The six week summer holidays are looming, and I can bet good money that for most parents out there, the annual ‘how will I keep the kids occupied for six whole weeks’ anxiety is beginning to kick in.
Well, if you’re based in the North West, fear not!
With Lancashire right on our doorsteps, families will be spoiled for choice with fun, memorable and, most importantly, cost-effective activities to partake in this summer. Here’re some of the best ones…
The Wellbeing Farm Llama and Donkey Experience
Let’s start with one of the best ones – the Wellbeing Farm offers an incredible opportunity for families to come and interact with their resident llamas and donkeys.
Guests will get the chance to mingle with the animals as well as take them for a forty minute trail walk with the farm’s very own Dr. Dolittle, who will answer all your animal queries.
Tickets for the experience are £35 per person, and children must be aged ten or over.
Book your day out here.
Wellbeing Farm, Plantation Road, Edgworth, Lancashire, BL7 0BY
Preston’s very own Samlesbury Hall is offering a wide range of activities to keep the children and adults entertained this summer. Guests can take a tour with one of the Hall’s characterful guides, play in the hidden Mayflower playground, or meet the whole menagerie of adorable animals that take residence
on the grounds.
After all that fun, Dottie’s Wafflery will also be on hand for tasty treats and hot tea.
For tickets and more info, click here.
Samlesbury Hall, Preston New Road, Samlesbury, Preston, Lancashire, PR5 0UP
Heritage Tram Tours
There’s nothing quite as iconic as the Blackpool trams – and now, you and the rest of the family can enjoy a unique experience on one of the original Heritage trams.
Travel the length of Blackpool’s famous coastline on one of these lovingly retained and restored
trams, many of which are over eighty years old.
Book tickets, which are priced at an affordable £6 per person, for your tour here.
Rigby Road, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 5DD
Windmill Animal Farm
This farm will give you and the family an authentic look into life on a working farm, as well as the opportunity to interact with and feed the resident animals.
As well as this, the farm also boasts three marvellous children’s play areas, with an on-site cafe offering hot and cold meals – though guests are also allowed to bring their own food to enjoy a picnic on the grounds.
Adult tickets are £7.95, while children tickets are £8.95 – under 1s go in free.
Visit the website here for more information.
Ribble Valley Bike Trail
The best way to explore the stunning Lancashire countryside is by E-bike – you and the rest of the family can hire a Ribble Valley E-bike from a number of destinations such as The Inn at Whitewell, The Red Pump Inn, The Spread Eagle at Sawley, and Gisburn Forest Hub.
They can even be delivered to a specified location.
Perfect for cyclists of all abilities, these E-bikes will give you the gusto to tackle the hills, fells and forests that make up Lancashire’s iconic landscape.
Visit the website here for hire prices and availability.
Dunsop Bridge, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 3BB
The Honeybee Experience at the Bee Centre
For ninety minutes, you and the family will don real beekeeping suits and learn everything there is to know about the art of beekeeping, honey and pollonation.
The Honeybee Experience will teach you all about the honeybee and beekeeping techniques from an experienced beekeeper, all while being up close and personal with the bees in their hive.
You’ll also see the bees bringing nectar and pollen back to the hive, making honey, building honeycomb and doing their famous ‘waggle dance.’
Click here for bookings and more information.
Brindle Distillery, Holmes Farm, Sandy Lane, Brindle, Chorley, Lancashire, PR6 8LZ
Bowland Wild Boar Park
From meercats, owls and boars, to chicks, lambs and llamas, there’s a whole array of wonderful animals to meet and interact with, as well as habitats and nature trails to explore.
Families can explore the sixty-two acres by foot or by unique tractor rides – there will also be the opportunity to refuel in the farm’s newly-refurbished café and Ice Cream Parlor.
Click here for more information.
Forest of Bowland, Chipping, Lancashire, PR3 2QT
Mrs Dowsons Visitor Centre & Farm
Another one for the animal lovers – at Mrs. Dowsons Farm, they are passionate about giving their visitors the opportunity to see, touch and engage with their friendly farm animals, explore the countryside and experience a real working farm.
They also make their own award-winning ice cream using fresh milk from their farm dairy, which will be a fantastic treat on a warm day.
Click here for more information.
Hawkshaw Farm, Longsight Road, Clayton Le Dale, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB2 7JA
Thornton Hall Country Park
At the Thornton Hall Country Park, families can meet with the friendly farm animals and take part in activities such as lamb feeding and rabbit holding. Tractor rides through the fields are also on offer, as is an indoor play area featuring giant slides.
There is also a cafe on site, dishing up delicious burgers and pizzas for the whole family to enjoy.
You can find more details here.
Thornton-in-Craven, Nr Barnoldswick, Lancashire, BD23 3TS
Go Ape Rivington
The UK’s number 1 forest adventure challenge, Go Ape offers award-winning outdoor adventure activities for all the family.
Boasting Tarzan swings, tree-top obstacle courses and giant zip lines, Go Ape is guaranteed to be a fantastic day out.
Children need to be a minimum of ten years old to take part with a height of at least 4ft7″.
Check out their website here for more details.
Go Ape Rivington, Rivington Lane, Rivington, Bolton, Lancashire, BL6 7SB
An award-winning George Michael tribute act is coming to Manchester later this year
Calling all George Michael fans!
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.
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.
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.
Trafford Centre unveils massive new outdoor summer event with beach, fairground rides and a bar
And people say Manchester has everything but a beach…
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.
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!”
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.
The free seaside Splash Park in Lytham St Annes has reopened for the summer holidays
Get your swimsuits at the ready
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.
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.
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.