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Be inspired every day with Living North
Collage of featured events
What's on
October 2023
Reading time 5 Minutes

Start as you mean to go on this half term with a weekend full of fun

Whether you're into Halloween or Christmas, dark skies or pints and parties, we've got your weekend plans covered.
Hocus Pocus on a large outdoor screen at Castle Howard Spilmans’ Pumpkin Festival

Christmas starts here!

It's never too early to get into the festive spirit. Our fabulous Christmas Fair has returned to Newcastle Racecourse, and we can’t wait to see you at the biggest and best seasonal shopping event in the North. Visitors can browse 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. Don’t worry if you missed it today, there’s still three more days to go with chef demonstrations, live music and hours of shopping to enjoy. There are so many reasons to visit and tickets are available to buy on the door for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Find everything you need to know and plan your day here. Can’t make it? We’ll do it all again at York Racecourse from 9th–12th November! 

Get into the spirit…

Although Halloween isn’t until Tuesday, there are plenty of spook-tacular events taking place across the weekend. Take your costume to the next level with the Halloween special effects makeup workshop at Hexham’s Queen's Hall Arts Centre on Saturday afternoon, form a team and dress up for the Late ‘n’ Unalive music quiz at The Grove in Newcastle on Saturday evening, or join Newcastle Falcons for their Spooktacular Special on Sunday as they take on Northampton Saints for round three of the Gallagher Premiership (take part in their fancy dress competition for the chance to win six tickets to the Saracens game on Sunday 12th November, or join the Junior Falcons Halloween party). The final few tickets remain for Spilmans’ Pumpkin Festival (find more places to pick your pumpkin here) and Castle Howard have a whole host of family-friendly films to enjoy al fresco this weekend, from The Nightmare Before Christmas and Hocus Pocus on Saturday to Monsters Inc and Ghostbusters on Sunday. Find more of the best Halloween events happening this year here.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Right on track…

The fourth Dark Skies Fringe Festival begins this Friday. The North York Moors is one of just 21 locations in the world to be recognised for its dark skies and this 10-day festival will prepare you for the ninth Dark Skies Festival taking place in February 2024. There are stay and gaze packages to spend a night under the stars, night walks, stargazing and craft activities, bat-box making and mindful experiences – plenty to get involved in. A highlight this Friday is Light Spectacular. Step aboard North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s heritage carriages, with thousands of twinkling lights, and as you depart Pickering Station, you’ll be entertained by an electrifying DJ-mix of music. Each passenger will receive their own interactive LED wristband which syncs with the music – tickets are selling fast! 

Give it a try…

England’s heartbreaking loss to South Africa in the Rugby World Cup means New Zealand and South Africa will go head to head in a battle to become the first nation to win the Rugby World Cup for a fourth time. England’s loss was the most-watched program of the year on ITV, with 8.7 million viewers gripped by the semi-final match. Rugby fans can tune in on Friday night to see England and Argentina fight it out for third place, and then the world cup final takes place on Saturday at Stade de France, live on ITV1 with coverage starting at 7pm. You can also stream the game via ITVX or listen to coverage on BBC Sounds.

Trainers Originals Newcastle © Andres Reynaga

Sneak(er) peek…

Originals Newcastle, presented by adidas Spezial, is a new exhibition featuring products from the past and present, in partnership with END. Opening on Friday (and available to visit until Sunday 5th November) at the Newcastle Contemporary Art Gallery, it’ll feature a range of archival and contemporary footwear, including limited edition releases and signed personal pairs from the likes of Stormzy, Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Run DMC and Lily Allen. There will also be an exclusive preview of the forthcoming adidas SPEZIAL AW23 footwear collection, accompanied by a full display from the adidas SPEZIAL archive.

Have a laugh…

Best known as a team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, comedian Jon Richardson continues his The Knitwit tour and he’s at Sunderland Empire this Saturday. His show is all about his own self-destruction, and as usual he’s got plenty of gripes to share amongst his anecdotes.

Musicians at Oktoberfest Oktoberfest

See a frighteningly good show…

Do you believe in ghosts? A brand-new concept promises a haunting night at the theatre  – this original play (Do You Believe In Ghosts?) is unlike anything you’ll have seen before. Take your seat at York Barbican this Saturday for a thrilling night of mystery, murder – and ghosts – as ‘paranormal experts’ tell the most fascinating ghost stories. But nothing is what it seems…

Beer & Bratwurst…

On Friday and Saturday York's very own Oktoberfest is back at the Clocktower Enclosure, York Racecourse with beer, bratwurst and bumper cars. Guests can expect a party with a live oompah band and acclaimed drag artist and star of the show Velma Celli, and The Dog Haus will be serving currywurst and schnitzel as well as apple strudel and pretzels. Cheers!

Tick tock…

On Sunday we'll all turn our clocks back an hour, marking the start of shorter days. It does mean we can look forward to an extra hour in bed – or why not spend it wisely… carve your pumpkin, watch an extra episode of that show you’re bingeing, or go for an autumn stroll (find inspiration here). 

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