SPECIAL REPORT: Free events will keep youngsters entertained

Ride the Lights in Blackpool is just one of the free events you could try
Ride the Lights in Blackpool is just one of the free events you could try

For kids the summer holidays stretch out before them in a golden haze. But for parents this time of year can be fraught with the difficulties of what to do to keep them entertained without breaking the bank. NAOMI MOON has put together the pick of events that can be enjoyed for free across the county this summer.

Brick Dinos, Preston, Saturday, runs until Sunday, September 17
Dinosaurs are coming to Preston this summer at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery. Brick Dinos promises to be a fantastic family exhibition produced by artist Warren Elsmore and his world-renowned team of Lego modellers. Open daily from 10am (11am Sunday).

Fun Day, Preston, Sunday, July 23
Fun day to help raise funds for the victims of the Grenfell Tower blaze. The event will be held at Lea Club, in Blackpool Road, from 12pm until 4pm and will include a magician, stalls and games. Admission is free, with a donation box on site and all proceeds going to the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation, which is supporting Grenfell Tower residents in London. To make a donation to Grenfell Tower residents visit www.thekandcfoundation.com.

Xplorer, Leyland, various dates in July and August
A navigational activity that the whole family can enjoy together. Use map reading skills to find markers hidden around the park, answer the questions or identify the picture on each marker before returning to the start to collected your certificate. It’s being held on Worden Park in Leyland, Preston on Wednesday, July 26 (10am - 12pm); Friday, August 18 (10am - 12pm) and Wednesday, August 23 (2pm). For more information call 01772 286382.

Archaeology Dig Drop-in, Lancaster, Friday, July 28
Help Lancaster City Museum celebrate the festival of Archaeology 2017. Drop-in and get digging, see what exciting artefacts you can find. This is something the whole family can enjoy. It start at 10.30am and runs until 12.30pm. For more information call the museum on 01524 64637.

West Lancashire Walking Festival, various venues, from Saturday, July 29 until Monday, August 28
The festival offers everything from short, themed, informative strolls to long distance countryside rambles. A variety of different walk leaders and external organisations work alongside the Ranger’s helping to provide walks that cover as much of West Lancashire’s wonderful countryside as possible. Walks are free and booking is not required. Walks are open to all but anyone under the age of 14 should be accompanied by an adult aged 18 or older. Please ensure that you wear clothing and footwear to walk through uneven/countryside terrain. Longer walks - seven miles plus - will have a scheduled lunch stop and you will require a packed lunch. For a full programme visit http://www.westlancs.gov.uk/leisure-recreation/parks-and-countryside/countryside-and-park-events/west-lancashire-walking-festival.aspx or call 01695 622794.

Wyre Estuary Country Park Open Day, Thornton, Sunday, July 30
A fun day with displays and activities for all the family at this annual open day. Family activities include: Bird and Bat Boxes, Xplorer activity ,North West Reptile Club and Wyreside Bees and Hawthorne Park. Admission is free though some activities may charge. Site is tramper, wheelchair and pushchair accessible. Dogs must be kept on leads. The day runs from 11am until 4pm.

Family Fun Day, Lancaster, Sunday, July 30
Join folk at the Lancaster University Sport’s Centre as they celebrate their 6th birthday. Taking place in aid of Cancer Care, expect a fun-filled day of sports, activities, games and competitions. It runs from 11am until 4pm. For more information call 01524 510600.

Fun Holiday Spanish, Coppull, Monday, July 31
Prepare for your holiday with a fun Spanish lanhuage class for all the family. Quiz and Spanish snacks included. It’s being held at Coppull Library on Spendmore Lane from 2.30pm until 4.30pm. For more information call 0300 123 6703.

Life on the Shore, Heysham, Wednesday, August 2
Enjoy some marine themed activities, including rock pooling, seashore art, scavenger hunts and shoreline searches. Make sure you are wearing waterproofs, wellies or some other sturdy footwear as it can get slippery under foot. Runs from 10am until 1pm at Half Moon Bay in Heysham. For more information call 01524 855030.
24 Hours for Keiran, Preston, Saturday, August 5
A 24 hour charity football match/family fun day in memory of Kieran who passed away earlier this year due to cystic fibrosis. There will be lots of children’s activities including rides, bouncy castles, slides, face painting, disco, hook-a-duck, donkey rides, cake stalls and much more. Open from 10am until 11pm at Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Football Club on Lightfoot Green Lane in Preston.

Summer of Folk & Fairytale, Chorley, every Tuesday in August
Every Tuesday in August will be filled with magical storytelling, games and craft activities with 45 minute workshops based on a different Brothers Grimm Fairytale each week. Each workshop will include an introduction to the story and characters, interactive story-telling in which the children can join in with sounds and mimes. It is being held at Botany Bay in Chorley. Sessions are at 10am, 11.15am, 12.30pm, 2.15pm and 3.30pm. For more information call 01257 261220.

Family Activity Days, Whalley, Friday, August 4 and Friday, August 11
Learn and explore during two days of fun with crafts, games, storytelling and more. Discover some fun history about Whalley Abbey and what it means to be fishers of men. This is a free event for families from 10:30am until 2:30pm which fits in perfectly with the train times. The event is being run by Blackburn Diocese. Places are limited so ring 01254 503405 or email children@blackburn.anglican.org to book a space.

Xplorer, Preston, various dates in August
A navigational activity that the whole family can enjoy together. Use map reading skills to find markers hidden around the park, answer the questions or identify the picture on each marker before returning to the start to collect your certificate. The family navigational challenge is both friendly and fun. Meet near the pavilion to register and collect your map. Xplorer is happening on Friday, August 4 (10am until 12pm); Wednesday, August 9 (1pm until 3pm) and Wednesday, August 30 (10am until 12pm). For more information call 01772 286382.

Make My Day, Morecambe, Sunday, August 6
Head to the West End Gardens on Morecambe Promenade for Make My Day! - a festival of creative fun. Enjoy a wonderful day by the seaside - hammering, sawing, making, playing and having fun with the whole family. Runs from 12pm until 5pm.

Wild Families - Survival Skills, Heysham, Wednesday, August 9
A nature themed activity session where children can test their survival skills with camouflaging, play messy games and dens. Head to Heysham Nature Reserve for this event, between 12.30pm and 3pm. For more information call 01524 868451.

Prince and Snow Princess Day, Morecambe, Saturday, August 12
Go along and meet Elsa and Anna, two snow princesses, at Happy Mount Park, Morecambe, in a magical world of make believe. Enjoy a fabulous fun afternoon of storytelling, princess music, royal etiquette lessons, prince and princess oath, party games and much more to keep the little ones enchanted for the day. Starts at 12pm. For more information call 01524 401140.

Morecambe Carnival Weekend, Morecambe, Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20
The Morecambe Carnival returns with this free weekend of family fun. Catch the fantastic Carnival Parade and The Bay Radio’s Live Stage Show with top acts from across the UK – including Union J.

Ride the Lights, Blackpool, Tuesday, August 29
Get on your bike and Ride the Lights in this exciting preview of Blackpool Illuminations. Ride at any point along the promenade from Starr Gate at South Shore to Red Bank Road in Bispham. Ride the lights is not a bike race, it’s a fun and free bike ride open to all. A great opportunity to get out and about on your bike. For more information call 01253 478222.