Best Christmas Events North East 2023 – Meet Santa and More

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Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by Suzy

There are some magical events happening this festive period in the North East in 2023 and some are yet to be confirmed. I’ve put them into one big post so you can search for the best Christmas events near you in the North East – in County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear where you can meet Santa and more. Don’t forget to book in advance this winter so your festive cheer isn’t left feeling disappointed.

Please double-check the event descriptions on the attraction’s website as the below information could change. It is essential that you read their own information carefully, some venues require you to prebook. 

There’s nothing like attending an event before Christmas Day and enjoying the festive atmosphere. Plus many places have some amazing Christmas decorations, previous years have been a testament to that.

Best Christmas Events North East 2020 – Meet Santa and More

Best Christmas Events County Durham 2023

Adventure Valley – Winter Wonderland – County Durham – Tickets on Sale

Winter Wonderland is back for 2023 at Adventure Valley and will be our most magical event yet!

Ride the Winter Valley Express
Visit Claus’s Candy sweet shop!
Make a bag of reindeer food to sprinkle for Rudolph and his gang on Christmas Eve.
BRAND NEW Christmas show.
Decorate a festive Gingerbread Biscuit with Mrs. Claus.
Enjoy ride-on animals & bounce high on the huge winter inflatable.

Meet Santa and visit his Toy Shop to choose your own gift – Please note Babies & 1 year old’s will be able to participate in all activities and will receive an age-appropriate wrapped gift from Santa Claus

Address: Union Hall Farm, The Bungalows Finchale Abbey, Durham DH1 5SG

When? 20th December to 24th December 2023 – Every Day

How much? Adults from £15.95-17.95 and children aged 2-16 from £34.95-37.95.

Auckland Castle – A Glow – County Durham – Tickets on Sale

One of the biggest and brightest light trails in the North of England will illuminate the skies of Bishop Auckland this Christmas. Explore AGLOW – an all-new glittering 1.5-mile trail through Auckland Castle’s gardens and grounds, with surprises around every corner…• The largest Christmas tree in the North of England, over 30 metres tall
• The longest outdoor light tunnel in the country, measuring over 100 metres long
• A captivating light show projected onto Auckland Castle
• Daring illuminations featuring real fire
• Dancing fountains making the River Gaunless spring to life
• Stunning large-scale light installations, including lasers, mirror balls, starburst trees and spheres of light
• Interactive illuminations, featuring bubbles and musical trees
• A fun show with Santa and his mischievous Elves in Santa’s Village
• Vintage fairground rides in the grounds of Auckland Castle.

Address: Market Pl, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NR

When? Various dates throughout November and December

Beamish – Christmas Evenings – County Durham – SOLD OUT

Travel back into an enchanting Christmas past, as you join in celebrations from Georgian times up to the 1950s exhibits.

Enjoy merry music, delightful decorations and delicious festive treats as you make Christmas memories with your loved ones. Discover the delights of the Edwardian Town street, explore traditionally decorated homes and shops, be entertained by musicians playing festive tunes, enjoy Christmas crafts, take a whimsical wander through Elf Wood, and don’t forget to browse the stalls for those perfect presents.

Address: Regional Resource Centre, Beamish DH9 0RG

When? 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th & 15th December

How Much? Sold Out

Beamish Hall – Forest of Lights – County Durham – Tickets on sale

Gather the family and join us as we open the doors to our wonderful world of magical illuminations and fantastic lighting displays during this festive period. At night, when the moon takes its place in the sky our magical forest comes to life.

A Forest of Light is a captivating illuminated experience set within our Enchanted Ancient Woodland. We have created a world filled with illuminations, music, interactive props and projections to dazzle and amaze with specially commissioned pieces only for A Magical Woodland which means that this is a unique experience not to be found anywhere else.

Address: Coppy Ln, Beamish, Stanley DH9 0YB

When? Various dates throughout November and December 2022 and January 2024

How much? £10 per person

Hall Hill Farm – Santa Visits – County Durham – Event to be confirmed

Info from last year – This year we will be having our very popular Santa visits again. Booking is essential. Meet Santa. Present from Santa for children. Elves workshop – make your own decoration. Santa’s Tractor Ride. See the animals in their winter stables. Meet Dasher the talking Reindeer.

