The list of places you can take your children over Christmas seems to grow every year. I know this can be expensive (check out our 10 free festive days out if money is tight) and it is difficult to choose just one or two places to visit over the festive season. This year we are using our English Heritage pass to watch a performance of A Christmas Carol at Belsay Hall, will be visiting the North Shields Christmas Market, are attending A Christmas Tale at Alnwick Garden and hopefully squeezing some ice skating in at life if the budget will stretch. Oh and we will definitely be heading to The Botanist's Winter Wonderland for a mug of mulled wine whilst out shopping too.
20 Festive Family days out in the North East
Skating at Life
Get your skates in with the outdoor ice rink at Times Square
14th November - 21st February
Discover the sights, sounds and tastes of a truly traditional Christmas
Various Day and Night experiences
14th November - 24th December
From £5.25 (half price weekday visit)
Fenwick Window and Discovery Museum
Visit the famous Fenwick window on Northumberland Street followed by the Fenwick Unwrapped exhibition at the Discovery Museum
Until 10th January (museum)
Breakfast with Santa at Cafe Azure
Enjoy breakfast with Santa Claus and receive a gift in the Azure Winter Wonderland
Various dates 28th November - 24th December
£6.99 per child
Santa's Christmas Cracker at Whitehouse Farm
HO HO HO A magical time of year at Whitehouse Farm with Santa, elves, a winter wonderland and more
19th November - 24th December
A Christmas Carol at Belsay Hall
Scrooge meets the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future in this family friendly performance
5th & 6th December at 11am, 1pm and 3pm
FREE for members or from £5 for non-members. Under 5's are free
A Winter Wonderland at The Botanist
Festive menus, mulled wine and warm cider plus live music make the Botanist the perfect place to dine with your family this Christmas
From 19th November
3 course festive lunch £22.50
Snowman at The Sage
A live orchestra will be performing alongside the classic film plus an interactive rendition of "We're going on a bear hunt'
22nd - 24th December
Festive Friday Beer Garden at Gibside
Wrap up to enjoy carols, warm drinks and roast chestnut in the North East's largest beer garden
4th, 11th and 18th December 6pm-9pm
Free entry, drinks and food are chargeable
Winter at Rising Sun Park
Lots to celebrate including a traditional woodland grotto, Rising Sun Christmas lunches, Carols and Crafts
Various times and Costs. Most events should be pre-booked.
A Christmas Tale at Alnwick Garden
An after dark tour of the garden featuring illuminations, projections, performances and music bringing the sleeping forest to life.
From £7 (Under 4's free)
North Shields Victorian Christmas Market
With children's entertainment, carol singing in the bandstand, food and gifts plus traditional fairground rides, this is a market for the whole family.
The North Pole Express
Jump aboard the traditional North Pole Express at Tanfield Railway. Enjoy a train ride, hot drinks and mince pies before visiting Santa Claus at the North Pole
28th November - 24th December
Father Christmas by Twilight at Wallington Hall
Visit Wallington after dark and meet Father Christmas in his cosy Grotto.
4th & 18th December. Must be pre-booked
Catch a festive show
There are lots of pantomines and festive shows to choose from including Snow White at Whitley Bay Playhouse and Aladdin at Tyne Theatre.
Various dates and costs
Watch Home Alone at Tyneside Cinema
There's nothing like watching Home Alone to get you in the festive spirit. Catch a special showing at Tyneside Cinema.
Saturday 19th December 10:30am
All tickets £4 (pre-booking recommended)
Afternoon tea with the Snow Sisters at Lumley Castle
A magical delight for any frozen fan with Afternoon tea, meet and greet with Elsa and Anna, Sing-along games and disco.
Monday 28th December 3pm
From £15.50 (must be pre-booked)
Santa Cruise along the river Tyne
Cruise along the Tyne with a festive quiz, children's activities, mulled wine, mince pies and disco
12th, 13th, 19th & 20th December
Christmas with Durham Cathedral Choir
A candlelit concert with carols and seasonal music
12th December at 7:30pm
Christmas Live at Metro Radio Arena
A festive bumper pop party with Olly Murs, Lunchmoney Lewis, Dappy and more
7th December at 6:45pm
It goes without saying that you should check exact details and if you need to pre-book before setting out to any of these events as everything is subject to change.
Has anything caught your eye? I'd love to hear about your festive plans this year and even better if you'd like to write about them for us (get in touch vis email firstname.lastname@example.org)