Schools and PTAs in Basingstoke offered free jump sessions at Festival Place

FREE family fun at Festival Place as 10,000 complimentary Flip Out sessions are offered to schools, colleges and PTAs

Schools, colleges and PTAs are being offered free sessions at trampoline park Flip Out at Festival Place, Basingstoke, to help beat the Back to School blues.

Flip Out at Festival Place is giving away 10,000 free children’s jump passes, with each organisation able to claim 100 free tickets. The passes can be used for a one-hour session at any time Monday to Friday during term time, until the end of November.

The initiative from Flip Out underlines Festival Place’s offer as a family shopping and leisure destination.

Paul Murphy, Marketing Director at Flip Out Basingstoke, said: “We know it’s a bit of a struggle to get the kids enthusiastic about going back to school and also getting them to take part in regular exercise. So here at Flip Out we would like to make it a bit more fun and, in the process, give something back to the local school community.”

Neil Churchill, Centre Director at Festival Place, said: “We pride ourselves on offering fun for families and young people and are delighted to support Flip Out as it donates these free passes.

“We hope schools and families will make the most of this offer and stay to enjoy the fantastic range of big brand stores, eateries and leisure facilities that Festival Place has to offer this autumn.”

One pass is permitted per user, who must be aged 18 or under and attending school or college. To take part in a session, a waiver must be completed and Flip Out socks must be purchased and used at £2 a pair. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.

To claim the free passes and for full terms and conditions, schools can call Flip Out on 01256 830803.

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Trash to become treasure as Festival Place launches major summer campaign to put the fun into recycling

Trash will turn to treasure and plastic will become fantastic as Festival Place, Basingstoke, launches a major summer recycling initiative to encourage shoppers to have fun while playing their part in helping the environment.

The shopping centre is inviting visitors to donate plastic bottles and packages which will be remodelled by an on-site artist into weird and wonderful robot sculptures during the summer holidays. Schools, community groups, businesses and individuals which would like to donate materials and have a sculpture displayed are asked to contact Marketing@festivalplace.co.uk

As part of the scheme, a series of eye-catching plastic “Recyclabots” – Maggie Zine, Alan Minium, Bev Ridge, Cap‘n Lidov, Carrie O’Bag, and Diana Thirst –  will go on display around the centre to encourage shoppers to drop off their materials. There will also be a prominent plastics recycling drop-off point in Porchester Square from July 30 to start the campaign, which will run until August 19.

The scheme will include an action-packed activities programme for families, including a “Robotrial” treasure hunt and a series of free craft activities from August 13 to 19 so children can create their own unique robots from the collected recycled materials.

Schools and community groups are also being invited to build their own recycling robot. The sculptures, built out of anything from cardboard to plastic bottles, will go on display in the shopping centre.

Shoppers will also be able to take part in an entertaining game called “Uppy Cuppy” – where they are challenged to hold up as many cups as they can. Participants will win a stylish and environmentally-friendly reusable cup. Members of the public will also be able to visit the “Carrie O’Bag” station to exchange their plastic bags for a brown paper reusable one.

Shoppers will be invited to share all their artwork and photographs on social media using the hashtag #FPRecyclabot.

The initiative comes amid Festival Place’s ongoing commitment to help the environment and raise awareness. The shopping centre was the first in the UK to operate an on-site Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Food Digestion Facility, turning food waste into grey water that can be re-used.

Emily Palmer, Marketing Manager at Festival Place, said: “Recycling and particularly the impact of plastic pollution is very high on the news agenda at the moment. With this in mind we have devised a summer initiative that aims to put the fun into recycling and particularly resonates with children.

“We have called upon the expertise of an artist who specialises in creating amazing sculptures out of plastic and the creations will form a spectacular backdrop to all the fun activities we will have going on. It’s a spectacle people will not want to miss!”

