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Be inspired every day with Living North
collage of festive images Made.UpNorth, Centre For Life, Ice Skating, Swinton Park
What's on
November 2022
Reading time 3 Minutes

It’s Christmaaaas…. (almost)

So you’ve decked the halls, ordered the turkey and added Elf, Home Alone and Love Actually to your watchlist (they’re the best three Christmas films FYI) – here’s how to make the festivities last the whole month with our pick of the best ways to spend December.

Count Down…
Residents and businesses in Saltaire have been getting creative and are preparing to reveal 56 windows throughout December as Saltaire Living Advent Calendar returns. This creative community event (now in its 17th year) has become a mainstay in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Village, as the illuminated trail unfolds in the run-up to Christmas. This year, 15 windows will be illuminated on 1st December, with more windows lighting up each evening until Christmas Eve. (Windows are illuminated from 4pm–10.30pm each evening until 1st of January; get your map online).

Give a Gift…
Lacking inspiration? Our guide to the perfect presents for just about everyone means there’s plenty to inspire you. We’ve handpicked the best presents and provided plenty of gifting inspiration – from great gifts for art aficionados, to cute things for kids and great gadgets for the home. There are plenty of options from our local favourites to choose from too. Plus, there’s still time to make the most of the local fairs and markets where you can browse independent stalls. Made.UpNorth is hosting its Winter Market on 11th December at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle, bringing together makers, artists, creative businesses and food vendors under one roof. Enjoy a drink from the in-house bar then browse the work of local potters, textile artists, jewellers and soap makers. The first 20 people through the door will get a free gift.

The Park Playground VR

See a Show…
Christmas doesn’t have to be all about pantos (although we do love them and you can find our favourites here). Wintry Tales, a new Christmas show for kids (at Live Theatre, Newcastle from 4th–23rd December), combines the words of a playwright with the minds of children. Enter a snowy landscape and follow two hilarious characters as they go on a mission to unearth a series of lost tales buried in the snow. Wintry Tales has been created by a leading playwright working with ideas submitted by school children from across the North East through the Live Tales programme.

Immerse Yourself…
Prepare to escape the everyday and explore the impossible with the first of its kind virtual reality venue in the UK. The Park Playground VR launches in Leeds on 15th December, providing a location-based VR immersive experience like no other. Ditching the backpacks and cables, this hyper realistic free-roam adventure is fully mobile. With an exciting host of worlds to choose from, the games are designed to offer fun for groups of friends or family. Simply place your VR goggles on, grab your controller or weapon, and the adventure begins. Harness your inner space-marine and find the Energy Crystal to save Planet X, fight Zombies in The Hallow, or battle it out in the brand new futuristic Nanoclash: Focus. Find The Park Playground at Kirkstall Industrial Park.

Get Crafty…
Create your own garland for your fireplace or as a table centrepiece this Christmas at The Hepworth Wakefield (17th December). You’ll be guided by Wakefield-based florist Alchemilla Floral to use seasonal spruce, fresh foliage and seasonal dried decorations, as well as any extra items you are welcome to bring along. Top tip: add fairy lights to your garland at home for an extra special touch.

Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland

Get Your Skates On…
Centre For Life’s popular open-air ice rink is currently open at Times Square, Newcastle and you can take to the ice at any time this month, but when better to get your skates on than Christmas Eve when Newcastle will be buzzing with festivities? The rink is ideal for ice skaters of all abilities and ages and tickets are available to pre-book now. In Yorkshire, The Ice Factor is the North of England’s largest outdoor ice rink, with 975 sq m of real ice and a 30ft-high sparkling Christmas tree as its centrepiece. Find it at Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland at York Designer Outlet throughout December.

See in the New Year…
If you haven’t got a romantic New Year’s package or a night-long party sorted, no worries. At Living North, we’ve rounded up plenty of bars, cosy pubs and romantic restaurants where you can do your own celebrating. Search our website and take your pick, but remember to book a table.

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