Many festive events get booked up early but don’t despair, plenty more will be added to the list over the coming months. If you’d like to keep up to date when new events are added why not like us on Facebook.

If you see an event below which is already fully booked on all dates please do take a minute to hit the ‘report an error’ link under the event details, and we’ll update the listing to reflect this to help avoid some disappointment.

If you run a relevant festive event that’s not listed yet (or if you’re a parent with a recommendation) please feel free to get in touch with details.

Basic listings are free, information on upgraded listings (with up to 200 words, social media links & photos) can be found here.

A Magical Christmas (Beamish Hall)

Sat 30th Nov – Sun 22nd Dec
Weekends 10am – 7pm

Beamish, Stanley, County Durham, DH9 0YB
Tel: 01207 233733

An immersive theatrical experience within an Enchanted Woodland filled with illuminations, musical displays, interactive props, projections, and theatrical performers. Young adventurers will be given directions to the enchanted forest and meet magical characters before mixing magic with Santa and becoming a honorary elf.

Adults: £22
Children: £25

A Traditional Christmas (Crook Hall and Gardens)

Selected dates Sun 1st – Mon 23rd Dec

Frankland Lane, Sidegate, Durham, DH1 5SZ
Tel: 0191 384 8028

Festive treasure hunt around the gardens followed by themed games, stories and arts & crafts with the elves. Meet Frosty the Snowman then visit Father Christmas in his Grotto and receive a gift (including adults!). Plus two cafes serving homemade Christmassy treats.

Booking essential.
Adult: £14
Child: £17
Under 1’s.: £3



An Audience With Father Christmas (Belsay Hall)

Sat 30 Nov – Sun 8 Dec
Weekends 10.30am – 4pm

Belsay, Belsay, Nr Morpeth, Newcastle, NE20 0DU
Tel: 0370 333 1181

Gather round for Christmas tales by the tree and take the chance to get a photo with the big man himself. There’s a gift in store for every girl and boy too! Each session lasts 60 minutes.

Booking essential.
£5 per child.
(plus normal admission price – £6 – £11 pp)

Arctic Experience & Santa’s Grotto (intu Metrocentre)

Tues 5th Nov – Tues 24 Dec

St Michaels Way, Gateshead, NE11 9YG
(Town Square outside House of Fraser)
Tel: 0191 493 0200

Arctic Experience with ice rink, ball pool and indoor snow fall. Visit Santa Claus in his brand new igloo grotto from 5th Nov to 24th Dec, with a gift for each child.

Ice Rink: £2
Grotto: £1 Walk-up visits / £1.50 Advance booking.
Grotto profits going to The Percy Hedley Foundation.

BELIEVE Christmas (Hardwick Hall Hotel)

📌 Sedgefield, Co. Durham, TS21 2EH
▪ A full day outdoor experience in partnership with Ramside Esates, Metro Radio & TFM. Complete with your own Elf Guide taking you on an interactive  journey through the Elf Tipi Village, with Santa’s Toymakers, Reindeer, Enchanted Woods, Elf School, Post Office, Santa & more.
📆 Weekends 5th-20th Dec & 21st-23rd Dec 2020
👉 Adult: £34.50
Child: £36.50
Under 2: £18 – plus booking fees.
(under 6 months: free)
Find out more here.

Christmas Adventure (Holmside Park)

📌 Edmondsley, Chester le Street, Durham, DH7 6EY
▪ A Holmside Park Elf will take you on a walk through the woodland area to find Santa’s Grotto. All children will receive a special gift from Santa and reindeer dust to scatter on Christmas Eve.
📆 Selected dates 5th – 24th Dec 2020
👉 4+ years: £20 – £22
1-3 years: £13 – £15
Find out more here.
Cost includes park entrance, regular entry fee applies for parent/guardian.

Christmas at Beamish

Sat 16th Nov – Tues 24th Dec
Daily 10am – 4pm

Beamish, Stanley, County Durham, DH9 0YB
Tel: 01207 233733

Winter Fun Fair including ice rink, fairground with rides and sideshows, outdoor bazaar with quirky gifts and local festive food. Father Christmas’ Grotto and reindeer, with a small, traditional gift.

