Things To Do In Newcastle & The North East Christmas 2021

Hurray for a much more normal festive season this year. While many are still feeling the effects of the last couple of years for many reasons, it’s great to see markets return, Christmas fairs back on the agenda and most importantly being able to plan things with family and friends. I am very ready for it, so here’s my list of things to do in the north east Christmas 2021.

Just going to be very clear on this from the start, while some of these events and activities are child friendly, this absolutely isn’t a list of Santa meet n greets and kids events etc. There are a whole load of north east family bloggers sharing all that out there but as we know my blog is more of the child free adult friendly perspective.

So here’s some of the things that I’ve spotted are on in the north east Christmas 2021 calendar from mid November and through the festive season. Remember to check all event info before attending any of them, there are still some safety measures in place or guidance issued around mask wearing so be responsible and safe!

What’s on for Christmas in Newcastle

I’ll start in the city centre and then go on to further afield. I love Newcastle over Christmas, and can’t wait for all the usual things to return again after not being able to go ahead properly last year. Whether you live nearby and can pop in anytime, or are coming from further afield here’s what’s happening in Newcastle this Christmas.

Fenwicks Window 2021

The most obvious of them all, Fenwick unveiled their Christmas window virtually on Sunday night, with this years centred around Shaun the Sheep and friends. I don’t care how old you are a visit to Northumberland street wrapped up and a takeaway coffee in hand to see the windows is a must.

Once you’ve seen the window head inside as the Christmas cafe is there, the food hall full of incredible Christmas food and treats, and returning again is the Fenwick Christmas market, where local traders have been invited to set up shop in the Christmas section. Look out for my friend Laura of The Posh Paper Co. She has some gorgeous Christmas cards designed for this year.

Newcastle Christmas lights

The Newcastle Christmas lights were switched on last night by Steve & Karen with metro radio and other guests at Monument. See them around the city for the festive season.

Newcastle Christmas Market

The Christmas markets are back! From Thursday 2nd December the market will once again return to Monument and Grainger Street. It’s slightly later than past years but will run right up to Christmas Eve, and will be smaller than two years ago when it went right along Blackett street and up Northumberland Street too.

It got a lot of criticism that year as it was pretty tacky, I really didn’t enjoy it as much as previous years so I’m glad they’re going back to the smaller version just at Monument. The council have also decided to give it a much more local feel by inviting local independent businesses to apply for a stall.

I love this idea and really hope that it makes it a good market with things people actually want to buy. And of course lots of food and mulled wine stalls too.

Ice Skating at Centre for Life

The ice rink at Times Square at the Centre for Life will be returning from this Saturday 13th November, and will stay right through until 9th January. You can buy tickets online for an hour slot including skate hire, or combine it with a ticket to visit Centre for Life too.

I’ve also seen that for the first time this year there will be a pop up ice rink in Cramlington at the shopping centre.

Winter Wonderland at Newcastle Racecourse

A new Winter Wonderland is coming to Newcastle Racecourse from 19th November until 2nd January. There are going to be street food stalls including Yorkshire Pudding wraps, churros and crepes, mulled wine and German beer, as well as rides and attractions for kids that sound more like a fairground. Opening times until the school holidays are just evenings from 4-9pm, then 12pm – 10pm once the schools break up.

You will need to purchase a ticket either from the Winter Wonderland online webpage here, for £3.50 or £5 on the day, with kids under 1 going free. It looks like there is also going to be ice skating but this is an extra cost and tickets can also be purchased online for that too.

Dine by the Tyne Igloos

The igloo pods by the River Tyne are returning, seating up to 10 people in their heated pods for a 3 course festive meal. They’re between £399 – £450, and will be there from 26th November – 31st December. I’ve done this twice and although they are fun if there is a group of you, it was absolutely freezing. They do have heaters as advertised but we were still pretty cold so I’d recommend a lunchtime or afternoon if possible.

Full information and how to book is available on the website here.

Christmas Film Showings in Newcastle

Cinemas like Everyman and Tyneside Cinema are showing Christmas favourites like Home Alone, Elf, Love Actually, The Holiday, Polar Express and many more in special festive showings through the end of November and December. I really enjoy the Everyman and saw Last Christmas there a couple of years ago with my mum and sister. It’s a nice festive evening with food and drinks served to your comfortable seats.

