Santa Claus is coming to town! If you’re thinking of taking your children to meet Santa this year, he’ll be making appearances at grottos all across Newcastle and Gateshead, for a fun family day out. The big fella is already dusting off his suit, practicing his ‘ho ho ho’s!’ and packing up his sleigh, ready to meet all the boys and girls on his nice list!

Tell your kids to get their Christmas lists at the ready and be on their best behaviour to meet the jolly fella himself!

Discover where you can meet Santa this December with our guide below…

Meet Father Christmas on the Rooftop at Fenwick Newcastle

Visiting Santa at Fenwick’s department store has been a Geordie Christmas tradition for many years, and with Fenwick’s Christmas window in full swing, you’ll not want to miss a trip with your own little ones. This year - be prepared for the ultimate festive feels with a brand new location for Father Christmas. Arguably making it a little easier for Santa to dash about, you are invited up onto the rooftop of Fenwick for what will undoubtedly be a wonderful wintery extravaganza. This will be a full blown festive family experience complete with singing reindeer, biscuit decorating, snow making and much more right up there on the historic buildings rooftop! You will never forget meeting Santa on the Rooftop at Fenwick.

You really should book well in advance if you want to take part as Fenwick is a popular hotspot at Christmas time.

Santa's Grotto at intu Metrocentre

Discover Santa’s magical grotto at the intu Metrocentre where you’ll find Old Saint Nick himself among twinkling fairly lights and Christmas trees. Running every day during the week, from 10am to 8pm, and over weekends throughout December, you’ll find this wintery grotto located in the Lower Qube of the Yellow Mall. Not only is your meeting with Santa free, children visiting Santa will receive a free gift.

You’ll also find special Relaxed Sessions every Sunday from 10am - 12noon.  Christmas at the intu Metrocentre has always been particularly special, too. With dazzling decorations and plenty of festive offers to explore in the shops throughout each mall, you and your kids can truly get into the spirit in the run up to the big day!

Santa's Grotto at Beamish

Christmas at Beamish is a truly magical affair. Travel back in time to the early 1900s and discover what Christmas was like 100 years ago. Not only can you enjoy the festive atmosphere and old-school decorations, you can see Santa himself as he hands out mulled wine and roasted chestnuts at his magical fireside grotto. Typically - Santa arrives in style to launch Christmas with a festive parade at Beamish in mid-November. In previous year's he has arrived by RAF Sea King helicopter, by motorbike, on a fire engine, as part of a nativity parade with real camels... this year Father Christmas will show up alongside huskies! 

Christmas events at Beamish will be open to attend throughout December, and you can make the most of your visit by validating your ticket for a year so you can return to Beamish again for free!

Meet Santa at Gibside

Gibside is a beautiful National Trust site with plenty of Christmas fun and frolics to enjoy over the festive period, however it is also a great place to meet Santa. Meet and greets with Santa at Gibside will be ticketed, so it’s worth booking early. Tickets are around £8 per person, and once your little ones have put in their requests for this years’ gifts, you can wander the beautiful wintry grounds of this historic site. Not to be outdone, Mrs Claus has left you a Christmas Trail to follow around the wintery gardens as well as plenty of opportunities to feel festive with carol singing and live music at Gibside too.

Father Christmas will also be at Cragside in Northumberland. Join him beside a crackling fire in his cosy grotto during December.

Santa's Enchanted Musical Forest at Sage Gateshead

A campfire, mysterious musical forest and an Early Years Christmas folk band... Sage Gateshead are welcoming Santa to their place the musical way! Join in with this enchanting event throughout December where little ones will meet Santa Claus who will present each child with a gift. This experience is suitable for ages up to 7 and lasts 25 minutes.

Get your tickets early to avoid disappointment – you can always head to the Brasserie for a cake and a cuppa afterwards too!

Father Christmas at St James' Park

There are two opportunities to meet the big guy at St James' Park this winter. Head down to their fabulous Festive Fayre (Sat 17 - Sun 18 November) where you'll get an early visit as well as a chance to get cracking on your Christmas shopping. Santa will then return later in the season to ensure the Christmas Stadium Tour with Santa are a festive occasion to remember.

Santa Specials at Stephenson Railway Museum

Not wishing to be outdone, Father Christmas has taken to the railway to celebrate the festive season. Hop on Stephenson Railway Museum's heritage train and ride on up to meet Santa and his guest. The whole experience is magical with traditional music, on-board entertainers and even a gift for each child. These events - which take place on Saturdays and Sundays only - are always very popular and book up very quickly each year. Make sure to buy your ticket well in advance.


Santa's Grotto at Trinity Square Lights Switch On

3... 2... 1... We all love a Christmas Lights switch on and this year, Trinity Square Gateshead a hosting a whole host of free family activities to get you in the Christmas mood before the big switch is flicked. Santa will be ready in his Grotto waiting to say hello and find out whether you have been naughty or nice. The Christmas Lights will be turned on at 6.30pm on Thursday 22 November 2018 but pop down early to Trinity Square (from 4pm) to meet Santa, listen to live music and meet the stars of Tyne Theatre and Opera House's Cinderella.

Santa's Grotto at The Bridges Sunderland

It’s no secret that Santa Clause is well travelled, which is why you needn’t miss out in meeting Santa if you’re in Sunderland for the day. Santa’s Grotto at Sunderland’s The Bridges shopping centre is open between 10am and 4pm from Monday to Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday. This will give you a chance to do a spot of Christmas shopping before and after your visit! Meet Father Christmas from 15 November right up to Christmas Eve... what a guy! Admission is £2 per child and 50p of this cost will be donated to Rotary SR1.

Santa's Grotto at As You Like It

Join Santa in his Grotto and his face painting elves in Jesmond every Saturday and Sunday in December 11.30am until 4pm. Tickets are around £12 for children and booking is advised, however once your little ones have met Father Christmas, you can relax with a bite to eat and a drink at this cosy restaurant-bar. Keep your wits about you over the Christmas weekend (Sat 22 - Mon 24 December) as there will be a special appearance from The Grinch himself!

Father Christmas loves to dine out

Breakfast, dinner or tea - Father Christmas loves to dine out and with a choice of top quality hotels and eateries across the North East you'll be able to grab a bite with the big fella before he takes to the skies. He's a popular guy - Breakfast with Santa is now sold out at the much-loved department store Fenwick but you can still book your tea with Father Christmas at Fenwick. Enjoy a sumptuous Christmas Lunch with Santa at Crowne Plaza in the heart of Newcastle or a spot of lunch at historic Alnwick Castle.

While our list of places to meet Father Christmas in NewcastleGateshead is not exhaustive, you’ll find plenty more dates and locations to be added should you miss out on any of the above! Check back for more information or tweet us at @altweet_pet and we’ll let you know where Santa is setting up shop near you!

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