Standard entry fee applies.
(or Unlimited Pass / Friends of Beamish membership).
Extra charges for activities: 50p – £5.
Santa’s Grotto: £6 per child purchased at entrance (first come, first served).


Christmas Train (Puffing Billy)

Selected dates Sun 8th Dec – Thurs 19th Dec

Tel: 0191 520 8880

Puffing Billy is a 2-carriage road train decked out in Christmas lights taking Father Christmas, Mrs Claus and elves on a tour around Sunderland and Durham to meet and greet children. You can track Billy’s progress with a free app. Puffing Billy festive books are also available (£3 or 2 for £5). 50p from each book sold go to the children’s heart unit Ward 23 at the Freeman Hospital.

Father Christmas at Gibside

Selected dates Sat 30 Nov – Mon 23rd Dec

Rowlands Gill, Burnopfield, Gateshead, NE16 6BG
Tel: 01207 541820

Come on a festive day out and meet Father Christmas in his cosy woodland grotto near the stables. Warm up by the fire and open an early present.

£10 per child. Booking essential
Plus regular admission applies, from £6.

Festive Tales with Father Christmas (Woodhorn Museum)

Selected dates Sat 30th Nov – Tues 24th Dec
Under 5s sessions on Fri 6th, 13th & 20th Dec

Queen Elizabeth II Country Park, Ashington, Northumberland, NE63 9YF
Tel: 01670 624455

A 30-minute session with Father Christmas to enjoy seasonal stories featuring classics like ‘The Snowman’ and ‘The Polar Express’, with lots of fun opportunities to get on Santa’s good side and receive a seasonal gift.

£6.50 per child (adults free)
Plus regular admission charges apply.

Various relaxed sessions throughout and BSL session 21st Dec.

Festive Train Ride (Stephenson Railway Museum)

30 Nov and 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 & 23 Dec

Middle Engine Lane, North Shields, North Tyneside, NE29 8DX
Tel: 0191 200 7146

Festive heritage train ride to meet Santa Claus and his guests, with a 3.5 mile heritage train ride with traditional music, on-board entertainers and Santa giving out gifts to children 0 – 12 years. Plus lots of activities in the museum to take part in.

Booking essential. From £14 per person (plus booking fee)

Fireside Stories with Father Christmas (Raby Castle)

📌 Staindrop, Darlington, Co. Durham, DL2 3NF
▪ Father Christmas recounts a Christmas classic with the help of Mrs Bauble and Elvis the Christmas pony. Each child will meet Santa and receive a special gift. Set in the Grand Entrance Hall adorned with twinkling Christmas trees and log fire.
📆 Sat 28th Nov – 24th Dec 2020 (selected dates) **FULLY BOOKED**
👉 From £20 for 1 Child (under 12yrs) plus 1 Adult.
Find out more here.

Kielder Winter Wonderland

Weekends Sat 16th Nov – Sun 22nd Dec
& Fri 20 Dec, Mon 23 Dec

Kielder Waterside (Leaplish Waterside Park), Kielder Water & Forest Park, Northumberland, NE48 1BT

A full day experience packed full of festive activities, including helping Mrs Christmas get ready for Christmas, helping in the elves workshop, walking through the forest to find Father Christmas plus lots more!

From £39.50pp

Meet Father Christmas (The Alnwick Garden)

Selected dates Sat 23rd Nov – Tues 24th Dec

Greenwell Road Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1HB
Tel: 01665 511 350

Meet Father Christmas and his cheeky elves, hidden in his magical grotto and receive a gift.

£17.95 per child (includes entry to The Alnwick Garden)
£10.50-13.20 entry for accompanying adults.
£25.90 on selected dates to include Father Christmas & Light Trail.

Booking essential, from:
2nd Sep for Friends of The Alnwick Garden
9th Sep general release

Meet Father Christmas (Wallington)

30th Nov – 22nd Dec: weekends 10am – 4pm
23 Dec: 10am – 4pm

Twilight sessions 
30th Nov, 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th & 21st Dec: 4.30-7.30pm

Cambo, near Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 4AR
Tel: 01670 773606

Meet Father Christmas in his cosy grotto and receive a special gift, then enjoy the House dressed and ready for the festive season and take part in some seasonal fun.

£12 per person for a 5 minute slot, includes a gift.
Booking essential, open 9am on 1st July.