Fenwick are also doing a Santas rooftop cinema, mainly for the kids as part of their rooftop Christmas experiences, and although they are largely sold out I did spot some midweek showings are still available at the end of November and start of December including the Polar Express.

The Quayside & Tynemouth Markets

The weekly weekend markets on both the Quayside and at Tynemouth station are always worth a visit in the run up to Christmas, with some genuinely great stalls to browse. I love the Hot Wax candles you can get from the quayside, the dried seasonal flowers and wreaths from Feel Pretty Flowers at Tynemouth, as well as all the gorgeous unique Christmas decorations and local gifts.

Have a read of this blog post I shared last year on Tynemouth market at Christmas.

What’s on for Christmas across the North East?

Of course it isn’t just the centre of Newcastle that has things to offer during the run up to Christmas, all across the North East there are events, town centre light switch ones, smaller markets and Christmas fairs. Here’s some of the ones I’ve picked out.


Christmas at Alnwick Garden

Christmas visits with Santa might be sold out, but the Christmas and Winter Light Trail at Alnwick Garden is available from 29th November – 2nd January. They’re expecting massive demand as the gardens are so beautiful and all lit up at this time of year it’s set to be very festive. Make sure you book tickets to avoid disappointment, they’re £12.10 and kids under 4 are free.

Festive afternoon tea is also available in the pavilion, with favourites like turkey and cranberry sandwiches, pigs in blankets, stollen and a lot more on the menu. Prices are £19.95 for adults and there is a specific kids menu for £9.95. You do need to pay for garden entry on top of this so keep this in mind.

Full details of Christmas 2021 at Alnwick garden can be found here.

Jesmond Dene House

As well as offering all sorts of festive dining options, including private dining and festive afternoon tea on either 12th or 19th December, Jesmond Dene House are running a Christmas market from their Great Hall. Having been here recently for a wedding I can imagine it will be beautiful in the big room, with the fire roaring and a mulled wine included as part of your £4 entry fee.

The market will have local crafts and boutique stalls, as well as food and drink options as it’s in partnership with the Jesmond Food Market. Sounds lovely!

The festive afternoon tea is £38 per person and is available on 2 Sundays in December. Sip champagne and enjoy the food while listening to festive music.

Spanish City, Whitley Bay

There is quite a bit on at the Spanish City in Whitley Bay in the run up to Christmas, starting with their tree light switch on which is scheduled for Nov 21st. They have a big, impressive tree every year that sits under the Dome, and it is lovely. Tickets for the actual light switch on are sold out but its worth a visit to see it after, to enjoy while you have your Trenchers fish and chips.

They’re also offering a festive afternoon tea from 21st November, which is priced at £27 for adults and £13.50 and includes seasonal sandwiches, scones and deserts. I really like the sound of the white chocolate and Baileys truffle.

The Spanish City Christmas market is the same weekend, from 26th – 28th and has a huge variety of stalls filled with gifts and food. It’s really popular so book online, tickets are just £2 or £3 on the day.

There is a much bigger program of events from Spanish City, but those are the key ones that stood out for me. Find the full program including tribute nights and carol singers on the Spanish City website here.

Beamish Hall Hotel

While most of the events at Beamish itself have sold out, Beamish Hall Hotel still has some events you can attend. The Christmas fair is sold out, but they do have a Forest of Light trail through the woods, priced at £8 per person. They have some Christmas and New Year residential packages available too.

See everything on offer at Beamish Hall Hotel here.

South causey Christmas market

South Causey Inn have a lot of different festive activities, including afternoon tea, tapas and tipple nights, Christmas horse drawn carriage rides and a Christmas marker every Tuesday until Christmas.

Discover all that’s on at South Causey Inn this Christmas here.

National Trust Days Out

There are a whole host of Christmas activities, markets and fairs at the North East’s National Trust Locations. I would very much recommend Raby Castle, it’s lovely and always nice to see reindeer at Christmas. Spot some in Deer Park in the grounds of the castle amongst all the normal deer.

Have a look at the National Trust website for more inspiration here.

A Day Out To Raby CastlePIN IT

Isn’t it so nice to have plenty things to and events for Christmas in Newcastle and the north east this year again? I’m looking forward to everything I’ve got planned. T’is the season!

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