It can sometimes be difficult to keep children and young people occupied, so if you are responsible for entertaining your children or grandchildren you may find some of these suggestions useful! Here’s a list of local organisations that offer a range of art, musical, historical, interactive and science based activities for children.
More information on other activites that children may enjoy can be found in our sections on
Places to visit with children
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 in addition to their changing art exhibitions has a range of free activities for children and families, including a permanent interactive play space. They also offer drop-in art activities for children under 13 years old and their families every Saturday and Sunday between 2pm and 4pm. Admission is free.
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 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 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 an entrance fee.
Monkwearmouth Station Museum is now permanently closed.
The Sage Gateshead has a programme of participatory 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 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 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’ to enjoy with babies or toddlers anywhere in the gallery. Made by artists, these special bags fold out into creative playmats, complete with a selection of toys, treasures and creative activity ideas to help little ones enjoy the exhibitions. You can also borrow a ‘Shipley Explorer’ pack to enjoy with young children anywhere in the gallery. The packs are full of resources, activities and materials to help you explore and enjoy the gallery spaces. Please ask at reception to borrow these resources. Donations welcome, admission free.
Sure Start Children’s Centres are for children under five years old and their families. Staff are on hand to give help and advice around, health, parenting and family support, play sessions and childcare, finding a job or training. The centres also offer the opportunity to meet other parents, carers and grandparents. Please visit their website to find the centre closest to you.
Other Useful Information and Organisations
Local Community Centres often offer a range of children’s activities, holiday activities, family activities or parent and toddler groups.
- Denton Youth and Community Project
- Denton Burn Community Association
- Fawdon Community Centre
- West Denton Community Centre
- Gosforth Garden Village Association
- The Blackfriars Centre
- Chapel House and District Community Association (CHADCA)
- Heaton Community Centre
- St Ann’s Community Association
- St Martin’s Centre in Byker
- Walkerville Community Centre
- West End Women and Girls Centre
Libraries often offer a range of children’s activities
The following websites also have a wide range of suggestions for days out for children of all ages and special offers, so hopefully you should be able to find something to suit you.
- Newcastle Support Directory
- 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 will 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
- What’s On North East
- Day Out With The Kids
- Kids Days Out
- What’s On 4 Little Ones?
- 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
Last updated: February 12, 2020