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 including bug hunting with Urban Green Newcastle. 

Read on for our guide to 11 ways to keep your kids busy during Easter in Newcastle and Gateshead.  

1. Go bug hunting with Urban Green Newcastle (FREE)

Urban Green Newcastle FREE Easter Activities Beelines North East activity days with Urban Green Newcastle

Urban Green Newcastle - the organisation that looks after many of the parks and green spaces in and around the city - invite families to join a free, guided mini-beast hunt through some of Newcastle's parks this Easter. The Beelines North East activity days
will take place at a number of parks across the Newcastle neighbourhoods with the bug hunting starting at 10am on each date. Families can also just drop in between 10am - 3pm and enjoy craft activities, face-painting and plenty of outdoor fun.

  • Tyne Riverside Country Park: Tuesday 12 April
  • Leazes Park: Thursday 14 April 
  • Walker Park: Friday 15 April
  • Gosforth Central Park: Tuesday 19 April
  • Heaton Park: Thursday 21 April
  • Nuns Moor Park: Friday 22 April

2. Easter at Discovery Museum (FREE with some small charges)

Discovery Museum Easter activities at Discovery Museum

Discovery Museum in Newcastle is a brilliant family attraction and free museum which will host some cracking family events this Easter, including a Toy Trail (50p an entry, Saturday 9 - Sunday 24 April) with a chance of winning some tasty chocolate! There will be craft activities, a chance to Play + Invent (Tuesdays 12 & 19 April and Thursdays 14 & 21 April, £2) as well as the return of the Street Scientists (FREE, Wednesday 13 and Wednesday 20 April) who will bring their experiments and interactive science demonstrations to the galleries. There are also eight exhibitions to explore over three floors at the free-to-enter museum. 

Another free attraction, Great North Museum will also be open during the Easter holidays and have a great family fun day on Wednesday 13 April celebrating all things Hadrian's Wall! Just drop in between 11am - 3pm to take part in their Roman-inspired activities. Find out more about Hadrian's Huzzah here.

3. LEGO® Brick Safari Trail and Workshops at WWT Washington Wetland Centre

LEGO kingfisher and visitors EASTER LEGO Safari Trail at WWT Washington Wetland Centre

Go in search of 16 GIANT Lego models at WWT Washington Wetland Centre from Saturday 9 April when their popular LEGO® Brick trail returns. There will be interactive workshops taking place during the Easter holidays too as well as the colourful Easter Duck Trail - can you find the rubber ducks hiding around the wetlands?!  

4. Get the Toon Tour city sightseeing bus

Toon Tour for blog The Toon Tour city sightseeing bus returns this April!

Hopping on and off a bus can be a lot of fun for kids so why not explore Newcastle and Gateshead with the help of Go North East's Toon Tour city sightseeing bus? The open-top bus will return from Saturday 9 April for weekend rides, bank holiday day trips and journeys during the school holidays. Take in the sights from atop the Toon Tour bus or hop off at one of the 17 stops to wander around the city and explore attractions, iconic landmarks, cultural hotspots and grab a bite to eat in the city. 

5. Beamish Museum's new exhibits and Easter Celebrations

Beamish Museum at Easter Image: Beamish Museum

Get outdoors and stretch your legs while enjoying Beamish Museum as a family this Easter. The expansive, award-winning attraction has brand-new elements to its 1950s exhibition ready for you to explore such as a working hairdressers, artist Norman Cornish's house and a new farm. There will also be some brilliant, traditional Easter Celebrations to introduce you to, including egg jarping (your guess is as good as ours!), egg decorating and egg rolling (Good Friday to Easter Monday). 

The transport enthusiasts amongst your family will also love visiting Beamish for their Steam Gala (Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 April) and Tractor Gathering (Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 April).

6. Family Arts Festival at Shipley Art Gallery

Family Arts Festival at Shipley Art Gallery this Easter

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. The Family Art Festival takes place every Tuesday and Thursday during the school holidays and will have different sessions to help families get creative and have a go together. Try your hand at still life drawing, create a 3D flower sculpture or use collage to make a bird picture to take home. Booking is essential and some sessions are already fully booked, so be quick! The workshops are a budget-friendly £3 per participating person. 

