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A new £1m immersive Peter Rabbit attraction is coming to Blackpool’s seafront

This will make for an exceptionally wholesome day out with the little ‘uns

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Merlin Entertainment

A new £1m attraction based on the beloved Peter Rabbit is set to open on Blackpool’s seafront next month. 

‘Peter Rabbit Explore and Play’, which has been eighteen months in the making, will be opening next door to Madame Tussauds and will join Merlin’s six other attractions, including The Blackpool Tower and Sea Life Blackpool.

In what will be Merlin’s first stand-alone visitor attraction experience based on the cartoon, visitors will be able to fully immerse themselves in the world of Peter Rabbit and ’embark on an adventure across five fluffy-tailed themed zones’.

Merlin Entertainment

Guests will also be able to meet, greet and ‘high-paw’ Peter the Rabbit himself when the attraction opens in February.

Merlin said on the new opening: “Guests will need to think like a rabbit, move like a rabbit and deploy rabbit-like senses with a whole burrow-full of creativity in order to complete the challenges and earn badges – seeing if they have the skills to join the secret treehouse club.”

The regional director Kate Shane added: “We are thrilled to be welcoming such an icon to Blackpool.

“Peter Rabbit is a well-loved household name for young and old and is globally renowned. We are delighted that this new attraction concept will be created here in Blackpool first.

Merlin Entertainment

“We firmly support Blackpool’s overall ambition to be the UK’s number one family seaside resort and with such a family-favourite brand joining our Blackpool Cluster of attractions we can’t wait to ‘hop’ to it and get the experience open.”

An exact opening date is yet to be announced, though it has been confirmed for February 2022.

For news and updates, make sure to follow the official Peter Rabbit: Explore and Play Blackpool Facebook page here.

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Contact returns with its annual Vogue Ball for LGBTQ+ festival 2023

Make sure you don’t miss this!

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Contact

For its 50th anniversary, Contact is set to return with its annual House of Suarez’s Vogue Ball, celebrating the most extraordinary and exciting LGBTQ+ talent, as part of the Queer Contact festival.

Running from February 4th – 18th, Queer Contact festival 2023 will be bigger and brighter than ever, with Drag Race royalty gracing the stage and its annual extra, show-stopping Vogue Ball, presented by House of Suarez , kick-starting a two weeks celebration of queer artistry.

Set to be even more fierce and fabulous, highlights will include Drag Race UK’s talented queens Ginny Lemon and Sister Sister, as well as an evening in conversation with Heartstopper actor and Contact alumni Fisayo Akinade. 

Along with the outrageous cabaret Vogue Ball — a yearly highlight for fans of Contact — which will take place at Manchester Academy, it will travel back to the glorious decade of disco for a night of glitter and glam MCed by the iconic, Rikki Beadle-Blair. 

Contact

Houses from across the UK compete for the coveted titles of best choreography and best design — awarded by an esteemed panel of judges — as they pose and perform in an unapologetic celebration of inclusivity, queerness, and diversity.

Ginny Lemon and Sister Sister, the breakout stars of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK Season 2, will not fail to live up to their reputations as the most despised queens, as they try to bring the most disappointing drag show you’ve ever seen to the Manchester Stage — as part of their, You Keep Me Hanging On Tour.

In their debut for Queer Contact, this will mark the duo’s first joint show, and promises to be hilarious, if average.

 François Pandolfo

To add another festival highlight, Heartstopper and Cucumber actor Fisayo Akinade will also explore the many different elements that have influenced his life and career. Inspired by Contact’s celebration of its 50th anniversary, an In Conversation with Contact’s artistic director and CEO, Keisha Thompson, will see her talk with him about the 50 things that shaped his career.

One of the breakout comedy acts from the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, comedy performer François Pandolfo will make his debut at this year’s Queer Contact as Milly-Liu, with his ‘one-man-cat-drag-late-night comedy show.’ Join her as she is ready to spill the beans on all your favourite celebrity pussies. 

You can also jump onboard the queerest Tardis with Doctor Who inspired entertainment by Carrot and Friends. Be transported through time and space with their cosmic comedy as you experience dimension-defying drag, stratospheric stand-up, burlesque to make a Cyberman blush, and an oncoming storm of many other surprises.