Festival Place is committed to helping the environment and has led a number of green-friendly initiatives. Key achievements include:

  • First shopping centre to operate an on-site Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Food Digestion Facility turning food waste into grey water.
  • The centre recycles over 170 tonnes of glass bottles each year.
  • All the centre’s cardboard and paper is recovered for recycling and it processes over 440 tonnes per year.
  • Over the past decade the centre has been awarded three Green Hero and six Green Apple awards for recycling commitment.
  • The centre uses waterless urinals and since 2011 collected rainwater has been used in the centre’s cleaning regime.
  • Centre-wide initiatives such as putting timers on lights, swapping to green energy electrical suppliers, and reducing the temperature by one degree saves over 800 tonnes of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere each year.

Emily added: “Festival Place continues to be a national leader in spearheading environmentally-friendly initiatives and we hope our summer campaign captures the imagination and gets even more shoppers recycling.”

The Trash to Treasure campaign is one of a series of events scheduled at Festival Place during 2018. For further information visit www.festivalplace.co.uk or find details on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Catwalk extravaganza comes to Basingstoke

Join Festival Place as the Love Fashion Weekend Returns on 28th & 29th April

Festival Place’s Love Fashion weekend returns on April 28th and 29th, when the hottest trends this season will be showcased live on the catwalk – and if that isn’t enough, there will also be a free “Personalisation Station”, staffed by skilled embroiderers.

Shoppers will be able to choose a design and watch as it is stitched on to their new purchases bought from any fashion retailer at Festival Place throughout Love Fashion Weekend.

Customers can also watch as the hottest Spring and Summer trends are showcased with stylist-led, choreographed catwalk shows featuring the best fashion brands in Festival Place.

Participating retailers include: Topshop, Topman, Laura Ashley, USC, Next, Jack & Jones, Debenhams, M&S, Apricot, Oasis, Monsoon, Quiz, Skechers, River Island, Slaters, Moss Bros, Superdry, Phase 8, Lipsy, Boros, Pandora and GAP.

Steven Connolly, Centre Director at Festival Place, said: “It is a great event, enjoyed by all. We have such a wide variety of fashion retailers, so we cater for all shoppers no matter what their style and budget.

“It’s all about bringing the glamour of Fashion Week to Festival Place in a fun, family atmosphere, giving shoppers the chance to find out about the latest trends at our catwalk shows, before picking out their perfect outfit to be personalised.

2017 Love Fashion Weekend with stylist JP as host.
Festival Place, Basingstoke
Photos by Sarah Gaunt Photography 07931900834 taekn April29th 2017

“We’re expecting it to be a busy weekend and very much looking forward to two days of fashion fun!”

The Personalisation Station, run by experts from Hand & Lock, one of Europe’s leading embroidery houses, can be found at Porchester Square, where the hour-long catwalk shows will also take place at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm on Saturday and at 12pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm on Sunday.

Love Fashion Weekend is one of a series of events scheduled at Festival Place during the coming year. For further information on Love Fashion Weekend visit www.festivalplace.co.uk/fashion or find details on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Families invited to spot the LEGO creatures as Festival Place and Bright Bricks host a fun-filled safari hunt for the Easter holidays

Thank you very much to Sandhya for putting this post together!!!

Families invited to spot the LEGO creatures as Festival Place and Bright Bricks host a fun-filled safari hunt for the Easter holidays

A fun-filled safari park adventure made entirely from LEGO bricks will encourage families to go wild at Basingstoke’s Festival Place this Easter.

The shopping centre will be transformed as more than 20 colourful life-size animals made from LEGO go on display, scattered throughout the shopping and leisure destination.

The sculptures, including an intricately-designed lion, crocodile, ostrich, gorilla, and warthog, will form part of a fun jungle trail designed for families to challenge themselves to find as many creatures as they can to be in with the chance of winning prizes.

People will be invited to share their fun safari pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by tagging @festivalplace and using the hashtag #GreatBrickAdventure

Participants of all ages will be able to take selfies in an authentic safari jeep, and children will be invited to take part in “Make and Take” LEGO workshops, where they will be able to build their own tiger or lion face and take it home with them.

