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Christmas in Newcastle

A programme of

events for Newcastle and Northumbria students staying in Newcastle over Christmas and New Year

Christmas in Newcastle

Wherever you are from and whether you are at Newcastle or Northumbria University, if you are staying in Newcastle over the Christmas holidays this brochure is for you.

Many students, both home and overseas, stay in the city during Christmas and New Year and we hope to give everyone the chance to meet up and take part in one of the many exciting events, plan a special family outing or make a traditional Christmas meal. We hope that you will find this guide helpful and that it will inspire you to help make this holiday a truly memorable one for you!

What to expect during the holidays.................................................................................3 Celebrating Christmas in England...................................................................................4 Make your own Christmas Day in five easy steps...........................................................6 What’s on this Christmas........................................................................................... 8-18 Important Information.....................................................................................................19 University Opening.........................................................................................................20

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‘Christmas in Newcastle’


What to expect during the holidays The festive period is a busy time for most people in the UK and it is often a time when people spend more time with their families. Those who celebrate Christmas are likely to do so with specially prepared food, by decorating their homes and exchanging gifts. Christmas is a Christian festival and some people will visit churches and cathedrals to participate in services and concerts throughout the holiday period. All of Newcastle’s churches and cathedrals will have something to offer and you can visit them whether you are Christian or not. Services on 24 December – Christmas Eve – can be particularly enjoyable with carols, lighting of candles and children’s choirs. For many the holiday period is a time to eat, drink and shop so be aware that in the run-up to Christmas the centre of Newcastle will be very busy indeed. Public transport will be affected with most services running a restricted timetable and on 25 December will cease altogether. Please see the following links to check on timetables for local and national services.

Most shops and public buildings will be open every day except Christmas Day itself – 25 December and New Year’s Day – 1 January. However, many shops and public buildings will have reduced opening hours on Christmas Eve 24, Boxing Day 26 and New Year’s Eve 31 December. Remember to buy enough food before Christmas Day! If you are planning to go somewhere over the holidays, especially around Christmas itself, it is best to check ahead to make sure the place is open and that there is transport available. It is also wise to have the number of a taxi service handy. Some local taxi numbers include: Blueline 0191 262 6666 Budget Taxis 0191 298 5050 Dean 0191 444 4444 Five Star 0191 232 8888


Celebrating Christmas in England If this is your first Christmas in England we would like to help you to make sense of it all. Here follows a brief guide to some of our Christmas traditions. Christmas Food Food plays a very important role in the Christmas celebrations with the Christmas Day dinner being the central meal of the festivities. This is eaten at different times, according to family tradition, but is normally a lunchtime rather than an evening meal. It traditionally comprises roast turkey with chestnut stuffing served with potatoes and vegetables including brussel sprouts.

After the meal the traditional dish is a Christmas pudding – a dark, fruit-laden cake-like pudding served with brandy sauce and brandy butter. If you buy a pudding, and have specific dietary requirements, be sure to look at the ingredients as many contain animal fat and alcohol though many versions exist without these additions. Mince pies, which are sweet, used to be savoury pies containing a mixture of meat, fruit and alcohol. They were traditionally oval in shape to represent Jesus’ crib. They are now a sweet pie containing fruit, eaten after dinner or by themselves with a drink.

Santa Claus Our modern Santa Claus, developed from the legend of St Nicholas, is said to travel through the night skies on a sleigh, guided by his reindeer.

It is now relatively easy to serve a traditional turkey dinner with all of the ‘trimmings’ (as we call everything that goes with the meal). This is because all major supermarkets have ready-to-roast turkeys and readyprepared vegetables and gravy. Of course, not everyone eats turkey, or meat, and there are some traditional meat-free dishes too. One is the nut roast which is served with vegetarian gravy.


Santa Claus traditionally leaves small, unwrapped gifts in Christmas stockings hung out on 24 December. This tradition developed from the tales of St Nicholas, who, according to legend, left money in the stockings of poor men’s daughters as they slept, in order to pay for their dowries. We now only give stockings to children and they are hung on the end of their bed ready to open in the morning. It is traditional to include some nuts and a small orange in the bottom, which again dates back to St Nicholas providing for the poor. Small presents of any kind are referred to as ‘stocking fillers’.

