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

These are all amazing!

Alex Watson

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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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Chester Zoo’s epic Christmas Lanterns event is returning this year

Get this in your diary!

Alex Watson

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Chester Zoo/Facebook

Chester Zoo is full steam ahead with the planning of their Christmas events including the traditional lanterns show.

It is officially now 20 weeks until Christmas – if you blinked you might have missed this year.

Luckily, Chester Zoo has revealed plans for the after-hours event will be going ahead for the ninth year.

The trail sees illuminated wildlife, colourful lanterns and even enchanting costumed characters spread across 11 fantastical worlds, each completely different.

Chester Zoo/Facebook

This year’s event has been carefully planned to ensure all guests are safe and have a memorable Chester Zoo experience. 

You will start at Cactus Desert, welcomed by a world of colour and movement. The path is lit by glowing cacti, frogs and chameleon characters. Next up is Over the Rainbow followed by the dramatically stripy world of Zebra Grasslands and then the calming power of nature in Garden of Delight. 

This year also sees the return of the Underwater World which transports you to the bottom of the sea complete with a show-stopping octopus. 

Ticket sales for The Lanterns are vital for the survival of the zoo and its contributions to ending extinction.

Chester Zoo/Facebook

The coronavirus pandemic meant Chester Zoo had to shut for three months leaving a huge £5.5m scar on the finances. 

Head of guest experience at Chester Zoo, Jon Turley, said: “Events that help us to bring some additional income into our charity will be absolutely crucial in securing the future of our zoo and our species-saving work. That’s why we’re so, so excited to be able to bring The Lanterns back again this year.

“With safety and social distancing firmly at the forefront of our minds, far fewer tickets have been made available for our event this time around, which might just make it an even more magical experience for those who secure a ticket.

“We’re planning to transform the zoo into a spectacular winter wonderland, featuring 11 fantastical worlds.

“Guests will be welcomed into an exotic world of colour and movement, where larger than life illuminations and animal characters await. Making a return this year will be our popular ‘Underwater’ world, which will transport visitors to the bottom of the sea where they’ll discover a giant show-stopping octopus.”

He continued: “We’ve made a few adjustments so that there will be less physical interaction with visitors this time, but we’re sure that our array of never-before-seen features will ensure guests will make memories that last a lifetime.

“We can’t wait to welcome people back to The Lanterns, see lots of big smiles on faces and, at the same time, raise valuable funds so we can continue our mission of preventing extinction as a wildlife conservation charity.”

The Lanterns will be open from November 13th to December 23rd and tickets are available now, with prices starting at £16 for an adult and £13.50 for children.

Find out more here

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Junkyard Golf is reopening next week with 50% off for emergency services

We all know someone who deserves a fun night out!

Alex Watson

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Junkyard Golf Club

Junkyard Gold Club is reopening next week, bringing mad cocktails and crazy golf back into your life after months without. 

Junkyard Golf Club is a cracking night out for anyone wishing to relive their younger years playing crazy golf, but with a cocktail in hand. 

The neon-lit playground is back but with a few new twists and turns to ensure guests are completely safe on their return! 

The golf is returning on August 3rd and everyone must pre-book to ensure social distancing can be maintained. Tickets are on sale now! 

Junkyard Gold Club

Junkyard Gold Club is a huge open plan venue that’s perfect for social distancing, with a time slot system, cocktails served in single-use cups and cashless payments already in operation.

They’ve now added a table-service option, so you can sip on your favourite cocktails topped with pic n mix without having to get up from your seat. 

Sophie-Larissa Houghton, National PR Manager of Junkyard Golf, said: “We are MEGA excited to be back! It’s been a crazy few months and we can’t wait to be reunited with our epic guests and team!

Junkyard Golf Club

“We will be returning in full swing… junkyard style! Working round the clock to make sure we deliver the same mega madness as before but also making our yard super safe!

“We have reduced ticket capacity, time slots and now all tickets now must be pre-purchased to monitor and maintain social distancing. We have also introduced a snazzy table service for cocktails. It’s been a difficult few months, everyone is in need of an escape and time to catch up with friends.

“Our team is committed to keeping all our venues clean, safe and super fun, making crazy golf epic! We are also offering a 50% off for all ‘Blue Light’ Services.”

Junkyard Golf Club

There are three different mashed-up courses to choose from, ‘Pablo – Polluted Paradise’, ‘Gary – It’s a Scrapyard Ting!’ and ‘Bozo – Time to Run Away from the Circus’. 

Junkyard Gold Club will be open seven days a week, Monday – Wednesday 4pm-12am, Thursday 2pm-12am, Friday & Saturday 12pm-1am and Sunday 12pm-10pm. 

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A new dinosaur adventure maze has opened and it’s only an hour from Manchester

This looks a-maze-ing!!!

Alex Watson

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National Forest Adventure Farm

A new adventure maze filled with dinosaurs has opened up, and it’s only an hour away from Manchester!

This looks like the perfect thing to do on the weekend, especially if you’ve got dinosaur-obsessed kids.

National Forest Adventure Farm is a maze in Tatenhill, near Burton upon Trent, that is perfect for families.

The attraction, owned by brothers Tom and Ivor Robinson, is known for its towering two-metre maize maze. 

They’ve switched up the theme and hidden dozens of dinosaurs around the maze for your kids to hunt down. 

There’s also the Raptor Run, which sees you sneakily retrieving a dino egg from the nest without disturbing the velociraptor. 

You can get an amazing selfie at the Dino Meat and Greet with the T-Rex and Velociraptor, or opt for a tractor ride! 

There’s plenty to do to keep the kids entertained – head to the website here to find out more.

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