Adventures at Aviemore

It may have been a six-hour drive from Manchester to Aviemore but the girl’s faces lit up when we took them for a look at the new activity centre at the Macdonald Aviemore resort.

Staying in the Highland Hotel on the resort we were able to walk from our room to the leisure centre through the corridors and so they came upon the wonders of the activity centre without knowing where we were going.

We had a quick look around the activity centre and booked the girls into their sessions for the next two days before heading into the swimming pool. I was really impressed with the pool as it had a small water slide, sauna, steam room and spa pool and a wave machine. The pool was not very deep and the gradual slope to get in is great for young children. There is also a small baby pool for the very tiny. The water was warm and welcoming and we really enjoyed our time in there. In fact, we went in every day of our stay as the girls love swimming.

The Macdonald Aviemore Resort Activity centre has recently opened and cost £600,000 to create a state of the art area for children from birth to teens. The supervised activity centre is open to residents of the hotel and non-residents too and is really reasonably priced at £8 for three hours for residents and £10 for three hours for non-residents. This means that you can pop your child in there for three hours and go to the spa, play a round of golf or even go for a spot for dinner. The centre runs three-session times 9:30 – 12: 30, 1:30 – 4:30 and 6:00 – 9:00. If the girls had their way they would have been in there all day. They absolutely loved it and they were begging to go back after the first session.

The activity centre features nine interconnected ‘play’ zones over 1500 square metres, each age-specific zone is packed with some of the latest interactive technology to ensure every moment delivers fun and adventure for its young guests. The highly imaginative activity centres individual zones reflect the resort’s aim of giving children the opportunity to safely both learn and embrace technology and to enjoy the sense of freedom, fun
and adventure offered by traditional indoor and outdoor play.

Tumble under 2’s

Tumble is an area for babies and toddlers, with lots of places to crawl, climb, slide, jump and clamber on their very own soft play away from the bigger children. They have loads of natural resources to play with as well as age-appropriate books. It is like a toddler’s dream come true.

Explore – 3 to 5 years old

The Explore area has its own soft play area and treehouse and the added benefit of discovery tables and a home corner plus lots of space for messy play and dressing up. In fact, there is so much to keep the kids busy that they won’t realise where the time has gone.

Play – 6 to 12 years

The area the girls enjoyed the most and I have to say that is pretty much down to the fact that it had a stage. These girls like nothing more than putting on a show and the puppets, costumes and all the props really help them to do that. If they get bored of acting there is also lots of messy play, an interactive floor with lots of games and crafts such as jewellery making. The whole area is bright and with lots of room, the kids can really enjoy themselves trying out the different activities.


With Elizabeth being an avid gamer she was drawn to this area. with comfy sofas a large 50 inch screen and the two smaller screens you can see here there are lots of chances to have a go. With an Xbox 360 and a PS3 and lots of age-appropriate games, even the older kids will be happy.


Mix is where budding DJs and musicians can use the electronic drum kit, mixing desk and video technology to cut their own tracks or to record their latest dance moves. With a keyboard and microphone too the girls both enjoyed practising their singing although I am not sure my ears enjoyed it as much as they did!


Calm is the perfect place to escape when it all gets a bit too much. A dark corner of peace with lots of lights and sensory objects for the kids to enjoy.

Chill Zone – 13 years and over

Imagine that you are a teenager on holiday with your folks in a hotel with nothing to do, they might be happy but I bet your not. Well, this relaxation space which is exclusively for teenagers could be the answer to the strops and moans that all parents have to put up with from bored teenagers. Discreetly monitored by CCTV and accessed via a coded door, the chill zone includes iPod stations, TV and lounge seating as well as game consoles and an air hockey table and for all those teenager munchies there are vending machines too.

The nine areas are all well thought out, they look great and come at a brilliant price. In fact, the whole centre is way beyond what I was expecting and I just wished we lived closer so I could take full advantage of the fabulous child care service.

On the way up to Aviemore, we were cursing ever taking the offer of the review as the road to the resort seemed endless but after two nights we really did not want to come home and the moans and groans of the children as they left the activity centre echoed my own at the thought of leaving the beautiful resort and heading home to Manchester.