10 Free Family Days out in the North East this Christmas

Everyone knows that Christmas can be a very expensive time of year and that's before you budget for family days out. Trips to the panto, parties, visits to Santa.....it certainly all adds up. With that in mind, I have put together a list of 10 festive days out in the North East that are completely free.

Glitter Sparkle and Shine South Shields Art Gallery

Saturday 5th, 12th and 19th December 

Pop into the South Shields Museum and be inspired by the rainforest creepy crawlies to create your own magical creature tree decoration. Drop in sessions, no need to book. Free but donations are welcome. 

Magic at the Museum Great North Museum

Saturday 5th December

Magic at the museum will see the museum exhibitions come to life with a yuletide twist. Join in with the festive interactive story, enjoy live music and say hello to the lovely reindeer on the front lawn. Free entry.

Fenwick Unwrapped at the Discovery Museum

Daily until 10th January (various times check website for details)

Find out how Fenwick has brought the magic of Christmas to Newcastle throughout the year. Find out what goes on behind the scenes when creating the famous Fenwick window and remember favourite toys that have features in the toy fair throughout the years. Free entry. 

Christmas Tree Decorating Springfield Park

11am on 15th December
Email alan.thurgood@northtyneside.gov.uk must be booked in advance.

Help the park warden to give the park a festive feel and decorate the park tree. Free event but places should be booked in advance. 

 Santa's Grotto and A Christmas Carol Panto, Intu Metrocentre

Daily until 24th December

Visit the Metrocentre's FREE Santa's Grotto in the ground floor of the cube where all children will receive a FREE gift too. Various times. Whilst you're there, why not check out the FREE Metrognomes Christmas Carol Pantomime which promises lots of laughs and family fun. Various times throughout the festive season.

Festive Friday Beer Garden at Gibside

4th, 11th and 18th December

Soak up the festive atmosphere at Gibside's pub and beer garden. Expect fire pits to keep warm, mulled wine, roast chestnuts, carol singing and street food. Free entry but food and drinks are chargeable.

Carols at Dalton Park

Various dates and times throughout November and December
From 12 noon

Join the salvation army, brass bands and city bands as they perform festive favourites and carols. You can even join in. Free performances but donations are welcome. 

Weekend of Wonder at Woodhorn

5th & 6th December

With a traditional Christmas craft market, free family art workshop, musical perfomances and a magical fire garden, the Weekend of Wonder is a feast for all of the senses. The above activities are free of charge however there is a small charge for car parking and other activities. Find out more here. 

Christmas at The Shipley

Saturday 5th, 12th and 19th December
10am - 5pm

Enjoy a free mince pie and glass of mulled wine on the house as you escape the hustle and bustle to browse the Shipley's range of handmade gifts. There will be 10% off all purchases too. There will be free self-led seasonal crafts for children available. Free entry. 

A Winter Picnic by the beach


Finally, if the conditions are right (I'm thinking crisp mornings when there is no breeze, rain or snow) the winter is a lovely time to wrap up and take a walk along the beach. Take a flask of soup to enjoy before heading home. Our favourite beaches for a walk are Alnmouth and Druridge Bay.

If you have any other suggestions for free family days out in the North East this Christmas, please leave them in the comments below. Don't forget to join our North East Family Fun Christmas Group where we'll be sharing more Christmas days out ideas in the run up to Christmas too. 



  1. Such good suggestions. The Gibside events are of particular interest as I think that will be quite romantic for me & the other half on our child-free nights. But no booze for me :) Thanks for sharing x

    1. You can be the designated driver then :-) We are off to Gibside beer garden this Friday xx

  2. This is a great list. Can't believe visiting Santa at the Metro Centre is free! thats great to know as will be popping there in a week or so x

  3. We did the tree decorating at Springfield Park last year and it was lush! Such a lovely idea. So sad that Luca is at school this year so we cannot do it :0(


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