20+ Christmas Events for Kids across North East England

AD - Some of the events in this post have been paid for. I have hand-picked all events and retain editorial control.

If you're looking for ideas for Christmas days out or are looking for a specific recommendation/would like to ask other parent's opinion on previous events, please join my North East Christmas Facebook Group here.

Looking for something to do with the kids on Christmas Eve? Check out this guide to Christmas Eve events. 

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

20+ Christmas Events for Kids across North East England (with no pre-booking required)

A Viking Christmas 

Wow this just looks incredible and is something a little different. A Viking Christmas is a new mid-winter show. Written by Gary Kitching, this brand new show promises live music, real magic, action and laughter. Tickets for this 2-hour performance at Queen's Hall Hexham are available from just £10 (Use code NEFF10 on booking).

  • Written by Gary Kitching 
  • A magical tale featuring the Great Warriors of the Kingdom of Northumbria
  • Live music
  • Suitable for the whole family 
  • Discover a Viking and Northern twist on the Christmas story this December 
  • Runs from 13 - 28 December 
  • Suitable for the whole family

    Use code NEFF10 to book tickets for just £10 (valid on any performance). Find out more and book A Viking Christmas here.  

Matfen Hall Christmas Gift Vouchers - Exclusive Discount

Matfen Hall has some INCREDIBLE deals on their gift vouchers this Christmas.

Use code NEFAMXMAS10 at checkout before 5pm on 13 December for an additional 10% discount (restrictions apply).
We have visited Matfen a few times in the past and love it - it really is a perfect country retreat. Here are my top picks, you can check out the full range of gift vouchers here: https://matfenhall.wearegifted.co.uk/
* Save a HUGE 70% on 18 holes of golf for two people: https://matfenhall.wearegifted.co.uk/18-holes-of-golf
* Save 40% on a deluxe stay. This voucher is an absolute bargain: https://matfenhall.wearegifted.co.uk/sunday-to-thursday-bb-with-prosecco
* Afternoon Tea for 2 is always a lovely gift, and you can save 20% on this voucher: https://matfenhall.wearegifted.co.uk/afternoon-tea-for-two
* A 3 course Sunday Lunch for 2 for just £25 is a steal! : https://matfenhall.wearegifted.co.uk/keepers-sunday-lunchh
* I think that this is probably the best value spa day gift voucher around - £35 for 4 hours spa access and lunch. Valid on any day of the week. A perfect gift for someone who needs some me time: https://matfenhall.wearegifted.co.uk/spa-lunch
These are just my top picks, browse the full range here: https://matfenhall.wearegifted.co.uk/vouchers?category=exclusive-christmas-offers
Don't forget to enter NEFAMXMAS10 at checkout for an additional 10% discount x

Christmas at Cragside

We're visiting Cragside over my birthday weekend this year and I'm so excited! I really think it's one of those festive days out which is perfect for both children and grown-ups (I can't wait to see the house decorations). The house will be decked out in its Victorian splendor from 30 November. Alongside roaring fires and Christmas treats being baked in the kitchen, I bet it's a sight to behold.

If you're National Trust members like us, it is free to visit the house and gardens but please check opening times before setting off, especially during bad weather.

There are a few special events planned at Cragside this Christmas:

Meet Father Christmas at Cragside
Step inside of Father Christmas' twinkling grotto and share your winter wishes by the fireside before receiving a special gift. Then join the elves in their workshop for a festive craft activity. Sessions are personal and last 30 minutes. You can make a day of it and complete a Christmas Trail around the house afterwards. Find out more and book online here.

Cragside Christmas Lunches 

If you're looking for a family day out which does not involve a trip to see Father Christmas, why not book a Christmas Lunch at Cragside followed by the Christmas Trail around the house and a winter walk around the beautiful grounds? Email Cragside@NationalTrust.org.uk for a copy of their menu or call 01669 622038 to book.