The experience is being brought to Festival Place by Bright Bricks, based in Bordon, Hampshire, which is the only LEGO-certified building company in the UK. The sculptures have been made using more than 1m bricks and the specialist team has spent 6,241 hours building the models.

The LEGO Bricks Safari tour begins on Thursday, March 29 and will run until Sunday, April 8. The drop-in “Make and Take” sessions will take place from 11am to 3pm in Porchester Square on Good Friday and Easter Saturday (March 30 and 31)

Steven Connolly, Centre Director at Festival Place, said: “We are really excited about bringing the LEGO safari tour to the shopping centre and it promises to be a fun few days for all the family to enjoy. Festival Place will be transformed overnight into a mini-zoo of LEGO, so we can’t wait to get it all set up for safari fun over the Easter holidays.

“LEGO appeals to all ages, so we are expecting a high level of interest. The animal sculptures are incredibly life-like and have to be seen to be believed to appreciate the amount of effort and time that has gone into building them.

“We will have animals people might expect on a safari like lions and tigers, and some more unfamiliar ones, such as parrots and spiders. It promises to be a lot of fun and there will be some great picture opportunities.

“We wanted to make it an interactive experience, rather than just a display, so we hope as many families and children as possible can take part in the jungle trail and let their creativity flow in the workshops in Porchester Square.

“With all our shops, restaurants and leisure facilities, it’s a great opportunity for a family day-out over the Easter holidays, for families who live locally and those who come from further afield.”

Children can drop in to the “Make and Take” sessions and no prior booking is required.

For further information on upcoming events at Festival Place visit www.festivalplace.co.uk/safari or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To watch a time lapse video of the Bright Bricks team making an ostrich, which took four people 200 hours to create using 29,860 bricks, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBqdnQzGxXg

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Review 2018: Giraffe, Festival Place

Thank you very much to Lottie for today’s NHM Review post!!

Lottie and Louise (NHM) were invited along to try out Giraffe’s new menu and set up. We had a BRILLIANT evening and thank you VERY much to the Giraffe team for making our evening so lovely!

Giraffe, Festival Place

Giraffe in Festival Place, Basingstoke has recently had a bit of a makeover with new decor and a new set up where you now go up to order your food and pay when you order. Recently, we were lucky enough to attend a tasting session at the new and improved Giraffe, where we got to try samples of meat and vegetarian dishes from the new menu.

Drinks

There is a large range of drinks to choose from on the menu including beer, wine, soft drinks, smoothies and cocktails. We were both driving, so we opted to try the ‘Homemade Lemonade’ (which is one of the unlimited soft drinks to choose from) and a mango and ginger ‘Nix and Kix’. I really enjoyed the lemonade and would definitely order it again.

Food

Nibbles and Appetisers

First up, we were given the ‘Roasted Harrisa Nuts’ and ‘Lovely Olives’ from the nibbles section of the menu. I don’t usually eat nuts but thought I would give them a try and was pleasantly surprised, I really liked them!

Then we tried some of Giraffe’s appetisers. We tried the ‘Salt and Pepper Squid’ (Louise: My FAVOURITE!!),

‘Edemame Beans’,

‘Karaage Chicken’

and ‘Garlic Flatbread’.

Being vegetarian, the ‘Garlic Flatbread’ was my favourite and would make a perfect sharing starter before your main course.

Mains

The mains part of the menu is broken up in to different sections:

‘Bowls for the soul’ This is range of bowls of food including curries, rice dishes, tagines and more. We got to sample the ‘Katsu Chicken Curry’,

the ‘Malaysian Laksa’ with tofu and prawns and the ‘Spiced Aubergine Tagine’, which was my favourite dish of the night! The tagine is a combination of charred aubergine, beans and lentils, and is served with cous cous, toasted flatbread and yoghurt. There is also a lamb version for those who prefer a ‘meatier’ option.

