Need festive ideas for days out for Christmas in Lancashire? From meetings with Santa Claus to Christmas markets, illuminations and light trails, here’s our roundup of the best things to do in Lancashire at Christmas.
It’s that time of year again – Christmas is fast approaching, which means you need to start thinking about how you’re going to make the most of the festive season this year as 2023 draws to a close.
Fortunately, countless events are taking place over Christmas in Lancashire this year, meaning you’ll have something exciting to do regardless of your budget.
For kids, Santa Claus will be making appearances on heritage trains, at garden centres, farms, grottos and a variety of winter wonderlands. For adults, there will be mulled wine, pies and festive treats wherever you go on the leadup to Christmas.
So, what are the best days out for Christmas in Lancashire in 2023? Keep reading to find out.
Best Christmas days out in Lancashire
From making food for Santa’s reindeer at a charming family farm to sipping an afternoon tea with festive treats, here are some of the best things to do in Lancashire throughout November and December.
1. Christmas at Father Ted’s Adventure Farm, Ormskirk
25th November – 23rd December 2023
If you need to entertain little ones over Christmas in Lancashire this year, we highly recommend taking them to Father Ted’s Adventure Farm in Ormskirk.
The adventure starts in the Animal Barn, where you can admire a host of adorable farm animals. Then, you’ll walk through Santa’s Winter Wonderland to help his elves make toys. You’ll also decorate gingerbread men, create meals for Santa’s reindeer and watch a host of festive films.
On top of everything, there’s a story time session by one of Father Christmas’s Helpers that’s perfect for small children. And, of course, the kids will get to meet Santa Claus himself. For adults, there will be drinks, shops, tasty bites, entertainment and much more.
Ticket prices for Christmas at Father Ted’s Adventure Farm start at £16.75 per adult and £27.75 per child aged over one year.
2. Christmas Grotto Wonderland at Blackpool Pleasure Beach
25th November – 24th December 2023
Santa Claus is making a big effort to see all of Lancashire’s good boys and girls this year! If you want to combine a magical meeting with Santa with a day out in Blackpool, you might want to head to the Christmas Grotto Wonderland at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
On top of meeting Father Christmas in his grotto, the kids will get to meet Miss Christmas Eve, create their own baubles and play Christmas-themed games. They can also collect ‘Magic Reindeer Food’, a free gift, and a special key that allows Santa to visit their house even if it doesn’t have a chimney. This year, each ticket includes a ride on Alice in Wonderland.
For adults, there will be plenty of spiced mulled wine plus a tasty array of drinks and bites from the Pleasure Beach Arena Foyer and the Grotto’s café bar.
Ticket prices start at £16.99 per child, who can be accompanied by two adults.
3. Beauty and the Beast Pantomime at the Globe Theatre, Blackpool
25th November – 24th December
It’s all kicking off in Blackpool this Christmas in Lancashire! At the Globe Theatre, located within Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Beauty and the Beast will grace the stages from late November until Christmas Eve.
If you don’t know already, Beauty and the Beast follows the story of an arrogant prince who is transformed into a hideous beast by a cruel enchantress. To lift the spell, the prince must find true love – something he may have the chance to do with the beautiful Belle.
Ticket prices in the main block or one of the side blocks range from £12 – £18. Groups can also book tables for the equivalent of £22 per person.
4. Santa Special: East Lancashire Railway
25th November – 24th December 2023 (various dates)
If there’s anything better than meeting Santa Claus in a grotto within a winter wonderland, it’s meeting Santa Claus on a train that’s reminiscent of the Polar Express.
Departing from Bury Bolton Street Station on various dates throughout November and December, the East Lancashire Railway will be hosting Father Christmas and co this festive season.
Before boarding your train, you’ll stroll through a beautifully decorated winter wonderland, where the kids can meet characters including Mrs Claus and the Ice Princess.
On the train, you’ll be able to enjoy entertainment in the form of a live brass band, wonderful views of Lancashire, and plenty of tipples and minced pies for adults. The little ones will be visited by Santa Claus himself.
Ticket prices start at £23 per adult and £22.50 for children.
5. Santa Special: Ribble Steam Railway
2nd – 17th December 2023 (various dates)
Just before we move on from festive trains, we need to give a quick mention to the Ribble Steam Railway. You can expect the celebrations to be similar to those of the East Lancashire Railway departing from Bury Bolton Street Station. The main difference is that you’ll have the chance to see a collection of vintage steam trains at the Ribble Steam Railway & Museum.
6. Santa by the lake at Brockholes
25th November – 17th December 2023
The Brockholes Nature Reserve is one of our favourite places to visit for free in England at any time of year. And while it might cost £13 to visit Santa here over Christmas, the experience and gift makes the ticket price more than worthwhile for youngsters.
This year, Santa’s Workshop will be situated on the tranquil floating Visitor Village inside the Meadow Lake Suite. In addition to having five minutes to share their Christmas wishes with Santa, the kids will be able to choose their own gift from his workshop.
