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Summer Activities For Families In Newcastle

Hurray for the holidays! Six weeks of no school, endless opportunity for adventure and loads of great family time. If that sounds exhausting, never fear! There are HEAPS of fun things to do in Newcastle to keep your little ones active and entertained (and you sane!), and what’s more, many activities are free of charge or only cost a few pounds. 



Keep those little hands busy with some fun, crafty workshops and ‘make and take’ activities.

Our very own NE1’s Summer In The City craft activities will keep the family entertained down on the Quayside, including a henna workshop (6th & 27th Aug) and sustainable plants workshop (13th Aug), keep an eye on the website for more and find out how to book.

Hatton Gallery’s holiday workshops include a fun mix of free arty activities including an opportunity to make a collage portrait inspired by the gallery’s Works on Paper exhibition (26th July, 4-11 yrs); create your own artist’s book (27th July, 12-17 yrs); have a go at printmaking (28th July); make rubber stamps and drawings (2nd Aug); use acrylics and create a masterpiece on canvas (3rd Aug, 12-18 yrs) and learn to paint with watercolours (4th Aug).

Over at Great North Museum: Hancock, there’s a bunch of natural history and heritage-led workshops to dive into, and all these are free to access too. Have a go at building a replica of Hadrian’s Wall using paper bricks and handle some real Roman artefacts (27 July); learn about the power of flowers and the natural world, make flower masks and crowns and meet some incredible reptiles from Northumberland Zoo (3rd Aug); at their marvellous menagerie day, there are lots of animal-themed activities to take part in, including creating a costume made from recycled materials, and there’s a chance to meet real birds of prey on the museum’s front lawn courtesy of Durham Falconry (10th Aug); explore patterns and fabrics and decorate an entire floor with patterns from different world cultures (17th Aug); at their ocean-themed day make a sandy starfish or take part in an underwater animated sea space (24th Aug); and in the last week of the holidays, learn about Roman Britain and make a Roman helmet (31st Aug).

Part of the Discovery Museum’s Play + Invent adventures, young people are being given the opportunity to design a mascot for the museum with a free drop-in every Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the holidays. Check out their fascinating displays for some inspiration, and the winning design will be brought to life by the museum’s team!

Plus, there’s a different themed activity to tackle every Tuesday throughout the holiday, with many craft activities free or costing £1 or £2 for materials, and most activities suitable for ages 6+ (although everyone’s welcome to attend). Celebrate the city with a bunting workshop (26th July), create kaleidoscopes and sun-catchers (2nd Aug), create games to take home (9th Aug), make a wooden kite or build a glider plane (16th Aug), make crazy architectural sculptures or make your own museum gallery (23rd Aug) and design a lighthouse or make a seagull to take home (30th Aug).

Their outdoor Play on the Plaza events take place outside the museum and include a range of crafty affairs including building a camera obscura (4th Aug), playing old fashioned games like ring toss, hoop and skipping ropes (11th Aug), create straw gliders and paper plate frisbees (18th Aug) or build a LEGO or K'nex structure (25th Aug). Plus, go on a LEGO minifigure hunt (50p per trail), and have a go at crazy golf with a family hole in one challenge! (10th Aug, £6 per family).

BALTIC's Artventurers activities take place every Thursday, with classes at 10.15-12.15 for toddlers/preschoolers, and 11.30-12.15 for those 6 months-5 years. They can enjoy painting, crafts and plenty of art-based fun! (£8)



Sneak some education into their summer holiday fun!

Newcastle’s historic Mining Institute celebrates its 170 year anniversary, and 150 years of their stunning building (now known as The Common Room) with a series of free events themed around Game Changers, chock full of science shows, workshops and much more. The Live Science and History show explores the dangers of the underground with artefacts from their library to explore and live demonstrations (every Tuesday); there’s a chance to learn about the wonderful world of printing, learn about the importance of archives and check out some real printing plates (26th July); and an interactive workshop will teach all manner of geological skills, where kids can get hands-on with minerals and rocks (2nd Aug, recommended 5-13 yrs). Youngsters can also test their mechanical skills by building their own version of one of Newcastle’s engineering marvels out of LEGO (13th Aug, 5+).

Life Science Centre is a treasure trove of learning no matter when you visit, with a whole host of educational and fun experiences including live science and planetarium shows, the space zone and interactive and creative exhibits. Budding scientists can learn how the human brain works with some interesting exhibits, kids aged 7+ can get the opportunity to try out some science experiments, while under 7s can enjoy pop-up areas and hands-on activities. While you’re there, check out Luke Jerram’s stunning Gaia model of the Earth, amazing LEGO models and celebrate the new Lightyear film with plenty of space-themed activities. (Tickets from £8 for children aged 5-17, adults £15, family packages available, under 4s free).

