Showing posts with label November. Show all posts
Showing posts with label November. Show all posts

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Day of the Dead Festival at Southport Pleasureland - A Review

Earlier this month, Southport Pleasureland hosted a fantastic evening of entertainment and fireworks for their Day of the Dead Festival, which was attended by a huge crowd of visitors and brought an end to the 2019 season. My family and I were invited along to enjoy the celebrations and find out more about what was on offer for guests to experience at the event.

We arrived just before 5pm and made our way into the attraction. This was our first time at Southport Pleasureland, so my children were very excited to be attending and couldn't wait to see what rides and acts were available. As we entered, we were greeted by two stilt walkers in Day of the Dead themed costumes and face paints, as they spun circles of fire in front of the arriving visitors. Riley was mesmerised watching them and was looking forward to seeing the rest of the entertainment.

I had saved the list of timings on my phone, but realised once we were there, that we didn't know the locations of each act. Fortunately we seemed to be in the right place at the right time when it came to viewing the action and my children loved watching the performances. The Bring the Fire Project Skeletons got the evening off to a great start with their movements and flames, whilst the Creo Dance Company offered some creative dance displays.

We particularly enjoyed the LED jugglers and spinners who wowed the audience with their wonderful light displays. Our favourite however, was the Katumba Drummers which really helped to create a carnival style atmosphere. My eldest son is currently learning to play the drums in school, so he absolutely loved this part of the evening.

In between the acts we enjoyed ourselves on all of the rides. Each of them were being offered at a discounted price of £1.50 per ride which seemed very reasonable. To go on the rides you needed to purchase a Fun Card, which could then be pre-loaded with credit using one of the machines around the park. We had been provided with £10 credit on each on ours and this lasted us the whole night. I felt that the reduced ride prices offered families great value for money and that the Fun Card system would also allow families to budget accordingly.

There was a great choice of rides to choose from and we found that the queue times for each of them were reasonable and not too long. The Dodgems were very popular, but my eldest son managed to get a couple of goes and he had great fun driving the vehicle around and trying to avoid others. Riley loved the Balloon Ride, the Dumbo's and the Convoy and used the majority of his £10 on these rides. A particular mention must go to the member of staff running the Convoy ride, who was fantastic with the children and made it a great experience for them all.

All three of my children loved the Dock Funhouse which is one of the largest I have ever seen. They all said it was fantastic and lots of fun, with plenty to see and do inside. They all went on this at the start of the evening and then each chose to visit it again at the end of the night too.

For an additional charge, guests could also participate in one of the many fairground games to win prizes, which were located at various points around the attraction. I thought that the one indoors looked great and the prizes seemed to be of a good quality too.

There were plenty of food options available from various vendors and there was an ample selection of choices on offer. Items ranged from sweet treats such as waffles and pancakes to the more traditional favourites of fish and chips. A vintage bus which doubled up as a bar was also in attendance, so adults could enjoy their favourite tipple, whilst taking in the entertainment. Both hot and cold drinks were also available throughout the park at varying prices.

The evening ended with a fabulous fireworks finale which lit up the night sky beautifully. It was a wonderful display which was the perfect way to end the event.

Overall we had a wonderful night at Southport Pleasureland and it will definitely be on our list of places to return to next year. We felt that the Day of the Dead Festival offered something different to the usual Halloween and Bonfire Night events that were being held during the same weekend and it is great that there is an attraction offering some variety.

We loved the family friendly atmosphere and found all the staff we came across to be extremely welcoming. The rides were all enjoyable and there was a great selection that were suitable for various ages from toddlers to adults, so there was no worry about anyone missing out on all the fun. Ultimately we had a great evening and we look forward to visiting again in the future.

Attraction Details

Southport Pleasureland has now closed for the 2019 season, however they are due to reopen in March 2020 and you can find out more information on the attraction here:

Address - Southport Pleasureland, Marine Drive, Southport, PR8 1RX
Twitter: @SNPleasureland
Instagram: @snpleasureland
Parking - There are 3 car parks located on the Esplanade and on Marine Drive
Public Transport - Southport Pleasureland is easily accesible by public transport and is a short walk from the park and ride station, the town centre and Southport Railway station.

*Disclaimer - We were invited to this event as guests of Southport Pleasureland, for the purpose of writing an honest review of our experience. All opinions and photographs are my own.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Dates for your Diary - Horrible Histories Double Bill Heads to Storyhouse, Chester

As a child I used to love reading the Horrible Histories series of books. They helped me to become interested in history and they made learning fun, enjoyable and entertaining.  I introduced my own children to the books over the past few years and along with regularly watching the TV show, they have become huge fans. We were therefore all really excited to learn that the smash-hit show Horrible Histories Live On Stage will be heading to Storyhouse in Chester in less than one weeks time with a double bill set to wow young and old alike.

