Southport BID unveils festive programme

A number of new festive attractions, including a Frozen-themed grotto, have been unveiled by Southport BID as the town gears up for Christmas. Andrew Brown reports

Southport BID
Gingerbread figures will be placed around Southport in the run up to Christmas


Southport BID has  reveals a number new festive attractions which are designed to encourage more people to visit the town in the weeks leading up to Christmas. 

They include a Santa’s Grotto and and Frozen-themed Grotto. And, for the first time, families will be able to explore the town centre through an eye-catching Gingerbread Trail and visit the UK’s first Digital Christmas Experience at Marble Place.

New “must-see additions” also include the ‘Trail of Trees’ and the Christmas Sleigh. Southport BID has already made Southport sparkle this year through the completion of the ‘boulevard of light’, with 300,000 lights strung between the trees on both sides of the Lord Street shopping and dining boulevard. 

The BID, through contractors IllumiDex UK, has already begun installing this year’s Christmas decorations throughout the town centre. Many places in Southport are also staging festive events, including Victoria Park, The Atkinson, Southport Market, Wayfarers Arcade, Bijou Cinema, Marble Place, Ocean Plaza, Central 12 and Southport Little Theatre.

The BID has also been working in partnership with Sefton Council to produce an extensive marketing package, that will ensure that news of Christmas events will reach as many people as possible.

There will also be a map and brochure produced, so visitors can explore the Gingerbead Family Trail, and find out more information about activities around the town centre.

Rachel Fitzgerald, chief executive of Southport BID, said: “We are excited to unveil a comprehensive package of festive themed attractions throughout the BID area that will attract shoppers, diners and other visitors to Southport throughout these crucial few weeks in the run-up to Christmas.

Southport BID
A Frozen-themed grotto will be part of the Southport BID festive offerings
Rachel Fitzgerald
Southport BID chief executive Rachel Fitzgerald. Picture by Gareth Jones


“This schedule of activities will encourage visitors and local residents to engage with Southport on multiple occasions across the festive period. From two fabulous grottos, to new additions such as the Gingerbread Trail, the Trail of Trees or the Digital Winter Wonderland.

“In the spirit of collaboration, we have been working alongside a number of levy-payers, and partners to make the schedule of events a reality.  We are also delighted to be working alongside Sefton Council, as we promote Southport on the lead up to Christmas.”

“Our message to people in Southport this year would be to please support our local businesses and to do your Christmas shopping in town rather than online.” 

New festive attractions in Southport this year include: 

Santa’s Grotto 

The BID is working in partnership with Wayfarers Arcade and Southport Lions Club to provide a Grotto experience for children. StarKidz will be providing some of their much-loved characters.

Santa and his elves will be setting up shop in a decorated Christmas grotto inside Wayfarers Shopping Arcade on Lord Street. Meet with Santa, interact with those mischievous StarKidz elves, and take home a present too. 

Santa will be in residence on December 4/5/11/12/18/19. Bookings only via and cost is £5 per child (includes present).  All donations will be distributed to local charities by Southport Lions Club.

Frozen Grotto 

Anna and Elsa will be in Wayfarers to share a special Frozen experience with all their little friends.  The princesses and the Arendelle elves will be waiting to spread some festive joy, and to pick out a present for children to take home. December 20-24, bookings only via and cost is £5 per child (includes present). All donations will be distributed to local charities by Southport Lions Club. 

Provided, in partnership by Southport BID, Southport Lions Club, and Wayfarers Arcade.

Digital Winter Wonderland 

Visit the UK’s first immersive digital Christmas experience. Be transported into a Winter Wonderland, where you can engage in a number of sensory festive activities, and some other entertaining games. Join us to decorate a snowman, catch a snowflake, and even splat a snowball or two.

Provided by Southport BID and local company Immersive Interactive, this takes place between December 4 and December 23, with bookings via for between one and 10 people. A £6 donation for groups of one to five and a £10 donation for groups of five to10 (per group not per person). All donations will go to Southport Lifeboat. 

Gingerbread Family Trail 

Similar to the Nutcracker Trail which was in Southport last year, there will be a collection of gingerbread figures placed around Southport.

See if you can spot them in the windows of shops and restaurants across the town centre, and make sure to make a note of their names. With the Gingerbread Family Trail, people will be asked to find their names, and once they have done so, can enter a competition by posting their answers into Santa’s letterbox in Wayfarers Arcade. 

When you have all 10, post your answers in Santa’s letterbox in Wayfarers Arcade, and you will be entered into the draw to win an iPad. You can also send your answers to 

This is provided by Southport BID and will run between November 27 and January 3. 

Trail of Trees 

Look out for five more trees accompanying the ‘main’ Lord Street festive tree around town this year. 

There will be selfie spots nearby, encouraging people to find them all and take a picture. Find all five illuminated Christmas trees and take a picture from each of the five selfie spots close by. 

Post your pictures from the selfie spots across social media, tagging Southport BID and using #SouthportChristmas for your chance to win a £50 Southport Gift Card. 

Provided by Southport BID, this runs between November 27 and January 3. 

Christmas Sleigh 

The Gingerbread Family have left their trusty sleigh at Ocean Plaza. Visit the sleigh and take your best photograph. The Sleigh is wheelchair accessible. 

Post your pictures across social media, tagging Southport BID and using #SouthportChristmas for your chance to win a £50 Southport Gift Card. 

Provided by Southport BID, this runs between November 27 and January 3.

Gingerbread Family Photo-shoot

Strike a pose with some of the Gingerbread Family at Central 12 retail park on Derby Road.   

Post your pictures across social media, tagging Southport BID and using #SouthportChristmas for your chance to win a £50 Southport Gift Card. 

Provided by Southport BID, this runs between November 27 and January 3. Contact for any enquiries regarding the Christmas events. If there is a specific enquiry related to one venue, contact them directly.

If any BID businesses have events, activities or offers planned over Christmas, email, and we it house this information on its website, and offer other promotional opportunities.

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