7. 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).

8. Visit Life Science Centre in Newcastle

Life Science Centre Easter BLOG Easter at Life Science Centre in Newcastle

Life Science Centre will be open seven days a week over the Easter holidays (8 – 24 April 2022) and has a packed programme of hands-on experiments and exhibits, live shows, space adventures, and crafty nest making activities.

Get hands-on and weave a basket to store chocolate eggs in, be wowed by their latest live show, Animal Earth, and take a tour through the stars in their popular planetarium. There is still chance to marvel at Gaia, our planet Earth – the 7-metre wide, glowing replica of Earth, created by British artist Luke Jerram.

9. Hadrian's Wall 1900 Festival

Hadrians Wall 1900 Lead

2022 marks the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian's Wall. The UNESCO World Heritage site is an impressive and dramatic monument to the Roman era in Britain and cuts through the North East landscape from South Shields and Newcastle and through Northumberland before it continues its way across Cumbria to the west coast of England. The Hadrian's Wall 1900 Festival is a year-long festival which celebrates the communities along the wall, explores the history of Hadrian's Wall as well as looking forward to the Wall's ongoing legacy. Families will find fun activities, events, festivals and re-enactments throughout the year as part of the festival. Over the Easter holidays, why not head to historic Northumberland town of Corbridge and take part in their Easter Roman Adventure Quest activities at English Heritage Corbridge Roman Town. Alternatively, go full Time Team and witness live excavations at Vindolanda as they hunt for Roman treasures and historical artefacts. There is much to see and experience along Hadrian's Wall, from attractions, ruins and forts to walks in the stunning, rugged countryside. 

10. Go to the theatre as a family

Bedknobs and Broomsticks photo Johan Persson Bedknobs and Broomsticks at Sunderland Empire. Photo by Johan Persson

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 and Opera House's Easter Panto this year (Saturday 16 - Easter Sunday 17 April). Packed with laughter, silliness and flamboyance - families will love the fun of a trip down the Yellow Brick Road when Newcastle's city centre theatre brings the quirky world of Oz to the stage. Join Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow as they go in search of their heart's desires in The Wizard of Oz Easter Panto. 

Sunderland Empire are sprinkling plenty of magic over audiences this Easter when Bedknobs and Broomsticks lands on stage (Tuesday 19 - Sunday 24 April). This adaptation of the classic Disney film promises to bring nostalgia, fantasy and fun to your Easter holidays. 

Northern Stage in Newcastle invite families to a colourful adaptation of popular picturebook, Oi Frog & Friends! by Kes Kay & Jim Field (Thursday 21 - Sunday 24 April).   

11. Discover Newcastle's Pride - free and outdoors

Born Free Forever Newcastle Urban Green Outdoor exhibition Image: Born Free Forever exhibition at Newcastle Exhibition Park

Exhibition Park in Newcastle will be home to a pride of lions this spring. Discover the life-size, bronze sculptures scattered around the city park as part of a year-long celebration to mark what would have been the 100th birthday of Bill Travers MBE - co-founder of world-famous organisation Born Free. The focal point of the outdoor exhibition is a bronze statute of Elsa the lioness, standing on top of a vintage 4x4 surrounded by cubs. If you have seen the iconic 1966 film Born Free, you will recognise this scene! 

Find out more about the Born Free Forever exhibition which will be on display in Newcastle's Exhibition Park until 30 June 2022. 

Take the kids for FREE on the bus!

During the Easter holidays and early May, hop on the bus with your family and enjoy free travel for children.

Fare-paying customers will be able to enjoy free travel for up to three children aged 11 and under across local public transport in Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and Durham for a month until 7 May. This includes Tyne and Wear Metro buses, Arriva North East, Stagecoach North East and Go North East.

    Please check first - each bus company has introduced its own offer and customers should check on board or via company websites and social media for detailed terms and conditions.

    Customers with Network One tickets including Day Rover and Explorer can also take up the offer. Some season tickets are excluded from offers, as well as customers who do not pay for their travel.

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