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. The fabulous attractions and venues in Newcastle and Gateshead will be providing 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!

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

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. Wonder at the seven-metre recreation of Planet Earth - Gaia as soon as you enter. New for February 2023, families are invited to get hands-on with multi-sensory exhibits including light play, dramatic demonstrations controlled by you and the ‘Big Machine’ which stands over 6-metres-tall in the Wow Zone. Grab your snorkels and join Life for a new live show and explore the North East coast. Discover why it's often windy at the beach, how we use wind power and the make-up of bird poo in the exhibition The Sea and Me.

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. They have a whole host of half term activities on, including a Medieval Fashion Show, Family Crafts and Guided Tours. All of the activites are included in the price of your ticket, and your ticket now gives you access to the Castle for one year after you purchase it.

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 have lots of free family fun this February half term. Explore the museum and pick up a free trail to explore the amazing transport collections – from trains, ships, fire engines and more. They are also hosting a couple of Discovery Days including a family craft session inspired by the modes of transport on display. Decorate your own Locomotive engine toy, hanging decoration or try your hand at creating a train driver's hat. Taking place on Tuesday 21 February. 

Great North Museum have some great activities planned for the half term as well as their permanent exhibitions. Enjoy a family fun day with activities, crafts, object handling and adventure trails at Wonder Wednesday: Monsters in the Wild taking place on Wednesday 22 February. Take part in a monsters and beasts natural history handling collection session, experience a self-led monster trail taking in some of the most monstrous objects on display at the museum and make some incredible mythical monster creations with a team of professional artists. The museum is also opening for a relaxed early opening on Tuesday 21 from 9am until 10am. This relaxed session is for visitors with autism, learning disabilities or sensory and communication disorders, along with their families and carers. If that's not you, please visit after 10am.

Shipley Art Gallery host the Family Arts Festival on Saturday 18 February which is a brilliant way to get creative during the school holidays. They will also be celebrating the Angel of the North's 25th birthday with a range of events during half term. Part of the Ways to Play half term programme, celebrate the iconic Angel by making birthday cards and party hats on Tuesday 23 February. 

This February at The Biscuit Factory, Little Biscuits goes POP with a celebration of all things bold, bright and 'Pop Art'! Artist Pui Lee will be teaching children how to screeenprint to create their own artworks inspired by the likes of Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Robert Indiana. Little Biscuits founder and art teacher, Sally, will also be combining Pop Art and Food for her two-part workshop; children will create a paper cake after artist Patianne Stevenson, and felt pizzas inspired by textile artists Lucy Sparrow and Holly Levell. Take a look at the events here.

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

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.

 Join them this half term as they focus on the past in their Half Term History Week. Taking place Monday - Sunday throughout half term, create an Ancient Egyptian inspired canopic jar to store the insides of a Pharaoh! During this workshop you will design and decorate your jar, add a secret or scary message in hieroglyphics, and even add some gloopy body parts! 

Continue the historical fun and become time-travellers and archaeologists alongside Captain Blackbeard as he attempts to hold on to the items in his treasure chest! A Time Travelling History Experience lets you join in with gruesome games, silly songs and find out fantastic facts along the way as Blackbeard meets some gory characters from his past, present and future!

Laugh out loud with local stand-up comic Lee Kyle at the Stand Up! Comedy Show on Sunday 19 February. The event is perfect for any budding comedian or anyone who loves a right old laugh!

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

Theatre Royal

  • Nearest Metro stop to the Theatre Royal is Monument (3 minutes)

David Walliam’s best-selling children’s book – Demon Dentist – will be brought to life at Newcastle Theatre Royal bringing half term fun to younger audiences from Wednesday 22 – Saturday 25 February 2023.

Young fans will be very familiar with the popular story. Join Alfie and Gabz on this fabulous adventure, as they investigate the strange events happening in their home town! Children are leaving their teeth for the tooth fairy and waking up to find odd things under their pillows!  Alfie and Gabz are determined to get to the bottom of the mystery - but no-one could have dreamt what they’ll discover, when they come face to face with the demon dentist herself in this hilarious and thrilling story!

Find out more here. 

Demon Dentist Live on Stage
Demon Dentist- Photo by Mark Douet

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!

Mudfest at WWT Washington 

Saturday 18 - Sunday 26 February
Make planning your February half-term fun a bit less stressful with the Mudfest event calendar. Plan your trip here.

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. Discover the magic of mud and just how much fun it can be! Come prepared to get messy and discover there’s more to mud than meets the eye, on a family day out you’ll remember long after you’ve washed off your wellies.    

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

Crimes of the Centuries at Beamish Museum

Saturday 18 - Sunday 26 February

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. Did you know you can get the number 28 Go North East bus from Eldon Square and it drops you right at the gates of Beamish?

Discover crimes of the 1820s, early 1900s, 1940s and 1950s as they prepare to open the 1950s police houses later in the year! Hear the story of renowned Georgian quilter Joseph Hedley who was murdered in 1826 in an appalling crime that shocked the nation, and learn about crime and punishment in the Georgian period. Find out about the actions of some of the North East’s Suffragettes in The 1900s Town and visit the bank to hear stories of a Sunderland bank robbery which took place in 1897! Visit The 1900s Pit Village to find out what happened to those who played truant and, in the back lane of Francis Street, learn about illegal games of pitch and toss. Head to The 1940s Farm to find out about prisoner of war camps during World War Two.

There have been reports of sheep rustling at Spain’s Field Farm – can you help the farmer and the policeman find the lost sheep? (Spain’s Field Farm open weekends only).

Crimes of the Centuries is included in admission price and is free to Beamish Unlimited Pass holders and Friends of Beamish members

The Alnwick Garden - The Crusades of the Dragon

Did you know the upcoming film Dungeons and Dragons was partially filmed in Alnwick? To celebrate, become the ultimate Dragon Crusader at The Alnwick Garden this February Half-Term! Free with Garden Entry, this crusade takes you on an imaginative journey to seek out the dragon emblem and collect the vital poison needed to destroy them. Choose your character, choose your weapon and begin!

Need somewhere to stay in NewcastleGateshead?

Are you visiting NewcastleGateshead for February Half Term? Take a look at some family-friendly places to stay here. 

What do you want to do?


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