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The Best Christmas Days Out in the North West

Calling all North West families, here are the best places to visit for a festive outing this Christmas.

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Nothing screams Christmas time like a family festive day out!

Lucky for you, if you live in the North West, we’re sharing some of the very best Christmas days out in the region. Think illuminating light trails, frosty ice rinks, winter wonderlands and dazzling stage shows.

Here’s our round up of things to do this festive season, so go on, treat yourself to a magical day out because, let’s face it, it’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Lanterns and Light Chester Zoo

The biggest and brightest lantern trail returns to Chester Zoo for Christmas 2023, making it a must-visit for families, couples, or even singles looking to do something during the dark winter nights.

Partnering with music giants Sony Music, spectators can expect a 15m-long 3D mammoth hologram, illuminated dolphins emerging from waterways, a walkway of gigantic pea lit animals, and a fire garden.

There’s even a Winter Cathedral tunnel of lights, and if you look hard enough, you could even catch a glimpse of Father Christmas in his sleigh. The event will run through evenings in November and December, with ticket prices starting from £12.

SEA LIFE Manchester Snowy’s Conservation Crew

Northwest weather not cold enough for you? If you’re a fan of baltic conditions, adventure to the Arctic this Christmas at SEA LIFE Manchester.

Join Snowy the Snowman for a special wintry adventure, where you can take part in an interactive trail around the aquarium, learning all about the North Pole, and the animals that live there.

Take on challenges, find the answers, learn about the oceans, and meet some fin-tastic creatures - there’s even chances to win some festive prizes, result! Explore 11 habitat-themed areas at SEA LIFE Manchester, and it’s all indoors, so you don’t have to worry about the weather. Book your tickets here.

Elf the Musical AO Arena

One of the best Christmas movies of all time (we won’t take any disagreement here) is heading to the AO Arena from 23rd to 24th of December.

The production is definitely not one to miss, featuring a flying sleigh, audience snowball fight, indoor snowstorm, aerial cirque starts and giant tv screens. So, no matter where you’re sitting, you won’t miss out on any of the festive action.

With original songs, and West End stars, it’s an unmissable Xmas treat. There are three showings to choose from: Saturday, 23rd December, at 13:00 and 17:00pm, or Christmas Eve at 11:00. Tickets start from £36 for both adults and children. Let the festive fun begin!

Trafford Centre Tinseltown

Think the Trafford Centre is just a shopping? Think again!

Tinseltown is a fabulously festive fairground located opposite The Great Hall entrance. Soar high with Waveswinger, brave the white-knuckle Rock Rage, or for the adrenaline junkies out there, shoot up into the sky on the Reverse Bungee. Take in the views from 55 meters high on the Festive Ferris Wheel or watch 'Gandeys Snowstorm 2,' an all-new Christmas production on ice in the heated big top.

Entry into Tinsel Town is free; however, extra activities, shows, and rides are not included within your admission.

The Polar Express Train Ride

All aboard…

Get into your pyjamas and grab your dressing gowns because this is your sign to book a ride on The Polar Express – this is definitely the definition of a Christmas day out!

The journey begins at Froghall Station on the Churnet Valley Railway in Staffordshire and takes passengers on a magical journey to the North Pole. Once on board, be transported into scenes straight from the film, meet your favourite characters, enjoy a hot chocolate and get your ticket punched by the iconic Conductor.

The journey concludes, just like the film, with a trip to see The Big Man, who’s ready to hand out the first present of Christmas – a beautiful silver bell from his sleigh – just make sure you’re a believer, or you won’t be able to hear it ring…

Christmas Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

Have yourself a LEGO®-tastic Christmas and join in with all the festive fun at LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Manchester – because would it really be Christmas without some LEGO?

There’s plenty of festive-themed activities to get involved in, including two LEGO themed rides, build and play zones, and a 4D cinema experience.

Throughout the Christmas period, there’ll even be a scavenger hunt in the winter-wonderland themed MINILAND, so make sure to bring your thinking cap. There’s even a chance to rock around the LEGO Christmas tree at pop-up dance parties with some of the beloved mascots.

Tickets start from £17.60, and you can grab them here.

Skate Manchester

Calling all Torvil and Dean enthusiasts, you’re going to love this.

Sweep, slide, dip, and glide at Skate Manchester’s outdoor ice rink, located the iconic Cathedral Gardens. Open rain or shine, the rink is covered, which means you can enjoy a skating session whatever the weather – very handy in such a rainy city.

Tickets start from £16.80 for adults and £13.80 for children; however, the price varies based on whether you’re visiting during off-peak or peak times.

If you’re planning a trip, it’s also a great opportunity to look around the award-winning Manchester Christmas Markets, as they’re located extremely close by.

At Days Out, you can book the UK’s best attractions) (y’know the proper FOMO inducing ones?) -- we know where’s perfect for you. Find your next adventure.