Black Friday is a shopping frenzy that is known to send people berserk the world over. The hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping is definitely hotting up but instead of surfing the web, why not enjoy a day out in Newcastle and Gateshead with a spot of retail therapy? If the thought of the Black Friday sale kills your Christmas shopping buzz, then we’ve found you some alternative and unique Christmas gift ideas that don’t involve elbowing your way to the checkout or queuing from the crack of dawn. Surprise your friends, family and other halves with something a bit different this Christmas and at the same time, support local shops and explore more of what's on offer in Newcastle and Gateshead in 2020.

Shop Local

BALTIC Shop Newcastle Gateshead

Give the crush of the "usual" high street shops a miss and surprise your friends and family with a totally unique gift from local, independent retailers such as BALTIC Shop61side UpSide Down PresentsSouvenirs Upon Tyne Grainger Market and Fenwick Food Hall. From Geordie souvenirs, original art, prints to brighten up any trendy home and much more – you’ll feel very smug with your purchases and have supported local shops and creatives while ticking off your Christmas list.

Seven Stories' independent bookshop in Ouseburn is also a great place to visit and stocks a great array of signed copies of favourite books and gifts for all your book-loving friends and family. You can even pay it forward this Christmas with Seven Stories' Send A Story campaign.

Ouseburn Open Studios (23 - 24 November) also have gifts galore for you to buy from local artists and creators. Don’t forget Stack in the heart of Newcastle where you can stop off for a well-earned mulled wine in their festive tipi to refuel.

Something for the history buffs in the family: Newcastle City Guides Season Tickets

Newcastle city centre

Newcastle City Guides season tickets offer access to over 40 different heritage walks throughout the year, as well as the City Highlights tours which run daily during the summer. They make wonderful Christmas gifts for anyone interested in the history, heritage and culture of NewcastleGateshead. 

Buy a Newcastle City Guide season ticket

Blackfriars’ Cooking Classes

Blackfriars Restaurant Newcastle

Treat your favourite foodie this Christmas to a selection of workshops and events at award-winning restaurant, Blackfriars.

Why not book them into a session dedicated to the flavour-filled cuisine of Mexico - Wednesday Cookery Club: Mexicano (Wed 15 Jan 2020), or for the gift that keeps on giving, book a loved one onto their Valentine's Chocolate Making (Wed 12 Feb 2020) where they will make a beautifully decorated box of soft-centred chocolates.

Find out more about events in 2020 at Blackfriars on their website.

Gift of Drama, Escapism, Music and Imagination

Sunderland Empire theatre

A trip to the theatre or venue to experience live music and performance is a powerful gift which will create lasting memories. With so many different performances, concerts and productions to choose from at venues across the North East, there is something for every taste.

  • Sunderland Empire

Let your loved one choose from a vast array of performances including 2020 highlights The Sound of Music (February 2020), Burn the Floor with Kevin Clifton and Joanne Clifton (April 2020) and Derren Brown: Showman (August 2020).

Buy a Sunderland Empire gift card.

  • Northern Stage

Pick up a Northern Stage Season Pass for your theatre loving friend to help them save more when they visit Northern Stage in 2020. The new season is packed with cutting-edge theatre and original productions including The Talented Mr Ripley (March 2020) and The War of The Worlds (June 2020) and Faustus: That Damned Woman (March – April 2020).

  • Sage Gateshead

Music lovers, concert goers and want-to-be musicians would appreciate a gift certificate for Sage Gateshead this Christmas.

  • Tyne Theatre and Opera House

Tyne Theatre and Opera House has established itself as the go-to theatre for comedy and with acts including Ed Byrne (February 2020) and Iain Stirling (May 2020) already in the calendar for 2020, you can understand why. You can also name a seat  at the Grade 1 listed theatre and dedicate it to your someone special this Christmas!

  • Live Theatre

Famed for their experimental theatre and original productions,  Live Theatre have gift vouchers available so your theatre-buff can choose the performance that tickles their fancy in 2020.

Give the Gift of Time

Sleeperz Hotel lobby Newcastle

Why not go the whole hog and treat a loved one or best pal to a city break in NewcastleGateshead to stave off those January blues? With hotels, self-catered apartments and B&Bs to suit all budgets, a long weekend or a staycation in the North East should be on the cards for 2020. Sleeperz Newcastle is ideally suited if arriving in the city by train as it is centrally located and Motel One in the heart of the city even welcomes dogs. Discover a broad range of accommodation in Newcastle and Gateshead including hotels, apartments, cottages and quirky places to stay.

Give the Gift of Monkeying Around

Go Ape Experience Gift Vouchers for Newcastle Matfen Hall

Something for your Adventurers - why not buy a gift experience with Go Ape Newcastle (Matfen Hall) and let your thrill-seekers whizz through the trees in the stunning Northumberland countryside? This is certainly the gift that keeps on giving!

The Adventurer gift experience is £30 and packages go up to £90.

Annual Passes to the Best Attractions in the Region

Beamish Museum County Durham

A gift that keeps giving! Treat your family and friends to a year-long experience with an annual pass to brilliant venues across the region including Beamish Museum, Seven Stories - The National Centre for Children’s Books, Alnwick Garden and Alnwick Castle (closed for winter until 27 Mar 2020), English Heritage or National Trust.

Book a Tour of Wylam Brewery

Wylam Brewery at Palace of Arts Exhibition Park Newcastle

Wylam Brewery is a 30 Barrel Micro Brewery that resides at the Palace of Arts in Exhibition Park. Book your friends, family or partner on a Brewery Tour as the perfect gift for someone who loves quality, local brew.  Tours take place every Saturday at 11am and include an introduction to the brewing process, a brief history of the Brewery and the opportunity to sample four of Wylam's beers.

Football Fans on (Stadium) Tour

St James' Park now offer gift vouchers for their Stadium Tours in Newcastle.

Wow your family and friends with a St. James’ Park Stadium Tour. The unique gift vouchers allow the recipient an open ticket to a 90-minute stadium tour at one of Newcastle's most iconic landmarks. 

Support North East Homeless charity this Christmas 

Support Newcastle charity North East Homeless this Christmas

For the cost of one drink on your Christmas night out, why not donate a hot meal to the people in Newcastle and Gateshead community who are homeless this Christmas? North East Homeless will be providing a festive hot meal under the shelter of Newcastle Central Station's magnificent entrance this year. You can make your £4.99 donation through NEoffer's Christmas campaign. 

Donate here

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