If you’ve been hit hard by those post-Christmas blues, fear not! Because Heaton Park’s Lightopia is offering a massive discount for its Christmas Fantasy festival.
For the last two years, Manchester’s Heaton Park has been graced with Lightopia, a festival of immersive lights, lanterns and mesmerising installations and, low and behold, it’s here for the third year in a row.
The never-before-seen illuminated trail features magical and multi-sensory interactive lights, lanterns and installations, illustrating a story of an imaginative and fantasy festive world.
Lightopia is home to the fantastical ‘Magic Circus’ display, complete with illusional installations and interactive entertainment.
There is also the ‘Fantasy Forest’ to explore, an area home to the most extraordinary and mystical animals; guests will be able to walk through the enchanted forest and meet mythical creatures hidden in the woodland, including a nine tailed fox and unicorns.
Other attractions include the ‘Fantasy Universe’ with a supernova display and bioluminescence plants; ‘Dragon’s Land’ featuring two huge 40m dragons and fabled fairies; ‘Candy Land’, a sweet-inspired illuminated dreamland; ‘Fantasy Bees’, the trademark Manchester’s bee brought to life in a fantasy world; and the ‘Wonders of the World.’
And for the first time ever, Lightopia has Dine in the Light, a never-before-seen experience of fine dining in magical ‘dining domes’ deep in the woodlands of Heaton Park.
As for the finer details – Lightopia is here at Heaton Park until January 3rd 2022 and, to cheer the people of Manchester up after Christmas, is offering a massive 25% discount on its tickets for the rest of its stay.
All you’ll need to do is use the code XMAS25 at the checkout to validate your discount.
An all-you-can-eat cheese party is coming to Manchester for Valentine’s Day
Calling all cheese lovers!
A pub in Manchester is doing an all-you-can-eat cheese party to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Pie and Ale, based in the Northern Quarter, will be hosting this very cheesy evening in collaboration with Homage 2 Fromage, on Thursday February 16th at 7pm – 9.30pm.
The Leeds-born cheese tasting company will be laying out a selection of cheeses decked out on slabs in a help-yourself buffet style, called ‘Cheese of Love’ – perfect for lovers of the creamy delight.
The event promises to showcase a selection of ‘eight sexy, sultry, sensuous cheeses’ with some ‘soft and yielding’ and others ‘big and strong’, and a serving of the molten good stuff to make an appearance amongst the layout also.
You can have your fill as the portions of cheesy goodness will be unlimited for the two and half hours.
You’ll be needing something to wash it all down with, and at Pie and Ale you can also get stuck into a large selection of ales and craft beers, with six rotating cask ales, craft lager and beer on tap, and plenty of cans and bottles to choose from in the fridge.
Put together by Nick and Vickie, who created Homage 2 Fromage in 2011 after a random conversation on Twitter, the event will be a laid back and casual evening where you can take someone special and indulge in a pungent banquet together while sipping on some good ales.
Tickets cost £40 for a table for two and drinks are not included in the price. You can purchase tickets here.
Biddulph Grange: The unique garden where you can walk through Ancient Egypt, China and Italy in a day
You can explore Ancient Egypt, China and Italy all in one walk.
Biddulph Grange is a unique garden where visitors can walk across continents all in one day.
Based at Biddulph Grange Country Park in Staffordshire, this unusual National Trust landscape is a real hidden gem and has even been coined as a ‘horticultural Disneyland’.
Right near the border of Cheshire, the ‘playful paradise’ was designed by horticulturist and British landowner James Bateman after moving there in 1840, and offers a quirky masterpiece for all to enjoy. He lived there with his wife Maria for 27 years, and developed the masterpiece with her help and that of his friend, painter Edward William Cooke.
While exploring the fascinating grounds of the Grade-II listed garden, you can climb its 400 steps, pass by stone sphinxes, before you come across a bright red Chinese pagoda by a lake, and stumble upon a tiered Italian-style garden.
