The latest stories, straight to your inbox

The latest stories, straight to your inbox

Be inspired every day with Living North

Subscribe today and get every issue delivered direct to your door
Subscribe Now
Be inspired every day with Living North
The Best Ways to Spend the Weekend Before Christmas Great Northern Artists Winter Solstice Ball, National Trust, Unsplash, Wintry Tales, Sheffield Christmas Market
What's on
December 2023
Reading time 3 Minutes
With very few sleeps left until Christmas, here are the best ways to fill your weekend.
Wintry Tales Production, photographed by Mark Savage

Solstice celebrations…

To celebrate the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, there are a number of events taking place across the region this weekend. Head to Rawcliffe Park in York for the Sylvankin Winter Solstice Fayre on Friday (22nd) for some fun, food and live music. The event will also include storytelling, winter foraging, leather working and bushcraft workshops to get stuck into with the whole family. Or head to NorthLights Art Centre in Leeds for their annual Great Northern Artists Winter Solstice Ball this Friday (22nd). The night will include food, drinks and a DJ so you can dance the longest night of the year away. 

Take in a show…

This weekend catch the return of the wacky and wonderful theatre production Wintry Tales: Snow-Covered Maps and Mountainous Mayhem. After the success of last year’s show, the team returns to Newcastle's Live Theatre with an all-new outrageous and off-the-wall tale for children. This show will follow our heroes as they search for goblin gold, help a wizard detective and step aboard an intergalactic train. The script was put together using the ideas of local school children and promises to be a completely original night of adventure. Catch it on Friday and Saturday (22nd–23rd). For something more traditional, head to Yeadon on Saturday and Sunday (23rd–24th) for their Christmas Spectacular to meet all your favourite festive figures including Rudolph, Santa’s elves and Father Christmas himself. 

Meet Santa…

This is the last weekend to head to Belsay Hall in Northumberland and meet Santa in person. Join the group storytelling sessions as Santa tells his favourite festive tales and gives each child an early Christmas gift. In Yorkshire, head to Pickering or Grosmont station on Saturday and Sunday (23rd–24th) to meet Santa as he rides the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Take a ride with him and his merry team of elves as he makes his way through the carriages giving out gifts to everyone on the nice list. From 22nd–23rd December at Boston Park Farm near Doncaster, children can enjoy a set meal in the tearoom including sandwiches and mince pies before being taken to make reindeer food with the elves, and meeting with Santa himself to be given a gift. 

Read More: Our Pick of the Best Christmas Films to Watch This Year

Live music…

Want to catch a last-minute concert before the big day? There’s plenty of choice. Playing O2 City Hall Newcastle on Saturday 23rd are local folk-rock legends Lindisfarne. For some festive magic, this Saturday (23rd) Leeds City Museum is hosting Candlelight Christmas, with music from much-loved classics including Home Alone, Love, Actually and more. For something a bit different, head to Lindley Manor House in Huddersfield on Christmas Eve for the nostalgic sound of a brass band playing your favourite Christmas carols. 

Sheffield Christmas Market

Mulled wine and mysteries…

Looking for something a bit different to get you in the spirit this weekend? At Beamish Hall on Saturday (23rd) enjoy dinner and drinks as you try to solve the mystery of the body found in the library at Lord Jape’s 1932 Christmas Party. Dress up as guests and enjoy a three-course meal as you try to solve this festive whodunnit before the night is through. But beware, the murderer could be anyone…

Read More: Christmas TV Guide: New Movies and Christmas Specials to Watch This Festive Season

Full steam ahead…

Visit the most famous steam engine in the country, The Flying Scotsman, this festive season at Locomotion in Shildon. Imagine yourself driving the impressive machine as you step inside the cab and see the firebox alight. Locomotion, a railway museum in County Durham, is the last stop on the Flying Scotsman’s centenary tour. To mark this, the museum will also be showing Flying Scotsman: 100 years, 100 voices, a film made specially for this tour showing the lives of those touched by the locomotive. 

Last minute shopping…

If you still need to grab some last minute gifts for the big day, this weekend is your last chance to take advantage of the Christmas markets in the region. Friday 22nd is the final day for the York Christmas Festival with more than 75 vendors to shop with. The last day for Newcastle Christmas market will be Saturday 23rd. The market is in the heart of the city centre and has some great local gift ideas and plenty of options for a bite to eat. Further south, Sheffield Christmas Market will be open until Christmas Eve so why not grab a cheeky mulled wine as you make one last trip around the stalls? 

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Please read our Cookie policy.