NewcastleGateshead has plenty of fun things to do during the Christmas season, whether you’re looking to spend time with friends or enjoy a day out as a couple. If celebrating the holiday season in style is at the top of your wish list, why not explore all of the great festive things to do in NewcastleGateshead this year and uncover the magic of Christmas time in the Toon.

Newcastle Christmas Markets

Newcastle’s Christmas markets are sure to get you in the holiday spirit this season, with a number of pop-up markets bringing festive cheer to your door. Sitting at the base of Grey’s Monument throughout a number of weeks in December is Newcastle’s European Christmas Market.

This busy Christmas market visits every year and boasts over 40 different traders from around the globe. Think delicious cuisine from across the Continent including Spanish paella, Belgian waffles and French crepes, alongside traditional gifts such as hand-crafted Russian dolls and home-made wreaths and toys.

Further afield, you can seek solace in the warmth of Alnwick Christmas Market’s marquee. With regional musicians performing live as well as delicious hand-made, locally sourced treats available at every turn, you’re sure to soak up the cosy atmosphere while enjoying the quaint surroundings of Alnwick.

Quayside Market and Tynemouth Market also provide weekly offerings for festive gifts and decorations, including handmade wreaths, sweets and artwork. The Alternative Christmas Market in Jesmond also visits every year in early December, and offers 50 different stalls supplied with the best North East’s ethically sourced goods.

Hadrian’s Tipi

This Christmas, immerse yourself in a rustic, cosy setting or take a break from a day of Christmas shopping at Hadrian’s Tipi. Settled in the heart of Newcastle city centre as a pop-up Yuletide retreat, you can while away the hours by kicking back and warming your aching feet by the log fire.

A bustling home to flavours from around the world, including German Bratwurst, fresh from the charcoal fired grill, as well as locally brewed beers which amplify the atmospheric surroundings, the Tipi was originally set up to pay homage to the drunken escapades of Roman Emperor Hadrian and his friends as they travelled the world. Open seven days a week from 8am until 1am, Hadrian’s Tipi is on-hand for wanderers, shoppers and party-goers alike to come together during the Christmas period and celebrate the festivities under one roof!

Beamish Museum at Christmas

Lovers of North East Christmas traditions will be enamoured with the nostalgic, Victorian festivities at Beamish Museum. Throughout the Christmas season, you’ll discover a quirky outdoor bazaar in The Town’s park; fully stocked with charming trinkets. If gifts are what you’re searching for, you can also pop into the traditional Victorian sweet shop and bakery where you can pick up sugary treats such as cinder toffee, candy canes, cakes and fudge.

Over the winter months, Beamish also has a Christmas Grotto with adorable reindeer to interact with and, of course, an opportunity to meet Father Christmas himself. If those options don’t make the grade, then you’re sure to get a warm fuzzy feeling by exploring Beamish’s Winter Fun Fair, where you can take to the ice and perfect your skating skills. Alternatively, for those not ready to let go of the festivities once the big day has passed, there’s the Twelfth Night Celebrations which run into the New Year.

Escape the haze of modern life and go back to the roots of a traditional Christmas in the North East by enjoying the wistful Victorian charm of Beamish at Christmas.

Christmas at Gibside

Gibside is beautiful to visit at any time of year, but Christmas time at Gibside is extra special.

The Gibside Christmas market should be your first stop, peppered with stalls which offer a range of bespoke gifts such as traditional children’s toys and glittering decorations, all within the stunning surroundings of Gibside estate. The annual Santa Dash is also a great day out for active folk who don’t mind braving the cold for a scenic 2k or 5k fun run for charity; beard and Santa hat required, of course.

Once you’ve wandered the Christmas trail, where you can spot hidden surprises among the trees, head to the Gibside pub to thaw by the cosy log burners with a delicious, piping hot mulled wine. Here you can tuck into festive treats such as turkey sandwiches or hot cocoa or try out bar snacks at Gibside’s Foodie Night’s which take place every third Saturday of the month, all year round.

For those looking for something more traditional, you can find yourself lulled into festive bliss by enjoying carols by candlelight in Gibside Chapel, as well as taking part in garland and wreath making workshops to hone your Christmas crafting skills for years to come.