There is no fee for accompanying adults, though do bring some extra cash for some festive treats.
While you’re here, keep your eyes peeled for rare bird species. If you like wildlife, you might want to read about some of England’s best national parks.
7. Christmas market in Chorley
2nd – 10th December (various dates)
Of all the Christmas markets in Lancashire taking place this year, the one in Chorley might just be the one we’re most looking forward to.
This year, the Christmas market in Chorley will be held at Heskin Hall, a stunning manor house with a history dating all the way back to 1545, making it one of the town’s best Tudor-era relics.
As you’d expect, this Christmas market will host a variety of stalls selling handmade goods, delicious bites and festive treats – not to mention Santa and a few friends.
If the UK’s historic architecture tickles your fancy, don’t forget to read about England’s best stately homes.
8. A Victorian Christmas at Gawthorpe Hall
To be confirmed
Gawthorpe Hall is an elegant Elizabethan country house near Burnley. The architecture of the place is truly inspiring, usually credited to Robert Smythson. During the festive season, Gawthorpe Hall gives you the chance to experience Christmas Victorian-style.
Last year, Gawthorpe Hall was trimmed and decorated throughout December, and it looked awesome. You’ll witness a Victorian-style dinner setup in the dining room and see the grand halls brought to life with festive spirit. For the kids, Father Christmas will make an appearance.
9. Blackpool Illuminations 2023
1st September 2023 – 1st January 2024
Ok, so the Blackpool Illuminations aren’t technically a Christmas display, but they sure do look festive – and they’ll be running all the way until January this year.
Amazingly, the first Blackpool Illuminations took place in 1879, when the town’s residents and businesses came together to create a spectacular display of artificial lighting along the promenade to celebrate the visit of the future British monarch, Princess Louise, and her husband, the Marquess of Lorne.
The illuminations were so successful that they’ve been an annual event ever since. Today, it remains one of the world’s most famous light festivals – it might even be the original light trail.
Read our guide to how to have the best day out in Blackpool for more info.
10. Enchanted: Knowsley Safari Park
18th November – 30th December 2023
One of the most spectacular light trails to be held in Lancashire this year will take place at the Knowsley Safari Park, which is easily one of the best safari parks in England.
From the 18th of November to the day before New Year’s Eve, you’ll not only be able to observe tonnes of adorable animals at this safari park, but you’ll also have the chance to admire incredible light installations while driving through this incredible landscape.
For non-members, prices for Enchanted start at £10. Members can buy tickets for £8.
11. Join Santa’s Conservation Crew at SEA LIFE Blackpool
4th – 31 December 2023
If you want to do a little more than just observe animals this Christmas, you might want to join Santa’s Conservation Crew at SEA LIFE Blackpool, one of the best aquariums in England.
One of the standout features of SEA LIFE Blackpool is the Ocean Tunnel – walk through this transparent tunnel to be surrounded by tropical fish and sharks on all sides.
While not many details regarding Santa’s Conservation Crew at SEA LIFE Blackpool have been released yet, we’re expecting a heap of exciting activities that let kids get hands-on with a bunch of amazing underwater wildlife. In the process, they’ll learn about how we can look after our world for future generations.
Ticket prices start at £15.50 and are included with general admission.
12. Festive afternoon tea at Dobbies
For a quintessentially British celebration this festive season, book an afternoon tea at a Dobbies Garden Centre, the largest being located on Blackpool Road in Preston.
Afternoon tea at Dobbies incudes finger sandwiches, hot drinks, festive baked delights, desserts and free refills on tea and coffee. There are also options for children, so the entire family can get involved.
Where do you go on days out for Christmas in Lancashire?
As you can see, Christmas in Lancashire promises to be eventful in 2023. If you need to entertain children, you can visit Santa at grottos, winter wonderlands and on trains. If you want a more grown-up experience this Christmas in Lancashire, treat yourself to an afternoon tea or a spot of shopping at a Christmas market. Whatever you do this festive season in Lancashire, it promises to be magical.
We’ll keep updating this guide to Christmas in Lancashire as more and more events are confirmed, so keep checking back for more exciting festive ideas. Do you know of any special events taking place that our readers ought to know about? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Quick list of the best days out for Christmas in Lancashire
- Christmas at Father Ted’s Adventure Farm, Ormskirk
- Christmas Grotto Wonderland at Blackpool Pleasure Beach
- Beauty and the Beast Pantomime at the Globe Theatre, Blackpool
- Santa Special: East Lancashire Railway
- Santa Special: Ribble Steam Railway
- Santa by the lake at Brockholes
- Christmas market in Chorley
- A Victorian Christmas at Gawthorpe Hall
- Blackpool Illuminations 2023
- Enchanted: Knowsley Safari Park
- Join Santa’s Conservation Crew at SEA LIFE Blackpool
- Festive afternoon tea at Dobbies