A Geordie Christmas – My Top 5

Today I thought I’d share with you some of the traditions we have that make us feel super festive in the run up to Christmas. Now Dinky is on the scene I’m enjoying getting a second chance to do all of this again. The Teen is definitely not up for visits to see Santa now! I hope she gets as excited seeing the twinkling lights of Northumberland Street appear as I did as a nipper!

Fenwicks Window, Northumberland Street

Seen by thousands of people on a daily basis, the Fenwick Window in Newcastle is a Geordie institution that is loved by adults and children alike. This year’s theme is Paddington Bear and it seemed to get the thumbs up from Dinky when we took her along. 

With 8 scenes featuring the famous Peruvian bear and the Brown family we feel it has more of a festive theme than previous years. I remember one year featured aliens of all characters! If we get some snow it will be truly magical for your little ones. Team it up with a visit to see Santa in-store too. Booking has not been opened for this so keep an eye on social media and get in quick to secure a spot. 

Hadrian’s Tipi, Pilgrim Street

Following its success outside Central Station last year Hadrian’s Tipi has grown in size and added more food and drink options at its new location on Pilgrim Street in the city centre.

With food on offer from favourites like Fat Hippo, and hot chocolates and mulled wine served beside a roaring fire, there is more of a family feel around the site this time round. It is also dog-friendly, so bring along your four-legged friend while you enjoy a pint and a falafel wrap from The Bake.

Watching It’s a Wonderful Life at the Cinema

There’s nothing better than snuggling up to your loved ones to watch a film like It’s a Wonderful Life. The lovely Tyneside Cinema have recently announced their December screenings so best get booking if you fancy watching this classic on the big screen.

If you fancy watching something a bit different with the kids BOC (Blackfriars Ouseburn Cinema) have also announced they have screenings of Elf, The Muppets Christmas Carol and a host of other films over the festive season. We loved our visit to see Beauty and the Beast earlier in the year and you can read about our experience in a previous post. Find out about timings here.

Going to see a Pantomime

Many Geordie kids have fond memories of family trips to see a pantomime in the lead up to Christmas. With big names like Denise Welsh and Michelle Heaton starring locally there’s no shortage of choice on where to watch one of the best-loved tales that are performed over the festive season.

I’m hopefully taking Dinky along to a special show called Santa’s Naughty Elf on at The Customs House in South Shields. You can find out more about this musical adventure here.

Enchanted Parks, Gateshead

NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Gateshead Council’s after-dark arts adventure in the atmospheric setting of Saltwell Park is making a welcome return this festive season. I have featured it on the blog before because it certainly heralds the start of the festive season for me. Last year we’d just gotten back from New York and were suffering from jet lag but still headed along in the cold and rain to enjoy the display.

This year’s theme is The Inventors’ Ball and we’ll be posting a sneaky peek from the press launch of the event soon.

Thanks for reading,

Pip x



  1. Sam | North East Family Fun Travel Blog

    We’re pretty lucky in the NE that there’s so much going on aren’t we. I’m taking the kids to Hadrian’s Tipi on Saturday – I hope we like it!

    1. Emma Phillips (Post author)

      I look forward to seeing your photos!


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