December - it’s the most wonderful time of the year and Blackpool has pulled out all the stops to deliver a cracking Christmas offer. With so many things to see and do in the UK’s favourite seaside resort, where do you start?
To help give you some inspiration for your day trip or short winter getaway, we have rounded up 35 things to do in Blackpool this December that are guaranteed to get you into the holly jolly spirit. Tick them all off just like Santa’s Christmas list or cherry pick your festive favourites.
1. See the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations
With six miles of magic to explore, Blackpool Illuminations are often touted as the best free light show on Earth. The spectacular show has been extended to January 2, 2023, which means that the dazzling display will shine over the full festive season for the third consecutive year.
Why not park up your car and explore the Illuminations on foot? There are some impressive installations on the Tower Festival Headland, including Odyssey, the largest installation ever seen in the display, and an I Love BPL sign for all your selfie snaps.
2. Explore Christmas By The Sea
Blackpool’s Tower Festival Headland will be transformed into a magical festive village complete with a free skating rink; simulated snowfalls firing out of our giant cannons; cosy Christmas cabins fronted by stallholders selling unique gifts and delicious food and drink; a giant illuminated bauble; and one of Europe's tallest aerial swing rides if you're brave enough.
3. Get your skates on and head to the free rink
Get into the Christmas spirit, wrap up warm and glide - or slide, depending on your skating ability - around the free skating rink on the Promenade.
Located at the Tower Festival Headland in the shadow of the iconic Blackpool Tower, the 20m synthetic rink is the picture-perfect backdrop amidst the dazzling Illuminations and the Christmassy village. It’s festively fabulous and, best of all, completely free!
4. Experience Winter Weekends at Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Buckle up this winter as Blackpool Pleasure Beach extends the 2022 season, giving you even more opportunities to enjoy the much-loved family attraction. The UK’s most ride-intensive amusement park will open every weekend until 27 November to coincide with Blackpool’s famous Illuminations. There is something for everyone, including the park's thrilling line-up of rollercoasters, the UK’s only Nickelodeon Land and old family favourites such as the Ghost Train, Steeplechase and Alice in Wonderland.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is open for Winter Weekends until 27 November. Entrance to the park is via e-ticket only, these can be purchased here.
5. Book an Illuminations Tram Tour
You’ll have the best seats in the house for the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations as you take a full trip, from one end of the lights to the other and back!
Take your pick from the fleet, including the illuminated Western Train, Trawler, and HMS Blackpool, as well as the iconic double deck Heritage Trams.
Make sure your camera is at the ready for some fantastic resort snaps.
Sunday - Friday: Adults £10 | Children (3-15yrs) £5
Saturday: Adults £12 | Children (3-15yrs) £6
Photo: Gary Mitchell
6. Dare to ride the Star Flyer
As part of the Christmas By The Sea offering, you can once again experience Europe’s tallest travelling aerial ride. Located on the Tower Festival Headland next to the popular free skating rink, brave the whopping 260ft ride to the sky for the ultimate dizzy thrill.
Tickets are £7.50 each | 12-9pm daily (excluding Christmas Day)
7. Check out Odyssey on the Tower Festival Headland
Stop by and gaze in awe at Odyssey, the largest installation ever seen in the Blackpool Illuminations display. Co-created by international designer Jack Irving in collaboration with a talented team of computer scientists from Lancaster University, Odyssey comprises six towers and a mesmerising projection mapping floor based on creatures from the deep sea.
8. Tackle your Christmas shopping at Houndshill Shopping Centre
From thoughtful stocking fillers to last-minute presents, shop to your heart’s content at Houndshill Shopping Centre, handily located a five minute walk away from the Christmas By The Sea village.
Filled with an abundance of popular high street retailers and independent shops, tick off your Christmas list the fun way. Just a short walk away, stop by and gaze in awe at the colossal 40ft twinkling Christmas tree in St John’s Square.
Don’t forget, Houndshill Shopping Centre will be open until 9pm for their Late Shopping Nights every Thursday in December.
9. Take part in the Santa Dash
Have fun whilst raising money for Trinity Hospice and get involved in the annual Santa Dash on Blackpool Promenade. Kick-start the festive season and sign up to take part in the two mile run. Registration includes a Santa suit, a medal and a warm hot chocolate at the end of the race.
Participants will set off from the Sandcastle Waterpark and head north along the promenade. You will then make a U-turn at the Manchester pub and head back towards the waterpark.
If dashing around isn't your cup of tea, take a seat along the promenade to watch the festive spectacle.
10. See snow at the seaside
Once in a blue moon, Blackpool turns into a magical winter wonderland with a light dusting of real snow but, here at VisitBlackpool, we’re taking it into our own hands for a guaranteed White Christmas.
Head to the Comedy Carpet for the full alpine experience where you will see flurries of snow firing out of our two giant cannons. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
11. Wrap up for your winter walk
Exhausted from Christmas shopping? Need a break from sightseeing? Blackpool is blessed with many open spaces, so grab your cosiest Christmas jumper and take to the great outdoors for some fresh seaside air.
