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The festive season in NewcastleGateshead

8th October 2012

Categories: Latest News

Anyone looking for that extra special Christmas gift or unique festive experience need look no further than the NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival (Thursday 29 November – Monday 31 December 2012) –

Created by NewcastleGateshead Initiative, the Winter Festival fun begins with a weekend of shopping and the chance to buy some unique items produced right here in the region. 

The studios in the Ouseburn Valley are home to a wide range of creative people including artists, jewellery and furniture makers, graphic designers and printmakers.  Ouseburn Open Studios (Sat 24 & Sun 25 November) sees the artists open up their studios giving visitors the chance to purchase the wide variety of work on offer.

Festivities continue across the river in Gateshead with the new Winter Fair which takes place inside a seasonally decorated St Mary’s Church.  The Winter Fair provides a mixture of local crafts and food stalls and will showcase the wealth of arts, crafts and traditional food in North East England.

Rounding off this special weekend of festive events is BALTIC Shop Christmas Weekend at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 November).  Take advantage of a variety of special season offers on some unique products, exclusive to BALTIC. 

Ouseburn Open Studios, Winter Fair and BALTIC Shop Christmas Weekend form part of NewcastleGateshead’s Winter Festival.  For more information, visit

There’s a lot more happening across NewcastleGateshead as part of the annual NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival.  The Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead presents its annual selling craft exhibition ‘Christmas Presents’ from Friday 16 November- Saturday 22 December 2012.  Now in its 21st year of selling high quality, handmade gifts - pop along to find the perfect Christmas present.

Newcastle city centre hosts The Continental Market from Monday 20 November - Saturday 1 December 2012.  As well as traditional handmade gifts and decorations, shoppers can get a currywurst from Germany, waffles from Holland, paella from Spain and crepes – both sweet and savoury from France.  From Wednesday 5 December and Sunday 9 December 2012, the theme changes to The Christmas Market where North East traders serve up local ales, jams and handmade chocolates.  With scarves, leather bags, hand thrown pottery and jewellery also available, there’s no excuse for not getting the Christmas shopping finished.

Aside from shopping there are a host of cultural events to enjoy throughout the NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival including; Enchanted Parks (Wednesday 5 – Sunday 9 December).  The award-winning Enchanted Parks transforms Saltwell Park in Gateshead after dark with innovative and atmospheric creations using visual art installations, light, sound and performance on a large and small scale.  Tickets go on sale the first week in November (please check for updated on-sale information).

New Year’s Eve always signals a time to celebrate and the NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival presents one of the biggest events across the country in the New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival (Monday 31 December, from 17.00 in Newcastle city centre).  Meet Thor and the Black Elves, watch out for Odin’s wolves prowling the streets, and keep your ears open for the Spark drummers whose rhythms summon other strange beasts in this Norse-themed Carnival Parade.  Join in as traditional music and dance meet carnival performance as the parade moves off from Monument, along Northumberland Street, to Newcastle Civic Centre where the New Year’s Eve firework finale lifts off at 6pm. Wave hello to 2013 with a fantastic firework display, set to music.

The Life Science Centre presents its city centre ice-skating rink from 10 November 2012 - 24 February 2013.  Skating@Life is fun for young and old, and this year, star of ITV’s Dancing on Ice - Susie Lipanova – will be on hand for some tutored sessions throughout January and February 2013.

The festive season wouldn’t be complete without some pantomimes and Christmas shows.  Theatre Royal Newcastle presents Aladdin from Tuesday 27 November 2012 - Saturday 19 January 2013.  Theatre Royal favourites Clive Webb (Mr Twankey), Danny Adams (Aladdin) and Chris Hayward (The Empress of China) return in another unmissable show packed with an abundance of laughs, spectacular sets and stunning costumes.

Northern Stage’s Christmas show is a new production of The Borrowers.  Running from Tuesday 4 – Saturday 29 December 2012, The Borrowers is the extraordinary story of some rather small, very clever folk who run into trouble when "human beans" work out what they're up to.  There’s also something for younger children with The Little Detective Agency.  Designed specifically for children under six, this brand new show is full of festive excitement, enchanting songs and a sprinkling of audience participation.

On Sunday 16 December & Monday 17 December, Live Theatre presents Toy Stories.  Have you ever received a toy you didn’t like? Lost a toy you couldn’t live without? Do you have a favourite toy? Do toys expand the imagination? Or is it just a corporate money making scheme?  Join Live’s Youth Theatre as they take a magical journey into the world of toys. Ten groups present ten short plays over two nights.

The NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival, created by NewcastleGateshead Initiative, takes place from Thursday 29 November to Monday 31 December 2012 (with additional events taking place into 2013 – see above).  For more information, please visit


For further information, interview requests, images etc, please contact David Brookbanks, Media & PR Manager for NewcastleGateshead Initiative on 0191 440 5740 / 07946 581 417 or email


 For further details see  The NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival is created by NewcastleGateshead Initiative and funded by, Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council and the Northern Rock Foundation.

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