February half term events in Lancashire

If you’re planning your Feb half term week, there are some fantastic events happening in the region, take a look below:

Ice Week returns to Guy’s

8th – 18th February 2018

Guy’s Thatched Hamlet

St. Michael’s Road, Bilsborrow, Preston, Lancashire, PR3 0RS

Kids eat free after skating (T&C apply).

45 minute skate is £6 including skate hire.

http://www.guysthatchedhamlet.co.uk/

Feb half term Xplorer challenge

10 Feb – 17 Feb

Brockholes Nature Reserve, Preston New Road, Samlesbury, Preston, PR5 0AG

Map packs are £3.00 and include a map (either challenge 1 or challenge 2), an answer sheet, a Brockholes pencil and on completion, a certificate, sticker and a sweet treat!

https://www.facebook.com/events/2050907938524161??ti=ia

Half Term Family Crafts

12 Feb – 16 Feb

Hoghton Tower, Preston, Lancashire, PR5 0SH

This event is FREE but each individual craft ranges from 50p to £3.

Each day will run from 10am – 2pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/136991893662273??ti=ia

Forest Camp

14 Feb

Cuerden Valley Park, The Barn, Berkeley Drive, Bamber Bridge, PR5 6BY

PR5 6BY Preston, Lancashire

Playing games, making dens and shelters, having a camp fire with tasty treats, exploring the wonderful nature in the Park and making things out of wood and other natural materials.

£20 per child, per day, 10am-3pm, ages 5-11

https://www.facebook.com/events/1799632850081650??ti=ia

The Jungle Book

16 Feb, 14.30

Preston Guild Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1HT

Filled with catchy music, a laugh-out-loud script, audience interaction, and the chance to meet the characters after the show, you are invited to join Mowgli and his friends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther on a madcap adventure in the jungle as they meet and attempt to outwit a slithering snake, some cheeky monkeys and the fierce tiger, Shere Khan!

https://www.facebook.com/events/366372660455257??ti=ia

Witchcraft & Wizardry Trail

17 February

Old Holly Farm, Cabus Nook Lane, Cabus

PR3 1AA Preston, Lancashire

After the sell out in October, we’re proud to announce that Just Imagine North West are back this February half term with another Witchcraft & Wizardry Trail here at the farm.

https://www.facebook.com/events/137433370260256??ti=ia

Awful Auntie Review

Having seen Gangsta Granny not long ago at Preston Guild Hall, we were very excited when they invited us to see Awful Auntie.

My son is a huge David Walliams fan and has read all of his books. In fact, we went to see him recently in Manchester where he talked about his career, books and inspiration.

My daughter and I hadn’t read the book so weren’t sure what to expect and my son was keen not to spoil it for us.

Awful Auntie marks the Birmingham Stage Company’s 25th anniversary and as with Gangsta Granny they’ve ensured that Walliams’ work is brought to life.

The story is about 12 year old Stella who wakes from a three month coma, only to find that she’s now an orphan.

She starts to quickly suspect that both her parents were murdered and didn’t die in an accident as she was led to believe. But why did her only living relative Aunt Alberta lie to her? Could it be that her awful auntie was responsible for her mother and father’s death?

When asked What or who inspired Awful Auntie? Walliams’ replied:

It may not be the answer you were expecting but I am obsessed with the film ‘The Shining’. I wanted to create a horror story where a child was trapped in a house with a dangerous relative, cut off from the outside world. As for the character herself I had a lot of fun creating Aunt Alberta. Villains are always so much more fun than heroes. I wanted her to be funny as much as scary, which is something my literary hero Roald Dahl always did so brilliantly.

None of the children in the audience would have recognised the infamous scene from The Shining (at least I hope they didn’t!) but some of the scenes from the show pay tribute perfectly!

The parallels to Roald Dahl are also very much apparent, in fact I thought of the villains in his books many times while watching Awful Auntie.

Although the show is recommended for five year olds and older, I did find a lot of the scenes intense and a little dark!

I checked on my seven year old a few times because but she wasn’t affected and really enjoyed herself.

Wonderful moving sets, a great cast and moving story ensured that we had a fantastic night. Awful Auntie is on at the Preston Guild Hall from Thursday 18th – Sunday 21st January

https://prestonguildhall.co.uk/shows/david-walliams-awful-auntie/

Lancashire events January 2018

After the festive period is over, surely it’s time to relax? Plus, there’s never really anything going on this month, right?

Wrong! Plenty still going on in our wonderful county.