Address: Hall Hill Farm, Lanchester, Durham DH7 0TA

When? TBC

How much? TBC

Raby Castle – Enchanted Festive Forest – County Durham – Tickets on Sale

Embark on an enchanting journey through The Plotters’ Forest and create cherished memories with your loved ones this holiday season. Immerse yourself in the magic of our Enchanted Christmas Trail, where twinkling lights and festive music guide your path through a captivating winter wonderland.

As the sun sets and the night sky emerges, watch in awe as the trail comes to life under the blanket of darkness, each corner illuminated with a warm and inviting glow.

There are day tickets and evening tickets.

Address: Staindrop, Darlington DL2 3AH

When? Selected dates from 18th November – 24th December

How much? Prices vary for day and night – please visit their website

Best Christmas Events North East – Meet Santa and More

Tweddle Farm – Santas Grotto – County Durham – Tickets on Sale

Tweddle Farm’s Christmas Countdown is a December to remember! Our well-known Santa’s Grotto gets bigger and better every year. Meet Santa and his friends in our unforgettable Winter Wonderland. Plus an after-dark event.

Address: Filipoke Lane, Blackhall Colliery, Hartlepool TS27 4BT

When? Selected dates from 25th November – 24th December

How much? Farm and grotto tickets – £14.95 for children aged 1-13, 14 years + are £8.95 and other pricing options are available.

Ushaw House – Illuminating Ushaw – County Durham – Event to be confirmed

Info from last year – For the first time, Illuminating Ushaw includes the stunning interior of St. Cuthbert’s Chapel. Enchantingly lit and decorated, this unique experience will be an atmospheric and captivating highlight of the route.

Our gardens will be transformed by new art installations, illuminated features and decorations, creating a Winter Wonderland you won’t want to miss including…

– Catching Stars – a dome-shaped artwork located at the centre of our gardens, filled with hundreds of suspended and illuminated stars, all designed by children from local schools.
– Three large-scale installations by local artists
– Father Christmas gliding through the night sky
– Festive willow tunnel for little ones + much more!

Address: Woodland Rd, Durham DH7 9RH

When? TBC

How much? TBC

Best Christmas Events Northumberland 2023

Alnwick Garden – Winter Light Trail – Northumberland – Tickets on Sale

This Christmas, watch as Alnwick Garden comes to life as you have never seen it before with fantastic sound and light display at this after-dark spectacular!

This year, there are even more opportunities to visit the light trail with an extended run from 13th November all the way through to the 7th of January. There is also an offer of Early Bird pricing. Expect a fantastic sound and light trail which will lead you around the Garden at this after-dark spectacular! The event is fun for all the family.

Address: Denwick Lane, Alnwick NE66 1YU

When? 13th November ’23 – 7th January ’24

How much? £13.20 early bird offer.

Bamburgh Castle – Christmas at Bamburgh – Northumberland – Tickets on Sale

The magic of Christmas is returning to Bamburgh Castle this year. Father Christmas will be with us from the 18th of November until the 23rd of December in his very special festive grotto. A visit to see Father Christmas is an additional £19.95 per child plus the regular ticket price to the castle.

Plus Christmas Kingdom – The Christmas Kingdom returns to Bamburgh Castle on Saturday, November 11th. Following on from last year’s sumptuous The Twelve Days of Christmas, the Charlotte Lloyd Webber Event Design team returns with an inspired festive interpretation that promises to be our most dazzling Christmas experience yet with new immersive soundscapes that tinkle and peal and awe-inspiring 

Address: Bamburgh NE69 7DF

When? Father Christmas from 18/11/2023 – 23/12/2023.

How much? Please visit their website for pricing.

Best Christmas Events North East 2020 – Meet Santa and More

Belsay Hall Castle and Gardens – Father Christmas – Northumberland – Tickets on Sale

Join in the festive fun with Father Christmas at Belsay Hall as the man himself tells seasonal stories among the traditional decorations.

Tickets to Father Christmas at Belsay Hall cost £9.50 per child. This includes the group storytelling session and a small present.

These will begin promptly at the allocated start time so please arrive at least 15 minutes before your booked slot.

