Posted on: Thursday 5th May 2022
From buckets and spades on the beach to the world's greatest light show...
Doesn't everything seem to cost so much money these days? It often feels like you can’t step out of the house without needing to fork over your hard-earned cash for something. With increases in the cost of living to soaring utility bills, we’re all looking for cheaper ways to do things to save money.
But after two years of pandemic restrictions, we’re all also looking for a bit of an escape, a chance to leave work and school behind and enjoy a break, even if it’s just for a day. Thankfully, from buckets and spades on the beach to the world’s greatest light show, Blackpool has so many free activities that you and your family can enjoy.
You’ll certainly not be stuck on what to do or left wanting entertainment with our handy list of 10 of the best free things to do in Blackpool this summer!
- The Beach
Old or young, we all enjoy some seaside fun, and Blackpool beach is the perfect destination for some traditional seaside activities, whether you want to paddle in the sea, build sandcastles, or simply relax amid the sounds of the Lancashire coast.
Blackpool beach has had somewhat of a renovation in recent years, and with six new headlands, sculpted public spaces, and Spanish-style steps leading down to the beach, you may be in for a pleasant surprise if you haven’t visited in a while.
The beach between the North and Central Piers is usually the most popular area and can become crowded during peak season, so you might want to head south towards Starr Gate if you prefer a little more peace and quiet.
Be mindful of the tide, and always check tide times before you plan your visit. Why not pack a picnic and enjoy a few hours feeling the sand between your toes!
- The Golden Mile
With the numerous eye-catching sculptures and continental-style public spaces to sit, eat, drink, and relax in, a stroll down the promenade is not to be missed. The stretch of promenade between the North and South Piers includes a wide variety of amusement arcades, hotels, shops, and cheap places to grab a snack or an ice cream!
It’s the perfect way to spend a few hours when paired with a visit to the beach as they are both side-by-side, and completely free!
- The Three Piers
Blackpool is the only UK holiday resort with three fantastic piers, each one packed with thrilling rides and activities. Each of the three piers - South, Central, and North Piers - offer something different, so you may want to explore all three! Central Pier, with its enormous Ferris Wheel, is the most prominent of the three.
While some of the attractions on the piers require you to buy a ticket, admission to all three piers is free, so you can explore and marvel at the magnificent views. If you time your visit to coincide with low tide, you can stand right in front of the piers and enjoy views that are only visible for a short time, but be mindful of the tide rushing back in!
- The Comedy Carpet
The Comedy Carpet is a £2.6 million work of public art by Gordon Young, which celebrates over 1,000 jokes, songs, and catchphrases from some of the UK’s most beloved comedy icons.
You can find the Comedy Carpet directly in front of Blackpool Tower, and you and your family will love exploring the space, and finding comedy favourites. One of the best views of the area must be from the top of the Tower, but this will cost money, although it is well worth it for the views of the Fylde Coast.
- Blackpool Air Show
You’ll need to keep an eye on the skies over the weekend of 13 and 14 August, as the wonderful Blackpool Air Show returns, featuring the daring acrobatic stunts performed by the Red Arrows, the sky-splitting sound of the RAF Typhoon, as well as the Battle of Britain memorial flight, featuring Spitfires, Hurricanes, and the famous Lancaster Bomber.
You’ll want to make sure you have packed your binoculars and popped a telephoto lens on your camera to get as close as possible to the action, but there’s plenty to do on the ground too, with stalls and refreshments in the Air Show Village found on the Tower Festival Headland.
- Blackpool Illuminations
Stretching from Starr Gate to the south of the town all the way up to Bispham, the six-mile-long, world-famous illuminations attracted almost 4 million visitors every year.
The annual Festival of Light was founded in 1979, and runs from 3 September until 3 January 2023, and has become an iconic part of British Culture, much loved by both Blackpool residents and visitors to the Lancashire seaside town.
While most visitors drive the six-mile illuminations, you can get a sneak preview of the lights before the grand opening by attending the Ride the Lights event, which is a free-to-attend event, only requiring you to bring a bicycle, and ensure you have a working headlight and reflective duct tape!
- The Grundy Gallery
At the heart of Blackpool since 1911, the Grundy Gallery hosts a wide range of exhibitions that will suit all tastes. The gallery was established when artists John and Cuthbert Grundy gave 33 works of art to the town of Blackpool, and now it is home to almost 2,000 pieces, which include Victorian and modern paintings, photographs and pieces of art
Why not visit also Blott, a studio and gallery for local artists.
- Free Heritage Open Days
Numerous special free events take place in Blackpool, celebrating the heritage of the wonderful and historic buildings of the town, as they open their doors and hold tours for visitors, allowing access to areas not usually open to the public! Check the Live Blackpool website for the most current list of events and dates.
- Penny Farm
If you or the kids loved meeting the donkeys of Blackpool Beach, then why not take a trip to Penny Farm. This World Horse Welfare charity takes care of around 60 horses and donkeys, and it’s completely free!
You can find Penny Farm at the southern edge of Blackpool, and it is open to the public on Wednesdays, weekends, and Bank Holidays.
- Free Fireworks
Take a trip to see the crème de la crème of the world’s pyrotechnical elite demonstrating the most spectacular first works displays in September, lighting up the sky above North Pier. It’s a great evening activity for the whole family and is free to watch. It is a very popular event, so plan your travel arrangements well ahead of time, as you don’t want to get caught in traffic!
Of course, while all the listed attractions and events are free to attend, there will always be some cost involved, whether it’s fish and chips, a stick of rock, or a few pounds for the seaside arcades. But there are also ways to save some money too.
And of course - how could we forget - at Coral Island, our restaurants have a Kids Eat Free promotion, all day, every day, with a free kids meal for children under 10-years-old, with every paid adult meal. Just keep an eye out for the Yellow Kids Eat Free stamp in each of our restaurants. Our 2p traditional arcade games and penny pushers mean that a couple of quid will go a lot further if you want to explore our arcades...
See you soon?