It seems to be true that the festive season starts earlier with each passing year, I’m pretty sure I saw selection boxes in the supermarkets in early September! Whether you love getting organised months in advance or would rather leave it all to the last minute, either way it’s cool, Christmas is different for everyone. However, with many of the region’s exciting events and experiences selling out much more quickly than they used to, you must be prepared to miss out if you don’t book in advance.
I’ve pulled together a list of some of awesome things you can do with your friends and family during the festive season in North East England. These are all in high demand with many time slots already fully booked, so if any of them take your fancy, don’t leave it any longer to secure your tickets.
Since I started this blog, not a year has gone by without me raving about the Tyneside Cinema at Christmas. It’s become somewhat of a tradition for James and I to watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ there on Christmas Eve after last minute shopping.
This year Tyneside Cinema has added more amazing events to its schedule than ever before… There’s a special family screening of The Polar Express complete with hot chocolate and a visit from a Santa, you could go in your pyjamas to make it even more memorable. There’s also a Home Alone double bill, a Grinch family event with specially themed shakes and cookies, and they’re showing The Holiday too! I’m also loving the look of the Christmas menu in the Tyneside Bar Café. Tickets are selling like hot cakes so check out the full listings online and get your favourites booked soon!
There’s been much anticipation about Fenwick’s Santa experience this year as their ‘Santa on the Roof’ events in 2018 got rave reviews. Samantha from North East Family Fun wrote a detailed blog post after taking her children along last year and it really did sound magical.
Tickets for 2019 go on sale on Tuesday 1st October at 10am but will only be available by email invitation so you need to be signed up to their newsletter (link below). They are also offering Santa’s Rooftop Cinema, Santa’s Breakfast Club and Santa’s Supper Club, I swear there was nothing this special when I was a kid!
Every parent I know that has ever taken their children to Kielder Winter Wonderland has spoken extremely highly of it. More than a Santa visit, it’s a full day experience which takes you on a festive adventure through the heart of Kielder Forest. Your day out features magical theatre, a trip to the Elves’ workshop and encounters with all kinds of enchanting characters. It’s something rather unique so unsurprisingly places are filling up fast.
A visit to Beamish is a great idea at any time of year, but at Christmas the themes of nostalgia and tradition become even more poignant at the huge open-air museum. Christmas at Beamish features scrumptious seasonal cooking, breath-taking decorations, live festive music, traditional Christmas crafts and an impressive outdoor ice-rink. Check out this video from last year to see just how magical it looks…
The premier music venue on Gateshead’s Quayside is once again offering you the chance to enjoy a screening of the Christmas classic The Snowman, accompanied by Royal Northern Sinfonia. The enchanting experience is sure to leave you covered in goosebumps. There’s only a limited number of seats still available so grab them while you can.
For anyone disappointed to hear that Enchanted Parks will not be taking place in Gateshead this year then this family friendly outdoor event could be the perfect alternative. It’s a little further away, Preston Park is in Stockton, about 55 minutes in a car from Newcastle, but it sounds well worth travelling for. The installation trail of beautiful artworks complemented with music, performance, and storytelling is £20 for a family four so it’s good value too.
I have been wanting to try afternoon tea at the beautifully restored Spanish City ever since it re-opened. Tying it in with a visit to see Santa and letting the kids enjoy a specially created children’s afternoon tea sounds like a wonderful treat. It’s only available on the 7th, 14th and 21st of December so it’s sure to get fully booked.
Once again, Stephenson Railway in North Tyneside is offering unique festive experiences on board their 3.5 mile heritage train rides. Passengers can expect traditional music, on-board entertainers and Santa giving out gifts to the children. There are several dates to choose from, but advance booking is essential.
Every year Northern Stage offers a fantastic theatre experience that is often a wonderful alternative to traditional panto. This year they are bringing to life the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale of The Snow Queen in a spellbinding production. It’s on throughout December and into early Jan but if you want to go during the school holidays you’ll have to book sooner rather than later.
If you’ve never been to a Bongo’s Bingo event at the Boiler Shop you are seriously missing out! Their special festive shows on the 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st of December promise to be even more bonkers than usual and will feature special guests N Trance, (remember them hitting the charts with ‘Set you Free’ in the 90’s?) Tickets for ‘Bongo’s Adventures in Wonderland’ will go live on Wednesday 2nd October at 6 pm and are sure to sell out in record time.
Last but not least, I’ve selected another awesome event taking place at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle. On Saturday 21st December Geordie funksters Smoove and Turrell will be celebrating ten years of ‘Northern Funk’ and it is guaranteed to be a top night out with support from Vandebilt and Deja Brew DJ’s.
That’s quite a list isn’t it? We’re so lucky to have such a vast and varied range of fun events taking place in Geordieland this year. I appreciate that some of them aren’t affordable for everyone but I’m equally excited to share with you a guide to the many free events that will also be taking place in and around Newcastle in the run up to Christmas, keep an eye for that post in a few weeks!
*This post was kindly sponsored by Tyneside Cinema