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Here’s when the Coca-Cola Christmas truck is coming to Manchester

It looks like the holidays are coming after all…

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@chris_.tsak & aylsahopps / Instagram

The iconic Coca-Cola Christmas Truck is making its festive comeback this year, and it will be stopping in Manchester along the way. 

The nostalgic truck, which has been gracing our screens every Christmas since 1995, couldn’t partake upon its annual nation-wide tour last year as a result of Covid-19.

But this year, the truck is once again heading out on the road though, unlike previous years, it has been announcing its schedule region-by-region and confirming its stops just a few days before its planned arrival.

@petljagic / Instagram

Coca-Cola said in a statement: “This year, we’re planning to stop off at as many cities around the UK as possible – but we don’t want to spoil the surprise just yet.

“We’ll be revealing which cities we’ll be rolling into over the next few weeks, so keep your eyes on our social media or website for all the details.”

Last week, Glasgow was announced as the first stop on the tour and since then, Newcastle, Leeds, Castleford and Sheffield have all been added to the lineup.

@annkristin_bj / Instagram

And now, Manchester has been confirmed as one of the truck’s destinations, with the Coca-Cola website stating that it will be arriving at the Trafford Centre from December 3rd to December 5th.

The truck will be there from 11am until 8pm across all three days and will be free to visit. 

This is the first time the truck has come to Manchester since 2019, when it stopped off at both Asda Eastlands and The Trafford Centre.

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Kids can now become firefighters at Greater Manchester’s new immersive Fireground experience

The new attraction includes a fireman’s pole, historic fire engines and immersive street scenes

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Mama Fox Reviews & Fireground Rochdale / Facebook

Kids can now try their hand at being a firefighter in Greater Manchester’s new and immersive ‘Fireground’.

The new attraction has replaced Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum in Rochdale’s old fire station, and features a whole array of firefighter-themed fun for the little ones, including fully restored fire engines, horse-drawn fire carriages and manual hand-operated pumps

There’s also an immersive Victorian street scene and a scene from the blitz, complete with lighting and sound effects, perfect for the children to immerse themselves in the fire service’s extensive history.

The museum boasts a number of interactive display elements too, including a play area with a fireman’s pole to slide down – something that has proven to be a big hit with the kids.

@FiregroundRochdale / Facebook

@FiregroundRochdale / Facebook

The reviews for the new Fireground – which has been five years in the making with a massive of £1.6m – have been glowing, with parent and blogger Katrina Heywood hailing it as ‘the best time’ after visiting with her son Joseph.

Writing on her Mama Fox Reviews Facebook page, Katrina wrote: “Joseph loved all things firefighter related at the moment and there was lots of interactive things to do. He didn’t want to leave!”

Katrina said her son particularly enjoyed the interactive areas including the fireman’s pole, driving an engine simulation, trying on firefighter’s clothing and taking part in the firefighter quiz, which was ‘very accessible with pull away seating and colour coded questions using switches’.

She added: “The staff were all fantastic. Very knowledgeable and would give lots of info to adults and kids about the exhibits. Lovely interactions with the kids too.”

Mama Fox Reviews / Facebook

Mama Fox Reviews / Facebook

Over on the Fireground website, the company states it’s mission is to ‘explore, preserve and make accessible the history of fire, fire engineering and the fire and rescue services in the Greater Manchester region and, through our collections and resources, to further the education and promotion of fire safety in the community’.

There’s a cafe on site serving hot drinks and cakes, as well as a small shop selling toys, helmets, books and other firefighter-related products.

A number of events are planned at the museum later this year, including an Easter Trail on April 14th and 16th, a Mega Machines event on June 25th and a Family Fun Day on August 20th.

Tickets for children and concessions cost £5, adults £7, or family tickets for £20. Children under the age of four get to visit for free.

For more information and bookings, visit the Fireground website here.

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Here’s how Manchester is celebrating Chinese New Year

Manchester will be welcoming the Year of the Tiger in style…

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@chinesenewyearmcr / Instagram

The Chinese New Year is nearly upon us, and Manchester has a whole week of celebrations planned to mark the occasion.

Chinese New Year – also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival – will fall on Tuesday February 1st this year, starting the year of the Tiger.

According to the Chinese zodiac, people born in a year of the Tiger are predicted to be brave, competitive, unpredictable, and confident. However, they will also experience their zodiac birth sign year, benmingnian, in 2022, which is considered bad luck. 

Chinese New Year Manchester

But let’s not worry about that because Manchester has a ton of exciting events and activities lined up to welcome in the Year of the Tiger.

While the annual parade won’t be going ahead due to Covid restrictions, there will be the grand unveiling of a huge tiger art sculpture at St Ann’s Square on February 1st.

Commissioned by Manchester BID, the installation will take on the form of a traditional tiger from wood and recycled corrugated plastic.

While the tiger is a symbol of power, bravery and force in Chinese culture, the origami-esque sculpture will give the illusion of being weak and easily broken when, in fact, it will remain strong and tall for the city to see.

Chinese New Year Manchester

The tiger’s inner structure will also match the stripes and markings of a real-life tiger, which will cast stunning shadows at night with the help from surrounding lights.

And, on February 6th, Manchester’s Chinatown will come to life to celebrate the Lunar New Year with a whole host of family-friendly activities including lion dancing, Chinese dancers, street food stalls and Chinese arts and crafts events.

Thousands of traditional red lanterns will gradually adorn Chinatown and the rest of the city’s streets from today, too. 

The Chinese New Year will be celebrated from February 1st – February 6th. Make sure to follow Manchester’s Chinese New Year celebrations Instagram page for news and updates.

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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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