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Festive shopping – get it all wrapped up in Middlesbrough

This Christmas we’re encouraging you to ‘Try It On’ which means making sure you add a trip to town to your ‘to-do’ list this December.

It’s always exciting getting a delivery to the door but there’s nothing quite like the thrill of retail therapy, seeing, touching and trying on items in real-life, and then deciding where to stop for a spot of lunch, a cosy hot chocolate (or even a cheeky festive cocktail).

While some of the town centre’s much-loved high street stores are sadly no longer here, there are still plenty of places to satisfy all your shopping needs from treats for kids and teenagers, to that special piece of jewellery or festive decorations ahead of the big day.

Find out how you can support both high street and independent shops around town this Christmas…

Middlesbrough on Ice

Middlesbrough on Ice


Shopping ideas all wrapped up 

Middlesbrough has always been the leading place in Teesside to get the most on-trend items. Long-standing store Triads sells on-trend labels such as Aries, Patagonia, New Balance, Carhartt and Belstaff and a favourite for nearly 40 years, Changes Menswear offer a unique one-to-one shopping experience.

Designer superstore Flannels has new stock weekly including the most-wanted brands this year and all the latest threads and kicks. We’re talking about Represent, Fear of God Essentials, Off-White, Stone Island and North Face. Sister store, Frasers, which is based in the former Psyche store offers a huge tailoring section and even more leading brands including Boss, CP Company, UGG and Ralph Lauren.

If designer brands aren’t your thing, plenty of popular high streets names are still going strong across Linthorpe Road, Hillstreet Shopping Centre and The Cleveland Centre. Try New Look and Boots for Christmas stocking fillers, Primark for Christmas PJs and festive homeware, plus River Island, Collectables, Parisian, Trespass, Geek Retreat, Modella and Next are all stocked up with gift ideas to suit all tastes and budgets.

Who doesn’t love new jewellery at Christmas? We’re spoilt for choice in Middlesbrough for incredible jewellery stores with that all-important customer service you can’t get online. Pick up that extra special gift at the likes of Market Cross, F. Hinds, Goldsmiths and Hilliers.

A visit to a toy shop is a must at this time of the year and Middlesbrough town centre has plenty to choose from. Smiggle in Hillstreet Centre, Toytown (for Disney, LEGO or Paw Patrol) and HMV in The Cleveland Centre, PM Toys in Dundas Shopping Centre and The Entertainer, CEX and Waterstones all have something the kids will love this Christmas.

There’s a treasure trove of independent stalls in Dundas Shopping Centre and Indoor Market – meaning you won’t get these gifts anywhere else. For pooches and pets, head to Leo Libra Pet Products, there’s a huge selection of dolls and accessories from Baby Beautiful and ALTAnative is one of the newest and quirkiest stores to open this month selling a range of trinkets, décor and homeware. Don’t forget to grab a freshly baked treat from Brickyard Bakery – the family business is one of Teesside’s most popular bakeries and they’ve just opened a new branch in the market.

The ‘Real Santa’ will be popping along to Dundas Shopping Centre on Sunday 17 December from 12pm – 3pm and there’s also a Santa post-box based at Jean’s Cafe.

To make your trip to town even more magical this Christmas, Middlesbrough on Ice returns to Centre Square from Friday 8 December to Monday 1 January and you can even meet the man from the North Pole himself at the Skating with Santa sessions on 9, 10, 16, 17 and 24 December!

Dundas Arcade

Dundas Arcade

Give them the gift of pampering 

It’s the season for glitz glam and there are plenty of hair and beauty salons in Middlesbrough that offer everything from nails and lashes to fresh haircuts and aesthetic treatments.

Award-winning town centre salons including Ultra Chique Clinique, Derma Advanced Aesthetics, Aspire Hairdressing, Copper Kettle, Baker Street Beauty, Guidos and Chintz Hair salon. Many salons offer gift vouchers so you can treat someone special this Christmas.

Festive food and drink

After all that shopping, some relaxation and a well-earned treat in one of the town’s fantastic restaurants or bars is a must.

Every Saturday throughout December, Bloom is hosting a Christmas brunch club which offers a unique, immersive dining experience complete with live entertainment from the house band.

At Dovecot, you can tuck into turkey with all the trimmings by sampling their traditional Christmas menu, or head to Turtle Bay to party in paradise by enjoying their laid-back set menu which includes a free Jingle Bird cocktail or non-alcoholic alternative.

Talking of cocktails, The Nuthatch has launched its bottomless festive afternoon tea which teams together unlimited finger food and their signature drinks and wait for it… the Mary Berry Pavlova cocktail. Or for those wanting something sweeter, indulge in the ultimate luxurious hot chocolate at Café Etch. On Grange Road, Off the Ground Coffee have ‘Xmasfied’ their famous bagels. Try the ‘Home Alone’, ‘The Grinch’ or the ‘The Miracle on 63 Grange Road’ bagel featuring winter spiced brined chicken, brie, caramalised red onion jam and sage mayo – yum.

If you’re heading out for a social get-together, Bedford Street and Baker Street, Grange Road and Albert Road all offer something different. Captain Cook Square’s huge entertainment centre, Level X, has got you covered with everything from e-karting, interactive bowling, retro arcade games, VR experiences and a well-stocked bar.

The Wired Lobby is the latest addition to Captain Cook Square and has opened just in time for the festive season, it’s been dubbed as a ‘gaming paradise’. Whether you’re a gaming novice or expert, enjoy state-of-the-art PCs, the latest consoles and an impressive, full-size car racing simulator.

The venue also features an arena to host live events and esports tournaments which will pit competitive gaming teams against one another on a raised stage. Expect further exciting announcements about what else is coming to the square in the New Year.

And if you don’t fancy hailing a taxi home after all that fun, why not treat yourself to a overnight’s stay at either the Leonardo Hotel or Holiday Inn, which are both conveniently located within the town centre.

Off the Ground Coffee

Off the Ground Coffee

Convenient (and free) parking

Think there’s no free parking in Middlesbrough? Think again.

France Street car park offers FREE parking on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in the white bays only (restrictions still apply in the blue bays).

The ‘Jewel streets’ located behind Linthorpe Road and Frasers offer two hours FREE parking every day (Amber St., Diamond Road, Emerald St., Garnet St., Pearl  St. and Ruby St.).

You can also take advantage of 3 hours parking for just £1 at Captain Cook Square car park. It’s also FREE after 6pm, perfect if you’re heading to Level X, and the car park is open after midnight. You can also park all day for £1.80 on Sundays.

There’s also FREE parking from 6pm every evening in all Council operated car parks and on-street pay and display bays and FREE parking on Sunday in on-street pay and display bays (such as Albert Road, Corporation Road and Linthorpe Road), ideal for late night or Sunday Christmas shopping.

Late night shopping returns from Thursday 7 December, where some retailers will be extending their opening hours until 7pm. From Monday 18 – Friday 22 December, many stores will be open until 8pm. Find out more about late night shopping and the Christmas parking offer here. 

Whatever your plans are this Christmas we hope you enjoy a wonderful time and remember to pop into town and support your local stores.

We are feeling festive. We are Middlesbrough.