With the Great British weather we all know and ‘love’, whilst you can plan for brilliant sunshine in the summer, you should also have a ‘plan B’ up your sleeve for when that hot sunny day that was forecast, turns out to be a torrential downpour day instead! You could of course head for the nearest pub and drink through it but if thats not your bag, in this blog I hope to list a few ideas of things you could do to fill in a day (or two) in Blackpool, in the rain!
1. The Sandcastle
UKs biggest water park is all indoors and hosts a number of slides with various levels of …err…. ‘thrill giving’ I guess we’ll call it….to keep little ones, and not so little ones entertained for hours,! There’s also a regular wave pool which I personally hate but from the reaction of others racing into the pool, I think I might be on my own in that respect!! For the mums wanting a break from the kids… or dads for that matter…… The sandcastle also houses its own spa, featuring sauna, steam room, ice feature, heated loungers, aromatherapy room, salt inhalation room and foot Spa……. All for between £6.75 and £9.75 (depending on what else you’ve paid for) which sounds like quite a bargain to me though doesn’t appear to include any treatments.
Main draw back to the Sandcastle is that it can be very popular and does get very busy, we go once or twice a year and try to steer away from going at the height of season, we walk past the building regularly in summer and you can often see the queue stretching out of the door!! …but on a rainy day (or sunny day to be honest), it is a great way to fill your time and is pretty cost effective (If you can take a local along with you with proof of address, you can get discounted entry!). Main advice if you’re going is to try and get there as early as you can (it opens at various times throughout the year, over summer usually between 09:00 and 10:00 though often has a ‘half day’ Friday and is only open for the afternoon) or failing that, later on in the afternoon when people will be tiring and heading back to the hotel etc. As the opening / closing times change so much through the year, check the sandcastle website for the latest.
Cost are reasonable, expensive for a swimming pool but the sandcastle couldn’t be described as ‘just a swimming pool’. A single ticket is £16.75 (over 12s), Junior £13.25: with under 3’s free. Seniors or guests with disabilities come in at £10.25 (carers free). Hyperzone wristbands are extra it should be noted! Have your excuses for the kids ready (May i suggest they only have a few tickets per day and have sold out? 😉
2. Coral Island
Coral Island is a massive arcade featuring rides, slot machines, penny pushers, games, a casino (showing sports), restaurants and bars……. All under one roof! When lockdown is over, we’ll do a more detailed blog on coral island as theres really is a LOT to cover off.
Entry to Coral Island is free……. But of course, after that, there are plenty of opportunities to splash the cash but you can be as frivolous or thrifty as you like, we’ve often found, give the kids a couple of quid to change into 2ps and they can spend hours on the 2p pushers, give them more and they’ll probably spend it in the same amount of time but they’ll experience a lot (Camel Derby seems to be the favourite of one of mine and costs for that stack up quickly!! – that said, last time we went as my youngest had been on for so long, without prompting, they just gave her a little teddy which was a lovely touch!).
Bars wise, you can kick back and have a drink, (when we do this we give the kids strict instructions to stay together or with in eye shot and to check back regularly), the Buchaneer bar does get busy but generally, we’ve always got a seat and that includes in the height of the summer season. Prices are on the steep side for blackpool, (I’ll make sure to take note next time we go for a day and put it in my blog) but if you stay for food, its pretty reasonable and added bonus is that in all Coral Island restaurants, Kids eat for free! (Sunday lunches in the Buccaneer are brilliant btw, and the fish and chips are also excellent quality – which is a surprise for somewhere in the centre of Blackpool).
With enough cash to throw at it, you could easily spend a full day in Coral Island but I think it would be better to aim for a couple of hours ‘play’ …….or more if you include a meal.
3. The Blackpool Tower
The tower is such a fundamental part of Blackpool and for any visitor (or local on a day out of course) it has featured heavily in both blogs we’ve written to date! We need to write one on blackpool public toilets or something so we can do one without reference to the tower…. That said…. If I was caught short, the tower would probably be a good desination to go to !!! lol. The Tower rightly gets lots of kudos in many different respects, beautiful architecture, activities varying according to budget, activities varying according to age…….. you could very easily spend a whole day in the tower and not get bored (look out for further blog where we do that as a family and tot up the costs!).