Meet Santa (Bowes Railway)

Sat 14th Dec, 11am – 4pm

Springwell Village, Gateshead, NE9 7QJ
Tel: 0191 416 1847

Meet Santa on his New Sleigh and receive a gift, followed by a Christmas story with Mrs Claus. Next there’s crafts including decorating a cupcake and making reindeer food, then meet Magic Michael & his friendly Elves for some tricks.

£5 per child’s for 1 hour session.
Booking required on Ticketsource.

Meet Santa Claus (Brocksbushes)

14th – 15th & 21st – 22nd Dec

Brocksbushes Farm, Corbridge, Northumberland, NE43 7UB
Tel: 01434 633100

Meet Santa in his Grotto and receive a festive gift.

Booking essential.
£5 per child.

Meet Santa (Redfox Gardenworld)

Selected dates Sat 16th Nov – Tues 24th Dec
**fully booked 4th Dec & 24th Dec**

Newcastle Road, South Tyneside, NE10 8YS
Tel: 0191 4380821

A magical (virtual) train journey to join Lucy, Edmund, Peter and Susan and a magical wardrobe! Creep through the wardrobe to discover a host of characters in the wintery wonderland, meet Father Christmas and receive an early Christmas present.

Drop in or book online.
£12.99 per child with 1 adult.
£4.99 each additional adult.

Meet Santa (Victoria Tunnel)

Sun 22nd Dec

Victoria Tunnel Entrance, Ouse Street, Newcastle, NE1 2PF
Tel: 0191 261 6596 / 0191 230 4210

Put on your torch and helmet and enjoy an unusual family Christmas adventure to find Santa’s elves in the Victoria Tunnel. You will meet Mary Christmas deep in the Tunnel and Santa Claus for a chat, photos and a gift.

Adult: £8
Child: £6

North Pole Express (Tanfield Railway)

Sat 23rd Nov – Tues 24th Dec

Old Marley Hill, Gateshead, NE16 5ET
Tel: 07508 092 365

An unforgettable Christmas experience aboard the North Pole Express on a four mile return steam train ride to see Santa Claus in his magical grotto. Includes hot drinks and mince pies for adults and soft drinks and snacks for children plus a small gift.

Booking essential.
£16 – £17 per person.

Santa Experience (Pineapple and Bears)

Sun 22nd Dec
9.30 – 11.30am
11.45am – 1.45pm
2 – 4pm

Spa well Road, Blaydon, Gateshead, NE21 6RT
Tel: 0191 447 2050 Pla

Have fun in the play hub with the naughty elves, make Christmas crafts then enjoy a milkshake and cookie with Santa reading a festive story. Santa will talk to each child individually and receive a gift.

£12.50 per child, booking required.
£6.50 under 6 months (no milkshake/cookie)
Suitable for 0-7yrs.

Santa Experience (Saltwell Park)

Sat 14th, Sun 15th & 22nd, Mon 23rd Dec

Saltwell Park Southern Shelter, 3 East Park Road, Gateshead, NE9 5AX

Festive activities and games followed by a Christmas road train to Santa’s Magical Grotto for tales from Santa, including milk, cookies and a gift. Experience lasts around 30 minutes, then meals, treats and drinks can be purchased from a variety of street food vendors and pop up performers will play Christmas songs.

£12 per child (plus booking fee), book online on Eventbrite.

Santa Express (Exhibition Park)

Sun 1st Dec, 11am – 3pm

Exhibition Park, Newcastle, NE2 4PZ (behind Wylam Brewery)

Ride a model stream train to Santa’s secret workshop to meet with Santa and tell him what you would like on Christmas day. Hosted by the Tyneside Society of Model & Experimental Engineers (TSMEE).

Donations welcome. No booking required.


Santa on the Rooftop (Fenwick)

📌 39 Northumberland Street, Newcastle, NE1 7AS
▪ Meet Santa in his magical cabin on the rooftop, help the elves in Santa’s Workshop, followed by hot drinks and snacks in Café Claus. Experience lasts approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour with 6 minutes in Santa’s Cabin.
📆 Sat 7th Nov – 24th Dec 2020 ** FULLY BOOKED**
👉 £12.50 pp (under 2 years: free)
Book here, from 10am Thurs 8th Oct

Santa Special Train Ride (South Tynedale Railway)

Sat 14th Dec, 10.15 am – 11.45 pm

Tynedale Railway, The Railway Station, Alston, Cumbria, CA9 3JB
Tel: 01434338212

You’ll be greeted by Elves who help you board your train. You’ll be able to join in with some carol singing and given activity sheets for the journey. When you return our Chief Elf will lead you to Santa’s Grotto to receive a gift. While you wait there will be crafts and seasonal refreshments.

