Festive and Fun Ways to Spend December in the Run-Up to Christmas
What are your plans this December?
FROM 18TH NOVEMBER
The Auckland Project
The Auckland Project’s Winter Experience offers a whole host of events to help you get into the festive spirit. The Throne Room of Auckland Castle will be adorned with an impressive, hand-crafted 50ft-long dried flower garland, and you’ll see a monumental 11ft-tall and 15ft-wide Neapolitan Nativity scene in the Faith Gallery, before enjoying a festive feast or taking part in Christmas workshops. They’re keeping their top-secret event in Auckland Tower under wraps until 18th November – so watch this space.
FIND THE RABY REINDEER
26TH NOVEMBER–31ST DECEMBER
Enjoy a festive walk to High Force Waterfall this December. Collect the Christmas clues and see if you can find Rudolph and his friends along the way – but don’t forget to wrap up warm! Winter is when the waterfall is at its most powerful, so don’t forget to take some pics. Walk done, head to High Force Hotel and tuck into a hearty Teesdale lunch or a luxury hot chocolate.
NAUGHTY OR NICE? THE MISSING LISTS
Seven Stories, Newcastle
0300 330 1095
Bob the Elf has been given the very important job of Head List Checker by the big man himself, and his family are so proud. He’s going to have to guard those lists night and day because without them we wouldn’t get any presents! But as the end of his shift draws near on Christmas Eve, things start to go wrong… Don’t miss this special Seven Stories performance, suitable for all the family.
The Common Room, Newcastle
You may recognise Matt from his time fronting acid jazz heroes Mother Earth or as Paul Weller’s guitarist in the late 90s. His discography is unmistakable. Don’t miss your chance to see him live in the beautiful building that is The Common Room.
ART AFTER DARK
The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle
Add a unique touch to your late night shopping this Christmas with The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle. Their after-hours shopping event allows you to browse their beautiful, original gift collections at a leisurely pace, while enjoying a relaxed, festive ambience. It features independent partners including local sustainable florist Harvest Moon and indie bookstore legends Forum Books. The Factory Kitchen here serves delicious festive flavours alongside a luxury hot chocolate menu.
KERR ASHMORE: OF LOVE & LIGHT
UNTIL 17TH DECEMBER
Hancock Gallery, Newcastle
0191 241 0442
Internationally renowned abstract landscape artist Kerr Ashmore returns to her North East roots with a stunning collection of new original paintings. Hancock Gallery, situated in Newcastle’s cultural quarter of Jesmond, is thrilled to present more than 10 new abstract works by Kerr. Drawing inspiration from music, poetry and the ever-changing landscape, Kerr’s paintings are evocative and emotional with warmth and hope at their core. Capturing dawn’s fleeting glow, rain showers and warm summer sunsets, Kerr Ashmore’s work will transport you through nostalgic memories to new horizons and unimagined ethereal worlds.
SPACE KIDS: SEARCHING FOR ALIENS
0191 265 5510
Join Kielder Observatory, high on the hillside in Northumberland’s International Dark Sky Park, as you hunt for life in our universe. Engaging, interactive and fun, this event will show you how light moves through the universe, and how astronomers can discover the existence of planets beyond our own solar system via hidden messages. You could even find yourself holding a piece of rock which is approximately 4.5 billion years old, or a fragment of the Moon or Mars!
CHRISTMAS EVE SKATING
Times Square, Newcastle
Life’s popular open-air ice rink returns on 12th November and you can take to the ice until 15th January, 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
ADULT WORKSHOP: WREATH MAKING WITH NATTRASS
01325 405405 darlingtonhippodrome.co.uk
Get creative this December by making your own festive wreath to decorate your door. You’ll be guided by Flowers By Nattrass, and all workshop materials will be provided. All you need is a bit of creativity and lots of festive spirit. A mulled wine and a mince pie should help with that.
CERAMIC CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS
National Glass Centre, Sunderland
0191 515 5555
Get crafty this Christmas and challenge yourself to make something new. Where better to do that than at the National Glass Centre? In this workshop you’ll create a set of ceramic decorations using stamps and cutters as well as a mug themed around the festive season, which you can decorate and take away to keep, or give as a gift this Christmas.
WEEKENDS THROUGHOUT DECEMBER
0191 416 5454
To help spread festive cheer, WWT Washington’s popular Elf Academy is returning and opening its doors to young recruits. Your children can enrol on one of their special workshops and learn everything they need to know to gain their all-important Elf Diploma, including special ‘elf and safety’ guidelines, the spirit of kindness, gift wrapping for beginners and craft skills. Head Elf and her assistants will guide elves-to-be to create their own personalised wooden crafts and magic reindeer food to sprinkle outside your home on Christmas Eve. Promising festive fun, this special Christmas event is perfect for elf recruits aged four and over (and their grown ups).
JOANNE MCNALLY: PROSECCO EXPRESS
Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Newcastle
0844 249 1000
Joanne is on a mission to solve… absolutely nothing. She’s found herself suddenly in her late thirties with no husband, no kids, no pension and no plan but as she revisits her critically-acclaimed show The Prosecco Express and brings it to Newcastle, you can be guaranteed a good laugh. Can’t make it? Joanne returns to Tyne Theatre with Vogue Williams and their chart-topping podcast, My Therapist Ghosted Me, in May 2023.
THE LOST VOICE GUY COMEDY SHOWCASE
Gosforth Civic Theatre
0191 284 3700
This December The Lost Voice Guy Comedy Showcase returns for another evening of laughter. Joining Lost Voice Guy will be Scott Bennett, Micky P Kerr and Louise Young – so you’ll certainly be in good hands.
KAI HUMPHRIES: MISCHIEF!
The Stand Comedy Club, Newcastle
0191 232 0707
Multi award-winning stand-up comedian, podcaster and author Kai has toured live in more than 50 countries with Daniel Sloss, opening in theatres and arenas all over the world. In this intimate gig at The Stand we know he’ll have you in fits of giggles.