The tower is an all round entertainment venue and includes attractions all under one roof… or tower to be more correct……. Such as:
- Bars (with kids entertainment in some)
- Tower Ballroom
- …and last but not least, the tower itself with glass floor and view across Lancashire, Cumbria and event North Wales on a clear day.
Cost for a day where two adults have cream teas in the ballroom, do the circus, the dungeon and a trip up the tower comes in at £143.00 (£50 for afternoon tea for 2, 2 x 3 attraction tickets £46.50 each)
This can be reduced by purchasing online the attraction tickets in advance, that brings it down to £29.60 per adult so £109.20 overall……quite a saving. The only way we can see to bring downcast of the afternoon tea is if you book a larger group to bring the price down per person. (above all for illustration, there are loads of combos that could suit your needs, main advice is to book in advance)
If you are a local resident (and by local we mean anyone with a FY or PR postcode, you can apply for a locals pass which will give a 50% discount – subject to a few terms and conditions and a few dates excluded – I’m not sure if the discount is only for the ‘walk up’; price of the online too…. I would imagine its walk up only though, thats the only way we’ve ever used it but could be worth checking)
4. Ripley’s Believe it or not!
Ripleys is a childhood favourite of ours, once upon a time it cost 50p to get in and you could spend an age in there looking at all the fascinating exhibitions and working out whether to ‘believe it or not’. Exhibits, videos, displays and all things weird and wonderful can be found inside spread over 8 themed galleries over 2 floors. Youre getting some decent bang for your buck here, its still amazing value, £7.00 per adult, £5.00 for a student, £4.00 for OAP and only £3.00 per child (under 4s free). Don’t want to spoil this one but particular favourites of ours are the life size model of the worlds tallest man, the ‘shruken heads’ and the ‘pulling faces in a mirror’ exercise….. make sure you really go for it on that one!!
The venue is located on the promenade in front of the pleasure beach, the site suggests parking on the pleasure beach itself but that is expensive. If you are looking to save some money, park on a residential street the other side of the railways lines away form the sea and walk over. (Ventnor road for example). Its about a 10 minute walk over the lines and to the venue (depending exactly where you park of course).
It used to be a bit of a standing joke that blackpool used to get the cast offs from madam tussaunds in London…. Not sure how true that rumour ever was (anyone know?) but either way, we had our first trip to the wax works on a rainy day last year and all loved it! Dad was sceptial going in, it seemed a lot of money to see a few wax works behind ropes however, you can get up close and personal with them, providing loads and loads of photo opportunities and the kids were running around, burning off energy like nobodys business……. Pretty important for relaxation later on in the day I’m sure you’ll agree J
The place is pretty expensive overall but is good value for money and has exhibits for all ages, from the youngest into super heros to your drama fans, sports fans …. The list goes on and new exhibits are added regularly. Defo one to consider be it raining or not!
If you combine a trip to the wax works with a trip to the tower, you should sit down and work out best options as you can up the attraction number on a tower ticket to include the Wax works for lower cost.
If you were to walk up on the day to get in the waxworks, it would cost £18.00, reduced to £10 advance online. The prices are the same for kids and adult here, with under 3’s going free.
So there you have it, your ‘plan B’!! Blackpool has plenty to do even in the worst of weather….. and that’s without including the many cafes and restaurants, theatres, the winter gardens, art galleries, shopping and also the Sea-life centre……. though as a family, we’re not too impressed with the latter ourselves.
Its always worth checking with your hotel for pamphlets with discount vouchers in, like any tourist place, a load are distributed throughout the town. Its also worth checking with any council run services for discount vouchers too – if you get the train, there is a pamphlet stall in Blackpool North you can look through, if you drive….. check the back of your parking ticket, if you use public transport…. check your bus ticket!
What would be your number one destination if you got caught in a downpour? (Home isn’t included 😉 What have we missed?