Tyne & Wear

Local events across Tyne and Wear in December and January

Lost for ideas for something to do over the next month, or just wondering what's happening near you?

Here are a few suggestions of things to do around Tyneside and Wearside during December and January.

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Media captionLatest forecast - updated Monday to Friday

Arts & Culture

Image caption Afghan Police being trained by US Marines, Camp Leatherneck, Helmand

An exhibition at the Side Gallery by John Burke and Simon Norfolk, displays photographs taken in Afghanistan in 2010.

Images of landscapes, battlefields, archaeological sites, street scenes and portraits of British officers are included in the display, which runs until Saturday, 4 February 2012.

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  • Northern Footprints '11 exhibition runs until Wednesday, 21 December at Northern Print. It showcases a collection of prints by studio artists exploring quirky and intriguing themes, all brought to life on one square foot of paper.
  • Bani Abidi's first solo exhibition is on display at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art until 12 February 2012. Working with photography, video and drawing, he looks at manifestations of state power and resilience in civil society.
  • 'Lines of Flight, Mervyn Peake, the Illustrated Work' runs until Sunday, 8 January 2012 at the Laing Art Gallery.
  • The Gala Theatre and Cinema is hosting An Evening with Tony Benn on Friday, 13 January at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £16 (£15 concessions).
  • 'Foliage & Flora: Flowers in art' runs until Monday, 30 January at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens. The display explores the relationship between people, plants and art.

Science & History

Image caption Entry is £8 for adults and £6 concession

Learn about the process that creates the aurora in the sky at Kielder Water & Forest Park on Friday, 20 and Saturday, 21 January.

Have a tour of the facility, see how the telescopes work and find out when and where to find your own aurora.

The observatory cannot guarantee that you will see the aurora but they have been observed from the site before.

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  • 'Crossing the Tyne' at South Shields Museum & Art Gallery follows the opening of the new Tyne Tunnel in 2011 and explores the history of crossing the River Tyne. It runs until Saturday, 28 January 2012.
  • The Great North Museum planetarium features the latest technology and offers a choice of two films, as well as educational programmes for schools exploring the solar system and the night sky.
  • 'Cullercoats: An artists' colony by the sea' runs until Sunday, 15 April 2012 at Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths & Museum. The exhibition looks back at the history of the small fishing village of Cullercoats which was once the centre of a thriving artistic community.


Image caption The event is suitable for ages 7 and above and the models can be taken home at the end of the day

Join Jim Parkyn, senior model maker at Aardman at the Centre for Life on Saturday, 21 January for a model making workshop.

Learn the techniques of the trade from the man responsible for Shaun the Sheep and Creature comforts.

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  • Take the family along to Seaton Delaval Hall for a day of indulgence at their Yuletide Food and Craft Fayre. Sample the traditional flavours of succulent hog roasts, decadent handmade chocolates and hot roasted chestnuts and enjoy a pint of locally produced Delaval Ale.
  • St Mary's Church in Gateshead will be transformed into a festive attraction, with magic mirrors and frosty pathways leading to the Snow Queen's throne and dining hall. Runs from Wednesday, 14 - Saturday, 24 December.
  • Experience Christmas at Wallington until Monday, 19 December. Admire the decorations, enjoy carol singing and seasonal music and meet Mrs Santa in her storytelling grotto in the courtyard.
  • Sleeping Beauty is on at The Maltings in Berwick-upon-Tweed from until 29 December. Performance times and ticket prices vary.
  • There is an Early Years Big Family Sing and Dance at The Sage Gateshead on Thursday, 29 December at 1pm and 2.30pm. Tickets: £2.50. Under 7s.
  • Durham High School for Girls and Durham Primary Schools are putting on a musical called Olympics at the Gala Theatre and Cinema on Monday, 23 January at 7pm. Tickets cost £10 (£5 concessions).

Nature & Outdoors

Image caption Meet at their enclosure at 11:00 and 15:00 GMT for the talk

Learn more about otters Rod and Musa at Washington Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)'s daily commentated feeds.

See them devouring tasty fish and hear interesting facts about the pair from an expert warden.

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  • There are a number of Boxing Day Dips taking place around the area on Monday, 26 December. Berwick-upon-Tweed's is at 11am and those wishing to brave the North Sea should meet at the Pavilion, Spittal Promenade. The event may be cancelled if the weather is unduly inclement.
  • Sunderland Lions Club also runs a dip at Seaburn. Click here for details and an entry form. Registration is at 9.45am and the dip starts at 11.00am.
  • There is also a dip starting from Crab Shack Public House on the Coast Road, South Shields at 11am.
  • The National Trust is holding a 'Boxing Day Breather' at Gibside on 26 December between 1pm and 3pm. Free.
  • The open air ice rink at Beamish Museum will stay open every weekend until Sunday 19, February. It will also be open between 20 and 24 December and on Monday, 2 January. There will be a charge in addition to usual admission prices.
  • Take the family along to the Life Science Centre's outdoor skate rink. Open seven days a week, it runs until Sunday, 19 February 2012.
  • There's an introduction to Nordic Walking at Kielder Water and Forest Park on 8 January.