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The best places to take dinosaur-obsessed kids in and around Manchester

These are all amazing!

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It turns out Manchester is home to many spots that will fill your kid’s wildest Dinosaur dreams, from museums to a raptor safari.

So many kids get obsessed with dinosaurs, and if you’ve got a dino-fan in the family here are some of the fun activities and events to get involved with around Manchester.

Dippy the Dinosaur, Rochdale

Dippy on Tour opened up back in February but quickly closed due to the pandemic. Luckily, they’ll be back open from August 3rd. The diplodocus skeleton left London’s Natural History Museum to tour the UK earlier this year.

Dippy will be in Rochdale until October, before making it’s way to Norwich Cathedral as its final stop.

Stephen Taylor/Geograph

Dinosaur Safari

Using the wonders of technology, many of Manchester’s parks have ranges of quiz trails and guided tours that are free to use. You simply use the app to search for dinosaurs and test your knowledge. There are also Fairy Trails available.

The app is available in Alexandra Park, Boggart Hole Clough, Debdale Park, Heaton Park, Platt Fields Park, Phillips Park, Whitworth Park, and Wythenshawe Park – you can get the app here.

Raptor Safari/Facebook

Raptor Safari

The real mini adventure at Raptor Safari near Manchester Airport is now back open following a devastating flood. They’re offering private hour-long tours for families with a Ranger, which will let you see gigantic moving dinosaurs like the famous T-Rex.

There are even some Ice Age beasts like the woolly mammoth there too. The slots run from 9am to 6:30pm daily.

Blackpool Zoo

Blackpool Zoo

Make a day of it and visit Dinosaur Safari at Blackpool Zoo, with six new mega beasts, including Dilophosaurus and a baby Stegosaurus which all make sounds and move. Tickets are just £15.25 for children and £19.75 for adults – you must pre-book online.


Gulliver’s Dinosaur and Farm Park/Facebook

Gulliver’s World

The theme park in Warrington has its very own Lost World section, perfect for any dino fans. You can dig up fossils or enjoy the Flight of Pteranodon ride. Gulliver’s World is open every weekend from 10:30am to 5pm.

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Dino Kingdom is bringing more than 100 animatronic, life-like dinosaurs to Manchester

Dinosaur fans won’t want to miss ‘Manchester’s biggest outdoor summer adventure’

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Dino Kingdom

This summer, from Friday July 23rd to Sunday August 8th, the team behind award-winning light and lantern festival Lightopia are bringing Dino Kingdom to Wythenshawe Park.

Dino Kingdom will be an epic outdoor, prehistoric exploration, with more than 100 life-like moving and roaring dinosaurs and creatures to uncover.

State-of-the-art 3D and AR technology will bring dinosaurs ‘back to life’, with unforgettable interactive experiences and thrilling fairground rides for all the family.

Dino Kingdom

During the summer holidays, Dino Kingdom will be a must-see attraction. Here you’ll meet and interact with more than 70 life-sized dinosaurs – including a huge Tyrannosaurus Rex, and the biggest installation, the Apatosaurus, towering above at 18-metres long.

There will also be smaller dinosaurs to seek, including hatching babies and other interactive beastly beings amongst the woodland, including crocodiles, frogs, bees, spiders and much more.

Let your imagination run wild, in the ultimate family experience, as you trek through the prehistoric kingdom.

Dino Kingdom

Dino Kingdom

An educational experience as much as an adventure, it is perfect for those budding palaeontologists out there, with an excavation sand pit, dinosaur eggs, fossils, volcanoes, a giant dinosaur skeleton head and a walk-through fossil tunnel.

Dino Kingdom offers visitors an incredible journey of discovery and education through entertainment, from dozens of animatronic dinosaurs, 3D dinosaur projection mapping and fairground rides, to fun dino performances, hand puppets and costume characters, there’s something to entertain everyone.

Dinosaur trekkers can take a well-earned break and refuel with the wide offering of food and drink options and idyllic picnicking areas.

Dino Kingdom

Dino Kingdom

Dino Kingdom at Wythenshawe Park is happening from Friday July 23rd until Sunday August 8th 2021, and will be open from 11am till 7pm every day, with hourly entry slots.

Advance tickets are priced at £15 for adults, £13 for children (under 3s are free) and £52 for families of two adults and two children, concessions are priced at £14.

In even better news, you can sign up today to register for 25% off pre-sale ticket release – just head to the website here.

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Tickets for the ‘world’s most entertaining’ cycling festival are on sale now

This is no ordinary cycling festival

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By now we’re all dreaming about this summer, with the return of live events, pubs and festivals.

If it’s festivals you’re after, then look no further than Velio, a brand-new event celebrating life on two wheels.

Its debut festival is arriving in the North West this September, with three days and nights of cycling, immersive rides, music, comedy, food and drink, wellness and good times – and tickets are on sale now.

Located at the beautiful Cholmondeley Castle in the countryside of Malpas, Cheshire, Velio will be the first event in a series of pioneering cycling festivals created to provide unrivalled experiences on and off the saddle.

Both riders and non-riders can come down to enjoy the entertainment and feasts.

There will be different cycling routes and lengths for all ages, from the beginner to experienced riders, including the headline Velutopia ride – a 14km long stretch on closed roads filled with immersive entertainment, it’s a world-first cycling festival experience.

Velio

The unrivalled cycling experience will be made up of five routes – 3km,14km, 30km, 60km and 100km – and will cater from beginner to experienced riders, as well as including disabled cycling options and mini kids rides.