Enjoy the Great Promenade Show, marvel at the world’s biggest Mirror Ball which had its 47,000 tiles replaced last year, or stroll around the idyllic Italian Gardens or beautiful boating lake at Stanley Park.
12. Pop into our Tourist Information Centre
Your go-to place for all your Blackpool memorabilia, the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) located next to the Beach House Bistro & Bar on the Promenade houses a plethora of Blackpool souvenirs – from keyrings, jigsaws, model tram cars, and a wonderful range of stocking fillers, including handmade glass baubles and our Christmas-inspired official BPL merchandise.
13. Hop into a Christmas adventure with Peter Rabbit
Perfect for the little ones, hop into a rabbit-sized Christmas adventure with your favourite characters from the hit Peter Rabbit™ CBeebies TV show.
Get creative at the Christmas crafting station and decorate your very own bauble to take home, or you can write a wish to Peter Rabbit and hang it in the Secret Treehouse!
Follow the letters in the snowflake trail to spell out a wintery word and see if you’ve got what it takes to join the Secret Treehouse. Here you’ll get to experience a festive finale show and meet your favourite bunny, Peter Rabbit.
14. Book tickets to see Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty will take over the beautiful Blackpool Grand Theatre from 2 December until 1 January, 2023, featuring Britain’s Got Talent finalist, Steve Royle and Hayley Tammadon from Dancing On Ice.
A beautiful Princess pricks her finger on a spindle wheel which has been cursed by the evil Carabosse at her 18th birthday party. Can the Good Fairy’s magical spell break the curse? The Princess can only be awoken by true love’s kiss. Will she find her true love and live happily ever after? It’s the perfect family pantomime to watch this season.
15. Marvel at the magical light projections on The Blackpool Tower
Take your place on the Comedy Carpet to watch the world premiere of Frost Fairies, a newly-created 3D light projection show on the front of the Blackpool Tower building.
Specially produced by video projection artists Illuminos, Frost Fairies tells the enchanting children’s story of fairies, fireflies, precious jewels and ice palaces.
If you’re lucky, you might even catch a friendly snowball fight between Sooty and Sweep on the big projector screen. The festive-filled projections are shown nightly along with several other projection shows until January 2.
16. Treat yourself to a three-course meal
It's time to get your rock on! The Imperial Hotel is delighted to host six band nights for 2022, with some familiar faces and amazing new talent.
Each of their band nights includes a delicious three-course dinner from a pre-selected menu.
17. Make some waves at Sandcastle Waterpark
It might be a while until we feel the hot sun on our skin again, but you can soak up the warmth with Sandcastle Waterpark’s 84-degree tropical climate, ideal for those blustery, rainy days.
Get set for a water-filled adventure in the largest indoor waterpark in the UK with more than 18 slides and attractions. Whizz down the Aztec-themed slides or make a splash on the Masterblaster, the longest indoor rollercoaster waterslide in the world.
18. Go for a hole in one
It's all about magical experiences during the festive season and Hole in Wand, Blackpool's latest attraction, is no exception.
Get ready for a wizard adventure, along the way there will be a forest full of venomous snakes, an ancient castle with a magical fountain, a trip to a train station and a chance to visit magic of York’s mysterious Shambles.
At the end of your adventure you will find out if you have the magical powers of a Serpent, Basilisk, Unicorn or Wizard and every player will receive a magic potion gift to take home worth £2.99.
19. Follow Buddy's journey in Elf the Musical
'The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear'. What better way to celebrate the festive season than seeing Elf the Musical at the Winter Gardens?
Based on the hit movie starring Will Farrell, this spectacular heart-warming story follows the 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.
Be prepared to be amazed during the 90-minute performance which features a flying sleigh, 20ft high candy canes and Pixar-style animated backgrounds.
The show runs from 15 December - 26 December. Tickets start from £18.
20. Explore the underwater world at SEA LIFE
Calling all underwater explorers, SEA LIFE Blackpool is one of the most magical places for all families to enjoy. Discover over 2,500 species from the curious to the rescued and learn all about the creatures that live beneath the surface.
21. Try rock pooling
At South Shore, the coastal defence wall is arranged into tiny honeycomb-shaped cells. The tide leaves a wealth of marine wildlife in each cell, from starfish to tiny jellyfish. Rock pooling is a fantastic educational activity for all ages to enjoy and, with a microhabitat waiting for you, it’s worth exploring! All you need is a small bucket, gentle hands and a love for wildlife. Make sure you leave everything as you found it and take any litter away with you.
22. Meet Father Christmas
It’s time to find out if your little one has been naughty or nice. Santa will be visiting an array of Blackpool venues this Christmas, including Blackpool Resort, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Coral Island and Houndshill Shopping Centre. Treat your younglings to a visit to meet the main man and let it be a Christmas to remember.
23. Enjoy a meal out
Feeling a bit peckish after all the festive fun? There is a wide selection of independent cafes, bars and restaurants in Blackpool - from the Budapest-meets-Singapore hawker restaurant, Michael Wan’s Wok Inn, cosy Stefani’s which serves up delicious homemade pizzas to the newly-opened Fino Tapas. There is also a range of national branded restaurants, including Pizza Hut, Nando’s and Slug and Lettuce just to mention a few.
