Tuesday, 11 October 2016

An autumn break in Blackpool // Day four - Blackpool Model Village, Sea Life Centre and Madame Tussauds

Before I start, i'm going to apologise for the crazy amount of photographs in this post! Our final day in Blackpool saw us visit three attractions in addition to a whole heap of sight seeing, souvenir shopping, pottering down the promenade and generally just doing as much as possible before we had to set off home that evening!

Once we'd checked out of our hotel, we decided to pay the Blackpool Model Village a visit. Once again, this attraction (as well as all the other attractions we visited this trip!) were included in the Blackpool 'Resort Pass Plus'. 

The model village is situated pretty close to the zoo right by Stanley Park. The attraction is set in 2 1/2 acres of flower filled and well manicured gardens with a level path that provides access for all. Even dogs are welcome here so this one gets a double thumbs up from us!  

The model village is such an interactive and fun experience for all the family. We loved the little quiz that is given upon entry which has been designed to make sure you don't miss anything out. Kiddo loved counting the figures and it really helped engage her with everything around her!

Everything about the model village is just so cute and quirky. Good old fashioned British humour is apparent everywhere you look. We especially loved the "Big Blue Hotel"with Norman Bates as the proprietor and the hilarious puns on the notices and shop names for example.

Also, the floral displays are lovely. This time there were sunflowers everywhere!

A lot of care has been put into these miniature scenes. There's even a working model railway which features children's favourites Thomas, Annie and Clarabel. Super cute!

Honestly, this is such a lovely and peaceful attraction and we found that it was especially good for small children. It's location is perfect, slightly away from the hustle and bustle of central Blackpool.... great if you want a change of scenery! There was nowhere for kiddo to get lost and the nice size of the attraction meant that she didn't get too tired or overwhelmed. 

In terms of facilities, the model village has a small gift shop, toilets, refreshments and an ice cream parlour. We still haven't tried the ice cream but I must say it looks pretty nice. Must add it to my list of things to try/do next time! 

We had such a lovely time at the model village and would definitely visit again! And look, we even found the world's friendliest cat who just happens to live there.....

.... So cute!

After the model village, we headed back to central Blackpool where we enjoyed a rather lovely picnic on the promenade. The tide was in and so there was no access to the beach but it didn't stop kiddo and husband popping down the steps for a paddle anyway! They didn't last long, it was too cold! 

After that, we made our way to the Sea Life Centre. I know I have already written about it loads (see my last post about it here) so I won't bore you again so soon but I wanted to share a few photographs anyway....

I think this is potentially the first time we have visited it on a weekend and I must say that the difference in crowd levels was quite noticeable. There were queues to see most of the exhibits and some we just had to bypass as we couldn't get anywhere near them. On the plus side, it meant that we could take more in as we were slower moving around and we also managed to catch one of the shark talks which was really interesting to listen to! 

Kiddo had fun spotting her favourite fish (Dory and Nemo!) and this time she took a particular interest in the Stingray Adventure part of the attraction, something she usually runs past! Here you can explore the tropical reef through underwater tunnels, it's a really immersive experience and such a memorable one too. It's so peaceful watching the rays glide past!

Once again, kiddo loved the soft play centre at the end of the attraction. It's included in the price and it gives adults the chance to have a much needed rest and grab a hot drink! I really honestly have no idea where our child gets her energy from but hey, it keeps her fit and healthy!  

It was mid afternoon by the time we had finished in the Sea Life Centre so as we still had a bit of time, we decided to visit Madame Tussauds which is just a couple of minutes walk away. I'm going to admit right here, I find the whole concept of Madame Tussauds a bit strange (the figures.... they are so lifelike!) but at the same time, we've visited quite a few times now and actually, we always have so much fun!

There are so many interactive experiences, chances to learn and photo opportunities that it isn't just rooms full of wax figures and posing for selfies with your favourite stars! 

Madame Tussauds is divided into different zones including everything from music stars to comedians and from sports stars to children's favourites such as Sooty and Bob the Builder! There's even a faux Coronation Street set complete with a Rovers Return where you can purchase real drinks and pose with favourite characters such as Bet Lynch, Jack and Vera. 

You might think there's not much for young children to do in Madame Tussauds but there are honestly so many ways that little people can get involved. There are dressing up opportunities, photo opportunities, buttons to press, interactive exhibits (karaoke machine complete with Let it Go? Yes please!), a mirror maze and even an area dedicated to children's favourite characters. 

We loved the 'Best of British' area complete with members of the royal family, The Beatles and Sid Vicious. The thing I like about Madame Tussauds is the range of people who have been immortalised in wax form.... I might not watch much tv or listen to popular music but I still spotted a fair few folk that I am rather fond of! 

Each of the different zones is impressively themed and figures are grouped by category..... not gonna lie, we totally bypassed the sports stars completely as it's not something that any of us were interested in. But I guess that this grouping helps if you just want to skip bits out if you don't have time!

We loved the Festival Fields section which was complete with giant wellies, a singing phonebox, karaoke and a camper van photo opportunity. This is also where you'll find Olly Murs and Ed Sheeran....

Possibly my favourite part of Madame Tussauds is the part where you descend a flight of stairs past walls of saucy seaside postcards and stars such as Benny Hill, work your way through a highly polished mirror maze (bumped into the glass a few times, I will admit!) and arrive at a photo opportunity. Here, you get to dress up in silly hats and pose on a giant deckchair holding a giant stick of Blackpool rock. It's so much fun and so bonkers that we always end up buying the resulting photograph afterwards!

Once we had finished in Madame Tussauds, it was time to go and find something to eat before heading back to the car ready for the journey home. Before that though, we couldn't miss out on popping by the illuminations just one more time.... I just love them so much!

We had such a lovely break and I am sure that it won't be long until we are back there again! The Blackpool resort passes that we used gave us such a memorable experience, it was a fantastic way of seeing some of the best attractions that Blackpool has to offer. 

We used the passes across four days and managed to squeeze in most of the attractions that were on offer. If we had a day or two longer I would have really loved to visit the Sandcastle Waterpark (and the Tower Dungeon too but this is probably most definitely unsuitable for a small child!). Next time, the Sandcastle is going on my 'must do' list!

Have you visited Blackpool recently? What are your favourite attractions and things to

If you'd like to find out more about the many things to see and do in Blackpool then pop over to the Visit Blackpool website where you'll find everything from details about the illuminations to dining ideas and much, much more! 

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