Blackpool Illuminations 2009: Fun for all the Family

One of the UK theme parks I‘ve really fell in love with is Pleasure Beach (in case you couldn’t tell hehe). So, I did a bit more exploring, and here’s what I’ve found so far…

Blackpool's Central Pier -- Ferris Wheel(credit)

If you’re looking to view a dazzling light show this year, Blackpool Illuminations 2009 will tantalize, amaze and delight your whole family. This time-honored tradition attracts visitors to the area in their droves, and the Illuminations remain one of Blackpool’s most popular tourist hotspots. Surrounded by luxurious casinos, the Pleasure Beach family theme park, and spacious beaches, the Illuminations thrill tourists year after year with their innovative designs, spectacular visual illusions, and amazing colors.

Here is a whistle-stop tour of Blackpool’s world-renowned Illuminations. From its historic conception to this year’s show, families from all over the world have been left gasping in wonder as they travel the colorful miles together.

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The One Thing Saskatchewan Doesn’t Have

Rollercoasters and Other Fun RidesHave you ever been to Pleasure Beach in Blackpool, England? Well, if you haven’t, you should definitely check out this theme park in the UK. Of all the theme parks I’ve seen in the UK, this one would definitely top my list of spots to see on a holiday. It’s packed full of rides, all kinds of shows to see, great places to eat and grab something to drink including the treats that theme parks are known for. Then, there’s an awesome hotel to stay in right there.

Cool right? Well, Saskatchewan doesn’t have any amusement parks or theme parks…not permanent ones anyway. I’m not sure why, but I’m thinking that I’d have a pretty good idea after trying to get my skin unstuck from the metal roller-coaster after a ride at -40 during a snowstorm would tell me.

We do get rides, but for those, you’ll want to attend Agribition in Regina or one of the local rodeos or stampedes. That doesn’t mean we don’t have any fun rides though.

Kenosee Superslides Waterpark

Instead of the Infusion or the Avalanche roller-coaster in the UK, which do look like tons of fun, you’ll find Twister, Bonzai, and Kids slides at Kenosee Superslides Waterpark. (You’ll find this exciting place close to Carlyle in Southeastern Saskatchewan). Anyway, tons of fun things to do here too, even if you aren’t quite that adventurous.

There’s tubing and the ‘Lazy Canal’ as well as shopping at the clothing store, sports such as volleyball, and all kinds of special events. Then, you can grab something to eat while you’re there, or enjoy some of the other local attractions in the area including the Bear Claw Casino and all of the events and activities hosted there.

Sundance Hot Air Balloon Rides

There’s absolutely no better way to see the beauty of Saskatchewan than from the calm, drifting serenity of a famous Sundance Hot Air Balloon. For around an hour, you can see the best of Saskatchewan from a 1000 feet in the air. There’s no dealing with busy airports, gates, or trying to sit comfortably in the middle seat. You’ll also enjoy the immense peace and quiet of this form of air travel as well.

Sundance offers ride in the morning, the afternoon, and at sunset through most of the year, so you can go when it works best from you. You’ll also want to make sure that you remember your camera so that you can preserve this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Horse Drawn Sleigh and Carriage Rides in Beautiful Saskatoon

If you like a touch of the old, a horse and carriage (or sleigh ride) around Saskatoon’s Spadina Crescent is perfect. You’ll enjoy a slow and relaxing tour of the city’s best areas just as Saskatchewan pioneers would have a hundred or more years ago. You can even havea fire and warm up to end your trip off nicely. It’s certainly romantic and the kids will love it. Regardless who you bring along, it will be one of those activities you’ll never forget. Mmmm roasted marshmallows. Anyone else craving marshmallows? Now where was I? Oh yeah…

Sadly, Saskatchewan doesn’t have any full-time theme parks like the UK, but the rides it does have are just as special. Try them out for yourself and see.

(This post also appears on Travel the Prairies at

Sasquatch Expeditions: Travel to Manitoba to See Big Foot!


The legendary Sasquatch has been frequently spotted in the Interlake region of Manitoba, Canada as well as Northern Ontario. On July 22, 2008, a group of women had gone berry picking out in the forested region when a giant furry creature started to approach the two. The ladies were used to being out in the area and were completely certain it wasn’t a bear or a moose. They were frightened and immediately returned back to Grassy Narrows. When they returned to the site a short time later, they found a massive footprint that closely resembled a human foot!

This makes the Interlake region ideal for an outdoor travel destination; you can hike, boat, fish, camp and see if you can get proof that Sasquatch really does exist! The area is relatively unsettled leaving you with a peaceful and serene setting to enjoy the great outdoors. Several small towns in Manitoba that border the region can provide you with all the amenities while areas such as Black Island, on the other hand, are virtually uninhabited.

The area is filled with a variety of wildlife including bears, moose, and elk. Unique plants and other fauna create a fairytale-like scene. The many lakes that give the area its name are ideal for canoeing, kayaking, rafting, or simply laying back and enjoying the lazy summer afternoon. In the winter, this region has some of the best dog sledding conditions in the country. Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are also spectacular.

Lac du Bonnet and other communities in and around the region have some stunningly picturesque golfing opportunities. Community events such as ice fishing derbies, spring flings, and celebrations are held throughout the year.

A little farther south, the community of Rennie, MB is best known as the gateway to Whiteshell Provincial Park. You name an outdoor activity and they have it! This history in the area is truly fascinating and exciting to explore. The Trappers Museum teaches visitors all about the trapping of animals from its early beginnings through to the present day. There is also a geological history museum and the natural history museum are also a favorite stop.

Rainbow Falls and the famous Alf Hole Goose Sanctuary are two popular stops for tourists and locals alike. The falls most interest photographers and sightseers. Started in 1939 with only four goslings, the goose sanctuary is a paradise for bird watchers with more than 200 birds nesting in the area in May and June.

When you arrive, there are several places to stay in Manitoba‘s Interlake region. Campsites, resorts, cabin rentals, lodges, cottages, and B&Bs are great options for those looking to get away from the typical hotel stays.

Find a guide tour or take a self-guided tour through Manitoba’s wilderness and see if you can find a Sasquatch. Don’t forget your camera!

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UPDATE: In an interesting turn of events, two American hunters claim they have found the corpse of a sasquatch. Although the experts can’t seem to agree, you can see pictures and read the story at

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