Have you ever noticed over time how difficult it is to organise a child’s birthday party with a difference? Something that is totally unrelated to any other party? Well, you may well be interested in the Manchester Giants birthday party we trailed recently and why it was something out of the ordinary!
Based at the George H. Carnall Centre in Urmston, which is literally just off the roundabout at Junction 9 on the M66 and super easy to find, the Slam Dunk Birthday parties are hosted at every Manchester Giants home match. There is ample free parking too – and if you turn up early (like we did), you may even get to see the opposing team arrive!
What does a Manchester Giants Birthday Party include?
Prices start from £350 for a standard package which includes:
- A 1 hour basketball training session on the show court with coaches – Manchester Giants players will also get involved nearer the end which is a lovely touch.
- A Molten basketball signed by all the Giants players as a special memento for the birthday child.
- A Manchester Giants t-shirt for all children in the party.
- Pizza, chips and soft drinks for after the training session and before the actual game.
- 10 x children’s tickets and 2 x adult tickets for the actual home game.
- All children in the party get to run out onto the court with the team as mascots before the game and join in the huddle.
The £500 gold package also includes a Molten basketball for all the party children and Giants foam fingers. Additional adult (£10) and child (£5) tickets can be added to any package. The parties are aimed at children aged 7 -11 years.
Everyone meets in the cafe area which is located just through the centre entrance, offering a relaxing start to an energetic afternoon! Giants t-shirts will be handed out and children can change in the bathrooms opposite, which is when the excitement really does start!
Once kitted out, everyone makes their way to the court where an hour’s training session with coaches begins. I absolutely love sport, Liv isn’t as much of a fan as I am but was totally up for the idea of playing basketball. The coaches were excellent with the children and really got them involved with the sport from the get-go. Everyone enjoyed themselves and the beaming smiles were wide for all to see. The training sessions are very energetic so it maybe wise to stock up on refreshments and bottled water before arrival… both the children and you as the spectator will need them! If not, make sure you have change to hand as there are vending machines available in the main foyer.
Children learn aspects of basketball such as dribbling, passing, shooting (and hopefully scoring) and more. Who knows, there could have been future Giants players in that training session!
Slam dunk Liv style!
Nearer the end of the training session, a couple of Manchester Giants players will also join in the fun. It was great to see them interacting with the children, showing off a few moves and joining in as a star player on the teams. It’s a lovely way for fans to get to know the players… and vice versa!
After an hour’s running around learning basketball skills, the children definitely needed refreshments and adults who had been sat on the wooden bleachers, needed slightly comfier seats! We all headed to the cafe, where birthday tables had been set out for the children to eat their meals. Pizza, chips and chicken nuggets for those who do not like pizza were served and it all seemed to vanish in a quick minute! With chocolate cake to finish, it was the perfect (sort of) end to the party! I state ‘sort of’ end as next is the actual Giants game!
It is prudent to note at this stage that there are no adult refreshments. Unfortunately on the day the cafe was not open and a food van did turn up just before the game started, however if you are wanting to quench your thirst ensure you are prepared with either beverages of your own, or change. The vending machines offer the chance to use an app to buy a drink, but the free wifi can be a little hit and miss, especially when in the actual court area.
Everyone slowly starts moving back to the court to take seats ready for the game starting at 5pm – this is a great chance to watch the players warming up and get into the spirit. With a party, seats on the bleachers are reserved, but if you are simply going to watch the game, then arrive early to grab a good vantage point!
Basketball games are totally action packed and unless you are a seasoned fan, you may not have a scooby what is going on, nor why music starts blasting out every so often. It doesn’t matter though, you are totally in the thick of it and have an opportunity to cheer your side on! The cheerleaders outnumbered the players about 3:1, yet it seemed I was the only one woman cheer squad that day. It’s great to support and encourage your team, it motivates them!
There are 4 break sessions to a game, which gives you enough time to have a stroll around. Taking a cushion to sit on isn’t a bad idea either!
Unfortunately on the day, the Manchester Giants lost to the Newcastle Eagles, but that did not matter as everyone had had such a wonderful time. At the end of home games the players congregate on the court to greet fans and sign Giants autograph sheets which are handed out at the beginning of the game. This is a great way for fans to up close and meet the sports stars they have just been watching and cheering on.
Personally, I thought the party was marvellous! Something so different for children to experience and take part in, whilst giving parents a genius idea for a birthday party! It can seem a tad pricey, but it’s a great way to celebrate and create life long memories… you may even find yourself attending more games afterwards!
The next Manchester Giants home game is against the Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday 8th December and I have been reliably informed this is a big ‘derby’ match, with both teams neighbours. Tickets are priced at £13 for an adult and £8 for a child. The basketball games are totally family friendly and going along to offer your support is a fabulous way to get children involved with live sport. You can check out more information on the Manchester Giants Slam Dunk Birthday parties here, alongside checking out the latest fixtures and booking tickets online.
Sim’s Life was invited along to experience a Manchester Giants Birthday Party for the purpose of this post.