Blackpool is a seaside resort town located on England’s northwest coast. Known for the Blackpool Tower, Pleasure Beach, illuminations and ballroom dancing, Blackpool is a popular seaside resort. Blackpool is now considered to be a great place of entertainment, but that wasn’t always the case. In the early 1860s, there was nothing in the way of entertainment in Blackpool. In 1867 the Prince of Wales Arcade opened and from that moment, Blackpool began to transition into the vibrant, electric town we know today.
Blackpool can often be associated with a certain level of crime and disorderly behaviour in the UK. Many believe Blackpool is frequented by society’s riffraff (to use the British term). But in fact, Blackpool’s slightly seedy reputation doesn’t do it justice, as there are many places to see in the town which provide visitors with enjoyment and even beautiful natural scenery. And you can’t deny that with all the rollercoasters, pirates and illuminations, it’s a perfect place to travel to with kids. So, discover these 20 things to do in Blackpool to make your visit easy and enjoyable.
21 Things To Do In Blackpool
1- Head up Blackpool Tower
The most famous of Blackpool’s attractions is the iconic Blackpool Tower, which opened in 1894.
Back then, it was the tallest man-made tower in the British Empire, standing at 158m (518ft) tall.
You may notice some similarities between the Blackpool Tower and Paris’ Eiffel Tower, well that’s because the Mayor of Blackpool attended the Great Paris Exhibition in 1889 and was so overawed by the Eiffel Tower that he requested the Blackpool Tower be built upon his return to England.
Located in-between North Pier and Central Pier, Blackpool Tower is at the heart of this northern seaside town.
You can head up to the eye of the Blackpool Tower for £15 for expansive views of the town, beach and Irish Sea. The tower eye is open between 10 am and 5 pm.
Blackpool Tower is at The Promenade, Blackpool FY1 4BJ.
2- Explore Marton Mere Local Nature Reserve
Located just 2.6 miles from the Blackpool Tower, the Marton Mere Local Nature Reserve provides visitors with a touch of tranquillity away from the noise of central Blackpool.
Once there, surrounded by greenery and water with a distant view of Blackpool Tower, you may be surprised to know that the place you stand was once a rubbish tip.
Marton Mere was spectacularly renovated and transformed into a home for hundreds of wildlife species from dragonflies to orchids, owls, and various bird species.
Wander along a variety of footpaths and explore all that Marton Mere has to offer at Mythop Road, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 4XN.
3- Blackpool Pleasure Beach
After the Blackpool Tower, visiting Blackpool Pleasure Beach is one of the most popular things to do in Blackpool for visitors.
The beach opened in 1896 and today is frequented by around five million people each year.
With 10 rollercoasters and five water rides, there is plenty to keep you (or the kids) entertained for a couple of hours or the entire day.
Be sure to ride ‘The Big One’, Blackpool’s biggest rollercoaster, you’ll certainly be able to spot it as it’s the biggest rollercoaster at the Pleasure Beach, in all its red and blue twisting glory.
Tickets are quite pricey at £42 for 12 years + and £36 for those aged 11 and under.
You do need a ticket to enter Blackpool Pleasure Beach, but nothing is stopping you from watching those spinning upside down humans from the beach.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is at 525 Ocean Blvd, Blackpool FY4 1EZ.
4- Blackpool Model Village
This tiny little model village is a cutesy attraction located on the southeast side of Stanley Park.
There’s just something about looking at miniature versions of regular things that makes me happy.
Now I am not claiming that this is the most incredible activity to do in Blackpool, but it’s certainly something to see, especially if you are in and around the Stanley Park area, and if you have young children, then it’s an absolute must.
Adult tickets are £7.50 and children between 3 -15 can enter for £6.
Blackpool Model Village is at E Park Dr, Blackpool FY3 9RB.
5- Sandcastle Waterpark
Blackpool is undoubtedly a weekend getaway that can be filled with fun and adventure.
After you’ve hurled yourself around on rollercoasters at the Blackpool Pleasure Beach, check out the Sandcastle Waterpark located just next to South Pier.
Sandcastles Waterpark is the UK’s largest indoor waterpark, featuring 18 slides and a unique tropical climate, the perfect place to visit, especially if the heavens open and that unpredictable English rain starts.