Festive Lights at Alnwick Garden

Alnwick Garden creates a true spectacle this season, and pulls out all of the stops to bring a touch of magic to Northumberland.

From its warm and welcoming Christmas market to a Christmas trail set up for those with children, Alnwick Garden has a little something for everyone this December. Brighten up those cold winter nights with a visit to Alnwick to see The Grand Light Parade, which takes place each year and sees a luminescent procession from the Garden into Alnwick town centre. Alnwick’s Sparkle Lighting display illuminates the fountain and surrounding gardens with a spectrum of stunning shapes and colours.

You don’t have to spend all of your time outdoors when visiting Alnwick. The atmospheric Pavilion Café, which overlooks The Grand Cascade will be serving festive Christmas lunches throughout December while the nearby Treehouse Restaurant is the perfect place to spend an evening, as you enjoy a delicious a’ la carte dining experience under twinkling fairy lights, by a roaring log fire.

Christmas films at Tyneside Cinema

What Christmas in Newcastle would be complete without the nostalgia of your favourite classic Christmas films?

From It’s a Wonderful Life and a Frozen sing-a-long to screenings of Home Alone and Die Hard, all of your festive favourites return to the big screen each Christmas at Tyneside Cinema. Tickets can be booked online and, for a little extra, you can add mulled wine and a tasty mince pie to your experience.

Providing the perfect escape from a frosty afternoon in the Toon, or a great option for a cosy date night away from the sofa, you can round off this Christmas tradition with a visit to the Tyneside Bar and Café, where you can tuck into their film-themed festive menus or have a decadent tipple, such as their luxurious Baileys hot chocolate!

Enchanted Parks

Enchanted Parks in Gateshead’s Saltwell Park is a popular after-dark adventure every year. This annual event is held in Gateshead throughout December and is known for being one of the most visually striking events of the Christmas season.  Attracting a broad range of visitors from across the North East, Enchanted Parks sees commissioned artists transform Saltwell Park into a mythical wonderland, with themes varying year-on-year. Capture your imagination in the run up to Christmas each year with an unforgettable experience full of art, adventure and mystical merriment in the fresh wintery air of the beautiful Saltwell Park. Tickets typically go on sale in October so keep an eye out on the Winter Festival social media to be ready to book yours.

Heritage skills at Auckland Castle

Once home to the Prince Bishop of Durham, Auckland Castle previously housed lavish celebrations and hunting parties; all which make it a stunning location for wintery festivities at Christmas. Auckland’s unique Heritage Craft Workshops are an unforgettable opportunity to learn the trades of days gone by to create beautiful and personal Christmas decorations you can treasure.

This Christmas, why not attend one of their door garland workshops? With a skilled tutor, you can craft unique decorations for your home, or create a personalised gift for someone you love. With plenty of other classes available, including the chance to build your very own willow reindeer, this is the perfect chance to learn something new while immersing yourself in Newcastle’s rich history.

Newcastle’s Best Christmas Parties

If you prefer to enjoy the festive season with a drink in hand, as opposed to a mince pie, a night on the town is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Experience the joys of Newcastle’s nightlife in full swing of the Christmas period.

Choose from a selection of great venues, whether you’re headed out for drinks with friends, a quiet cocktail with a loved one or attending a raucous office Christmas party. The Winter Secret Garden at Gosforth Racecourse is the latest event in Newcastle’s Christmas party calendar which provides everything from drinks and canapés to dancing, while bars such as Colonel Porter’s, The Town Wall and Hoochie Coochie host Christmas themed nights throughout December and on Boxing Day.

You can also wind down with a sparkling glass of prosecco or a fruity cider at any of NewcastleGateshead’s fantastic pubs which are sure to have the Christmas tunes on full blast, and a warm Geordie welcome waiting for you.

NewcastleGateshead have an array of experiences to offer throughout the Christmas season. If you’re heading to the North East for a spot of Christmas shopping, why not check out our Visitor’s Guide for more great things to do during your stay? Also, don’t forget to tweet us your own favourite things to do in Newcastle at Christmas @altweet_pet!

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