It’s the Christmas holidays and children across the region will be buzzing with excitement as they wait for Santa to bring their toys.

With more than a week left of their school holiday, parents will be eager to fill their days off with plenty of festive activities in the hope of keeping their little ones entertained.

This is especially important for the lull between Christmas and New Year when time becomes meaningless and boredom sets in.

Here is a list of festive things happening in Lancashire between now and the start of the January term:

1. Head to a pantomime

A trip to the pantomime is a great way to get into the festive spirit – or just to kill some time during the holidays.
Luckily, there are plenty of pantos taking place in Lancashire this half term.

Strictly Come Dancing star, Katya Jones, is currently starring as the Evil Queen at King George’s Hall in Blackburn.

If you want to see her on stage, ticket prices range from £11-£19 and some are still available via bwdvenues.com.

2. Visit Santa’s Grotto

As we are still in the midst of a pandemic some organisations have decided to hosts ‘Christmas grotto’ events this year, where you can enjoy hours of festive fun but might have to see Santa while still social distancing. 

There’s still time to visit a grotto before the big day, including one in Darwen Market which is taking place on 24 December.

You can discover more on Darwen Market's Facebook page. 

This winter, Blackpool’s Tower Festival Headland has been transformed into a breath-taking festive village complete with an outdoor skating rink, simulated snowfalls, log cabins, magical forest, larger-than-life light installations, festive light projection shows and Santa tram rides on the Golden Mile.

Wrap up warm, grab a tasty sweet treat or gift from the charming cabins and spend an evening discovering what’s on offer.

Most of the events run from now until 3 January. To learn more, browse the Visit Blackpool website.

4. Christmas markets

This year, even small towns are hosting Christmas markets many of which will run until the new year.

The Firepit Restaurant in Rawtenstall is behind one Christmas market event which the owners describe as a “month-long Christmas party in a tent”.

It will run all the way up until the New Year, culminating in a New Year’s Eve grand finale party.

Three giant tipi tents are currently being erected outside their building which is located on Station House Road.

Eager to support local business, independent sellers will also be invited to the market so customers can browse their selection of products and support them in their Christmas shopping.

If this wasn’t enough, the Firepit Christmas markets have a grand finale planned for New Year’s Eve.

5. Christmas Activities at Brockholes Nature Reserve

There are plenty of festive events taking place at Brockholes Nature Reserve in Preston.

These events are ideal for the young wildlife-lovers in your life as they are educational.

Join the team for wintery trails where you try and spot some animals which can only be spotted in winter.

Ice Quest
Price: £4 per pack
Dates: Various dates between 23 December-7 January..

The event description reads: “Come and join us for a wintery trail around Brockholes.

“You’ll need your thinking caps on to figure out where the clues lead you.

“Collect the secret code as you complete the quest – get it right to unlock the safe at the end and win a prize along with a hot chocolate from our fantastic café.

“Pre-booking advised. Suitable for all the family to enjoy together.”

Christmas Xplorer Challenge
Price: £3.50/map pack online, £4.00 on the day
Dates: 23 December – 3 January

The event description reads: “Explore Brockholes, find the markers, complete the challenge and have fun together!

“Brought to you in partnership with British Orienteering, Xplorer is the perfect outdoor activity to get the whole family outside in the fresh air together.

 

“There are certificates for those completing the challenge along with a warming hot chocolate!”

6. The Blackpool Illuminations

The Blackpool Illuminations have been extended until January 2022.

There are six miles of traditional festoons and tableaux along the Promenade - no wonder it’s commonly known as the greatest free light show on Earth.

Blackpool is sprinkling some seasonal spirit across the town as hundreds of icicles light up the streets. The wintry blue lights are displayed across Bank Hey Street, Victoria Street, Church Street, Clifton Street and Abingdon Street. 

The new festive display, designed by the Blackpool Illuminations team, was launched to coincide with the reopening of non-essential retail on 2 December in a joint scheme funded by Blackpool Council and the Town Centre BID.

Stop by to see the gigantic 40ft Christmas tree standing tall in St John’s Square, beaming with twinkling white and blue lights. There is also a second tree installed in the heart of Bickerstaffe Square, so if you’re doing your Christmas food shop in Sainsbury’s or heading to Blackpool North Station, make sure you take a look.

This year Blackpool Illuminations will be shining from 3 September - 3 January 2022.