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This week The Guide Liverpool sent me and the 3 kids on an action packed day to Blackpool. As expected with a trip to the seaside in this country it was absolutely chucking it down. But not even the stormy weather could deter us from having a good laugh.
Wrapped up in wellies, hats and gloves here’s how we got on!
The lovely staff at Merseyrail saved us a small fortune by encouraging us to buy a friends and family rail card. £30 for 12 months and users save up to 60% off rail fares when at least one adult and one child travel! A great little tip before the summer holidays if you’re planning days out around the UK. Brilliant value and more money for Blackpool treats!
It’s just over an hour and a half to Blackpool North train station via Preston which isn’t much longer than driving it, and no hassle trying to park when you get there, bonus!
A ten-minute wander through Blackpool town centre and main shops brings you directly to The Blackpool Tower and the most inviting, warm reception area you could hope to find on a blustery day along the prom.
We were greeted by friendly staff who gave us tonnes of information on all the attractions, and there are loads! The Blackpool Tower itself houses five different attractions:
And just along the promenade there is The Sea Life Centre and Madame Tussauds Blackpool.
With so many things to do, here’s how to get the most for your money, the science bit:
We decided to go for BIG tickets. You get single entry into 7 Blackpool attractions for £95 per person. However, if you book online, more than 24 hours in advance BIG tickets are discounted by 52%!! 7 Blackpool attractions for £45 per person! Excellent value for money, especially with a family.
The best bit is that the tickets are valid for 90 days, so if your trip is cut short, or your fave attraction is closed (due to ridiculously high winds for instance) you can return on another day! Can’t say fairer than that, can you?
With BIG tickets in hand we put our first stop to the vote, and Sea Life Centre Blackpool won hands down! The kids practically ran the 500 yards down the prom to the Sea Life Centre entrance, with the wind pushing them along.
Sea Life Centre Blackpool
As you’d expect the Sea Life Centre is a family focused attraction, but the staff add an extra element to the whole experience. They encouraged my little ones to step up to the tanks and touch some of the aquatic creatures in the rock pools, while answering all their questions and stamping the little Diver log book’s they give out, along the way. The toddler height exhibits and safe steps are brilliant for them to get up close to the action.
The kid’s faces lit up at tanks full of Nemo, Marlin and Dory lookalikes and giggled at the smiley rays dancing along the water edge. The Sea Horses were Ellie’s favourite; the centre has bred around 7000 of these little beauties as part of their vulnerable species programme.
Logan and Cleo had a blast pressing big buttons to learn about prehistoric creatures that roamed the seas during the Jurassic period, while Ellie played the interactive games and checked out the turtles.
Without a doubt the most impressive section of Sea Life Centre is the Ocean Tunnel. All three kids stared in amazement at the sharks and vast array of colourful fish swimming around above their heads. With their Diver log book’s busting with stamps we wandered around the gift store where there are little souvenirs that, thankfully dont break the bank!
Madame Tussauds Blackpool
Next up was Madame Tussauds, just a hop, skip and jump down the prom, opposite Central Pier. Again the friendly staff helped us to store Logan’s buggy and bags so we were free to take as many selfies as possible! As the eldest diva, Ellie was ecstatic to sit on the sofa next to a smiling Simon Cowell and quickly moved on to turn off her light with Paddy McGuinness on the set of Take Me Out.
We visited the London branch of Madame Tussauds earlier this month and in our humble opinion, Blackpool is much better! The music stars, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Olly Murs plus the cartoon heroes, Bob the Builder and Shrek are much more current and appealing to the kids. Plus, a mix of comedy legends such as the Two Ronnie’s, Eric and Ernie and Alan Carr, alongside the cast of Coronation Street in a fully licensed Rovers Return, keeps the older selfie-takers entertained.
Lots of the wax works have interactive elements to them, which again is great with younger kids when you’re more concerned they’re going to break something! My three had a ball pretending to be rock stars with the full drum-kit, guitar and dressing up box, while Tom Jones and Lady Gaga looked on!
We had a family photo taken against the most wanted line up backdrop with Inspectors Frost and Morse staring accusingly at our poses! (It’s £12 for a big glossy print and a keyring) and posed with the Queen and Kate Middleton before heading off in search of food!
There’s tonnes of family-friendly places to eat including The Blackpool Tower coffee shop and there’s a Harry Ramsden’s on the 5th floor, with space to store prams and kid’s menu’s. Blackpool wouldn’t be Blackpool without fish & chips would it. Just off the promenade are all the usual franchise places from Pizza Hut and Prezzo to fast food from KFC and McDonalds. That’s if you can prize the rock dummies and donuts out of the kids hands long enough for them to eat some lunch!
With a buggy full of candyfloss and souvenir pictures, and the threat of another snow storm heading our way, we made our way back to Blackpool North train station.
Luckily the BIG tickets are valid for another day out to experience the Circus, Jungle Jim and Tower Eye in a couple of weeks’ time and with our friends and family rail card the train fare is affordable too.
Blackpool is a great destination with something for everyone. We made some lovely memories and the kids are counting the days until we go back!
Look out for our next Blackpool review soon.
For more information about The Blackpool Tower and BIG tickets, check out www.theblackpooltower.com
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