The time between Christmas and New Year can sometimes feel a little quiet and strange while you bounce from one celebration to the next. Surrounded by piles of presents, no doubt covered in chocolate wrappers and racking your brains for the different ways to serve leftover turkey – it might be time to get the family out of the house.

We hope you all had a very merry Christmas and whether you’re enjoying a well-earned rest with your feet up re-watching the Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special or have decided to hit the sales in Newcastle… here are some great ways to entertain visiting relatives, restless children and avoid cabin fever between Christmas and New Year in Newcastle, Gateshead and the North East.

Get out of the house this Christmas and explore Newcastle, Gateshead and the North East

What can I do in Newcastle and Gateshead between Christmas and New Year?

  • Blow away the cobwebs

The urge to get out into the fresh air can be strong after a few days of festivities. Slip out for a Christmas walk in Newcastle and Gateshead or rally the whole family to stretch their legs between Christmas films at the coast and in the vast countryside on the doorstep. Blow off some steam with a winter walk around Derwent Walk Country Park to spot the elusive Red Kites. You can stop off at nearby Gibside (National Trust holders get in free) to explore their famous landscaped gardens or play in their brilliant play area complete with wooden castles, sand and water areas. Last entry to Gibside in winter is 3.30pm and the National Trust site will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

If you’re feeling like getting completely out of the city for a winter walk – head to English Heritage Housesteads Roman Fort for a ramble and some history… walking beside the majestic Hadrian’s Wall is free and if you are an English Heritage member then access to the museum is also free. Housesteads is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but will be open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day for a bracing walk. The English Heritage site on Hadrian’s Wall is open 10am – 4pm during the winter.

  • Hit the sales in Newcastle and Gateshead

If you didn’t get enough of the hustle and bustle of shopping in Newcastle and Gateshead in the run up to Christmas, then get yourselves into the city centre to hit the sales in Newcastle.

With department stores like Fenwick Newcastle and John Lewis and a wealth of retailers on offer throughout intu Eldon Square.

There are shops galore at intu Metrocentre for the fans of sale shopping and Gateshead’s mega shopping mall has a brilliant free panto for the kids (and big kids) showing from Friday 27 December – Friday 3 January 2020. Showings every day until Friday 3 January (expect New Year’s Day).

  • Have fun with the kids in Newcastle and Gateshead

Life Science Centre in Newcastle promise to put the 'wonder' into winter wonderland with science-themed festive fun! Get your skates on for a spin on the outdoor ice rink, take part in festive science demos and why not join Centre for Life’s family-friendly New Year’s Eve event?

Many of the season’s top pantos are still performing at theatres across Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland to bring a bit of sparkle and plenty of laughter to the time between Christmas and New Year. Head back in time and discover the history of Newcastle at the oldest building in the city; Newcastle Castle will be open throughout the Christmas holidays (but understandably is closed on Christmas Day!).  

  • Use your new Annual Passes

Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books will have its usual array of spectacular story times and drop in activities as well as your last chance to see their creative exhibitions. (Seven Stories is closed 24 - 27 December, and their full open times can be found here). 

Beamish Museum have a charming week of Twelfth Night celebrations including your chance to make your own Twelfth Night mask or candle as well as storytelling in the Old House. Activities will be running from Fri 27 – Sun 5 January (closed New Year's Day).

  • Relive the best films of 2019

If you're itching for a change of scenery and had enough of sitting on your own sofa munching on snacks, put your coat on over your "loungewear" and head to Tyneside Cinema to settle into a comfy seat there instead. Tyneside Cinema will be screening some of the best films from 2019 just for you between 26 December – 9 January 2020.

There are plenty of things to do in NewcastleGateshead all year round. Keep an eye out on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more suggestions for What's On between Christmas and New Year.

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