‘Big n Beautiful Burgers’
Giraffes burgers are served in a soft bun with mixed leaves and a tomato slice, and they all come with skin-on fries. We got to try the Burger Bacon Cheese Stack and the ‘Halloumi and Falafel’ burger. Both were delicious, the sauce on the Burger Bacon Cheese stack was very tasty and anything that includes halloumi is good in my eyes!
 
‘Seriously Special Salads’

From the salad section of the menu we got to try the vegan ‘Super Freekah’ salad. Made up of butternut squash, roasted peppers, lentils, freeka and topped with yogurt it makes a lovely healthy option.

‘Flatbreads’
In addition to the ‘Garlic Flatbread’ starter, Giraffe’s menu has a range of flatbreads that you can also have as a main course. We got to sample the ‘Classic Margherita’ which was very tasty.

The other flatbreads include ‘Mexican Chicken and Chorizo’ and ‘Spicy Pulled Pork’.

Sides

There are a variety of tasty sides available on the menu, including ‘Sweet Potato Fries’, ‘Creamy Slaw’ and ‘Chipotle Creamed Corn’.

Desserts

When it comes to deserts, Giraffe now offer ‘Unlimited Frozen Yoghurt’. We tried vanilla flavour and it was really good. We were also lucky enough to sample the delicious ‘Churros’.

Churros are Spanish doughnuts, coated in cinnamon sugar and served with a chocolate dipping sauce.

We didn’t get to try the breakfasts that they offer but they look yummy!!!

Decor, Ambience and Facilities

With lots of wood, soft orange lighting and colourful furnishings there is a lovely warm and relaxed feeling in Giraffe. There’s music playing in the background which is loud enough for you to hear and enjoy, but not so loud that it disturbs your conversation. 
 
The new layout includes a counter for you to pay at and  a section in the middle for self service of the unlimited drinks and frozen yoghurt. All the facilities were very clean and well looked after.

Value for Money

With the majority of starters and deserts costing around the £5 mark and main courses roughly £10, I think Giraffe is great value for money. The Kids menu offers a huge range of meals – one of the biggest I’ve seen since having a child!
Kids Meal
You can even get a great deal of a main, desert and drink for £6.50. At weekends, they offer a free kids meal per full price adult main purchase! They also do a number of special offers, such as selected breakfasts for £5, 50% Flatbreads on Fridays and 2 for 1 on cocktails. 
 

Having been to Giraffe in the past, I have always noticed the warm atmosphere and great variety on the menu. I was delighted to see this was still the case following the recent revamp and the changes to how you order your food.

Thank you to Giraffe for having us, I will certainly be back soon!

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Giraffe Basingstoke in conjunction with Festival Place. Our meal was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. We were not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are our own.

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Celebrate Christmas with Festival Place

Christmas is now just around the corner and, once again, Festival Place has lots of exciting activities planned to delight and entertain the whole family.

The season officially commences on Thursday 16th November with the ever-popular Christmas Light Switch-on, hosted this year by Matt and Michelle from Heart Breakfast. The evening will feature live entertainment from The Halo Glow Show – an explosive visual stage act featuring virtuoso circus artists; the Wonderful West End cast performing songs from The Lion King, plus the stars of the Anvil’s production of Peter Pan. Santa and his elves will carry out the ceremonial pushing of the ‘on’ button to light up Festival Place and visitors will also be able to enjoy a firework display and see the shopping centre’s brand new Christmas decorations.

Santa’s Woodland Walk and Grotto will be in centre from Saturday 18th November to 24th December, where kids can not only come to meet Santa but also have fun with some augmented reality dancing penguins, an animatronic Christmas tree and Rudolph’s Naughty or Nice-o-meter! Visits cost £4.50, including a free gift, and some dates can be booked in advance here: http://www.bookfatherchristmas.co.uk/festivalplace

The famous Santa Parade will return on Sunday 3rd December at 12pm with Santa leading a whole host of Christmassy characters on a march from Porchester Square to Festival Square, sharing Christmas cheer with shoppers along the way.

