The best Christmas days out in the North West 2021

4 christmas family events photos with lots of christmas lights

Can you believe it’s time to start thinking about Christmas events already? Some Christmas events in the North West have tickets on sale already and I’ve included these below. Some Christmas days out North West for 2021 have not been released yet so I’ll add them as the details are released over the next few months so save this page and keep coming back. If you’re looking for more ideas for days out you’ll find all my UK days out reviews here, many of which are in or around the North West.

Last updated 24th September 2021. If you have an event you want to be added, drop me an email at – claire [@]

Advertisement feature, we have reviewed some of these attractions with press tickets in previous years.

Below you’ll find details of the best Christmas events in the North West. I’ve included Christmas pantomimes, theatre, where to see Father Christmas in the North West (although if you just want places to see Santa, then this is the post for you – Where to see Father Christmas in the North West) and many more Christmas family activities. I’ve done my best to add the details of all these events accurately and keep it up to date but I strongly advise you to click through and check on the organiser’s website to ensure the dates and times have not changed. Some of these events require pre-booking so I’d recommend you do that as soon as you decide you want to in order to avoid disappointment.

2 different illuminations photos and text that reads Christmas events North West

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Looking for a free or low-cost festive walk? Find the best Christmas trails North West here.

Table of Contents

Christmas days out North West 2021

There are so many great Christmas events in the North West so I’ve rounded up the best of the events in Cheshire, Lancashire, Merseyside and Cumbria. If you’re also looking for things to in Cheshire this summer then you need this post – things to do with kids in Cheshire, summer 2021.

Christmas events in Cheshire

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo – Available to book now

Wild rumpus is back transforming Chester zoo into a magical, illuminated wonderland. We’ve been a couple of years back and loved this magical event. You can take your own lantern so why not make a simple paper bag lantern to take with you. Selected dates are available from Friday 12 November –  Thursday 23 December, with timed tickets that give entry every 15 minutes from 4 pm to 8.15 pm. Ticket prices vary and start from £11. Find out more and book your tickets here.

Christmas at Bolesworth, Chester – Available to book now

Between 26th November and December 24th, 2021 Bolesworth will be transformed into an illuminated winter wonderland. The magical 1.2 mile trail promises a dazzling after-dark experience for all of the family. You’ll travel alongside the lakeside with the backdrop of the castle lit to spectacular effect, then you’ll follow the winding pathways through the woods where you may spot a reindeer or two, travelling over bridges and through the spectacular grounds. There will also be ice skating and a Santa’s grotto too. Find out more and book now.

Christmas at Delamere forest – Tickets on sale now

A brand new light trail, from the team behind Christmas at Dunham Massey. The beautiful Delamere forest will be a magical Christmas experience. Walk through enchanted tunnels of light and beneath illuminated trees that are wrapped up in colourful lights. From 26 Nov – 31 Dec 2021, ticket prices start from Adult £19.50, Child £13.50, Family £62 (2 adults & 2 children). Free entry for carers and children aged 2 & under. Parking £8 per car. Buy your tickets here.

Family running through a tunnel of lights
Photo credit Richard Haughton @SonyMusic

Chester Christmas markets – 2021 dates confirmed

The Chester Christmas markets are back from the 18th November to 22nd December 2021. 10:30am-6:30pm Sunday to Wednesday and 10:30am–8pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday. More details to follow

Christmas at Gulliver’s world – bookings being taken

Enjoy a festive family day out at Gulliver’s World. There’ll be festive rides and attractions, North Pole Express, a magical winter wonderland to explore, spot Santa too and choose a gift from the Elf workshop. Find out more here.

Girl with two dressed up christmas characters
Photo credit – Gullivers World

Oliver Twist, Storyhouse theatre, Chester

See the all-new production of the Dicken’s classic, Oliver Twist. Big-hearted joy, feel-good songs, purse-snatchers and dogs, all live from the gutter this Christmas! From 4th December 2021 – 16th January 2022. Book your tickets here.

Sleeping beauty, Crewe Lyceum Theatre

From Friday 10th December 2021 – Sunday 2nd January 2022. Join comedy and television personality Bobby Davro, X Factor finalist Amelia Lily and Cheshire’s best-loved panto dame Malcolm Lord in Crewe Lyceum’s magical Christmas pantomime Sleeping Beauty. Book here

Christmas adventure quest at Beeston Castle – bookings now being taken

Explore Beeston Castle with our family-friendly Christmas adventure quest. Follow the trail to find clues dotted around the castle, and discover fun facts and festive folklore along the way. Book here.