Find out what’s on in Lancashire during January 2018 below:

Snow White Pantomime
The Muni, Albert Road, Colne, Lancashire, BB8 0AE
6 Jan 2018 – 21 Jan 2018
https://www.themuni.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-at-the-muni/p-147-snow-white/

Snow Queen Pantomime
Burnley Mechanics Theatre, Manchester Road, Burnley, Lancashire, BB11 1BH
12 Jan – 21 Jan
https://burnleymechanics.ticketsolve.com/shows/873578055/events/128287888

Harris Open: Have a creative New Year!
Harris Museum, Market Square, PR1 2PP Preston, Lancashire
Saturday 13 January
https://m.facebook.com/events/1999503466994394

Red Riding Hood and the Wolf
The Dukes, Moor Lane, Lancaster, LA1 1QE
Saturday 13 January
https://dukes-lancaster.org/?event=red-riding-hood-wolf

Bird feeder making
Brockholes Nature Reserve, Preston New Road, Samlesbury, Preston, PR5 0AG
Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 January http://brockholes.skiddletickets.com/event.php?id=13113218

Awful Auntie
Preston Guild Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1HT
Thursday 18 until Sunday 21 January
https://prestonguildhall.co.uk/shows/david-walliams-awful-auntie/

Audition For Murder – Murder Mystery
Hoghton Tower, Preston, Lancashire, PR5 0SH
19 Jan 2018
https://hoghtontower.digitickets.co.uk/category/12196

BBC Flog It Comes To Blackburn!
Blackburn Cathedral, Cathedral Close, Blakburn, Lancashire, BB1 5AA
25 Jan 2018
http://www.blackburncathedral.com/blog/2017/11/14/flog-popular-bbc-one-antiques-series-coming-blackburn/

The Nutcracker
Thwaites Empire Theatre, Aqueduct Road Ewood, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB2 4HT
28 Jan 2018
http://www.thwaitesempiretheatre.co.uk/event/the-nutcracker/

Have a great month whatever you decide to do!

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo Review

When your children start to get older it becomes increasingly difficult to find ways in which to keep the magic of Christmas alive.

So when we were invited to see The Lanterns at Chester Zoo, we were intrigued to see what the evening would entail.

Even setting off to the venue in the dark brought along its own excitement as the children are use to attending outdoor events during the day.

We were booked on to the 530 slot and the first thing we saw were two elves dressed in uniform informing us of what to expect. The acting was great and while the kids enjoyed the interactive elements I couldn’t take my eyes off their pointy ears!

We were to follow the trail of (pretend!) animals, who each had written a giant letter to Santa informing him of what they’d like for Christmas.

The children were each given a small lantern (which they got to keep) and we were also given a larger light per party to return at the end.

The zoo was lit up and looking magical in the dark with fairy lights and the wonderful animal lanterns guiding us.

We were very lucky with the mild and dry weather which made our walk even more enjoyable.

If you’ve been to any events by Wild Rumpus before, then you’ll know they often incorporate a circus theme. This was no different, as actors hung on trapezes pretending to be gibbons and we saw roller skating flamingoes!

The walk doesn’t take very long it depends on how fast or slow you would like to go, we did it in about an hour and a half but throughly enjoyed the experience.

The children loved walking in the dark (it made them feel very grown up!) and as we are a family who love theatre, especially outdoor theatre, they really enjoyed watching the performances, in fact if there was any criticism, it was that they wanted more of that interactivity as we walked around.

The walk culminates with a fantastically realistic Santa who waves at the children as we pass along. We certainly managed to find a unique event that reminded the children of the magic of Christmas!

The event continues until December 30. To book or find out more, visit the link below:

http://www.www.chesterzoo.org/whats-happening/christmas/the-lanterns

Aladdin Review

We’ve become regulars at Preston Guild Hall the last couple of years and as soon as we hit December, the kids excitedly asked if we’d be going to see the pantomime there this year.

It’s one of the few nights of the year they stay up late and it’s always been worth it!

This year was no different. We were invited to the first night of Aladdin at Preston Guild Hall and the jokes and special effects were just as funny and spectacular as they have been the last couple of years.

Aladdin is written and directed by Phil Walker who’s also in the panto as Wishee Washee. If you’re regulars like us, then you’ll recognise him from previous years as he was in Sleeping Beauty and also Jack & the Beanstalk.

Phil’s act is always a great hit with the kids, it’s not as though he’s written himself the best jokes, in fact they’re often jokes you’ll have heard before but it’s his delivery that appeals. The slapstick humour is perfect for panto and the way he interacts with the audience especially the children that are invited on stage is great.

The story of Aladdin is a tale most are familiar with and the cast and crew all performed their parts well.

