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Blackpool's first electric illuminations date back to 1879 when eight arc lamps were used on the promenade to replace some of the town's gas lamps. Around 100,000 people attended this spectacle and in the years that followed Blackpool's illuminations became a regular event. The Blackpool illuminations now occur annually from the end of August until early November when the lights are on continually throughout the day and night. The 2007 illuminations cost Blackpool City Council £2.4 million to stage.
South Lakes Wild Animal Park
Since it opened in 1994 this zoo park in the south of Cumbria has been involved in major conservation and animal breeding programmes. It provides a home for over 100 species (including lions, bears, penguins, primates, lemur and kangeroos), many free to roam around the park. There are demonstrations and hands-on exhibitions given by the keepers. The park is home to both the Sumatran Tiger Trust and the Wildlife Protection Foundation. A highlight of feeding time is the climbing of tall poles by the tigers to reach their meat, a device to keep them exercised. The park has a cafe serving fast food, a gift shop and a large picnic area. Opening hours: Daily 1am - 5pm Admission: Adult: £10.50 Senior, Child: £7.00 Car parking is free. The park is wheelchair accessible.
The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction
After a recent expansion and refurbishment this attraction brings the characters of all 23 of the Beatrix Potter stories to life in the form of tableaux and statues and utilising music, lighting and sound effects and smells. Highlights include "Peter Rabbit's garden" which follows him through the garden gate, "Jemima's Adventures" in the woodland glade and "Mr. McGregor's Greenhouse". A virtual tour guides the visitor around the parts of the Lake District which inspired the author. Simultaneous translations into French, Dutch, Chinese and Japanese are presented. The Tailor of Gloucester Tea Room serves family and children's menus hosted by Simpkin the Cat and an "army of mice". There is also a gift shop selling a wide range of themed merchandise. Group discounts are available and there are car parks in the vicinity. Drop off facilities are also available for the disabled. Opening Hours (Closed Christmas and New Year): 10am - 5:30pm (Summer) 10am - 4:30pm (Winter) Admission: Adult: £6 Child: £3
The Rheged Centre ("The Village In The Hill") is named after the ancient Celtic Kingdom of Rheged. It was constructed from a disused limestone quarry and is covered over with the largest grass roof in Europe. Inside are a number of activities and attractions to suit every age. "Giant Movies" is the home of a large format cinema which rotates seven feature films on such diverse subjects as "Vikings: Journey to New Worlds" and "Africa: The Serengeti". "Discover" is a permanent exhibition and information centre covering the history of the region from the Ice Age to the present. It also houses the National Mountaineering Exhibition. The Centre hosts live music, fairs and childrens workshops. There is a play centre, a cafe and a shop which sells local produce, beers and crafts. Opening hours: 10am - 5:30pm Daily Entry to the Centre and on site parking: free "Giant Movies" Adults: £5.95 Senior, Student: £4.95 Child: £4 National Mountaineering Exhibition: Adults: £5.95 Senior, Student: £4.95 Child: Free Family and combination tickets are also available Bus services stop at the Centre's main entrance There is easy disabled access and shopmobility scooters can be provided.