Zoo tours with Santa, Reaseheath Zoo, Reaseheath College,

Explore the zoo with Santa Claus and his Elves as your tour guides. This experience includes:

  • A zoo tour and entry for one child and one adult
  • The chance to feed some of our amazing animals
  • A small gift
  • A photo opportunity in our Christmas photobooth at the end of your tour

Price – £20 per child (including one adult entry), £6 for an additional adult (maximum of one per booking)

This event is recommended for ages 5-12 years due to the nature of the experience and the gifts.

Book here.

Christmas at Mobberley minatures

christmas magic.jpg

Christmas Magic

Enjoy a festive visit to Mobberley Miniatures to be greeted by our beautiful festive ponies and Christmas elf.

  • Danny and Harri will be in their santa outfits for the occasion and would love to meet you all.
  • Cuddle, groom, and pet the ponies.
  • Decorate the ponies in a variety of Christmas ribbons and bows.
  • Paint their hooves with some magic sparkle.
  • Magical Christmas ride on Danny or Harri around our festive farm.
  • At the end of the ride visit our Christmas grotto where you will be greeted by one of Santas elves and receive a special gift with your pony.
  • Christmas Art activity
  • Festive workshop where you can choose and decorate your very own lucky Christmas unicorn shoe or Christmas Stocking to take home.
  • Plenty of festive photo opportunities.

At the end of the session, Danny and Harri would love all the children to make a christmas wish with them, and have a kiss or a cuddle under the mistletoe and receive a Unicorn Christmas tree decoration. 

When: Sunday 5th December @10am, Saturday 18th December @10am and Monday 22nd December @10am.

Book here. Tickets £34

They also have number of other Christmas events including a Christmas party on 5th, 18th and 22nd and a unicorn event on the same dates. There is also a minis event on 2nd, 6th, 13th and 16th December @1.30pm

Christmas treasures at Lyme park – 2021 dates confirmed

See a selection of rooms beautifully transformed in festive splendour or take part in the family activity trail in the gardens and keep an eye out for a very special guest. Friday to Monday from 3rd to 24th December 2021.

There is currently no mention of the popular visit to Father Christmas. Find up to date information * here.

Christmas at Magical woodland – 2021 tickets now on sale

Enjoy a woodland walk in the dark through 15 acres of illuminated woodlands. This magical forest is sure to be a Christmas favourite his year. No dogs. Tickets for 2021 must be booked in advance, get yours here.

Find my Magical woodland Cheshire review from October 2021 here. The forest will be changed to this Christmas event before the 26th November.

Christmas tree of lights
Photo credit – Magical woodland

Christmas at Quarry Bank – bookings now being taken

Why not enjoy the Percy the Park Keeper’s winter wander trail this December? The trail is on from the 4th December and costs £2 (normal admission fees apply, except to members). Become Percy’s helper for the day, stepping into his wellies while he’s busy. Working with Percy’s animal friends, you can carry out some winter tasks based around helping nature, noticing what’s around, and looking after animals and habitats. You will follow clues and a note from Percy to find lost items and help get the tasks done. There will also be some fun and games along the way. And at the end, you’ll get a prize which will help you to do your bit for nature at home. * Find out more here.

There popular meet Father Christmas event is also now taking bookings. * Book here.

Luminate at Walton Hall and gardens

As darkness descends, join Luminate as they weave a captivating light trail through our stunning grounds. Complete with incredible lighting elements, fabulous light play and ambient music – this experience will enthral your senses. 

Runs every night from 24th November to 24th December 2021. Ticket prices vary but start from £11 per child, £14 per adult. Book your tickets here.

The Snowman tour Chester cathedral – 2021 tickets now on sale

Who doesn’t love this Christmas classic animation? Seeing it with a live orchestra is really special. There will be 3 showings all on Saturday 18th December 2021. Book your tickets here.

We went along in 2017 to Chester and loved it, so if you want to know more then read my full review here. So much that we went back in 2018 to see it at Liverpool cathedral.

