FOR KIDS AND BIG KIDS
It isn’t news that one of the best ways to stay feeling young and healthy is to maintain a sense of fun and childlike wonder. These attractions offer exciting and fulfilling days out that will appeal to children and adults alike.
The London Bridge Experience is a fun and interactive tour through the arches of London Bridge exploring the history of the local area and its inhabitants. Visitors are given a chance to become part of London’s gruesome history and travel back in time to an age of adventure, while uncovering the dark secrets that lie beneath the world’s most famous and apparently most haunted bridge. The London Bridge Experience is a multi-sensory experience which lets visitor see, hear, feel, taste and even smell what London Bridge was like through the ages. Romans, Vikings, an encounter with the expert executioner of William Wallace, a first-hand experience of medieval life as guests pass through the Chapel of Thomas Becket and onto the shop lined streets of the old London Bridge, an opportunity to learn the old trades before the Great Fire of London sweeps through the city are all part of the Experience.
The London Tombs, formerly a plague pit, completes the experience. Walls drip with blood, visitors must squeeze through confined spaces, meet spiders, snakes, ghosts, ghouls and many more. The thrilling journey uses the latest in Hollywood-style wizardry and brilliant live actors.
Groups of any sort are welcome, and the venue is known for hosting all sorts of corporate events for something a bit different. Groups should complete the online form before booking.
BLACKPOOL TOWER CIRCUS
Easter weekend sees the famous Blackpool Tower Circus launch its new season, boasting more shows than ever before. This season will also mark 22 years of the Endresz family at the helm of this iconic Circus show. Since 1991, The Blackpool Tower Circus has been home to the Endresz family, where they have created a circus legacy that has become renowned worldwide. Born in Hungary in 1945, Laci Endresz Snr is a sixth generation circus family member who graduated from the Hungarian Circus Academy and spent 25 years perfecting the flying trapeze. Laci’s two sons have the starring roles of the Blackpool Tower clowns, Mooky and Boo. In 2013 the show follows Mooky and Boo on a memorable journey around the world, joined by amazing acrobats from across the globe performing jaw-dropping stunts and feats of incredible skill. The astonishing acrobats and hilarious comedy capers make this show perfect for the young and young at heart.
The start of this year’s circus season coincides with the launch of the Blackpool Tower heritage tour, an opportunity to learn about the Victorian legacy of the attraction. The tour not only takes in the circus and the other Tower attractions, but also the fascinating underground stables, where wild animals were kept. This area of the Tower is not usually open to the public. Kate Shane, general manager at the Blackpool Tower said: “Blackpool is very proud of its Circus which is now 119 years old. We’ve added more shows than ever to our schedule, in order to meet demand for this fun, family show. Some bank holidays and school holidays will see three performances a day, so our talented clowns and acrobats have been training hard! Whether it’s in the audience of our 1,300 capacity circus arena, or behind the scenes on a heritage tour, the Blackpool Tower Circus really is a must-visit for families this season.”
Built in 1894, The Blackpool Tower is one of the most iconic buildings in the UK and one of Britain’s best loved landmarks. It houses five different attractions including the circus and is definitely a day out suitable for young and old alike. The Blackpool Tower Eye and Skywalk incorporates Blackpool’s first ever 4D cinema experience, which explores the history of the iconic seaside town, with an exhilarating lift ride to the top which takes just 69 seconds to travel 315 feet. At the top, visitors are faced with a sensational viewing experience with a floor to ceiling glass observation window, providing magnificent views out to the Irish Sea. Those with a head for heights can also ‘walk in the air’ onto the Skywalk, a glass platform 154 metres above the promenade.
The Blackpool Tower Dungeon, situated deep in the belly of Blackpool Tower, is an hilarious 70 minute tour packed with comedy moments. Ten fun-filled and hysterical actor-led performances delve deep into a thousand years of Lancashire’s funniest history. The expert performers and storytellers have visitors in stitches with their tales of plague, torture and witches.
Blackpool Tower Ballroom is a legendary venue which opens every day to the public to allow them to come and show off their dance moves to the music of the world-famous Wurlitzer. Afternoon teas are also served amidst the stunning surroundings. For younger guests, Jungle Jim’s is a great indoor soft play centre themed around a lost Aztec City.
Info: www.theblackpooltower.com 0871 222 9929
Wicksteed Park near Kettering is the original home of children’s play and is one of the UK’s top places for kids and big kids alike to go to enjoy a day out. Founded by Charles Wicksteed, the inventor of modern day play equipment such as the slide and the swing, the park combines a number of unique attractions with 147 beautiful acres. It is home to Europe’s largest free playground, paid-for attractions such as rollercoasters and rides and many of the UK’s first theme park rides, ensuring a great time for any type of group or family, no matter what their budget.
Wicksteed Park has also been given a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor – the world’s largest travel site – for being one of the UK’s top places to go for a day out based on visitor ratings. The Attractions include the 1926 Water Chute, the UK’s first water-based ride, and the double pirate ship ride, which is one of only two left in the world.
The Wicksteed Park railway, which takes visitors around the park, is the most well-used narrow–gauge railway in the country.
The park’s Edwardian Pavilion, which hosts events and shows, has also been restored to its former glory thanks to a major refurbishment to mark its 90th anniversary. A full outdoor events’ programme animates the park with re-enactments, craft fairs, and live outdoor concerts.
All rides and attractions have just opened for the 2013 season with all prices held at 2012 rates.
Most adults enjoy a good day at a theme park as much as children, and Thorpe Park definitely offers rides with more than enough thrills to attract older generations as well as younger. The newly opened ‘The Swarm’ is a world first, an exhilarating ride in reverse on the UK’s first winged rollercoaster. Fearless riders who brave it backwards on The Swarm won’t know what’s coming as they plunge 127ft into an apocalyptic wasteland, speeding unknowingly towards the wing of plane wreckage. A terrifying new near-miss sees the ride burst through the mangled metal of a devastated billboard and is sure to alarm even the bravest of thrillseekers, old or young.
For those who want something a little calmer, theme park adventure and live safari animals come together in a great new attraction at Chessington World of Adventures. ‘Zufari: Ride into Africa’ gets visitors face to face with wonderful African animals as they embark on a thrilling journey in off-road trucks, getting an authentic experience of a safari and viewing giraffes and white rhinos among many more.
Most adults have a great deal of nostalgia for Lego (and adult collectors are definitely not rare either!), so it is no surprise that Legoland® Windsor regularly welcomes groups of adults as well as children. There are over 55 interactive rides and attractions, including an exciting ride through the treetops to escape fearsome dragons. In May 2013, kids of all ages will be able splash and play in a new themed land, Duplo Valley, where they can float through a new magical fairytale landscape, experience a new Lego 4D movie and meet the stars of Lego Star Wars™. Legoland® Windsor welcomes groups of all ages and caters for all ages too. Groups get great ticket discounts.