• Play Hard
  • 27th Sep 2023
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What’s on in Darlington this autumn/winter

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From West End hit musicals, a Restaurant Week and plenty of family festivities, it’s all happening in Darlington.

From long dark nights to cold miserable weather, it’s safe to stay that it’s now officially autumn.

But autumn and winter aren’t so bad. Besides the chance to finally wear our cosy jumpers, order those pumpkin-spiced lattes and snuggle up beside the fireplace, there are also plenty of exciting events to add to our calendars.

Over the next few months, it can be hard to find things to do but one place where everything is happening is the historic market town of Darlington.

After recently being recognised as one of the top UK independent high streets by Holly Tucker, founder of Not On The High Street, it’s about time we visited Darlington to see what all the fuss is about.

Whether you fancy a date night with discounted dining at Darlington Restaurant Week or want to get into the festive spirit with an ice sculpture trail, here’s what’s on in Darlington this autumn and winter.


Darlington Restaurant Week  

Monday 30th October to Sunday 5th November

Where: Darlington Town Centre

Explore the historical market town through your tastebuds as Darlington Restaurant Week returns. Whether you want to try somewhere new or visit your favourite restaurant, there’s a range of eateries with discounted menus, including the popular three courses for £20.



Heathers the Musical

Tuesday 3rd October to Saturday 7th October

Where: Darlington Hippodrome

Following two smash hit West End seasons, this black comedy rock musical based on the eponymous 1989 film returns to Darlington. Follow the twisted high school journey of Veronica and the Heathers, filled with love, betrayal, and unforgettable songs.


Hilarity Bites Comedy Club

Saturday 7th October and Saturday 4th November  

Where: The Forum, Darlington

Experience top-notch stand-up comedy at The Forum. Unwind, enjoy, and laugh out loud with hilarious comedians. Expect uproarious humour that will make you belly laugh., this comedy club is not to missed.


Footloose the Musical

Wednesday 25th October to Saturday 4th November

Where: Darlington Hippodrome

Footloose: The Musical is set to take Darlington Hippodrome by storm, bursting with youthful spirit, dazzling dance and electrifying music. Expect to let loose and dance and sing along to classic 80s hits including Holding Out for a Hero, Almost Paradise and Let’s Hear it for the Boys.


Calendar Girls the Musical

Tuesday 21st  November to Saturday 25th  November  

Where: Darlington Hippodrome

A heartwarming and hilarious stage adaptation of the beloved film. Join a group of brave women as they bare it all for a noble cause, celebrating life, friendship, and the power of community – have your tissues at the ready.



High Street Festival

Throughout October

Where: Darlington High Street

Expect new street art, festival signage to help you find new places to shop and plenty of competitions and offers at this month-long festival that celebrates Darlington’s local businesses.


Northern Echo Arena Wedding Show

Sunday 8th October

Where: Northern Echo Arena Wedding Show, Darlington

Calling all brides-to-be, this free event is your one-stop destination for wedding inspiration. Explore a wide array of vendors, from dresses to decor, and discover everything you need to plan your dream wedding.


Diwali Lantern Parade

Saturday 11th  November  

Where: Market Square, Darlington

Celebrate the Festival of Light at Darlington town centre’s first-ever Diwali Lantern Parade. Featuring lanterns created by local children and groups, help mark this important Hindu festival by lighting up the town with colours from 6pm to 8pm.



Darlington Christmas Lights Switch On

Sunday 19th November

Where: Market Square, Darlington

What better way to officially mark the start of the festive season in Darlington Town Centre? This is an incredibly popular local event, featuring live performances from 4pm and an appearance from Santa Claus, the big man himself.

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Friday 8th December to Sunday 31st December

Where: Darlington Hippodrome

Much-loved pop and musical theatre star, Gareth Gates, is set to headline the family Christmas spectacular.  Expect an abundance of comedy, sensational song and dance numbers, fabulous costumes and stunning scenery.


Ice Sculpture Trail

Saturday 9th December

Where: Darlington Town Centre

Experience the magic of winter with Darlington’s ice sculpture trail. Explore the centre to discover hand-carved sculptures and a whole host of hidden icons and characters on the town’s historic streets.



Saturday 16th December to Thursday 28th December

Where: The Majestic Theatre, Darlington

Expect a magical, family-friendly pantomime extravaganza filled with laughter, music, and enchantment at this small-scale theatre. Join Cinderella on her journey to find love, accompanied by the Fairy Godmother and hilarious characters.


For more information about Darlington, visit Darlington Borough Council’s website and enjoydarlington.co.uk.

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Rachael Nichol
Creative Solutions Manager

After gaining a first in her BA Media and Journalism degree at Northumbria University, Rachael worked at Newcastle’s leading regional newspaper with her stories being picked up in national and global newspapers She spent two very successful years giving a voice to those communities across the North East who otherwise…


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