What's On For Kids & Teens (December 2021)

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Welcome to December! Here is my ultimate guide to things to do this month. I have tried to only include events which do not need to be booked or which have plenty of availability.

It is super important that you double check event details with venues direct when planning a trip and before heading out as information may change and events can be cancelled / postponed (especially if they've been affected by the recent storm). 

Winter Wonderlands 

Credit : Rainton Arena 

Winter Wonderland's are open across the region throughout December (check individual attractions for opening times). They usually include funfair rides, ice skating, character/Santa visits and festive food and stalls. You can read our guides below: 

Visit Beamish this Festive Season 


Beamish is next on my list for a festive outing this December. At the moment, everyone needs to book a timeslot in advance (you can find out more / check opening times & book a time slot here). Here are my top 10 reasons to visit: 

  1. With the Beamish Unlimited Pass, you pay once and can visit as many times as you like for the following year (evening events are excluded). Beamish is one of the best value days out in the region.

  2. Dogs are welcome in the outdoor areas (and a few indoor areas) and much of Beamish accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

  3. This year, Birch Wood has been transformed into 'Elf Wood' and there is an Elf Trail running though the grounds at no additional cost.

  4. During weekends and school holidays visitors can look out for Father Christmas passing by in a traditional vehicle. Don't forget to give his a cheer and a wave as he passes. Alternatively, you can book to meet Father Christmas in his Grotto (bookable seperately and in advance).

  5. You can discover a traditional Georgian Christmas from the 1820s at Pockerley, enjoy the traditional decorations in the 1900s town, discover how Miners celebrated Christmas in Edwardian times in the Pit Village, learn all about Christmas in the 1940s during WWII and rations at the farm and celebrate Christmas 1950s style at the Welfare Hall.

  6. Enjoy festive shopping at the traditional sweet shop and bakery plus pop-up market stalls in the town (and don't forget the gift shop as you leave). 

  7. There will be live festive music across weekends from the bandstand. 

  8. Enjoy a traditional Christmas Dinner in the Tearooms (weekends and school holidays).

  9. Looking for something to do between Christmas and New Year? Twelfth Night Celebrations take place at Beamish from 27 December 2021 - 2 January 2022. Expect live music, festive dancing and traditional food. Perfect for blowing away the Christmas cobwebs! 

  10. Taking a ride on a traditional tram or bus is a brilliant way to soak in the Christmas atmosphere (and it's included with admission too). 


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Sunderland Empire 


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be showing at Sunderland Empire for three weeks from 10 December. Tickets are available from just £13 with concessions available for under 16s, seniors, groups and schools. Find out more and book here. 

Expect a star cast (including Su Pollard and Miss Rory), lots of laughs, a beautiful princess, seven bumbling dwarfs, a magic mirror, naughty nurse, hilarious jester and more. 

This really is the 'North East's Canniest Panto'.

Bamburgh Castle 

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Bamburgh Castle this year and they have gone 'all out' with Saints and Angels. The Castle is open daily over the festive period with the exception of Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Read our guide to visiting here. 


Winter Walks 

Obviously, please double check these walks are open and safe before visiting but here are a few ideas to try: 

Ice Skating


Other Christmas Events & Christmas Markets 


Drop In Santa's Grottos/Visits (or with good availability) 


Ideas for Staying at Home / Isolating 



Bookable Events - 18 & 19 December 


  • 18 December -  Trainmaster at Newcastle  - find out more and book here 

  • 18 December - Elfin' Around Christmas Experience at South Shields Museum - find out more and book here. 



  • 18 December - The Big Family Christmas Disco at Platform 1 Bedlington - find out more here

  • 18 December - Yule 2021 at Jarrow Hall - find out more and book here 

    Credit : Jarrow Hall 


  • 18 December - Mission Imp-ossible at Walltown Country Park - find out more and book here 

  • 18 December - Winter Solstice at Dilston Physic Garden - find out more and book here 

  • 18 & 19 December - VR Santa Sleigh Ride at Dorman Museum - find out more and book here 




  • 18 & 19 December - Enchanted Festive Forest at Raby Castle - find out more and book here 

  • 18 & 19 December - Santa at the Station at Head of Steam - find out more and book here 

  • 18 & 19 December - FREE Festive Fun at Locomotion Shildon including make a stained glass window, festive trail, festive wish tree, bridge building challenge, build a light circuit - book your free time slot here

  • 18 & 19 December - Christmas Activities at Beamish this weekend include:

