NE1’s annual festive trail through Newcastle city centre is returning for 2023, bringing a day packed full of Christmas fun for kids and their families.
Since its inaugural edition back in 2018, Search for Santa has become one of the city’s most loved festive events with hundreds of kids attending each year and embarking on a clue-filled mission to find the Big Man in Red.
Here’s a handy guide to this year’s Search for Santa, including how to take part and all the festive fun on offer during the day.
What is NE1’s Search for Santa?
Search for Santa is our annual and much-loved festive trail, designed for kids and their families to enjoy in the run-up to Christmas.
Kids are given a trail map full of clues they have to solve which lead them through the city on a festive quest to find Santa himself. They get a Santa hat to wear to help get them into the festive spirit and get to take part in a fun Christmas craft stop-off along the way.
When is it happening?
This year’s Search for Santa takes place on Saturday 25th November, starting in waves from 9:15am.
Where is it happening?
Search for Santa starts at Northern Stage, where attendees sign in and get their trail maps and Santa hats. The trail weaves through the city centre, leading little ones to Christmas craft sessions at Grainger Market and ends at Newcastle Cathedral where Santa and a whole host of festive fun will be waiting to greet them.
What else is happening at the Cathedral?
Alongside meeting Santa himself (plus a few of his elves!), kids can also enjoy festive storytelling sessions and yummy hot chocolates dished out by the NE1 team.
How much does it cost?
It’s completely free to take part in Search for Santa, but you must have tickets reserved.
How do I take part?
This year, we’re introducing a pre-registration system to apply for tickets. Registration will be open via TicketSource from midday on Monday 23rd October until midday on Monday 30th October and a limited number of those who pre-register will be randomly selected by a third party.
Those who are successfully chosen at random will receive an email on Tuesday 31st October with a unique booking link enabling them to secure tickets during the following 24 hours on a first-come, first-served basis for a maximum of 4 children.
What happens if I’m not randomly selected?
You will be placed on a waiting list and may receive an invitation via email if any tickets become available.
What happens if I am randomly selected but don’t reserve tickets in time?
Likewise, you’ll be informed via email if additional tickets become available and will be able to reserve tickets via your unique booking link.
What happens if I'm lucky enough to get tickets but can no longer attend?
If you're no longer able to attend, it's SUPER important that you let the NE1 team know right away as there will be hundreds of children who would love the chance to meet Santa this Christmas and we'd love to offer them your space. If you can no longer attend, please contact Kitty Brown on 0191 235 7098 or at [email protected] as soon as possible.
What do kids who complete the trail get?
Every kid who completes the trail will get a gift bag full of Christmas goodies. There'll also be opportunities to win some amazing prizes from our wonderful city supporters, including John Lewis & Partners, Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Las Iguanas, Northern Lights and Eldon Square.
To be in with a chance of winning, all parents/guardians need to do is enter their email in the space provided on the Search for Santa map and hand it in at the end at the end of the trail. Winners will be randomly drawn and contacted via email by the NE1 team.
We think you’ll all agree that NE1’s Search for Santa offers a tonne of festive fun for families in Newcastle – and all for free too! If you and your little ones want to take part this year, make sure to register your interest via TicketSource before midday on Monday 30th October.