Summer holiday ideas in the North West
The summer holidays may seem like a long time to entertain kids, although many may be happy to sit in front of the television or play computer games all day every day. However, with a bit of planning and creative thinking you will be able to find plenty of things to entertain kids of all ages and tastes.
Step back in time
The North West has numerous historical buildings and experiences, from National Trust houses where you can get a snapshot of historical lifestyles and wander in the gardens to ghost walks and sewer tours in the cities. Speke Hall and Tatton Park are just a couple of the beautiful buildings you can explore and even older, more cynical children will enjoy the costumes and stories. Ghost walks are held in cities such as Manchester and Liverpool that are great for getting a real feel of the history and stories of the locations, but they are not for the faint-hearted and are usually only in operation after dark so this is one for older children.
Bond with nature
There are many wildlife parks, farms and other places to have an encounter with nature. Chester zoo has hundreds of animals in well designed enclosures, as well as a bat walk, boat rides and a sky train to get around the park quickly. Knowsley Safari Park lets you drive around through the huge paddocks and watch the animals in large herds behaving as they would in the wild; a close encounter with some lions or monkeys is something no child will forget in a hurry. The Blue Planet aquarium gets you up close and personal with the sea life. A touch pool for rays and a shark tunnel add to the experience and older children can even swim with sharks.
Learn a little something
For days out with the kids North West attractions have plenty of educational attractions, most of which are hidden under a layer of fun. The Manchester Museum of Science and Industry has many innovative exhibits that challenge and entertain, not to mention regular special attractions that mean you can return time and again for a different experience. The Police Museum and Bolton Steam museum will appeal to budding officers and train drivers respectively and for extra steam train fun there is a steam train that runs from Bury across the Rossendale valley.
Get out and about
The North West boasts splendid countryside, from mountains in Cumbria and the Peak District to sand dunes at Southport and forests in Delamere and the Ribble Valley. With all this on your doorstep the best and cheapest days out are those you create yourself, so get out and camp, build a fort and follow a nature trail.
Take part in canoeing, orienteering or a cycle ride, or take a ride on a horse or trek on the back of a llama. Fresh air and exercise are great for everyone and ensure that a good night's sleep will be had by all.
It may seem like a challenge to get everyone off the sofa and out of the house during the long summer holidays, but once you are out and about in the great outdoors, stroking a ray, paddling in the sea or playing with a plasma ball, you will wonder why you didn't do it sooner.
This post has been written on behalf of Knowsley Safari Park.