Christmas at Adlington petting farm – 2021 tickets now on sale

Open daily from 1st to 24th December. Visit Adlington Petting farm to pet and feed the animals, see the huge Christmas tree, meet santa and enjoy the Christmas trail. Hot drink and mince pie for every adult. £14.95 per child, £6.95 per adult. Book here.

Tatton park

Full details of Father Christmas at Tatton park have not been released yet but the dates Father Christmas will be at the farm have been released. Weekends in December and Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st December 2021. Find out more here.

Harry Potter: Forbidden forest experience, Arley Hall

This is set to be a magical outdoor trail for families to enjoy this winter. Suitable for the whole family and provides a huge amount for Harry Potter fans of all ages to see and do, giving them the opportunity to experience the magic of the wizarding world in a brand-new way. * Book here. This even is on until 4th Januray 2022.

Christmas events in Lancashire

East Lancashire railway Santa specials – 2021 available to book now

Take a steam train trip with a host of happy elves and of course, the man himself, Father Christmas! Santa Specials run on November 27-28, plus December 4, 5, 11, 12 and 18-24 2021. Find out more here.

Cockfield’s Christmas experience – tickets now on sale 2021

Back for another year, Cockfield’s magical North pole adventure is back. Collect your passport and start your journey. Includes a private family visit to Santa’s grotto.

From 27th November 2021, a stunning Family Christmas day out you will never forget will be available at the farm. You’ll also be able to cuddle small animals, make reindeer dust, visit the bear workshop, watch “The reindeer flying school” show and visit elf village. Prices start from £10. Book your tickets here.

Find a review of 2019 ‘s event from We’re going on an adventure.

Windmill Animal Farm, Ormskirk

No details if this event is running in 2021. Visit Santa on the train which will be running throughout December and tickets will include the farm attractions too. Keep checking their website for more details as they are released.

Farmer Christmas walking adventure, Farmer Ted’s Adventure Farm, Ormskirk

Begin your journey in the Animal Barn, before checking in to start your Christmas Adventure, you’ll get to walk through Santa’s winter wonderland, see where his elves make all your toys, and even where Santa sleeps too. Along your journey, you’ll also be able to help Santa by making your very own Reindeer food and even decorate your own Gingerbread man. There will also be short Christmas films in the cinema, a visit to santa and indoor and outdoor plar areas. Find out more and book here.

Christmas by the sea, Blackpool

Blackpool’s Tower Festival Headland will be 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. Find out more here.

Blackpool illuminations

Blackpool illuminations have been extended again and in 2021. This year they will be running from 3rd September until January 3rd 2022. Find out more here.

If you are heading to the illuminations, find some top tips here.

Christmas in Manchester

If you’re also looking for events in the summer holidays, then you need to read – Things to do with kids in Manchester, Summer 2021

Details of the 2021 Manchester Christmas markets are starting to be released. From 8th November in a variety of locations across the city. Find out more details here as they are released.

Christmas at Dunham Massey – 2021 tickets now on sale

Illuminated deers and Dunham Massey house
Photo credit @SonyMusic MyChristmasTrails

Another magical after-dark event, back in 2021 for their 5th year. From 19th November 2021 to 2nd January 2022 (selected dates only) this event is back with all-new light installations as well as some old favourites like a giant deer light installation, family rides and delicious seasonal food. * Find out more and book here.

The not so ugly sisters, Waterside Arts, Sale – booking now open

We love Waterside Arts and their family festive theatre. We loved watching Mr Popper’s penguins with them in 2019. For 2021 they have – The not so ugly sisters. A brand new musical re-telling of Cinderella from the perspective of the ‘Not So’ Ugly Sisters, reimagined for the stage in this magical adventure for the whole family by Wrongsemble. Packed full of original music, puppetry, magic and adventure. The Not So Ugly Sisters promises to be a theatrical treat not to be missed for ages 4-104. Book your tickets here. 24th November to 1st January.

White Christmas, Palace theatre Manchester

From 22nd November to 4th December, straight from the West End, White Christmas is a joyous musical for all the family to enjoy. Find out more and * book here.

The lion, the witch and the wardrobe, The Lowry – 2021 tickets available

This Christmas, The Lowry are bringing the London smash-hit to the North West. It has been described as magical and spectacular and the trailer certainly had me captivated. * Book your tickets here.