The first Horrible Histories books were published in 1993, and to celebrate the 25th anniversary the team behind the successful books have brought two titles to life with brand new engaging, entertaining and educational stage shows.

The Horrible Histories double bill of Terrible Tudors and Awful Egyptians will entertain Storyhouse audiences with two hilarious shows featuring eye-popping 3D special effects.

Horrible Histories Live on Stage comes to Storyhouse in Chester from Tuesday 5th November to Friday 8th November 2019. Tickets are on sale now and group rates are also available.

Horrible Histories Live on Stage is written by Terry Deary from his bestselling Horrible Histories books. Terry Deary is the world's bestselling non-fiction author for children and one of the most popular children's authors in the country. He has written 200 books which have been translated into 40 different languages. Over the past 25 years, his 50 Horrible Histories titles have sold over 25 million copies worldwide from China to Brazil.

Photo Credit: Mark Douet

Terrible Tudors gives visitors the chance to take a trip through the Horrible Henrys to the end of evil Elizabeth and hear the legend (and the lies!) about the torturing Tudors. Find out the fate of Henry's headless wives and his punch-up with the Pope. Meet Bloody Mary and see Ed fall dead in his bed. Survive the Spanish Armada as it sails into the audience! Terrible Tudors runs from Tuesday 5th November to Friday 8th November 2019.

Awful Egyptians invites you to meet the fascinating Pharoahs, gasp at the power of the pyramids, and discover the foul facts of death and decay with the meanest mummies in Egypt. Are you ready to rumble with Ramesses the Great? Dare you enter through the Gates of the Afterlife? It's the history of Egypt with the nasty bits left in! Awful Egyptians runs from Wednesday 6th November to Friday 8th November 2019.

A special feature of the productions are the amazing Bogglevision 3D effects. Among an array of 3D-illusions the audience will see the Spanish Armada firing cannonballs into the auditorium or the Mummy reaching out to grab them!

Horrible Histories Live on Stage is directed by Neal Foster, design is by Jackie Trousdale, lighting by Jason Taylor, sound by Nick Sagar, and music by Matthew Scott.

Birmingham Stage Company are also currently celebrating their 25th anniversary and are one of the world's top theatre companies for families. Their acclaimed productions include David Walliams' Gangsta Granny and Awful Auntie, and Roald Dahl's George's Marvellous Medicine. They have been producing Horrible Histories Live on Stage since 2005, including their record-breaking West End series of Barmy Britain.

These two hilarious historical journeys through the squelchiest and yuckiest moments in British and Egyptian history are perfect entertainment for anyone aged from 5 to 105!

Tickets are on sale now and range in price from £13.50 for children under 14, to £18.50 for adults. Each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee.

For more information you can visit the website

What do the critics say about Horrible Histories?

'A brilliantly fun piece of educational theatre that taught this history graduate a few new things'
Daily Telegraph

'Is this any way for children to learn about history? Too right it is! If lessons were always like this, kids would be queuing at the school gates!'
The Times

'Mortgage the school if you have to. Ransom the governers, even. No child or adult should be denied the chance to see this: live theatre and history at its rip-roaring best'
Times Educational Supplement

'These actors should be in every school history class across the land. Or given how little most of us know, maybe every living room!'
The Scotsman

'Wholly accesible, educating, entertaining and enjoyable, Horrible Histories live on stage is a tour de force. Five stars out of five!'

Listing Details

Horrible Histories 
Tuesday 5th November to Friday 8th November
Venue: Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR
Tickets: £13.50 children under 14 / £18.50 Adults
Each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee

Horrible Histories Terrible Tudors
Tuesday 5th November - Friday 8th November
Tuesday 5th November 2019 at 5:30pm
Wednesday 6th November 2019 at 1:30pm
Thursday 7th November 2019 at 6pm
Friday 8th November 2019 at 10:30am

Horrible Histories Awful Egyptians
Wednesday 6th November - Friday 8th November
Wednesday 6th November 2019 at 10:30am
Thursday 7th November 2019 at 10:30am
Friday 8th November 2019 at 6pm

Tickets can be booked online at, or by calling 01244 409113. Alternatively you can visit the Ticket Kiosks at Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR.