Book in advance because COVID spaces at the waterpark are limited.
Sessions last for just three hours, with the morning sessions being held from 10 am to 1 pm. Adult (16+) tickets are £22, 11-15 years are £18, and tickets for 4 to 7-year-olds cost £12. At the moment tickets are only available at the weekend.
Sandcastle Waterpark is at Promenade, Blackpool FY4 1BB.
For more ideas around England read:
6- Take a Ride on the Central Pier Big Wheel
Blackpool’s Ferris wheel or the ‘Big Wheel’ as it’s known, is another iconic town landmark.
Head to the beach at night for sunset and watch as night unfolds, and the neon wheel lights up in all its fluorescent glory.
After sunset, head onto Central Pier for a ride on the Big Wheel and explore the amusement arcades, food stalls, souvenir shops and even have your fortune told.
If you go before Easter this year, you may not see the Big Wheel as it has recently been dismantled for its annual maintenance checks. But not to worry, from Easter and over the summer months the wheel will be open again.
There’s even talk of a bigger £4 million upgraded wheel in the pipeline, so watch this space.
Central Pier Big Wheel is at the Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 5BB.
7- Watch a Show at The Grand Theatre
Blackpool’s Grand Theatre is housed in a Grade II listed building and is home to some great comedy shows, plays and productions.
This year sees the Grand Theatre host comedian Katherine Ryan, The Greatest Showman Sing-a-Long, the RSC Associate Schools Much Ado About Nothing, David Walliam’s Gangsta Granny and much more.
Grand Theatre is at 33 Church St, Blackpool FY1 1HT.
8- Ride On the Blackpool Tramway
There are only eight tramways in the UK and one of them is in Blackpool.
The Blackpool Tramway operates along the 11-mile Fylde coastline and is a highly convenient way to navigate Blackpool and an interesting way to see the town and coastline.
Each weekend there is also the opportunity to see the original Heritage Tram, which first opened in 1885.
9- See The Neon at the Blackpool Illuminations
The Blackpool Illuminations is a decorative light festival held every autumn/winter.
The festival lights were first switched on in 1879 and now, each year, people head to Blackpool to specifically see the flashy lights.
The 2022 Blackpool Illuminations will be held between 2nd September to 2nd January 2023.
Illuminated trams, plenty of Instagrammable spots, projection shows, building lights, even trains and boats don the coloured lights.
It’s a lovely spectacle to see at Christmas as it puts you in the festive spirit.
10- Blackpool Opera House
The Blackpool Opera House is an impressive building inside and out.
Originally opened in 1889, architect Frank Matcham also created the famous Blackpool Tower ballroom.
Shows that feature this year at the Opera House include Tim Peake – Journey to Space, Footloose and Dance Fever, to name a few.
You’ll find the Blackpool Opera House right in the heart of the town on Church Street.
11- Enjoy a Spooky Tour of Blackpool Tower Dungeon
This rather unique attraction will certainly leave visitors laughing and maybe even a little spooked.
Moving through the dungeon, you will witness a variety of interesting performances and hear gruesome stories from the region’s past told by enthusiastic and dramatic actors.
This spooky attraction will set you back £14 per adult if you book online in advance, but an on the day ticket at peak times is £17.50.
12- Challenge Your Brain in an Escape Room
Escape rooms have become increasingly popular in recent years, so why not try one on your trip to Blackpool?
The escape room game allows a team of players to solve several puzzles, advance to the next room, and ultimately escape, though many do not.
The Blackpool Escape Centre is on 44 Church Street, and there are several different games to choose from. You can choose one 90-minute game, six one hour games or a 30-minute game.
13- Family Fun at Coral Island Family Arcade
The pirate-themed Coral Island Family Arcade is an indoor attraction for all the family.
Located on Bonny Street along the main promenade in the central area of Blackpool, this arcade has an array of games and activities to enjoy.
You will recognise the building straight away as it has a large pirate skull above its entranceway.
It’s free to enter Coral Island and what’s more, with every adult meal purchased at any of the eateries, you can get one free under 10 kids’ meal.
From pirate rides to bingo, a camel derby, and many slot machines, there are many things to do at Coral Island.
