Santa Claus is coming to Toon... and he’s a very busy man making appearances right across the North East. Get your diaries out and start booking your appointment as visitors wishing to take their children to meet Father Christmas this year in Newcastle and Gateshead will find he is in high demand (Santa has already sold out at The Alnwick Garden!). However, Old St Nick is not hard to find and will be making appearances at Santa’s Grottos, theatres, shopping centres, stadiums and attractions all across the North East.  Father Christmas 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 in the North East!

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 Father Christmas in Newcastle, Gateshead and the North East this winter with our useful guide below…

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 at his magical fireside grotto from Saturday 16 November right up until Christmas Eve. Santa’s trusted reindeer will also be waiting to say hello at Pockerley Waggonway. 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! An additional charge applies to meet Father Christmas at Beamish Museum but includes a small gift.

  • Meet Father Christmas at Gibside National Trust

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 Father Christmas Santa at Gibside are ticketed, so it’s worth booking early. Tickets are around £10 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. There are also 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.

Belsay Hall in Northumberland is the perfect location for a traditional Christmas encounter with Father Christmas. The English Heritage country estate is offering every boy and girl an audience with the man of the moment during the cosy, hour-long event which includes the sharing of Christmas tales beside a festive tree and a chance to have a photo with Father Christmas. Included in the £5 per child ticket price is a gift. Your excited little ones can marvel at An Audience with Father Christmas at Belsay Hall on Saturdays and Sundays between Saturday 20 November and Sunday 8 December 2019.

Father Christmas will be getting comfortable in his grotto at St James’ Park this November when he drops in at Newcastle’s iconic stadium. Head down to St James’ Park’s fabulous Festive Fayre (Sat 16 - Sun 17 November) where children will get an early visit from the big guy as well as a chance to get cracking on your Christmas shopping. 

That's not all - go on a behind the scenes tour of one of Newcastle's most iconic landmarks AND meet Father Christmas this December. St James' Park invite you to join them for a 60-minute tour of their stadium in the heart of Newcastle and then meet the big fella himself. Tickets are just £10 per person. Dates are very exclusive so be quick. Find out more here.

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.

  • Father Christmas loves to dine out in Newcastle and Gateshead

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 – both breakfast and supper club events at the much-loved department store Fenwick Newcastle sold out almost instantly, but there are still other options to dine out with Santa. Enjoy a sumptuous Sunday Lunch with Santa or a festive Family Afternoon Tea with the jolly fella both at Vermont Hotel Newcastle.

There is currently no information about a Santa’s Grotto at intu Metrocentre for 2019 but we have our fingers crossed that it will won’t be long before there is an announcement! In previous years, shoppers have been able to step into Santa’s magical grotto at the intu Metrocentre where Old Saint Nick himself is waiting among twinkling fairly lights and Christmas trees. We will keep you posted with any new information but usually the grotto is open every day throughout December, and this wintery grotto is typically 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.

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 cropping up all over the North East this year and has his own grotto at Life Science Centre as part of their festive take-over. Once you've whizzed around the ice on their popular outdoor rink, pop into the family attraction to introduce the kids to Santa Claus where you will find him every weekend in December as well as Monday 23 December, just before he heads off on his international postal duties. There is an additional cost to meeting Father Christmas at Centre for Life.

  • Mr and Mrs Claus at Kielder Winter Wonderland

You will struggle not to feel enchanted by the fully immersive Kielder Winter Wonderland experience. One of the more expensive festive events in the north east - it is well-worth the higher price bracket as it is a full day out with all the family. Visit Father Christmas in the depths of Kielder forest; help Mrs Christmas get ready for the busy season and meet many festive friends along the way as you take part in activities and enjoy the stunning scenery. This is a truly magical, festive day out which will definitely get the whole family in the seasonal spirit.

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. However, getting a hot ticket to meet Father Christmas at Fenwick Newcastle’s legendary rooftop experience is becoming about as likely as being given the secret to how the big fella accomplishes his Christmas Eve global deliveries. All tickets for 2019's Father Christmas event at Fenwick Newcastle have now sold out.

You can sign up to receive alerts directly from Fenwick Newcastle to help beat the ticket-buying frenzy in October each year. Never fear - there ARE still a very limited number of tickets available for Fenwick’s Santa’s Rooftop Cinema during November and December 2019. Watch classic, feel-good Christmas hits including Muppet’s Christmas Carol, Polar Express and Elf on the iconic department store’s rooftop.

  • Father Christmas Taking Shelter in Victoria Tunnel

Possibly Father Christmas’ most unusual stopping off spot is down the Victoria Tunnel in Ouseburn, although visitors will get two for the price of one at this Christmas event. Families will be led by five elves on an adventure through the historic tunnels and find Santa Claus and his wife Mary Christmas ready to spread some festive cheer.

3... 2... 1... We all love a Christmas Lights switch on and this year, Trinity Square Gateshead host 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 21 November 2019 but pop down early to Trinity Square (from 4pm) to meet Santa and listen to live entertainment – all for free!

It’s no secret that Santa Claus 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 11am to 4pm on Sunday. This will give you a chance to do a spot of Christmas shopping before and after your visit! The launch date for Father Christmas' residency at The Bridges has not yet been announced but we will keep you updated! Admission is £2 per child and 50p of this cost will be donated to Rotary SR1.

Join Santa in his Grotto and his face painting elves in Jesmond every Saturday and Sunday in December. Tickets start from £10.95 per child 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 (Sun 22 - Tue 24 December) as there will be a special appearance from The Grinch himself!

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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