Boxing Day Ranger Walk 

Many families enjoy a walk together on Christmas Day and this year, you can join a ranger and explore the Cragside estate together. A perfect antidote to Christmas TV and one too many mince pies. You don't need to book this event, simply turn up. Find out more information here. 

Feeding Reindeer & The Reindeer Retreat Tipi at Azure Garden Centre

The reindeer have now arrived at Azure Garden Centre. They are FREE to visit and food from the dispenser costs just £1 should you wish to feed them. There is loads going on at Azure Garden Centre this Christmas including meals in the Reindeer Retreat Tipi, Christmas Markets, a Christmas Carousel and decorations too. Find out more information & how to book a meal in the tipi here. 

Kielder Winter Wonderland 

Kielder Winter Wonderland is a Premium Christmas Event for families looking for a full day of festive activities in the most magical of settings. Tickets are now available to book from 16 November - 22 December (weekends) plus Friday 20 December and Monday 23 December.

Sunday 17 November is a 'relaxed' day which aims to provide an inclusive experience for children with an autism spectrum condition or learning disability. Find out more here. 

Your Kielder Winter Wonderland ticket includes the following experiences: 
  • A walk through the forest to meet Father Christmas and his elves in his cosy, twinkly woodland hideout. You might receive one or two magical surprises along the way and children will receive a special gift. 
  • Join Mrs Christmas in her forest kitchen 
  • Meet Snowy Owls at Kielder Birds of Prey Centre
  • Enjoy a professional Christmas Theatrical Production 
  • Visit the Elves' Workshop 
  • Meet Reindeer 
  • Go Snow Tubing 
  • Spend time with the fabulous Mr & Mrs Beaver as they prepare for Christmas 
  • Find out more about Kielder Winter Wonderland and book online here

You can also make a weekend of it and book to stay on-site in a luxury woodland lodge with Landal Kielder Waterside. Find out more here.

This year will be our first visit to Kielder Winter Wonderland. I asked other parents their thoughts and comments include: 

Believe Christmas at Hardwick Hall

Believe Christmas is a premium Christmas event for families with children of all ages. Taking place in the grounds of Hardwick Hall in County Durham, the event is a full-day festive experience. The event begins at 9:30am and takes place both inside and out across a range of magical settings -  make sure you wrap up warmly.

You'll be allocated a group on booking and your group will have their own elf guide throughout the experience. Although this event is new for 2019, the team behind the event have years of experience in running similar successful events across the North East.

Everything is included with admission (excluding lunch and reindeer food which is £1) and your day includes a visit to each of these attractions/activities: 
  • Elf School (learn the skills required to be a good elf)
  • Elf Workshop (create a lovely Christmas treat to take home and treasure)
  • Panto with Sugarplum Mary (witness Sugarplum Mary's kitchen antics)
  • North Pole Post Office (write and post your letter to Father Christmas)
  • Christmas Magic Circle (join Elf BB Strings for a festive sing-a-long)
  • A Christmas Tale (Elf storytelling session)
  • Jack Frost Experience (can you help defrost him - don't get too close)
  • Santa's Toymakers (visit Santa's toymakers in the North Pole) 
  • The Enchanted Woods (follow your elf guide on a magical journey through the winter woodland)
  • Reindeer Visit 
  • Reindeer Food Workshop (make your own reindeer food to take home ready to sprinkle on Christmas Eve) 
  • Visit Santa (visit Santa by the roaring fire in his Arctic Tipi - Santa will know your child's name and a few fun facts about them to personalise the visit) 
  • Apres Ski Lodge & Bavarian Food Village (enjoy up to one hour for lunch - there are options to buy festive food or you can bring a packed lunch)
As you can see, there is a lot going on. The event runs on weekends throughout December plus Monday 23 December. Tickets are priced at £18 for toddlers, £30.50 for children and £28.50 for adults (+ booking fee). Babies under 6 months are free. Remember, this is a premium event, if you have any questions before booking, I've found the team to be super responsive at answering questions via Social Media.