Ice skating at Skate Manchester – tickets on sale

The ice rink in Cathedral Gardens, Manchester is open from 22nd October until the 3rd January. Tickets start from £11. Book here.

Glow 2021 at RHS Bridgewater – tickets on sale

From 17th November to 19th December and 20th – 30th December 2021. Discover RHS Garden Bridgewater transformed as spectacular illuminations light up the night. Why not also do some Christmas shopping and treat yourself to a selection of warming drinks and tasty festive treats along the way too. Book your tickets here.

Winter funland – tickets for 2021 now on sale

From 18th December 2021 to 2nd January 2022. Indoor funfair and Christmas Circus at the BEC Arena (just 5 minutes from the Trafford Centre). There is also ice skating and a Santa’s grotto. Find out more and book here.

Winter wonderland – tickets for 2021 now on sale

UK’s largest indoor Christmas theme park. Returning after a 4 year gap to Eventvity next to Intu Trafford centre from Sat 4th December 2021 to 2nd January 2022. Includes rides, Christmas circus, Father Christmas, real reindeer and so much more. Book here.

Tinsel town, Intu Trafford centre

From 13th November to 3rd January 2022, a new outdoor experience is coming to the Trafford centre. Enjoy spectacular rides and festive fayre. Don’t miss SNOWSTORM, a sensational ice-skating extravaganza live from the heated theatre big top or your chance to shimmy around a sparkling covered ice rink.

And who could possibly forget the big man himself who will be waiting to meet little ones in his twinkling tipi.

Tinsel Town will be situated outside The Orient, opposite The Great Hall entrance.

Find out more here.

Lightopia Festival Manchester – 2021 tickets on sale now

Light sculpture of a peacock
Photo property of Lightopia festival Manchester, used with permission

From 19th November 2021 to 3rd January 2022. Lightopia is back at Heaton Park. Immerse yourself in this magical, light trail this Christmas. This year’s light show is a brand new one which is A Christmas fantasy. Complete with water shows, fairy land, fantasy forest and much more. Tickets start from £13. Book your tickets here.

Manchester Opera House, Aladdin – 2021 tickets are now on sale

Tickets are now on sale for this year panto, Aladdin. Follow Aladdin on a spectacular adventure he’ll never forget, with flying carpets, a wish-granting genie, an evil sorcerer and plenty of festive magic. * Book your tickets here.

The parking lot social Christmas, Trafford Centre

No information on if this event will run in 2021.

Santa’s grotto at Chill Factore

Chill factor snow dome transformed for Christmas
Visit Chill factor this Christmas to visit Father Christmas in his Grotto

Meet Father Christmas on real snow at the Chill factor this December from £17.95 (per child). Saturday 27th November – 24th December except 29th & 30th November and 6th, 7th, 8th December 2021. One free adult per paying child. You can combine your visit to the snow park and get 10% off entry.

If you want to know more about this Christmas event, you need to read my review from 2019 – Santa and snow fun at Chill Factore review

Skate Manchester

Manchester’s covered ice rink is back and it’s now open until January 3rd 2022. Book your session here.

Gandeys Snowstorm, Trafford centre

Gandeys Heated Theatre Big Top will be hosting SNOWSTORM outside the Great Hall entrance of the Trafford centre from 13th Nov 2021 to 3rd Jan 2022. There will be ice skaters and circus stars performing in a 90 minute family show. Seats from £9.99. * Book here.

Christmas on the farm, Lancaster park & animal farm, Oldham

Journey through the magical Christmas grotto. Join Mrs Claus for a Christmas story, write a letter to Santa, meet Santa and receive a gift, sit in Santa’s lifesize sleigh and enjoy all the usual farm activities like small animal petting, barrel rides, mini quads and more. Find out more and book here.

When – Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th December, Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th December and Friday 17th – Friday 24th December 2021

Prices – from £11.50 per child, £8.50 per adult

Christmas events in Liverpool

The Snowman tour Liverpool cathedral – 2021 tickets now on sale

Who doesn’t love this Christmas classic animation? Seeing it with a live orchestra is really special. There will be 2 showings all on 22nd December 2021. Book your tickets here.

We went along in 2017 to Chester and loved it, so if you want to know more then read my full review here. So much that we went back in 2018 to see it at Liverpool cathedral.

