20+ Christmas Events for Kids across North East England

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Here are my top picks for what's on across the North East for kids this Christmas......

Beauty and the Beast at Sunderland Empire 

5 Reasons to Book Beauty & the Beast Panto at Sunderland Empire

Find out more and book your tickets here: https://prf.hn/l/554RowZ

🌟 1 - It's JAM PACKED with stars including Emmerdale/Ackley Bridge's Charlie Hardwick as Fairy Bon Bon, the fabulous Miss Rory as Rorina La Plonk, Milkshake's Olivia Birchenough as Belle, the hilarious Tom Whalley as Louis La Plonk and West End Star Samuel Wyn-Morris (Les Miserables) as Prince/Beast

🌟 2 - The script is AWARD-WINNING (best script at the British Panto Awards) with loads of laugh out loud moments and what promises to be a STUNNING transformation scene

🌟 3 - Tickets are available from £13. I've had a quick look online today and there are still £13 seats available, however I do imagine these will be snapped up quickly so if you'd like a bargain, I'd recommend booking sooner rather than later.

🌟 4 - The theatre is accessible and there's a relaxed, captioned and audio described performance available.

🌟 5 - Sunderland Empire is super easy to get to, we always park across the road at St Mary's which is a large multi story and free after 3pm on weekdays. It's also a short walk from Sunderland Metro and Train Station. You can also travel on Tyne & Wear Metro FOR FREE up to two hours before and after a show. Your show ticket also acts as your Metro ticket.

Beauty and the Beast will be wowing audiences at Sunderland Empire from 8-31 December. Find out more and book your tickets here: https://prf.hn/l/554RowZ

Cinderella: A Fairytale at Northern Stage

If you're maybe not a fan of traditional panto or you're looking for an original, high quality production that the whole family (recommended for ages 5+ but all are welcome) will enjoy, Cinderella: A Fairytale at Northern Stage is for you! Once you experience a Christmas production at Northern Stage, it will probably become a new tradition. They are absolutely brilliant with just the best storytelling, set design, staging and costumes. Their productions offer something a little different to what you may expect from a show at the theatre and they really immerse you in the experience too. This modern take on the classic Cinderella is based around Ella who much prefers a Doc Martin to a Glass Slipper and meets a boy in the woods as she's out watching her favourite birds. He likes bird watching too but how does the story end? You'll have to buy a ticket to find out...... Northern Stage has it's own CafeBar and they serve lovely pizza before performances. Make sure you book a table ahead online via their website if you fancy ordering some. Find out more and book tickets from £12 here: https://northernstage.co.uk/whats-on/cinderella-a-fairytale/

Christmas at The Common Room 

The Common Room is located just next to Central Station and they are running a fantastic programme of events for both children and adults (or a mix of both) this festive season. Here are some highlights: 

Tipsy Lego (9 Nov and 1 Dec) - Join like-minded adults for a LEGO building session in the 5Quarter Bar with a festive drink included. You'll get to build some of The Common Room's signature models which include some local landmarks and bridges. Full instructions and kits provided. 

Light Up Christmas Cards (9 Dec) - This looks like a lovely family STEM activity to enjoy together. It's reasonably priced too at £5 (for 1 adult and 1 child - you can add additional guests onto this for a reduced price). Use a dash of science and a sprinkle of creativity create your own illuminated Christmas Card to take home. 

The Snowman and the Snowdog Double Bill Family Festive Screening (16 Dec) - Enjoy a heartfelt festive morning with the family in the historic Wood Hall. Again, tickets are super reasonable at £7.50 (for 1 adult and 1 child - additional children and adults can be added at a reduced fee).  Tickets include a festive sweet treat for children. Additional festive drinks and snacks will be available to purchase on the day. 

Check out the full programme of events and book here: Book festive events at The Common Room 

Cinderella at Gala Theatre 

Step into the enchanted world of Cinderella this Christmas with this traditional panto at Gala Theatre Durham. Tickets are super reasonable (from £8) and Gala is a brilliant theatre for families with kids as there is plenty of leg room, every seat has a great view, the merch/snacks are reasonable and there are plenty of booster seats available free of charge. 

This year you can expect breathtaking dance routines, songs you'll want to sing-a-long with, loads and loads of laughs and of course, some unforettable magical moments. 

Showing from 23 November until 6 January with morning, matinee and evening shows. Relaxed performances, BSL and captioned performances available too. 

