This past year has seen lots of new attractions open, from dino golf to inflatable theme parks - have you given them a go?
This June saw the closure of Oxygen trampoline park in Trafford Park after two years in Manchester. The reason? Increasing leisure competition.
We’re not surprised. While the city has long boasted a plethora of attractions, it seems to have been a particularly busy year for new openings: from virtual reality to inflatable theme parks and themed mini golf.
Bad news, of course, for poor Oxygen - but very handy for keeping the kids entertained over summer. Here we’ve rounded up five of the biggest attractions to open in the past twelve months, and three more that are opening soon…
Dino Falls | Trafford City
Opened in November last year, this Jurassic-themed golf course is the biggest outside of London - with eighteen holes and some pretty impressive residents, including a six-metre high T-Rex. Handily, kids go free this summer. Dino Falls joins the likes of Chill Factore, Play Factore, iFLY and Legoland in Trafford City.
IMAX VR | Intu Trafford Centre
Also launched last November, IMAX Manchester offers nine experiences - from space flights to superheroes and paranormal activity. ODEON cinema goers will be rewarded with a free voucher to try it out this summer, so now’s the time to visit.
IMAX isn’t the only VR experience to open of late: as well as launching in the Arndale this summer, Immotion has partnered with Merlin Entertainment to launch The Great Lego Race at Legoland - only the second of its kind in the world.
KICKAIR | near Manchester Arena
Soon to celebrate its first birthday in Manchester, the ‘North West's largest indoor freestyle park’ includes trampolining, indoor rock climbing, warrior courses, jump basketball and a robot goalkeeper that’s even beaten Lionel Messi.
INFLATANATION | Trafford Park
Formerly Jump Nation, Inflata Nation launched in Trafford Park last October and is expanding faster than the Incredible Hulk - with another branch in Runcorn and imminent openings in Beverley and Birmingham. Expect climbing walls, obstacle courses, giant slides and plenty more inflatable hoopla besides.
COMMONPLACE BUS | Citywide
Not an attraction as such, but there aren’t many double decker buses that host community events, and they often cater for all the family. After piloting events and a successful crowdfunder in 2017, Commonplace opened officially this year and has seen everything from youth markets to pop-up dinners and workshops - keep an eye on the calendar for what’s next.
LUCARDO ESCAPE ROOM | Near Trafford Centre
Plans for this 9000 sq ft escape room complex are still underway, with a tentative opening date of late this year or early next. Not much good for this summer hols, but fortunately you can meantime catch Lucardo in Ancoats - with experiences spanning the University of Magic entrance exam to Dream Runner and Espionage. One for the older kids and grownups, minimum age here is 10 and anyone under eighteen must be accompanied by an adult.
TREETOP ADVENTURE GOLF | Printworks
Following a similar model in Cardiff, this Amazon-themed mini golf course has apparently cost a pretty Amazonian £2 million to create. Intricately-carved corridors, ancient temple, a ‘mountain zone’ with panoramic views across the eighteen-hole course and even a ‘dramatic cascading river with a trio of singing frogs’ all feature in the tropical rainforest setting - not to mention over 2,000 artificial trees and plants. It’s due to open August bank holiday.
GRAYSTONE ACADEMY| Salford
One for the teens and upwards, this 35,000 sq ft ‘action sports paradise’ is due to open later this year - Christmas break perhaps? The team say activities will include skateboard, BMX, free ski, snowboard, parkour, scooter, hip-hop/dance, cheer, video production, photography and music recording (talk about diverse) and will span school holiday day camps to Olympic athlete training.
Treetop Adventure Golf is due to open later this month