Christmas Trees Christmas trees were first introduced to Britain from Germany in the eighteenth century by the British Royal Family. In the nineteenth century Christmas trees became popularised by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, following the publication in the ‘Illustrated London News’ of a picture

featuring the Royal Family sitting around a finely decorated Christmas tree. Although some people have their tree out from early December the ‘proper’ time is in fact 24 December or Christmas Eve, after Advent, and it should be taken down on 6 January – Epiphany.

The meaning of

Christmas At Christmas, Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ (where the word ‘Christian’ comes from).

Christians believe that Jesus was born of a human mother – Mary, often referred to as the Virgin Mary and that Jesus is God’s son.

There are lots of traditions built up around the Christmas story. Christians believe that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in present-day Israel, and that he was born in a stable (where animals are kept), because there was no room at the inn. The first visitors to see him were shepherds. We are also told of a later visit when wise men (often referred to as ‘the three Kings’) came from the east to see him, bringing him gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Most Christmas carol services will tell these stories and seek to explain their significance in music and words. If you wish to discuss Christmas and its significance to Christians, please contact the Chaplaincy. See or


Make your own Christmas Day in 5 easy steps Christmas Day itself – 25 December – is the main day of the festivities. Most families or individuals will have their own way of celebrating the occasion but there are a few traditions which are worth observing.

1 Christmas decorations If you wish to enter into the spirit, you must put up some kind of decorations. The shops are full of them at the minute so you can take your pick. Most have displays which can give you a good idea of what to buy and how to assemble your decorations. 6

For an idea of how it should all look and suggestions of differently-priced options, see the links below:

2 Exchanging gifts

5 Church service

Exchanging gifts is an essential part of the day and is normally done in the morning. Why not get together with friends and organise a ‘secret Santa’? See below for ideas on how to do this.

Most churches hold a carol service, which may be candlelit, in the weeks before Christmas. The dates will vary - look at your nearest church noticeboards or websites for details. On Christmas Eve (24 December), many churches have a service starting at about 11.30pm and lasting for an hour. This Midnight mass is a traditional part of an English Christmas. Most churches will also have a mid-morning service on Christmas Day (Tuesday 25). Again we refer you to their noticeboards and websites as there are too many to list here.

3 Festive food and drink The traditional dinner, eaten at lunchtime or early evening according to personal preference, normally comprises turkey and ‘all the trimmings’. Many people prefer another meat or a vegetarian option. Whatever you decide to have, make it special – set the table and provide Christmas crackers for everyone. Most shops have ready-made food for Christmas but if you want to cook it all yourself, look at the links below. christmas-dinner-recipes.html

There are also other religious festivals at this time of year including Jewish Chanuka (8-16 December); and Pagan Yule www. openrituals.htm (21 December). For more information about church services over the Christmas period, please contact Catherine or Andii, university chaplains at Newcastle and Northumbria universities. or

4 The Royal Christmas Message Every Christmas Day, the Queen addresses the nation at 3pm when she talks about the past year and the year ahead. In the past, many families would sit down together to hear what she had to say but this tradition has decreased over the years. For information on this tradition, see the links below: Christmas_Message

We hope that you have a wonderful

however you choose to spend your time.


What’'s on this Christmas

Newcastle and Northumbria Universities have organised a series of events for you to enjoy over the festive period. Please see the following pages for details. Basket Ball Match: Newcastle Eagles V Birmingham Knights

Jack and the Beanstalk: A traditional British pantomime

Friday 20th December 6.45pm–9pm

Monday 23rd December 1.30pm

Watch the Newcastle Eagles in Sport Central, Northumbria University, play against Birmingham Knights.

An unmissable show packed with an abundance of laughter, spectacular sets and stunning costumes. Oh – and some very magical beans!

