Coral Island | A Child-friendly Night Out in Blackpool

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We love visiting Blackpool and I think we've probably visited with the kids around 6 times in total. Now that they're a little older, they don't go to sleep until we do and trying to find something to entertain us all in the evening without breaking the bank can be a little bit of a challenge. Long gone are the days of putting them to bed at 6pm!

Coral Island | A Child-friendly Night Out in Blackpool

Coral Island is the largest FREE admission attraction in Blackpool. It's right on the seafront near the tower and you really can't miss it. It's open until LATE (often midnight) and the ideal spot for a night out with tweens in tow.

A night out in an amusement park can be expensive and spending can get out of hand and Coral Island is HUGE. I'd recommend setting a spending limit per child, having a little bit of cash for 'family' games like air hockey and deciding whether you want to pool your tickets at the end or keep them individually. This will pre-empt any arguments (I speak from experience). The kids had around £15 each to spend and we spent 3 hours at Coral Island so they did really well. The beauty of Coral Island being free to visit is that you can spend as much or little time and money here as you like. Here's a little taste of what to expect........

Traditional Amusement Arcades 

I just love playing on 2p machines as do my kids. It brings back ALL the nostalgia of visiting the seaside in the summer as a child myself. At Coral Island, there's the chance to win tickets on the 2p machines too and there's plenty of change machines if needed.

The kids have only really played on 2p machines and the odd arcade game in the past. So we took the opportunity to teach them how to play a few 'proper' fruit machines which they loved (obvs the ones for kids, not the 18+ area! I promise we are responsible parents). Jack turned out to be a bit of a pro.

Heidi is honestly addicted to soft toys. At last count she had over 100! I have put a ban on her buying any more but as she cunningly mentioned to me, the ban does not include winning one. We couldn't believe it when she won a Pug with the grabbing machine on her first go. She was over the moon! 

The Camel Derby is a game I used to play on every seaside holiday with my family when I was little. The kids have never played it (I don't tend to see it many places these days). We challenged each other and our competitive streaks came out. For those who don't know, you roll balls along the table and if it drops in a hole, your camel will move forward a certain number of places until there's a winner. The competition was strong and Steve turned out to be a winner! I can't believe he beat me!!!

There are family games to choose from too. A real favourite for us was ultimate air hockey where the table is filled with little discs. It's much faster paced than regular air hockey and is a 4 player game so the whole family can play (well the whole family + one photographer). I'd highly recommend this - we loved it. Look at those smiles. 

The final family game we played in Bingo which has been brought up to speed for the digital era. I forgot how quick and fast paced Bingo is! It's just 10p a board (3 boards for 30p is the usual game) and it was the most quiet the kids have been all week as their concentration levels peaked. We had three winners in our group and the prizes were pretty decent. We could have chosen a mini pool table of 6 tubs of slime but the kids decided to blow all their winnings on sweets instead. 

Rides at Coral Island

There are a couple of family rides at Coral Island and they usually run until 9:30pm-10:30pm. I found the Ghost train to be pretty scary but the kids were too cool and said it was fine (although this didn't stop them going on a second time!). 

Pirate Flyer is a great ride to get started as it takes you around the whole of the arcade and gives you a birds eye view. Great for people spotting too! Pirate Flyer fits 4 per cart and the Ghost Train is 2 per cart. They cost a couple of quid each.

The next two games are something we wouldn't usually go on as they are at the pricier end of gaming. BUT as it was a treat night and the kids were managing their own set budgets, we let them choose how to spend it. Jack and Harry played on a Virtual Reality game which was so funny to watch. In fact they built quite a crowd as they were super amusing. Jack couldn't believe how realistic it was and started riding the 'rollercoaster' with no hands. At £3 a pop, I thought it was expensive but once they'd tried it, I thought it was excellent value for money as they loved it. I think I'll actually pay for them to play more VR games in the future. 

While the boys were playing VR, Heidi decided to try her own version of the Crystal Maze with a Hurricane Ticket game. Basically you stand in a tube, air blows tickets around and you need to collect as many as you can in a set time. Heidi got her technique down to a T straight away and was a pro. She won LOADS of tickets and this was well worth the £2. 

Kids Eat Free at Coral Island

There are 4 restaurants at Coral Island and they all offer 'kids eat free' at all times. I love that there are no restrictions on this (1 free children's meal per adult meal purchased) and if you're on a budget, the restaurants and cafes in Coral Island are definitely worth a look. We chose to dine in The Buccaneer Pub which is a Pirate-themed pub in the heart of the action. The theming is fantastic and even the staff are dressed as pirates. We chose 3 courses each which set us back £44 (excluding drinks) for the 5 of us which is the cheapest pub meal we've had in a long time. The service was super quick and friendly and we were served all three courses in around an hour. I really appreciate quick service after a long day out with the kids. The quality was en-par with sizzling pubs or wetherspoons. Don't expect home-cooking but like I say, if you're on a budget, it's perfect.

We spent 3-4 hours in Coral Island. We went inside feeling the sun on our faces and as we left, it was dark outside. We had the best time - proper, old-fashioned seaside fun with a few modern touches such as the VR games and digital bingo. If you're looking for a night out in Blackpool with older kids, Coral Island will more than deliver.

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Coral Island | A Child-friendly Night Out in Blackpool



  1. Oh wow, it looks like you're having an incredible time! My Dad used to take us to the arcades in Great Yarmouth every Summer and I have the most amazing memories, my Mum would stay at home (she hates "tacky seasides" and Dad would just go crazy and let us go on all the rides and win us cuddly toys on the grabbing machines - he'd spend a fortunate trying to get all three of us a toy!

    Can you believe that I'd never ever played Camel Derby until I met Simon - I'd never heard of it! I love it now, that little theme tune gets stuck in your head!

    Go Hedi winning that toy first go! Skills!

    1. Ah I bet that was such a fun thing to do with your dad! Maybe Camel Derby is a Northern thing?? x

  2. It looks like a fab place to spend an evening with the kids.
    I love the 2p machines too. Such fun!
    Well done Heidi for winning the pug. I don't think I've ever won on those grabbing machines! lol
    £44 is such a great price for a 3 course meal for all of you! We can easily spend that just for 2 courses and 4 of us!
    It looks like you all had such a fun time x

    1. Heidi had the skills for sure! Yes the price was so good! Esp as we had three courses x

  3. Great comprehensive review Sam. I have a real idea of the place now and knew nothing before! So pleased you all had a great time!

  4. Where did Heidi get her hat may I ask? It looks awesome

  5. Me n my daughter are going tomorrow I will give it a try hopefully it will put a smile on her face she so moody 😂😘


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