A Monthly Bucket List for North East Families

This post will share some of the best events for families taking place across North East England this year. Time to grab your diary and get planning! If there is a must-visit annual event I have missed from the list, please let me know.

A Monthly Bucket List for North East Families

Click on the blue links to learn more about each event and always double-check details with event organiser before setting off as events can change.


A Monthly Bucket List for North East Families - January
Enjoy a coastal walk in January

In January, Ouseburn hosts its very own festival of cheese with the Cluny Cheese Festival from 3-5 January. Expect lots of fun including a cheese market, cheese hunt, raclette, cheese olympics, live DJ and music and more.

In January, we love nothing more than a Coastal Walk with Fish & Chips. It is the perfect way to start the year and blow away those cobwebs. Check out this post featuring 10 North East Coastal Walks and this post featuring some of the best fish and chips in North East England.

Burns Night falls on Saturday 25 January this year and there are a few ways to celebrate across North East England including Burns Night at Brew Dog Burns Night at the Holiday Inn and Burns Night at Evans Bistro. 


A Monthly Bucket List for North East Families  - February
Check out the FREE Fire & Ice Trail in February 

Chinese New Year Celebrations take place at the end of January/beginning of February. There are usually big celebrations in Stowel Street (date to be confirmed) with crafts for kids, parades, food and more.

Sunderland Winter Gardens will be celebrating Chinese New Year on Sunday 2 February 2020 with Chinese Lion & Dragon Dances, Stalls, Music, Crafts, Food & more....

The MAPS Festival will return in 2020 thanks to Chalk and the Arts Council. This festival takes place from 15 - 24 February 2020 (hopefully coinciding with your schools half term) across venues in NewcastleGateshead and is a festival aimed at children under 11 and their families. Expect 10 fun days of creativity, imagination, art and music.

Snowdrops are in bloom in February and two of the best places to see them are Belsay Hall or Howick Hall (both in Northumberland). Howick Hall usually hosts a Snowdrop festival during February Half Term- we are hoping to visit this year.

A definite February highlight for us is the Durham Fire & Ice Trail which runs on 21 & 22 February 2020. The trail is completely free of charge and a lovely way to spend the day with the family in Durham.

Finally, Pancake Day takes place on 25 February 2020. Check out these top pancake making tips from La Petite Creperie. I will update this post as pancake events are announced.


A Monthly Bucket List for North East Families  - March
Why not book afternoon tea for Mothers Day in March 

The Daffodils should be in full bloom by March - don't miss the display at Warkworth Castle. They are just gorgeous!

Don't forget Mothers Day which falls on Sunday 22 March 2020. Why not book a child-friendly afternoon tea or family Sunday Lunch at one of our recommended pubs/restaurants?


A Monthly Bucket List for North East Families  - April
Visit the lambs at Whitehouse Farm in April 

In April we always take a trip to see the newborn lambs at Whitehouse Farm - it is a bit of a tradition for us around Heidi's birthday and a full day out with lots of fun included.

It is also National Gardening Week (27 April - 3 May). There are usually lots of free events taking place across the region celebrating all things gardening.

Easter Sunday falls on Sunday 12 April 2020 and there is no better way to celebrate than a National Trust Cadbury Egg Hunt which usually run in the Easter School holidays. These are always fun for kids and you can't beat a Cadbury reward.

We always go out for Good Friday Fish and Chips  which this year falls on Friday 10th April. I recommend booking a restaurant to avoid the queues.


A Monthly Bucket List for North East Families  -May
Check out the Cherry Blossom at Alnwick Garden in May

The Late Shows return on 15 - 16 May 2020. This late-night culture crawl around NewcastleGateshead is completely free and such a good night out. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves last year and activities included a silent disco at the Biscuit Factory, a performance by Aukestra at Seven Stories and street theatre too. The Late Shows is for everyone and something our city is super lucky to have.

Hit the North Festival takes place at various venues across NewcastleGateshead on Sunday 3 May. The festival is for over 14s only so one for the teenagers & grown-ups only.

The Cherry Blossom is usually in full bloom at Alnwick Garden around the end of April/beginning of May. Keep your eye on the Alnwick Garden Facebook page around this time for blossom watch. If you have never had the chance to visit, I cannot recommend highly enough. It is stunning.

The Northumberland County Show takes place on Monday 25 May 2020 (Bank Holiday Monday) this year. Held at Bywell Hall near Stocksfield, it is a full day of country fun with everything from Owl Encounters to Axemen, Food Tasting, Wrestling, Tug of War, Dog Show, Pig Competition, Food Stalls and more.

Exhibition Park is taken over by the This is Tomorrow Festival on 23 & 24 May. This festival is for over 14s only (under16s must be accompanied by an adult) and it has a cracking line-up with Sam Fender and the Kooks headlining.


Newcastle City Centre is taken over by the NE1 Motor Show in June (exact date to be confirmed). After taking a breather in 2019, the show promises to be bigger and better than ever before. It is FREE too.

The food festival season kicks off with Seaham Food Festival on 13-14 June. Expect over 100 food stalls, workshops, entertainment, celebrity chefs and more. FREE ENTRY.

A little tradition of ours is to go strawberry picking at Brocksbushes in June - it is a brilliant way to welcome in summer and get the kids involved. Take a look at our video below for a little taste of what to expect.