24. Check out the children's rides on the Tower Festival Headland
If the young ones don't feel daring enough to ride the 260ft Star Flyer, why not try out the tamer rides on the Tower Festival Headland instead? As part of the Christmas By The Sea event, which runs from 18 November to 2 January, for the first time ever we have introduced a series of festive fairground rides for the little ones.
Take your pick from Candy Cane Bungee Trampolines, Santa Claus’ Tea Cups, Santa’s Sleigh, and a magical carousel.
25. Pose with the stars at Madame Tussauds
We’ve not had Strictly Come Dancing in town this year, but you can still get your fix at Madame Tussauds Blackpool. Feel star-struck as you meet glam presenters, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, and take a sneak peek backstage at their glittering, dazzling dressing rooms. Meet the stars new for this year, including KSI, Dan TDM and Jack P. Shepperd who plays David Platt in Coronation Street.
There’s plenty of famous fun at the seaside too, including the Coronation Street and Marvel zones. There’s also the I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here zone; will you be able to brave the critters?
26. Spot your favourite quotes on the Comedy Carpet
There’s nothing like the British sense of humour, and a visit to Blackpool's Comedy Carpet is a bit like a trip to the Hollywood Walk of Fame; but immortalising and celebrating the jokes, songs and comedy catchphrases of Britain’s comedy scene.
Sitting in the shadow of the world-famous Blackpool Tower, the largest commissioned artwork in the UK features the quotes of 850 talented writers and comedians and contains over 160,000 granite letters. It’s extraordinary; it’s comical; it’s not to be missed.
27. Dance in the wonderful Blackpool Tower Ballroom
Words can’t describe how exquisite The Blackpool Tower Ballroom looks following a £1 million makeover thanks to funding from Historic England and Blackpool Council. Come and see it for yourself on select days until the end of the year.
It’s the go-to destination for dance fans across the world with its jaw-dropping architecture, stunning sprung dancefloor and magical backdrop. Put on your dancing shoes, waltz away to the enchanting sounds of the Wurlitzer and prepare to be lost in a world of elegant charm and ornate beauty. If you prefer to watch from the side, enjoy a delightful afternoon tea and soak up the scenery from your seat.
28. Grab some fish 'n chips
Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that are the most memorable. Why not head down to the promenade and treat yourself to a portion of fish ‘n chips? There’s more chippies in Blackpool than you can shake a stick (of rock) at, including Yorkshire Fisheries which is the oldest chippy in town and the newly-opened Papas Fish and Chips. We recommend strolling along seafront, basking in the magical Blackpool Illuminations with a chippy tea in hand – you won’t regret it!
29. Pick up a stick of Blackpool Rock
Just like fish ‘n chips, a stick of rock is synonymous with Blackpool. After all, it’s part of our local delicacy! You can pick up this naughty but nice treat along the promenade, including our Tourist Information Centre. If you prefer something a little less crunchy, treat yourself to some warm churros or fresh donuts.
30. See the animals at Blackpool Zoo
If you love animals, you will love a day out at Blackpool Zoo. Home to more than 1,000 animals, including the biggest elephant herd in Europe, the zoo is one of the must-see attractions in Britain’s favourite seaside resort. Explore the 37 acres of traditional, spacious parkland and see what you discover!
Blackpool Zoo is open every day from 10am (except Christmas Day)
31. Stay over a night or two
Make a long weekend out of your Blackpool trip or visit mid-week for a quieter experience. A seaside staycation before Christmas has everything you need for your perfect winter getaway.
With an extensive list of family attractions, free events, new restaurants, and top-class shows, there’s too much on offer in Blackpool for you to experience in only one day. A short break also gives you the opportunity to see the sights and stay for the Lights without rushing back home in the evening.
After all, the evening is when Blackpool really comes alive in winter. From a budget bolthole to boutique chic, the resort offers a wide range of accommodation choices whatever your budget.
32. Book to see a Viva's Santa's Adventure
The Santa Adventure follows on from Viva’s hit Santa’s Magical Workshop Christmas production last year. Head over to Viva for an afternoon of festive fun as Santa’s crazy elf helps him on a whirlwind adventure! Full of fun, mischief and festive mayhem, it's not to be missed. Before the show starts, your little one will have the chance to write a letter to the man himself and post in the magical golden post box.
33. See Cinderella The Pantomime at Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is hosting one of the most magical shows, Cinderella, in their Globe Theatre. You will be whisked away to a fantasy world following the fairytale of the neglected and scorned Cinderella who will one day meet her dashing prince at the ball.
Cheer, boo, and clap your way through the show and enjoy this real winter warmer this Christmas.
34. Try your luck at the arcade in Coral Island
Coral Island is the UK’s largest indoor family amusement complex and entry is completely free. Perfect for those drizzly days, Coral Island is home to plenty of arcade games, slot machines, amusement rides and, let’s not forget, the ultimate Camel Derby.
With a pot full of 1ps and 2ps, you will be endlessly entertained.
35. Wave goodbye to 2022
Get ready to say “hello” to 2023.
More details coming soon.