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A magical Christmas with Gibside

Christmas decorations shining at Gibside
People enjoy the Christmas light trail | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

For Christmas 2023 we invited you to feel the spirit of Christmas at Gibside, with a traditional feast of festive celebrations that could warm any Scrooge’s heart.

Christmas 2023 has now finished at Gibside

The below is information for Christmas 2023. We hope you enjoyed all we had to offer at Gibside. Please check back here closer to Christmas 2024 to find out about all the exciting things we have planned for next year.

Running on select dates between Saturday 25 November 2023 to Monday 8 January 2024. Check for more details below. Excluding Christmas eve and Christmas day.

See the Chapel decorated with yuletide charm

The grand pillars will be wrapped with winter foliage, while inside the stone arches will be warmly glowing with flickering candles. Georgian inspired garlands made of ivy picked from the garden will be spun by volunteers then draped from pew to pew and idyllic music will reflect throughout the Palladian architecture.

Elsewhere, Gibside’s famous roe deer residents will be embodied by a 15-foot luminous buck, quaint Christmas trees will sparkle, and the Market Place will be veiled by soft festoon lighting.

Every day from Saturday 25 November to Tuesday 2 January. Free, admission applies.

Experience live music at Gibside Chapel

Soak up the atmosphere and seasonal spirit with traditional Christmas tunes in the Chapel. There’s a great line-up of live music from 3 spectacular folk and jazz bands. Drop in and enjoy at no extra charge.

  • Sunday 3 December, 12pm-1pm – Axum Folk Ensemble
  • Sunday 10 December, 1pm-3pm – William and Julie, acoustic folk duo
  • Sunday 17 December, 1pm-2.30pm – Red Kites Jazz
  • Saturday 30 December, 11am-2pm – William and Julie, acoustic folk duo

Join Father Christmas working at the Stables

Follow the North Star to Gibside Stables for an enchanting encounter with Father Christmas and his pointy-eared friend on this immersive theatre experience.

Embrace time together with loved ones and feel the spirit of Christmas during this interactive story time. Expect cartoonish capers from a clumsy misguided elf and discover what Father Christmas is up to on the lead to the big day.

While Mr. Claus tinkers away he’ll tell tales of his festive adventures before checking who’s made it onto his nice list. Children will take home a Christmas decoration gift and before Father Christmas says goodbye, families can take photographs together.

Book here, and for relaxed sessions book here. Booking essential. Every weekend from Saturday 2 December to Saturday 23 December. Child's ticket £12, admission applies. ALL SESSIONS SOLD OUT.

Wander along the woodland fairy trail

The gardeners at Gibside keep losing seeds and misplacing plant pots, but they’re sure it’s the work of mischievous fairies. Help them discover clues on a journey around the garden, study the activity map and explore secret nooks. Find toadstool seats for impish elves and miniature laundry lines for playful pixies. If you truly believe in magic, you might just capture a glimpse of the enchanted creatures hiding in the woodlands.

Every day from Saturday 25 November to Monday 8 January. Free, admission applies.

Children’s paper wreath making

Get little fingers sticky with glitter, glue and colouring pencils with a family craft workshop at Gibside. Create a cardboard circle and design a festive wreath with paper leaves and berries. Please ask our Visitor Reception staff about the location on the day.

Saturday 9, Thursday 14 and Saturday 23 December, 11.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 2.30pm. Free, admission applies.

Christmas light trail

Thank you to Raymond Gubbay our light trail partners for providing an illuminated Christmas trail offer from 2020 to 2022. Our light trail partnership has now ended. We have since collected feedback from hundreds of members and visitors to inspire the Christmas 2023 programme, and welcome a return of a traditional experience, which highlights the joy of spending time together with loved ones.

Children gazing at the Christmas trees
Children gazing at the Christmas trees | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

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