Things to do in Newcastle Gateshead this summer Family Friendly Newcastle Gateshead copy

Are you looking for things to do with the kids in Newcastle, Gateshead and the North East during February half term?

If you have a brood of restless kids on your hands – we’ve got some great suggestions of how to fill your school holidays with family-friendly things to do in Newcastle and Gateshead. It may be daunting to have February half term approaching but with a refreshed enthusiasm for getting out and about after a tumultuous couple of years, we can guarantee the fabulous attractions and venues in Newcastle and Gateshead have provided a packed programme of events and activities to keep all ages busy. 

The sun may shine, but seen as it is only February it’s always good to have options of what you can do when it’s raining in Newcastle and Gateshead too. Here is our guide to great indoor and outdoor activities to have up your sleeve in the North East. Whatever the weather, you’ll have fun!

Kids go free metro

Take the kids for free on the Metro and Shields Ferry! Families who are looking for things to do this February in Newcastle and Gateshead are invited to hop on the Metro to whizz to the beach or head into the city to visit a museum. Wherever you're heading, make the most of free travel for the kids thanks to Nexus. The offer allows for up to three kids aged 11 and under to travel for free on Metro and the Shields Ferry, all day, every day when accompanied by a fare-paying adult. Find out more here.

Check out where the nearest metro stop is to the attractions and events below or take a look at the Metro Map.

Indoor Events – What to do in NewcastleGateshead with the kids when it is raining

Gaia BLOG

Life  Science Centre 

  • Nearest Metro stop: Central Station (6-minute walk)

Life Science Centre is a great day out, and so close to Newcastle Central Station, Life Science Centre is a must-visit attraction in Newcastle with hands-on exhibits to test, inspire and educate families. Explore what tomorrow’s world could look like, with activities across the centre including a LEGO® Creations exhibit and a spectacular, seven-metre recreation of Planet Earth - Gaia. New for February 2022, families are invite to explore how creatures survive in extreme conditions around the world in one of Life Science Centre's latest live shows, Animal Earth.  

Newcastle Castle BLOG

Newcastle Castle  

  • Nearest Metro stop: Central Station (4-minute walk)

Newcastle Castle is rich in history and bursting with stories. The attraction is a brilliant day out for the family and also has excellent views across the River Tyne from the roof. Open Fridays - Mondays, Newcastle Castle is a great starting point for anyone looking to discover more about Newcastle's history.

GNM BLOG

Free Museums and art galleries

  • Nearest Metro stop to:
    • Discovery Museum: St James (9-minute walk), Central Station (7-minute walk)
    • Great North Museum: Haymarket (5-minute walk)
    • Shipley Art Gallery: Gateshead Interchange (19-minute walk)

Take your pick of great free museums and pay to enter attractions which will be hosting activities and events as well as giving you and your family chance to explore their collection of permanent and temporary exhibitions. From Great North Museum (image) to Shipley Art Gallery, Segedunum Roman Fort and Discovery Museum.

Discovery Museum are hosting a couple of Discovery Days where families can create their own secret store box to hide treasures! While the very youngest members of your family can create musical waves at a Toddler Disco on Friday 25 February.

Great North Museum have a great week planned including a Science Fair (Thursday 24 February) and a chance to meet a real life Roman (!) at their Voyage and Home event on Wednesday 23 February.

Shipley Art Gallery host the Family Arts Festival on Tuesday 22 and Thursday 24 February 2022 which is a brilliant way to get creative during the school holidays. 

Entry to the venues is free but charge may apply to certain events. 

Seven Stories BLOG

Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books

  • Nearest Metro stop to Seven Stories: Manors (12-minute walk)

Seven Stories is a family-friendly attraction in Newcastle's popular Ouseburn area with creative exhibitions waiting to spark your imagination. Once There Was Magic is aimed at older children (suitable for ages 7+) and is an hour-long, immersive experience where staff will bring the space to life as they guide you round the original artwork, rough drafts and exhibits. Peer into fiery portals which offer a glimpse into the magical worlds of well-known and award-winning authors including Cressida Cowell, J. K. Rowling, Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman, and many more.

The second, Shifter of Shapes, is an exhibition that families of all ages can enjoy and explores The Lost Spells a moving, joyful treasure of a book by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. Step into nature, witnessing its power to amaze, console and bring joy. 

Younger bookworms will love Mog the Forgetful Cat and Friends event on Monday 21 - Wednesday 23 February which combines storytelling and activities to help you step into the story by much-loved author Judith Kerr. 

Mr Mulligan's Space Golf 

  • Nearest Metro stop to Mr Mulligan's Space Golf: St James (4-minute walk), Monument (5-minute walk)

Newgate Street is the launchpad of a space-themed adventure golf venue, Mr Mulligan’s Space Golf, which has three nine-hole courses to test the dexterity of astronauts young and old. Get competitive and see who has the best swing this half term.

