Below is my “Days Out” column from The Weekend supplement in the Saturday, September 21, 2013, issue of the South Wales Evening Post.
With Richard Thomas
...IF THE WEATHER'S GOOD
Hit the slopes, Pembrey County Park!
You don't need a holiday in the Alps to learn how to ski or snowboard - at Ski Pembrey, the dry slopes allow you to become an export without even going near a snow-covered mountain.
There are two separate ski and snowboarding areas, which cater to all abilities, whether you are going skiing or boarding for the first time, brushing up on your technique or organising a group event, there's something for you.
Ski Pembrey is one of the most up-to-date facilities in the whole of Wales. Open all year round, it has an Alpine Ski Lodge and Cafe, a floodlit 130m main slope, a 40m nursery area with sprinkler systems and button lift, mountain bike hire as well as the "Cobra", the ultimate toboggan ride- the biggest in Wales.
WHY? Professional AAS/BASI qualified instructors provide quality coaching and instruction, whether you are a complete novice or a budding racer, adult or junior.
Options include: Group ski lessons (book as an individual but taught as part of a group).
Organised school or club lessons (minimum 12 people) .
Private skiing or snowboarding lessons (one to one r your own friends)
Race training (Development of skills and performance of Alpine Racer)
Instructor training (become an artificial slope ski instructor).
HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE? All of the above offer beginners to advanced, and are based on 1-hour instruction including equipment hire. (Brining your own equipment lowers the cost!)
WHO WILL ENJOY IT? The beauty of this activity is the location- there really is something for the whole family, so it is not everyone's keen on skiing there's plenty to do at the park: cycling, horse riding and nature walks to name a few. The thrill of the slopes will entice most young children and Ski Pembrey has a fantastic mogul run and nursery slope, so it can be accessed by both experts and young beginners.
WHEN? Winter opening hours are from 10am-9pm daily and 10am-6pm weekends. The toboggan hire and shop will also be open at these times. Simply turn up for a recreational ski or snowboard without making a booking and all equipment is provided. A Saturday morning session for children is also offered and slalom runs and jumps are available for advanced skiers and snowboarders.
WHERE? Pembrey Country Park Ski Slope, Pembrey Country Park, Nr Llanelli, Dyfed, SA160EJ.
CONTACT: Tel: 01554 834443 for more information on the coast of classes and hire.
WHERE CAN I PARK? Onsite parking is available costing £5 all day.
...IF THE WEATHER'S BAD
The Odeon in Swansea is a 10 screen cinema. The inside is all on one level, allowing easy access for all who visit. The cinema has also been upgraded with large screens and digital projectors, which mean filmgoers are able to see 3D versions of the biggest blockbusters.
Ticket prices vary but Friday to Sunday an adult ticket (18 years) costs £7.95 and a child ticket (12 years and under) costs £5.55. Student, senior (over 60) and teen (ages 13 to 17) tickets all costs £6. Don’t forget to bring a photo ID with you, especially if you’re seeing a film with 12A, 15 or 18 certificates or want a student discount. 3D Films cost £2 extra for adults and £1.60 for everyone else, plus £1 for glasses.
WHERE? The Odeon is located inside the Park Tawe shopping complex in Swansea’s city centre.
WHY? Now showing at the Odeon is Rush, rated 15 it tells the story of F1 driver Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl), focusing on the rivalry between the reserved Austrian and charismatic English racer James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth). Also rated 15 is Riddick, an eye-popping sci-fi horror movie with some of the nastiest monsters ever seen on screen.
WHEN? The Odeon is open seven days a week. For film start times go to www.odeon.co.uk/cinemas/swansea/19
CONTACT? To book tickets call the Filmline on 0871 22 44 007 or visit www.odeon.co.uk. There is an extra 50p charge for booking online or using the Filmline.
HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE? Most films run for about 2 hours, but arrive about 20minuets early so you have time to get some snacks.
WHO WILL ENJOY IT? With 10 screens there's always something suitable for all ages, from younger children to students and seniors.
WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS? Younger cinema goers will enjoy Monsters University, a prequel to one of the best animated movies of all time, Monsters Inc, rated U.
HOW DO I GET THERE? For sat nav users the postcode is SA1 2BA.
LUNCH? It wouldn't be the pictures without snacks. Popcorn, hot dogs, nachos, sweets and soft drinks are all available at the cinema’s snacks counter. Combos are available to save on costs. You can treat the whole family with Odeon's new Family Mix, which includes 2 Kids Mix, 2 medium drinks and medium popcorn to share, all for only £9.99.
WHERE CAN I PARK? Free parking is available in the Parc Tawe Retail and Leisure Park car park.
ANYTHING ELSE IN THE AREA? The cinema is right next door to Tenpin Bowling and other leisure sites including Plantasia and Lazerzone are close by if you want to do something after seeing your film.