From screenings of The Snowman accompanied by a live orchestra to the final weekend of the Festival of Light and a host of pantos, there’s plenty to get you in the festive spirit on the weekend before Christmas.
If you want a break from last minute shopping we’re rounded up 10 of the top things to do.
1. The Festival of Light, Mowbray Park, Sunderland
This is the final weekend to see the Festival of Light in Mowbray Park, Sunderland. It will be running from Thursday, December 19 until December 22. It features lighting installations, live music, illuminated street theatre characters and added extras such as visits from Santa’s reindeer and craft workshops. Entry is from 4pm, with last entry at 8pm and the event closes at 9pm. Tickets need to be bought in advance from the See It Do It Sunderland website. Photo: JPI Media
2. The Snowman, Sage Gateshead, December 22-24
Royal Northern Sinfonia will be performing The Snowman at various times from Sunday, December 22 to Tuesday, December 24. They will be performing live against screenings of the classic Christmas film. The orchestra will also perform alongside another children's classic, We're Going On A Bear Hunt. The performance on 22nd December at 2pm is a relaxed performance which means it will provide a supportive and relaxed environment suited to those with autism or disabilities and their families Photo: Library image
3. A Christmas Carol, Masonic Lodge, Sunderland
Calling all Scrooges! Dickensian classic A Christmas Carol is being staged in Wearside as part of a tour of quirky venues in the run up to the big day. The Sunderland leg of the tour will take place at the Wearside Masonic Lodge, in Burdon Road. Visitors to the historic Grade II-Listed temple will be able to experience the ghosts of Christmas past, present and Christmas yet to come when the famous tale is staged from December 21-23. Tickets are available from https://arctix.co.uk/ Photo: Stu Norton
4. Aladdin, Gala Theatre, Durham
Enjoy a magic carpet ride into the wonderful world of panto with Aladdin at Gala Theatre, Durham, running until January 5. The show will see wishes granted, romance blossom and riches lost and won as the talented cast bring the much-loved story of Aladdin and his lamp to life. Featuring a magical flying carpet, audiences will be transported to exotic locations such as China, Egypt and even Sacriston, following the streetwise hero as he attempts to make his town rich by marrying a princess. Photo: Submitted