Things to do (February 16 to 19)
FREE: Chinese New Year Celebration, Preston, Saturday, February 17
Celebrate Chinese New Year - the year of the dog - at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston, with events for all ages. Try your hand at Chinese calligraphy, brush painting and chopsticks. See how long you can keep a Jianzi ‘shuttlecock’ in the air, enjoy the ceremony of a Chinese tea tasting and spend the day immersed in Chinese culture - thanks to the Confucius Institute at the University of Central Lancashire. The free drop-in events run from 11am until 3pm. For more information visit http://harrismuseum.org.uk/whats-on
PAID: Blackpool Ghost Walks, Blackpool, from Friday, February 16 to Sunday, February 18
Join The Victorian Ghost Hunter (Haunted Blackpool author Stephen Mercer) on a Blackpool Ghost Walk as he guides you to some of Blackpool’s most famous, and most haunted, locations to hear of his friends; the spectres, the phantoms, the ghosts! There is a walk starting at 7.30pm each night. Tickets are £6 adults; £3.50 under 16s; £16.50 family ticket. To book contact VisitBlackpool Tourist Information Centre on The Promenade or by calling 07519 265637.
PAID: Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair, Lancaster, Saturday, February 17
Lou Lou’s award-winning Vintage Fair visits more than 40 cities across the country with the UK’s best vintage traders, a kitsch vintage tea party serving tea and cakes in traditional china, and a pop up hair and beauty salon. At Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair, expect stall upon stall of affordable shopping, with vintage and retro clothing, homeware, jewellery and collectibles from the 1920s to the 1980s. Catch it at Lancaster Town Hall from 11am until 5pm. Admission £2 for members; £2.50 for non-members.
PAID: Murder Mystery Evening: Treachery on the Titanic, Samlesbury, Saturday, February 17
It’s time to set sail on the most famous ocean going vessel ever built, but you’re not just here to enjoy the opulence and grandeur of the white star line’s flag ship liner. The famous Heart of the Ocean has been stolen and a killer is on the loose. Can you solve the crime before the last lifeboat sails? This criminal cabaret evening is being held at Samlesbury Hall, near Preston. It starts at 7pm and tickets are £35 (includes three-course meal). Call 01254 812010 to book.
PAID: Noisy Gallery: See Hear, See Here with Kabantu, Lancaster, Saturday, February 17
Ah-haaar mateys! - Pirates, mermaids, sharks and sea creatures all welcome to this musical adventure! Come in costume up and get a musical goodie bag to take home. Dive into a sensory undersea voyage with world music collective Kabantu, exploring the magical creatures of the ocean using touch, music, movement, sight and smell, for the under fives. It’s at Nuffield Theatre, in Lancaster University. Tickets are £3.50 adults: £4.50 children. Show times are 10am and 11.15am.
PAID: Fin2Fit Experience Session, Preston, Saturday, February 17
Experience being a mermaid or a shark/barracuda! Fun sessions where swimmers can try on mermaid/shark tails and fins, have photos taken against a backdrop, and then the fun really starts when you get in the pool to have a try swimming wearing the tails. Aimed at swimmers of all abilities. It’s being held at IATD Fitness at Walton-le-Dale Primary School, Preston at 12pm and 12.30pm. Booking is essential and tickets are available from https://www.aquamermaids.co.uk/
PAID: Free Parking, Preston, Sunday, February 18
Jazz fans will not want to miss this regular slice of hot and funky jazz, served up by Preston favourites Free Parking. Leading the line is one of the finest saxaphone players around - Harold Salisbury. He is supported on guitar by Keith Ashcroft, and the ever present Norman Helm on bass, who is sure to provide some quality bass-slapping. Rounding off the quartet is Paul Burgess on drums. Paul has played many years with rock band 10cc and has also played alongside Joan Armatrading. It’s at The Ferret on Fylde Road, from 9pm. Admission is £3.
FREE: HSBC UK Guided Bike Rides, Lancaster, Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18
Want to get out and cycle more in your local area? Join one of the free, friendly bike rides hosted by British Cycling trained, supportive, local Ride Leaders.HSBC UK Guided Rides take the hassle out of organising a bike ride. Even better, the rides are in small groups and it’s completely free to take part. Rides are grouped into three types – Easygoing, Steady and Challenging. Visit https://www.letsride.co.uk/ to find out more about the rides planned this weekend.
FREE: North West Gathering 2018 - Friends of the Earth, Preston, Saturday, February 17
Want to know about the wonderful work that’s going on in your community and beyond, share your ideas and experiences? Want to hear from experts on key issues such as - air quality, climate change and attend fascinating workshops? The North West Regional gathering is the place for you! It’s a time to come together, to share ideas, learn from each other, hear great speakers and meet the challenges we face head-on. It’s at Gujurat Hindu Society Centre from 10am until 4.30pm.
PAID: Family Friendly Creepy Tours, Hoghton, Sunday, February 18
Head to Hoghton Tower for a family-friendly Creepy Tour, specially created to keep the children entertained this half term. The Creepy Tours will consist of a shortened tour around Hoghton Tower and both the children and parents will be told of the strange and spooky stories of Hoghton Tower’s ghostly past. Tickets for this event are £6, with an additional site fee of £1 per car or 50p per pedestrian due to the Farmers’ Market. To book visit http://www.hoghtontower.co.uk/
PAID: Murder Mystery Evening, Preston, Saturday, February 17
Award-winning theatre group, Harlequins, present a Murder Mystery Evening, ‘Life and Soul of the Party’ at Broughton & District Tennis Club on Saturday night. Audience members are invited to join a famous author at his birthday celebrations where a mysterious murder will be committed. As guests at the party, the audience will have the opportunity to be play ‘super sleuths’ and solve the clues to determine the guilty suspect. The evening is being organized by Preston-based charity Methodist Action. Tickets are just £12.50, which includes a hot-pot supper. To book call 07749 576296.
FREE: Britain on Film: Let's Go to the Seaside, Preston, Saturday, February 17
Britain on Film: Let’s go to the Seaside is an illustrated talk at South Ribble Museum and Art Gallery. Travel round our varied coast, filmed through the 20th Century from 1901 to 1978. Take a nostalgic promenade to classic British holiday resorts including Weston-super-Mare, Morecambe and Skegness. Starts at 2pm on Saturday.
PAID: Ladbrokes World Grand Prix, Preston, from Monday, February 19 until Sunday, February 25
Preston is to host Snooker’s World Grand Prix from Monday, February 19 until Sunday, February 25. Snooker stars from around the globe will once again be back at Preston Guild Hall. Televised by ITV4, the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix features 32 players taken from a unique ranking list which runs from the start of the season until the Shoot Out, which finishes on February 11. So players are battling for a place in that top 32 throughout the season so they can make sure of a place here, in Preston. Tickets prices vary and can be booked online at https://prestonguildhall.co.uk
PAID: Blackpool Magic Convention, Blackpool, from Thursday, February 16 until Sunday, February 18
The Blackpool Magic Convention began in 1952 as a one day event, and 2018 will see the 66th Blackpool Magic Convention take place at the Winter Gardens, which is a truly remarkable achievement. The convention has grown from a one-day event into a three-day extravaganza of all things magic, and it has become a must do event for many magicians around the world. It started yesterday and runs until Sunday. Ticket prices vary. Call 01253 625252.
FREE: Making the Invincibles - An Illustrated Talk, Garstang, Monday, February 19
Join author Michael Barrett for a presentation on the making of his bestselling graphic novel: Preston North End - The Rise of the Invincibles. The talk looks at who the Invincibles were, why Michael wanted to make the book, how he arrived at the idea and more. This free talk is on Monday at Garstang Library. Booking essential - call 0300 123 6703.