Family picnic beside Gateshead Millennium Bridge

Happy Easter everyone! The spring has returned and the Easter holidays are on the horizon. There are plenty of family-friendly activities to keep children busy during Easter in NewcastleGateshead from hands-on workshops and craft sessions to new exhibitions at your favourite attractions. Families looking for things to do during the school holidays will be pleased to hear that there are also a great range of free events taking place

Read on for our guide to keep your kids busy during Easter in Newcastle and Gateshead.  .

1. Take part in the Newcastle Eagles Easter Basketball camp

Fancy yourself a bit of a sports star? Newcastle Eagles are hosting a range of Easter Basketball Camps for under 8s through to under 16s. The camp days are for players of all ranges of ability and take place from Monday 3rd to Thursday 6th April 2023. Starting from £12, the camps aim to help players improve their knowledge about the game as well as developing their skills. After this camp, you will be a pro in no time! Find out more about the camps here.

The camp is also offering parents the chance to drop-off players early from 8:30am at a cost of £5 per child.

2. Go minibeast hunting at WWT Washington Wetland Centre

Explore the world of soil, leaves and dry wood as you hunt for mini-beasts in Hollowood. Use a dusting brush, magnifying glass and observation trays to get a closer look of woodlice, millipedes, stink bugs and more. Taking place on Tuesday 11, Wednesday 12 & Friday 14 April. No need to book - these sessions are drop-in! This is a free activity included as part of normal admission (free to members). Find out more here. 

3. Have fun at the Kid's Easter Party at St James' Park

It’s time for the kids to hop ‘til they drop this Easter! Join St. James’ Park for an eggs-cellent party filled with games, Easter egg painting and a surprise visit from the mischievous Peter Rabbit! Your child's ticket includes entry to the party and a kid's buffet - with one adult also admitted with each child's ticket. Additional snacks and refreshments will also be available to purchase. Find out more here. 

4. Beamish Museum's Easter Celebrations

Get outdoors and stretch your legs while enjoying Beamish Museum as a family this Easter. The expansive, award-winning attraction is a perfect place to visit. Travel back in time and visit life in the past. As well as the permanent exhibitions, there will also be some brilliant, traditional Easter Celebrations to introduce you to, including an Easter egg trail, traditional Easter baking, Easter crafts and egg-cellent activities.

The transport enthusiasts amongst your family will also love visiting Beamish for their Steam Gala (Saturday 1 & Sunday 2 April).

5. Spring Needle Felting at Shipley Art Gallery

Families who craft together... get in a mess together! Take part in a fun, family-friendly session at Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead this Easter and learn a new skill, get creative and discover your inner artist. Needle felting is the process of transforming un-spun wool into 3D objects, using a barbed needle. It's a bit like sculpting with wool, and very satisfying because you can create unique and impressive results quickly. In the session you will gather in a small group to enjoy some relaxing creativity in the beautiful surroundings of the gallery. You can attend one-offs, or book all 5 sessions. If you attend all sessions, you will build up a beautiful spring display with coordinated components, including Easter eggs, chicks, lambs and other seasonal motifs. 

The workshops are popular, so be sure to book! Take a look at the full schedule here. 

6. Egg Hunting with the National Trust

Rediscover the beauty of the North East's National Trust properties this Easter and go on an Easter Egg Hunt through the varying landscapes, grounds and woodlands of Gibside, Cragside, Wallington, Seaton Delaval Hall and beyond. There will be nature-inspired activities to have a go at along the way as well as the promise of a chocolatey surprise at the end. Admire the beautiful blossom, burn off some energy in outdoor playgrounds and make sure to stop off in the cafe for a slice of cake and a cuppa.

£3 per trail pack (plus admission unless you are a National Trust member).

7. Visit Life Science Centre in Newcastle

Life Science Centre will be open over the Easter holidays and has a packed programme of hands-on experiments and exhibits, live shows, space adventures, and crafty 'egg' catapult making activities. Get involved in making an 'egg' catapult, be amazed by the live show The Sea and Me, and take a tour through the stars in the planetarium. Enjoy thrilling, interactive exhibits in the new Wow Zone, including the 6-metre-tall 'Big Machine'! Other highlights include Space Zone, complete with a replica of part of the International Space Station and Play Zone for under 7s. Find out more here. 

8. Go to the theatre as a family

There are a number of great family performances this Easter to enjoy together.

First up, it might feel like the ultimate festive experience but you'll be guaranteed to spring into the new season after your visit to Tyne Theatre & Opera House's Easter Panto this year (Saturday 8- Easter Sunday 9 April). Packed with laughter, silliness and flamboyance - families will love the enchanting fun of Rapunzel. Starring comedy legend Bobby Darvo, Britain’s Got Talent Winner Matt Pagan and Tyne Theatre panto favourite Lewis Denny. The performance guarantees impressive music, energetic dance routines as well as plenty of jokes, slapstick and heaps of audience participation!

Sunderland Empire are putting on quite a show with Disney's The Lion King over the Easter Holidays. Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney's multi award-winning musical is a unique theatrical experience that you will remember forever.

9. Take on an adventure at Great North Museum: Hancock

Part immersive story, part live-action game, ‘Myth Quest’ players will take on the role of an adventurer, exploring myths and monsters throughout the museum to complete their quests.

This museum-wide experience begins with Mary Hancock, sister of the museum’s original founders. Mary discovered a way to travel through space and time, and encountered many monsters and magical artefacts through her journeys through the Parallel. Her findings aided her in overcoming many challenges, and were documented in Mary’s Study, the Mythical Archive and an intriguing newly discovered letter.

Players are welcomed to Mary’s Study and Archive where they can choose a magical item to help them on their quest. Taking a map and quartz crystal, players head out into the museum on one of three interactive adventures – through the Foggy Forest of Forgettings, the Serpentine Sea of the Sirens, and the Moody Mountains of the Monsters - to uncover all the Parallel’s secrets and become a true hero. Those who complete their quest will earn their place in the ‘Myth Quest Hall of Heroes’, where they will learn more about all the fascinating objects, magical animals, mythical creatures and quirky characters they have encountered on their journey.

The exhibition will be complemented by a Gaming Space with two games by developers Coatsink, for visitors to try out – PHOGS! and Astronimo.

Your fate awaits!

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