It’s the small things that make a difference.

My Way Day: An encouragement to spend the day doing whatever you want.

 

Tuesday 18th February

Battery Day: How would you cope without batteries in your life for a whole day? We use them in all major household items, so show a little respect for the humble AA.

Single Tasking Day: Even if us women can multitask very well, it’s always good to take a step back and concentrate on one thing at once. Now’s your chance.

 

Wednesday 19th February

Chocolate Mint Day: Got a certain box of leftover after dinner mints in your kitchen? Now’s the time to enjoy them.

 

Thursday 20th February

Introduce A Girl To Engineering Day: Introduce a girl to engineering and make them consider a career in the skill.

Love Your Pet Day: Give them an extra treat, a longer walk or a big cuddle when you get home from work.

Cherry Pie Day: Apple pie, step aside. It’s about trying something different today with a slice of cherry pie.

 

Friday 21st February

Sticky Bun Day: The best excuse you’re going to get to make a trip to the bakery.

International Mother Language Day: A celebration of cultural diversity established by UNESCO in 1999.

 

Saturday 22nd February

Thinking Day: It’s origins belong with the Girl Guides to dedicate a whole day to contemplate global concerns and appreciate different cultures.

Banana Bread Day: Delicious and contains one of your five-a-day!

Open That Bottle Night: Dry January has long gone so crack open that special bottle you’ve been saving.

Walking The Dog Day: It’s a task we all dread, but wrap up warm and brave the weather for your little companion. They’ll love you forver!

Sword Swallowers Day: Not a National Day that we personally can actively take part in. But you can appreciate the sheer talent and bravery of sword swallowers!

Margarita Day: Did somebody say cocktails?

 

Margarita

 

 

Sunday 23rd February

Melba Toast Day: This is one for those who easily bore of the traditional sandwich. Swap your usual slabs of white bread for crunchy melba toast for an innovative lunchtime staple.

Curling Is Cool Day: This is a reference to the sport. Apparently curling is a fun activity we should all try at least once. So here’s your chance…

 

Monday 24th February

Tortilla Chip Day: I’d celebrate Tortilla Chip Day with a big bag, some dip and a horror movie!

 

Tuesday 25th February

Clam Chowder Day: Clam what? If like me, you have an aversion to anything new, now is the chance to do something about it by trying out this fishy broth which is apparently delicious.

Chocolate-Covered Peanuts Day: Chocolate covered anything is a winner for me.

 

Wednesday 26th February

For Pete’s Sake Day: Push your favourite expletives aside for the day. So when you inevitably chip a nail or smash a glass, keep calm and simply say ‘For Pete’s sake!”

Pistachio Day: You may not know this but the pistachio is a nut native to the Middle East. There’s a fact for you.

Tell A Fairy Tale Day: Children love listening to them, and equally adults love to tell them!

Personal Chef Day: Are you the main cook in your household? Today is about changing that, even if it is for one day. So put your feet up and relax while your other half cooks up some culinary delights.

 

Thursday 27th February

Strawberry Day: What would you make with your strawberries?

Chilli Day: Nothing is guaranteed to warm you up more than a sizzling plate of chilli. Be sure to look out if your favourite restaurant is celebrating Chilli Day with a signature recipe.

Polar Bear Day: They look adorable but would you want to get close enough for a cuddle?

 

Friday 28th February

Rare Disease Day: A serious national day with the aim being to raise people’s awareness for the lesser known diseases and to improve the opportunities for treatment.

Tooth Fairy Day: Its origins are unknown but we all have something to thank the tooth fairy for. Even if it was ironically money to buy more sweets with.

 

tooth fairy

 

Chocolate Soufflé Day: A notoriously difficult, yet delicious pudding to get right, so why not have someone else make it for you?

Floral Design Day: Getting creative with flowers is a quick and effective way of injecting some colour into your house. The national day is celebrated on the birthday of Carl Rittner who established the Rittner School of Floral Design in Boston.

