Saturday had to be one of the best family days out we have had in ages…all year according to the kids! Being from Yorkshire, when we have a day out at the coast, we usually head East to the all familiar Yorkshire coast, see family and do our thing! Yet we recently realised that for the same amount of time driving (a reasonable 90 mins) heading in the opposite direction across to the west coast there is a place filled with adventure and hours of fun for all the family at Blackpool pleasure beach! I vaguely remember it from being a kid, I am not sure if we ever actually went inside when we were there visiting family, but I guess that’s irrelevant because now I have, and as a parent I couldn’t think of a better day out with our adrenaline junkie kids!
The weather was brilliant (bright sunshine and warmth all day), screams of joy and excitement all around us and the fresh smell of the sea air. It felt for the day like we were on holiday and both Nathan and I came out feeling as such …tired from family fun but relaxed and counting our blessings for some great experiences together and memories created! Of course the company was great and yes together we generally had an amazing time on rides and experiencing the whole theme park environment…
I am constantly learning things about our kids and I was blown away by how fearless they both were, I honestly thought for the biggest part they’d be all talk and chicken out when it came to it, sticking to the safer kiddie rides but it wasn’t like that at all! They were pretty much up for everything and this day out showed me how daring they are, how they were happy to give everything a go and even when things scared them a little, the adrenaline of it all meant they ran right back around and experienced it all over again – it was fantastic to see!
We made a family goal to go to a theme park every summer if possible and this began 2 years ago when we went to Alton towers. At the time we found it a great day (expensive if we hadn’t have had vouchers) and it was certainly age appropriate for Megs being 2 and Ethan almost 4, but looking to revisit this year we thought the choice of rides for kids a couple of years older weren’t that vast, Cbeebies was a little babyish and maybe even outdated for them, travelling was far too much and it takes ages to get from place to place. And so this year for some family fun we were drawn to the excitement on offer at Blackpool pleasure beach and its nickelodeon Land…Its not only closer and easier to get to but far more age appropriate for our kids now at 4 and almost 6! We liked the idea that it had a bigger array of kids rides, some of which are
a little more a lot more daring and an opportunity for them to see and to meet more up to date and exciting characters. It had family faves like Paw Patrol. Spongebob and Wallace and Gromit and when you are a child these familiar characters certainly enhance the experience beyond the thrill of rides and make the day all that more special! From a family perspective, because that’s what our visit was all about, it ticked all the boxes for what we were looking for…here are what we loved, found useful and what made it apparently “the best day ever”….
Characters and Meeting them – Reality was exactly all we hoped for here, Megan noticed straight away “that explorer girl” (Dora) and they went a little nuts seeing both Wallace and Gromit (the real ones apparently) and Shawn the sheep loitering by that area of the park, but the highlight was certainly when it came to Paw patrol being on stage, Megan was in absolute awe to see both chase and Marshall appear and it made not just her day but dare I say her little life. I will remember for a long time how she froze and lit up as she heard the theme song, followed by the jaw drop when they came out. When it was her turn she legged it straight to chase and hugged him…It was lovely!
Ride Variety – Nickoldean Land has such variety for kids of all ages and the rides are actually entertaining for adults too accompanying them. There is nothing worse as a parent than going on a tacky kids ride whilst feeling you are missing out on all the fun over in another area of the park, but at no point did we feel that. The rides were fun for us all and that meant that we definitely felt present. Nathan took Megan for an opportunity to ride her 1st Roller coaster (loved it) whilst Ethan soaked people on the Spongebob ride! They all got wet on the log flume, flew to new heights in balloons and generally laughed and screamed for the whole day!
I personally didn’t go on a whole lot as we obviously had a 2 week baby in tow, but what I did experience it was a lot of fun and laughs with the kids!
We also loved that when we did venture into other areas of the park, there were so many other family friendly rides where they got great enjoyment from out, the fave being “Wallace and Gromit” and the biggest shocker being the flying Machines!
It was all such brilliant fun and they coped fairly well with ques too, which was nice considering how hot it was…and we were excited to even discover a little area where Miss Alice felt quite at home too!
Food – From experience food at theme parks can be quite a pricey affair, and when our kids are busy and excited they don’t tend to stop and eat, so I chucked a few picnic bits under the pram to see them through. What I did love about Blackpool pleasure beach on this topic though was that yes there was the usual little kiosks with things that were more than you would want to pay, but they also have a Burger King on site and this is all priced the same as regular restaurants. It was brilliant because when they wanted an ice cream and snack some 99p nuggets and a 49p cone was a pleasure to buy and didn’t leave you feeling ripped off, so it certainly helped keep the cost for a family day out lower. Next time we will abandon the picnic faffing and just plan to eat there!
Value for Money – Booking in advance online will reduce the cost, and they also offer family passes too, but when we looked at what it cost and what was on offer we would definitely say its worth it for a theme park. Also because everything is close to each other you can see and experience lots of things and the adult rides have enough for parents who want to have some fun too! Nathan of course took time to ride the Pepsi Max and loved it but other than that I am not sure how great the other rides are and if they were “worth it” because we were having too much fun on family/kid friendly stuff and didn’t have a lot of time to go on them, but they looked good and for a family day out it has enough to entertain everyone, and lots of age appropriate rides that keep it exciting all round.
I think in hindsight though I wouldn’t have got a wrist band but just paid of the few rides I went on…I spent most of my time feeding, watching. waving and laughing at them all!!!
Here’s what the kids had to say:
Ethan – Can we go again mummy?? I really like Wallace and Gromit and they had a real life Wallace, Gromit AND Shawn the sheep. The ride was really awesome, funny and only a little bit scary. I went on it sooo many times didn’t I mummy? That was my favourite… oh and wetting people was very funny too!
Megs – I love it too mummy and that roller coaster was weally scary and made my tummy all funny. I love all of them rides and Wallace and Gromit too like Ethan…I weally love hugging chase soooooooo much!
Blackpool pleasure beach is already on our summer 2017 bucket list, it was such great fun for all ages and for a family day out and so easy to get to. Of course it’s not as massive as other parks but this is what appeals to me because when you have kids in tow, you want to quickly get places! I loved the added bonus of fish and chips on the sea front afterwards, the sea air smell and driving past the piers and tower… as I said we left feeling like we were on holiday as opposed to just a day trip which had us planning our return visit with maybe an overnight stay. We might be a proud Yorkshire family but sometimes it’s totally worth venturing over the boarder to Lancashire because Blackpool pleasure beach is a wonderful theme park for a family fun day – Go on get yourselves there and have some coastal theme park fun this summer!
NB: Blackpool Pleasure Beach gave us complimentary wrist bands in return for a review which we are super thankful for. All thoughts, opinions and pictures are honest and my own!