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 some exciting things to do in Blackpool over half-term.
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 2021, including a 26-metre light tunnel, two giant illuminated beach balls, and an I Love BPL sign for your postcard selfie snaps.
For the second time in history, the Blackpool Illuminations have been extended until January 3, 2022, giving you even more time to visit us when the time is right for you. 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.
To complement the spectacular Blackpool Illuminations, Lightpool Festival will return for October half-term from 15 – 30 October. For 13 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 16 new artworks, nine world premieres and one UK premiere, showcasing an unforgettable experience.
Why not take part in one of our famous LumiDogs workshops, or join us to make your lantern and shine in the 100 lanterns exhibition? Bring all your family and friends to the Illuminated Tram Parade headlined by LED drummers Spark!, boogie along at our silent disco, marvel at our light, laser and fire show and experience an exhilarating evening of Carnival Magic with giant puppets, Indian elephants and red-hot carnival drummers.
It’s 16 nights of pure magic, music and illuminated magnificence – and it’s all free!
Take a look at the full programme.
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 Ridegway 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 27-31, will host the return of Circus of Horrors in the Globe Theatre. 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 here.
World Fireworks Championship Blackpool
The World Fireworks Championship Blackpool will conclude on 23 October with a celebratory display by Titanium Fireworks.
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.
October is the time of year when many places are bunkering down for the winter. But not here in Blackpool where 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; try your luck at the UK’s largest indoor amusement arcade, Coral Island; 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 are still operating at a reduced capacity, which means they are booking up and selling out more quickly than usual.
ELF: The Musical, Winter Gardens - 21-31 October
Christmas is arriving early this year as Elf heads to the Winter Gardens Opera House Blackpool this October.
The heart-warming story follows the tales and fortunes of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth.
With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn't even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.
This festive treat features a fantastic flying sleigh, twenty feet high growing candy canes, a giant LED screen with Pixar style animated backgrounds, and amazing aerial stunts.
If you want to skip the Halloween antics and dive straight into the festive feeling, don’t miss this early Christmas treat. Elf: The Musical arrives at the Opera House from 21 October until 31 October 2021 for ten days only. Tickets start from £15.00 and are available to buy here.
Around the World in 80s Days
Back by popular demand, one of the greatest adventure stories ever, retold with an electrifying 80s pop soundtrack and a colossal comedy twist returns to Blackpool Grand.
Based on Jules Verne’s iconic masterpiece, Around The World in 80s Days is reimagined by writer and director Ian McFarlane, with musical arrangements by Laurie Denman.
From the Locomotion to the Loveshack, clap your hands, stamp your feet and sing along to a catalogue of 80s hits from the Human League, Spandau Ballet, The Proclaimers and many, many more.
Book your tickets here
Embrace the outdoors
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 the best UK park in 2019, 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.
Whether you’re looking for a quick last-minute getaway, a half-term adventure or a short but action-packed break, our businesses 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.