                                                                                                   

 Well that should keep you busy for a while!

 

Victoria x

 

Photographs: Samat Jain, Daniel Baker, Shankar S, Bethany Khan, Robert S Donovan – under Creative Commons on Flickr

 

Other related blogs:

National Days December

National Days November

National Days October

National Days September

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Vanity of Small Differences

Review – Turner prize-winner Grayson Perry tapestries at Manchester Art Gallery.

 

Grayson Perry – the award winning artist is currently showcasing his latest project at Manchester Art Gallery as part of its tour which will travel to Birmingham, Liverpool and Leeds early next year.

Our arty intern Victoria went along to admire the six tapestries titled The Vanity of Small Differences.

 

Over to you Victoria ……

Victoria

 

The thing that catches the eye as you first walk into the display room is the sheer scale and detail of the six tapestries, which are featured on contrasting white walls in the gallery.

The colours on the tapestries are vivid and bright.

You immediately find yourself walking over to them to get a proper up-close view.

 

The time and effort Perry’s put into these fantastic, contemporary works of art is incredible!

There’s not a single detail that has been left untouched. Whether it be the newspaper laying on the coffee table complete with publication name, headline, text and images, or the emotion depicted on the character’s faces – keep reminding yourself these are tapestries.

The Vanity of Small Differences is a representation of class mobility and the influence that social class has on our aesthetic taste.

Perry’s work is inspired by his travels to Sunderland, The Costwolds and Tunbridge as part of his Channel 4 Documentary series All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry. The programme went on to win a BAFTA for Best Specialist Factual programme.

He uses artist William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress as inspiration for his tapestries which each detail a pivitol point in the life and tragic death of Tom Rakewell – the son and heir of a rich merchant, who comes to London, wastes all his money on luxurious living, prostitution and gambling, and  ultimately ends up in Bethlem.

In The Vanity of Small Differences we follow young Tim Rakewell!

 

The Adoration of the Cage Fighters

 

The Adoration of Cage Fighters 2. Grayson Perry The Vanity of Small Differences. Image from The Arts Council

 

This first tapestry shows Perry’s main character cradled in his mothers arms. Notice the baby battling against his mother’s smartphone for attention.

 

The Agony in the Car Park

 

The Agony in the Car Park 2 Grayson Perry The Vanity of Small Differences. Image from The Arts Council

 

Can you spot Tim in this one? He is buried within the incredible detail of the tapestry which has your eyes wandering from corner to corner in order to take it all in.

.

Expulsion from Number 8 Eden Close

 

Expulsion from 8 Eden Close 3. Grayson Perry The Vanity of Small Differences. Image from The Arts Council

.

I really love the fact that Tim’s mother is hoovering the astro-turf lawn!

 

The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal

 

The Annuciation of the Virgin Deal 2 Grayson Perry The Vanity of Small Differences. Image from The Arts Council

 

I can’t help but admire the attention to detail that Perry’s put into the dining room table – from the coffee cafetiere, jam jar, newspaper, vegetables and even the iPad which has become an everyday item in its own right.

.

The Upper Class at Bay

 

The Upper Class At Bay 2 Grayson Perry The Vanity of Small Differences. Image from The Arts Council

.

This is a great view of Tim as a wealthy, happy family man as he strolls through the country fields of The Cotswolds. But it also highlights the problems that come with being a wealthy business man.

 

#Lamentation

 

Lamentation 2. The Upper Class At Bay 2 Grayson Perry The Vanity of Small Differences. Image from The Arts Council

.

This has got to be my favourite of the tapestries. There’s just so much going on! Although a sad ending, it’s a great way of concluding the chronicle of Tim Rakewell in what is almost a cyclical process.

 

These pictures really don’t do the exhibition justice

 

I would strongly urge everyone to visit Manchester Art Gallery to really begin to appreciate the scale and impact of this art work in its full glory.

It isn’t simply visually appealing – but will also tug at the heart stings in it’s cleverly construed story which I believe everyone will relate to.

