Is it just me or does the festive season seem to have descended upon us even sooner than usual this year? I bought a Christmas gift for someone the other week and realised later that if they wanted to take it back for an exchange they would have to do so by mid-November, oops!
It seems I’m not the only one in the north east to be planning ahead though as loads of the region’s biggest and best festive events are already fully booked or nearly sold out! If you haven’t got your tickets for Bingo Bongo’s Winter Wonderland or booked a space to blow your own bauble at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland well, you’re out of luck I’m afraid. So to avoid further disappointment, check out this canny little list of upcoming events and book tickets as quick as you can.
Kielder Winter Wonderland
Absolutely everybody I know that has previously enjoyed a family day out at Kielder Winter Wonderland has raved about it. I hear it’s one of the most magical Christmas experiences you can enjoy in the north east as it is so much more than a visit to Santa; you get to join the elves in their workshop, try out snow tubing and ice skating, meet the real reindeers and watch a festive theatre show. Then when you finally do meet the main man he knows all about your little ones before they even open their mouths, the look on their faces will bring tears of joy to your eyes!
There are still a few tickets left for weekends in December!
The Snowman at The Sage Gateshead
The Snowman has become a bit of a festive tradition at The Sage Gateshead, which provides the perfect environment for a festive sing-a-long of this beautiful film. The movie is accompanied by a live performance of the score by Royal Northern Sinfonia which is sure to cause goosebumps! There will be several showings this November and December including a relaxed matinee performance for those with autism or disabilities, and their families. Children aged 2 and under may sit on your lap so you don’t need to pay for their entry.
To get hold of the last few remaining tickets head to:
Weardale Railway: The Train to Christmas Town
There was huge disappointment earlier this year when the folk at Weardale Railway in Stanhope (County Durham) announced their popular Polar Express event would not take place this year. However, they swiftly replaced it with a new experience ‘The Train to Christmas Town’.
The atmospheric train ride and heart warming story emphasises the importance of family traditions and togetherness. Passengers can expect to enjoy cookies & cocoa, Christmas song-a-longs, onboard activities and an engaging cast of characters. Plus of course, every little boy and girl receives a gift from Santa.
For more info head to www.weardalechristmastrain.com/train-to-christmas-town but to book tickets it’s best to ring and speak to an agent on 08000 232383
Peter Pan at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle
There are several brilliant pantos to choose from in Geordieland but the Theatre Royal’s is almost always the most popular. Lead actor Danny and his Dad Clive have been coming to perform at this beautiful grade one theatre in the heart of Newcastle for years and they never fail to wow the crowds with their cheeky charm. I have had the pleasure of meeting them on a couple of occasions and you can really tell how much they love performing in Newcastle.
Check out my review from the Theatre Royal panto a couple of years ago HERE.
Tickets are selling like hotcakes but if you’re quick you can still grab some!
Alice in Wonderland at Northern Stage
You can always rely on Northern Stage to include a fun filled family show in their winter schedule and this year’s choice of Alice in Wonderland is sure to be a crowd pleaser! A ‘big, bold, bonkers, all-singing, all-dancing, action-packed christmas treat for the whole family’ is what’s promised, sounds good to me!
So make sure you’re not ‘late for a very important date’, book here: www.northernstage.co.uk/Event/alice-in-wonderland
NYE in Exhibition Park: ‘East of the Sun, West of the Moon’
I love spending New Year’s Eve in Newcastle and for the last few years James and I have spent the early part of the evening enjoying the carnival parade through the city centre, we even took part in the festivities a few years ago by being torchbearers. The team at NewcastleGatehead Winter Festival always put on an awesome free event culminating an jaw dropping firework display but this year they’re changing things up a bit!
There will still be fireworks and entertainment inspired by Norse mythology and local folklore but this year the celebrations will take place on Newcastle’s Town Moor rather than through the city’s streets. The extra space will also make way for a range of fun fair entertainment and food and drink concessions to keep everyone entertained prior to the main event which will include a huge bonfire.
— Winter Festival (@WinterFestNG) November 2, 2017
It all sounds spectacular and I love the fact that it is taking place at the family friendly time of 4-6pm. The event will be free but you do need to apply for a ticket as they are being allocated using a ballot system. Sign up here before the end of November: www.newcastlegateshead.com/winter-festival/new-years-eve-2017/nye-2017-ballot
The ten thousand lucky applicants will hear the outcome of their ballot entry in the first week of December. To follow the event and keep up to date follow NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival on Facebook and Twitter.
If you enjoyed this blog post you might also like this one I wrote around the same time last year.
I’d love to hear if you’ve already booked for any of these festive events in and around Newcastle or if there any others you are looking forward to this winter?