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 the school summer holidays?

If you have a brood of restless kids on your hands – we’ve got some great suggestions of how to fill your summer holidays with family-friendly things to do in Newcastle and Gateshead. It may be daunting to have the school holidays sprawled out in front of you and although our fingers are crossed, the sunshine is not a given so it’s always good to have options of what you can do when it’s raining in Newcastle and Gateshead too. Here are some indoor and outdoor activities to have up your sleeve in the North East – although whatever the weather, you’ll have fun!

Kids go free Facebook post1200x6302

Take the kids for free this summer on the Metro and Shields Ferry! Families who are looking for things to do this summer 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

Family day out at Great North Museum Hancock Family Friendly Newcastle Gateshead copy

Angry Birds at Metrocentre Gateshead - pre-book

    The competitive amongst you can take on the challenge at Metrocentre's Angry Birds Adventure Golf course. Choose between two courses - Bird Island and Pigtropolis - and battle it out as a family to find out who will be victorious over 36 holes.

    Life  Science Centre - pre-book

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

    Life Science Centre has just reopened after a long period of closure due to the coronavirus restrictions. 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.

    Newcastle Castle - pre-book

    • 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. 

    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 Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books.

    Seven Stories BLOG

    Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books - pre-book

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

    Seven Stories is a family-friendly attraction in Newcastle's popular Ouseburn area which recently reopened with two brand new exhibition experiences. The first exhibition - 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. 

    Free exhibition Could there really be SEVEN STORIES in all the world? and the Winnie and Wilbur Make Reading Magic activity room are also open free at the museum.

    The Valley Climbing Centre, Ouseburn - pre-book

    • Nearest Metro stop to The Valley Climb: Byker (10-minute walk)

    Open seven days a week and with a range of boulder challenges and rock climbing walls to suit all ages, a trip to The Valley, Climb Newcastle is a brilliant way to burn off energy this summer. Based in a large warehouse on Byker Bank, enjoy scrambling round their specially built walls and putting your mind to the test as you scale to the very top. Your little Rock Stars (aged 5+) can be booked onto supervised classes for all abilities. Find out more about kids rock climbing classes here.

    Mr Mulligan's Space Golf - pre-book

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

    Dust off your moon boots and hold onto your helmets as Mr Mulligan prepares to launch the first Geordies into space! 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 old and young. Get competitive and see who has the best swing!

    It's hungry work having fun...

    Fuego pizzas landscape NGI offer

    (Image for illustrative purposes)

    Family meal at Fuego - Fenwick Newcastle

    • Nearest Metro stop to Fenwick Newcastle: Monument (2-minute walk), Haymarket (4-minute walk)

    We have an exclusive family offer for you thanks to Fuego at Fenwick Newcastle. Pop along to their Mediterranean-inspired restaurant Fuego this summer to enjoy their special Family Offer. The whole family can relax together and savour a delicious meal of four pizzas plus any four drinks from beer, glass of house wine or soft drink for £50. Browse the full menu and book your table by clicking here. When you book, please put ‘NGI Family Offer’ in the special request box on OpenTable.

    Terms and conditions: Not valid in conjunction with any other offer. Offer valid from Friday 30 July to Sunday 5 September inclusive. Fenwick reserve the right to withdraw this offer at any time. 

    Outdoor Events – Sun is shining, everyone out!

    Children in play area WWT Washington Wetland Centre Family Friendly Newcastle Gateshead

    Wetland Explorers at WWT Washington - pre-book

    Whatever the weather – a trip to WWT Washington Wetland Centre is a brilliant family day out in the North East. However, it’s best to save it for a sunny day to get the most out of wandering their beautiful reserves. This summer, become a team of Wetland Explorers and set off into the wild to see how many cool creatures and animals you can spot following the challenges and activities as you go. Meet the cheeky otters and flamboyant flamingos too at daily talks. There is also a play area and picnic benches for fun all day long. (See image!)

    CBK Adventure Co. Holiday Club - pre-book

    • Nearest Metro stop to CBK Adventures: Cullercoats (7-minute walk)

    Keep your kids active this summer with CBK Adventure's Holiday Club. The paddle sports school runs weekly kayak and SUP sessions for children and teens aged 4 to 14. They’ll get to develop new skills on the water, explore the natural environment, and have tonnes of fun. Pre-booking essential.

