Easter bank holiday 2017: 10 reasons to stay in Liverpool
The approaching Easter Bank Holiday weekend is the perfect time for a break, but that doesn’t have to mean long journeys, traffic gridlock and hiked up getaway prices.
Whatever you’re into, simply staying here in the Liverpool City Region can make for a fun-packed four days so we’ve rounded up 10 top reasons to keep it local this Easter.
Words by Natasha Young
1. Mark a golden anniversary
With milestone celebrations for Bluecoat, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and The Beatles’ seminal ‘Sgt Pepper’ album, 2017 is turning out to be a fun-packed year for the city.
Easter hasn’t been overlooked in all the action, as Liverpool also continues to mark 50 years since poets Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten published their hugely successful anthology ‘The Mersey Sound’.
Opening in time for the four-day break will be a free exhibition of The Mersey Sound Archives in Liverpool Central Library, featuring original posters, manuscripts and audio and visual material.
A display entitled ‘Adrian Henri – Painter/Poet/Performer’ will also be on show in the Dickens and Gladstone Galleries at St George’s Hall.
Meanwhile Everyman Company’s ‘The Story Giant’ – a stage adaptation of the Brian Patten creation – will take place at the Hope Street theatre throughout Easter, providing entertainment for all the family.
2. Enjoy a sweet scenic search
The Speke Hall estate and Formby’s dramatic sand dunes and pinewoods are stunning to explore on any day of the year, but there’s an added chocolate incentive this Easter.
Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt events are lined up for both picturesque National Trust sites, taking place from 14-17 April in Speke and on 15 April in Formby.
Scour the locations for tasty treats while admiring the surroundings.
3. Have fun whatever the weather
If the April showers arrive, your long weekend of fun doesn’t have to be a washout.
Indoor Albert Dock attraction Mattel Play! Liverpool is keeping little ones entertained on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout Easter, with appearances by ‘Bob the Builder’ and ‘Fireman Sam’ characters alongside interactive play and workshops.
Meanwhile Bank Holiday Monday will kick off a three-day visit from what is described as ‘the UK’s biggest inflatable play event’ at Exhibition Centre Liverpool.
Wacky World will bring bouncy, high energy attractions including giant inflatable slides, disco domes, bungee runs and rodeo rides to the fellow waterfront venue for all ages. There’ll be adult-only evening sessions for those who are young at heart too.
4. It’s panto season… Oh yes it is!
Now a twice a year tradition here in the Liverpool City Region, light-hearted family pantomimes have become a firm favourite at Easter time.
Come Good Friday, St Helens Theatre Royal’s 2017 offering of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ will be in full swing, starring Amy Thompson of Channel 5’s ‘Milkshake’ in the lead role.
Elsewhere, Liverpool city centre’s Epstein Theatre will welcome Lee Brennan from boyband 911 and Tina Malone to the stage in ‘Sleeping Beauty’ throughout the holidays.
5. See a rare spectacle
There’ll be another fleeting unveiling of the intricate Minton tiled flooring within St George’s Hall to coincide with the Easter Bank Holiday.
Depicting the Liver Birds, the Roman god Neptune, sea nymphs, dolphins and tridents, the floor was the largest Minton pavement in the world when it was first constructed.
The handcrafted mosaic was concealed in the 1860s to allow dancing and events to take place in the grand Grade I-listed landmark, but visitors heading there from 13-19 April will be able to see the famous feature in all its glory.
6. Get crafty
From hands-on creative sessions with Big Art at the Walker Art Gallery to the Museum of Liverpool’s fun-filled programme of talks, handling activities and crafts, National Museums Liverpool is pulling out all the stops to keep children busy and inspired throughout the bank holiday weekend.
What’s even better is that the bumper Easter-themed series of events is free to attend on a drop-in basis with no need to book.
7. Party the night away
With a couple of extra days tagged onto your weekend you can enjoy Liverpool right around the clock and still find time to rest. So it’s no surprise that the city’s clubbing circuit hosts some of its biggest nights out of the year over Easter.
There’ll be something for everyone as Camp and Furnace welcomes the return of its preppy ‘Prom’ night, complete with ‘80s fancy dress and the crowning of a prom king and queen among the spring break style attractions.
Meanwhile clubbing hotspot Eberle Street’s latest addition, Brickworks hosts an Easter special in its state-of-the-art space with headliner Jax Jones.
Yousef will also present an instalment of the popular Circus at Arts Club, with three stages of acts including Joris Voorn, Nicole Moudaber and Lauren Lo Sung from 10pm-4am.
All three will take place on Saturday 15 April.
8. Laugh out loud
The laughter doesn’t stop as Liverpool’s comedy clubs continue to welcome stellar stand-up acts.
A triple helping of headliners including Sully O’ Sullivan, Ola and Duncan Oakley hopes to give Seel Street audiences the giggles at Hot Water Comedy Club on 14-15 April, and you can catch newcomers on the rise the following evening as the venue hosts New Act Night.
Elsewhere Laughterhouse Comedy will tickle your funny bone with two nights of performances from Mick Ferry, Imran Yusuf and Barry Dodds on 14-15 April at The Slaughter House; and a hearty dose of Saturday night hilarity will come from Gary Delaney and Patrick Monaghan at Liverpool Comedy Club, Camp and Furnace.
9. Celebrate in stunning surroundings
Where better to mark Easter than within the breath-taking settings of Liverpool’s landmark cathedrals.
Morning prayer and then an early evening vigil mass at the city’s unique Metropolitan Cathedral, which celebrates its golden jubilee in 2017, will be followed by one of its most important and symbolic services of the cathedral year when the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil takes place at 9pm.
Liverpool Cathedral will round off the festivities with an Easter Monday Organ Recital by organist titulaire, Ian Tracey.
10. Meet animals at the farm
You can still swap city life for a spring day at the farm without venturing too far and, as well as meeting the animal residents, there’ll be bags of Easter fun thrown in.
Head over the water to the Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm in Bidston Hill for some eggsellent activities and live music throughout Good Friday to Easter Monday.
There’ll be pottery painting, the chance to ‘pat-a-pet’, face painting and storytelling among the attractions at the free entry site, which is home to animals including geese and goats to sheep, ponies and pigs.