Cost: £2 per person

Cost: £12 per person

Christmas Wrapping Saturday 21st December 2013, 2pm Castle Leazes, Spital Tongues Bring along your own gift(s) and learn how to wrap like a professional. Gift wrapping materials provided. Cost: £2 per person

Beamish Museum Sunday 22nd December 10.30am–3.30pm Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas in days gone by, a whole festive season for everyone. It’s how every Christmas ought to be... Wrap up warmly and experience all the trimmings of a Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian Christmas at Beamish Museum. Visit Father Christmas in his cosy fireside Grotto. Cost: £12 per person

Dark Woods, Deep Snow: A Grimm Tale for Christmas Tuesday 24th December 1.30pm At the darkest time, on the longest night, as the real winter starts to close in, something is happening. In the Extremely Secret House in the Woods a rag-tag band of super heroic outcasts are ready to do battle with the gathering darkness. A tale of magic and adventure for all ages. Cost: £12 per person

Christmas Lunch Wednesday 25th December 2013, 1pm St Luke’s Church, Claremont Road Come along and enjoy a traditional Christmas Lunch: Roast Turkey with “all the trimmings”, a vegetarian option for those who prefer. We also hope to listen to the Queen give her talk to the nation this year.

Book Now!

Cost: Free


Booking your place on any of these events couldn’t be simpler. Here’s how you can buy tickets 1 At our welcome event on 9th December at 5.30 2 At Northumbria University’s Students’ Union between 10th and 20th December 3 At Kings Gate in Newcastle University between 10th and 20th December 4 Join the Facebook group ‘Christmas in Newcastle’ for all ticket purchases after 20th December

Newcastle United v Stoke City Thursday 26th December 2013 Newcastle United Football Club Come and watch Newcastle United play at St James’ Park. Deadline for the sale of these tickets is 5pm on Thursday 19th December. Kick-off is 3pm Cost: £20 per person

The Snowman Friday 27th December 2013, 2pm Sage

Book Now!

The Snowman is something of a Christmas

tradition at The Sage Gateshead. You are invited to come along and watch the classic animated film on the big screen, accompanied live by Northern Sinfonia playing Howard Blake’s musical score. Cost: £5 per person

Centre for Life Ice Skating Saturday 28th December 2013, 5pm–6pm One hour’s skating followed by mulled wine, mince pies and a portion of chips (suitable for 18+ only). Cost: £2 per person. Refreshments are included in the ticket price.

Booking your place on any of these events couldn’t be simpler. Here’s how you can buy tickets 1 At our welcome event on 9th December at 5.30 2 At Northumbria University’s Students’ Union between 10th and 20th December 3 At Kings Gate in Newcastle University between 10th and 20th December 4 Join the Facebook group ‘Christmas in Newcastle’ for all ticket purchases after 20th December


Daytime trip to Tynemouth

New Year’s Day lunch at Malmaison

Sunday 29th December 2013, 11.30am

Wednesday 1st January 1pm–3.30pm

Tynemouth Beach/ Market

Visit Malmaison Hotel on the quayside opposite Baltic for a celebratory meal to welcome the New Year. A relaxed, informal three course buffet lunch plus a glass of Buck’s Fizz on arrival will set you up in style for the year ahead.

Come for a trip to the coast... A walk on the beach, the opportunity to bag some vintage bargains and perhaps a hot chocolate with marshmallows? Cost: £2 per person. (A hot drink will be provided)

Newcastle United v Arsenal

Cost: £12 per person

XMAS Movie Marathon

Sunday 29th December 2013

Thursday 2nd January 1pm-5pm

Newcastle United Football Club

Stage 2, Northumbria Students’ Union

Come and watch Newcastle United play at St James’ Park. Kick-off is 1.30pm. Deadline for the sale of these tickets is 5pm on Thursday 19th December.

Come along and enjoy back to back Christmas movies in relaxing surroundings. Hot drinks included.

Cost: £30 per person

Cost: £2 per person

Pool Tournament

Christmas Film Night

Saturday 4th January 1pm-4pm

Monday 30th December 6pm–9pm

Reds, Northumbria Students’ Union

Watch a traditional Christmas film – A Christmas Carol – in the comfort of Newcastle’s loveliest cinema with festive refreshments.

Fancy yourself as a Pool demon? Challenge your friends to a game or just play for fun. Hot drinks included.

