22 November 2015 to 17 January 2016
Reviewed by Julie Leousis
What a fantastic day had by all. It took 35 minutes to drive to Blackpool from Chorley. We parked in the Hounds Hill shopping centre as you pay on exit there and we didn’t know how long we would be there for. It is also next to the Tower so saved us being blown away in the Blackpool wind.
Myself, my partner and our three children aged 8, 9 and 10 to the see The Blackpool Tower Circus presents PINOCCHIO starring Mooky, Mr Boo and a whole hosts of circus skills and we were also going to get to try a few circus skills ourselves. As we got there early we had time to visit some of the other attraction Blackpool Tower has to offer.
When we arrived at the Tower we were taken into the magnificent Ballroom. This is truly an amazing room to sit and soak up some history with lavish art work and the sound of the organ playing whilst couples were dancing.
We were seated next to the dance floor for our afternoon tea. We were served by a lovely lady who asked if we had any dietary requirements and what we would like to drink.
We ordered tea and coffee with soft drinks for the children. The table was laid out with white cups, saucers and plates. The only problem was the space, with five of us on a small round table it did get a bit cramped and we ended up putting the children’s tea cups under the table for more room. We didn’t have to wait for long when our drinks were served and we were presented with our afternoon tea.
This comprised of triangle sandwiches filled with a variety of egg, tuna, beef, cheese and ham. There were plenty of sandwiches to go round all of us.
A plate full of fresh, delicious scones awaited us all with mini pots of strawberry jam and a pot of clotted cream to share. These we lovely and moist, a real treat. The final plate was fruit and custard tarts, again enough for us all and the children found these very tasty.
All the time the music was playing and couples were dancing on the beautiful dance floor. Afternoon tea at the tower really is a treat, whilst the children enjoyed the food, I feel the dancing may have been a little wasted on them, but I would certainly like to visit here again with an older relative for an afternoon to remember.
We then arrived at Jungle Jim’s. There was plenty of seating for adults and the children were off playing as soon as they got their shoes off. There was plenty of time for them to play with loads of climbing and slides. My 9 and 10 year olds are quite tall and they did say that they felt a bit too big to play in there comfortably. Our 8 year old played happily until we had to leave. The drinks in the play centre were £1.35 per bottle or a cold meal could be purchased for £4.95. The children needed a drink after all that running around.
The play area is clean and spacious, it’s up to date with a friendly atmosphere and staff were great. The bathroom was very clean. Our daughter did say she got wet where water was leaking in through the Tower roof and it was very cold in there (for adults siting around) but to be fair it has been a really cold and windy day today.
Jungle Jim’s is a great activity for children especially those under 9 or maybe just not giants like my boys!
Next to Jungle Jim’s is the 4D cinema. We waited in a large room with clips of Blackpool Toweaying on a number of TVs. We were given glasses to wear and taken into the cinema room. Clear instructions were given for us to stand with our backs leaning against the stands. The room was cold and had a damp feel to it, but this was to become apparent why when the film started.
The 4D effects were amazing. The ride around the tower and Blackpool was great, you could almost touch it (at times we felt we needed to duck out the way of objects flying out of the screen). The floor rumbled, the wind, snow and rain were felt by all in the room and really created a wow factor for us all, not just the children. The film wasn’t very long but it was definitely worth a see for adults and children of all ages. The effects were like nothing we had seen before and created a good view of Blackpool past and present. This attraction is a must do add on to your day out at Blackpool Tower.
Next the magic of the circus was awaiting us. We were taken into the circus ring before the circus was due to being for us to have a quick lesson of circus skills. The children (and adults) were shown how to juggle and spin plates. The staff were really patient with us all and everyone had a go at each activity. This caused a few giggles and plenty of videos for taking home of each other trying to spin plates – and some cheating too! The fact that we tried and realised how hard it is to do the tricks really brought it home to us of how much hard work and skill goes into the circus performances.
The circus ring is as with the ballroom a real historical treat, opening in 1894 it is the oldest permanent circus in the world. The room is beautiful and no matter where you sit you have a clear view of the show. The seats however are quite cramped if you have long legs. Luckily my partner was sat on an end so was able to stretch out.
The circus panto Pinocchio began with Mooky the clown as the main character, with his usual hysterical performance that draws in and engages fully with the audience. The show encompassed the traditional pantomime theme with the skills and talents of the circus performers. The dancers, both adults and children were graceful and elegant throughout the show with a magical performance of Hallelujah whilst the acrobats performed above them.
The skills of all the acrobats were amazing, making your heart stop as they swing high in the air entangled in each other or balancing on a pole.
Mooky and Mr Boo captivate the audience, getting them on their feet, interacting and creating a sense of being part of the show. The 12 days of panto performance was really funny, especially Mr Boo tripping over (not sure this was supposed to happen).
It’s amazing how a circus as old as it is, can within seconds fill up with water to create a new atmosphere, then how quickly the performers clear this again to the dry circus ring.
Prior to the show and at the interval there are drinks, ice cream and popcorn on sale. We brought 4 ice creams and one popcorn and it cost £12. It could get expensive if you were to buy the flashing toys, face painting and other things on sale during the breaks. The children did look great with the face painting as mini clowns complete with the red nose. When asking the children on the way home what was the best part of their day, they all replied the circus. This is really a magical attraction for families to make memories to last a lifetime. Blackpool circus is wrapped in history that you should definitely feel a part of.
Our day at Blackpool Tower was fantastic. This is an attraction not to be missed with something for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are 2 or 80 the Tower is a sure thing for a great day out and experiences to last you a life time. The staff are friendly and helpful, nothing was too much and you really feel at home. Would we be heading to the Tower again – YES!
A great time for all the family and if you are looking for a pantomime this Christmas then the Blackpool Tower Circus performance is highly recommended.
Ticket prices for the Blackpool Tower Circus Pantomime are:
Toddler/Child (1-14 years) £13.95 / Adult (15 years +) £16.95 / Family (Group of 4) £55
For more information or to book tickets visit:
Other attractions at The Blackpool Tower cost extra, see www.theblackpooltower.com.
The Blackpool Tower, The Promenade, Blackpool, FY1 4BJ