Wednesday 13 November 2019

Slam Dunk Basketball Party Review with the Manchester Giants (Press Review)

On Sunday we were invited over to the home of Manchester Giants Basketball Team in Urmston, Manchester, to experience their children's parties. None of my family know anything about basketball, it's not something any of my children have played, and that really just made it more exciting. It's always fun to try something new - you'll definitely learn something and you might find you really like it.

Manchester Giants Children's Basketball Party Review (Press Visit)

The Manchester Giants are based at the George H Carnall Sports Centre, which is easy to find, just off the M60 in Urmston. Children's Parties last a whole afternoon and including a 1 hour training session with Manchester Giants coaches, pizza party meal and a Manchester Giants basketball game.

Manchester Giants Basketball Kids Party Review

Usually you'd have a birthday child and a group of friends, in our case it was a little different. We were at a party arranged for press, so most of us didn't know each other, and nor did the children.

Manchester Giants Basketball Parties waiting in cafe beforehand

The party meet up in the cafe area, which has some comfy sofas and is a really relaxed place to be. Before we were led through to the basketball court, all of the children were given a gorgeous Manchester Giants t-shirt with the Manchester bee on the back (the sizing is a bit small, so go big).

Two children sitting on Manchester Giants Basketball court seating wooden benches

This was the first time we'd seen a proper basketball court and the boys were buzzing. The kids all ran on for their training session, and we went to sit down and watch. There's bench seating on two sides with a good view all around.

Manchester Giants Basketball court party review kids training session

The coaches were great and they really took care of all of the kids. I could hear them shouting names almost instantly, and no-one seemed to ever be left out. They kept the flow and pace going really well without being strict. For example when a child was really trying, they were given the time to go for it. It was really positive and all of the children really worked as a team and supported each other.

Manchester Giants Basketball Party Review kids training session on court

Towards the end of the session a couple of real life Manchester Giants came to 'train' with the children. My boys got a real kick out of this, so fans must be absolutely enthralled. There were lots of high 5's and huge grins.

Manchester Giants Basketball Party Review players training with the children

My boys both absolutely loved the training session. They managed to score plenty of times in the (slightly lowered) net - although they missed far more. There was no pressure, it was so quick-fire that no-one ever stood around and no-one stood out as especially good or less so. It was just fun.

Manchester Giants Basketball Party Review little boy scoring basket

The only downside for us was that we were all thirsty and I forgot to pick up the water bottles, so by the end of the hour the boys were a bit pink and flustered. Don't make my error.

Manchester Giants Basketball kids training session scoring baskets

After the training session it was over to the cafe area for the party food. The children got a drink of juice almost immediately and then the pizza and chips arrived. Unusually it was a genuine take away and very nice too. They demolished it.

Manchester Giants Basketball children's parties pizza meal in the cafe

The cafe is staffed by volunteers and was actually shut on the day we visited, so options for adults were a bit limited. There was a butty van outside during the match, but while the children were eating we were limited to the vending machines. They need you to download the app., otherwise it's coinage only, and 5 hours without caffeine or calories makes one hangry.

Manchester Giants Basketball children's parties food pizza chips

We had a good 45 minutes for lunch, which was about perfect, with plenty of time for trips to the loo. After lunch we all went back to the benches, and the court was now full of spectators to watch the match.

Basketball is really fast-paced and the penalty system is a little bit of a mystery to me, but we could all follow the basics and it was an exciting match. There were a few away supporters singing and banging a drum, which added loads to the atmosphere. If I'm entirely honest, the PA Announcer was completely unintelligible, but he was enthusiastic and clearly enjoying himself.

At half time we were treated to a display by the cheerleading team. There are loads of them! They were very good and there were a couple of young ladies thrown about and thankfully caught. They all stood at the end of the court during the match and towards the end especially joined in with encouragement for the players.

Manchester Giants Basketball Cheerleading Squad half time entertainment

After the 3rd quarter the party were all led onto the court and the child in the middle was given a signed basketball. I missed why because the man eating the microphone explained it, but obviously usually this would be the birthday child. The kids all enjoyed that moment in the spotlight - look at the grins.

Manchester Giants Basketball Party kids on the court at 3rd quarter

It was great. Sadly the Manchester Giants did not win, but they never gave up and my youngest especially really got into it, shouting at the top of his lungs. The final score was 66-94 to the Newcastle Eagles.

Manchester Giants Basketball squad match ending Newcastle Tigers

After the match loads of the players hung around to meet the fans, signing autographs and taking selfies. Crikey they're tall! It was a lovely touch and my son was ecstatic with his page of signatures.

Manchester Giants Basketball squad signing autographs for children

We went home tired, satisfied and happy. It was a great experience that we all really enjoyed. My youngest son is particularly smitten, he has discovered another sport that he really likes both playing and watching.

Manchester Giants children's parties are probably best for children aged about 6-11 and all children in your party should be fairly close in age for safety reasons. My kids were busy and grinning from beginning to end! They never stopped and enjoyed every minute of the training session and the match. Meeting so many of the players was awe-inspiring for them, and they have those gorgeous Manchester Giants t-shirts as a memento. It was a really great party.

Manchester giants child scoring a basket while 3 more watch

Manchester Giants Slam Dunk Birthday Parties are available on the day of every home game. Everyone gets a Manchester Giants t-shirt to take home and the birthday child gets a basketball signed by the players. Game tickets are included for every child and 2 adults. The cost for 10 children is £350, with each extra child £35. It's honestly great value for what you get and as far as my boys are concerned the best 'Not-A-Birthday Party' they've ever been to!

To find out more see the Manchester Giants website and you can book the Manchester Giants Slam Dunk Birthday Parties here.

Our visit was as guests in order to review. 


  1. This looks fab. My oldest is, bizarrely, a big Basketball fan so I'm going to have a look at taking him to a game

    1. Oh is he really? I didn't know. He'd love it. There were tons of kids there and the players were all so friendly. It's really quick-paced too, so I think your other kids would enjoy a match :)


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