Outdoor Events – Sun is shining, everyone out!

The Story Weaver BLOG

North of Tyne, Under the Stars 

  • Nearest Metro stop for North Shields event: Tynemouth (12-minute walk)
  • Nearest Metro stop for Richardson Dees Park event: Wallsend (10-minute walk)
  • Nearest Metro stop for Ballast Hills event: Byker (11-minute walk)

Become immersed in a magical, after-dark experience in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland neighbourhoods during February half term. The first two weekends of the community events will take place in parks across Blyth, North Shields (Friday 18 – Saturday 19 February, 6pm – 9pm), Wallsend and Byker (Friday 25 – Saturday 26 February, 6pm – 9pm). Weaving together a new and creative story for the North East - families will be mesmerised by the free event which explores local storytelling through light projections, atmospheric soundscapes, fire, performance and a little sprinkling of magic. 

Find out more.

A North of Tyne Combined Authority event.

North Tyneside logos NEW AARDMAN LOGO Morph BLOG

Morph Trail

  • Hop on and off the metro to help you find all Morph's sculptures. Metro stations to look out for include: Wallsend, Tynemouth, North Shields, Cullercoats, Whitley Bay, Benton, Palmersville, Four Lane Ends and Longbenton.

Go in search of 20 GIANT Morph sculptures this February half term which have appeared across North Tyneside. From Wallsend to Whitley Bay, Tynemouth and North Shields - families can collect a photo with all the cheeky sculptures of Morph, who has been a household favourite for over 45 years. Follow the Wild in Art outdoor art trail of individually-designed Morphs while you explore the coastal towns and enjoy some fresh air this February half term.

Presented by North Tyneside Council and North of Tyne Combined Authority. 

Puddle Jumping BLOG

Puddle Jumping at WWT Washington 

Saturday 19 - Sunday 27 February
Self-led throughout the day (open 10am - 4.30pm, last admission 3.30pm)

Whatever the weather – a trip to WWT Washington Wetland Centre is a brilliant family day out in the North East.... and the wetter the weather the better this February half term. Puddle Jumping is back on the agenda so grab your best jumping wellies and head over to WWT Washington Wetland Centre to take on the challenge. Meet the cheeky otters and an array of ducks, geese and swans too.

There is also a play area and picnic benches for fun all day long. 

Beamish Ice Skating

Ice Skating at Beamish Museum  

A day out at Beamish Museum is always a great choice for families. The award-winning living, working museum has plenty to keep all the family busy as you immerse yourself in North East heritage as early as the 1950s and way back into the Victorian era. Take a wintery spin around their real ice rink in The Fairground area of the outdoor attraction. Available every day throughout February half term (until Sunday 27 February). 

Belsay hall explorers quest

Explorer Quest at English Heritage Belsay Hall, Castle and Garden 

Families looking for things to do in the North East will love a visit to Belsay Hall, Gardens and Castle which is in Northumberland and only 30-minute drive from Newcastle. From Saturday 19 - Sunday 27 February, roam the gardens on an explorer's quest to find games and activities inspired by knights, soldiers and ancient Olympians.  

The Alnwick Garden - Adventure Golf

Take on the 13-hole Adventure Golf challenge at The Alnwick Garden this February half term and determine who is the most accurate putter in your family! Another site that has struggled following the dramatic and devastating impact of Storm Arwen in late 2021, Alnwick Garden has been closed for essential maintenance but will reopen its gates in time for families to explore their award-winning outdoor attraction during half term (10am - 4pm).

Souter Lighthouse children running National Trust Images Annapurna Mellor 1585221 copy National Trust Souter Lighthouse. Image by Annapurna Mellor

Build a Bird box at Souter Lighthouse

  • Nearest Metro stop for Souter Lighthouse: South Shields, Seaburn and Chichester metro stations are all approximately a 1-hour walk from Souter Lighthouse - so not for the faint-hearted! But, if you fancied making a day of it and meandering along the coastline, the metro is an option.

There are a number of National Trust properties in the North East that are well-worth a day out, Souter Lighthouse on the Sunderland coastline is one such location. This February half term, families are invited to visit and take part in a whole host of activities. On Monday 21, Wednesday 23 and Friday 25 February, drop into the build a bird box and learn about the birds that might make it their home. Burn off some steam when you take part in free sports activities in the Foghorn Field on Tuesday 22 and Thursday 24 February, including football, badminton and archery or challenge yourselves to a lap of Souter’s Active Mile course and try a different exercise at each way marker. For those who are interested in the lighthouse itself, climb to the top of Souter Lighthouse and admire the stunning views from its panoramic vantage point.

What do you want to do?

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