Find out more and book here: Book Cinderella at Gala Theatre 

Festive Film Experiences at St James' Park 

⚽️πŸŽ¬πŸŽ… Available to Book Now! The perfect Christmas activity for NUFC fans

🎬 Grab your popcorn and watch your favourite festive films on the big screen in one of the (indoor)suites at St James' Park this December

πŸŽ¬πŸŽ…19th December 4:30pm - The Polar Express Experience
Golden ticket
Hot chocolate during the film
Gift from Santa
Christmas craft station

πŸŽ¬πŸŽ… 20th December 4:30pm - Home Alone Experience
Pizza served during the film
Gift from Santa
Christmas craft station

πŸŽ¬πŸŽ… 21st December 4:30pm - The Grinch Experience
Cinema snack during the film
Gift from Santa
Christmas craft station

A perfect end of school / after school treat to enjoy with friends!

Bishop Auckland Christmas Town  24 - 26 November 

πŸŽ„ This event looks SO festive! Definitely one to save the date for. Taking place in Bishop Auckland Marketplace and free to visit (additional charges apply for some activities), you can drop in and enjoy:

🌟 A Magical Christmas Village with festive markets and street food stalls
🌟 A giant festive tipi with fire pits, mulled wine and hot chocolates (you can also book a table in the tipi to guarantee a seat). There will be live music and a christmas party atmosphere in the evenings
🌟 Ferris wheel rides with the best views of Christmas Town (£3.50 booked in advance / £4 on the day)
🌟 Local musicians and performers performing festive favourites from the Victoria Bandstand
🌟 A FREE giant snowglobe where you can take some cute festive snaps

Why not book one of these activities........

❄️ Ice skating will be available at Christmas Town for just £6 per child (£8 per adult). You can also hire skate aids for £3 each.

πŸŽ„ Christmas wreath workshops are available to book in the festive tipi now

πŸŽ… Visit Santa and his elves in his magical North Pole Grotto - your ticket includes festive storytelling with Santa, a personal meet & greet, photo opportunities, sweet treats and a gift for each child

🌟 Grab a ticket to the Big Christmas Quiz and Cabaret night in the giant festive tipi

🌟Princess sing-a-long and Hero dance-a-long events are available to book in the giant festive tipi now for £7 per person

Find out more and book these events here: https://bishopaucklandschristmastown.co.uk/

Ice skating sold out last year so I'd be quick if you'd like to guarantee your spot.

Festive Afternoon Tea with Live Carols at The Grand Hotel Gosforth

This festive afternoon (16 December) will include a toasty drink to kick things off and a beautiful festive afternoon tea all set to live Christmas Carols performed by Chris from STORM at the gorgeous Grand Hotel Gosforth. 

Funds raised from ticket sales will go directly back into the charity to support families experiencing food poverty in our region. 

Find out more and book: https://feedingfamilies.org.uk/2023/10/31/christmas-afternoon-tea-with-live-singing-get-your-tickets-now/

Disney On Ice at Utilita Arena 

Disney On Ice presents 100 Years of Wonder is skating into Utilita Arena from 6-10 December. Celebrating 100 years of Disney magic, you can expect lots of your favourite characters on ice including Anna and Elsa, Dory and Nemo plus see Encanto on ice for the very first time!

Find out more and buy tickets here: Disney On Ice at Utilita Arena Newcastle 

Northern Lights at Leazes Park Newcastle  

This fully accessible, 1 mile light trail around Leazes Park looks fantastic! Expect a laser garden, aurora rising lake show, lantern trees, marshmallow toasting, electric avenue, food village and more. 

Tickets are now available for dates between 23 November and 1 January. Find out more and book here: Northern Lights Tickets 

Are you looking for other festive things to do in Newcastle? Check out this post: 50+ festive things to do in Newcastle 

Nightfall at Stewart Park

We absolutely loved Nightfall last year and can't wait to see what 2023 has in store. Taking place from 29 November - 3 December in Stewart Park, Middlesbrough, you can expect brilliant light and art installations, pop up theatre, live music, storytelling, crafts and plenty of magic. 

Find out more and book your tickets here: Nightfall Tickets 

Retro Christmas Films at Vue 

Most cinemas offer this but I'm basing this on Vue Cramlington as that's our local and where we always go. Each year they show retro Christmas films and tickets are available from just £4.99. You can use Meerkat Movies to BOGOF or Sky Cinema for 2 free tickets too meaning you can actually do this from as little as £2.50 per person or even free. 

Last year we booked a full row with our extended film and watched Home Alone. It was such a good afternoon! I usually make up christmas snack bags to hand out. This year, we've booked A Muppet Chistmas Carol which is celebrating it's 30th anniversary this year. 

At Vue Cramlington, you can also book now for Elf, Home Alone, Home Alone 2, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, Santa Claus the Movie, Spirited (including a singalong version) and The Polar Express. Do check your local cinema to see what's on too. 