For more information visit manchestergalleries.org

 

Victoria x

.

Photographs:  Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre London and British Council. © Grayson Perry. Photography © Stephen White Gift of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery with the support of Channel 4 Television, The Art Fund and Sfumato Foundation with additional support from AlixPartners.

 

Other articles by Victoria:

Christmas jumpers

Review – The Adventure

Cantonese lessons for kids

Manchester Town Hall Clock Tower Tour

The Great Big Christmas Card

Christmas Nail Art Tutorials

Children’s Christmas Fancy Dress Outfits

National Days December

National Days November

National Days October

National Days September

Places to see Santa in Manchester

Mumpreneur of the Year

Vintage Manchester Awards Best of 2013

A-Z of Vogue’s Fashions Night Out

Top 10 places to go and see animals

Top 10 family adventure days out

Top 10 picnic spots

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review – Everyday Relics

Look, listen, watch and touch at the MOSI’s new exhibition

 

We love an excuse to play tourist for the day, so when we finally got the chance, we headed straight to the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) to check out the Everyday Relics Exhibition.

It’s an interactive display of 18 everyday items from a bygone era – each having a unique and inspiring story to tell. Read on to see what our intrepid intern Victoria thought of it.

 

Over to you Victoria ……

Victoria

 

I’ve always grown up with the concept that when visiting museums, you are to look but definitely not touch. Even to this day I’m cautious about getting my camera out in a museum, for fear that I will have it confiscated.

So being actively encouraged to touch and interact with the artifacts in the Everyday Relics exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry was rather surreal.

 

Thinking back now, I probably looked a bit silly as I wandered round, hands firmly clasped behind my back in order to avoid temptation.

The Everyday Relics exhibition is brought to MOSI by Lucy and Barney Heywood – a brother and sister duo who usually work in Theatre production.

 

Everyday relics poster

 

They run their own company called Stand and Stare which is based in Bristol, so exhibiting in Manchester is a real adventure for them.

The pair were approached about the exhibition after attending Future Everything Festival in Manchester. 

Lucy said: “Our company is a theatre company and has slowly developed. It felt like a really good progression for us.”

The 18 different artifacts are displayed in wooden boxes and labelled with a description. The boxes run the perimeter of the display room, giving plenty of scope for learning.

The exhibition is a contrasting collaboration of new and old. The historic artifacts are intended to be used in a contemporary digital way in order to gain the most impact.

 

 

The interactive system works rather like the Oyster card system in London – the boxes can be picked up and placed on a wooden tray in the centre of the room which then triggers animation, an oral commentary and a slide show of images.

 

Everyday relics exhibition

 

Lucy said: “The technology is there but it’s hidden away. It feels like it just happens.”

The items on display include a discarded oyster shell from a railway station, a worker’s clog, a symbolic milk bottle from during the 1984 miners’ strike, an old record from the days of hacienda and a pattern for a knitted bathing costume.

 

Everyday relics record

 

Lucy said: “We quite like the knitted swimming costume because it has a nice story to it.”

On discovering the 1930′s knitting pattern, Lucy and Barney decided to set upon what they thought was an easy task of finding the actual swimming suit.

Feeling rather disappointed with their search, they enlisted the help of their knitting next door neighbour who made the pattern come to life in the space of a weekend.

 

Everyday relics knitted bathing suit edited

 

 

Lucy and Barney also donated one of their own family relics in the form of a small cash tin dating back to the mid 19th century, belonging to one of their ancestors. However, most of the artifacts are sourced from the museum’s handling collection.

The pair picked items that caught their eye, and then found a suitable story to match it so they are able to tell the history through a range of perspectives.

What’s really great about this exhibition is the interactive element as it really feels as though you are connecting with a part of our city’s history and it certainly makes it uniquely different to any exhibition I’ve been to before.

Lucy said: “I suppose what’s different is that they are everyday items that people have used. It’s about giving them the appreciation that they deserve.”

