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All The Best Things To Do This November
What's on
November 2023
Reading time 4 Minutes

Remember, remember…

From fireworks to getting into the festive spirit, and all the best shows to book now, here's how to make the most of November.

Go off with a bang…

Remember, remember the 5th November. From Newcastle Racecourse’s funfair to a magic firework spectacular at Driffield Showground, find some of the best places to enjoy firework displays across the North East and Yorkshire here. When you get back home, this delicious s’mores hot chocolate is a toasty treat to warm you up. Or if you fancy a pint, a hearty meal and a roaring open fire here’s a selection of the best cosy pubs to hunker down in. 

Don’t miss…

Following an incredibly successful fair at Newcastle Racecourse (thank you to all who joined us), we’re doing it all again in York from 9th–12th November. Join us for a jam-packed day of shopping, food, live music and more as our Yorkshire Christmas Fair returns to York Racecourse! We’re thrilled to invite you to the biggest and best seasonal shopping event in the North, with more than 250 carefully-selected stands, from artisan designer-makers, local food producers and fashion retailers to homewares, gifts and accessories, and of course special Christmas decorations. Early bird discounted tickets are available until midnight on 8th November, but you can still buy tickets on the door. See you there!


Wear your poppy with pride on Remembrance weekend. Parades will be taking place across the weekend including the annual remembrance ride in Leeds (which is now entering its 12th year and has raised more than £43,000 for military charities) and a wreath-laying ceremony in Gateshead where there’ll be a march outside the Central Library, Prince Consort Road. If you’re staying in you can watch the National Service of Remembrance on Sunday 12th November on the BBC, Sky and ITV.

Dancers of Northern Ballet in Beauty & the Beast. Photo Tristram Kenton Dancers of Northern Ballet in Beauty & the Beast. Photo Tristram Kenton

Book a brilliant ballet…

Northern Ballet are bringing a tale as old as time to Newcastle Theatre Royal from 7th–11th November when Beauty & the Beast will be told using kaleidoscopic costumes and stunning sets – it’s a fairytale ballet for all ages to enjoy. At Leeds Grand Theatre at the end of the month (from 29th November) Christmas celebrations begin with the magic of Northern Ballet’s The Nutcracker.

See The Light(s)…

Dark nights means bright lights as some of the North East and Yorkshire’s best light displays return. That includes Lumiere (the UK’s light art biennial) which returns to Durham from 16th–19th November. Led by world-renowned artists Ai Weiwei and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, guests can see more than 40 installations – and this year’s Lumiere is planned to be the biggest yet, extending beyond the city to Bishop Auckland. The event is free for everyone to attend, but some time slots are ticketed.

Head to Scarborough from 15th November to experience an all new festive event, Scarborough Lights. This is the first event in the Scarborough Fair programme and will see the whole town sparkle and shine with free light displays. At the launch event on 18th November guests will see a fabulous drone display over Scarborough Castle, and don’t miss the brand-new winter lights trail at Peasholm Park. Artists locally and from across the UK and Europe have been involved in creating this incredible display and it’s not to be missed.

Go to a gig…

McFly’s tour heads to the North this month and Tom, Danny, Dougie and Harry will be stoping by O2 City Hall in Newcastle on 5th and 6th November, at Bridlington Spa on 10th November and O2 Academy Leeds on 13th November, and you ‘obviously’ won’t want to miss out on last minute tickets. Meanwhile local lad Joe McElderry will stop by Newcastle’s O2 City Hall on the last date of his tour on 10th November when Louis Tomlinson will be performing at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena (we can still dream of a 1D reunion…).

Story makers…

Yorkshire Festival of Story is taking place between 3rd and 19th November with a whole host of online and in-person events to enjoy. Beowulf (audio only) is one of the oldest surviving sagas in the English language and has been reimagined and will be retold by veteran storyteller Jon Buckeridge; FEAST (via Zoom) will invite you to engage with different artistic conversations and harbour new creative collaborations with artists; and Changelings (in-person on 19th November) is a unique show telling the story of a changing world and its people.

Have a laugh…

We’re loving watching Hull’s Lucy Beaumont on Taskmaster right now and it’s no surprise tickets are selling fast for her tour (with her shows in Hull and York already sold out) – but you can still get your hands on tickets to see her at Leeds’ City Varieties Music Hall on 7th November. On 10th November don’t miss your chance to see another comedian, Matt Reed, with his show Come In and Get Your Tea at ARC Stockton Arts Centre. He’s hosting a live, chatty cookery show where professional chefs will team up with local, familiar faces to recreate their favourite (or not so favourite) childhood teas. We’re thrilled to hear he’ll be joined by Amy from Norton’s Blondie Bakery.

Sew good…

A weekend of textile and tapestry activities will take place on 4th and 5th November, complementing The Auckland Project’s major campaign to restore a lost tapestry of Henry VIII’s and bring it back to Britain, with a permanent home in Auckland Castle’s newly-opened Faith Museum. Visitors can see an artist at work in rooms built during the Tudor era, and discover how this historic craft continues to thrive in the 21st century.

Garlanded fireplace in Bamburgh Castle's Cross Hall by Stuart Boulton Bamburgh Castle, Stuart Boulton

Read More: The Best Ways to Appreciate Art This Autumn and Winter

We like to move it…

When they escape their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the world of King Julien’s Madagascar, how will our favourite animals survive? Join Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo for Madagascar the Musical, starring CBBC’s Karim Zeroual, at Sunderland Empire from 22nd–25th November.

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

Christmas is coming and you won’t want to miss all the fabulously festive displays across the North East and Yorkshire, just perfect for getting you into the festive spirit. The Christmas Kingdom returns to Bamburgh Castle on 11th November. Following last year’s Twelve Days of Christmas, the Charlotte Lloyd Webber Event Design team are returning with a  spectacular display inspired by Northumberland’s ancient myths and legends. On the same day, Castle Howard’s spectacular installation is available to visit in the main house. This Christmas visitors will get lost on a magical adventure in Neverland, also thanks to Charlotte Lloyd Webber Event Design. It might just re-ignite your belief in fairies.

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