Sunday saw the Third Annual North East Blogger meet up in South Shields. Although for us it was the first one we’d attended. Meeting up with our blogging friends on an informal basis. This was a chance to sit back and relax and chat, before experiencing some of the things to do in South Shields.
Marine Park, South Shields
South Shields has lots of parks to explore. Marine Park is split into two sections, North and South.
North Marine Park has two large children’s play areas, Minchella’s Cafe, A Miniature Railway and a large boating lake. Our starting point was here to meet up and have our picnic. We got a little envious over everyone else’s picnic offerings. Our Picnic in the park consisted of a handful of hame or cheese sandwiches wrapped in cling film, crisps and fruit. Around us the Instagrammers pulled out marinated olives, focaccia, salads, pizza slices and a glimpse of sausage roll.
After we hid our paupers packed lunch in our bellies, we were entertained by Pip’s Puppets. A traditional glove puppet show, with a large cast of characters.
Quaser Amusements: Laserforce
Laserforce is a laser based combat game. Other names you may know it as are Laser Tag, Quaser Laser and Laser Quest.
First off, you fill out a membership form. This is to be processed and used to create your membership card. This is for you to keep and can be used on any return trips to the Laserforce centre. After a Quick debriefing of all the rules and operating instructions we put on our Laser Combat gear and were ready for action.
Laser Tag Game 1
Our first game was everyone for themselves. Bloggers vs Bloggers vs Children of Bloggers. Abigail was a little wary at first and we decided to stick together. Imogen went with Catherine. Although we were playing separately I thought a little bit of team work would encourage her into the games. We ran off through the blackened room, down a ramp and tucked away to find a hiding spot. The aim of the game was to score point and you won points by shooting players, and targets. If you had been shot your gun was out of action for a few seconds.
As we hid away I took aim at Catherine and my gun was down! I waited for it to light up… aimed at a target and I was shot again. I turned around to find Abigail was simply spraying my back with laser light!
After 15 minutes it was game over and time to find out where we scored compared to our fellow bloggers.
Laser Tag Game 2
Round 2 was a Team game. This time to make it fair the teams were chosen based upon ability to balance it out. Which also meant that Cat and I were against Imogen and Abigail! This time it was about shooting the oppositions targets and protecting your own base. While also shooting the other team.
Our team (green) won and I refrained from gloating too much to the kids. The Red team consisted of Big Stevie Cool, his two young boys, Imogen and Abigail and Thom. With two adults and 4 kids they had a disadvantage, but a win is a win.
Quaser Amusements: Laser Maze
The Laser Maze is a pay as you play attraction.
The idea is to carefully navigate from one end of the darkened room to the other end. Sounds easy? The room is scattered with Lasers that criss cross the darkness. It is also a time limited game with the target of 90 seconds from start to finish. If you break the beam of 5 lasers the game will stop.
Abigail really didn’t want to play this. She didn’t like the idea of heading behind the black curtain. Imogen was desperate to do the challenge. She set the difficulty level to Easy and contorted her way through the course. Catherine also completed the challenge.
I set the course to Hard and stepped through the curtain. The room is slightly dashed with smoke. It isn’t a dense fog, just enough to highlight the laser beams. Hard level was a challenge, I was high stepping, hopping and leaping over beams, followed by sliding across the floor. I don’t have a comparison from my own experience of the other levels, but Hard was fun. I completed the Laser Maze breaking 0 laser beams.
Scoop and Bean
Scoop and Bean is located right at the entrance to South Shields, Ocean Beach Pleasure Park. It is a glass sided tented topped, Coffee and Ice Cream Bar. Every time we’ve passed the place theres been a large queue out the door. There is limited seating inside, but the setup is leaning towards take out.
We were lucky enough to find a table for us, plus Catherine’s Mam and Dad. There is no hiding the fact that we are coffee addicts. Coffee for us needs to be strong. Ideally an Americano with a splash of milk. Catherine’s Mam had just been recounting a tale about weak coffee from a location in Jarrow. I matched it with a story about weak coffee in Gosforth.
I’m pleased to say that the coffee at Scoop and Bean was perfect. Hot, strong and a nice break from the noise of the pleasure beach.
The Kids went for ice creams. The both opted for Toffee Fudge with Marshmallow toppings. I’d be lying is I didn’t own up to having the Cookie Monster Ice cream in a cone. Blue ice cream with a nice biscuit crunch through out.
Definitely one of the places that gives you more than you expect from it.
Ocean Beach Pleasure Park
With our day coming to an end we had just enough time to take on a couple of rides in Ocean Beach Pleasure Park. The rides are paid for by tokens, which you can purchase from machines on site or pre purchase tokens and save online.
Different rides require different amounts of tokens. With a belly full of ice cream and Coffee, we thought we’d take it easy! So Went on the Caterpillar Roller Coaster,
and Atmos Fear!
Ok the last one is a lie as you’d never get me on that ever.
We had a very full fun Sunday afternoon in South Shields. Ocean Beach Pleasure Park has so much on offer to fill in a day. As Catherine’s parents live just around the corner we will be back probably every couple of weeks. And we all agree that the coffee is definitely worth the queue.