    -Live music from the Bandstand
    -Elf Trail & Elf Wood
    -Festive Decorations & Market Stalls 
    -Traditional Fairground 
    -Learn About a Traditional Georgian Christmas at Pockerley including 1820s Food & Drink
    -Visit the Pit Village and discover how Miners celebrated Christmas
    -Discover a 1940s Christmas at the farm and see how Christmas was celebrated during the Second World War while rations were in place 
    -Find out about a 1950s Christmas in the Welfare Hall 
    -Take a Ride on the Waggonway in the 1820s Landscape 
    -Enjoy Traditional Tram & Bus Rides 
    -Look Out for Father Christmas Travelling around Beamish in a range of Traditional Vehicles. Make sure you give him a wave. 
    -Visit Father Christmas in his Grotto (book ahead)

    Find out more and book your time slot here. 

  • 19 & 20 December - Santa's Sports Day (Gosforth) - find out more and book here. 

18 & 19 December - Drop-in Events with NO Booking Required

  • 18 December - A Pop Up Christmas at Kirkleatham with FREE Christmas Trails, Live Music, Christmas Markets, FREE drop-in crafts (Christmas tree decorations) - find out more here




  • 18 December - Orange Pip Market Christmas Edition - find out more here 

  • 18&19 December - Stories with Mrs Christmas, Music in the Central Hall and Christmas Crafts at Wallington (included with admission/membership) - find out more here 

  • 18 & 19 December - FREE Visits to Santa in his Sleigh at The Galleries (including a small gift) - find out more here 

  • 18 & 19 December - Christmas Tree Festival at Ushaw Historic House - find out more here

  • 18 & 19 December - Percy the Park Keeper's Winter Wonder / Activity Trail at most North East National Trust Sites - find out more here 

  • 18&19 December - Christmas Adventure Quest at Belsay Hall (included with English Heritage Membership) - find out more here 

  • 18&19 December - FREE Santa's Grotto at Manor Walks - find out more here 

  • 18&19 December - Festive Quiz & Robin Trail at Northumberlandia - find out more here 

  • 18 & 19 December Go Loco Mini Railway at Redfox Garden World - find out more here 

  • 18&19 December - FREE Visit Fenwick's Window - here are some ideas for other festive things to do in Newcastle while you are there. 

  • 18&19 December - FREE Newcastle's Christmas Markets 




  • 18&19 December - Drop-in Santa's Grotto at Dalton Park - find out more here. 

  • 18&19 December - Drop-in Santa's Grotto at The Bridges - find out more here 

  • 18&19 December - FREE Arctic Experience and Ice Skating at Metrocentre - find out more here 




  • 18&19 December - FREE Meet the Donkeys at PlantsPlus Garden Centre - find out more here 

  • 18&19 December - FREE Cullercoats Community Advent Trail - find out more here 

  • 18&19 December - FREE Investigating Detectives Interactive Exhibition at The Word - find out more here 

  • 18&19 December - Visit the FREE Areas of Seven Stories - find out more here 

  • 18&19 December - Visit the FREE Decorations and Festive Displays at Azure Garden Centre - find out more here 

  • 18&19 December - Visit the FREE Museums & Galleries in Newcastle. The small indoor play area has now re-opened at Laing, the Interactive Science Maze is worth a visit at Discovery Museum, Great North Museum has re-opened their Mouse House and BALTIC has various FREE exhibitions and activities running for kids 

  • 18&19 December - Visit Preston Park and enjoy their Victorian Christmas Experience with Christmas Crafts & Festive Decorations - find out more here 

  • 18&19 December - Snow White's Enchanted Forest Trail at Sunderland Winter Gardens - find out more here 

  • 18&19 December - Woody's Winter Trail at Woodhorn - find out more here 

    Credit : Woodhorn 


  • 19 December - Santa's Grotto at Billingham Forum with FREE Ice Skating Session - find out more here

  • 19 December - FREE Pop Up Christmas at Kirkleatham including live music, christmas markets & crafts - find out more here 

  • 19 December - Christmas Carols on the Green at Norton - find out more here 

  • 19 December - Christmas Carols at Seaton Delaval Hall - find out more here 


20-24 December - Bookable Events 

20-24 December - Drop-in Events with NO Booking Required 


Twixmas - What to do between Christmas & New Year 


These dates were checked on 13 December. ALWAYS double check info with venues direct before heading out as info and opening hours can change. 

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