Walkers can take a step back in time — or all 400 of them — through a Tudor-style cottage and a Victorian garden, which overlooks the valley. Featured gardens include:
The China Garden
Bright reds and trimmings of gold make this little piece of an oriental haven stand out from the crowd. It even has a joss house, a tower and a ‘Great wall’ all of its own.
The Egyptian Garden
Walk through a tomb-like tunnel where a grand stone temple doorway bears an image of the sun god Ra along with four stone sphinxes, surrounded by clipped yew.
The Italy Garden
It features a series of magnificent trickling terraces, one after the other, in an Italian style.
The incredible terraces are packed with plants from around the world – it might be Italian in style, but Italian plants apparently don’t grow well on a wet and windy English hillside.
Here is where old tree stumps are used as makeshift scaffolding for climbing plants and is the oldest stumpery in the country. It has even been copied by Prince Charles’ home in Gloucestershire.
The Cheshire Cottage
This Tudor-style cottage dates back to 1856 and its facade includes the initials of James and his wife Maria.
The National Trust has drawn possible links between the Cheshire Cottage and Queen Victoria’s famous Swiss Cottage, which she built for her nine children around the same time.
In Bateman’s time, the cottage would have been the commanding focus surrounded by small trees – now it’s dwarfed by towering conifers.
More than just acres of stunning garden grounds, Biddulph Grange also has a Geological gallery, with a ‘unique Victorian display of fossils and geological strata laid out according to the Biblical days of creation’ — offering a ‘fascinating journey through time’.
There is also a woodland adventure play area, with see-saws, climbing frames and balancing beams — great for the young ones with plenty of energy to burn. Afterwards, you can wind down and take it all in at the tea rooms, where hot and cold food is served fresh daily.
Biddulph Grange is open from 10am to 3.30pm, Saturday to Wednesday, throughout January. Tickets for adults cost £12 and £6 for children.
It’s between 45 minutes and an hour to drive to Biddulph Grange Garden from most parts of Greater Manchester. You can also get to it by taking the train to Congleton then a short bus ride on the 94 service to St Lawrence’s Church.
You can find out more about Biddulph Grange Garden at the National Trust website here.
An all-new Hot Wheels Monster Trucks ‘Glow Party’ is coming to Manchester this weekend
The kids will love this!
The all-new Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live Glow Party will be coming to Manchester this weekend.
Fans of all ages will be left dazzled at the family friendly event, as they watch the iconic trucks light up the floor, which showcases at the AO Arena on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th.
This one-of-a-kind, high-energy Glow Party experience will see huge rip-roaring trucks rolling onto the floor to hold outrageous competitions and battles.
The thrilling new experience brings audiences the only opportunity to watch their favourite Hot Wheels Monster Trucks – Mega Wrex™, Tiger Shark™, Boneshaker™, Bigfoot® and more, plus the all-new Gunkster™, as they light-up the room.
Event performances will also feature spectacular laser light shows, exhilarating dance parties, and Hot Wheels toy giveaways.
Plus, a special appearance from the car-eating, fire-breathing transforming robot, Megasaurus, and the electrifying high-flyers of Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live, Freestyle Motocross.
An exciting Crash Zone Pre-Show Party will be held before every performance, providing fans access to the competition floor to see the outrageous designs and epic size of Monster Trucks along with autograph signings from the drivers and performers.
Each ticket includes an autograph card plus a souvenir pass and lanyard exclusive to Crash Zone attendees.
Senior Vice President Touring, International Music, Live Nation, Tim McWilliams said: “We are thrilled to be embarking on our third UK tour of Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live.
“As the world’s largest live-entertainment company, we are part of many incredible shows, but Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live provides a new dimension in family entertainment that never fails to impress.
“We can’t wait for these shows so we can all join the Glow Party.”
Ken Hudgens, CEO of Family Entertainment Live, added: “With the success of the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live Glow Party thus far, we’re excited to continue the amazing experience into 2023, both in the United States and internationally.”
Special children’s pricing is available for all shows providing great value for the whole family.
There’s four shows over the weekend, and you can grab tickets here: Saturday 14th 11:30am; Saturday 14th 6:30pm; Sunday 15th 11:30am; Sunday 15th 6:30pm.