SIX GOOD REASONS TO BUY AN ANNUAL PASS!
Any membership or annual pass that gives you admission to a wide number of attractions or locations can be really worthwhile, especially ones like National Trust (NT) or English Heritage (EH) passes that allow you entry to a large number of properties across the UK. These are great as they are not just for your local events and activities, but can be perfect for holidaying elsewhere in the UK. NT & EH give you access to castles, houses, coastlines, activities & children’s events all round the UK – NT and EH membership can also give you access to National Trust Scotland, Cadw and Historic Scotland properties.
Then there are the attractions annual passes – such as the Merlin group where you can buy one pass for all their attractions, like Sea Life Centres, Alton Towers, Legoland and Warwick Castle, or buy individual passes for the attraction which is nearer to home e.g. Warwick Castle or which you might use more frequently because of the ages and interests of your child(ren) e.g. Legoland?
You can also get passes to lots of local days out venues which are great if you go more than a few times a year. Work out the cost – and how many times you would need to visit to recoup the cost. Some you would only need to visit two or three times, others you need to visit once a month to make the outlay worth the spend, but if it’s your child(ren)’s or family’s favourite place – or where you and your friends meet up with your children, then it’s likely to be a good investment! Places like Hatton Adventure World, Umberslade Farm, Ironbridge Gorge Museums, Thinktank Science Museum and Ragley Hall, all offer lots to do across the year and with extra children’s activities in the school holidays.
Membership is another option is sometimes offered, often used by charitable institutions so that you can support a cause you might feel deeply about. Ryton Organic has annual memberships giving access to the garden and special events through the year while supporting the work they do. Compton Verney also offers membership options giving access to exhibitions and special events and you can also buy a very reasonably priced family pass for the year.
Something that doesn’t seem to be widely known about is the gift aid upgrade passes. These are offered by charitable trust venues, like the Britsh Motor Museum, National Space Centre and Black Country Living Museum among others. Here, if you gift aid your very reasonable entry charge, your ticket is upgraded to an annual pass. This makes for very affordable return days out; effectively a year’s entry for the price of one visit!
Finally look out for the passes that give you additional benefits, discounts and offers. E.g. as well as other exclusive benefits, Hatton’s pass gives you money off birthday parties, Ragley Hall’s gives you 20% off boat hire, Thinktank gives you fast track entry and National Trust gives you free parking. It all helps save you extra money.
With all pass types, they represent even better value if there are lots of different things to do at different times of year. This usually means a variety of indoor and outdoor activities and seasonal events laid on, like summer trails, Santa’s grotto, Easter Egg Hunts and half term fun! NT and EH give you this balance, as do lots of the local attractions with annual passes that are mentioned above. Don't forget to keep an eye out for any seasonal offers on membership.
Look out for the competitions to win passes to some the above attractions – we often run them in the magazine or online at www.raring2go.co.uk/competitions
Back To School in Style with Maped Helix!
Everybody loves stationery and as a child there is nothing better than getting ready for the new school year with sparkling new equipment and the West Midlands based stationery giant, Maped Helix are synonymous with school stationery.
When is Santa coming to Solihull and Warwickshire?
We tracked down one of Santa’s elves to get a sneak peek at his diary for the run up to Christmas!
Interview with Mr Bloom
CBeebies Mr Bloom actor Ben Faulks talks to Raring2go! about his new role in Wolverhampton’s Grand’s panto Aladdin, how to get your children to eat their greens and tells us whether eating veggies is like eating his friends!
Roald Dahl 100!
Raring2go! celebrates 100 years of Roald Dahl in 2016
hosting a Haunted House Party
Raise money for the British Heart Foundation whilst having a fang-tastic time! Entertain your guest by playing ghostly games and dancing to mysterious music. Why not wow your guests with these healthy and tasty spooky snacks? If you would like to do some freaky face paints then watch these step by step video tutorials. Fri 27th-31st Oct
Halloween is the perfect time of year to get creative in the kitchen and making food scarily fun! Whether you want to jazz up a slice of cheese on toast or go full out for a party with spooky drinks and disgusting nibbles we have some great Halloween recipes for you right here. The kids will love getting involved - or have a surprise goulish meal!!