Night Fall at Preston Park

Night Fall is a magical evening event at Preston Park, Stockton-on-Tees. Tickets offer excellent value at £6 each (or £20 for a family of 4). Under 2s are free. Here's a little peek at what to expect:
  • An after-hours self-led trail featuring beautiful and magical light installations 
  • An evening full of things to see and do - all focused around the moon 
  • Outdoor storytelling around a camp fire 
  • Cosy Teepees serving mulled wine and hot drinks 
  • Street food from local independent businesses 
Tickets go on sale 10am on 23 September. Find out more and buy here: www.nightfallfestival.co.uk/

Whitehouse Farm at Christmas 

We visited Whitehouse Farm over Christmas back in 2014 and are delighted to be returning this year. I can't wait to share our experience. Whitehouse Farm is running three main events this Christmas:

Winter Wonderland Weekends at Whitehouse Farm | 23 November - 24 December (selected dates)

Winter Wonderland Weekends at Whitehouse Farm offers a full day out for the whole family this Christmas with indoor and outdoor experiences. A visit with Santa is NOT included with this event making it the ideal choice for families who have already visited the main man elsewhere or don't wish to visit Santa. Winter Wonderland Weekends include:
  • The events barn will be transformed into a twinkly winter wonderland, perfect for photo opportunities
  • Visit Mrs Claus in her bakery and help decorate yummy Christmas biscuits (small additional charge)
  • Enrol in Elf School with certificates for all those who graduate
  • Visit the letter-writing room and write a letter to Father Christmas. There will be a personalised reply waiting for you with the elves in the gift shop as you leave
  • Visit the animals in their winter stables. Groom the Christmas pony, feed to goats, visit the Birds of Prey and leave a Christmas Wish on the Magical Wishes Tree
  • Christmas Tractor Sleigh Rides
  • Plus all of the usual fun, indoor and outdoor play areas at Whitehouse Farm 
  • Remember, a visit to Father Christmas is NOT included with Winter Wonderland tickets.
You don't need to book in advance for these weekends, simply turn up and pay on the day. Find out more here. 

Story Time with Santa at Whitehouse Farm | 26 November + 5, 12 & 17 December

A magical experience for children who are invited to come along in their PJs and Onesies. Stories with Santa is held in an exclusive grotto away from the farm park and admission to the farm is NOT included. I like the look of this event as you don't need to pay for adults (2 free adults per paying child). Your ticket includes:
  • Hot chocolates and cookies with Santa's Elves in their workshop 
  • A story with Santa in his beautifully decorated grotto 
  • After the story, there will be a chance for photo opportunities with Santa for each child 
  • A visit to the Toy Shop where children can make their very own 16" Furry Friend to take home with them. Santa will gift each child a special Magic Wishing Heart to place inside their bear
  • Tickets are £15.99 per child with 2 adults admitted free with each paying child

The Santa Experience at Whitehouse Farm | 23 November - 24 December (selected dates)

The Santa Experience at Whitehouse Farm is the event to book if you're looking for a premium Christmas farm experience with a visit with Santa and extras included. Tickets are likely to sell out and must be booked in advance. Tickets are available for £25 per child & £10.95 per adult with reductions for under 2s and members. There are too many prices to list here so please take a look here for up-to-date pricing information. Your Santa Ticket Experience includes:

  • A visit to see Santa in his beautifully decorated grotto
  • Christmas crafts (tree decorations , cards and calendars) with the elves
  • A one-to-one meeting with Santa for your family. A truly personal and magical experience. Santa will know a secret or two about each child/family 
  • Lots of photo opportunities
  • A quality personalised letter to each child from Santa
  • A visit to the Toy Shop where you'll make your very own 16" Furry Friend to take home. Santa will gift each child a magical heart to place inside their soft toy
  • Entry to Whitehouse Farm for the full day and the Winter Wonderland experiences mentioned above

