We’ve rounded up 10 of the best.
1. Winter Wonderland, Rainton Arena, Houghton
From a trio of live reindeer and a grotto complete with igloo to an Alpine village and the largest ice rink in the city, Sunderland’s biggest celebration of Christmas this year has opened to the public. The Winter Wonderland at Rainton Arena is the biggest event to be staged at the venue in Houghton so far and is the brainchild of new owner Jay Johal. The car park of the arena has been taken over for the duration of the wonderland, which runs from today, November 29, until December 23, and features live reindeer, a large grotto, Christmas retail area, stalls selling churros, waffles and more, an Alpine village and tipi bar, fairground rides, a local crafts marquee and a large open air ice rink. Entry is free, but there is a cost for the grotto and ice rink.
Photo: JPI Media
2. Jack Whitehall, Utilita Arena, December 6 & 7
Following two complete sell out arena tours, Jack Whitehall Gets Around in 2014 and Jack Whitehall: At Large in 2017, which premiered on Netflix, Jack Whitehall: Stood Up is heading to Newcastle's Utilita Arena for two nights on December 6 & 7. Jack said: “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be going back out on the road. There’s no feeling like standing up on stage in front of an arena full of strangers, and still being able to hear your dad heckle you.” Most recently seen in Lasse Hallstrom's The Nutcracker And The Four Realms opposite Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman, Jack is also set to star in Disney's upcoming Jungle Cruise opposite Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, which is currently in production and will be released in 2020.
3. Blood Brothers, Sunderland Empire, December 3-7
Blood Brothers is at Sunderland Empire from December 3-7. In the musical Lyn Paul returns to the iconic role of Mrs Johnstone for the final time. Written by Willy Russell, the legendary Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving tale of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with fateful consequences. Few musicals have received quite such acclaim as the multi award-winning Blood Brothers. The score includes Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.
4. Beauty and the Beast, Theatre Royal, Newcastle, until January 19
For the first time ever pantomime Beauty and the Beast is at Newcastle Theatre Royal in an enchanting production for all the family, starring legendary Theatre Royal panto stars Danny Adams, Clive Webb and Chris Hayward. Join them on a magical adventure to help the beautiful Belle on her quest to unleash the Beauty within the Beast. As with all Theatre Royal pantomimes, you can expect special effects and a few surprises along the way.