Velio festival will have entertainment, music and comedy, with a carefully crafted programme of international music artists, comedians and immersive moments across five stages.

Renowned vocal group Sister Sledge will be taking over the centre stage alongside fellow headliners Everything Everything. Also soundracking the mainstage will be a range of live acts including Elder Island and The Futureheads, as well as stellar DJ sets from Friendly Fires and Norman Jay MBE.

Velio

Expect a host of incredible tribute performances including The Bootleg Beatles and Da Funk (Daft Punk Tribute), as well as Mr Motivator getting the party started on the main stage.

The infamous La Discotheque will host their own stage with acts such as Crazy P Soundsystem and Disco Classics – featuring a live orchestra, with their fabulous flamingos, soul sergeants and queens to match.


Comedian Jason Manford will be providing a laugh a minute on the comedy stage presented by Altitude Comedy Festival with a stream of cherry-picked comedians, including Marcus Brigstocke, Shappi Khorsandi and Lou Conran.


The Velio Village presents a programme of day and nighttime immersive entertainment. This open-air village will play host to an eclectic mix of brass bands, DJs, cabaret & burlesque, a late-night jazz cafe, film screenings, karaoke, kids entertainment, chill out areas and much more.

Communal feasting will be at the heart of the festival with The Great Village Feast, with award-winning restaurant Volta collaborating to produce the banquets at the festival.

Foodies will enjoy long table communal feasts championing the finest local produce, while speciality bars serve up a variety of tempting tipples ranging from wine and gin to craft beers and cocktails.

Velio

Included in all tickets is standard camping for 3 days and 3 nights with access to a spacious campsite, toilets and showers. Motorhomes and campervans are welcomed, and you can also arrive to pre-erected tents.

For an enhanced camping experience, the boutique village offers a range of Bell, Lotus or Mahal tents for 2 to 8 people. All feature memory foam mattresses, premium bedding, bedside lights and tables as standard, with optional upgrades of electricity, toiletries, mirrors, and towels available.

Boutique village campers also enjoy exclusive access to speciality food vendors and bars in the area, along with VIP toilets and showers.

Velio

The onsite secure and insured bike storage system will negate any concerns about storing your pride and joy, while the bike cleaning and maintenance stations will make sure your ride is looking tip-top and podium ready.

If you don’t have a bike or don’t want to bring your own, a bike rental service is available on site. There are also physios and coaches on hand to offer tips and advice and make sure you’re fully geared up for some cycling fun and frolics. .

Add in yoga and meditation in the Cholmondeley gardens, plus wood-fired hot tubs, and you’ve got a unique and unforgettable festival experience.

Velio

Ed Norris, curator said: “We’re on a mission to get more people into cycling and bring it’s wholehearted culture to the world.

“Now more than ever we need the ability to switch off, connect with others and live a balanced lifestyle, at Velio we’re here to help celebrate the good times, indulge your senses and embrace the cycling culture.

“Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, our community is open.”

Velio

In addition to being the first immersive cycling festival, Velio is proud to be the first ‘Flexi-Distanced’ festival. All the measures and teams are in place to run the event socially distanced or non socially distanced, whichever the guidelines dictate, so you can book in confidence.

The comprehensive programme of activities and entertainment ensures there is something for all ages and disciplines at Velio, whether you’re a late-night dancer, an early morning meditator, a weekend feaster or a mid-week rider.

Pioneering a community spirit is also paramount, so we’re calling for you to get out the bike, get out of the city and gear up for an unforgettable weekend of cycle fuelled fun with family and friends, both old and new. 

Velio

Tickets went on sale on Wednesday April 14th, with prices starting from just £150 (with the 25% discount code) for the entire three days and nights including camping.

Grab your tickets here, with 25% off available until Sunday April 18th.

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Sing along to ABBA all night long at this immersive new Mamma Mia drive-in event

Calling all Dancing Queens

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The Immersive Abba Mia Drive-In Experience

ABBA fans are in for a treat, as a brand new immersive event featuring hits from the band is coming to Manchester next month.

The Immersive ABBA Mia Drive-In Experience will transport the good vibes of Greece to Manchester, spreading some joy after spending the past year locked-down in our homes.

If you fancy singing the night away, head down to the Trafford Centre on May 31st where you’ll be transported to the virtual island of Kalaraiki from the minute you drive in.

It starts with a virtual ferry trip over to the ‘island’, where Dancing Queens will get set for an evening of nostalgic fun, crammed full of back-to-back ABBA hits to sing along to.

Universal Pictures

According to the event description: “The show starts the moment you arrive! Your ticket will include a virtual car ferry trip over to the island of Kalaraiki, where you will park up to join the celebrations.

“You will be driving into the most unique theatre in the world, designed to be COVID compliant. Leave reality behind and sing along to some of Abba’s Greatest Hits presented under the cover of the largest marquee in Europe.

“You might want to dress up for the occasion as there will be prizes for the best-dressed family, couple and vehicle. Relax as you sit outside of your car in your own isolated space, take advantage of our waiter service and indulge in one of our famous alcohol-free island cocktails.”

Pereira, Fernando/Anefo / Wikimedia

The event is located underneath the largest marquee in Europe, meaning you’ll be sheltered from whatever the Mancunian weather throws at us.

It promises to offer a unique, summer-themed setting to get you in the Greek mood, complete with an island cocktail service straight to your car serving alcohol-free cocktails.

And thanks to the marquee you won’t have to hide in your car if it rains, as you can dance the night away and sing along with your bubble in your designated, socially distant seating area.

Tickets are now on sale with two events happening on May 31st – you can grab yours here.

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