Image of River Tyne at nighttime with laser beams protruding from the Tyne Bridge.

Looking forward to Newcastle’s Christmas and New Year 2023

Plans for Christmas and New Year in Newcastle have been announced, helping to make this festive season undoubtedly the most wonderful time of the year.


Newcastle City Council will again be working with NE1, the Business Improvement District company for Newcastle city centre, to bring a whole variety of free activities and entertainment which will provide something for all ages to enjoy.


The Christmas lights switch-on, the much-loved traditional festive curtain raiser will take place on Tuesday 14 November. Metro Radio’s breakfast show hosts Steve and Karen will again lead the fun-filled evening of songs, games, and live music, with more details released nearer the time.


This year’s Christmas market will improve on the last few years, and again focus on local traders. The market is a key festive attraction in the heart of the city centre, welcoming visitors from the Newcastle area and beyond and significantly benefits the city’s economy.

The market will be located on Grey Street, Grainger Street, and Old Eldon Square, which this year will be home to an 10metre illuminated Christmas tree and additional lighting in the trees to create a more magical space. A programme of street entertainment will also run at the weekends. It will open daily from Saturday 18 November to Saturday 23 December. Opening times will be 10am to 8pm (Monday to Saturday) and 10am to 5pm (Sunday).

This year, the area around the Grey’s Monument will see a new performance area for live music, choirs, and other entertainment, not only adding to the festive atmosphere but also allowing more space and improved movement for everyone to fully enjoy the festive offerings. The Moosenwirt Alpine Bar, which proved so popular last year, will be returning to Grey Street.

The Grainger Market will again be at the heart of the Christmas experience, and shoppers will be enticed into the festive market by decorated entrances, and alongside the multitude of stalls and products on offer, there will once again be entertainment and activities for people to enjoy while they shop.

And moving on to New Year, BAFTA award-winning artist Seb Lee-Delisle will be bringing a bigger and better version of Laser Light City to the Quayside, this year with three incredible light and music shows planned for 31 December, when visitors said they would most like to visit. Focusing on one date will mean the shows will be even more spectacular than before and an ideal place for both families and revellers to welcome in 2024.

Cllr Hay, Cabinet member for a Thriving City at Newcastle City Council said: “Christmas and New Year is a time of celebration, and we want local people to have access to first class events that are free of charge.

“We have seen Newcastle’s Christmas offering improving year-on-year. This not only creates something for local people to enjoy, but it helps to attract more visitors to our wonderful city who will spend money not only at the markets, but also in shops, restaurants, hotels and other places in the city.

“I am delighted to see how many local traders, including those from the Grainger Market, want to be part of the Christmas market. We remain committed to supporting local businesses as much as possible, and they will always be the lifeblood of this city.

“I am very much looking forward to seeing our city centre looking its festive best and showcasing everything Newcastle has to offer.”

NE1 is currently planning a full festive programme including the return of our Search for Santa event which will give 200 lucky children and their families the chance to go on a free festive trail through the city ending at Newcastle Cathedral, where they will enjoy arts and crafts, storytelling, and an exclusive meet and greet with the man of the moment, Father Christmas.

The ever-popular cultural advent calendar ‘24 Doors of Christmas’ is also returning for the fifth time this year. Exciting new venues are being added to the line-up giving people exclusive and rare access to some of the city’s most historic, iconic and unusual buildings throughout December.

Stephen Patterson, Chief Executive of Newcastle NE1 Ltd, said: “The team at NE1 is currently tinsel-deep in Christmas planning, working hard to add extra festive fun to the city over the holiday period.

“Newcastle’s Christmas events programme will add extra cheer to the city centre throughout the holidays and into the New Year, with lots of free fun for families to enjoy.

“The events make Newcastle the ideal destination for celebrating Christmas and New Year, with the iconic Quayside a stunning backdrop for Seb-Lee Delisle’s Laser Light City which we are delighted is returning again this year.”