    Outdoor Adventure Games at Segedunum Roman Fort - pre-book

    • Nearest Metro stop to Segedunum: Wallsend (3-minute walk)

    This summer - take on the Outdoor Adventure Game at Newcastle's Segedunum Roman Fort. Do you have the skill to solve puzzles and challenging clues to save the Empire from attack? Gather friends and family to beat the Escape Room-style outdoor game.

    Summer of Fun at Beamish Museum 2021 BLOG

    Beamish Museum - pre-book

    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. Enjoy good old fashioned fun at Beamish this summer with den building, ice cream making, teddy bear trail and traditional live music. There are lots of fun-filled activities lined up every day during the local school holidays at the open air museum for the Summer of Fun event, which runs from 17th July to 31st August.

    NE1 Screen on the Green - just turn up

    • Nearest Metro stop to Screen on the Green: Monument (you'll emerge in the midst of the action!)

    Enjoy free films daily at Newcastle's outdoor cinema from 26 July - 5 September 2021. Head to NE1 Screen on the Green in Old Eldon Square and claim a giant deckchair. There is a packed programme of free, outdoor film screening and with a choice of two films a day you're bound to find something the whole family will love.

    That's not all - Screen on the Green is part of NE1's Summer in the City. There will be family-friendly activities to drop into between 9.30-11.30am at Urban Garden on Newcastle Quayside (17 July - 5 September) from teddy bears' picnics to face painting and decorating plant pots. Enjoy relaxing in the city at Blackett Street's Family Fun area, get hands on with Play Rebellion at Old Eldon Square or head down to the Quayside to have a go on the illuminated see-saw.

    Kynren 11 Arches Park BLOG

    Kynren and 11 Arches Park - pre-book

    Kynren is an epic tale told as spectacular outdoor theatre in Bishop Auckland and this year they have expanded the magic to include a day-time family park with its own dramatic theatre production. You're invited to 11 Arches Park Book your tickets for Saturdays between 7 August - 11 September 2021.

    English Heritage Belsay Hall, Castle and Garden - pre-book

    Families looking for things to do in the North East this summer will love a visit to Belsay Hall, Gardens and Castle which is in Northumberland and only 30-minute drive from Newcastle.

    The Alnwick Garden - pre-book

    Discover the secrets and gruesome scientific facts lurking in The Alnwick Garden’s Poison Garden this summer. The Poison Garden Tours are just one of the activities taking place every day during the summer holidays.

    Alnwick Castle - pre-book

    If you've ever fancied trying to fly a broomstick like Harry Potter, then head to Alnwick Castle with the kids this summer. A day out at Alnwick Castle also includes medieval entertainment and the chance to take on the fearsome Dragon Quest.

    Ouseburn farm BLOG

    Ouseburn Farm - pre-book

    • Nearest Metro stop to Ouseburn Farm: Manors (12-minute walk), Byker (14-minute walk)

    Get back to nature down on Ouseburn Farm this summer. Experience farm-life with creatures great and small in the impressive urban farm which is perfect for families looking for time outdoors together. 

    Guided Tours

    (Pre-book City Highlight Tours but just turn up to catch the Toon Tour bus)

    Explore NewcastleGateshead on the Toon Tours open-top sightseeing bus, a great way to get around the city with stops at many major attractions including St James' Park and Life Science Centre as well as places to wander and discover like Ouseburn and the iconic Quayside.

    Families with older kids will enjoy discovering the hidden histories of Newcastle with the help of Newcastle City Guides' regularly City Highlight Tours. Pre-book for a tour of the city on Fridays - Mondays, running until the end of October 2021.

    Mela Festival - free and just turn up! 

    • Nearest Metro stop to Exhibition Park: Jesmond (12-minute walk), Haymarket (14-minute walk)

    Everyone is invited to a two-day festival of fun, vibrancy and celebration in Exhibition Park on Sunday 29 - Bank Holiday Monday 30 August 2021 when Newcastle Mela Festival returns for another year. The free event is packed with food stalls, live music and great activities for all the family.

    We have a whole host of other events listed on our What's On so take a look for more inspiration of things to do with the kids during the summer holidays. Sign up to receive regular emails from us to be in the know all the time! Just click the Subscribe button in the footer of this page.

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