Christmas at Seven Stories

The Polar Express Festive Workshops

  • The Polar Express Festive workshops take place at Seven Stories every week from 23 November - 22 December + Monday 23 December. There are specific sessions for under 5s (Thursdays and Fridays), families (Saturday and Sundays) and those preferring a relaxed event (19 & 21 December).
  • Each ticket includes an interactive story workshop, an edible sweet treat from Ouseburn's Dreamworld Cakes, milky hot chocolate/warm milk plus a 10% discount voucher for the Seven Stories Bookshop and admission to Seven Stories on the day. 
  • Tickets to the family workshops are just £9.50 per person with under 1s going free. Tickets to the under 5s workshops are just £7.50 per person with under 1s going free. Remember, this includes admission to Seven Stories on the day too.  Find out more and book here. 

The Jolly Christmas Postman 

  • Join the Jolly Christmas Postman as he delivers festive greetings to his favourite fairytale characters including Humpty Dumpty, Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella. 
  • This brand new show is performed by Northumbria University Students and will bring this magical story to life for under 5s. 
  • Tickets are £3 per person, suitable for under 5s and their families. Buy a day ticket or annual pass to enjoy the rest of Seven Stories. Find out more and book here. 

Breakfast with Mrs Claus (drop-in event, no booking required)

  • This event takes place every Tuesday to Friday from 9:30am-11:30 throughout December in the run-up to Christmas. 
  • Bring your little ones to enjoy breakfast with Mrs Claus in her cosy Christmas kitchen at the Seven Stories Cafe 
  • No pre-booking required, simply drop-in 
  • There will be FREE Christmas crafts and games (minimum spend of £3.25 in the cafe applies)
  • A child's breakfast is £3.25 which includes toast with butter and jam, milk/juice/hot chocolate plus a bowl of fruit and a small biscuit to ice. 
  • For any child's breakfast purchased, grown-ups can get a tea or filter coffee for £1 
  • Find out more here

End of Year Party at Seven Stories 

  • This event takes place daily from 28 - 31 December at 11:30am and 2pm
  • Say goodbye to 2019 and welcome in 2020 as Seven Stories explore how New Year is celebrated around the world. 
  • Learn all about traditional customs and take part in crafts and games. Don't forget your dancing shoes! 
  • Tickets are £5 per person. Buy a day ticket or annual pass to enjoy the rest of Seven Stories. Find out more and book here. 

Pizza Making & Lunch with Santa at DoubleTree by Hilton Newcastle Airport 

This sounds like a fantastic value event with DoubleTree by Hilton. Families can join Santa for an afternoon of pizza making, a mini disco and entertainment. All children will receive a small gift to take home and tickets are just £12.95 per child inclusive of lunch and entertainment.

Pizza making sessions run from 12noon - 2:30pm and are selling fast (22 December has already sold out). This festive experience is available across every Saturday & Sunday throughout December plus Monday 23rd December. Email Christmas@doubletree-newcastle.co.uk or call 01661 867 027 to book. Find out more here. 

New Year's Eve Family Party at DoubleTree by Hilton Newcastle Airport 

As well as pizza making with Santa, DoubleTree by Hilton has organised a New Year's Eve Party for the whole family. Expect party games, a live DJ and a delicious hot and cold buffet for all (with the added bonus of unlimited soft drinks for kids).

Tickets are available for £45 per adult and £25 per child (under 14s). You can stay over from £90 per night too. Find out more here and email Christmas@doubletree-newcastle.co.uk or call 01661 867 027 to book.

On-going Christmas Events

Christmas Farms 

Christmas Pantos and Shows 

Are you looking for somewhere child-friendly for dinner before panto? Here are my top suggestions, all within walking distance. 

Festive Afternoon Tea 

Breakfast with Santa

Lunch & Dinner with Santa

Christmas Markets 

I've put together a separate guide to Christmas Markets across the North East which you can read here.

Where to Visit Reindeer 

30 November - 31 December - Reindeer & Elf Trail at Wynyard Hall 

Christmas Trains 

Read my review of North Pole Express at Tanfield Railway here. 

