The Best Things To Do In Newcastle This May Half Term
We bet you can hardly believe it, another half term is already upon us! If you’re racking your brains about what to do with your little darlings this half term, Newcastle is the perfect playground just ripe for exploration – never again will you hear those words: “I’M BORED!” Check out this little lot…
Always a top option for children and youngsters of all ages (particularly if the weather has turned on you!), Life Science Centre are celebrating the new Toy Story: Lightyear film by exploring some of their favourite astronauts with a range of space-themed activities. Make a moon buggy, learn how astronauts poo in space, launch a rocket in the Experiment Zone, and be amazed by Gaia, the seven-metre wide glowing replica of Earth, created by artist Luke Jerram. As always, there are shows in the Planetarium to enjoy, clever LEGO creations built by pro artists and interactive exhibits galore. If that doesn’t tire them out, nothing will!
Every day (except Thursday 2nd, when the centre is closed for the Jubilee bank holiday)
Another space-themed adventure awaits at Newcastle Castle, this time in the form of a screening of PG-rated fantasy adventure film Stardust, which kicks off at 6pm in the Castle Keep’s Great Hall on Friday 3rd. The Castle is open as usual the rest of the week too, and is a great place for visitors of all ages to discover some of Newcastle’s heritage in a fun and evocative way.
Open every day, film screening on Friday 3rd June
Part of GNM: Hancock’s Hadrian’s Wall 1900 celebrations, youngsters are invited to get inspired by artist Karen MacDougall’s new art installation Et in Arcadia Ego by transforming the ‘trees’ in the Hadrian’s Wall gallery into Roman columns. Using found objects and stories of those who lived on the Wall, she’ll help children create their own personal embossed metal artwork to add to her installation, with all materials provided (free, but donations welcome).
Monday 30th May - Wednesday 1st June
Perfect for an educational ramble, the Discovery Museum is a great place to get some covert learning under their belts! Why not try one of the museum trails, which allows visitors to delve into galleries in new ways, whether by gazing at exhibits through a prism of colour, looking at Newcastle’s industrial heritage and considering climate change, or uncovering the stories of women from Tyneside.
Every day (except Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd, when the museum is closed for the Jubilee bank holiday)
Get 'hands on' with minerals at Newcastle’s historic Common Room, where there’s a chance to learn all about geology by delving into their treasure trove of minerals. An interactive workshop for children aged 5-13 encourages learning through games and activities, and the ticket also includes admission to the building where exhibitions including The Common Room LEGO Brick By Brick model and the Mineral Wealth of the North are on display.
Open day every, workshops on Tuesday 31st May
Where better to learn arty skills than at the city’s best art gallery? Two three-day Art Academies will be running at the Laing from Monday 30th May to Wednesday 1st June from 10am - 3pm, meaning creative youngsters can let their imaginations run wild all day long. Working with a professional arts educator and taking the gallery’s collection as a starting point, it’s a great opportunity for those with budding talent or just happy to have a go. Separate classes run for 7-10 year olds and 11-16 year olds at a cost of £75. There’s also a one day session on Saturday 4th June for 10-15 year olds.
Monday 30th May - Wednesday 1st June
Dance your cares away at Newcastle City Library, where attendees (yes, that means you) are encouraged to learn traditional Scottish dances as part of the venue’s Jubilee celebrations. The Newcastle branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society will show you how to strut your stuff learning jigs and reels.
Wednesday 1st June
Image: Aidy The Awesome by Pamela Raith Photography
For an aerial adventure like no other, join 8 year old Aidy as she embarks on an adventure with her granny that will turn their world upside down – quite literally! This stunning aerial show is recommended for those aged 3+.
Saturday 4th - Sunday 5th June
OK, this one might be more for Mum and Dad than for the kids, but these special performances of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famous musical are expressly designed for babes in arms, meaning under twos are welcome for just £2 per ticket. Result!
Saturday 28th & Monday 30th May - Saturday 4th June
Take a ringside seat as the wonderful Let’s Circus troupe run a series of circus workshops including juggling scarves, flower sticks and plate spinning in fun-filled 45 minute sessions (£10 per child). If that sounds too tiring (or you worry for your crockery once you get home), settle down for a magical circus adventure as storytellers from Seven Stories regale your little ones with tales of the circus (1 hour sessions, £7.50 per child).
Monday 30th (workshops) & Tuesday 31st (storytelling) May
With something for everyone, regardless of age or interest, there are a host of fun activities in Newcastle this half term. And don’t forget the city’s wonderful open spaces at Exhibition Park and Leazes Park, perfect for a picnic! What will you get up to in NE1?