• Kelly

Things to Do Over Christmas with Kids & Teens





We are at that awkward stage with the boys, we have a 9 year old, 13 year old & a 15 year old. Elliot still loves getting involved in all those Christmas traditions and is actually going to have lunch with Santa (He is starting to question the existence of Santa, but I think we can get one more year out of him) but the other two are just too old for anything if you ask them. So we have been trying to come up with a list of things to do with all three of them that is suitable for all three (we will still do the other things with Elliot too) It is kind of sad that they are all past that stage.


Here are a few ideas for things you could do with the whole family.


Panto - This is a tradition in most peoples lives, I have always been to see a Panto every year when I was younger and we love to take the boys to see one now too. (They are not as enthusiastic as me but usually end up enjoying the show) Find our 2021 Panto guide HERE




Ice Skating - I have previously told everyone about my love for Ice Skating. As a teen I could be found every night and all day on a weekend at the Crowtree Ice Rink. The boys are far from being perfect on the ice but we all always have a laugh and enjoy a skate. This year, there a re more rinks than ever, popping up around the region.




Get your Bake on - One of our favourite things to do is bake, we make cookies, mince pies, stained glass cookies, gingerbread, you name it we bake it. Get the kids involved in baking some yummy treats to leave out for Santa




Steam Train Ride - we have done this a few times in the past and always love it. Our go to is usually The North Yorkshire Moors Railway but the last time we went I was really disappointed at the lack of decoration and the iPod sellotaped to the ceiling.

This year we are heading to Aln Valley but for an after Christmas treat on the 28th Dec.




Santa Run - I have seen some posters for a few of these lately and think it looks like great fun, if you and your kids fancy making a bit of cash for charity it could be a contender. (Not for us as two of us have Asthma, so running is a no no)


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Christmas Markets - Markets are back this year and there are so so many of them. You could visit one for any last minute gifts you need to pick up, to visit Santa or just to enjoy the atmosphere

Find Christmas Markets HERE



Movie Night - I will be honest, throughout December we have a Christmas movie night pretty much every night on the run up to Christmas. In fact we have already started on our movie list! Check out the list HERE


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Gingerbread House - You can't do Christmas without making a Gingerbread house. You could turn into your own bake off competition! If you are not the most confident baker you can buy little kits from the supermarket for around £5 then all you have to do is assemble it


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Special Meal - This one is particularly good if you have older kids, you could find somewhere super nice and head out for a special Christmas Eve meal. Or you could go before Christmas Eve as most places have a festive menu throughout December




Christmas Light spotting - When the boys were younger we used to like going for a drive to see what Christmas decorations we could spot. You can take your kids spotting for local city lights too. Sunderland have an array of new lights that look back over the history of the city.



Make your own Eco Reindeer food - We do not use glitter for this, it is really harmful to wildlife. Instead we purchased a few Christmassy paper punchers and collect leaves. We end up with some gorgeous Santa, tree and snowmen confetti to sprinkle outside to light the way for the Reindeer. Another idea is to buy a few reusable test tubes and fill them with bird seed.


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Visit Santa - If your kids still like to go and see Santa there's loads of places you can choose from... Check out our guide HERE

This year we are heading to The Roker Hotel for Lunch with Santa.




Hot Chocolate - We have been setting up a Hot Chocolate station for a few years now and last year, they became really popular. All you need is your favourite powder and toppings, we usually have on offer, marshmallows, cream, hot chocolate powder, sprinkles, wafer curls, shaved chocolate, syrup. We love to head out throughout November & December, tasting some of the lovely drinks available in the gorgeous cafes.



Festive Afternoon Tea - If you fancy doing Christmas eve a bit differently you could head somewhere nice for a festive afternoon tea. What's not to love? Or you could make it yourself. Triangle a few sandwiches, purchase or make some cakes, scones etc. I know a few of the supermarkets offer a reasonably priced afternoon tea box.





This year we are not 100% sure on our Christmas eve plans yet, but it will definitely involve baking. I think we will more than likely have a pretty relaxing day, just enjoying each others company. (Look out on Instagram for updates)


On the run up to Christmas we do have quite a few things planned such as

Ice skating, various events, Panto, Snowman at Durham Cathedral, Lunch with Santa, light switch on celebrations, Ice Sculpture trail and a few more things. I am hoping to squeeze in a few visits to some of our favourite English Heritage and National trust properties and a walk around our favourite nature reserves (DWT usually have a winter trail on through some of the reserves) We are really trying to have an amazing festive run up to Christmas this year after a terrible year (I wont go into details) plus Adam is going to be 16 next year and he will more than likely be too busy with college to hang out with his parents.


We are in the festive mood now, writing all these fab Christmassy posts. listening to festive music, we have already started on the Christmas movies too!


Do you have any traditions that you love doing?


Check out these other festive posts


Christmas in Redcar and Cleveland - Everything you need to know


Where to see Santa in the North East 2021


Our guide to Christmas Markets in the North East


The Ultimate guide to Christmas events


Where to pick your own Christmas tree in the North East






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