Ice Skating & Christmas Planetarium Shows at Science at Life

There's lots to enjoy at Science at Life this festive season. First up is not one, but two festive planetarium shows which are included with standard admission / you can buy a combo ticket with ice skating. 

What Santa Sees is a planetarium show designed for under 7s and their family where children can journey to the North Pole and explore the wonders of what Santa sees. 

Then the Festive Skies planetarium show is perfect for over 7s. This live presenter led show is a chance to relax and enjoy learning more about our winter skies. 

Both planetarium shows are open to all - age recommendations are for guidance only. Personally, I am hoping to visit them both. 

Find out more: Festive Planetarium Shows & Festive Fun at Life 

Then of course, Newcastle's only open-air ice rink is back and is available to book for dates between now and 7 January. Relaxed sessions, group sessions and skate aids are all available. 

Find out more and book here: Newcastle Ice Staking 

Lazy Bear Christmas Tipi 

Find Lazy Bear Tipi just outside Newcastle Central Station. They're open daily across the festive season and you can just pop in for a drink or pizza around the fire pit. Kids and dogs are welcome too. 

Find out more, see more pics and read our full review here: Lazy Bear Tipi Review 

Christmas at Spilmans 

Tickets have just been released for this year's experience for selected dates from 24 Nov - 24 Dec.
Your ticket includes:
🀢 An interactive two part theatre show where the audience is invited to join in with special christmas tasks and help the farm prepare for the festive season. Follow the tale across the farm as the magical story unfolds.....
🀢 Unlock the magical portal and travel to Lapland
🀢 Visit a Toy Testing Workshop in Lapland
🀢 Meet Father Christmas in his secret cabin and listen to his festive stories by the fire. Please note, this is Santa's down time before the big day - you may spot his red suit hanging up for the big day but when he's at home, Santa wears his comfies.
🀢 Choose your own gift from Santa and then browse the Christmas Market
Need to know:
*This experience is all indoors so you don't need to worry about the weather (I'd still recommend wrapping up)
*You can take your own photos or there will be a professional photographer with photos available to purchase
*The experience lasts around 90 minutes
*Seasonal food and drinks are available to purchase from the farm after your experience
*DISCOUNTED early bird tickets for November are available
*Prices are from £15.95 per adult and £19.95 per child (includes a gift)
*Free car parking on site

Christmas at Beamish (Daytimes) 

Christmas at Beamish daytimes run from 25 November -24 December. There's no need to book - just drop in during usual opening hours. Daytime entry is included with your Beamish Unlimited Pass. 

We absolutely love visiting Beamish for a festive dog walk and mulled wine over the festive period (read our review from last year here) and already have a date pencilled in for this year's visit so watch this space. 

You can expect lots of beautiful decorations, traditions and music. We can't wait. 

Find out more: Christmas Daytimes at Beamish 

Northumberland Myths & Legends at Bamburgh Castle 

Bamburgh Castle is absolutely splendid at this year and the castle goes all out with their festive decor. This year's theme is 'Myths and Legends' and the decorations are based on some of the folklore and stories from Northumberland's past. I absolutely cannot wait to see this! In fact, it's the first festive day out I have in my diary. Available from now until 7 January. 

Find out more and book: 

Christmas at Seaton Delaval Hall

Seaton Delaval Hall is embracing the simpler side of Christmas this year and will have a traditional feel to the celebrations. Expect natural decorations, a programme of local choir performances, a string quartet, Robin's winter trail and plenty of festive treats available from the Brewhouse.

All activities are drop-in and available at no additional cost for members / included with admission. 

Find out more here: Christmas at Seaton Delaval Hall 


Breakfast with Santa at The Grand Hotel Gosforth 

 (this event supports Feeding Families Charity)

This breakfast with Santa event (16 December) is much more than your average meet and greet. First of all, you'll enjoy a beautiful cooked hotel breakfast with a 45 minute spectacular magic show by local magician Graeme Shaw as well as festive crafts for all to enjoy.

This is followed by a visit from the main man himself. If you're looking for an authentic Santa visit, it has to be this one (see more photos on his website here). 

When you buy a ticket to this event, all £ goes directly back into the charity and the work they provide. Find out more and book: https://feedingfamilies.org.uk/2023/10/31/see-santa-with-feeding-families-book-your-tickets-now/



  1. You're a life saver, we've no events booked in the diary yet and this is so helpful. I fancy a few of these for us!

  2. Ahh! What a fab post! There is so much going on up here over the festive season. I am wanting to go to a Christmas market and take the kids ice skating :)

  3. Has anyone ever been to Believe at Hardwick Hall? Very few tickets have been sold and there are no reviews online - which is a worrying sign!

    1. I took my then 4 year old son last year it is magical. Lots to see and do. It’s a very busy day. Wellies and warm clothing is a must xx


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