7 Reasons to Visit Blackburn this Christmas

  • Christmas shopping

Blackburn town centre has a perfect mix of big brand shopping and unique independent shops.  Primark, H&M, M&S, Next, TKMaxx, New Look, JD Sports, Sports Direct, Game, Wilko and River Island are just some of the big name retailers available.  

The Mall Shopping Centre offers a brilliant shopping experience with 100s of fashion, home, fragrance, beauty, jewellery, phone, travel, stationary, card and gift retailers, as well as the brilliant Blackburn Market, all indoors so you can shelter from the cold weather!

The town centre’s amazing independents include Ainsworths Jewellers, Bat Cave comics and collectibles, Edmondsons Furniture, Emporium IV Menswear, Eve Lingerie, Hobkirks Sewing Machines, Moorey’s Health store, Outdoor Action clothing and equipment, Pelle Menswear and Remix Casuals.

With late night shopping every Thursday and Blackburn Market open 7 days a week before Christmas, Blackburn town centre has your Christmas shopping covered!

  • Christmas events

There’s lots of fantastic festive events taking place in Blackburn town centre.  Until 5 January the amazing The Snowman TM and the Snowdog brick model trail is taking place, with brick models of the popular Christmas characters and scenes from the animation located in 16 venues around the town centre.  You can take part in a trail quiz and QR code trail to add to the fun and there’s prizes to be won!

On Saturday 18th December the annual Blackburn Festival of Light returns to celebrate its 10th year!  Look out for lantern making workshops in the town centre in the run up to the parade, and on the day itself, (from 4.45pm) you can see and take part in a spectacular parade of huge light creations, lanterns, musicians, performers, stilt walkers and even fire dancers!

The beautiful Blackburn Cathedral is hosting many Christmas services and carol concerts, and their Christmas Spectacular featuring Cathedral Choirs and local schools takes place on Saturday 11 December at 7.30pm.

There’s free Christmas craft activities at Blackburn Central Library and Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery, and Blackburn Market has a great range of pop-up stalls who will be trading in Blackburn Market every Saturday in the run up to Christmas.  

The new Geek Retreat is hosting a fabulous Family Christmas party on Saturday 18 December. There will be a DJ, dance floor with lots of party games and prizes to be won.  There will also be a visit from Santa himself.  Tickets are available in store to purchase or via online message – child £2.50 – adult £5.

  • Christmas experiences

Blackburn town centre offers amazing Christmas experiences.  Get on board the Santaland Express at The Mall Blackburn!  Right up to Christmas Eve,  families will be welcomed to a quaint, make-believe festive train station by Station Master Elfo, then it’s all aboard the Santaland Express where music, sound effects and video visuals create the feeling they’re on a magical journey to the Christmas Kingdom.  Carriage doors open into the beautifully decorated Grand Hall where Santa will be waiting to meet and greet each and every child.

Not only does each child enjoy the train journey, meet Santa, and receive a quality gift, they also come away with a novel keepsake train ticket, and parents are welcome to take photos throughout.   Book online in advance to avoid disappointment.  Tickets are £9.95 per child including a maximum of one parent.

Blackburn town centre is illuminated throughout the Christmas period with beautiful festive lighting, switched on with the help of Choirmaster and broadcaster Gareth Malone on 27th November.  Blackburn Market has a giant lit up skiing teddy bear which you can take a selfie with!

Every Saturday The Making Rooms’ Fab Lab Blackburn hosts free, open access days for anyone to come along and design and make their own stuff.  Learn new skills, meet new people and make a fantastic Christmas gift or decoration for the home!

  • Christmas food & drink

Blackburn town centre has a whole host of brilliant pubs, bars, cafes, coffee shops, dessert cafes and restaurants, taking you from day to night.

