THIS Christmas is going to be a little different this year, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many of our normal traditions will have to be cancelled or altered in order to adapt to social distancing rules.

Every area in the North East has been placed under the strictest Tier 3 restrictions, meaning most events and venues must close for the foreseeable future.

However, there are still some festive activities taking place which comply with lockdown rules- some of which take place online.

From a festive drive-in cinema to a video call with Santa, here are five Christmas events and activities you can take part in this month.

1. Festive drive-in cinema
When: 11th, 12th, 13th December
Where: Mowden Park Stadium, Darlington
Cost: Prices start from £32

(Facebook/ daisydukescinema)

Daisy Dukes Christmas Drive-in Cinema is back in Darlington this December- and there are plenty of festive movies lined up for locals to enjoy.

Whether you’re a sucker for rom-com Love Actually, or prefer something supernatural like Gremlins, there is a film to suit everyone’s preferences.

The company spoke to the Northern Echo last month and said: “After a fantastic Halloween weekend we're delighted to be back in Darlington for Christmas. This time we've upgraded to one of the largest outdoor screens in the world."

"With traditional Christmas events mostly being cancelled this year, we're experiencing a huge demand and with that have a really special weekend planned!

“Santa & his elves have confirmed their attendance, plus a selection of movie characters will also be there. Don't delay, some films are already close to selling out!”

Here is the full list of movie screenings:

Friday, December 11


Saturday, December 12


Sunday, December 13


Book your tickets online.

2. Meet Santa at Hall Hill Farm
When: Every weekend in December and 21-23 December.
Where: Hall Hill Farm, Lanchester, Durham
Cost: Adult- £9.45
Child- £10.50

(Facebook/ Hall Hill Farm)

As it is an outdoor attraction, the Santa event at Hall Hill Farm is allowed to go ahead.

In order to comply with the coronavirus measures, the farm has created and Enchanted Woodland section for Santa.

After your little ones have met him and received their present, they can head over to the Elves Workshop where they can make their very own decorations.

Also included in the price is a snow experience, where you get to play with the snow machine and snap some pictures.

A festive tractor ride will also be going ahead and kids will also get the chance to meet Dasher the talking reindeer.

This truly is a magical experience, so book your tickets in advance.

3. A phone call with Santa
Where: At home.
When: 3-6 December
Cost: £16 for up to 4 children (additional £2 per extra child)

If you are apprehensive about taking your kids to meet Santa this year, Beamish Museum has the solution.

They are hosting 10 minute video calls with Santa, who will be calling from his cosy Christmas cottage at Beamish.

He will be sure to ask the children about their present wish list- and he is likely to know a few things about them when he checks his naught or nice list.

After the call, each child will receive a digtal certificate.

Book your time slot online.

4. Make your own Christmas wreath
When: 9 December 2pm-5pm.
Where: At home
Cost: £45 per person

(Facebook/ @WalworthCastle  )

Feeling crafty this December?

If so, it’s time to get creative by making your very own Christmas wreath.

While the Walworth Castle workshop can no longer go ahead, you can still make a wreath from the comfort of your own home.

When you sign up, you will get a box full of foliage and festive decorations so you can make the wreath at home.

There will be written instructions and a step by step video link included in the price.

Best of all, they are also offering a festive afternoon tea box to take away which you can enjoy whilst creating your beautiful wreath.

Buy your tickets on the Walworth Castle website.

5. Explore a festive trail
When: Various dates in December starting December 5th.
Where:  Raby Castle, Staindrop, Darlington.
Cost: Child (age 1-12)- £5
Adults go free when accompanying a paying child

Looking for an affordable way to keep the kids entertained this December?

This festive trail has moved outdoors this year, in order to comply with government guidelines.

As you walk, keep your eyes peeled for some hidden items- spot them all and the kids can with a small prize at the end.

The trail will take around 30 minutes to complete- but you will have an hour slot to complete it.

Book your tickets online.