Blackpool holds a special place in my heart. For many people images of hen and stag dos, and cheap holidays when they think of Blackpool. But I don’t. I think of amazing things. Things like quiet, foggy, windy days on the pier in February. The special memories made with T for our 6 month anniversary just before I went away for 3 weeks and missed him so much that I knew that would be the longest time we’d ever spend apart. The first zoo trip Spike ever made. The first time she saw the circus. And multiple day trips spent at the 2p machines after watching the aeroplanes at the air show. Plus, our yearly trip to the illuminations. Blackpool holds so many memories for us. So it’s fitting we were invited* along to Coral Island to celebrate Spike’s 4th birthday!
Coral Island Blackpool
For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Coral Island is a large amusement arcade on Blackpool Promenade. Overlooking the beach, its the quintessential seaside arcade. It’s noisy, full of fun and comes with some great places to eat. In my opinion a trip to Blackpool isn’t right without a trip to the arcades. And we always end up in Coral Island.
Spending the day at Coral Island Blackpool
The arcade is plenty big enough to spend a whole day there if you want to. And with the typical British weather not performing well for half term its the perfect place to keep the kids entertained. Especially when your day on the beach is rained off! Not only is there lots of 2p machines, there’s an over 18s section, video game style machines, themed rides, including their Bunny Rabbit VR ride and more! You don’t have to leave to get food either, with a selection of great restaurants to choose from. And what’s more, kids eat free!
Spike’s birthday treat
We were invited* by the Coral Island team to spend the day at the arcades during the May Half Term. As Spike’s birthday fell within the half term, we decided to make it her special treat and she was not disappointed. As soon as we arrived she was bouncing, wanting to go on the Pirate Flyer and the other ride – which I forget the name of! – designed for toddlers/very young children. When I told her we would have as many goes on them as she wanted, she was over the moon. I knew then that it was the right place to spend her day.
Peggy’s Snack Bar
We arrived at Coral Island at around 11am, after a busy morning opening presents. That’s pretty close to Spike’s lunch time so we decided to have breakfast for lunch. We headed to Peggy’s Snack Bar for our all day breakfasts. Me and T got full Englishes and Spike asked for beans, toast and a hash brown. She thought it was great to get a choice of what she wanted from the hot counter. She also loved the theme of the bar, with pirates and below deck ship-style decor around. When it came to sitting down she chose a seat under a huge pirate portrait and tucked in. The breakfast was really good and they were soon polished off!
We got stuck in as soon as our breakfasts were finished and headed straight for the 2p machines. Spike loves them as she’s got a thing for key rings! We started playing on one for a dinosaur key ring. Naturally, we were there for almost half an hour, trying to win it! I refused to let it defeat me and a few tubs of 2ps later, that dinosaur was ours! Spike was so happy to have won what she wanted from the machine!
The rides at Coral Island
Next up, as Spike couldn’t wait any longer, was the Pirate flyer. I’d never actually been on this before, but T and Spike had and Spike took great pleasure in telling me it was awesome. It’s a monorail that goes round the tops of people as they are playing the machines below. It then enters into a private cave. On weekends I believe there’s a real life pirate there ready to scare you too! I wanted to head to the Ghost Train next but as T is a massive softy and looked terrified at the thought, Spike thought it would be too scary. I’ll get her on it next time!
After another go on the Pirate Flyer we headed up to Prize Bingo to see if we could win. Unfortunately only Spike got close, with only 1 number to be shouted in 2 of our 4 games! But we enjoyed ourselves all the same. Every 15 minutes they play a jackpot prize so you can win a really good prize. Spike definitely had her eye on a huge teddy so it might have been good fortune for us!
Camel racing at the Camel Derby
After a stop off at the 10p coin pushers, we headed to the camel derby. Last time we were at Coral Island Spike’s cousin won her a Wonder Woman Toy on this game so we were sure we were going to win something again. However, luck was totally not on our side! Another visitor was obviously way better than us but it was fun to watch our camels and race them against each other!
After a few more goes on the slot machines, a go or two on the toddler car ride. Not to mention a visit to the giant deckchair to pretend to be giants, Spike was pooped. All the excitement of the day and the hours we’d spent playing had wiped her out. We tried to distract her with air hockey and shooting zombies, unfortunately the Bunny Rabbit Virtual Reality Game had a huge queue, but there was no distracting her. We decided to collect our tickets and head for home.
Cashing in our tickets and the Prize Shop
As you head round the games and machines at Coral Island you can collect tickets. We managed to collect quite a lot but as we were on our last game a young couple with no children came over and asked if we’d like theirs too! I love people who do this because before I had Spike, I always did it. After many thank you’s and a trip to the ticket eating machine we headed to the Prize Shop. I learnt very quickly that you shouldn’t let a 4 year old pick their own prize. We walked away with a lot of sweets, Stickers, Magnets and a giant, squidgy poo emoji toy. But I guess her being happy on her birthday is the main thing!
Future trips to Coral Island
As north westerners, Blackpool is always going to be a day out location for us. It’s changed so much over recent years and there is so much going on there. We always find fun things to do and even on days where we just want to feel that sea air, its on the doorstep. Coral Island was amazing fun for Spike’s birthday and will continue to be for years to come! I wouldn’t hesitate to tell anyone wanting that perfect British seaside day out to head along to Coral Island as they will definitely get what they are hoping for!
*Disclaimer: We were asked along by the Coral Island team to review and share our experiences on the blog.