14- Stroll Around Stanley Park
Stanley Park covers 390 acres and is a Grade II listed park. Yes, I did say park and not building as parks are also graded by their historic significance.
The park boasts a lake, Italian gardens, a bandstand, and numerous trails and paths to wander along.
It’s so large that it is handy to know that the north and western areas are home to the formal gardens, in the eastern area is the lake and woodland, and the southern area has several children’s play areas and sports facilities.
Stanley Park is 1.2 miles (2 km) from Blackpool Tower to the east of the town.
15- Admire the Blackpool Tower Ballroom
This world-famous ballroom is elegant, refined and charming.
The Blackpool Tower Ballroom is known for its sprung dance floor, impressive architecture, and a place that dancers and admirers cherish.
The ballroom dates back to 1894, and today you can still go inside and dust off those dancing shoes with a spin around the dancefloor.
The BBC TV show Strictly Come Dancing has held one week of their dance competition at Blackpool’s ballroom each season, where the public can buy tickets to watch their favourite couples compete.
If you’re heading to Blackpool for the weekend and want to visit the famous ballroom, you’ll need to buy a single admission ticket for £9 per adult, which allows you just into the ballroom, but if you want to visit the Blackpool Tower eye it costs an extra £15.
Blackpool Tower Ballroom is at Promenade, Blackpool FY1 4BJ.
16- Enjoy a Night on the Town
Blackpool has become well-renowned for its nightlife and, arguable for those of us over the age of 18, a trip to Blackpool is incomplete without a night on the town.
There’s a myriad of places to visit in the town.
The Funny Girl drag show is popular among many in Blackpool and provides visitors with fun-filled entertainment rather than straight-up drinking.
Alternatively, you can head to the seafront and bar hop your way along the promenade, enjoying a variety of lively venues.
The Bootleg Social is another popular venue that hosts a variety of music and comedy shows and uniquely popular poetry jams.
The Bootleg Social club is a hipster and edgy alternative to some of the other bars along the seafront.
17- Explore the Winter Gardens
The Winter Gardens is one of Europe’s biggest entertainment venues.
Winter Gardens opened in 1878 and has seen many a famous face pass through its doors, including Queen Elizabeth, an array of prime ministers and celebrities to boot.
It now hosts an array of events from concerts to business meetings and even pigeon racing festivals (gosh, think of all the mess!).
You can explore this grand venue and enjoy a spot of coffee at several establishments inside.
The Winter Gardens is at 97 Church St, Blackpool FY1 1HL.
18- Madame Tussaud’s Blackpool
There’s no need to travel to London or further afield to New York to visit Madame Tussaud’s because there’s one in the heart of Blackpool.
Madame Tussaud’s Blackpool is located on the Promenade just north of the Central Pier.
Meet a waxy Queen Elizabeth, the stars for Strictly Come Dancing and many more for £15.50 when booking online in advance or £19.50 on the day at peak times.
I personally still don’t know how I feel about looking at waxy recreations of famous people. However, a part of me likes visiting to see some of the bad jobs they manage to do on some celebrities.
19- Wander Along Blackpool’s North and South Piers
Blackpool’s Central Pier is often the busiest, what with the amusement park, but why not wander along the north and south piers for something different and a bit of peace and quiet.
South Pier also hosts an array of rides but has a quieter vibe than Central Pier.
If you travel to North Pier, you will find a more traditional, relaxed atmosphere to enjoy the sea views and views of the town.
But the North Pier is not entirely devoid of activities there is a gin bar called Bloom where you can sit for your afternoon gin fix.
20- Explore the Fylde Sand Dunes
These impressive sand dunes are to the south of Blackpool, stretching from Squires Gate down to St Anne’s Beach.
Coastal erosion is a big concern along the Fylde Coast; however, these dunes are a natural and beautiful sea defence.
Travel up, down and around the dunes taking in the spectacular scenery.
Be sure to bring your camera as it’s the perfect place for photographs with all the grassy dunes and expansive views from the top of the sands.
Fylde Sand Dunes is at Lytham Saint Annes FY8 2FT.
21- Watch The Sunset At Mary’s Shell
It takes around 20 minutes on the tram to get from North Pier to Cleveleys, where the stunning metal sculpture of Mary’s Shell is a photographer’s dream.