Aladdin (Carl Tracey) and Jasmine (Stacey McClean), had good chemistry and sung and danced brilliantly. The flying carpet scene was of course the most eagerly awaited and we weren’t let down. Definitely one of the best scenes I’ve seen in a pantomime, full props to Craig Woof, Freedom Flying and The Twins FX. I also liked that they didn’t sing the song that we were expecting to hear while on the flying carpet!

It was however panto villain Abanazar, played by the talented Paul Zenon that stood out, helped of course by some fantastic special affects.

His side kick Jonathan Mayor who played Slave of the Ring also got lots of laughs, especially when he mentioned how he was there for some much needed diversity!

The supporting cast of Jeffrey Longmore as Widow Twanky and Marvyn Dickinson PC Pong deserve recognition. We are big fans of CBBC’s Class Dismissed in our house so the kids were even more excited when Marvyn was running around on stage!

People were still singing the songs or excitedly talking about their best bits while leaving which always goes to show how much they’ve enjoyed themselves.

The Preston Guild Hall did it again. The winning formula is a perfect start to the festive period and gets you feeling the Christmas spirit.

Aladdin is at the Charter Theatre, Preston Guild Hall from Thursday 7th December 2017 to Wednesday 3rd January 2018.

To book tickets or find out more visit the website:

https://prestonguildhall.co.uk/shows/aladdin-panto/

Inside ‘Level’, Lancashire’s new entertainment venue

In early December we were lucky enough to be invited to Level, a new entertainment complex in Preston.

Perfect for those winter months when you’re looking for indoor entertainment, Level has something for the young and old all under one roof!

Based at Preston Guild Hall and aptly named (as you’ve probably guessed!), because it has something to do on every floor.

When we visited there were a few finishing touches being done on LEVEL 1 which will house laser quest, a unique 12-hole indoor crazy golf course that will be themed around Preston’s landmarks, and will even have a section dedicated to the city’s famous cricketer, Freddie Flintoff. It will also include a bar area, a retro games arcade, and two private party and karaoke rooms.

We fell in love with what we saw which was LEVEL 2 and it’s beautiful decor. This is the ground level and the entrance to the complex. It boasts Odin’s Bowl, an eight-lane bowling alley, and a sports bar. This level is also home to Spare Room, a VIP area with two private lanes. There’s also Mundo Street Kitchen, with graffiti style art on the walls that had the kids mesmerised. There is also a fab gaming area, which has darts boards and shuttle boards.

We can’t wait to go back and try out the whole complex especially LEVEL 3. This is where Daredevil takes place, two challenging assault courses, similar to TV’s Ninja Warrior UK – one for beginners and the other to test the more experienced fitness fanatics. As well as a children’s soft play area for those too young to try out the assault courses.

You can find out more information and how to book via the link below:

https://levelpreston.co.uk/

A Christmas Adventure at Thornton Hall Country Park

As you can imagine when your children get to 11 and 7 years old, you will have visited Santa’s grotto many many times.Some that we’ve seen, have been great and others a let down.

When Thornton Hall Farm invited us to their Christmas Adventure I thought the children might be a little old. Especially my son, but being the loving older brother he is, he was happy to tag along to make sure the magic wasn’t ruined for his sister.

The farm is undeniably one of our favourites places and we visit regularly. Both children have had birthday parties there and whenever we visit, we end up spending all day there (often leaving when they’re shutting up!). I knew that the tickets included all day farm access so even if we didn’t enjoy the 2 hour Xmas adventure, the kids would have plenty to do in the indoor barn, feeding animals, caterpillar rides and riding the quad bikes or ponies.The other children in our time slot were younger than my two but that didn’t phase them, they went along with the instructions from the farm’s funny and friendly staff.First up, hot chocolate (or mulled wine!) in Santa’s dining room.

Once we were warmed up, we were led by elves in to a craft workshop to create reindeer dust, write our letters to Santa and make our magical keys.We were off to save Christmas and stop the mischievous elf so we needed to arm ourselves with supplies!

The children then thought they were off to see Santa but in fact the naughty elf and Christmas fairy put on a show where we realised we actually had to go on an adventure to find Santa! So off we went on the Santa express where we found reindeer but no Santa..yet! When we finally got to the magical grotto we found a great Santa who was waiting with gifts in a lodge just like Lapland!We had such a lovely couple of hours and so much creativity and thought was put in to making the Santa visit special and magical for the children.

If you want to take the kids on a unique Christmas adventure, then we highly recommend a visit to Thornton Hall Farm.The Christmas adventure runs from Saturday 25 November until Sunday 24 December. Find out more and how to buy tickets on the link below:

http://www.thorntonhallcountrypark.co.uk/program-event/item/127-a-thornton-hall-farm-christmas-a