Family | Life | Food | Travel

22 December 2012

A weekend in Blackpool - Merlin

Blackpool is the first place the Mr and I went away to as a couple so it was nice to return there last weekend with the Mini Mes in tow and Merlin passes in hand.

The Big Ticket give you access to 7 top attractions that will keep you and your family busy for several days or a rather fun-packed weekend. The ticket includes the Blackpool Tower Eye, Circus, Dungeon, Ballroom and Jungle Jim's plus the Sea Life centre and Madame Tussauds which are all within walking distance along the sea front.

The Blackpool Tower Circus

Situated within the Blackpool Tower, the Circus is great for all of the family. We arrived early as seats are not allocated and we ended up on the front row with a fantastic view of all the action. There are snacks available at reasonable prices and clown face painting before the show and during the interval at £1.50 -  great value.

The show itself is very entertaining with varied acts including dancing, juggling, plate spinning, acrobatics and more. There are opportunities for audience participation with singing and booing the bad guys which the children particularly enjoyed!

We saw the Christmas show, Alice’s Adventures in Mooky’s Circus Wonderland, which runs until 20th January 2013. Featuring favourite characters from the story including the Mad Hater and The White Rabbit you can watch as the different performances try to impress The Queen of Hearts. The show is in two halves of around 45 minutes and we all really enjoyed it. The Mini Mes giggled along at the silly clown and they loved the daring skills of the rabbits.

You can see some action of the circus shows here:

Madame Tussauds

With several floors of wax figures that have taken over 800 hours of  moulding, measuring, painting and sculpting to create each one, you will feel as though you are with the real celebrities themselves - they are so life-like! Whether you are a movie lover or sports fan there is something for everyone with 7 categories of people to view including pop stars and comedians. You can have your photo taken with your family on a huge deck chair and at a police station with your chance to purchase the pictures at the end of your visit. There are some interactive parts to enjoy including the Who Wants to be a MiIlionaire game, ball throwing, golf and a mirror maze to work through.

We were the first to arrive Sunday morning and it was lovely and quiet to have a leisurely stroll around without queuing. We were there for around 90 minutes although we could of stayed longer and the gift shop has a great variety of products for the perfect souvenir on the way out.

Sea Life

We are big lovers of fish having a large tropical aquarium of our own and the Sea Life centre is an educational yet fun attraction to visit. With the huge tanks of colourful fish and plenty of information boards, the Mini Mes (and I) learnt quite a lot about different species, eating habits and living conditions that they didn't previously know. The trail and interactive wall displays allow little ones to explore and discuss what they see and there are several different areas to view. There is a section where you can pop your hands in the water to handle shrimp and star fish too which was really enjoyable.

The layout is well planned to allow lots of space to view the sea life without having to wait your turn and it is easy for small children or those in prams or wheelchairs to see too. There is a soft play area and cafe including several vending machines serving food, drinks and ice cream if you need to stop off for a break.

Blackpool Tower Ballroom

Situated on the first floor of the Blackpool Tower, the ballroom is stunning in appearance and a lovely location for a bite to eat and a dance with your partner. There is plenty of seating and combined with the music it provides a relaxing environment and a break for all the family.

Due to the high winds we were unable to access the Tower Eye so we decided to save the passes and visit again early in the new year to go to the Dungeons and Jungle Jim's also for a day trip. I really like Blackpool as a seaside break within the UK and I would highly recommend the Merlin passes while there to make the most of your holiday. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and look forward to returning - Winter is the perfect time to go as despite being out of season all of the attractions are quieter and indoors so out of the cold.

We stayed at the Number One South Beach Hotel which provides 5 star luxury to both couples and families. Each guest room has it's own style to match your taste and mood and we were made to feel very welcome with friendly and helpful staff on hand. We stayed in the Drama room which was wonderful with a separate sleeping area for the children, whirlpool bath and plasma TV. The breakfast was delicious too!

*We received Merlin passes and a hotel stay for the purpose of this review*

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