Christmas Lights 

17 November - Christmas Lights Switch On at Spanish City
21 November - 22 December - Sunderland Festival of Light 
1 - 24 December - Illuminating the Garden at Washington Old Hall
5 - 6 December - By the Light of the Moon at Preston Park 
5 - 22 December - Enchanted Belsay
13 - 22 December - Alnwick Garden Winter Light Trail

Christmas Skating 

Various dates from 30 November - Pityard Skating at Woodhorn 

23 & 24 November  

23 November - Alnwick Garden Grand Parade
23 November - Elf on the Shelf Workshop 
23 November - Cramlington Christmas Lights Switch On
23 & 24 November - FREE entry to Seaton Delaval Hall, Cragside and Wallington for National Lottery Ticket Holders
23 & 24 November - Blow Your Own Christmas Bauble at National Glass Centre
23 & 24 November - Christmas Crafts at Souter Lighthouse 
24 November - Frozen Party at the Linkskill Centre 

30 November & 1 December 

30 November - Homemade Christmas at Sunderland Winter Gardens
 30 November & 1 December - Tales with Father Christmas at Woodhorn
30 November & 1 December - Elf HQ Family Experience at Preston Park 
30 & 1 December - Durham Christmas Festival 
30 & 1 December - Santas Winter Wonderland at West Bolton Lodge 
1 December - Frozen Party at Blue Flames
1 December - A Family Christmas Carol at Preston Park
1 December - The Grinch & Grotto at The County Hotel 

7 & 8 December 

6 & 7 Decembe
r - Santa at The Cross Keys 
7 December - The Nights Before Christmas at Gibside
7 December - A festive family silent disco in the Gate
7 December - Santa Cruise along the River Tyne
7 December - Elf HQ Family Event at Preston Park 
7 December - Words Weekend at Sage Gateshead
7 & 8 December - Tales with Father Christmas at Woodhorn
7 & 8 December - The Grinch & Grotto at The County Hotel 
7 & 8 December - Santas Winter Wonderland at West Bolton Lodge 
8 December - Hot Chocolate Family 5k Run at Derwent Walk Country Park 
8 December - Christmas Lanterns at National Glass Centre

14 & 15 December 

14 December -  A festive family silent disco in the Gate
14 December - The Nights Before Christmas at Gibside
14 December - Beauty & the Beast Christmas Ball at Blue Flames 
14 December - Santas Sleigh is Coming to Whitley Bay
14 & 15 December - Tales with Father Christmas at Woodhorn
14 & 15 December - Santas Winter Wonderland at West Bolton Lodge 
14 & 15 December - Gingerbread House Making Workshop at Wynyard Hall
14 & 15 December -  The Grinch & Grotto at The County Hotel 
15 December - Santa Party at Langley Castle 

21 - 24 December

Looking for something to do with the kids on Christmas Eve? Check out this guide to Christmas Eve events. 

 21 December - A festive family silent disco in the Gate
21 December - The Nights Before Christmas at Gibside
21 & 22 December - Love Christmas Family Craft Day at National Glass Centre
21 & 22 December - Elf HQ Family Event at Preston Park
21 - 23 December -  Santas Winter Wonderland at West Bolton Lodge 
21 - 24 December - Tales with Father Christmas at Woodhorn
21 - 24 December - Enchanted Woodland Adventure at Wynyard Hall
21- 24 December - The Grinch & Grotto at The County Hotel 
22 December - Santa Party at Langley Castle 
23 December - Christmas Eve Eve Family Fun Day at The Keel Row
23 & 24 December - Family Christmas Ceildh at Sage 
24 December - Christmas Eve Family Fun Day at South Causey Inn
24 December - Christmas Eve Breakfast with Santa at Spanish City
24 December - Christmas Eve Choir Afternoon Tea at South Causey Inn

Other posts you might like:


  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 :)


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