20+ Christmas Events for Kids across North East England

Advert - I have worked with many of the attractions mentioned in this post this year and some attractions have paid to be included in this post as part of that on-going relationship. 

Other Christmas Posts you may like: 

Enchanting Christmas Celebrations at Beamish

Christmas at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North runs from 27 November - 24 December this year (check their website for opening hours and booking). All visitors should pre-book a time slot in advance. As always, there is lots going on over the festive season with traditional festivities from across the decades to enjoy. 

As always, activities are included with your admission / annual pass unless stated. 

Highlights include: 

  • Hop aboard a traditional tram or bus and be immersed in an enchanting Christmas through time

  • Wander through Elf Wood and look out for the mischievous elves in their houses 

  • Have a go at the Elf Trail and try and spot the naughty elves hiding around the museum (download a free trail map from the Beamish website)

  • Try yuletide treats in the sweet shop and bakery in The 1900s Town 

  • Admire the traditional festive decorations at Ravensworth Terrace 

  • Pop by the festive market stalls and pick up a gift

  • Take a spin on the Gallopers in the fairground (small additional charge) 

  • Visit Francis Street in the 1900s Pit Village and discover how miners and their families celebrated Christmas in Edwardian times 

  • Enjoy a festive hot chocolate and visit the Pit Ponies 

  • Discover a forties Christmas in the 1940s Farm and see how Christmas was celebrated at home during the Second World War when rations were in place

  • Enjoy Christmas celebrations in the 1950s at the Welfare Hall 

Additionally, during weekends and school holidays,visitors can enjoy: 
  • 27 & 28 November - Father Christmas will be out and about around the site during the day in a traditional car. Make sure you give him a wave and cheer as he passes. 

  • 27 November - Father Christmas will be escorted by a marching band. Keep an eye out for him as he passes through The 1900s Town and around site (there will be no parade this year) 

  • During weekends in December in the run up to Christmas, spot Father Christmas travelling around Beamish via various modes of traditional transport. Maybe even a bicycle or horse and carriage. Don't forget to wave and cheer as he passes.

  • Enjoy a traditional Christmas Dinner in The 1900s Town pop-up tearoom 

  • Take a ride on the Waggonway in the 1820s landscape 

  • Enjoy live festive music from The 1900s Bandstand (weekends)

Find out more about visiting Beamish this festive season and book your time slot here: https://www.beamish.org.uk/events/christmas-at-beamish-2021/

We are hoping to visit in December and I will share some photos if we do. Remember, the outdoor areas of Beamish are dog friendly. 

Visiting Father Christmas at Beamish 

This year, you can visit Father Christmas in his Grotto at Rowley Station Goods Yard during opening museum opening hours. Grotto tickets must be booked in advance when you book your museum time slot. No Grotto tickets will be available on the day.

Grotto tickets are £6 each (for ages 0-16 - accompanying adults do not need a grotto ticket but do need to book a general museum time slot) and include a small traditional toy. Please read Grotto FAQs here before booking. 

Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs Panto at Sunderland Empire 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs opens at Sunderland Empire on 10 December for just 3 weeks. Here are three reasons to book: 

1 - A stellar cast including Su Pollard as the Wicked Queen (who we loved watching on this year's Celeb Masterchef) and Miss Rory (of Boulevard Fame) as the naughty nurse.

2 - Price! Tickets are available from just £13 with concessions available for under 16s, seniors, groups and schools. 

3 - It's the 'North East's Canniest Panto'. Expect lots of laughs, seven bumbling dwarfs, a beautiful princess, a magic mirror, naughty nurse, hilarious jester and more..... 

Find out more and book your tickets here. 

Elfin' Around Interactive Theatre at South Shields Museum 

(ad) Elfin' Around Christmas Experience at South Shields Museum and Gallery
🎄 Join Merry Tinseltoes and Cookie Wintersnaps (Santa's favourite elves don't you know) for some festive fun in South Tyneside this December

🎄 This one hour magical theatre experience by Elfin' Around is sure to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. Expect an interactive elf performance with lots of singing, dancing and more.

🎄 Tickets are £12 per person include: Interactive Elf Performance; Small gift for each child and Hot Chocolate.