Quality coffee and food is available from Costa Coffee, Exchange Coffee Company, Easy Coffee, Muffin Break and Rhode Island Coffee; lovely food, drinks and cakes are available from Checks & Greys at Blackburn Cathedral, Mad Hatters Cupcakes & Tearoom, Muffins, Original Monkey Express, The Refreshment Bar and Blackburn Market’s busy food court.

For a refreshing pint, a delicious cocktail, or an amazing array of gins, you can visit the luxurious Shh! Bar, the cosy Rock Box, the welcoming Drummers Arms, or enjoy the more traditional Blackburn Times, the Sun Hotel, Sam’s Bar, The Vic or the familiar surroundings of the Postal Order Wetherspoons pub.

To relax and indulge your sweet tooth, Blackburn town centre has Haute Dolci and Heavenly Desserts luxury dessert restaurants 

For a great meal or night out, we have fantastic restaurants which will cater for all tastes.  From the relaxed Caribbean vibe of Turtle Bay, the delicious steakhouse and cocktail bar of The Firepit Bar and Grill, the delicious Trip Advisor top-rated Thira Indian restaurant, and the tasty Robertos’s Bar & Bistro, to the world famous Jimmy’s Killer Prawns Seafood restaurant, the beautiful East Z East, the yummy Frankie’s burgers and the ever popular Nandos.  New restaurants are opening all the time too!

  • Christmas entertainment

Let Blackburn entertain you this festive season.  King George’s Hall’s biggest ever pantomime, Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs is on until 31st December 2021 and features Strictly Come Dancing Champion Katya Jones and CBBC’s Hacker T. Dog!

Did you know Blackburn town centre has 2 cinemas?  The Vue Blackburn and the recently opened Reel cinema have all the latest movies and festive films for you to see.

Geek Retreat, on Church Street, is a hub for fans of comics, trading cards, table top games and boardgames.  Why not take some time out to enjoy some games and a bite to eat with friends and family.

Remember ice skating is not just for Christmas!  Planet Ice is home (all year round) to an Olympic sized ice rink offering public skating, lessons, birthday parties, and even performances on ice.

Tenpin Blackburn offers ten pin bowling and much more!  Hosting 24 bowling lanes, a fully licensed bar, arcade machines, a restaurant, table tennis and pool tables, there is so much for you to enjoy.

  • Christmas pampering

Treat yourself to some pampering and get ready for Christmas at our fantastic hair and beauty salons.  

Whatever treatment you are looking for, we’ve got it in Blackburn town centre.  

Danielle Marie offers hair and beauty services including nails, makeup and hair; Hartlands house of beauty and grooming offers a variety of treatments from nails and waxing to massage and botox; Heiress salon, the one-stop shop for all your hair and beauty services; Looking Lush Ltd for hair, nails, brows and lashes; Orchid Signature Lounge specialise in Aesthetics, Beauty, Hair, Nails & Tanning; Talia’s beauty salon and academy offer nails and beauty treatments and specialises in lashes; Unique Beauty 4U caters for all your beauty needs; plus there’s express nail services with Posh Nails.

There’s also a range of brilliant hair salons and barbers, including the Barbers in The Mall; Dark Secrets Hair Salon; Extendables specialising in hair extensions; Jeff Stone Hairdressing; Just Cuts; Passerini barbers and Kwikcutz to name but a few.

Plus Blackburn Market has a range of hair, beauty, barbering and grooming services available!

  • Easy to get to

Blackburn is easy to get to by car or public transport and you can stay for as little or as long (hopefully long!) as you wish.

Blackburn town centre is home to a state of the art bus station right next to Blackburn Market and The Mall shopping centre, and a train station served by Northern Rail in the Cathedral Quarter.

There’s plenty of bike parking and storage around the town centre if you prefer to travel by bike, and the town centre is fairly compact and accessible so its very easy to get around on foot or in a wheelchair.

There’s 8 large car parks which include electric car charging points, and lots of on-street car parking available (please note parking charges apply).

©2022 Blackburn BID

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