Here’s some ideas for things to do on your own, with a partner or with your children or grandchildren.
These articles on InformationNOW can help you discover what’s on your doorstep and a little further afield:
- Parks, Gardens Forests and Woodlands
- Day trips and visits
- Children’s activities
- Accessible venues in Newcastle
- Taking a holiday
Getting out and about
Summer is the perfect time to get out and about and InformationNOW has an article on day trips and visits that may help you plan your activities.
The Elders Council publish an annual Outings with a concessionary bus pass leaflet. It’s surprising how far you can travel for free with a concessionary travel pass. Day trip ideas include journeys from Newcastle to: Warkworth Castle, Morpeth, Rothbury, Richmond and Whitby. Most journeys from Newcastle are by Arriva or Go North East and start from Eldon Square bus station. Times are to Monday to Saturday unless otherwise stated. Some journeys use trains and a senior railcard.
Travelling around with your children or grandchildren this summer? Or do you have children under 16 who need bus and metro fares to get about? Have you thought about applying for a Pop card from Nexus to make life a little easier.
Up to 3 children aged 11 and under can travel for free on Metro and the Shields Ferry, all day, every day when accompanied by a fare paying adult.
Why not keep young ones occupied on journeys and download Metro’s Little Book of things to do
Explore the North East coast with the Crab and Compass trails. The trails are accessible for all, including wheelchair and pushchair friendly. Each trail costs over £10 including activity sheets, map and colourful character pin.
Take the Belsay bus to Belsay Hall, Castle and gardens on weekends during July and August including the bank holiday. At the moment, all visits to Belsay must be pre booked. Online bookings can be made by visiting the Belsay website. Use the code 20BelsayBus to claim your 20% discount.
Forestry England blog lists 15 of the best picnic spots to visit in the North East.
Our Place – Toon Trails takes participants on journeys through the city that will have them jumping, posing, and exploring many of its hidden gems.
Aln Valley Railway The dream of the Aln Valley Railway trust is to link castle to coast, through to restoration of the railway line between Alnwick and Alnmouth. This heritage railway attraction offers both pacer and steam train services, and although the whole length of track is not yet finished visitors can enjoy from Lionheart Station to Greenrigg Bridge. It has traditional locomotives, a cafe, shop and playground. 0300 030 3311
Chesters Roman Fort hosts falconry and a summer adventure quest at Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland on 24th and 25th July.
Life Science Centre book online to enjoy a live show full of exciting bangs and explosions. Explore what Tomorrow’s World could look like, with green-themed activities that include making windmills and wind-powered toys. They also have a LEGO Creations exhibition.
Newcastle Cathedral will begin some activities from 10am to 2pm in August. Explore the exciting changes and discover brand new features including family trails and activity stations.
Seven Stories Story Catchers conjure the spirits of the wood on a nature ramble with a difference. With a special map to keep you on track you’ll explore the Ouseburn Valley and ‘craft on the go’ with interactive nature activities along the way. Booking required. Ages 5+ Inspired by The Lost Spells book.
Leazes Park host a travelling outdoor stage with a free line up of local and national performances by Northern Stage offering you a taster of the kinds of show you can expect to see when they re-open later in August. 30th July to 1st August.
City Stadium park host Tyne Rising as part of the puppetry festival on 21st and 22nd August and live stream 31st August.
Kielder Observatory events find out more about astronomy. Booking essential.
Grassholme Observatory has a number of events including family astronomy and late night dark skies. Booking essential.
Museums and Galleries
See our information for further museums and galleries to visit.
Some venues still require pre-booking, but for most venues a ticket is no longer needed. Details about what to expect at each of the venues can be found at the links below.
Bowes Museum offers textiles and dressing up. garden games, a play area, picnic areas, woodland walks, nature and fairy trails in 20 acres of parkland and textiles dressing up
Discovery Museum hosts family fun including: Wonky Olympics, Crazy Golf
Great North Museum: Hancock hosts Other Worlds: The Art of Atomhawk exhibition which looks at art and video games
Hatton Gallery hosts Expanded interiors re-staged
Laing Art Gallery hosts the Challenging Convention exhibition
Shipley Art Gallery Family arts festival on Tuesdays and Thursdays
Stephenson Steam Railway heritage train rides Suits all ages (with adults) Sunday 4th July, Sunday 18th July, Thursday 22nd July, Sunday 25th July, Thursday 29th July
From £4, entry to the Museum only is free.
Woodhorn discover some of Northumberland’s strangest stories, folklore and curious characters at Jonny Hannah’s exhibition ‘Northumberland Folk’.
St James and St Basil’s Sunday afternoon jazz sessions at 3pm in the garden. Book if you want the option to be seated in the church if there is bad weather. Peter and the Wolf on 25th July
The Sage’s very own Royal Northern Symphonia Sounds of Summer. Free pop up performances across Newcastle, Gateshead and Tyneside including: Quayside, Exhibition Park and Saltwell Park. Each free pop up performance will last around 45 minutes but there’s no pressure to stay for the whole thing.
Northern Pride festival online, 24th and 25th July It’s possible to get more of the festival atmosphere by booking a table at Central Park, Times Square
InformationNOW has a number of articles that may help you plan your keeping active routines:
Yoga on the Quayside this summer. Booking essential.
There are lots of regular cycling sessions run by British Cycling Let’s Ride Scheme. Whether you want to learn, take a short or a long ride; ride as a family, as a female or male group, options are available.
Look out for family and children’s tennis at Gosforth Lawn Tennis Club and the Northumberland Club. You don’t have to be a member to take part, but there is a cost for their programmes.
Best Summer Ever
Holiday Activities run the ‘Newcastle Best Summer / Spring / Winter Ever’ schemes. The free school holiday activity scheme in Newcastle for 4 to 16 year olds. This support is for families who receive free school meals. Community organisations across Newcastle provide free activity sessions and a meal for your child. You can choose from a range of fun, educational and sociable activities such as:
Newcastle City Council and StreetGames are working with community partners to give children and young people in Newcastle a happy and enjoyable school holidays.
Visit their website for more information about the activities available, where they’re taking place and how to book.
Best Summer Ever Leisure Centres Activities
Leisure Centres offer a range of activities during the Summer. (Check back here for 2022 partner information)
What’s on guides for Newcastle and the North East
Get into Newcastle will be screening Northern Pride, the Olympic Opening ceremony, films and much more at the Screen on the Green, Old Eldon square, over the next 6 weeks. There’ll be free 2 screenings a day.
The Northumberland Guide includes: coastal guide, attractions, castles and accommodation and places to eat.
The Northumbrian Magazine gives ideas on heritage and coastal walks and gardens and houses that are open in the Summer.
What’s on North East provide an event’s listing for the North East, ranging from cultural activities, to comedy, and children’s activities
Last updated: April 7, 2022