Newcastle Castle’s ancient walls hide a myriad of secrets and legends. Learn about the ‘grumpy guards’ who protected the castle in medieval times (every Wednesday) or join Knight School to become a member of the nobility, learn swordplay and the art of chivalry (every Saturday). Plus, find out more about the rogues, reivers and royals who inhabited the castle with a costumed character tour (every Sunday). (Tickets from £5.75).



Dance City have a host of classes and workshops for 4-17 year olds interested in learning ballet, hip-hop, contemporary, breaking and more, with summer camps on dance around the world and the best of the West End ideal for intensive learning.

There’s more dance and theatre-themed activity at Tyne Theatre & Opera House, where their Enchanted Entertainment Summer Musical Theatre Workshop (1st-5th August) will teach 8-18 year olds singing, acting and dance performance techniques, with a performance on stage in front of a live audience at the end of the week (£160 per child).

Work off some of that excess energy at NE1’s Summer in the City free family fitness class every Friday morning at 10am on the Quayside. Delivered by Newcastle United Foundation, the emphasis is on family fun and entertainment.

Make the kids’ education work for you by sending them along to Fenwick’s cooking school, where they can learn how to make pizza (until 29th July & 15th-19th Aug) or bake cupcakes (Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1st-22nd Aug, both from £12). The best bit? Adults get to enjoy a delicious brunch (during pizza making) or afternoon tea (during baking workshop), so there’s something for everyone! If your little ones are the musical sort, they can also have a go at a musical instrument making workshop, in which they’ll make two instruments from recycled items and food! (22nd Aug, £10).



Sit back, relax and be entertained (and that goes for you too!)

Utilita Arena bring everybody’s favourite pups, PAW Patrol, to the live stage. Featuring exciting music, high tech video and a clever script, youngsters will think they’ve been transported to Adventure Bay, Seal Island or Farmer Yumi’s Farm, and even get an opportunity to join the PAW Patrol Cheer Team (5th Aug, various times, from £16.90).

Boogie the day away at Discovery Museum’s Silent Disco, where those aged 4+ can get disco dancing in the Great Hall (the music is delivered through headphones, so the kids aren’t the silent part...sorry to burst that bubble).



At Theatre Royal, everybody’s favourite cartoon pig Peppa is going on a roadtrip with George, Mummy and Daddy Pig, exploring everything from dinosaurs, ice creams and muddle puddles along the way. Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever will be full of the usual songs, games and laughter (10th-11th Aug, times vary, from £14.50).

They’re creepy and they’re kooky… The Addams Family musical comedy comes to Tyne Theatre & Opera House courtesy of Musical Theatre Studio. Join Morticia and Gomez as they host Wednesday’s new boyfriend for tea (13th Aug, £19.50).

Settle down to a fantastical tale from storyteller Soph at Live Theatre’s Fables At The Kitchen Table, where beautiful songs, creative puppets and theatrical magic help to tell exciting stories about Aesop the friendly lion, Harriet the boastful hare and Tim the chilled-out tortoise (30th-31st July, suitable for 3-8 yr olds & their families, from £6).

Lovable and quirky kid Wave decides to clean every beach in the world (starting in Newcastle) in Alphabetti Theatre’s This Show Is Rubbish, a cute musical adventure featuring music, eco-puppetry and original storytelling. Plus, a workshop (6th & 13th Aug) offers an opportunity to make rubbish music too! (28th July-13th Aug, times vary, pay what you feel).

NE1’s Summer In The City will host a range of free pop-up performances throughout the summer down on the Quayside, where you can be entertained by a variety of local performers every Saturday throughout the holidays, including Circus Central (6th Aug), Nat Tricks (13th Aug), Bare Toed dance (20th Aug) and Ella and Pagen (27th Aug). Plus, there’ll be comedy capers courtesy of Felt Nowt with their comedy showcase events with experienced kids’ comedian Lee Kyle and Catherine Young (28th July, free). If all that sounds too energetic, how about just letting your imagination run away with you and settle down for a story in Tales On The Tyne, thanks to the storytellers at Seven Stories (every Tuesday 26th July-6th Sept, 11am).

NE1’s Screen on the Green is the perfect place to take a break in your jam-packed activities and enjoy a movie in the open air at Old Eldon Square. The free cinema experience will include flicks like Finding Nemo, The Incredibles 2, Dolittle, School of Rock, Mary Poppins Returns, Sing 2, Inside Out, The Lion King, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, Shrek, The Princess Diaries, Frozen, The Greatest Showman and many more! Plus there’s live sports fixtures including all the action from Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix, Tour de France and Women’s Euros (until 4th September).

So, if the words “I’m bored” escape your youngsters’ mouths at any point over the next six weeks, you know that there’s always a wealth of activity, adventure and entertainment on offer in Newcastle. Good luck!


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