Make sure this Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year with these festive, family-friendly events and activities that are sure to get you in to the Christmas spirit.

Take the kids to see Santa

He’s made his list and checked it twice, which gives him plenty of time to visit the Tees Valley ahead of December 25th. There are many magical venues playing host to Saint Nicholas this year.

Be transported back in time to a Victorian Christmas at Preston Park Museum & Grounds in Stockton as the Victorian street is transformed into a Winter Wonderland as twinkly lights and festive wreaths line the cobbled street. Meet reindeers, enjoy festive music and get crafty with family workshops – you can also sneak in to see Santa in his Grotto too.

The Victorian Christmas will take place every weekend from Saturday 27 November to Sunday 19 December. Tickets must be booked in advance.

Meet Father Christmas when his sleigh lands in the walled garden at RPSB Saltholme on Saturday 4 December. Enjoy a hot chocolate as you wait in line to see the man in the big red coat and receive your present. Places are limited and must be booked in advance.

Set sail with Santa on the Teesside Princess. Learn how to make fairy dust, sing-along to festive favourites and meet the big man himself, plus much more!

Make a stop at the Head of Steam Museum in Darlington and meet Santa at the station. Get your hands on a Christmas present and enjoy family entertainment from face painting to a mini train ride and arts and crafts. Booking in advance is advised.

Say hello to Father Christmas and enjoy Christmas Crafts at Flatts Lane Woodland Country Park.

Why see one Santa when you can see a whole load of them? The Boundary 500 Motorcycle Santa Ride in Normanby returns for 2021 in aid of Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice. Watch Santa fly as he swaps his sleigh for a motorbike on Saturday 27th November.

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See the Tees Valley sparkle

It’s not Christmas until the decorations go up. So take the whole family to one of the Tees Valley’s many light switch ons. You’ll be spoilt for choice with so many happening this festive season.

21 November

Darlington kicks things off with its Christmas lights set to sparkle from 21 November. The town’s event is back for 2021 and will be hosted by firm favourites Steve & Karen from TFM. The night will see special guest appearances (including Santa himself), street theatre, live music and games and prizes.

25 November

Stockton Sparkles returns from 25 November with an abundance of festive fun and entertainment including the Christmas lights switch-on, Sparkles Christmas Market and a reindeer parade.

28 November

Christmas kicks off in spectacular style in Redcar town centre on 28 November, with a festive parade involving over 200 Redcar and Cleveland residents alongside performers Rag and Bone, Spark! Illuminated Drummers, Back Chat Brass, and amazing creations by artist Mowenna Catt, Adele Catchpole and Shirley Wells. Dance performances will also take place by The Imaginarium and Urban Kaos – all with the theme of ‘Fire and Ice’.

The Middlesbrough Christmas parade and light switch on is also happening on 28 November and promises to be one of the biggest and best events of the year. Expect impressive Christmas lights plus a magical parade including Santa and his reindeer.

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Catch a festive show

The traditional Christmas pantomime has been around forever and for good reason, it’s as fun now as it’s ever been. This year Darlington Hippodrome is showcasing their production of Cinderella with Steps singer Faye Tozer in the titular role and Middlesbrough born and bred comedian Patrick Monahan as buttons. Will this show of laugh out loud comedy and stunning set design have your kids captivated? Oh yes it will! Book here.

The Hullabaloo has its very own Christmas show this year, Reach for the Stars with Mavis Sparkles. Running throughout December Mavis Sparkles is a cleaner with a trolley full of surprises on a quest to see nature’s biggest lights show. This show has a bit of everything with illusion, animation and captivating performance. Book here.

Perfect for those that don’t want to grow up, Middlesbrough Theatre presents Peter Pan  – a swashbuckling adventure for the whole family this Christmas!

Come fly with Peter and Wendy to Never-Never Land in this sparkling adaption of the timeless classic. Book here.

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Go on a festive adventure

You don’t have to trek to the North Pole to experience the magic of Christmas, you can take on an Enchanted Winter Trail a little closer to home at Ormesby Hall.

Step inside the hall for an instant Christmas feeling as you follow the tale of the ‘Patience the Polar Bear’ on her festive adventure through an enchanted woodland to visit her friends.

Wrap up warm and find your way through the outdoor trail and see what winter nature you can spot along the way before getting cosy by the fire in the Victorian Kitchen for a winter tale with Mrs Christmas and make a Christmas card to take home.

Activities are taking place between 25 Nov 2021 – 20 Dec 2021. For more details go here.

Transport yourself to a scene that feels like its right out of Frozen and experience the Redcar Ice Trail on Saturday 11 December. Expect exciting ice sculptures, a live ice carve and ice workshop with its very own ice post box, where the elves will help you write and post your letters to Santa.

In it’s new home of Stewart Park in Middlesbrough, Nightfall is a magical family-friendly outdoor event which includes a self-guided trail of wonderful light-based artworks complemented by music, storytelling and performance. Tickets are almost sold out so book now to avoid disappointment.

For more things to do this festive season check out the what’s on page.

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What's On

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Christmas at Ormesby Hall

25 Nov 2021 - 20 Dec 2021

An Enchanted Winter everyday Thursdays – Mondays, from Thursday 25 November – Monday 20 ...

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A magical Victorian Christmas

27 Nov 2021 - 19 Dec 2021

This December, join us for a magical Victorian Christmas with reindeer, festive drinks, family ...

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Big Festive Day Out

28 Nov 2021

Bring all your friends and family into Middlesbrough for a festive spectacular featuring ...

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Pop-up Christmas at Kirkleatham Museum

04 Dec 2021 - 19 Dec 2021

Kirkleatham Museum will play host to mini outdoor Christmas markets, featuring brand new local ...

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Christmas Afternoon Tea at Newham Grange Farm

04 Dec 2021 - 24 Dec 2021

Christmas Afternoon Tea at Newham Grange Farm includes a selection of sandwiches, savouries, sweet ...

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Stockton Sparkles Reindeer Lantern Parade

05 Dec 2021

Join the celebrations on Stockton High Street for the return of Stockton Sparkles!   Groups from ...

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Mavis Sparkle

09 Dec 2021 - 24 Dec 2021

Christmas at The Hullabaloo – reach for the stars with Mavis Sparkle! Over the past year ...

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Redcar Ice Trail

11 Dec 2021

A winter walkabout is coming to Redcar along the High Street and Esplanade. Renowned Ice ...

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