Enchanted at Knowsley Safari park – 2021 tickets on sale now

Enchanted returns from 20th November to 30th December 2021 on selected dates. As the sun sets, the Foot Safari will come alive with music, light, festive food and rides for enchanted! You and your family can get into the festive spirit with a range of festive food, tasty treats and a magical atmosphere! For the younger thrill-seekers, rides are open throughout Enchanted. Refreshments and rides are not included in the ticket price. Book here.

Liverpool Ice festival

Open from 19th November 2021 until 3rd January 2022, Liverpool ice rink and giant ice slide is back. Book your session here.

Christmas at Speke Hall

There is no mention on the National Trust website to say if this event will go ahead this year.

Liverpool Ice festival

No details on the 2021 event yet.

The parking lot social, Liverpool

No details on the 2021 event yet.

Otterspool adventure, Liverpool – bookings for 2021 open

This Christmas Otterspool adventure offers two magical Christmas experiences. The first is their Christmas experience, lasts up to 3 hours and includes a visit to Santa in his Grotto and receive a gift, a visit to ‘Make a Bear’ workshop, a pantomime of Jack and the Beanstalk, gingerbread decorating with Mrs Claus and more amazing attractions including a Christmas Ice rink. The ultimate Christmas includes everything already mentioned and breakfast with Santa.

Prices vary depending on the date. Book your tickets here.

Four different countryside scenes and text across the middle that reads Family walks North West - Facebook group

Join Family walks North West Facebook group to be part of a community sharing the best walks for families across the region. Click here.

Christmas events for families in Cumbria

Walby farm park – tickets on sale now

Father Christmas on the farm, weekends from 27th November and daily from 18th to 24th December 2021. Tickets include a visit to Father Christmas on his far, meet real reindeer, have some snowtime and meet Mother Christmas. You can post your letter to Father Christmas and receive a teddy from the workshop too. Children will be able to choose their own gift in the elves toy shop too. Book tickets here.

Christmas celebrations at The Lake District Wildlife Park

No details on the 2021 event yet.

The world of Beatrix Potter – The best Christmas ever – 2021 tickets on sale now

Join Father Christmas and friends in this brand new, festive, musical, interactive adventure to make 2021 Santa’s Best Ever Christmas! 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, HO-HO-HO!

The show lasts 1hr 15 minutes including time to meet Santa. Discounted tickets for the attraction can be purchased at the time of booking. 19th December to 23rd December. Book your tickets here.

Lining nativity at Lake District Wildlife Park

From Saturday 18th – Friday 31st December 2021. Visit the Living Nativity with Donkeys, Goats and Sheep all of which can be hand fed. Enjoy Keeper talks and encounters including their popular indoor Owl Display. Make a wish to put on the wishing tree and join in Christmas crafts and activities. On selected days you can even meet Father Christmas or King Julien the Giant Lemur in his favourite Christmas jumper!

Normal Entrance Fees to the Park apply – suggested donation for craft activities go to our animal conservation charities.

Find out more here.

Santa specials on The Lakeside & Haverswaite railway

No details on the 2021 event yet.

Santa express on Ravenglass and Eskdale railway

This event is currently sold out. Check here to see if they add any more dates.

Father Christmas at Sizergh

Currently, there are no details about 2021 events.

Do you have a favourite Christmas day out for the kids in the North West I’ve missed?

Slightly further afield but worth the travel – 2021 tickets on Sale now

Santa and steam at Churnet Valley railway. We had an amazing afternoon meeting Santa on a traditional steam train near Stoke. Find my full review here. This year there Christmas event is The Polar Express and tickets are on sale now.

Visit Mold (North Wales) Reindeer lodge for an enchanted drive-thru lighting trail and Reindeer Safari adventure that’s not to be missed. Find out more and book here.

Find loads of winter activities for kids in this post. Find ideas for outdoor play, indoor activities, crafts and beautiful children’s books.

New Years Eve family events North West

Find the best New Year’s eve parties for kids here – New Years eve family events North West

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4 christmas images and text that reads Christmas family days out North West

8 thoughts on “The best Christmas days out in the North West 2021

  1. Denise Lindsay says:

    These all look like a lot of fun (for both children and adults), there is certainly plenty to do. I will need to find out what things there are for kids in our area at Christmas time. I’m getting excited already ?

  2. Nina says:

    Thank you so much for these suggestions. This might be the year that I don’t feel so disorganised around the festive period!

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