Life Little Miss Parenting

5 Festive Things to Do With Your Child in the North East*

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Hands up who put their tree up this weekend? I know we did! After a trip to town and seeing the decorations along with some trees in the windows of houses, Little Miss convinced me that we needed to put ours up. So with an order of pizza we spent Saturday night watching The Enchanted Christmas & Once Upon a Christmas and really decking the halls. Although I have to admit I feel less Christmassy each year until it gets closer to the day, it has helped lift my spirits a bit and the sitting room feels so cosy with all the lights on and the gingerbread candles burning.

Now that the season is upon us and it’s only 18 days until Little Miss breaks up for Christmas it’s right that I try and make some plans to really embrace the festivities, for her sake more than anyone elses. We have a long haul of 9 days until the big day from when she breaks up so we need to entertain ourselves otherwise I think we’ll both be going stir crazy!

So here are 5 festive things I’ve found to do in the North East;

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Edinburgh Christmas Market
The big one. Edinburgh Christmas market is our must do every Christmas. It runs from the middle of November to the beginning of January and there is so much to do. Actually something for all ages. I’m hoping to take Little Miss up twice, the first one the 18th December with our cousins from Australia and the second to meet LM’s little friend Quinn at the start of January. There is an ice rink, fairground rides, market stalls, food and alcohol. I love it and holding a cup of spice warm cider while walking around is one of the things guaranteed to get me into the festive mood. I’m so lucky to live in an area where it’s easy accessible, Stagecoach runs buses from Newcastle to Edinburgh at a great price (I’ve done the route many Christmases ago) and the drop off point is just around the corner from the market.

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Meet Santa Claus
Another must do for us at Christmas is meet the man himself. There used to be a ceremony in the village my parents live in where the Christmas lights are turned on by Santa Claus but due to budget cuts this doesn’t happen. There is a Christmas fair happening the second weekend though that I’ll take her instead. The big one in the North East is seeing Santa Claus at Alnwick Gardens. I have had a few reports already that he’s in a real winter wonderland and I can only imagine how magical that must be for children. Maybe I’ll be able to pencil in a visit there one weekend! However if you do not wish to travel far most towns offer meet & greets with Santa Claus, it’s best to check your local paper or newsletter.

Go For a Christmas Dinner
For our family going out for a meal is an important occasion and we do try and do it at least once a month. The kids enjoy it as they get colouring sheets and we all get to sit together. Christmas dinner is definitely the best meal of the year and I wish we got to eat it more often and maybe this year we can! A lot of family friendly pubs serve Christmas dinner like meals throughout December and it would be great to take the kids to get some practice in! I don’t think we’ll have any problem with Little Miss as her favourite meal at the moment is a roast dinner, especially the stuffing!

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See Fenwick’s Window
Another Christmas tradition for a lot of people living in the North East is going to see the Fenwick’s window display on Northumberland Street in Newcastle, it’s a tradition from my childhood as well as going to see the lights in the city. This year the theme is Beatrix Potter however my favourite ever has to be the Alice in Wonderland theme they had a few years back.

See a Pantomime
Oh yes I did! Finally, take the kids to see a pantomime, it is the season after all. The North East has so many different productions going on over the next couple of months from the huge ones with the celebrity stars, the small local ones and even charity pantomimes. For some reason it isn’t Christmas for us without seeing one and this could be because growing up my sister and I took part in a fair few. It’s always a good time to introduce your kid to the slap stick comedy and hilarious songs, such fun to be had by all.

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Hopefully these ideas will help you get through the next few weeks in the run up to the big day, and don’t forget to pop some Christmas crafts and gingerbread man baking on that to do list!

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