A family of 5 with a zest for life, love of good food & passion for travel

9 ways to survive Christmas Shopping with Kids in Newcastle

Newcastle city centre is just going to get busier and busier in the run-up to Christmas and shopping with kids can be an absolute nightmare! Sometimes it can't be helped though and whether you need to take the kids with you on a busy Saturday or pop to a few shops before a panto visit. I've put together a few tips to help you navigate the crowds with ease.

1 - Fenwick's window is the ultimate bribe


I don't know any child (or many grown-ups) who don't get excited about seeing Fenwick's Christmas Window. My tip is to take the kids to see the window at the beginning of the day and then promise to go back and see it in the dark if they do as you ask.



2 - Forget McDonalds - you need a sit down meal & a cocktail


When I was a little girl, it was all about McDonald's for me but I've tried taking my own children to McDonald's on Northumberland Street and it's just SO busy and stressful! It's hard to find a table, the queues are long and navigating those stairs down to the loos with your Christmas shopping AND kids is no easy task. It's much easier to plan ahead and book a table which means you have space, time and no trying to supervise the kids whilst carrying shopping AND your food. My top recommendations are the Botanist and George's Great British Kitchen. Both offer fun menus that the kids will really enjoy in quirky settings. Plus they both serve cocktails which you might as well treat yourself to as it's Christmas.


3 - Check out intu Kid's Club


Make sure you've signed up to intu Eldon Square's Kid's Club. It's FREE and you'll receive exclusive discounts such as kids eat free at a variety of restaurants in the centre plus you'll be eligible to take part in the centre's FREE kids activities which happen regularly across weekends and school holidays (like the time we met Wonder Woman).


4 - Make the most of FREE Babyccinnos


Laneway & Co is a hidden gem in the heart of Newcastle City Centre on High Bridge (next to Motel One) and the perfect place to stop for a caffeine fix. There's complimentary water and kids can order free babyccinos too.


5 - Churros, Churros, Churros


Newcastle International Market will be at Monument from 17 November - 10 December (check out my guide to Christmas Markets here). We always have a bit of a tradition where we treat the kids to Churros from one of the stalls here. Churros are far classier than a Gregg's Sausage Roll ;-) and will keep the kids quiet as you browse the other stalls. Winning!



6 - Tyneside Bar Cafe is the place to be for Sunday brunch


If you're heading into town on a Sunday, make sure your first stop is Tyneside Bar Cafe for their Sunday Brunch Club. There are FREE film screenings in the bar (October is Disney Classics, November will be Julie Andrews - I expect December to be something festive but it's still to be announced) as well as newspapers for the grown-ups and games and toys for the kids. Plus there's a cracking brunch menu and kids can order boiled eggs and soldiers for under £3.



7 - Visit the baby changing area in Fenwick's


Sprog on the Tyne has declared the Baby Changing Area in Fenwick to be the best in town and I can see why! If you need to change or feed your little ones during a shopping trip, I'd strongly suggest heading up to the third floor. With bottle warmers, hidden nappy bins, multiple changing benches, lots of space for pushchairs, disposable liners and private lockable feeding rooms with reclining chairs, it's a far cry from some of the other baby changing areas in town and definitely the best.

Credit - Sprog on the Tyne

8 - Take a ride in the intu Eldon Square Fun Buggies


Eight Fun Buggies are available to hire from intu Eldon Square for £3 per hour. You'll also need a £20 refundable deposit and 2 forms of ID. Young drivers are presented with their own driving license and they make shopping so much more fun. Find the buggies at the customer services desk by Debenhams.


9 - Pound shops are a kid's paradise


Finally, if I ask my kids what they'd like to do they'll often reply with 'go to a pound shop'. They LOVE being let loose and being able to buy anything they want. For them, it's the ultimate treat. You'll find Poundland near the bus station opposite John Lewis in Eldon Square and Poundworld on Clayton Street or Grainger Street. Treat the kids to a couple of £ each and they'll see your shopping trip as a super fun day out.


Let me know if you have any survival tips of your own! 

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2 comments

  1. I think this post would also be good titled 'How to keep your boyfriend entertained while Christmas shopping' I can't wait for the Fenwick window to be out! Katie x

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    Replies
    1. haha I think you should write your own version of this post entitled just that x

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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