This week, post-Christmas normality fully resumed in the Valentine household and it was not pretty. It turns out that we’d become quite acclimatised to waking up at 8am, eating chocolate for breakfast, and generally hibernating for a week or so (and yes, I know how lucky we are to have been able to enjoy an extended break together).
Going back to work bright and early on Monday morning, leaving the house while it was still dark, having to wear clothes other than pyjamas and officially re-joining society was a bit of a shock to the system so by Wednesday, I decided that we needed something to look forward to at the weekend.
Like most people, we’re on a tight budget right now so took advantage of the many January foodie offers on in Manchester and decided to go out for lunch. I thought that it would be nice to surprise Adam so on a whim, I had also planned for us to visit Treetop Adventure Golf in the Printworks on the way.
I’ll mention here that mini-golf has always been a bit of a stalemate between the two of us. Adam loves it and I really do not which means that we never actually go together. In the spirit of compromise and being a bit less of a cliched stubborn Taurean, I figured that it couldn’t be that bad so off we went.
Treetop Adventure Golf was not somewhere that I’d heard of until Google helpfully suggested it when I typed in ‘Cheap Things to Do in Manchester’ and reviews were good. My uncharacteristic burst of spontaneity paid off. We arrived on Saturday at about 11am to be told that, because it was before midday, we’d be able to play two courses for the price of one (£9.50 each). Winner winner chicken dinner.
We put our stuff in a locker (£1 but you get this back) and started on the Tropical Trail. I was wary at first as it seemed to be solely occupied by young families, however, we were soon joined by a few fellow child-free groups which was reassuring.
The 18-hole jungle trek was well decorated and had rainforest music playing throughout, with each hole being relatively easy to complete. I quickly remembered why I don’t really enjoy mini-golf – it’s not the game itself that’s an issue but Adam’s competitive as fuck nature that takes the shine off things. I jest but I am not remotely fussed at winning when it comes to sports or board games or whatever.
I also forgot that Adam is pretty good at golf in general so once we’d got to about the sixth hole and we had an unspoken expectation that he would probably win, the pressure was off and things started to become enjoyable. My skills were better than I’d anticipated and I even took pride in gaining my very first hole in one.
At the end of the first course, we took on the 19th hole, which is a bonus shot that gives you the chance of winning a free game if you can ‘beat’ it. I didn’t but Adam did – of course he did.
Next, we played the Ancient Explorer; an Aztec-themed course and my personal favourite. The aesthetic was creative and the attention to detail impressive, with a water feature, Mabel the Monkey Queen, temples and all kinds of other stuff to admire on the way around. I found it to be a bit more challenging so took us longer to complete than the previous one.
We finished up at the 19th hole again and Adam – unbelievably – won another free game. This gave him (quite rightly) bragging rights for at least a couple of hours, leaving on a high. It was great value for money given that we spent more than two hours at Treetop Adventure Golf and the additional wins made it well worth the trip.
It’s also earned a place on our ‘Random Family Days Out’ list so I’ll no doubt be taking my dad, uncle and co along when we go back to redeem Adam’s victory games. It’s worth mentioning that they have a lovely looking cafe/bar area offering pizza, coffee, cocktails etc but, as we’d pre-booked lunch elsewhere, we didn’t take advantage of that. If you have, I’d be keen to hear about it so feel free to share your experience below.