With over 200 big brands and plenty of restaurants and cafés to choose from, it’s easy to make this year’s Christmas shopping a fantastic family day out.

Further activities are yet to be announced so keep an eye on the Festival Place website at www.festivalplace.co.uk/events or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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“Made in Basingstoke” – Summer 2017

BASINGSTOKE LAUNCHES SUMMER-LONG FESTIVAL WITH JAM-PACKED EVENTS PROGRAMME CELEBRATING THE TOWN’S FOOD, FASHION, ART AND CULTURE

21st June 2017:  Basingstoke is set to become Hampshire’s cultural capital this summer, when the town’s creative talent is celebrated in its inaugural ‘Made in Basingstoke’ festival, a jam-packed extravaganza of events catering for all tastes and age groups.

Running from 14 July to 13 August 2017 and comprising four themed weeks entitled Create, Taste, Discover and Make, the Festival will showcase the town’s artists, foods, attractions and people through a comprehensive programme of daily activities to be staged at key attractions, shops, museums and shopping centres across the town.

It will also celebrate the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen, who was born and raised in the area, with themed teas during the ‘Taste’ week and a host of activities during the ‘Discover’ week. These will include a walking tour, an amusing musical recital at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre; and a new exhibition called ‘Retail and Romance: Jane goes to the Ball’ at the Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery. In addition, visitors will be able to view a new bronze statue of the author, which will be unveiled in the town centre on 18 July.

Also, coinciding with the festival, is a new ‘Sitting with Jane’ free public arts trail and associated app featuring 24 ‘Book Benches’, each designed and painted by a different professional artist.

One of the highlights of Create Week (14-20 July) will be ‘The Mystery of the Star Eaters’, an immersive gaming experience for would be detectives and adventurers.  This interactive game will turn Basingstoke’s streets into a life-sized game board in which participants follow clues, question witnesses, solve puzzles and embark on a discovery around the town’s landmarks to investigate a mystery.

Other activities include: ‘The Create Market’, which will take the form of an expansive arts and craft market in The Malls shopping centre during the weekend of 15/16 July, complete with live entertainment.  There will also be art workshops hosted by local crafters and businesses including Paperchase, All Our Own Crafts, Eco-Workshop and the Red Lion Hotel, with topics ranging from decoupage to chalk painting.  Plus, music lovers can participate in a series of events at Dawsons, from open jam session days to digital drum workshops.

Next comes Taste Week (21-27 July), which will feature free cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs Phil Vickery and Jean-Christophe Novelli at The Malls Shopping Centre on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 July.  There will also be a Taste Market focused on local produce and businesses as well as a Jane Austen cream tea party at the Red Lion Hotel.

Then, to celebrate Basingstoke’s historic past, is Discover Week (28 July-3 August) including a ‘Summer Raincoat’ craft session tying into the town’s heritage connections with Thomas Burberry, as well as an array of events celebrating Jane Austen (see above) and a Punch and Judy Festival. Visitors will also have the chance to experience a vintage makeover during a ‘Fashion in the 50’s’ masterclass, at the town’s Vintage Treasures shop.

Finally, during Make Week (4-13 August) there will be a range of free events for families, from the Summer of Literacy Reading Challenge, to Charlie’s story time and children’s crafts at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre. There will also be rides, slides and workshops and the opportunity to get artistic and create ‘selfie’ masks, perfect for sharing on social media, at The Malls Shopping Centre.

For more information and a full schedule of events visit www.madeinbasingstoke.co.uk and follow @inbasingstoke and use #LoveBasingstoke on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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Peppa Pig returns to Festival Place

Festival Place, is excited to announce that the popular children’s fiction character, Peppa Pig, will be returning to the Basingstoke-based shopping centre over the Easter weekend.

