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
N-Dubz are reuniting with new music and a huge Manchester gig
Nearly a decade on, N-Dubz are back…
N-Dubz are making a much-awaited comeback ten years after their split with a new single and nationwide arena tour.
The trio rose to fame in 2007 with hits like ‘I Need You’, ‘Ouch’ and ‘Playing With Fire’, but announced their split just a few years later in 2011, with singer Tulisa Contostavlos blaming bandmate Dappy for being the reason of the break up.
But now, over a decade on, it has been announced that the band are making their comeback with their new single ‘Charmer’, set to be premiered on BBC 1 Xtra on Thursday evening.
A spokesperson for the band said: “‘Charmer’ is instantly recognisable as an N-Dubz song, featuring their trademark storytelling via the slick raps of Dappy and Fazer, alongside the sassy vocals of Tulisa.”
And along with the news of their new single, it has also been announced that N-Dubz will be embarking upon a nationwide arena tour, with them scheduled to play ten shows across the UK, including at Manchester’s AO Arena.
Speaking of the tour, a source close to the band told The Sun: “It’s going to be massive. They have seen all the success other groups have enjoyed coming back and want a piece of the action.
“They have been trying things out in the studio for ages but finally things have fallen into place.”
The Back To The Future tour will begin on November 7th in Newcastle, and finish in Manchester on Saturday November 19th.
Other locations during the tour include Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham and Glasgow.
Tickets will go on sale from 10am on Friday May 20th. Get yours here.
N-Dubz consists of rappers Dappy, real name Costadinos Contostavlos, his cousin Tulisa Contostavlos and Fazer, real name Richard Rawson.
The band have won four Mobo awards, including best newcomer in 2007, Best Album and Best Act in 2009 and Best Song in 2010 and were nominated for the Brit award for Best British Single in 2010.
The Manchester Day Parade is BACK for the first time in two years
The council are on the look out for a team of enthusiastic volunteers to help with the festivites
Thousands of people will take to the streets next month as part of the iconic Manchester Day, a huge celebration of the city, its people and its culture.
After a two year hiatus thanks to the Covid pandemic, Manchester Day is set to make its grand return on Sunday June 19th, along with the legendary Manchester Day Parade, which will weave its way through the city throughout the day.
And in preparation for the big day, the council are now looking for ‘dedicated and enthusiastic’ volunteers to help bring the streets to life during the celebrations.
According to the council, volunteers will be right in the heart of the action, and will have behind-the-scenes access and a vital role in pulling off the Manchester Day celebrations.
Their responsibilities will include setting up the parade, helping visitors find their way across the event and assisting the creatives involved.
Volunteers will be positioned at various spots across the city, and will be assisted by a Team Leader who’ll be available to help them throughout the day.
Roles available include Wayfinding Volunteers, Participant Support Volunteers and Creative Volunteers to help ensure the parade runs smoothly.
The Chair of Manchester Day Councillor Pat Karney said on the return of the event: “It’s great that Manchester Day is returning to the city.
“Manchester Day’s success relies on the passion of our thousands of volunteers who dedicate their time each year. The day would not be the same without the enthusiasm of our army of volunteers.
“I can’t wait to see people get involved in the parade – if this is your first Manchester Day, I can guarantee you’re going to love it!”
Manchester Day was created in 2010 with the aim to celebrate the city’s creativity and diversity, and has since become one of the North West’s flagship events of the summer.
Each year, the celebration welcomes 1,500 performers and artists from local communities and an audience of more than 60,000.
Manchester Day will take place on Sunday 19th June 2022. Applications to volunteer are open until 31st May. For more information on how to get involved, click here.
The Lion King musical is finally coming back to Manchester’s Palace Theatre this year
After a postponed tour, The Lion King is finally coming back to Manchester…
Disney’s multi award-winning musical The Lion King will be making its highly-anticipated return to Manchester this year.
The show was supposed to embark upon its UK tour last year but, thanks to various Covid restrictions still in force, it had no choice but to postpone.
But now, after a couple of date changes, it has been confirmed that The Lion King will enjoy a three-month residency at Manchester’s Palace Theatre this Autumn.
The production is made up of over fifty actors, singers and dancers, and uses over 200 life-size puppets to tell the iconic tale of Simba’s journey as he enters adulthood and reclaims his title as King.
The Lion King’s stage adaptation was initially brought to life by Julie Taymor in 1997 and has since gone on to become one of the most successful Broadway performances of all time, with it having twenty-five global productions performed in nine different languages.
The show has been watched by a global audience of over 100 million in over 100 cities in twenty countries – sixteen million here in the UK alone.
As a part of its UK & Ireland 2022 tour, The Lion King will be taking over Manchester’s Palace Theatre, located down Oxford Street, from October 27th, 2022 – December 24th, 2022.
The tickets for the show, which runs for two hours and thirty minutes, are priced from £20, and are on sale now.