Adults: £14
Ages 1-14: £11
Under 1 year: free
Dogs: £2

Santa (The Nest)

Sat 21st Dec, 10am – 4pm

417-419 Durham Rd, Low Fell, NE9 5AN
Tel: 07949 039 270

Decorate a plate to put Santa’s cookies and milk on and make a Christmas decoration, then meet Santa and receive a special present. Hot chocolate included.

£10 per child, booking required.

Santa Weekends (Hall Hill Farm)

📌 Hall Hill Farm, Lanchester, Durham, DH7 0TA
▪ Meet Santa and receive a present. Make a decoration in the Elves workshop, Santa’s tractor ride, farm animals and meet Dasher the talking Reindeer.
📆 Selected dates 5th – 23 Dec 2020
👉 From approx £8pp, tbc. Find out more here.
📣 Tickets will be available from Nov 2020, release date tbc.

Santa’s Enchanted Wonderland Grotto (The Bowes Musuem)

Selected dates Sun 1st Dec – Sun 22 Dec

Barnard Castle, Co Durham DL12 8NP
Tel: 01833 690606

Visit Santa’s workshop for Christmas crafts with the friendly elves, then meet Santa in his cosy  sitting room and receive a Christmas present.

Child: £12 (includes accompanying adult)

Santa’s Grotto (Dobbies Garden Centre, Birtley)

Selected dates from 24th Nov- 24th Dec

Durham Road, Birtley, Durham, DH3 2BQ
Tel: 0191 410 2556

Treat your little ones with a visit to Santa’s Grotto to explore the magical setting and receive a special gift.

Book online.
Santa’s Grotto: £11.99
Suitable for 12 years and under.

Santa’s Grotto (Dobbies Garden Centre, Gosforth)

Selected dates from 24th Nov- 24th Dec

Gosforth Park, Newcastle, NE3 5EP
Tel: 0191 236 7111

Treat your little ones with a visit to Santa’s Grotto to explore the magical setting and receive a special gift.

Book online.
Santa’s Grotto: £11.99
Suitable for 12 years and under.

Santa’s Grotto (Eldon Garden)

Selected dates Thurs 21st Nov – Tues 24th Dec

Unit 20, Eldon Garden Shopping Centre, Percy Street, Newcastle, NE1 7RA
Tel: 07538 513 422

Meet Santa in his Grotto for a chat, receive a gift and pose for a photograph. Digital photo sent via email within 2 weeks of visit, or opt for a framed 10×8 print, ready for collection after Christmas.

Drop in available, or book online on Eventbrite.
£10 per child (digital photo)
£12.50 per child (framed print)

Santa’s Grotto & Ice Rink (Life Science Centre)

Grotto: Weekends in Dec & Mon 23rd Dec
Ice Rink: 9th Nov – 23rd Feb
(exc 25-26th Dec & 1st Jan)

Times Square, Newcastle, NE1 4EP
Tel: 0191 243 8210

Enjoy the outdoor ice-rink in Times Square and visit Santa in his grotto, which includes a gift, hot chocolate and sweet treat. Pre-booking online recommended, a limited number of unreserved slots may be available.

Grotto: £10 per child.
Ice Rink: from £7.50 (4 years & under: from £3)

Santa’s Grotto (Music Video Party)

21st, 22nd & 23rd Dec

Unit 4 Stonehills, Shields Road, Pelaw, Gateshead, NE10 0HW
Tel: 07887 558 520

Fun-filled Christmas experience, with the Christmas Fairy as your guide, story time with Mrs Claus, crafts with the chief elf, then meet Santa in his grotto and receive a gift. Includes hot chocolate.

Booking recommended.
£12.95 per child.

