Looking for some ideas to entertain the family during the October school holidays?
Look no further. Blackpool has set its stall out to offer families an unrivalled selection of half-term holiday fun. From the famous Blackpool Illuminations lighting up the skies every night to spine-tingling Halloween horrors, the resort has an extraordinary line-up of events and attractions to celebrate the school holidays.
Here’s a selection of 10 exciting things to do in Blackpool over half-term.
1. Experience the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations
Autumn wouldn’t be the same without the world-famous Illuminations. The free display stretching along the entire length of the Promenade has an array of impressive new features for 2023, including the newly-reimagined Spitfire Island, a giant Blackpool selfie sign on the Tower Festival Headland, and Spiro, the stunning tunnel of light, makes an electrifying return.
For another year running, Blackpool Illuminations have been extended until January 1, 2024, giving you even more time to visit us. Even better, it’s also the perfect excuse to visit again when the kids break up for Christmas!
Explore the Blackpool Illuminations here and find out what's new, the switch-on times for this year’s display, plus more illuminating information.
2. Take advantage of Lightpool Festival
To complement the spectacular Blackpool Illuminations, Lightpool Festival will return for October half-term from 20 – 28 October. For nine nights, a myriad of indoor and outdoor spaces will come alive with large-scale light installations, larger-than-life projections, music and performance. You can look forward to new artworks and world premieres, showcasing an unforgettable experience.
It’s nine nights of pure magic, music and illuminated magnificence – and it’s all free!
Take a look at the full programme
3. Brave some Halloween horrors
Now spooky season is here, it’s time to start planning your frights this Halloween.
We’ve got ghost trains, ghost walks, ghost trams, and a Haunted Hotel tableau in the Blackpool Illuminations - in fact, more ghosts than you can shake a stick of rock at. Ghosts not your thing? Try pumpkin picking at Ridgeway Farm or entertain the kids at one of the family-friendly Halloween parties in the resort.
Watch out for a stack of electrifying events at various attractions, including Blackpool Pleasure Beach which, from October 26-31, will host the return of Circus of Horrors. Blending horror, rock music and burlesque with unbelievable acts from an almighty cast, Circus of Horrors is a spine-tingling show set to make your pulse race. The show kicks off at 8pm or you can opt for the child-friendly shows at 4pm.
From tame activities for your tiny terrors to grown-up scares to make any brave soul tremble, you can take a look at the full line-up of what’s on this Halloween.
4. Light up your night with the World Fireworks Championship Blackpool
Don't miss the World Fireworks Championship Blackpool spectacular displays as countries battle out for the winning title.
The final event will take place on Friday 20 October as Italy close this year's competition.
Make the day of it in Blackpool, reserve a bite to eat for dinner and then head to the Promenade to watch the spectacular display; it's not to be missed.
Find out the approximate firing times and further information here
5. Take your pick from a wide range of attractions
October is the time of year when many places are bunkering down for the winter. But not here in Blackpool. Did you know that we have the biggest portfolio of attractions outside of London?
Take your pick from Late Night Riding antics at Blackpool Pleasure Beach; splashes of indoor fun at Sandcastle Waterpark; discover the underwater world at SEA LIFE Blackpool; experience the illuminated and heritage trams; take a walk on the wild side at Blackpool Zoo; and try your luck at the UK’s largest indoor amusement arcade, Coral Island;
That's not all! Explore our three piers; brave the depths of The Blackpool Tower Dungeon; journey to the top of The Blackpool Tower; and enjoy the excitement of The Blackpool Tower Ballroom & Circus, and Madame Tussauds with its Marvel Super-Heroes and Strictly Come Dancing interactive exhibitions.
There’s plenty to choose from to keep you endlessly entertained!
Browse all of Blackpool’s top attractions here
Top tip: once you know your travel dates, we recommend booking any attractions in advance, especially leading up to the half-term holidays. Many attractions run time slot allocations, meaning they are booking up and selling out more quickly than usual.
6. Watch Peter Pan The Musical at the Winter Gardens from 26 - 29 October
Embark on a sensational journey with the much-awaited adaptation of J.M Barrie's beloved tale, Peter Pan! Coming to the stunning Opera House in the Winter Gardens at the end of October, this extraordinary production promises a truly remarkable spin on the timeless classic adventure.
Get ready to be enthralled by a cast of fifty, including cirque performers, breath taking aerial stunts, and an unforgettable giant battle where you can even throw cannonballs at Hook's ship. Look out for rising comedy star Jordan Conway as Peter Pan, Boy George as Captain Hook, and a talented troupe of Irish and Highland dancers will also grace the stage, along with animated digital sets.
Tickets start from £23.50 and are available to buy.
7. Experience The Woman In Black at Blackpool Grand Theatre from 31 October - 4 November
This Halloween, the Woman in Black descends upon Blackpool Grand Theatre, promising a spine-tingling night of atmospheric illusion and gripping horror. Prepare to be enthralled by this internationally acclaimed theatrical masterpiece, a production that has sent shivers down the spines of over 7 million people worldwide.
As it continues to terrify audiences across generations, the story unfolds with Arthur Kipps, plagued by an unshakeable belief in a curse cast upon his family by the ominous Woman in Black. To confront his fears, he enlists a sceptical young actor to help recount his chilling tale and attempt to banish the haunting specter that holds his soul in its icy grip. This theatrical experience promises to haunt your dreams long after the final curtain falls.
Woman in Black has an age rating of 12+ in recognition of the horror themes throughout the story..
Book your tickets
Find full show listings in Blackpool here
8. Embrace the outdoors this autumn
October is one of the most colourful months to explore the open spaces Blackpool has to offer. On milder days, the invigorating sea air is the perfect ingredient for a relaxing stroll down the six miles of promenade.
Alternatively, the lush 82-acre landscape at Stanley Park, voted England's best park in 2022, dramatically turns into an abundance of rich red and yellow hues with pathways blanketed in crunchy leaves, making way for endless photo opportunities. Sometimes it’s the simple things that matter the most on holiday, so bask in the autumnal air, recharge your batteries and discover our wide open spaces in Blackpool.
9. Late Night Openings at The Blackpool Tower
Experience the magic of the Illuminations in a whole new way this October half-term. On selected dates, The Blackpool Tower Eye are keeping our doors open late, giving you the chance to enjoy this dazzling display like never before.
Start your adventure with the incredible 4D cinema experience, then soar 380ft above the crowds in our lifts for unparalleled views. Quench your thirst with a refreshing drink from Bar 380, located at the top of the Tower. Don't miss the opportunity to walk on air with the Skywalk, where you can step onto a transparent floor and marvel at the Irish Sea and Blackpool's iconic promenade. That's not all - during the World Fireworks Championships evenings, they'll also be open late, offering you a front-row seat to witness breath-taking displays in the night sky.
Find out more
10. Book an Illuminations Tram Tour
As day turns to night, Blackpool Promenade comes alive with millions of twinkling lights. Why not discover the magic of Blackpool's Illuminations like never before with a tour on one of the famous illuminated heritage trams?
Take your pick from the illuminated Western Train, the Trawler, and HMS Blackpool and step aboard a piece of moving history as you glide along one of the oldest electric tramways in the world. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned Illuminations enthusiast, the tour offers an unforgettable journey through the world-famous display.
Whether you’re looking for a quick last-minute getaway, a half-term adventure or a short but action-packed break, our attractions and accommodation providers can’t wait to welcome you for your autumn staycation.
Many of our accommodation partners are still taking bookings for October and half-term. From cosy B&Bs, holiday parks, national names to self-catering options, there’s something for everyone. Find your accommodation here.