30+ Things to look forward to in December

Hot on the heels of 30 Things to look forward to in November, I thought I would share some lovely things we can look forward to this month. 

First of all, The Snowman and The Snowdog Trail continues across North Tyneside. Download the app to raise money for St Oswalds and see how many you can spot. Find out more here. 

Our streets and windows will be filled with Christmas lights this month. I love looking at all of the displays, especially in the dark. 

Lost Found and Told : New Audio Tales from Northumberland are available to listen to now and snuggling up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate and the fire on listening to local short stories based in Northumberland sounds like absolute bliss right now. Find out more and listen to previews here.  

The Cullercoats Community Advent Trail runs from 1 - 30 December. Neighbours and the community create a 'living advent calendar' in their gardens and windows for all to enjoy. Find out more here. 

The Christmas in Sunderland Trail runs across December - you can use Augmented Reality to enjoy some pretty cool effects in the city centre and of course, Fenwick's Window is free to go and take a peek at too. 

Now is the time to indulge in festive hot chocolates, toasties and treats. I have promised myself a little festive treat for lunch every Monday. I recommend trying Uber Eats with Costa and ordering the festive toastie and Terry's Chocolate Orange hot chocolate - download the Uber Eats app and use my referral code  eats-samanthar3510ue for £10 off your first order (£15 minimum spend). 

There are quite a few new releases on Netflix this month - check out this guide from the Radio Times if you are looking for something new to watch. 

Things to look forward to in Tier 3 Restrictions - Reader Recommendations 

We have just heard the news that the whole of North East England will be placed in Tier 3 restrictions. Many attractions have had to keep their doors shut and cancel events which is very sad news. It also happens to be my birthday in December so I asked readers for a few recommendations for things that might lift our spirits. A few people asked for me to share this list so here it is: 

(PS - some of these places will require ordering / pre-booking ahead so please do check and obviously, stick with Government guidelines. Some places may have variable opening hours/have closed since this post was published so please check this too)

Please remember to follow Government guidelines. I hope you all have a lovely December and find some moments of magic. 

1 December 

There's lots going on today - it is National Tree Dressing Day, the First Day of Advent, you could plan a North Pole Breakfast and Elf on the Shelf may make his arrival. 

3 December 

The Great Doorstep Light Switch On in Redcar - Check out lots of free craft ideas and templates, ways you can get involved, a schedule for the evening and a link to watch live here: http://redcarcleveland.co.uk/enjoy/christmas/

3 - 10 December

Nightfall Festival - a seven day online festival for families with magical storytelling, theatrical performances, make and do tutorials and more. Grab your free tickets here: https://www.nightfallfestival.co.uk/

5 December 

Today is International Volunteer Day. Why not look into volunteering opportunities for yourself or take time out to thank someone who donates their time to help others. 

5 December 

Today is International World Soil Day which may seem like a weird thing to celebrate but personally, growing my own flowers and vegetables has given me so much joy this year so I am going to take a few moments to share my thanks. Diverse soil is so important and you can read why here. 

5 December 

Today is Small Business Saturday here in the UK, a day when we celebrate and support our lovely small businesses. If you can, try and shop with a small business today. I have some small business recommendations here. 

7 December 

Ok this one is American but my kids love Candy Floss so I wanted to give a little mention to National Cotton Candy Day. It also happens to be my birthday today. 

7 - 13 December 

Illumination Street Week is a Nationwide initiative / competition where neighbourhoods are encouraged to illuminate and decorate their gardens and streets to try and counteract the shorter days. We will be taking a moment this week to take an evening walk around our local area and check out our neighbours' decorations and lights.  

9 December 

Coronation Street turns 60 today! 

10 December 

Today is International Human Rights Day. A good day for us all to take some time out and educate ourselves and strive for a better society. Read more here. 

11 December 

Today is Christmas Jumper Day - a fantastic excuse to get dressed up and raise some cash for Save the Children at the same time. 

12 - 31 December 

The Emperor's New Clothes is a brand new production by Northern Stage & Kitchen Zoo. It is available to stream online from 12 - 31 December. Purchase once and you can watch as many times as you like in this time period. We are going to plan a special night in, pop the Christmas lights and candles on and watch along at the weekend. Find out more and purchase your copy here (available to buy now).

Christmas with the Hobs streams online from Alnwick Playhouse, Berwick Maltings and Queen's Hall Hexham. A magical Christmas made here in Northumberland. Tickets are FREE but do need to be booked online. Book to receive your free link here. 

13 December 

Wilde Farm's Christmas Farmer's Market returns this weekend. Free entry, dog-friendly and lots of local businesses to buy from. Find the market in Ponteland Memorial Hall Car Park (in the park next to Waitrose). Find out more here. 

14 December 

Enjoy Arbuthnot & Dame Bella's brand new Christmas Show at home. Pre-order the DVD / USB from the Customs House here.  

The first episode of the Gala Theatre's Christmas Production is available online today. Expect characters from past and present to make an appearance. It's FREE to watch along. 

17 December 

Today is the 31 year anniversary of the first episode of The Simpsons. Good excuse for a Simpsons Marathon or for you to re-watch some of their Christmas specials. 

20 December - 5 January 

This period marks the Festival of Winter Walks 2020. It may not be possible to travel to the North Yorkshire Moors this year but it is a good reason to wrap up and head out for a local walk instead. Here are some of my favourite Winter Walks across North East England. 

20 December 

Today marks 74 years since the 'It's A Wonderful Life' premiere. It really is a gorgeous film and I'd recommend as a film to give you all of the festive feels. We usually watch on Christmas Eve but may squeeze in another viewing today.  

21 December 

It is 83 years since the premiere of Snow White today. Watching along on Disney+ may be a good panto alternative this year. 

Winter Solstice 

Today is the shortest day / longest night of the year. A lovely way to mark the occasion is to take some time out of your day to watch the sunrise (8:33am in Northumberland) or sunset (3:40pm in Northumberland). 

Christmas Period 

Merry Christmas! Time to eat, drink and be merry. 

31 December 

There aren't many people who won't be pleased to see the back of 2020. We don't know what 2021 will hold and if it will be any better but I will certainly be raising a glass of Champagne and hoping for a better year ahead. 

Click here to read 30+ ways to have a magical Christmas at home

Other posts you may enjoy: 

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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. 

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. 

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

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