Oliver is 14 months now and spends most of the day running around like a maniac. I’ve become acutely aware of just how much he benefits from being out and about and stimulated by the environment he’s in. So we do try to get him out each day, even if only to the supermarket or the park. But last weekend, we headed away for the Bank Holiday and enjoyed a stay in Cockerham (more about that later). One of things we decided to do there was check out “the world’s largest indoor illuminations show,” as Blackpool’s Illuminasia bills itself.
Illuminasia, Blackpool – Our Review
The quick version of this review: We loved it. And so did our son (after the first few minutes).
Bit more time on your hands? Here’s the detail.
I’d read in advance that it’s not ideal for pushchairs, prams and buggies and that the access route takes you away from some of the exhibits. So we had already decided we’d leave the pushchair in the car and let Oliver walk. If you do take a pram, though, you can also leave it (at your own risk) at the entrance.
We arrived as the attraction was opening at 11am (though online hours advised it opened at 10:30, so if we had arrived earlier I’d have been a bit miffed at standing around). It was very quiet with just half a dozen or so people waiting to get in. This was ideal. It was quiet and there was plenty of space for us to let Oliver have a little walk around. Not that he wanted to do much walking at first.
In the first room (Oriental Themed) Oliver was a little unsure. In fact, when we put him down he did the whole bottom-lip-about-to-burst-into-tears routine. So we carried him. I think it was the sound effects rather than the light that was making him feel a little unsure. And the fact that it’s a completely different environment to what he is used to.
But by the time we were in the second room, he was on his feet, laughing, giggling, pointing and looking.
At the entrance, they’d given us a Birthday Cake hunt sheet for Oliver. There were 16 birthday cakes hidden throughout Illuminasia and if we found and noted the location of all of them, Oliver would be able to choose a little light up gift from the gift shop. He’s a little young to really get into that sort of thing yet, but Mummy made the most of an excuse for a treasure hunt and bagged him a light up mushroom.
The lights were really incredible – stunning, in fact. And the music used added to the atmosphere. It’s a brilliant attraction for young children and Mums and Dads will get plenty out of it too.
Perhaps the most insightful review that I can offer is that my husband, who never really says he thoroughly enjoys any attractions of this nature, was very impressed!
Illuminasia Blackpool – What You Need to Know
Address: You’ll find Illuminasia in the Winter Gardens, Blackpool. The full address:
97 Church Street, Blackpool, FY1 1HL.
There are plenty of car parks nearby. We parked at a car park just behind Church Street and it was a fiver for the whole day.
Cost: You can get tickets for £12.20 for adults and around £9 for over 3s. Under 3s are free. We booked in advance through Days out with the Kids and got our tickets for £8.75.
Food and Drink: There is a cafe and gift shop at the end of the exhibition and you can get sandwiches, cakes and drinks there. Alternatively, you’re in the middle of Winter Gardens and there are cafes there too.
Would I go Back?
I would definitely go back to Illuminasia. You need to allow 1 to 2 hours to get through it all, take photos (and complete the treasure hunt!). Last week was the first time I’ve been to Blackpool without going to the Pleasure Beach but still had a great time thanks to this attraction. It’s great for toddlers too. We’ll be back.