Top 10 things to do in the North East at Christmas

Whether you’ve had the obligatory “Santa, please stop here!” sign in the garden since the beginning of November or refuse to put up the tree until December 1st, we’re all eagerly counting down the days until we hear the pitter patter of reindeer on our roof tops. With little over a month to go and stress levels increasing with each present you buy, or not as the case may be, why not spread as much Christmas cheer as possible by spending time with your family and friends. From Christmas markets to pantomimes, Newcastle is not short of festive and fun-filled activities for everyone. As a helping hand, we’ve devised a list of the top 10 things to do in and around Newcastle at Christmas time.

1. Ice Skating at the Centre For Life

Regardless of whether you’re Torvill and Dean or Bambi on ice, it’s time to get your skates on and head down to the rink at Times Square. The rink is open until February 26th 2018 and is only closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve!

Ticket prices: Adult (18+)- £9, Concessions (student)

2. Fenwick’s Christmas Window

Christmas in Newcastle just wouldn’t be the same without Fenwick’s annual window display. Each year Fenwick take on an exciting new theme with 2017’s being Paddington Bear. The display took over 3,500 hours to complete from initial sketches and we are very lucky that the age-old tradition always has and continues to be free!

3. Newcastle Christmas Markets

Christmas markets are a great, stress free way to spend time with friends without breaking the bank, while still being able to explore several different cultures. There are three main markets that come to Newcastle during the Christmas period: The Christmas Market, The Continental Market and The Fairtrade Arts and Craft Market. The Christmas Market encourages local stall holders of all trades to get involved with the likes of homemade jams, scrumptious cakes, handmade chocolates and beers from local microbreweries being a few of the many treats to buy. The Continental Market allows you to experience the real tastes and smells of gourmet Europe without having to step foot outside of Newcastle city centre. You can hop from eating Danish waffles to Spanish Tapas within a few minutes, so bring magic to your taste buds this festive season at the Continental Market right next to Grey’s Monument. Last but not least is the Fairtrade Arts and Crafts Market held in the Grainger Market. This all year-round market is not to go a miss, especially at Christmas. The indoor market provides a plethora of goods from a variety of traders selling world cheeses, specialist coffee, meat (including turkey for the holiday season), jams and cakes as well handmade jewellery and trinkets.

4. Festive Champagne Afternoon Tea

Take a break from the Christmas mayhem and treat yourself to a Champagne afternoon tea in Jesmond Dene House’s spectacular Great Hall with seasonal live music. Afternoon tea includes a range of finger sandwiches, sausage rolls, quiche, three types of scones with clotted cream and home-made jams, and a tasty selection of cakes – all washed down with a glass of bubbly!

5. Mince pies and mulled wine wander along Durham coast

With the guidance of a ranger, why not stroll along the Durham coast from Nose’s Point to Hawthorn Hive for mince pies and mulled wine to replenish before heading back along the cliff-tops. To book call 0344 249 1895.

Saturday 9th December, meet at Nose’s Point for a 12:00 start. Ends 14:00.

6. Durham Lumiere

Known as the UK’s largest light festival, Durham Lumiere continues to impress crowds year after year and we have no doubt it will be just as spectacular this winter. As always, the festival is free to attend and will be lighting up Durham city from 16th November to 19th November. This year’s Lumiere will consist of 29 artworks, installations and projections made using the medium of light created by talented artists from across the globe. Durham’s beautiful buildings, streets and bridges will be splattered with colour to illuminate the city all night long in a way no other light festival has.  To really get in the Christmas spirit, grab a hot chocolate, put on your warmest coat and enjoy a vibrant evening at Durham Lumiere.

Thursday 16th November – Sunday 19th November

7. Winter funfair at Beamish Museum

The Winter funfair at Beamish Museum is the perfect day out to entertain everyone, activities include: Ice skating with the beautiful countryside in the background, Galloper rides, Shuggy boat rides and finally the new Christmas Bazaar which will be open daily in The Town park. The Christmas Bazaar allows you to browse stalls in search of presents, tasty food and old-fashioned toys just in time for Christmas. The Bazaar is a great way to experience a traditional Christmas market in a charming, decorative setting like no other place in the North East could.

Ice skating tickets: Adult £5. Tickets available from the Admissions Desk on the day.

8. Peter Pan at the Theatre Royal

The pantomime of the year finally returns to Newcastle’s Theatre Royal with 2017’s show being Peter Pan! You might want to ‘hook’ your tickets soon with seats selling fast for this heart-warming musical. Expect nothing less than hysterical jokes, jaw dropping special effects and amazing sets as well as a first class theatre experience provided by dedicated staff. So, for a night full of laughter, book your tickets, grab a drink from the bar and remember, you never have to grow up!

Tuesday 28th November 2017 – Sunday 21st January 2018

9. Christmas Spa-ty Nights at the Rockliffe Hall Hotel

If jingle bells playing loudly as you ride in a reindeer drawn sleigh isn’t your ideal, festive evening, perhaps a warm glass of mulled wine and a mince pie as you slip into an infinity edge pool will do the trick. Let yourself celebrate Christmas in style, swimming under the starry night sky and eating canapes served on the deck of the Spa Garden Room. A Spa-ty night is a great way to enjoy a luxurious evening with friends and if you’re worried you’re on the Naughty list and want to guarantee your spot on the Nice List, this experience is the perfect gift for only £65pp!

10. Enchanted Parks at Saltwell Park

The Enchanted Parks mythical wonderland returns to Saltwell Park for six nights this winter from 5th December – 10th December. This year’s event tells the enchanting tale of Ursula Wailes, the eldest daughter of William Wailes and heiress to the Saltwell Towers Estate. Ursula kindly gifts Saltwell Park to Gateshead with the story starting as she fills the park with incredible inventions, plants from all over the world and wonderful creatures. However, the tale takes a dark turn as her generosity is thrown back in her face and now residents report strange noises in the park as well as nearby houses. For only £8 an adult ticket, learn all about Ursula’s story and see how it has changed the lives of Gateshead’s residents today.

Tuesday 5th December – Sunday 10th December