Five Days Out For A Fiver: Day 2 – Garston Lifestyles

Money spent: £4.90

Fun had:  ✰✰✰✰✰

Teacher based reduction in fun: ✰

Day 2 of the Five Days Out For A Fiver challenge and it was chucking it down with rain again.  So still no outdoorsy fun.  Anyway, we decided to take advantage of Liverpool City Council’s Futures programme, which gives free access to all of the Council’s pools for under-17s and we headed off for the Lifestyles centre in Garston.

The kids went for free and I paid £3.60 for an adult swim and 20p for a locker.  The pool in Garston Lifestyles is pretty impressive, more akin to a posh splash centre in a slightly upmarket holiday centre in Cornwall than anything resembling the corpy baths of old. It had bridges, a little waterfall, a special kiddies area and a decent 25m pool for the more serious swimmer.  It also includes Liverpool’s largest water slide, which was pretty impressive, if not open as much as we’d have liked.  The ‘changing village’ allowed us to all stay together, while affording a nice degree of privacy in individual changing cubicles.

We had an absolute ball splashing and diving about and didn’t notice that a serious few hours had gone by.  We only had to beat a hasty retreat once two of the male teaching staff from my daughter’s school turned up with their own children for a swim.  I’m not sure if there are many more toe-curling things for a 13-year-old girl than for her history teacher to see her in swimwear, but it’s at least got to be Top 10.

Anyway, we dried off and had our packed lunch in the cosy little café/viewing area and spent one of the best £1.10s I’ve ever spent on a portion of chips.  It reminded me of coming home from Lister Drive baths as a girl with a bag of chips between about ten of us.

It’s a four bus jaunt to Garston and back from where we live, but it was well worth it.  While we were diving into our ham butties and chips, I asked my kids how this week is shaping up compared to what we’d normally be doing – meals out, trips to the pictures, and so on – and they both said that this is better.  They love that we’re spending time together, talking and laughing.  And I couldn’t agree more.  It’s brilliant, brilliant family time and I love it.

Find out more about Lifestyles centres and the Futures programme at

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