Cost: £2 per person

Cost: £2 per person

Quiz Night

‘Knewcastle? Knew year! How well do you know the city we live in?

Tuesday 31st December 2013, 3pm

Sunday 5th January 2014 1pm–4.30pm

Mandela Room, Chaplaincy 19-20 Windsor Terrace

A walking treasure hunt through Newcastle to help you discover things you might not otherwise find out about Newcastle. Refreshments in St Nicholas’ Cathedral with an opportunity to find out more about the real ‘Saint Nick’ – St Nicholas of Myra, the original Santa Claus.

Come along and test your knowledge in our Christmas quiz. Snacks and soft drinks will be provided. Cost: £2 per person

Book Now!

Cost: £2 per person


Booking your place on any of these events couldn’t be simpler. Here’s how you can buy tickets 1 At our welcome event on 9th December at 5.30 2 At Northumbria University’s Students’ Union between 10th and 20th December 3 At Kings Gate in Newcastle University between 10th and 20th December 4 Join the Facebook group ‘Christmas in Newcastle’ for all ticket purchases after 20th December

University Carol Services All welcome – admission free. No need to book a place – just turn up. Newcastle University: Friday 6th December 5.30pm St Thomas’ Church, Haymarket Lane Northumbria University: Tuesday 10th December 6pm St Nicholas’s Cathedral, St Nicholas’ Square, Mosley Street

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Other events happening in the city There are many other things happening during the holidays. Here are a few you may enjoy.

Blow a Christmas Bauble Every weekend: Saturday 2nd November – Sunday 29th December National Glass Centre, Sunderland Blow and shape your very own beautiful glass bauble with the National Glass Centre studio team and create a beautiful memory to hang on your tree every year, or a truly unique gift for someone special. Cost: Call booking hotline for further details 0191 555 5555;

are stories everywhere, dangling from the trees, whispered by the leaves, giggled at by the grass. Stories about why things are the way they are, stories about what happens when you’re nice (and naughty) and why you should never, ever trust a witch. Recommended for children aged 6 and under. Cost: Call booking hotline for details 0191 230 5151;

Jack and the Beanstalk

Skating @ Life

Tuesday 26th November – Saturday 18th January

Saturday 9th November – Sunday 23rd February

Cost: call booking hotline for details 0844 811 2121;

Life Science Centre, Newcastle

Christmas at Gibside

Get your skates on and head down to Times Square for some winter fun on Newcastle’s only open-air ice rink. Afterwards, why not join Santa for a 4D Christmas adventure on Life’s festive 4D Motion Ride. Cost: Call booking hotline for further details 0191 243 8210;

Tallest tales from the Furthest Forest Saturday 16th November – Saturday 4th January Northern Stage, Newcastle Delve deep into a magical forest where there

Booking 12

Saturday 30th November – Monday 23rd December Gibside, Gateshead There’s lots happening at Gibside this Christmas! Go on a festive adventure in search of Santa’s cosy woodland grotto, listen to Christmas carols by candlelight, enjoy a festive hog roast or burn off some energy with outdoor activities like den building, before warming up in the Mini Gibside Play Hall or the Potting Shed Café. Cost: Call the booking hotline for further details 01207 541820;

For all of the events on this page please book directly with the venue

Sage Gateshead Festive Events Sunday 1st December 2013 – Wednesday 1st January 2014 Sage Gateshead, Gateshead Quays Royal Northern Sinfonia Messiah Sunday 1st December Rejoice! Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th December New Year Viennese Wednesday 1st January Christmas with the Puppini Sisters Friday 6th December The York Waits Saturday 7th December

Bulgarian Voices Angelite Wednesday 18th December Kate Rusby at Christmas Thursday 19th December The Drifters 60th Anniversary Diamond Dynasty Tour Saturday 21st December Albion Christmas Band Saturday 21st December Christmas Massed Brass Bands & Voices Sunday 22nd December