🎄 Dates and times:
*Saturday 11 December 2021, 11am - 12pm, 1pm - 2pm, 3pm - 4pm
*Saturday 18 December 2021, 11am - 12pm, 1pm - 2pm, 3pm - 4pm

Christmas at Seven Stories 

The Seven Stories' elves are going all out this year with twinkly lights, festive cheer and wonderful story times. All events have been planned with social distancing in mind and numbers will be limited. Here is a little taster of what to expect and available to book now: 

The Night Before Christmas Story Time 

A festive, interactive story performance with story time, games and activities. Find out more and book here. 

Breakfast with Mrs Claus 

Join Mrs Claus in the Seven Stories Cafe for festive storytime, a themed Christmas breakfast and a keepsake craft which you can take away. Find out more and book here. 

Afternoon Tea with Santa 

Join Seven Stories for an extra special yuletide Afternoon Tea. Elves will welcome guests and show you to your seats where you will enjoy a festive afternoon tea alongside stories and crafts with the elves. 

Afterwards, you will be taken to Santa's grotto (household by household) where you can say hello and ask Santa any questions in your personal visit. Find out more and book here. 

An Audience with Santa 

Bring your family to Seven Stories for an extra special audience with the man himself. Elves will be on hand to welcome and entertain everyone with storytime and festive crafts and a selection of seasonal canapes, sweet treats, festive bakes, mulled drinks and hot chocolates will be brought to your table where you can relax and enjoy. Find out more and book here. 

Christmas at Spilman's Farm, Thirsk 

🎅 Pick Your Own Christmas at Spilman Farming Spilman Farming 🎅

As you know, we are big fans of Spilman Farming. Their Christmas offering this year sounds fantastic! Book your tickets here: https://www.spilmans.co.uk/christmas/

🎅 Collect your own festive goody bag, pick your own festive hat and pick your own festive craft activity in the Winter Waiting Room on arrival.

🎅 Head to the festive barn which will be filled with magic and SNOW (and lots of it). Take a seat as the elves share their story of where snowflakes come from.

🎅 Next, you can visit Father Christmas in his festive grotto. Listen to his stories and there will be a chance to take own photos too.

🎅 Visit Mrs Claus' Gingerbread Workshop and with the help of Mrs Claus and the elves, decorate your own festive biscuit to take home AND pick your own Christmas present from Mrs Claus' extensive display.

🎅 Finish your experience with a traditional Christmas Disco with complimentary hot chocolate for the kids and mulled wine for the grown ups.

The experience lasts around 60 minutes. You can find out more and book here: https://www.spilmans.co.uk/christmas/

Nightfall A Steller Rainbow Winter Light Trail 

This trail takes place at Stewart Park in Middlesbrough from 2-5 December. Expect a magical family-friendly outdoor event with beautiful coloured light artworks around the park, an interactive children's train, storytelling, music, creative workshops and food and drinks stalls. 

Relaxed sessions are available 4-4:30pm and pathways around the park are fully accessible for wheelchair users and pushchairs. Find out more and book your tickets here. 

Christmas Events to Enjoy at Home
I would like to start this post by saying that you really do not need to spend a fortune to have a magical Christmas. Your kids won't remember whether Santa had a real beard or if they received a premium meeting with Father Christmas.

They will remember the feeling of magic, the twinkly lights and the excitement. Yes, the big events are fantastic but if they are out of your budget or you miss out on tickets, please don't be disheartened, I promise you will still have a fantastic Christmas even if you do not get to see your #No1 choice of Santa. 

I will also say that it is usually the premium events that announce their tickets first (in Summer / early September) and if you wait until closer to Christmas, there will be plenty of drop-in events, low-cost activities and experiences to enjoy too. I will update this post right up until December with new events as they are announced so please 

Booking Christmas activities is at your own risk and some events may be cancelled. I imagine popular events will sell out quickly so advance apologies if some of these events have sold out before you get a chance to book. 

Christmas Events & Trails with No Pre-Booking Required

  • Meet the Reindeer at Preston Park. Daily from 27 November - 24 December. Reindeer food will be available to purchase from £1. Find out more here. 