Throughout the day on Saturday 15th April, the lovable but slightly bossy little pig will be meeting and greeting fans accompanied by Daddy Pig and George Pig.

There will also be story time sessions, led by a narrator, taking place at intervals between 11am and 4pm with free goodies up for grabs.

Spaces will be bookable online in advance, with some available on the day on a first come, first served basis. Make sure you come down early to avoid disappointment!

If you’re looking to visit Festival Place over the Easter weekend the shopping centre opening hours will be:

Good Friday (14th April) – 9am to 6pm

Easter Saturday (15th April) – 9am to 7pm

Easter Sunday (16th April) – CLOSED

Easter Monday (17th April) – 9am to 6pm

To stay up to date with all the latest information on the events planned at Festival Place visit www.festivalplace.co.uk  or find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Upcoming events at Festival Place – Feb to June 2017

Festival Place is excited to announce a number of events and activities taking place at the Basingstoke-based shopping centre over the coming months.

Kicking off this week, from Saturday 11th February to Tuesday 14th February, will be Festival Place’s Love Emergency campaign to celebrate Valentine’s Day. As well as being able to consult the ultimate guide to Valentine’s Day before they visit, shoppers will have the opportunity to take part in something extra special with surprise gifts for their loved one.

As the end of April approaches, things will be hotting up at Festival Place with the Student Lock In on 29th April, where the town’s youngsters can enjoy extended shopping hours to take advantage of a whole host of offers and discounts, with live music, freebies and giveaways. The same weekend will also see the Fashion Event, taking place on 29th and 30th April, which will showcase the season’s trends and provide inspiration for a spring wardrobe refresh.

The next date for the diary will be the much-anticipated annual food event, Eat Street, which will be running from Saturday 3rd June to Sunday 4th June. Once again, the shopping centre’s restaurants and cafés will be delighting the crowds with samples from their diverse menus and shoppers can look forward to meeting a special celebrity guest.

Festival Place Marketing Manager Charlotte Ranger said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming visitors to a number of fun events at the shopping centre this spring and are particularly excited about hosting our fifth Eat Street event. We hope that people will come from far and wide to find out firsthand all that Festival Place has to offer.”

To stay up to date with all the latest information on the events planned at Festival Place visit www.festivalplace.co.uk  or find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Christmas is coming to Festival Place

2015 Festive Place Christmas Lights Switch on in Festival Square. pic by Sarah Gaunt. taken 13.11.15 Photos for Festival Place. SARAH GAUNT PHOTOGRAPHY 07931900834
2015 Festive Place Christmas Lights Switch on in Festival Square.
pic by Sarah Gaunt. taken 13.11.15
Photos for Festival Place.
SARAH GAUNT PHOTOGRAPHY 07931900834

Plans are well under way at Basingstoke shopping centre, Festival Place, for a Christmas to remember.

Kicking off the festive activities on Friday 11th November, will be the famous Festival Place Christmas Light Switch On.  Featuring stars from the annual Anvil Arts pantomime and an array of family entertainment, this fun event is sure to get everybody into the Christmas spirit.

Sunday 4th December will then see the return of the well loved Festival Place Santa Parade, featuring an array of Christmassy characters marching from Porchester Square to Festival Square for the festive parade. Leading the event will be Santa himself, giving shoppers a welcome break from their Christmas shopping to enjoy the entertainment.

The Santa Parade and Christmas Light Switch On come as part of a series of events and activities coming up at the centre to spread the Christmas cheer this festive season, alongside their name change for the second year running from Festival Place to ‘Festive Place’.

2015 Festive Place Santa Parade Photos by Sarah Gaunt Photography 07931900834 taken 6th December 2015
2015 Festive Place Santa Parade
Photos by Sarah Gaunt Photography 07931900834
taken 6th December 2015

To keep up to date with details of Festival Place’s Christmas activities and other events at the centre visit www.festivalplace.co.uk or find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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