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What to Do in Newport for Christmas

Known as one of the main filming locations for the TV show “Dr Who”, Newport has also made headlines several times for quirky and weird stuff. From Snoop Dogg’s interest in a particular Newport resident’s swede growing techniques to Kanye West’s love for the local spicy curry, this city has been associated with fun and eccentricity - despite being relatively little known outside of Wales.

And Christmas is no exception; the holidays are filled with bright lights, celebration and various events for both locals and tourists. Today let me share with you all the wonderful things that you can do in Newport with your friends and family for the coming holiday season.

Santa’s Grotto in Newport

Christmas for the young ones isn’t complete until they meet Santa Claus and tell him what they want for Christmas. In Newport, you get several chances to meet Old Saint Nick – in fact, you can even talk to him as early as November to ensure that he gets your gift request just right!

You can visit Santa’s Grotto over at Kingsway Centre starting from the 16th of November to the 24th of December. The event, organized by the Hospice of the Valleys, is a great opportunity for kids to spend some time with Santa Claus and it’s only £3. Participants get a free gift from Santa and you can even take pictures with him!

If the Kingsway Centre is a bit too far away, another Santa’s Grotto has been set up at the Celtic Manor Resort. While the booking fee is higher for this event, there are also more activities for your kids to enjoy. They can decorate treats, write a letter to Santa, and even meet him in person! The manor even has a separate Santa’s Grotto event specifically for preschoolers at a reduced price.

Santa Claus is a very busy man, especially in Newport where his appearance is the highlight of so many events. Aside from the Santa’s Grotto event, there are other activities in Newport which give children the chance to spend a day with Father Christmas. Young ones can meet Father Christmas at the Tredegar House from the 15th to the 17th of December, and at the Fourteen Locks Canal Centre from the 16th to the 17th of December. Craft gifts and letters from Santa await all children who participate in the events.

Musical Christmas

Christmas is not the same without carols and here at Newport, several concerts, live shows and music festivals await you and your family. Although most of these events are family-friendly, some are made specifically with children in mind. After all, they do say that Christmas is a holiday for the young, and the young at heart.

A panto of the Disney classic Aladdin is currently ongoing at the Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre. You don’t have to worry about missing this great event, as the pantomime runs from the 14th of December up to the 7th of January 2018.

What do you get when you combine Santa’s Grotto with a disco? Why, the Children’s Christmas Disco, of course! Kids can enjoy food and drinks as they dance with Santa Claus himself. Organisers Shaftesbury Community Centre will also hold several games for the kids to have fun and win prizes.

If you’re feeling more traditional, come on down to the Moriah Baptist Church in Risca and enjoy a night filled with music and harmony. Listen to traditional Christmas carols as they are sung by Gwent’s very own chorale group. Admission is completely free for anyone under 15 years old.

Another church to visit in Newport during the holidays is the St. Paul Church on Bridge Street. On December 16, the church is holding a huge Christmas celebration entitled “Christmas Live!”, which promises to be a fun-filled event for the entire family. Watch as the story of the nativity is told via a lively puppet show, followed by carol singing, juggling, and storytelling.

Have Breakfast With Santa

Santa is a very busy man in Newport. On December 23rd, the Gaer Community Centre is holding a Breakfast with Santa event at 10:00 AM. Enjoy a nice, hearty meal with the community while the kids get a nice morning together with their favourite Santa Claus.

If you’re planning on sleeping in, there are a couple of other restaurants offering a later option. Aside from being the location of Santa’s Grotto, the Celtic Manor is also offering several Christmas meal packages for all purposes, from comfortable country-themed lunches to high-class gourmet meals.

Christmas Time Shopping

If you’re looking for last minute gift ideas for your family and friends, Newport has several Christmas bazaars and markets up and running for the holiday season. Stop by the Bassaleg on the 17th of December for nifty little craft gifts and fresh food treats. On the 18th, head over to Friars Walk, where you can find wooden cabin stalls selling everything from souvenirs to food products.

Then, of course, there’s the Kingsway Centre, one of the city’s most popular shopping centres. Kingsway has a Christmas-themed market set up from 23rd of November and will last until the 23rd of December. The market, which showcases personalized handicrafts, is right next to John Frost Square, which has its own Christmas-themed market.

Newport loves fun and celebration and this Christmas, they’re going all out with games, bazaars, food fests, concerts and many more. Most of this year’s Christmas events started in November, with some continuing until January to ensure that everyone gets the most out of this holiday season. So whether you’re the Christmas shopper or the Yuletide food lover, Newport has something for everyone this Christmas season.

If you're new to Newport or even if you're considering moving here in the New Year, read our guides to help you make the most of your new home: