11 things to do in Blackpool this New Year as Sunderland announce January 1 away day

Fancy topping the year off with a trip to Blackpool?
Fancy topping the year off with a trip to Blackpool?

Sunderland will definitely be visiting some different grounds this season - and they'll be kicking off their 2019 with a visit to Blackpool.

We think that's a great excuse to make a New Year's trip of it. After all, there's plenty to do in Blackpool whether you're into music, rides, walking or a trip to the museum.

You could catch a show at the Grand Theatre.

You could catch a show at the Grand Theatre.

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Here's our list of suggestions so you can plan your trip:

1. See the pantomime at the Grand Theatre: Is it even the festive season without a trip to the panto? This year's Grand Theatre production is Beauty and the Beast, starring EastEnders star Danny Walters. And it's on until January 6!

2. Take a ride on the tram: Let's face it, it makes a change from the Metro. Take in the coast in a traditional way - but make sure you pack your hat and scarf.

Project Elephant launched at Blackpool Zoo earlier this year.

Project Elephant launched at Blackpool Zoo earlier this year.

3. Change your Christmas money into coppers for the arcade: It's all too easy to get drawn in to the penny machines. And you're not being beaten by the claw machine again!

4. Take a selfie at Madame Tussauds: It will be winter after all, so it's always prudent to have some indoor activities planned. And what's better than meeting your favourite celeb (sort of) just to top your year off?

5. Have an ice cream at the beach: You have to, it's the law. No trip to the seaside is complete without an ice cream (flake optional).

6. Warm yourself up with a chippy tea from Yorkshire Fisheries: Teamed up with your ice cream treat, this would make for a perfect meal. You can even have another walk along the beach afterwards to burn it off.

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7. Take your chances at the Blackpool Tower Dungeon: In the mood for a good scare? Laugh, scream and lose yourself in the drama of this spooky experience.

8. Visit Blackpool Zoo and learn about Project Elephant: You may have arrived in Blackpool, but a visit to this innovative project will take you on an exciting expedition through Asia. A real learning experience for the whole family.

9. Go up the tower: This one is not for the faint-hearted! Top of your trip to Blackpool with a visit to one of Britain's best-loved landmarks. The tower, opened to the public in 1894, tops in at 518 feet and 9 inches.

10. Visit the town's top-rated restaurant: According to TripAdvisor, this gong goes to McHalls Bistro, on Lord Street. It boasts hundreds of five-star reviews, for serving "the best food in Blackpool".

Fancy the trip yourself? Check out these places to stay in Blackpool

11. Buy a stick of rock to take home: Believe us, everyone at home will be expecting one as a souvenir.