Welcome to a new decade in NewcastleGateshead - we're really looking forward to sharing 2020 with you.

There are so many reasons to visit Newcastle and Gateshead in 2020. Read on to find out some of the event highlights not to miss so you can plan your visit to Newcastle, Gateshead and the North East in 2020.

For details of all the events and activities taking place in the region, don't forget to head to our NewcastleGateshead What's On listings which will be updated throughout the year.

Happy Birthday to...

2020 in Newcastle, Gateshead and the North East is a year packed with anniversaries and birthdays at a number of major venues and attractions. There is something to celebrate from the 20th anniversary of Life Science Centre to Grainger Market's 185th birthday; 40 years of the Metro to 125th anniversary of National Trust. Check back to find out more details about events at the venues as the year unfolds but lets start the new year by celebrating these amazing attractions and iconic North East businesses - and wishing them a happy anniversary! Read more about the North East anniversaries which will be marked this year.

Get rid of those January blues

Would it even be January in Newcastle without the return of NE1's Restaurant Week? We know everything feels a bit tight around this time of year but with a choice of Newcastle's very best restaurants and all at a great price - you'll be silly not to gather your pals and break your January hibernation.

2020 is not only a new year and a new decade but also the Year of the Rat. Celebrate Chinese New Year in Newcastle with a day of vibrant activities and parades in the city centre.

Veganuary in NewcastleGateshead

You may not be a full-time vegan or have even considered a plant-based diet, but there is no denying that the hot topic of a living a vegan lifestyle is everywhere. In recent years, January has been dubbed Veganuary - and we wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate the diverse and tasty range of vegan restaurants and places to eat in the North East. Keep an eye out on our social media channels throughout January for top tips of where to get great vegan grub in Newcastle and Gateshead as well as events that are taking place, like Power of Plants at Rockliffe Hall.

Start the year with self-care

A little known fact is that Newcastle was one of the first UK cities to have a Turkish Baths in 1859. After a careful transformation, Newcastle City Baths is due to reopen in early January as an exciting lifestyle venue. This historic attraction has been lovingly restored to celebrate its rich history and heritage but will also boast top-notch gym and fitness facilities as well as swimming pool and Turkish Baths.

Stimulate the mind with Life's After Hours events for adults

Adults take over Life Science Centre on the last Thursday night of every month. With no kids around, they can be bolder and more daring with the workshops and activities on offer. What's happening in 2020? Amongst other things, you can learn how not to suck at poker with a bit of maths, try laughter yoga and join the silent discos.

It's going to be MAGIC

Get ready for Super League's Party Weekend which is coming back to Newcastle in 2020. Magic Weekend (23 - 24 May) makes a welcome return to Newcastle and St James’ Park during the late May bank holiday weekend. It will be a weekend of exhilarating sporting action, live music, entertainment and guaranteed fun. Tickets are now on sale and whether you are a passionate sports fan, a rugby league aficionado or just love soaking up the atmosphere of a bustling and vibrant event - you will not want to miss out on Magic Weekend in the Toon.

Summer-Tyne will be a blast

We are already looking forward to the arrival of summer and there are some great events to look out for between June and August in Newcastle and the North East.

Northumberland Plate Day (27 June) is the most famous race meeting of the year at Newcastle Racecourse, attracting a diverse crowd of regular and one-off race-goers. SunnyCon Anime Expo (26 - 28 June) at St James' Park is a weekend-long event celebrating everything to do with Japanese culture and anime.

UK Pride 2020 will be taking place in Newcastle this summer. Get ready for a bigger, brighter and more diverse LGBT+ celebration taking place on Newcastle Town Moor from 17 - 19 July 2020. The packed festival programme will be revealed at a launch event in February but we're delighted that Newcastle is the host city for this national extravaganza. Book tickets for the exclusive launch event here.

Kynren returns for the fourth year in August. The outdoor theatre extravaganza has even more to offer with new attractions and new dining. This family-friendly event is a feast for all the senses and a brilliant way to enjoy the long summer evenings. Prices are at their very best if you book by 31 January. Also in August, witness live athletics at Gateshead International Stadium when Olympic medalists, hot off the track after competing in Tokyo, take on a quick-fire session of world-class athletics.

Music highlights in the North East

There's nothing quite like being part of a crowd at a live music event. Don't miss a year of great music, concerts and performances in Newcastle and Gateshead including some pretty mega tour dates from The 1975, Stormzy and Pussycat Dolls at Utilita Arena. Ever wondered what Mr Christmas, Michael Bublé, does during the rest of the year? Well - head to Chester-le-Street and the Emirates Riverside this August 2020 for an outdoor concert with one of the most-loved entertainers.

And that's not all, the city's biggest festival, This is Tomorrow Festival, returns with an impressive line-up in May. Sam Fender, Gerry Cinnamon and Loyle Carner are just three of the stars performing at the outdoor event in Exhibition Park over late-May bank holiday weekend.

Great North Run 40th edition

You don't need reminding that the Simplyhealth Great North Run will hit the Geordie streets once again on Sunday 13 September - we're sure you already have your running trainers dusted off in preparation! Don't miss the ballot which opens in early January; this year is the 40th Great North Run so quite the monumental occasion - are you tempted to take part?

Musical must-sees

Life really should be a musical and this year could get you close to that dream with hit after hit arriving in the region. Sunderland Empire have a string of brilliant shows in their calendar from Curtains with Jason Manford (January) and Bring it On The Musical (June) to Strictly Ballroom (October), and perhaps most anticipated, the return of West End classic - Phantom of the Opera from November. Theatre Royal, Newcastle will welcome smash-hit, new musical Everyone's Talking About Jamie (March - April) followed by SIX in June.

Hard Rock Cafe will open in Newcastle 2020

The latest member of the Hard Rock Cafe family will open on Newcastle Quayside in 2020. Get ready for all the rock and roll vibes as this global franchise takes up home in the historic Guildhall building in Newcastle. The official opening of Hard Rock Cafe Newcastle is yet to be announced but we will keep you updated on the arrival of this new restaurant.

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