Middlesbrough is the scene for a magical line-up of events this Christmas, with fun in store for all the family.
Highlights include two snowmen competitions, the return of the Magical Middlesbrough Parade and the Christmas Lights Switch On.
And that’s not to mention a brand-new ice rink in Centre Square and a special Christmas Orange Pip Market.
Councillor Stephen Hill, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Culture & Communities, said: “Christmas this year in Middlesbrough is going to be better than ever!
“We’ve got a great line-up of events for all the family to get involved with, and we’re encouraging everyone in Middlesbrough to come into the town centre and take part in the festive fun.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and also a great opportunity to support your local economy.”
The full line-up of events is as follows:
Walking with The Snowman Trail
The popular Snowmen sculptures have returned to Middlesbrough this festive season, and they come bearing gifts. Visitors to the town centre who manage to snap a selfie with all 12 of the sculptures have the chance to win a book bundle.
Eager Snowmen-spotters can enter by sending their selfies to email@example.com or tagging We are Middlesbrough on social media by Friday, December 16.
The Little Snowman Design Competition
The Little Snowman wants to be just as colourful as his 12 other snowman friends. He needs the people of Middlesbrough to design him a bold, colourful design and give him a theme. Design competition sheets have been placed in locations around the town including Newham Grange Farm, Middlesbrough Theatre and the Bus Station (Green Hub). Completed sheets should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org before Monday, December 5, when a lucky winner will be selected. The winner will receive their design printed on a special Christmas cushion!
Christmas Lights Switch On, Sunday 20 November
The main event in the Christmas calendar will feature live music, a fairground, food stalls, an exciting fire show and a performance from the Town Hall Choir. A giant Christmas tree in Centre Square will feature a digital clock counting down to the big switch on, set to take place at 5.30pm.
Middlesbrough on Ice
For the first time ever, Middlesbrough’s Centre Square will feature a real ice rink. Events company Crow Leisure Group are providing the giant ice rink, which will open on Sunday, November 20 and close in early January 2023. An assortment of hot and cold food stalls will surround the rink. Tickets for hour-long skate sessions are available to book in advance on Eventbrite, including tickets to skate with Santa and other festive characters.
Panto at the theatre
Middlesbrough Theatre presents pantomime for all the family. This year’s flagship show will be Jack and the Beanstalk. Stunning costumes, beautiful scenery and lots of laughs will get theatre-goers in the Christmas spirit. Shows take place between Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 31, and tickets are available to book now on the Middlesbrough Theatre website.
Magical Middlesbrough Parade, Sunday 11 December
Middlesbrough residents are invited to line the streets of the town centre for the return of the Magical Middlesbrough Parade. Santa will ride past and wave at the children on his sleigh, which is pulled by real-life reindeers. The parade will take place between 1pm and 2pm – it’s part of an all-day event which includes a Magical Middlesbrough Christmas Market from 10am to 4pm featuring food and drink, gifts, and trinkets.
Orange Pip Market
Middlesbrough’s favourite market – Orange Pip Market – is returning to Middlesbrough Town Hall on Saturday, December 17. Live music, street theatre, Victorian carol singers, pop-up shops, movies and the usual favourite food stalls will be followed by the first-ever post-Pip Afterparty with music from Artic Monkeys tribute band the Mardy Bums. Orange Pip is free to attend and tickets for the afterparty can be purchased on the Middlesbrough Town Hall website.
As well as an exciting line-up of events, the public can take advantage of free parking in the town centre over the festive season. All Middlesbrough Council car parks in the town centre will be free after 3pm from Sunday, November 20 until Monday, January 2. Hill Street car park is free after 6pm every Thursday in December, and then every day from Monday, December 12 until Friday, December 23.
Parking at the Cleveland Centre is free every Thursday after 4pm and then free every day from December 19 to 23.
Captain Cook Square car park will still offer its three hours free parking, while France Street will be free of charge for motorists on a weekend.
Shoppers looking to spend local this Christmas can load up a Middlesbrough Gift Card, which is valid in a range of businesses across the town, including eateries like Umi Japanese Bar and Restaurant and popular chains like Foot Locker.
For more information on Christmas in Middlesbrough, visit the We are Middlesbrough Christmas 2022 page.