Everyday Relics continues to be displayed at the MOSI’s Station Building until the 29th June 2014. Entry is completely free.

I would really recommend this exhibition, especially if you are looking for a fun way of learning something new and appreciating the tales that an everyday item can tell.

Children in particular, will be wowed by the way the technology allows the items to come to life.

For further information, visit: mosi.org.uk/everyday-relics

 

Victoria x

 

Photographs and video: Victoria Hepworth, Stand and Stare and MOSI

 

Other articles by Victoria:

Cantonese Lessons for Kids

Manchester Town Hall Clock Tower Tour

The Great Big Christmas Card

Christmas Nail Art Tutorials

Children’s Christmas Fancy Dress Outfits

National Days December

National Days November

National Days October

National Days September

Places to see Santa in Manchester

Mumpreneur of the Year

Vintage Manchester Awards Best of 2013

A-Z of Vogue’s Fashions Night Out

Top 10 places to go and see animals

Top 10 family adventure days out

Top 10 picnic spots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top tips for Christmas Style

All the help you need to choose your Christmas Party outfit

 

‘Tis the party season and if you’ve not already, it won’t be long before you’re asking yourself that seemingly impossible question – ‘what can I wear?!’

We’ve been asking the same question so our super dooper intern  Victoria went off to seek advice from style expert, Susan, at Susan Styles You.

 

Over to you Victoria ……

Victoria

 

After a quick chat with Susan, we soon found out that a key trend for this season is the midi skirt, which is lucky as Manchester isn’t particularly warm at this, or for that matter, any time of the year.

Maybe long-johns would be a more appropriate trend for us Mancunians!

Along with the favoured midi, there’s a lot of texture mixing going on.

 

So you won’t be surprised to see that sequins, leather and fur (of the faux kind, of course!) are here to stick around for a while longer.

The sequins however, are less shiny and more subtle than they have been previously. It’s all about experimentation, such as mixing a sequin top with a contrasting leather skirt for a glamorous punk vibe.

There’s no need to break the bank with a designer dress, as the high street has really raised it’s game. Some of our favourites at the moment are Zara, Primark and Topshop.

 

1. Staying Warm

 

Susan’s top tip for staying warm but remaining elegant, is to invest in a faux fur shrug or gilet which is versatile and easy to throw on over the top of your outfit – whether it be an evening gown, jumpsuit or skirt and top combo.

 

 

 

punk vibe

 

1. Crop top. £35.00 at River Island

2. Black leather skirt, £95.00 at Whistles

3. Head Over Heels platform booties by Dune, £49.00 at Debenhams

4. Crystal purse, £55.00 at Oasis

5. Coast black faux fur shrug, £60.00 at John Lewis

 

 

2. Christmas Colours

 

Colour wise, emerald green, gold and light pink are huge over the festive season!

 

christmas colours

 

1. Emerald green maxi slip dress, £25.00 at River Island

2. Pale pink maxi dress, £35.00 at River Island

3. Gold sequin skirt, £59.00 at House of Fraser

4. Faith pink clutch bag, £30.00 at Debenhams

5. AX Paris bracelet bangle, £10.00 at AX Paris

6. Emerald earrings, £12.00 at inpink.com

 

 

3. Jazz It Up

 

Make sure to put your best fashion foot forward in a pair of killer heels.

Another big trend, and a cool but cheap new way of revolutionising your wardrobe is to invest in some shoe clips.

Cleo B - the online boutique has a huge collection, ranging from gold bows, fur pom – poms and crystal clusters. They allow you to instantly transform an old pair of heels into a statement shoe perfect for the office do!

 

party shoes

 

 

1. Head Over Heels by Dune platform sandals, £55.00 at Debenhams

2. Black cut out shoes, £60.00 at River Island

3. Cleo B bow shoes clips, £40.00 at wolfandbadger.com

4. Black embellished bank ankle strap sandals, £55.00 at Debenhams

5. Burchette sandals, £30.00 at ALDO

6. Cleo B crystal shoe clips, £45.00 at wolfandbadger.com

 

I hope that helps you answer that dreaded question. Happy shopping!

