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
Spanning for more than six miles, Blackpool Illuminations are often touted as the best free light show on Earth. The spectacular show has been extended to January 3, 2022, which means that the dazzling display will shine over the full festive season for the first time in history. Why not park up your car and explore the Illuminations on foot? There are some impressive installations on the Tower Festival Headland, including a walk-through light tunnel and an I Love BPL sign for all your selfie snaps.
2. Explore Christmas By The Sea
Blackpool’s Tower Festival Headland has been transformed into a magical festive village complete with a free skating rink; Instagrammable magical forest with twinkling Christmas trees; simulated snowfalls firing out of our giant cannons; cosy Christmas cabins fronted by local stallholders selling unique gifts and delicious food and drink; a giant illuminated bauble; and a Magical Express Tram Tour for an afternoon or after-dark adventure*.
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 40m synthetic rink is currently the largest Glice rink in the country, making it the picture-perfect backdrop amidst the dazzling Illuminations and the Christmassy village. It’s festively fabulous and, best of all, completely free!
4. Check out Winter Gardens Wonderland
Just a short walk away from the Christmas By The Sea village, visitors will find Winter Gardens Wonderland with a fantastic range of indoor and outdoor Bavarian-style market stalls, junior funfair rides, Christmas-themed virtual reality experiences, a magical Santa’s Grotto with animated reindeer, a selfie snow globe, and entertainment suitable for all ages. Starts 26 November – 2 January, 2022
5. Experience Winter Weekends at Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Buckle up this winter as Blackpool Pleasure Beach extends the 2021 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 12 December to coincide with Blackpool’s famous Illuminations. There is something for everyone, including Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s incredible line up of rollercoasters, the UK’s only Nickelodeon Land and family favourites such as the Ghost Train and Alice in Wonderland.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is open for Winter Weekends until 12 December. Entrance to the park is via e-ticket only, these can be purchased here.
6. Hop on the Magical Express Tram Tour
Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours has introduced a special tram tour for the festive season, The Magical Express. With all tours departing from the specially renamed North Pole tram stop, the 1960’s style double-decker tram has been wonderfully decorated inside and out in a Christmas theme to create a magical experience this season.
The tour offers a unique opportunity to experience the Blackpool Illuminations and runs from North Pier to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and back again, lasting around 25 minutes. Tickets for the tram tour can be pre-booked online at or you can simply turn up and pay on the day. Make sure your camera is at the ready for some fantastic resort snaps.
Adults £4 | Children £2 – running every Thursday – Sunday and daily from 17 December – 3 January
7. Dare to ride the Star Flyer
As part of the Winter Gardens Wonderland offering, you can now experience Europe’s tallest travelling aerial ride. Located on the Tower Festival Headland next to the popular free skating rink, brave the whopping 60m-high ride to the sky for the ultimate dizzy thrill.
Tickets are £7.50 each | Opening times – Mon – Thurs: 11am-8pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-10pm, Sunday 12pm – 9pm
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 between the Christmas By The Sea village and Winter Gardens Wonderland. 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. Ride The Christmas Lights
For the first time in history, Ride The Christmas Lights has been added to the winter line-up*. Taking place on Sunday 5 December between 4 – 8pm, enjoy a traffic-free Promenade as you cycle through Blackpool Illuminations. Decorate your bike in colourful lights or lanterns, turn up in fancy dress or simply bring some Christmas cheer, everyone is welcome to this free event.
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 every half an hour. 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 has recently had its 47,000 tiles replaced, 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. The TIC also have a log cabin on the Tower Festival Headland filled with festive gifts; why not pop by and say hello to our friendly team?
13. Treat yourself to a Notarianni's ice cream
It might be chilly outside but an ice cream, especially a Notarianni’s, is perfectly plausible in the middle of winter, right? To coincide with the Blackpool Illumination extension, Notarianni’s are extending their season until 12 December. The family-run ice cream parlour specialises in deliciously creamy vanilla ice cream and is consistently voted one of the best ice cream parlours in Lancashire.
14. Book tickets to see Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs
Hi-ho, hi-ho it’s off to Blackpool Grand Theatre we go! The past 18 months has been a challenging period for the arts industry but the Grand has bounced back to deliver an exciting and unforgettable Christmas programme. Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs will take over the beautiful theatre from 3 December until 2 January, 2022, featuring Britain’s Got Talent finalist, Steve Royle and Vicky Entwistle from Coronation Street. It’s going to be a festive extravangza!
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 3.
16. Treat yourself to a three-course meal
It's time to get your rock on! The Imperial Hotel is delighted to host five band nights for 2021, 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. Venture up the Tower Eye
A trip to Blackpool is never complete without a visit to The Blackpool Tower Eye. Venture 380ft and step foot onto the five-centimetre thick glass viewing platform as you bask in the views of the Promenade beneath you, the Irish Sea and, on a clear day, the Lake District and Liverpool. It’s a friendly thrill suitable for all ages.
19. Admire Blackpool Light Of My Life
Delight in a riotous display of multi-coloured new light works that have been specially commissioned for the exterior of the Grundy Art Gallery by one of the UK’s most celebrated artists, Chila Kumari Singh Burman. Brought together under the title, “Blackpool Light of My Life”, the exhibition is the artist’s love letter to the town which she visited regularly as a child, with Blackpool Illuminations being an abiding memory. The dazzling display will be on show until 3 January.
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 Pleasure Beach, Winter Gardens Wonderland, 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. Let your hair down at Hairspray
It’s not panto, but it’s rip-roaring fun. If you want a breather from all the festivities in Blackpool, Hairspray is your go-to musical this December. The hilarious, joyous, and uplifting show will feature some of musical theatre’s biggest and best hit songs, including Welcome To The 60s, You Can’t Stop The Beat, Good Morning Baltimore and many more. It’s the Christmas party you don’t want to miss!
13 December – 2 January, 2022 at Winter Gardens Blackpool
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. 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 cabaret show at VIVA Blackpool
A cabaret show should be firmly on your bucket list on your trip to Blackpool. VIVA offers full production spectacles and live shows right in the heart of Blackpool and they have a festive-filled schedule to tempt you through their doors. From their Christmas Party Spectacular to Santa’s Magical Workshop, there is something for all the family to enjoy.
33. See Aladdin at Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is hosting one of the most magical shows, Aladdin, in their Globe Theatre. You will be whisked away to a fantasy world following Aladdin’s adventures as he becomes entangled in the struggle of good and evil. It’s a classic folk story that has stood the test of time. Cheer, boo, and clap your way through the show and enjoy this real winter warmer this Christmas.
Don’t forget – ticketholders receive 10% off a Blackpool Transport 24-hour ticket to be used to get to and from the show by bus or tram.
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 2021 - Fireworks
Unfortunately due to high wind speeds later today, we have had to cancel the planned New Year's Eve Family Firework event.
VisitBlackpool say that they have taken the decision based on safety advice from the company operating the planned fireworks display.