Santa’s Grotto (Whitehouse Farm Centre)

Term time weekdays from 25th Nov

North Whitehouse Farm, Morpeth, Northumberland NE61 6AW
Tel: 01670 789 998

Family run farm with a range of animals and petting/feeding sessions. Santa is in his Grotto from 10am–2.30pm, book on arrival (subject to availability). Plus plenty of indoor and outdoor activities, including soft play and adventure playground.

Adults: £9.86
2 – 16 years: £8.87
Under 2 years: Free
Small additional charge applies for Santa’s Grotto.

Santa’s Winter Woodland (West Boldon Lodge)

Weekends 30th Nov – 23rd Dec
2hr sessions from 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm

Newcastle Road, West Boldon, South Tyneside, NE36 0BQ
Tel: 0191 536 4873

Journey through Elf School, the Enchanted Forest and the Elves’ Workshop. Meet Santa for a relaxed half-hour in Santa’s grotto, with time to speak individually with Santa.

30th and 1st Dec – £15.50 child, £13 adult
7th, 8th, 14th, 15th – £17.50 child, £15 adult
21st, 22nd, 23rd – £21.50 child, £19 adult

Pre-booking is essential. Most suitable for age 4-10 years.

Sun 1st and Sat 14th at 3pm-5pm are relaxed sessions, staff are trained and experienced working with children and adults with a variety of mental and physical additional needs, illnesses and disabilities.

St James’ Park Festive Fayre

Sat 16th Nov – Sun 17th Nov

St. James’ Park, Barrack Road, Newcastle, NE1 4ST

An array of local traders and those from further afield showcasing decorations, handmade gifts, bespoke festive novelties, food, drinks, crafts and more. Plus a children’s zone with Santa’s Grotto, festive fun, entertainment and demonstrations. Tickets available to attend a screening of ‘The Polar Express’ followed by a visit from Santa, where child is given a believe bell.

£3 advance tickets (£5 on day). Children free.
Polar Express experience: £12 per child (with one adult). Booking required.

Story Time with Santa (Whitehouse Farm Centre)

Tues 26th Nov & 17th Dec, Thurs 5th & 12th Dec.

North Whitehouse Farm, Morpeth, Northumberland NE61 6AW
Tel: 01670 789 998

Meet Santa’s Elves and enjoy a hot chocolate and biscuit/cake. Then enter Santa’s Grotto where Santa will share a story, ending with photo opportunities. Finally make a 16” Furry Friend in the toy workshop to take home. Come along in Pyjamas/onesies to enjoy a cosy experience.

Booking required. Admission to the farm is not included.

£15.99 per child (2 free adults permitted)

The Santa Experience (Whitehouse Farm Centre)

Selected dates Sat 23rd Nov – Tues 24th Dec

North Whitehouse Farm, Morpeth, Northumberland NE61 6AW
Tel: 01670 789 998

Join in with festive craft activities then meet Santa, receiving a gift and personalised letter. The elves will contact you prior to Christmas to gather special details for a personal experience. Finally enter the toy workshop to make a 16” Furry Friend to take home.

Booking required. Tickets include entry to Winter Wonderland event.

2-16 years: £25
Under 2 years: £15
Adult: £10.95
(Discount for members)

Train to Christmas Town (Weardale Railway)

Selected dates Sat 23rd Nov – Mon 23rd Dec

Stanhope Station, Station Rd, Bishop Auckland, Durham, DL13 2YS
Tel: 08000 232 383

At the station enjoy the gift shop, sweet cabin and refreshments, with children’s activities writing a letter to Santa or a Christmas Tree tag. The 1.5 hour long train ride involves singing, dancing and storytelling Elves and refreshments. Santa Claus will then board the train to greet each child and present special gifts.

Adult from £23
Child from £18

Winter Wonderland (Adventure Valley)

Selected dates Sat 23rd Nov – Tues 24th Dec

Brasside, Durham, County Durham, DH1 5SG
Tel: 0191 386 8291

Festive fun with ride-on animals, huge inflatable, ‘The Fabulous Christmas Cracker’ show and arts & crafts. Meet Santa’s elves, reindeer and Mrs Claus, visit Santa’s Grotto and receive a gift. Experience lasts 90 minutes, tickets include full entry to Adventure Valley.

Adult: £12.95 – £15.95.
Child: £23.95 – £26.95.
0-1 years: £12.95 – £15.95 (free for siblings not participating).
Selected dates discounted for members.