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The city’s got an amazing line-up of events and things to do over the next couple of months, so to make sure you don’t miss out on any you fancy, here’s your ultimate guide to summer holidays in Liverpool …
A day at Knowsley Safari always feels like a bit of an adventure close to home, and through summer until September 4 it’s got the added attraction of Brick Live’s latest incredible exhibition – Endangered Species. Go exploring on the foot safari and you’ll discover 27 life-size animals, including a huge Bengal tiger, made from more than a million bricks.
There’s plenty going on at Liverpool ONE over summer, and lots of it’s free. Tickle the Ivories Festival is on until September 11 with musicians playing on five colourful pianos dotted around the shops. Free ping pong is back outside Utility and The Club House, there’s a nature trail through Chavasse Park for 4-11 year-olds, a Heritage Trail and Old Dock Tour, as well as great outdoor eating and drinking places including The Bus Yard on Chavasse Park which has live music too.
Liverpool International Music Festival returns from July 29 to 31 with big names and emerging talent at around 25 different venues across the city. Artists include UB40 feat Ali Campbell at the Arena, De La Soul at the Exhibition Centre Auditorium, The Zutons head a massive local line-up at Camp and Furnace, Heather Small is at The Arts Club plus there are free events, gigs for under-18s, and a free after-party DJ set from Greg Wilson at The Merchant.
Down at the Pier Head this year, Pride in Liverpool is back on Saturday July 30 after three years away. It’ll start off as always with a fabulous March with Pride parade through the city centre then there’ll be a stage on the waterfront with live music from 1pm, Irish pop star Samantha Mumba’s headlining and admission’s free.
Liverpool city centre will be absolutely bouncing to the sounds of samba rhythms, drummers and colourful dancers as Brazilica’s night-time carnival parade returns on August 6. It starts at Abercromby Square at 7.30pm and makes its way to Williamson Square, via Hope Street, Hardman Street, Bold Street, and Church Street, followed by an after-party at District in the Baltic from 10pm-3am.
We do like to be beside the seaside, and this summer we won’t have to go far to get a taste of a great British tradition. The Albert Dock Liverpool is hanging up the bunting to celebrate the most-loved parts of the great British seaside with seafood specials and sundowner cocktails, ice creams, pop-up events and selfie opps on giant deckchairs.
Martin Mere Wetland Centre is a beautiful place to escape from the city and get up close with nature, and all the varieties of birds and other creatures which make their home there. Summer’s a perfect time to go exploring on a canoe safari you paddle yourself or a guided boat tour, and special after-hours Bat and Barn Owl Nights are happening on dates through July and August.
The big Turner Prize exhibition doesn’t arrive until October but there’s still some fantastic art to see at Tate Liverpool. Radical Landscapes is on until September 4 featuring over 150 paintings, sculptures, photographs, films by artists, and there’s also Tate Liverpool’s free collection – go at 2.15pm and you can catch a daily free tour. Don’t forget the gravity-defying (very pic-worthy) Liverpool Mountain sculpture outside too.
From July 27 to August 30, there’ll be a stunning new free exhibition at Liverpool Cathedral by sculptor and artist Peter Walker. Being Human, which like the name suggests explores what it means to be human, will feature different artworks around the cathedral including Connection, a two-metre tall sculpture of two giant hands inspired by Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam.
As well as outdoor drinks and food at the garden bar and café, there are lots of events happening in the Bombed Out Church over summer. They include an open-air production of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost on July 28, A Most Wanted Man from August 23-25 and direct from a season at the Edinburgh Fringe, I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical on August 31.
The Empire has the phenomenal, multi-award-winning The Book of Mormon on until August 13, then a youth theatre production of Little Shop of Horrors on August 26 & 27. Alongside drama weeks for kids, the Everyman’s got Filla Crack’s Pride Drag Cabaret on Friday July 29. At the Royal Court, there’s a show for all Reds – Let’s Talk About Six … Baby from July 29 to September 3, and over at the Epstein, The Bitters from August 18-19 is a Blues footy comedy. Unity has the award-winning exploration of gay club culture No Place Like Home on July 28.
Christina Aguilera brings her biggest hits and that huge voice to Liverpool on Wednesday 3 August as well as that there’s fun for the little ones with Paw Patrol Live at the Auditorium on 31 July and plenty of giggles with Jimmy Carr 20-21 August. You can see one of the world’s best Beatles tributes, The Mersey Beatles on 30 July, George Ezra on 13 September and Peter Kaye hits the decks for his Dance for Life on 19th and 20th August.
This year’s Creamfields, over the August bank holiday weekend as usual from August 25 to 28, is going to be massive. The line-up for Daresbury includes Calvin Harris (last spotted on the Reds homecoming bus!) David Guetta, Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox, Jamie Jones and our own CamelPhat. It’s the 25th anniversary and it sold out in record time so it’s going to be a special one.
As well as visiting and finding out about the history of the Tudor mansion, there’s plenty more to do at Speke Hall this summer. You can picnic on the lawn and explore the beautiful gardens, have a go on the zip wire in the woodland play area or join in a programme of free sports activities funded by Sport England, on through July and August, including archery and hobby horse racing. There’s also an open-air production of Much Ado About Nothing on August 24.
Now the Shakespeare North in Prescot is finally open, the summer’s an ideal time to go and see a production there. There are outdoor shows in the Ken Dodd performance garden including the family-friendly The Liver Bird on July 23 & 24 and Twelfth Night on July 29 & 30, and Rubbish Romeo & Juliet on August 6 & 7.
Imagine That! in Wavertree Tech Park is a great science and discovery attraction for kids and it’s got a summer festival theme over the next couple of months. There’ll be tropical slime, summer magnets to paint, a visit to the beach via a giant digital screen and a dinosaur-themed outdoor area where little explorers can enjoy some fossil finding.
Baltic Triangle is hosting its own free mini music and arts festival on Saturday August 20. There’ll be live music and visuals curated by Liverpool Psychedelic Society, plus a B-sides party at Hobo Kiosk from 3pm to 10pm, DJs outdoors with Coffee & Turntables, a record fair and an exhibition at Baltic Creative/92 Degrees from 10am to 5pm, and you can picnic on Baltic Green with live music from 12-4pm.
Specialists in outdoor theatre, Illyria, are bringing a fun, flag waving, memorable song-packed version of Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic opera Pirates of Penzance to the Palm House in Sefton Park on Sunday July 31 from 7pm. It’s suitable for ages 5 and over, you can bring your own rug and folding chairs and you can take a picnic along too. The Palm House has also got A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Sunday August 7.
Cavern City Tours is bringing back the International Beatle Week festival from August 24 to 30. There’ll be Beatles events happening at venues around the city including the Phil, Alma de Cuba and Marina Yacht Club, as well as live music across three stages in the Cavern Pub and Club, late-night parties at the Adelphi Wave Bar, and the Annual Beatles Convention at the Adelphi on Sunday August 28.
Liverpool’s museums have got your days out sorted this summer. The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics is wowing audiences at the Walker. You can meet epic monsters and see the incredible costumes and props from Doctor Who at World Museum. Delve into the history of the the ill-fated ship Titanic at the Maritime and immerse yourself into Liverpool’s rich cultural history at the Museum of Liverpool with Wondrous Place.
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