  • Arctic Experience at Metrocentre (from 6 November with the skating rink open from 9 November)

Pop into the Arctic Experience outside Primark at Metrocentre and join in with some festive fun. Activities include: 
  • Grab a selfie on the enchanted throne 
  • Skate FOR FREE on the indoor synthetic ice rink 
  • Watch as snow magically falls indoors 
If you would like to skate for free, you need to sign up to the Metrocentre mailing list here and show your confirmation email to staff on arrival. If you do not wish to sign up, there is a £2 fee to skate which will be donated to charity. As far as I can see, no booking is required.

  • Various events at Whitley Bay Ice Rink. No need to book, normal admission applies. Check the Whitley Bay Ice Rink Social Media for further info. 

  • A Magical Victorian Christmas at Preston Park. Weekends from 27 November - 19 December. Expect festive music and decorations in the Victorian Street, the chance to meet reindeers, drop-in festive crafts and festive drinks available to purchase from the Victorian Tearoom. Find out more here. 

  • Wallington has announced that all of their Christmas events will be available on a drop-in basis this year. So far they have planned Christmas in the House, a Winter Activity Trail, Christmas Crafts and storytelling with Mrs Christmas. Find out more here. 

  • An Enchanted Winter at Ormesby Hall with 'Patience the Polar Bear' and Percy the Park Keeper's Winter Trail. On selected weekends there will be storytelling with Mrs Claus and Christmas Card crafts. Find out more here. 

  • Winter Wander Trail at Cragside. Find out more here. 

  • Bamburgh Castle Saints & Angels at The Christmas Kingdom (with Reindeers to visit from 18 November). Find out more here 

  • Christmas Adventure Quest at Belsay Hall. Find out more here. 

Christmas Events with Santa to Book Now 

Christmas Events at Garden Centres 

  • Plants Plus near Blagdon Farm Shop / Ponteland have lots of festive fun planned this year including: 
    *Drop in to visit the donkeys 
    *Visit Santa in his grotto (book online) 
    *Christmas market 3-5 December 
    *Virtual Reality Santa Sleigh Ride (book online
    *Festive Meals & Afternoon Tea in the Plants Plus Tea Room  
    Find out more and book activities here 

  • Dobbies Christmas events are super popular and generally recommended by others as offering good value for money.  At the moment, breakfast with Santa, Santa's Grotto and Santa Paws are available to book. Find out more & book here. 

  • Red Fox Garden World run a popular Journey to Santa's Toyshop including an autism-friendly event. Find out more and book here.  They also organise a grown-up grotto which is something a little different! Find out more and book here. 

  • Lanchester Garden Centre Christmas events are again, very popular and some events have already sold out. At time of publishing, there is availability for their Forest School Elf Hunt on 27 December plus Snowflakes and Marshmallows event on 3 January. Find out more and book here. 

Christmas Events with NO Santa Visit Included 

These events do not mention Santa Claus in their write-ups but there is a chance he might be a surprise so if no Santa is a deal breaker for you, please contact venues direct to confirm. 

Christmas Lights / Christmas Trails 

Festive Meals with Santa 

Christmas Theatre & Cinema 


If you'd like to add and event to this list, please email Sam@northeastfamilyfun.co.uk

If you have enjoyed this post and found it useful, here are some ways you can say thanks and support North East Family Fun: 

1 - Click here to sign up to our FREE monthly guide to what's on. This monthly email will feature lots of ideas for things to do for the month ahead plus exclusive deals. 

2 - Join our  Days Out Facebook Group here which includes lots of ideas for things to do - you can post your own recommendations too. 

4 - Share this post with your friends 

5 - Follow North East Family Fun on the following platforms :
Thank you for your support as always. 

Please follow social distancing rules & Government guidelines , respect the local area, leave no trace, take litter home, park responsibly and if somewhere is busy on arrival, please consider leaving and returning at a later date. 

Remember face coverings are required for indoor attractions / shops for those aged 11+ (usual exemptions apply)  

Check for local lockdowns / travel restrictions before visiting anywhere. Booking events in advance is done so at your own risk. 

Always check updated opening hours / protocols with venues direct before setting off as things may have changed after this post was published. 



  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!


I'd love you to Tweet your thoughts about this post (@nefamilyfun) or leave a comment over on my Facebook page (fb.com/NeFamilyFun) - Sam x

© North East Family Fun | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig