The nights are darker, the lights are brighter and there’s definitely a chill in the air as the Christmas season is upon us!
At Venture, we can’t think of a better place to spend the most wonderful time of the year than our beautiful region.
With so much going on,from traditional Christmas light switch-on festivals to magical Christmas markets, County Durham is definitely the place to be!
We always want to help you make the most of our area, so we’ve collected the best of the region’s events to make sure you not only have a merry good time, but a Christmas to remember for years to come.
Darlington Christmas Lights switch-on
Thursday December 24th, 5pm
One of our favourite events to attend during the festive season, we’ll be joining the thousands of families expected this year as the Market Square is lit up during a festive lightswitch-on and fireworks display.
Starting at 5pm, the event will be hosted by Father Christmas and hiselves. Following the Christmas lights switch-on, the Market Square will play host to the opulent Spiegeltent – known as a mirror tent in Dutch – which will offer a seasonal treat for shoppers until Christmas Eve.
Fun and festive wreath and craft workshops at Auckland Castle
Thursday December 1st, 10am-12:30pm
Do you have a creative flair you can’t wait to use this Christmas? If so, you’ll love the fun and festive workshops taking place at Auckland Castle.
Make Christmas that extra bit special this year by making your own wreath, tree decorations and crafts in the gorgeously decorated and historical Bishop Auckland castle. You can even give your festive creations away as gifts!
Suitable for all ages, make sure you book in advance to join in the Christmassy crafting.
Christmas cooking at Beamish Museum
Monday December5thandMonday December 12th, 4pm-8:30pm
We’re sure you’ll agree the food is one of the main reasons we love the holiday season, so why not take part in baking, cooking and making delicious traditional Christmas dishes at Beamish Museum to get into the Christmas spirit?
This Traditional Cooking Experience invites you and your family to create dishes from hand-raised festive pork pies to a warming twelfth night plum pudding, sure to delightany food enthusiasts! As well as a fantastic culinary experience, participants will receive guidance from the knowledgeable Food Team, who will not only lead you through the recipes but explain the extraordinary history behind them.
Leaving with your very own Beamish Apron, this event is sure to make your Christmas one to remember! Book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Crook Christmas lights switch-on festival
SundayNovember 27th, 11am-5pm
There’s nothing better to lift your Christmas spirits than watching a beautiful historic town light up and sparkle, surrounded with your loved ones.
The Christmas lights switch-on festival in Crook has even more to celebrate the holiday season. With mince pies, mulled wine, choirs and carols, the day-long festival is sure to build up your spirit before the switch-on of the main lights at 5pm in the town centre.
Free to attend and fun for all the family, this event is not one to miss.
Lighting of The Christmas Tree at Durham Cathedral
Sunday December18th, 4:30-6pm
This event is a festive favourite with Durham residents and tourists alike. Keep out of the cold by watching in awe as the lights on the magnificent 20 feet tall Norwegian tree are switched on.
Following the beautiful show of lights, the clergy and choir will then process to the West End of the Cathedral to proceed in the tradition of the blessing of the manger.
A favourite for younger family members, the free service will make you appreciate how wonderful the city of Durham is, especially at Christmas time!
Members of the congregation are also encouraged to bring wrapped Christmas presents, appropriately marked with age and whether suitable for a girl or a boy, which are collected by the Salvation Army and handed out to families in need.