Image courtesy of Fenwicks Newcastle

Russia Patriarchate Choir of Moscow Thursday 12th December

Christmas with the Rat Pack Friday 13th December


For all of the events on this page please book directly with the venue

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Dark Woods, Deep Snow: A Grimm Tale for Christmas Monday 2nd December – Saturday 28th December Northern Stage, Newcastle Recommended for children aged 7+ and their families. Cost: Call booking hotline for details 0191 230 5151;

Sleeping Beauty Friday 6th December – Monday 30th December One of the most traditional and popular pantomimes, Sleeping Beauty is the timeless story of how Princess Aurora has a spell cast over her by the evil fairy Carabosse. This promises to be an enchanting pantomime full of magic, music and laughs! Cost: call booking hotline for details 0844 493 9999;

Enchanted Parks Saltwell’s Secret Keeper, Saltwell Park, Gateshead Wednesday 11th December – Sunday 15th December Time: from 4.30pm onwards Enchanted Parks is an after-dark arts adventure for everyone with light, sound, fire, projections, performance and a few surprises. Cost: Adults £6, Under 18s £1, Children aged 3 and under FREE. Tickets on sale now at

Booking 14

For all of the events on this page please book directly with the venue

Enchanted Parks

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Winter Season at the UK’s Largest Art, Craft & Design Gallery The Biscuit Factory Late: Twilight Shopping Sunday 12th December, 6-9pm We’ll be giving winter the warmest of welcomes with LATE! It’s all about helping you find your Christmas spirit – We’ll sing ‘Bring on the chill!’ as we sip mulled wine, nibble a mince pie & help you pick out the perfect Christmas gift. Plus, there’ll be free gift wrapping all night! For further details call 0191 261 1103;

Cinderella Friday 13th December – Sunday 5th January Sunderland Empire Forced into a life of drudgery by her wicked stepsisters, Cinderella dreams of escape and romance. With the help of a Fairy Godmother, a pumpkin and a touch of magic, Cinderella is whisked off to the Prince’s Ball... but will she live happily ever after? Accept your invitation to the North East’s grandest ball and find out! Cost: call booking hotline for details 0844 871 3022;

Christmas with the Rat Pack Friday 13th December Sage Gateshead, Gateshead Quays Take a trip in time to the glamorous, glitzy nights of Las Vegas in the late 50s and early 60s where, in the company of three of the world’s most popular entertainers, the fabulous Burrelli Sisters and The Rat Pack

Booking 16

Big Band, you will experience Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin performing at the famous Sands Hotel. Cost: Call booking hotline for details 0191 443 4661;

Rainy Day Reads Monday 16th December 2013 2pm - 4pm Robinson Library, Room 152. When the weather gets colder, there’s nothing better than a good book! For Christmas 2013, The Robinson Library is hosting a book group with a difference… bring along your favourite read for this time of year and share why you love it so much. We will be reading from some of our favourite British Christmas Classics too. Don’t worry if you’re shy, you don’t have to read aloud, come along and share the comfy chairs, tea and cake. Cost: Free To book a ticket for this event, please use this online ticket system rainy-day-reads-tickets-9422586209

Christmas Noir Wednesday 18th December Live Theatre, Newcastle The Broken Christmas Cabaret, Trashed Organ and Live Lab invite you to the underworld, to Santa’s private members-only club. A noirish cabaret of theatre, music and poetry awaits you in Santa’s seedy shebeen of con-artist elves and hardboiled reindeer bartenders. Not suitable for under 14s. Cost: Call booking hotline for details 0191 232 1232;

For all of the events on this page please book directly with the venue

The am-A-zing Thing: A Medley of Grimms’ Tales told with Puppets and Music presented by Lempen Puppet Theatre Company Saturday 21st December – Tuesday 24th December St Mary’s Heritage Centre, Gateshead Quays Using puppets and music, this truly original story wakens imagination, with surprise elements and skillful puppetry. Recommended for children aged 5+ and their families.

