Children’s activities

There are lots of things for children and young people to do in Newcastle. Here’s a list of local organisations that offer a range of art, musical, historical, interactive and science based activities.

Children’s and families information

Newcastle Support Directory is the website for children and families in Newcastle. You can find activities, baby and toddler groups, youth groups and much more.

The Local Offer has information, advice and support for the families of children and young people with Special Educational Needs or disabilities (SEND). This support directory includes clubs and groups available to children, young people and their families.

Newcastle’s Best Holiday Ever is the free school holiday activities and food programme for children and young people who: receive free school meals, are a young carer, are assessed as vulnerable, at risk or in need, have an Education, health and care plan, are referred by a professional or are from a refugee family. Find the full list of activities and how to book a place on their website and read more about their eligibility criteria.

Community centres and hubs

Community Hubs have a range of practical, education and wellbeing activities for babies, children, young people, and families. This includes: family support, children’s therapies, mental health support and childcare. They are across Newcastle in the North, East, Inner and Outer West of the city.  Formerly known as Sure Start Centres.

Local Community centres offer a range of children’s activities, holiday activities, family activities or parent and toddler groups. Read the Community centres article on InformationNOW for the list of Community Centres in Newcastle.

Toddler Groups

Churches and community centres often run toddler groups. You can see the list of Places of worship and Community Centres on InformationNOW to find a place near you.

You can find Toddler groups at:

Newcastle Support Directory is the website for children and families in Newcastle where you can find baby and toddler groups, youth groups and much more.

Places to visit with children

Alnwick Garden

Alnwick Garden was created with children in mind and has many activities for them to enjoy, including driving miniature tractors, or visiting the Poison Garden or The Treehouse, where they can play on the rope bridges.

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art have new art exhibitions and a range of free activities for children and families. They have a permanent interactive play space. They offer drop-in art activities for children under 13 years old and their families every Saturday and Sunday between 2pm and 4pm. They have a picnic area and free refreshments available. Admission is free.

Discovery Museum

Discovery Museum has a water play area called Play Tyne which allows children under 7 to experience the workings of the River Tyne, including shipbuilding, loading cranes etc. Admission is free. It also has a range of interactive exhibitions and a small soft play area.

Laing Art Gallery

Laing Art Gallery has an Under Five’s Area where young children can learn about art through play. The area has games and puzzles as well as a dressing up box. Admission is free. Please note it is closed on Mondays apart from Bank Holidays.

Life (previously known as the Centre for Life or Life Science Centre)

Life Science Centre (previously known as the Centre for Life) is a lively experience which aims to encourage questions about the world we live in. Attractions include interactive science exhibitions and live demonstrations. There is a cost for this.

The Glasshouse International Centre for Music

The Glasshouse International Centre for Music has a programme of activities for children, such as music making and Movers and Shakers. They also have a range of family-friendly events. There is a small play space on the ground floor which is free to access. There is usually a cost to watch shows but some activities and entrance are free.

Seven Stories – The Centre for Children’s Books 

Seven Stories – The Centre for Children’s Books is an exhibition space dedicated to the celebration of British children’s literature. Exhibitions change regularly. There is also a bookshop, storytelling and weekend and holiday drop-in family activities. Admission charges apply.

The Shipley Art Gallery

The Shipley Art Gallery has a range of activities for children and babies including ‘Creative Baby’ a sensory baby activity.  They offer, free of charge, interactive resources for babies and families to use whilst visiting the gallery. You can borrow a ‘Magic Carpet’ made by artists, these special bags fold out into creative playmats, complete with a selection of toys. You can also borrow a ‘Shipley Explorer’ pack to enjoy with young children anywhere in the gallery. Donations welcome, admission free.


Libraries have a range of children’s books, graphic novels, access to computers, audio books, e books and they run activities and events.  This includes storytelling, comics, crafts and more. There are libraries across Newcastle. Visit their website to find out more about what is going on near you.

What’s going on in Newcastle

Here’s a list of other articles on InformationNOW for more details about what you can enjoy in Newcastle.

Things to do in Newcastle on InformationNOW
Search our Events & Activities
Parks and gardens
Things to do in Newcastle
Summer activities
Holiday activities

Useful websites

The following websites have a wide range of suggestions for days out for children of all ages and special offers, to find something to suit you.

Family Explorers North East is a free service helping families to plan their days out and save money. Families are invited to sign up and receive hand-picked recommendations from 24 cultural venues across the North East every week, making choosing days out quicker and easier for anyone caring for children (including grandchildren, and great grandchildren!).They encourage families to share reviews of their visits so others can see honest and unbiased recommendations from families like them. You also receive discounts, money saving tips and free tools to make exploring the North East easy, affordable and fun. Sign up for Family Explorers North East and access special offers on their website.

Get Into Newcastle lists events, shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, theatres and attractions. You can find money off vouchers too. You can also find the Screen on the Green shows.

Day Out With The Kids (DOWTK) where you can find fun days out for kids across the UK.

Newcastle Action for Parent and Toddler Groups Initiative (NAPI) list all the local parent and toddler groups in the City. There are also a number of Toy Libraries in Newcastle, which loan out toys, books and games for children to play with at home. Contact Newcastle Action for Parent and Toddler Groups Initiative (NAPI) to find out if there is a toy library near you

What’s On North East has ideas and information about upcoming events and activities in the North East.

Kids Days Out lists attractions and activities for kids all over the country.

What’s On 4 Kids helps parents find local classes and activities for Little Ones (baby, toddler to pre-schoolers), school kids and kids party supplies, entertainers and venues.

Last updated: November 24, 2023