Christmas 2023: The best events in your area

Written by on 8th November 2023

As we approach the colder months with the festive season on the horizon, the region prepares itself for the busiest, and most wonderful time of the year.

Whether you’re looking for a market to drink mulled wine by the fire, or are looking for a festive activity, the North East has you covered. Here are some of the best events taking place in the region this Christmas.

Ornaments on a tree at the Christmas Shop, (Credit: Alamy)


Christmas Craft Fair
Sunderland Glass Centre 
Sat 18th and Sun 19th November – 10.00-17.00
Entry: Free

Celebrating the beautiful handmade crafts that the North East has to offer.

The fair will be packed with stalls from local and regional crafters. It’s the perfect opportunity to buy a unique handmade Christmas gift or to treat yourself to something special.

*pending the Glass Centre re-opening*

Reindeer Dash 2023
The Bridges Shopping Centre
Sun 3rd December – 8:00-10:00
Entry: £4
The Bridges Shopping Centre will be holding the Reindeer Dash for a unique 1k indoor family fun run to raise valuable funds for two local charities.

The Reindeer Dash 2023 is a great opportunity to raise funds for others in our community who are less fortunate this Christmas.

Children’s entry (12 and under) to the event costs £4, which includes a reindeer nose and antlers, plus a fantastic reindeer medal.
Tickets can be purchased here

Sunderland Christmas Lights Switch On
Keel Square
Thurs 16th November – 17:00-19:00
Entry: Free

Join Metro Radio’s Steve and Karen for the Christmas Lights event this year, with some super special guests flicking the switch.

Look out for some magical characters in the crowd to snap a festive photograph and an extra-special performance from Anna and Elsa from Frozen!

The cast from the Empire Theatre’s Panto, Beauty & The Beast will also be there to officially kick off the countdown to Christmas.


Newcastle Christmas Markets
Sat 18 Nov 2023 10:00 – Sat 23 Dec 2023 20:00
Grey’s Monument, Grainger Street, Newcastle upon Tyne
Entry: Free

The Christmas market has a particularly local focus and celebrates the talented independent businesses, makers, creators and artisans in the region.

There will be a brilliant range of local businesses and independent traders who will be selling their bespoke jewellery, eco-friendly beauty products, clothing, Churros, homemade chutneys and preserves as well as fabulously unique gifts during the four-week market.

Fenwick’s Christmas Window
Sun 5 Nov 2023 17:00 pm – Mon 1 Jan 2024 20:00 pm
Northumberland Street, Newcastle upon Tyne
Entry: Free

 Yearly feature Step into the enchanting world of Narnia at Fenwick Newcastle’s spellbinding Christmas Window showcase. Experience the captivating journey of the four adventurous siblings from C.S. Lewis’s “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” brought to life with an exclusive soundtrack by The Glasshouse International Centre for Music.

(Credit: Alamy)

County Durham

Durham Christmas Festival
Durham Market Hall
Fri 1st December – Sun 3rd December 10:00 – 18:00
Entry: Free
The perfect combination of Christmas shopping and seasonal entertainment in the unique and stunning setting that is Durham City Centre.


Raby Castle – Enchanted Festive Forest 
Address: Staindrop, Darlington DL2 3AH
Selected dates from 18th November – 24th December
Entry: Varied, more information here

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.

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