Address: B6309, Newcastle upon Tyne NE20 0DX

When? Weekends from Sat 2 Dec until Sat 23 December 2023 

How much? £9.50 per child plus normal entry costs.

Kielder Winter Wonderland – Northumberland – Tickets on sale

Kielder Winter Wonderland is a full-day experience packed full of festive activities to keep you and your little ones entranced all day. Your full day will include everything from helping Mrs Christmas get ready for Christmas to helping in the elve’s workshop to walking through the forest to find Father Christmas plus lots more! With the forest home to Father Christmas and his festive friends, you never know who you could bump into!

Address: Kielder Forest Park, Kielder Waterside (Leaplish Waterside Park NE48 1BT

When? Selected dates from mid-November to 23rd December

How much? Ticket prices start from £33.50 per person.

Wallington Hall – Father Christmas Experience – Northumberland – Tickets on Sale

Welcome to Christmas at Wallington 2023, where you’re invited to enjoy festive magic and sparkle both indoors and out. Explore the House dressed from top to bottom in its seasonal splendour, enjoy live music and stories with Mrs Christmas and meet the main man himself.

Wander around the courtyard with thousands of twinkling lights, take family photos in front of the huge Christmas tree and say hello to the ‘Magnificence’ the reindeer pulling the Wallington sleigh.

Address: B6342, Cambo, Morpeth NE61 4AR

When? Selected dates in December

How much? There are a few events you can book. Please visit their website for pricing.

Whitehouse Farm Centre – Santa’s Enchanted Elf Journey – Northumberland – Tickets on Sale

The Whitehouse farm elves are excited to present to you the most magical Santa’s Enchanted Elf Journey yet, for 2023.

This VIP Christmas experience will create magical memories to treasure with your loved ones. We have a jam-packed programme of festive fun, all included in the cost of your experience. 

We have no time limit in place, so you are able to join in the festivities at your leisure for up to 7 hours on the day of your visit if you wish of course. The only timed activity is your visit to the Enchanted Forest to meet Santa (when booking online, the timeslot you choose is the time you will depart on the festive tractor and trailer to the enchanted forest, but you are welcome to arrive earlier). 

Address: Whitehouse Farm Centre, Morpeth NE61 6AW

When? Various dates between 25/11/23 – 24/12/23

How much? Adults £18.50, children aged 2-16 £39.95 and under 2s are £31.95.

Christmas Events Tyne & Wear 2023

Gibside – Christmas at Gibside – Tyne and Wear – Tickets on Sale

Follow the North Star to Gibside Stables for an enchanting encounter with Father Christmas and his pointy-eared friend in this immersive theatre experience.

Embrace time together with loved ones and feel the spirit of Christmas during this interactive storytime. Expect cartoonish capers from a clumsy misguided elf and discover what Father Christmas is up to on the lead to the big day.

While Mr. Claus tinkers away he’ll tell tales of his festive adventures before checking who’s made it onto his nice list. Children will take home a Christmas decoration gift and before Father Christmas says goodbye, families can take photographs together. Plus other events.

Address: Rowlands Gill NE16 6BG

When? Every weekend from Saturday 2 December to Saturday 23 December

How much? Meet Santa – The Child’s ticket is £12 plus normal admission applies.

Leazes Park – Northern Lights – Tyne & Wear – Tickets On Sale

Northern Lights is a BRAND NEW light trail set in the heart of the city at Leazes Park. With immersive visuals and jaw-dropping illuminations, this after-dark experience will light up Newcastle like never before.

Be inspired by original audio compositions, dynamic choreography and intelligent design, across a mile-long walk through stunning parkland. Immerse yourself in magic this winter with an unforgettable light trail for you and the whole family to enjoy. Expect a fully accessible route & a Christmas village full to the brim with festive food and drinks.

Address: Leazes Park, Newcastle 

When? 23rd November ’23 – 1st Jan ’24

How much? Adults from £19, children aged 3-16 from £13.50 and under 3s are free.

Best Christmas Events West Midlands 2020 – Meet Santa and More

If you are looking for Halloween events across the North East please check out – Best Halloween Events North East 2023 | Things to do Half-Term

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