Cocoa Butter Club

Bradford’s bad girl Lady Bursha will bring her hilarious and iconic drag queen comedy to the stage. Shortlisted for the 2021 BBC New Comedy Awards, Lady Bushra is the brainchild of British Asian comedian Amir. His alter ego Lady Bushra is known for her stand-up comedy, ingenious lipsync performances and one-liners, often seen performing her sold out ‘Drag Comedy Cabaret’ across the nation.

Other cabaret and comedy highlights include a night with the Cocoa Butter Club, an evening in the company of The Bitter Peach’s Peach Chutney Crew, and Luke Hereford brings their autobiographical musical adventures on their journey of queer self-discovery. 

CEO and Artistic Director Keisha Thompson said: “We’re so excited to be bringing the best in LGBTQ+ arts and culture together once again for Queer Contact 2023. Our flagship queer arts festival has been central to our mission and vision for over a decade and will continue to cement our spot on Manchester’s cultural map for many more decades to come.

“In 2023, as we celebrate our 50th birthday, Queer Contact is characterised by joy; from a Dr Who-themed cabaret to an evening with Heartstopper’s Fisayo Akinade, we’re here to platform a huge spectrum of queer lived experience; focusing on kindness, community and celebration.”

Tickets for Queer Contact 2023 are now on sale and can be booked via Contact’s website.

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Europe’s largest sneaker festival is returning to Manchester this spring

‘Cause there’s nothing like the smell of a fresh box of trainers.

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Crepe City

Back by popular demand, Crepe City Sneaker Festival will showcase the rarest and most desirable pairs of trainers as it returns to Manchester this spring.

Prepare to be impressed by an incredible selection of brands as you can expect to see the best trainer vendors from around the city, bringing with them some of the most exclusive sports shoes and streetwear you can find — and tickets are available NOW

For those early birds, you can bag yourself a free beer or a soft drink as well as the chance to have the first pick of the rarest trainers with an Early Admission ticket.

The event will also be a great experience with a live host, plus Manchester DJs pumping out the tunes throughout the day, a bar to quench your thirst, and local street food vendors supplying a variety of tasty goods for you to sink your teeth into.

Crepe City

The official event page reads: “The Crepe City Sneaker Festival returns to Manchester! Expect to see the city’s best sneaker vendors bringing the rarest and most exclusive pairs of sneakers as well as the hottest in streetwear. 

“You can also find some of the best and most varied street food on site, as well as live performances and a DJ playing throughout the day. There’s a good reason Crepe City is the leading sneaker event in Europe. Get your tickets for the Crepe City Manchester Sneaker Festival!

“Crepe City will make its return to Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Trafford Park on Sunday March 19th, 12-5pm and tickets are on sale now.”

Standard tickets cost £12.50 and Early Admission tickets cost £16.50 (entry from 11am).

Book your tickets here.

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Chester Zoo is giving away free tickets for children during teacher strike

What an offer!

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Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo is offering free tickets for children during the teacher strike on Wednesday, as the walk-out will affect classrooms across the UK.

The conservation zoo, a popular visitor attraction for families and animal enthusiasts alike, originally made 2,000 tickets available. But as families prepare for a day off work and keeping the children entertained, they quickly sold-out due to popular demand and another 1,000 were made available.

School-aged children can take advantage of the offer, which runs this Wednesday, February 1st, when thousands of teachers will be taking part in industrial action over pay and conditions.

There will be plenty of educational activities for youngsters to take part in as the zoo’s ranger team will be hosting interactive events where children can learn about its mission to prevent the extinction of endangered species.

Chester Zoo

The zoo hope’s to inspire new generations of conservationists with young people playing a vital role in creating a sustainable future for the planet and its wildlife.

Charlotte Smith, Director of Conservation Education at Chester Zoo, said: “Our education team will be hosting lots of extra fun interactive activities on Wednesday – all aimed at helping educate children about the incredible animals here at the zoo, as well as equipping them with the skills they’ll need to become the conservationists of the future.

“As one of the world’s leading conservation zoos, we put everything into our work to prevent extinction both here in the UK and globally. Our huge team live and breathe wildlife conservation – so we want to give children and young people the opportunity to learn all about how they can help play a vital role in creating a more sustainable future for people and wildlife.”

Chester Zoo

Staff at the much-loved Cheshire zoo, one of UK’s largest, are supporting a move to see conservation education – including issues such as climate change and sustainability – embedded into the UK curriculum, having already seen it work successfully in the North West.

A range of in-zoo activities will be available at no extra cost on the day. Free tickets will be available on the zoo’s website and must be pre-booked, with children accompanied by a paying adult – you can grab tickets here.

 

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