Posted on: Friday 6th October 2023
Christmas In Blackpool!
October might be spooky season for many, but it’s certainly starting to feel a little festive in Blackpool! Christmas isn’t that far away now, and the town is getting ready to transform itself into a winter wonderland!
Not only is Santa bringing his grotto back to Coral Island, but there are also pantomimes, Christmas shopping and the return of Christmas by the Sea. Let’s have a look at what festive fun and frolics you can expect in Blackpool in the run-up to Christmas!
Christmas by the Sea (17 November - 1 January)
Situated on the Blackpool Tower Festival Headland, Christmas by the Sea sees the area transformed into a stunning festive village, with fairground rides, an outdoor skating rink, log cabins, magical light installations, and even simulated snowfalls! Wrap up warm, and discover everything on offer in this winter wonderland!
The fantastic outdoor skating rink forms the centrepiece of the festive village, and is absolutely free to use, including free skate hire! It doesn’t matter whether you’re a seasoned professional, spinning and pirouetting or tentatively taking your first steps onto the ice, the 20-metre-long rink caters for everyone and all ages! Slip, slide and glide in the shadow of the iconic tower!
There’s no advance booking required, simply turn up, put your skates on, and have fun! Of course, if you don’t feel brave enough to take to the ice yourself, then why not watch from the sides with a hot chocolate or mulled wine from the array of illuminated log cabins nearby?
No festive village would be complete without a Christmas market, and you can treat yourself to a wide selection of culinary delights, including traditional Bavarian sausages, warm churros, Yorkshire pudding wraps, and cheese boards, as well as exclusive gifts and ‘I Love BPL’ merchandise with a festive twist!
It’s rare to get proper snow by the seaside, with the salty air and the closeness of the Irish Sea, so the town has taken matters into their own hands and made it snow by the seaside this winter.
So pop on your winter woollies, and get ready for a full alpine experience by the sea, where regular snowfalls will be blasted out of the special cannons for a snow-filled surprise on the Comedy Carpet.
Of course, it’s also Blackpool Illuminations throughout the rest of the year, and there are numerous Yuletide light displays and projections close by so you can grab that perfect Instagram moment. You can’t miss the two massive illuminated baubles next to the skating rink, where you can walk underneath the seven-metre installation and strike a pose.
You can also find numerous smaller selfie spots, with an illuminated ice cream, the classic I Love BPL sign, and some other festive-themed photo opportunities! Blackpool Tower will be illuminated too, with a programme of themed projections throughout the winter, making it a great background for selfies.
You’ll find a selection of festive fairground rides too, with the Candy Cane Bungee Trampolines, Santa Claus’ Tea Cups, Santa’s Sleigh, and a magical carousel. But for the biggest thrills, take a trip on the Star Flyer, Europe's tallest travelling swing ride, standing at 196ft tall, or take on the 100-foot-long Snow Slide.
If you’re heading to the Tower Festival Headland or Coral Island, why not book a trip on a festive-themed heritage tram? Blackpool Transport is running Mini Festive Tours on their special Christmas-themed Heritage Tram, adding a little magic to an already magical winter setting along the coast.
Aladdin at The Blackpool Grand (1 December - 1 January)
The Grand Theatre Blackpool will be setting the scene for the tale of Aladdin, starring Emmerdale star Tom Lister as the evil Abanazar and Britain’s Got Talent finalist and Blackpool’s favourite Steve Royale as Aladdin’s madcap brother Wishee Washee!
Join our hero Aladdin, his mother Widow Twankey and Wishee Washee as they embark on a magical adventure and try to defeat the Abanazar and his plan to become master of the world. With help from the Genie of The Lamp and the Spirit Of The Ring. Will Aladdin save the day, will he marry the beautiful Princess Jasmine? Will the Genie be freed?
There’s only one way to find out… hitch a ride on a magic carpet and come to see Aladdin, Blackpool’s No.1 Pantomime, only at The Grand Theatre Blackpool this winter
Peter Pan at The Winter Gardens (26 October - 29 October)
Get ready for a big-budget extravaganza adaptation of JM Barrie’s much-loved Peter Pan at The Winter Gardens, starring none other than Boy George as the dastardly Captain Hook. It’s promised to be a supersized spectacle with special effects and packed full of fun, with a mix of traditional pantomime and amazing cirque performances.
Boy George said: “I’m really looking forward to playing Captain Hook and showing off my evil side! I make my first entrance on a life-size galleon that sails around the stage in front of an amazing water wall fountain, and I get a chance to fight a giant animatronic crocodile. What’s not to like?”
Looking to find that perfect present for a loved one, your friends, or a Secret Santa recipient? Houndshill Shopping Centre, right in the heart of Blackpool town centre, is home to over 50 stores, including everyone’s favourite brands such as Primark, New Look, Footasylum, River Island and more.
Buy fragrances and beauty products at Superdrug and Boots, pick up an unputdownable thriller or biography at Waterstones, or make a new cuddly friend at Build-a-Bear Workshop. The shopping centre will be all decked out in Yuletide glory, and there’s a huge range of independent stores too, if you’re looking for something unique.
There’s also Late Night Shopping at Houndshill Shopping Centre, open until 9 pm every Thursday in December, and treat yourself to a free hot chocolate and scrumptious shortbread biscuits on offer whilst you shop.
Santa’s Grotto at Coral Island
Of course, you can’t visit Blackpool without coming to Coral Island - it’s the rules! The famous pirate-themed free-admission attraction has all the games and rides to entertain the family for hours, no matter the weather outside.
There are games to win tickets, crane grabbers for plushies and soft toys, traditional penny pusher games, and the latest video arcade games, as well as the biggest and best prize shop in Blackpool.
Take a trip on the Ghost Train, ride above the crowds on the Pirate Flyer, or race your family and friends on the Camel Derby.
There are outstanding restaurants on site, from award-winning fish and chips at the Traditional Chippy and the Big Fish Trading Co., brilliant breakfasts and snacks at Peggy’s, or family favourites and the Sunday three-meat carvery at The Buccaneer Family Bar & Restaurant.
And Kids Eat Free all day every day at Coral Island. Kids aged under 10 can receive a free kids’ meal with each paid adult meal at participating restaurants, just look for the yellow kids eat free posters!
But the big news this winter is the return of Santa’s Grotto! Every weekend between 24 November to 24 December, you can visit Santa and his elves at his grotto right here in the arcade, and you can receive a goody bag of Coral Island sweets, prize tickets and a £5 Play Card, and get to choose a special gift from Santa's Workshop.
Booking in advance is advised, but you can also book tickets on the day. For more information and tickets, visit: https://coralisland.co.uk/whats-on/blog/meet-santa-at-coral-island-blackpool-2023
So get planning your festive fun in Blackpool this winter, and make sure you’ve been behaving to earn a spot on Santa’s nice list!