Fathers Day falls on 21 June 2020 this year - pop the date in your diary now. If you fancy going out for the day, check out my guide to the best Sunday lunches in North East England here. 

The Hoppings is the worlds largest travelling funfair. It visits Newcastle Town Moor on the last week of June (and will probably rain). It is FREE to visit.

The 187th Durham Regatta takes place on 13 & 14 June 2020 - a spectacular weekend of racing and entertainment.


A Monthly Bucket List for North East Families  - July
The Corbridge Festival returns in July 

The Corbridge Festival returns for 2020 on 3 & 4 July. Expect over 50 bands across three stages and lots of fun. Read our review from 2016 here.  Festival season continues in July with the North East Chilli Festival (date to be confirmed), the Mouth of the Tyne Festival (9 - 12 July) and Northern Pride 17 - 19 July).

Two established events take place South of the Tyne in July - Durham Miners Gala and Sunderland Airshow (24 - 26 July). Both of these events are FREE to attend and a brilliant day out for all of the family.

July is the perfect month for a picnic or family BBQ - Ingram Valley in Northumberland is one of our favourite picnic spots and I have shared my top 5 picnic spots in the North East here. 

Finally, July will see Newcastle's FREE outdoor cinema re-open. Screen on the Green shows popular sporting events and movies over the summer, completely free of charge. Bring a picnic, pull up a deckchair and enjoy. Check the NE1 Newcastle website from July for listings.


A Monthly Bucket List for North East Families  - August
Kynren is not to be missed in August 

We are SO lucky to have a magnificent show like Kynren right here in the North East. In 2020,  performances take place on selected dates from 1 August - 12 September. I cannot recommend highly enough. Check out our top tips for visiting Kynren here.

You don't need to travel abroad to enjoy the beach this summer - we have some outstanding beaches right here on our doorstep and August is the perfect month to soak up some sunshine. My personal favourites are Alnmouth, Cullercoats and Druridge Bay. Seaham Beach and Blast Beach are worth a visit too - especially if you fancy sea glass hunting. Why not try one of these 10 coastal walks suitable for families. 

Ice cream

Festival season continues with the popular Hardwick Live Festival which takes place on 22 & 23 August in 2020.

Finally, August is when our North East Beer Gardens come into their own - check out this list of child-friendly beer gardens if you are looking to enjoy an alfresco drink with kids in tow.


A Monthly Bucket List for North East Families  - September
Climb Roseberry Topping in September 

The Berwick Food Festival returns on 3 - 6 September 2020. We visited last year and had such a good time - there were cooking classes for kids, live entertainment, cooking demos, alpacas, dancing, food & drinks stalls and more. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! You can travel by train from Newcastle or Morpeth if you fancy leaving the car at home.

Another popular festival, the Festival of Thrift returns to Redcar in 2020 - the exact date is still to be confirmed but it is usually mid-September. Keep an eye on their website and social media for updates.

The fabulous Great North Run takes place on 17 September in 2020 (Junior & Mini GNR - 12 September). Whether you are taking part or spectating, it is always an event which does the North East proud.

Heritage Open Days run across the North East from 11-20 September 2020. These days are a fantastic opportunity to see some of the region's heritage and culture and enjoy some unique events, completely free of charge. 

Last September we decided to Climb Roseberry Topping - it was a little bit of a challenge but I would whole-heartedly recommend to other families with tweens and teens. It is a brilliant challenge to complete together and September shouldn't be too hot.

In my opinion, September is the best month to go Blackberry Picking - here is a list of some of the best places to pick blackberries in North East England. 


A Monthly Bucket List for North East Families  - October
Take a woodland walk in October 

October is the month we celebrate Halloween - this guide to Halloween events will be updated at the beginning of the month. My kids cannot wait!

October will also see the return of the North Pennines Star Gazing Festival. The festival runs from 23 - 31 October 2020 across various locations in County Durham.

Autumn is the perfect time to tick one of these Woodland Walks from your bucket list - or why not try them all?


A Monthly Bucket List for North East Families  - November
Fenwick's window is revealed in November  

We kick off November with Bonfire Night Celebrations - there are lots of events to choose from across the North East and many displays are free.

As the nights draw in, after-dark events such as Sunderland Festival of Light begin to appear in the diary and Fenwicks Window is usually revealed on the first Thursday in November - I wonder what this year's theme will be!


A Monthly Bucket List for North East Families  - December
Feed reindeer in December 

December is the month most family will visit Father Christmas - I have shared some of the best experiences in the North East in this post here. It is also when Kielder Winter Wonderland takes place - a premium Christmas event which I really feel every family should experience once.

Finally, reindeer visit North East England at various locations in December - I highly recommend popping by Azure Garden Centre in Cramlington. It is FREE to visit the reindeer here.

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

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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. 

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

What a year! The North East really is the place to be. If you would like to keep to date with events and what's on across North East England, please join our FREE Facebook group below:

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A Monthly Bucket List for North East Families


1 comment

  1. This is so useful! It's very easy to forget things so I definitely need to make notes so I don't forget things that I want to do throughout the year. Really want to see the daffs at Alnwick Castle this year, I think it's now the only display in the North East that we haven't seen!


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