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Lightopia is returning to Heaton Park this Christmas with a bigger and brighter ‘fantasy’ festival

Christmas is going to be huge this year…

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Lightopia Festival

BIG Christmas news: Lightopia is coming back to Manchester, and it’s going to be bigger and brighter than ever before.

Okay, I’m well aware that it’s only July and we still have at least a month of summer fun left in us… But, after last year’s dismal, socially-distanced festive period I have decided that it is never too early for Christmas announcements.

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 coming back for its third event.

Lightopia Festival

The never-before-seen illuminated trail will feature magical and multi-sensory interactive lights, lanterns and installations, illustrating a story of an imaginative and fantasy festive world.

Lightopia 2021 will feature a fantastical ‘Magic Circus’ display, complete with illusional installations and interactive entertainment.

There will also be the ‘Fantasy Forest’, an area home to the most extraordinary and mystical animals to uncover. 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 will 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’.

Lightopia Festival

Tickets will be on sale from July 28th but, if guests sign up to the pre-sale, they will get 20% off their ticket price. To sign up, visit the Lightopia Festival website here.

As for the finer details – Lightopia will be open to the public from November 19th 2021 until January 3rd 2022. The event will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, except during school holidays, as well as Christmas Day.

To stay posted with any updates, make sure to follow Lightopia Festival on Instagram.

What's On

An award-winning George Michael tribute act is coming to Manchester later this year

Calling all George Michael fans!

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@Faithtour / Wikimedia Commons & @roberttaylorlive / Facebook

A live performance dedicated to the late George Michael will be taking place in Manchester later this year. 

On Christmas Day 2016, the world lost an icon: Wham! frontman and pop music legend, George Michael, sadly passed away at the age of fifty-three.

Since his death, a huge hole has been left in the music industry but, later this year, fans of the singer will be able to experience the next best thing

@roberttaylorlive / Facebook

Award winning tribute artist Robert Taylor will be reprising his role as George Michael at a concert at Altrincham’s Bowdon Rooms this coming December.

Along with his bass player & backing singers, Robert will pay tribute to the beloved singer, covering all the George Michael and Wham! classics in a fantastic and touching tribute show.

Hits such as ‘Club Tropicana’, ‘I’m Your Man’, ‘Freedom 90’ and ‘Fastlove’ will be performed with a high level of authenticity, and will have concert-goers dancing and singing along all night long. 

@roberttaylorlive / Facebook

The concert will be taking place on Saturday December 18th at 7pm at The Bowdon Rooms. Get your own tickets and more information here. 

Located in Bowdon, Altrincham, The Bowdon Rooms is an example of stunning Edwardian architecture with Art Deco influences in the immaculate interior.

Dating back to 1903, the award-winning venue is a great choice for exclusive events with its abundance of old style charm and grandeur, authentic character and beautiful features.

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Trafford Centre unveils massive new outdoor summer event with beach, fairground rides and a bar

And people say Manchester has everything but a beach…

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The Trafford Centre

Our beloved Trafford Centre has today unveiled its brand new outdoor event space complete with a beach, fairground rides, pop-up bars and food stalls.

Summer Social is a huge 8,000 sq ft event space situated outside The Orient, opposite The Great Hall entrance of the shopping complex.

The aim of Summer Social is to bring together all the retro fun of the fair, the beach and live music and entertainment, alongside a whole host of fantastic food and drink by the likes of local gems The Angelic, Kitakaze and Boujee Bar.

There is a dedicated covered events space where people can relax and enjoy sports, live music and entertainment if the weather takes a turn – because let’s face it, it definitely will. 

The Trafford Centre

Live musicians, street artists, and buskers will also be welcomed at Summer Social, with the covered stage area set to host a number of ‘Trafford Discovers’ events over the coming weeks.

As for the fun fair, there is an offering for every member of the family – there is exhilarating rides for both little ones and grownups, including The Star Flyer, Log Flume, Apple Coaster and Cruise Ship.

Zoe Inman, Centre Director, said: “Summer Social is going to be a unique and vast outdoor area, offering people a safe space to gather, eat, drink and have some fun.

“With over 200 stores, restaurants and leisure attractions to also explore within the centre itself, it’s time to plan a sensational day out at The Trafford Centre this summer – don’t forget your sun cream!”

The Trafford Centre

Opening hours are 11am – 9pm daily, with the food and events space open 12pm -10pm Sunday – Thursday, and 12pm -11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are priced at £3.50 per person, and £3 when booked in advance. Fairground rides are priced individually.

Pre-booking is recommended to avoid disappointment, and token and wristband packages will be available to pre-book.

For more information and to make your own booking, visit the official Summer Social website here. 

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The free seaside Splash Park in Lytham St Annes has reopened for the summer holidays 

Get your swimsuits at the ready

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Splash Park St Annes / Facebook

The popular seaside Splash Park in Lytham St Annes has reopened in time for the six week summer holidays.

With temperatures continuing to soar during this heatwave, families and their youngsters will be able to cool down at the Splash zone in Lytham St Annes’ Promenade Gardens.

The attraction – which is completely free to use and enjoy – is situated in the former disused paddling pool area, which is surrounded by amphitheatre style seating and modern landscaping.

Splash Park St Annes / Facebook

There are a number of interactive water play features within the park, which accommodates children aged three to twelve.

These include in-ground jets, above ground features for toddlers and large above ground features for juniors. There is also a jet zone on the right of the splash pad, which produces a shallow splash zone, allowing the toddlers who are less confident with water to have a calm experience without getting sprayed or overwhelmed. 

Earlier this week, the Splash Park announced on its official Facebook page that it will be reopening tomorrow, Friday July 23rd, where it will be open daily from 10am until 4pm until September 24th.

Demand is high for fun in the sun, however, so families have been advised to book a time slot in advance to avoid disappointment. 

Splash Park St Annes / Facebook

Families are also warned to arrive at the park prepared as there are no changing rooms or facilities – though there are public toilets nearby that cost 20p to use.

Refreshments including ice-creams, lollies and cold drinks will also be on sale near the site throughout the summer.

Sessions will be taking place at 10am, 11:15am, 12:30pm, 1:45pm and 3pm, and will each last for an hour.

Sessions for children under the age of five will run at 10am on Mondays, and sessions for children with disabilities and special educational needs will run at 10am on Tuesdays.

For more information and to book your own session, visit the website here.

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