SUMMER is coming to a close and kids will across the country will soon be returning to school.

Before you know it, the festive season will be upon us and you will be looking to plan some Christmassy events.

With the majority cancelled last year, many businesses will be hoping to come back with a bang and host a Christmas event that the kids will remember.

However, the best events in the North West always prove to be popular and tickets sell out fast – so grab some while you can.

Here are some Christmas events taking place in the North West – and you can book them right now.

1. Lightopia in Heaton Park, Manchester
November 19th, 2021 – January 3rd, 2022
Cost: Advance tickets - £20.00 for adults (or £22.00 on the day)
£13.00 for children (or £15.00 on the day)
£60.00 for families of two adults and two children (£68.00 on the day).

Children under three can go free. Essential carers of disabled visitors can attend for free, the disabled visitor pays the normal admission fee.

Description: The award-winning Lightopia will return with its flagship event in Manchester, for the third year, with a brand-new enchanting light and lantern festival.

A Christmas Fantasy will feature an illuminated trail with magical and multi-sensory interactive lights, lanterns and installations, illustrating a story of an imaginative and fantasy festive world.

Lightopia 2021 will also feature a fantastical Magic Circus display, complete with illusional installations and interactive entertainment. Let your imagination run wild, as clowns, animals and magicians take charge of the night.

Get tickets at the following website:

2. Santa Specials at the East Lancashire Railway
November 27-28 and December 4, 5, 11, 12 and 18-24.
Cost: £20-£32

For many, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a ride on the ELR’s iconic Santa Specials.

After it was sadly cancelled in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, the event this year promises to be even more magical than ever.

Children, parents and grandparents alike can take an enchanting stream train trip through a winter wonderland, complete with a brass band, a magician, Santa’s happy helpers - and Father Christmas himself.

Start your experience with a walk through the beautifully decorated Bury Bolton Street Station, enchantingly lit with countless fairy lights and decked with over 200 Christmas trees.

Then, take a festive steam train ride to Rawtenstall and back through the Irwell Valley.

Book tickets online.

3. Christmas at Dunham Massey, Altrincham 
Date: 19 November – 2 January.
Cost: Adults - £21
Child (3-16) - £13.50

According to the National Trust site, the after-dark illuminated trail through festive gardens returns for its fifth year at Dunham Massey.

Spend time together and create everlasting memories as you make your way through the mesmerising trail. 

The trail is filled with over a million lights, lasers and seasonal sounds.

Get tickets online.

4. Santa Dash,  Blackpool Promenade, Blackpool
Date: 5 December
Adults – £10
Children – £5
Family (2 adults + 2 under 16s) – £25

If you’re looking for a festive family event that’s a little bit different, look no further than the Santa Dash.

It is described as “the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit, and a fun event for all the family to enjoy, including the dog!”

The aim is to run, jog or walk the route (approx. 2 miles) from the Sandcastle Waterpark to the Manchester Pub and back dressed as Santa to help raise funds for Brian House Children’s Hospice.

  • Price includes: Free Santa suit
  • Finisher’s medal
  • Unique participant number
  • A hot chocolate for when you cross the finish line

Sign up online.

5. The Santa Show, The Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness-On-Windermere, Cumbria
Date: 12 November – 23 December
Child - £9.50

Adult - £10.50

Join Father Christmas and friends in this brand new, festive, musical, interactive adventure.

It’s a family show most suitable for 2-7 year olds, where every child will receive a specially wrapped present from Santa – after the most Christmassy Christmas show ever.

Songs include children’s favourites: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, The Hokey Cokey, The Twelve Days Of Christmas, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, and many more!

Find your ticket online.

6. The Lanterns -  Call of the Wild, Chester Zoo, Chester
12 November – 23 December
Adults – from £13
Children – From £13
Family (2 adults + 2 under 16s) – £25

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo is back for another magical year and it is set to be as enchanting as ever. 

The zoo will be transformed into a spectacular wonderland, full of sparkle, illumination and plenty of cheer.

The Lanterns is a traditional Christmas event offering a wondrous night time journey around the zoo; with all of the spectacle and magic that our lanterns provide and some unexpected festive encounters too.

The journey around the zoo takes approximately 60 minutes and there are lots of lovely festive feasts for you to enjoy as you travel around.

Get tickets on the Chester Zoo website.

7. Christmas FestEVIL 2021, Scare Kingdom, Clayton-Le-Dale
Date: 11 December
Cost: £11 per person.

Who said Christmas has to be jolly?

 A scary and immersive attraction is coming to Lancashire this Christmas.

However, it’s only advised for the ‘fearless’ and those seeking a thrill this festive season.

This event will include three new attraction experiences:

Manormortis Haunted Holiday – don’t disturb the ghosts of old Haxenghast Mansion

Body Snatchers Plague Pit - the awakening of a plague-ridden village which lay dead for centuries

Psychomanteum Christmas Crib - only accessible for revellers aged 18+, this graphic nativity has an additional fee of £6.

Get tickets at the following site: