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All The Best Ways to Spend Your Weekend It's a Wonderful Life, Dreamstime, Cinderella, Paxton House
What's on
December 2023
Reading time 3 Minutes

We have your weekend plans covered

From blowing off the cobwebs with a winter walk to late night Christmas shopping and festive, family shows, here are the best ways to stay busy this weekend.
The Everyman Cinema, Leeds

Magical nights…

Head to the Great North Museum on Friday 8th December for some magical, folklore fun. Open late, the museum is diving deep into the magic and mystery of historical Britain. Come along to hear ghostly tales of Victorian Newcastle, craft a curse tablet like the Romans did and learn about the Newcastle witch trials with the Archives team, all while sipping on delicious drinks provided by Newcastle University’s student-run brewery. Tickets available now. 

Shop ‘till you drop…

Need to grab those last few gifts (or need to get started) but can’t find the time? We have you covered. This weekend the Laing Art Gallery is offering a Festive Drop and Shop for busy families to run errands while their kids enjoy some festive activities at the gallery. Activities include making cards, Christmas decorations and customised wrapping paper and the event is recommended for kids between the ages of seven and 12. Pateley Bridge and its award-winning high street also has the return of its late night Christmas shopping this weekend, with the added bonus of live music, raffles and quizzes taking place. 

On the big screen…

Everyone has their own favourite Christmas movies that are a must-watch every year. Head along to your local cinema to catch all the classics on the big screen this weekend. The Jam Jar Cinema in Whitley Bay is showing The Polar Express and It’s a Wonderful Life. In Newcastle, the Tyneside Cinema is showing Love Actually. The Everyman cinema in Leeds will be showing Elf and (whether you think it’s festive or not) Die Hard is showing too. Yippee–ki–yay!

Paxton House

Step into Christmas…

Although we are in the happiest season, it is also one of the busiest seasons and sometimes you just need a breath of fresh air. Join the Mountain Boardroom Wellness Walk this weekend (Friday 8th) as they head across stunning Ilkley Moor before getting a few festive drinks in at Ilkley’s town centre. The organiser’s last wellness walk of the year will start in Darwin Gardens and tickets can be booked online. 

Berry and bright…

Hull Fruit Market is hosting a whole load of festivities this weekend including a free Winter Animal Trail for kids, acoustic music and lots of local, independent shopping. Make sure to stop in at the cafés for a well-earned seasonal treat and maybe even a naughty Christmas tipple. 

Step back in time…

Visit Paxton House in Berwick-upon-Tweed to learn about how Christmas traditions have changed through the years. Dating back to 1758, this weekend visitors have the chance to learn about Christmas for the staff over the years, how dinner was prepared, how the Home family celebrated the season and how the house was originally built. York Mansion House will also be hosting tours, including a cooking demonstration and discussions on the Georgian history of the house. 

Trot along…

Head to St Mary’s Church at Studley Royal this Saturday (9th) to learn about the wild deer that roam the grounds. Chat to the wildlife team on site to learn more about the different breeds including Red, Sika and Fallow deer. You will also have the chance to find out how the herd is managed and watch as they are given their winter feed. Take time to enjoy the beautiful grounds and make sure to visit the nearby Water Garden too. 


For an original take on a family classic, head to Northern Stage for Cinderella like you’ve never seen her before. Our protagonist Ella prefers Doc Martens to glass slippers, and when she meets a sweet boy in the woods and is invited to the Queen’s Christmas ball, her life will never be the same again. Get your tickets now for a night of festive magic for the whole family. We caught up with the show’s director and got the inside scoop here.

Oh Christmas tree…

The popular York Minster Christmas Tree Festival is back and better than ever. Head inside to wander through 60 decorated trees placed throughout the Minster, including in the stunning Nave, Chapter House, and Lady Chapel. Each tree has been decorated according to a specific theme by local schools and charities, and visitors will have to chance to vote for their favourite. Entry to the festival is free with general admission. 

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