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
The magical Harry Potter Forbidden Forest experience is now open and it looks incredible
A truly spell-binding experience (pun fully intended)
Calling all Harry Potter fans: An enchanting forest trail inspired by the wizarding world of Harry Potter has officially open in Cheshire.
Warner Brothers Themed Entertainment has teamed up with Thinkwell to bring the Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience to the UK, with it usually taking place in the United States.
And luckily for us here in the North West, the immersive attraction is located in the beautiful woodlands at Arley Hall & Gardens – just a thirty minute drive from Manchester – and has been giving fans of the magical franchise the unique chance to experience the world of Harry Potter for themselves.
Visitors have been making their way through the magical woodland via an illuminated path on which they will discover not only a whole array of surprises, but some of their favourite moments from the books and the films such as Mr. Weasley’s temperamental flying car and Hagrid’s pet Hippogriff, Buckbeak.
After watching the beautiful forest come to life, visitors can then go on to enjoy a wide range of food and drinks at the nearby village – as well as a pint of Butterbeer, of course – before browsing in the on-site shop for Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts merchandise to take home.
Peter van Roden, Senior Vice President of Warner Bros Themed Entertainment, said: “The Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience offers fans a new way to enjoy some of the most iconic and magical wizarding world moments.
“We’re thrilled to be working alongside Thinkwell to bring this incredible light trail to life at Arley Hall & Gardens, a perfect location where the natural beauty of the forest trail and illuminated sets filled with familiar creatures from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series, will make for a magical experience for fans of all ages.”
The trail follows a one-way route through the gardens, and is also fully accessible to all. It is also Covid secure in adherence with the latest Government safety guidelines.
Harry Potter: A Forbiden Forest Experience will be at Arley Hall & Gardens until November 22nd – grab tickets here.
The legendary Haçienda Classical night is returning to Warehouse Project next month
Proper Manchester readers can get an exclusive price on tickets too…
For the first time in two years, the iconic orchestral club night Haçienda Classical is returning to The Warehouse Project.
The famed Depot Mayfield club night will be hosting the critically acclaimed music series, which sees an experimental orchestra reinterpret seminal dance classics alongside DJ Graeme Park, Manchester Camerata and a number of other special musical guests such as the AMC Choir, who will perfectly blend both House and Gospel.
Hacienda Classical’s last residency at Depot Mayfield in 2019 was widely regarded as one of the best nights of the year among the city’s clubbers so the demand for this year’s show, which is scheduled for Saturday November 13th, has been rife.
Haçienda Classical will again include orchestral renditions of much loved classic club records from The Haçienda’s heritage, while also bringing new additions and arrangements of seminal tracks to the set.
The Warehouse Project show comes as part of Haçienda Classical’s nation-wide tour, which has included sell-out shows at Manchester’s iconic gig location Castlefield Bowl and the Printworks in London.
DJ Graeme Park said on the return of the iconic club night: “After a year of frustration, I’m excited that Haçienda Classical is back to thrill the nation with positivity and love.
“I’ve never been more ready to return to the stage with the whole crew to share the joy with some big new songs as well as some massive favourites too. I’m pretty sure the country is ready to share the love too.”
Musical director Tim Crooks added: “I’ve spent the past year thinking how incredible the post-lockdown gigs will feel, and the long wait is finally over. I can’t wait to feel the noise and see that pent-up energy explode. It’s going to be something very, very special.”
And, as an exclusive treat, all you lovely Proper Manchester readers will be able to get your hands on tickets at a special price of £25pp. Don’t say we don’t treat you.
The show will take place on Saturday November 13th and tickets are on sale NOW – get yours with the special price offer here.
NEW OPENING: A huge hotel with free cocktails and pet-friendly bedrooms is coming to Manchester
Moxy Hotels will be bringing its ‘play and stay’ concept to Manchester
A massive new hotel coming to Spinningfields next month promises to provide ‘affordable fun’ accommodation in the elusive neighbourhood.
The Moxy Manchester City Hotel, a Marriott concept from KE Hotels, which has hotels located in North America, Asia and Europe, will be transforming Invicta House into a luxury new accommodation complex, complete with 146 bedrooms and a cocktail bar, all while preserving the building’s eighteenth century charm.
Moxy Hotels stray from the typical routine adopted by most hotels; rather than arriving at a traditional check-in desk guests will instead be sent straight to the bar, where they will receive their room key alongside a complimentary cocktail on the house.
Their Manchester venture will stand at nine storeys tall, with the rooms including state-of-the-art features such as walk-in showers, TVs with Netflix, motion-activated LED lights, plush platform beds, workspaces and lounge chairs.
Each room will also be pet friendly, in case you needed any more convincing.
Over on the food and drink front, Bar Moxy will be dishing up a mix of cocktails, beers and wines alongside a selection of tasty small plates. There will also be a barista counter serving snacks and drinks twenty-four hours a day.
Director at KE Hotels Anil Khanna said on the new Manchester venture: “Moxy Manchester City will be a new playground for the neighbourhood and city.
“Our play and stay concept is a new way of travelling, designed to give guests everything they want at an affordable price.
“Located in the city’s vibrant Spinningfields district, Moxy Manchester City won’t take itself too seriously, but it is serious about showing guests a good time. We have smartly spaced rooms, stylish communal areas that are ideal for work and meetings, and a new cool bar for the city.
“We wanted the design of the building to fuse together traditional and contemporary – the exterior is stunning and something very unique, whilst the hotel’s interior will feature nods towards the building’s industrial past.”
Moxy Manchester City will open on Atkinson Street in Spinningfields in November. Visit the Moxy Hotels website for more information.