Photo Credit: Mark Douet

*Disclaimer - This post is based on a press release kindly provided by BEA. Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing, but can be subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the venues own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Day of the Dead Festival at Southport Pleasureland

On Saturday 2nd November, Southport Pleasureland will play host to the spectacular Day of the Dead event, in what is set to be an incredible night of entertainment that is bigger and better than ever before. There will be plenty for families to enjoy including stage shows, stilt walkers, fire eaters, live music, dancers and plenty of surprises too!  A live DJ will be sure to get visitors into the party spirit as the flavour of Mexico will come alive for this traditional Mexican festival.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to purchase and enjoy some Mexican food, or browse the arts and crafts stalls. There will be plenty of rides for guests to enjoy too and for this night only they will be available for the special price of only £1.50 a ride, which offers a great saving.

 Image kindly provided by Southport Pleasureland

Entrance to the festival will commence from 5pm and there will be plenty to enjoy throughout the evening, before the event culminates in a spectacular fireworks display that is sure to light up the sky of the popular seaside town.

This event is ticketed only, so don't miss out on your chance to purchase your tickets now. Individual tickets are priced at only £10 per person (+80p administration fee per ticket) and there is a family discount available for groups purchasing four tickets. Children under 90cm in height can enter free of charge!

They are available to buy in advance on the Southport Pleasureland website here.

Image kindly provided by Southport Pleasureland
Event Details

Event - Day of the Dead Festival at Southport Pleasureland
Address - Southport Pleasureland, Marine Drive, Southport, PR8 1RX
Parking - There are 3 car parks located on the Esplanade and on Marine Drive
Public Transport - Southport Pleasureland is easily accesible by public transport and is a short walk from the park and ride station, the town centre and Southport Railway station.
Tickets - Tickets cost £10 per person (+ 80p administration fee). Family discount is also available for groups purchasing 4 tickets.

For further information you can visit the Southport Pleasureland website or social media pages on the following channels:

Twitter: @SNPleasureland
Instagram: @snpleasureland

*Disclaimer - Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing, but is subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the attractions own website in order to obtain the most up to date information. Images kindly provided by Southport Pleasureland.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Nikko RC Pyscho Gyro Vehicle by Toy State - A Review

For the last few weeks we have been bringing you some toy reviews and recommendations. A lot of these have been aimed at the younger market, but we were very excited to recently be given the opportunity to review the Nikko RC Pyscho Gyro Vehicle, which is recommended for children aged 8+.

My son Ben has always loved anything remote control and has built up a collection of supercar remote control vehicles over the last few years. We were therefore intrigued to see just what the Nikko RC Pyscho Gyro Vehicle could offer in terms of fun, speed and stunts. Could it keep my 9 year old son entertained? Well we couldn't wait to find out!

When the product arrived it came in a large box, with a clear plastic front. This meant that you could completely see both the vehicle and the controller inside the box. I always prefer it when companies do this, so that you have a clear understanding of exactly what the product looks like and how big it is. It looked very impressive and immediately generated a loud "WOW" from Ben. The box displays that there is a 40m range, as well as providing some images of the product in use. It also shows what batteries are required and that there is a fast 1 hour charging time.

The reverse of the box provides some large pictures of the vehicle in different positions, as well as a very clear picture of the controller. There is also some links provided to watch some stunts on YouTube, as well as the Nikko website address, where there is further information on the product available.

Ben couldn't wait to get the box open, but we explained that we would need to put it on charge for a while first, before he could use it. This resulted in Ben eagerly waiting in the kitchen whilst it charged for an hour, asking every five minutes whether it was ready yet. Once it was fully charged, Ben immediately took it into the living room to try it out and get used to the controls. It didn't take him long to get the hang of it and he found the vehicle very easy to manoeuvre.

The Nikko Pyscho Gyro is capable of some fantastic feats. It's gyro stunt technology allows users to spin their cars around on two wheels. Amazingly it is also possible to spin on only one wheel! The vehicle has high grip tyres which allow for high performance traction both indoor and outdoors. This has enabled my son to be able to play with the toy both on the carpet, as well as on the decking and concrete outside without any issue.

Before long, he had realised how easy it was to get it to spin on two wheels and so we were treated to the sound of it spinning on the kitchen floor until the battery ran out, which took quite a while. It had certainly grasped Ben's attention and was keeping him well entertained. He managed to drive it all the way to school the following day. I explained that we were going on holiday the following week and that there would be plenty of places to try the product out there, so he was excited to take the toy away with us too.

As expected there was plenty of outdoor space to play with it and put it to the test. We were staying on a lodge park which had very quiet roads and long concrete areas, which meant that the vehicle could travel smoothly and that we were able to test the distance it could travel accurately.