It’s a Wonderful Life Friday 20th – Tuesday 24th December Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle Grab a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine and enjoy a screening of this timeless film in which James Stewart’s loveable everyman George Bailey is shown just how much his life is worth living by Clarence, an angel trying to earn his wings. Cost: Call booking hotline for further details 0845 217 9909;

Cost: Call booking hotline for details 0191 433 4699

Geordie Christmas Beach Party

The Snowman

Sage Gateshead, Gateshead Quays

Monday 23rd – Tuesday 24th December

Festive folk-fun with Jez Lowe and The Bad Pennies, with special guest Benny Graham, as they face the unpredictable British weather by inviting you to their Christmas Beach Party. Expect a comic journey through the best of Jez’s original songs, as well as some seasonal classics from across the North East.

Sage Gateshead, Gateshead Quays Cost: Call booking hotline for details 0191 443 4661;

Christmas Cycle Ride Sunday 15th December The Cycle Hub, Newcastle Quayside Don your favourite festive outfit and join Father Christmas for a jolly cycle ride around the Quayside. Then it’s back to The Cycle Hub to make some yummy gingerbread decorations and other festive items with the elves. Cost: Call booking hotline for further details 0191 276 7250;


Friday 27th December

Cost: call booking hotline for further details 0191 443 4661;

New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival For further details log onto and click on the Winter Festival.

For all of the events on this page please book directly with the venue

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New Year,'s Eve Midnight Fireworks

NewcastleGateshead Quayside This year head down to the NewcastleGateshead Quayside and enjoy the stunning Quayside view. Dance ‘til dawn at the many bars and clubs or dine on the very best celebratory menus. Just before the clock strikes twelve, watch the Midnight Fireworks display, drawing a close to 2013 and welcoming the start of 2014 with a bang. To check out what’s happening on New Year’s Eve visit


Important Information

Christmas and New Year Programme – Insurance Guidelines • Each university hosting an event on their premises must have in place appropriate insurance cover for its legal liabilities for injury or negligence by its staff and students for activities held on their premises or within their custody and control. • Events that are held on neutral premises are responsible for their legal liabilities whilst on their premises and thus hold their own insurance cover. • We cannot guarantee that staff working on the Christmas and New Year programme will have a CRB check. • If, as a student, you choose to take your spouse or children to an event, you do so at your own risk. Children remain your responsibility at all times. • If you choose to take part in an activity you are, by doing so, agreeing that you believe yourself to be suitable for that activity (in terms of health, skills level, etc). You must use your own judgement to decide whether the activity is suitable for you.

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University opening times during the Christmas holidays Newcastle University • Robinson Library – Open 23rd and the following dates are self-service only 24th, 27th, 30th and 31st. • ISS Service desk – Closed during the Christmas period. Reopening on Thursday 2nd January. • The Fell Cluster – Open 23rd December • Students Union – The top floor of the SU will be open 24/7 through the whole period. • Security – In-house Security Service staff (University Police) are on duty 24/7 and can be contacted on 0191 208 6817 or via email at • Castle Leazes – Open 24/7 throughout the holidays

Northumbria University Many of Northumbria University’s services will continue to operate over the Christmas and New Year period as follows: • The University’s Ask4Help service (email:, telephone: 0191 227 4125), which provides information and advice to students 24/7, will be available throughout the holiday period – except for 25 December, 26 December and 1 January • University Library services will also be open every day – except for 25 December, 26 December and 1 January. Full details for each site can be found at • The IT helpline (telephone: 0191 227 4242, Freephone: 0800 923 4242 or email: is open, as usual, 24/7 every day • Many of our IT facilities (for example, those in The University Library at City Campus Library) will be open throughout most of the Christmas and New Year period. To check which IT facilities are currently open, and see which spaces have available workstations, visit • The Students’ Union will be closed for the main Christmas and New Year period. For full details visit or the Northumbria Students’ Union Facebook page • Sport Central will be open throughout the holiday period, apart from 25 December, 26 December and 1 January. Specific opening hours do vary; more information can be found at • Throughout the Christmas and New Year period, the University website (www. continues to provide lots of useful information for students Northumbria’s Security Service is open 24/7, throughout the holidays telephone 0191 227 3999, emergency number 0191 227 3200.

Designed and produced by Northumbria Graphics 348788J/12/13

Christmas in Newcastle Brochure 2013  

Are you looking for something to do during this time? If so, look no further! We hope to give you some ideas about what there is to do and...