 

 

Victoria x

 

Photographs: Victoria Hepworth via Polyvore. Click on the individual items for more details.

 

Other articles by Victoria:

Cantonese lessons for kids

Manchester Town Hall Clock Tower Tour

The Great Big Christmas Card

Christmas Nail Art Tutorials

Children’s Christmas Fancy Dress Outfits

National Days December

National Days November

National Days October

National Days September

Places to see Santa in Manchester

Mumpreneur of the Year

Vintage Manchester Awards Best of 2013

A-Z of Vogue’s Fashions Night Out

Top 10 places to go and see animals

Top 10 family adventure days out

Top 10 picnic spots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Jumpers

Happy Christmas Jumper Day everyone!

 

Friday the 13th December is Christmas Jumper Day! That’s right, the novelty knit made by your Nan has now become a huge trend. To celebrate Christmas Jumper Day we sent Victoria out to learn more about how we should be embracing the trend and to pick her favourites from the high street.

 

Over to you Victoria ……

Victoria

 

Am I really putting Christmas jumpers and fashionable in the same sentence?

Yes, I suppose I am.

When I approached our resident style expert, Susan, from Susan Styles You for some advice about pulling off the novelty trend – it’s fair to say she was less than happy to deem a Christmas jumper as stylish.

 

Which, when you look at the vast array of pom-pom and glitter adorned woolly mammoth-like creations, is easy to understand.

However, there is a time and place and we can’t help but feel your winter wardrobe would be somewhat lacking without one.

It’s also Christmas Jumper Day on Friday the 13th (take the coincidental date placing as you wish) and as you’ve probably already guessed, we love a good national day.

 

 

Christmas jumpers!

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1. Shell Pink Sequin Sweater, now £5.50 at New Look

2. Grey Penguin Jumper, £28.00 at New Look

3. Black Gingerbread Man Christmas Jumper, now £19.00 at New Look

4. Women’s Christmas Jumper, now £9.60 at Peacocks

5. MERRY CHRISTMAS YA FILTHY ANIMAL Jumper, £15.00 at Miss Rebel

6. Grey Robin Sequin Dolman Top, now £20.00 at River Island

7. Beige and Black Reindeer Fuzzy Jumper, now £35.00 at Debenhams

8. Christmas Penguin Pom Jumper, £27.00 at Internacionale

9. SoulCal Robin Womens Jumper, £15.00 at USC

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With some help from Susan, we’ve compiled a handy list for you to keep in mind while you’re browsing the shops.
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1. Keep it cheap and cheerful

 

You’re only going to get one or two uses out of it before it gets sent to the back of your wardrobe for another year. So spend your money sparingly and wisely. Primark have some great bargains, and take a look at our top picks for some inspiration.

 

2. Keep it simple

 

Don’t even think about bringing out the deely boppers and bauble earrings! The Christmas jumper is a trend in its own (slightly controversial) right. Make sure you keep all the attention on the jumper.

 

3. Style it well

 

Again, keeping it simple is important. Team your jumper with a pair of skinny jeans and ankle boots for an effortless, chic collaboration which doesn’t detract from the festive piece.

 

Victoria x

 

Photographs: Victoria Hepworth via Polyvore. Click on the images to find out more about each item.

 

 

Other articles by Victoria:

Manchester Town Hall Clock Tower Tour

The Great Big Christmas Card

Christmas Nail Art Tutorials

Children’s Christmas Fancy Dress Outfits

National Days December

National Days November

National Days October

National Days September

Places to see Santa in Manchester

Mumpreneur of the Year

Vintage Manchester Awards Best of 2013

A-Z of Vogue’s Fashions Night Out

Top 10 places to go and see animals

Top 10 family adventure days out

Top 10 picnic spots

 

 

 

 

 

 

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