Whatever the age of your own children, there are times when you need to entertain a kid from a completely different age group. Your go-to activities are unsuitable and you find yourself having to think of something a little bit different. This happens to me fairly frequently when my nieces and nephews come to stay. They don’t live in Manchester so I can’t help but want to show them what fun there is to be had in and around the city.
Last weekend my 14 year old nephew paid us a visit. Now a teenager, I am confident that he has outgrown most of the ideas I could come up with off the top of my head – after all, Tall Boy’s requirements are a little more straightforward.
Luckily, whilst frantically Google-ing, I stumbled upon Stonerig Raceway in Oldham. The promise of 9 Scalextric race tracks had me sold. (Of course I knew I would be expected to take part in said activity!) With the chance to have a ‘go’ in a Formula 1 simulator and it sounded like the perfect way to spend an afternoon with a car loving, F1 fan of a teenage boy.
The Scalextric Experience
From the outside, Stonerig Raceway is unassuming. I found myself opening the door to check it was open before everyone else got out of the car. But when you go inside you find a place made for anyone who loved to race little cars round tracks on their living room floor as a kid.
The 9, themed tracks are set out over two floors and each one has space for 4 people to race.
When the starting lights go out, you set off in a bid to complete 10 laps before your friends.
Luckily there is a screen to keep count, as remembering where you are up to when your car comes off the bend for the hundredth time can be tricky.
‘Derailments’, are usually recovered by an enthusiastic member of staff but sometimes you have to get yourself ‘back on the road’, which becomes part of the fun.
The Scalextric racing was enough to occupy three adults and said teenager for a good hour, bringing out the competitive streak in all of us. A last minute flash of inspiration from Tall Dad to take the Baby Bjorn, also meant that Tall Boy was pretty well occupied too. He loved watching the cars whizz round.
The Formula One Simulator
Scalextric car racing complete, my nephew tried the F1 simulator. You sit in a full size racing car, which has a simulator screen in place of a windscreen. The car gives physical feedback apparently similar to that felt by a racing driver, whilst you race on a well known circuit. I can’t speak from my own experience but my nephew absolutely loved it. He didn’t want his half hour session to end.
Overall it’s a great value way to keep a teenager out of trouble for an afternoon. Weekend ‘arrive and drive’ sessions make it worth banking as a rainy day activity and, if you happen to be a Scalextric fan, you might be interested to learn that they host parties for grown ups too.
Unit 2, Milking Green, Hartshead Street, Lees, Oldham, OL4 5EE
Phone: 0161 478 2184
Mobile: 07736 545 041