Ben loved the fact that the vehicle could rotate at speed on both one wheel and two wheels. We found this to be really clever, as each time we thought the vehicle would flip over, but bizarrely it was able to spin around and balance on one wheel without any problem. Here you can see a clip of the Nikko RC Pyscho Gyro Vehicle in Slow Motion:

The vehicle is approximately 27cm in length, which is a great size to be able to carry or store away with ease. As mentioned previously, we took ours away on holiday with us and it fitted in the suitcase, amongst all our other things, with ease.

If I was to change one element of the Nikko RC Psycho Gyro Vehicle, it would be the battery casing on the underneath of the toy. It requires a small screwdriver each time you need to remove the battery and it is also quite a compact fit getting it back in once charged. It is definitely something best handled by an adult as think it would be far too tricky for smaller hands. A clip release battery cover would have been much better.

Overall, we have been really impressed with the toy. It seems very durable and is built from good quality materials. Ben drove it into several kerbs whilst getting the hang of the controls and it has had numerous bumps into walls and other items, but there has been no damage to it, nor are there any visible marks, which is a good sign of a well built product. My son loves being able to control the stunts and the one wheel spin is his favourite. Accompanied with a cool and trendy design in a choice of two colours, this toy certainly looks the part and at an RRP of £59.99 it offers great value for money.

For more information on the Nikko RC Psycho Gyro Vehicle or other products in the Toy State range, you can visit the Toy State website here - Toy State

This product is available to purchase from Argos, Debenhams, Menkind, Hamley's, Smyths & Amazon.

Disclaimer: We were provided with this product on a complimentary basis, for the purpose of providing an honest review of the product. This post contains an affiliate link. Opinions, photographs and videos are my own, unless stated otherwise.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Dates for your Diary - The Snowman Flies into Manchester this November

The Snowman is flying into Opera House Manchester this Christmas to delight audiences both young and old. Based on the book by Raymond Briggs, the film directed by Diane Jackson, and produced by John Coates, The Snowman will be heading to the stage with a wonderful mix of storytelling, spectacle and magic.

The Snowman comes to Opera House Manchester, from Wednesday 8th November through to Sunday 12th November 2017. The enchanting show will take families on a journey to the wintry world of a boy and his magical snowman, and will tell the story of a young boy's adventures, when his snowman miraculously comes to life on Christmas Eve.

 Photo Credit - Tristram Kenton

The show features a dazzling array of colourful characters including dancing penguins, magical reindeer, a beautiful Snow Princess, her wicked beau Jack Frost, and of course, Father Christmas himself. The Snowman is a Christmas treat for all the family and a perfect introduction to theatre and dance for the very young. Since it's premiere at Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 1993, the live stage show of The Snowman has been seen by more than one million people worldwide, and has thrilled audiences at London's Peacock Theatre for a record-breaking 20 years.

The Birmingham Repertory Theatre production features music and lyrics by Howard Blake (performed by a live orchestra), choreography by Robert North, direction by Bill Alexander, design by Ruari Murchison, and lighting by Tim Mitchell. The iconic song Walking in the Air will feature in a new arrangement by Howard Blake and sung by Aled Jones duetting with his younger (recorded) self, as released on Aled's chart topping Classic FM album, One Voice at Christmas.

The Snowman first appeared as a beautifully illustrated picture book by Raymond Briggs in 1978. It subsequently inspired the classic Oscar-nominated and BAFTA award-winning animated film featuring Howard Blake's wonderful score. It was first transmitted by Channel 4 on Christmas Eve 35 years ago.

Photo Credit - Herbie Knott

The film's signature song Walking in the Air reached number 3 in the UK charts when sung by choirboy Aled Jones in 1985, and the song was voted number 2 in a poll conducted by Classic FM to find out children's favourite pieces of classical music - beating Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, and Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy among others.

The Snowman is presented by arrangement with Snowman Enterprises Limited (A Penguin Company) and Chester Music Limited.

You can book now at ATG Tickets or by calling the box office on 0844 871 3018

Listing Details

The Birmingham Repertory Theatre Production of The SnowmanTM  

Venue: Opera House Manchester, 3 Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3HP

Wednesday 8th November 2017 - 7pm
Thursday 9th November 2017 - 10:30am and 2:30pm
Friday 10th November 2017 - 7pm
Saturday 11th November 2017 - 1:30pm and 5pm
Sunday 12th November 2017 - 11am and 3pm

Tickets: From £15*

To book please contact the box office on 0844 871 3018 or visit the website ATG Tickets

*Booking transaction fee applies.