Christmas Tree Decorations

December Plans

Wow! I cannot believe it’s already December and the big man in red’s visit is imminent.  2016 has gone in a flash and in January our little baby ‘Here Come the Hoopers’ will be celebrating it’s first birthday.

The past few weeks have been so busy, so this year shopping will be left to the last minute.  Plans for the social calendar have been sorted though which to us is always the best part to the festive season.  We can always that mad dash around Eldon Square on Christmas Eve and will hopefully hit lucky with some local gifts at the shopping fairs.

I thought I’d do a little round up of the festive family treats we have selected this month from the huge choice in our region in case you are still undecided. Watch out for our reviews soon after and let us know if you have enjoyed any of these picks so far.


Late Night Shopping, Grainger Market, 1st December

Christmas Night Market

The Grainger Market are hosting their first ever late night shopping event on the 1st December with the market staying open until 9pm.  The organisers have put on tours of the air raid shelter (who knew?) entertainment, jewellery classes and special discounts from the stall holders.  Imogen recently had a tour of the market on a school trip and she loved it.  She has been raving about the chocolate crepe she had so she is really looking forward to this and soaking up the festive atmosphere.

For more details visit


Living North Christmas Fair, Gosforth Park, 1st-4th December

Living North Christmas FairImage Copyright Living North

I always enjoy this fair.  Yes it’s busy, sprawling and sometimes hard to look at the stalls properly but you get some great unique gifts and foodie treats.  Check out the demonstration kitchen where chefs from Six Baltic, Rockcliffe Hall, and Feathers Inn to name a few will be showing their culinary skills and passing round samples.  My neighbour Matthew will be there with his hand-made soy wax ‘Urban Candle Co‘ which cannot be more locally produced than 3 houses down from us.  Let’s hope I manage to at least make a dent in the shopping list.


Beauty and the Beast, Tyne Theatre & Opera House,
Friday 2nd – Friday 30th December

Beauty and the Beast - Tyne Theatre & opera House
Image Copyright Tyne Theatre

Kicking off panto season in style we will be taking a trip to Westgate Road to see Beauty and the Beast.  It’s been a couple of years since we went to this lovely venue but i’m expecting lots of Geordie jokes from local comedian Maxie Peters as the Dame and Charlie Richmond (pot noodle advert fame) as the Jester.  The girls are super excited for the big screen adaptation coming in March so it will be a good refresh of the story.  Altogether now ‘He’s behind you!!!’
For more details visit


Enchanted Parks, Saltwell Park, Gateshead Tuesday 6th-Sunday 11th December

This event sold out quick as a flash and thanks to some organised mammy friends I was on the ball when they first came online.  If previous years reviews are to go on should be a good one.   We will be wrapping up warm and heading to the park at 7pm after work and school so hopefully it will be worth the bracing cold!! The theme of this year is ‘Mid Winter nights tale’ which is inspired by a letter found in Saltwell Towers from none other than William Shakespeare.

“It’s 400 years later and a strange kind of magic has taken over the park – could the long lost work be coming to life?”  I’ll let you know!!

For more details visit


Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris at Christmas
Image Copyright Disney

Heading off to see the other man in red… Mickey Mouse.  Highlights of the season in the park will be the Christmas parade and fireworks… and the rides… and the lush food.  I bet a certain huggable snowman will feature in the celebrations.


Jack and the Beanstalk, People’s Theatre
10th-18th December

Jack and the Beanstalk

Two of my lovely Brownie guides are in this performance (but not this night!) so we are heading along here with the Brownie gang to see this amateur show at the local theatre.  Cue lots of en masse trips to the toilets and lots of giggly, excited girls!

James & the Giant Peach, Northern Stage,
running until Saturday 31st December

James and the Giant Peach

This will be the third year we have booked the 2pm Christmas Eve performance of the Northern Stage show and still have great memories of ‘Get Santa’ from 2014. The rave reviews have been coming in thick and fast like this from North East Family Fun and Sprog on the Tyne, so I think we will be in for a treat.  A Chinese meal at Poons on the Gosforth High Street will follow.  Nothing says Christmas Eve like Northern Stage and a crispy duck roll.


Jack & the Beanstalk, Customs House, South Shields, Tuesday 29th Nov – Saturday 7th January

We’ll be spending quite a bit of the holidays in South Shields as my parents moved over there this time last year and we loved the Custom House’s performance of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ last year. As a bonus, we enjoyed the afternoon party ‘Mad Hatter’s’ tea party at the venue before we went to see the show where the kids could meet the stars of the show, get photographs and play some party games.  This year it’s the ‘Giant’s Feast’ to fit in with ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and hopefully will be as good as last year.


Winter Wonderland Christmas Light Show, The Gardens @ Wynyard Hall ,24th November – 30th December (Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday Evenings)

Winter Wonderland Light Show

We loved the ‘Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin‘ event at Halloween in these gorgeous gardens so really excited for this event and showing Alan around who sadly was at work the last time we visited.  The event promises a 25 foot musical Christmas Tree,  fairy-lit walkway and a visit the Ice Queen and winter fairies in their mystical sleigh.


Relaxing December?

Added into the mix 6 children’s nativity performances, a Hooper family night out at Gosforth Park, karaoke with work colleagues at Cosy Joe’s, Hooper signs lunch (for Alan) at Blackfriars, School Christmas fair/parties, I have a fear we may have bitten off more than we can chew this month.  In fact i’m getting slight palpitations looking at this list, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Merry Christmas…see you on the other side!


4 responses to “December Plans”

  1. I need a lie down after reading this! Sounds like loads of fun though. Can’t wait to see the Disney pics x

    1. We’ve def been a bit over ambitious with the amount of things we’ve booked in! Oh well…Pass me the baileys!xx

  2. Wow Cat, that’s a lot!!! I feel tired for you! It all sounds great though. Nomipalony is 1 in january too, we should have a joint blog birthday celebration!

    1. I know i’m tired thinking about it!! yey to the joint birthday celebration!!! need to get our thinking caps on and plan

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