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With the weather fab (or not) we’re all ready for some fun, so here are ten top places to get the summer holidays off to a great start:
It’s always an action-packed day out at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre – but first this summer Martin Mere needs your help. It’s lost some of its ducks and it wants you to help find them in the GIANT Summer Duck Hunt. 25 giant ducks have been hidden around the wetlands, locate them all and identify their names and you’ll win a tasty treat. It costs 50p for a trail card.
And there’s loads more to do from pond dipping, having a ride on the canoe safari, hand feeding its amazing wetland birds, watching cheeky otters, going on a wild walk adventure, den building, and the list goes on. Centre Manager, Nick Brooks says: “This summer is going to be a perfect time to get outdoors with your family, have some fresh air, connect with nature and have a great day out.”
Wild Shore is one of Merseyside’s best water-based family attractions and a great place to dive into summer. Located in the heart of Liverpool’s waterfront, it’s famous for its Aqua Park, a huge inflatable obstacle course with free-fall slides, trampolines, rafts and barriers, but now there’s loads more too.
There’s Stand Up Paddle Boarding – a great way to explore the Liverpool waterfront or have a race with your mates; Pedaloes (gives your legs a great workout!) and Mini Electric Port Boats.
Knowsley Safari has roared back to life and not only can you come face to face with the real animals on the Amur Tiger Trail, the Bird of Prey Display and the 5-mile Safari Drive this summer, you can get close and personal to 28 life-size ocean creatures made from those little bricks loved by children and grown-ups on its Foot Safari!
Over 5,000 hours of the building will come to life in the form of life-sized orca, sharks, giant squid, African penguin, green turtle, puffins and much more! More than one million LEGO bricks have been used to create the BrickLive Ocean trail.
So, you can discover the real meerkats, bush dogs, giraffe and more as you look for the brick creations, marking them off your map as you go!
There’s more to this sunny seaside resort than just its beach – although that’s a good enough reason alone to pack your bucket and spade and head for the coastal gem, especially with the weather we’ve been having.
But you can also dive into Splash World and ride the fast flumes and water slides, or if you’re looking for adventure, make a beeline for nearby Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre which has watersports – including windsurfing, sailing and power boating.
You could take your bikes and cycle along one of the specially-created routes, have a walk down its historic 1,000-metre long pier, or take a trip to Southport Pleasureland for all the fun of the fair. And more!
Even if you’re not a fan of the Fab Four now – you will be by the time you leave this great attraction. Constantly changing and growing, it’s the biggest Beatles Exhibition in the world and you can learn all about John, Paul, George and Ringo, from the music they created to the styles they adopted and the fashions they wore.
There’s a replica Cavern, a fab shop, the Fab Four Café and the upgraded Discovery Zone – the family friendly space where there’s a NEMS Record Shop (the family business of Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein), and kids can dress up in outfits from the 60s, do their own pop art or have a go at karaoke with their favourite Beatles song.
The best bits of the seaside – including over-sized deckchairs which are perfect for selfies – are coming to Liverpool as Royal Albert Dock celebrates the Great British Seaside.
All decorated in bunting, the dock will be showcasing everything from traditional seaside favourites like chip cones and homemade ice cream, to a specially-created sundowners cocktail list, and seaside themed dishes at its restaurants and bars.
There’ll also be events for all the family so you don’t need to leave the city this summer to enjoy the fun of the seaside.
If you think it’s just about shops think again, because there’s tons for kids and families to do in the heart of this city area. You can watch a film on the big screen with ODEON Kids’ Club, have a game of ping pong at Roxy Ball Room, test your putting skills at Junkyard Golf, or just chill or picnic in Chavasse Park.
Running throughout summer is the Tickle The Ivories Piano Festival so you can listen to some of Merseyside’s great musicians; on August 14-15 you can enjoy the LEGO Pop Up & Play tour and unleash your creativity with four interactive play areas, including the chance to build vehicles and create music videos, and Liverpool ONE’s Nature Trail offers kids aged 4–11 the chance to interact with Chavasse Park’s natural environment and learn about the flora and fauna that call it home.
There’s always loads going on at National Museums Liverpool from Liverpool Museum to the Walker Art Gallery, to Merseyside Maritime Museum and more, with hand-on events and activities throughout the summer. But one place you must make a stop at over these holiday weeks is World Museum Liverpool and its new-look Aquarium.
There are bigger tanks, different species of fish and a new, common octopus called Polpo. As well as octopus Polpo, visitors can see hermit crabs, starfish, terrapins (which are rescued pets) and brightly-coloured wrasse from Liverpool’s Irish Sea coast.
And families can learn about what they might find rock-pooling locally and across the UK, as well as viewing firm visitor favourites, the ‘Nemo’ fish and the rays, skates and sharks who always seem to be smiling.
It’s back!! You no longer have to book to visit Speke Hall and the great news is the gardens, grounds, ground floor of the house (Wednesday to Sunday), restaurant and play area are now all open.
There’s plenty of space to have fun and run around and it’s ideal for a family picnic. You can test your wits and see if you can solve the giant hedge maze with its 12 gates, or will you dare to follow the interactive Giant Childe of Hale trail and meet the local legend himself?
You can pick an I Spy Speke trail activity sheet with fun nature challenges when you arrive, grab a ‘Get Set, Go’ card for loads of activity ideas, and on certain dates in August there will be sports from archery to bean bag golf on the North Lawn, so check those out.
In the north-east corner of the Wirral, New Brighton boasts a three-quarter stretch of golden sand so it’s a go-to summer destination for day-trippers – and kids love playing on the Black Pearl, a community-built driftwood boat.
Beyond the marine lake is the 19th century Grade II listed Perch Rock Fort, once part of the sea-defences system, and Perch Rock lighthouse, and it’s also had a refurb which saw the building of the Marine Point leisure complex.
In August, too, you can look out for The New Brighton Pirate Fest – The Battle for Devil’s Nest, a swashbuckling extravaganza setting sail on the weekend of August 17 and 18. A free, two-day attraction, it celebrates the history of pirates and more, including two stunning stars of the sea taking part – a pair of specially created galleons one of which will be at the centre of a cannon battle.
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