How great was it to be a kid and finish school for a full 6 weeks? If only we could bottle that feeling (and perhaps take advantage of an extra-long summer break!). If you have a brood of restless kids on your hands – we’ve got some great suggestions of how to fill your summer holidays with things to do in Newcastle and Gateshead. You’ve got one week of the school holidays under your belt and the rest are sprawled out in front of you. The sunshine is still beaming but this is the North East and try as it might, rain does not have to stop play! Here are some indoor and outdoor activities to have up your sleeve.

Whatever the weather!

Great Exhibition of the North 2018

Taking place throughout the summer and across Newcastle and Gateshead - you will find activities, exhibitions, events, workshops, talks and performances to keep all ages occupied during the summer holidays. And all this is FREE!

Rocket at Discovery Museum for Great Exhibition of the North

The Valley Climb Newcastle

Indoor Events – wet weather days

The Valley Climbing Centre, Ouseburn

Open seven days a week and with a range of boulder challenges and walls to suit all ages, a trip to The Valley Climbing Centre is a brilliant way to burn off energy this summer. Based in a large warehouse on Byker Bank, enjoy scrambling round their specially built walls and putting your mind to the test as you scale to the very top. There are hot showers and coffee on hand too so all bases covered!

Where Your Wings Were: David Almond at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books

Open every day during the school holidays, 10am – 5pm (closes at 4pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays)

Embark on a journey through Tyneside like never before, discovering how its landscapes, language and people inspired the magical stories of David Almond. Delve into the writer’s dreamlike world where tales such as Skellig and My Dad’s a Birdman took root. Bringing to life Almond’s archive (which is housed at Seven Stories' Felling-based archive), the exhibition explores themes of love, loss and hope though characters real and imagined. Take part in an imaginative and interactive tour of David Almond's exhibition every day - the 11.30am Nest Makers Tour is tailored to children under 5 and their families while the 2pm Magpie Tour is best suited for children aged 6+ and their families. Get creative in the Summer Studio Takeover all summer. There are stories, activities and a top-notch bookshop and cafe for you to enjoy while you're at it!

Self-Build Utopias at Northern Stage

Rolling programme until 9 September. Open 10am-6pm (excluding Mondays 6, 13 & 27 August)

Each week at Northern Stage, different artists will create exhibitions, installations and performances that imagine a more creative, sustainable and fun future. Design your own world where anything is possible!

Mr Mulligan's Space Golf

Open daily

Dust off your moon boots and hold onto your helmets as Mr Mulligan prepares to launch the first Geordies into space! Newgate Street is the launchpad of a space-themed adventure golf venue, Mr Mulligan’s Space Golf, which has three nine-hole courses to test the dexterity of astronauts old and young. Get competitive and see who has the best swing!

Robots - Then & Now at Life Science Centre

Open daily, Monday - Saturday 10am-6pm & Sundays 11am - 6pm

Life Science Centre is a great day out. Explore their new exhibition Robots - Then & Now and complete their special summer Robots Activity Trail. Try some real experiments, design, construct and create in the Making Space and meet Rusty, an extra-terrestrial robot, who will guide you on journey as part of their new and exciting 4D motion ride.

Dusty Duck Ranger Adventures at WWT Washington Wetland Centre

Outdoor Events – sun’s shining, everyone out!

Dusty's Wildlife Rangers at WWT Washington Wetland Centre

Until 2 September 2018

There's mini-beast hunting, animal track spotting, duck navigation and insect hotel creating on the cards at WWT Washington Wetland Centre. (We're intrigued to find out what exactly Duck Navigation entails!) If that wasn't enough - Grab your FREE Dusty’s Wildlife Rangers logbook and take on exciting challenges while recording your findings – just like a real-life ranger.

Cullercoats Bike and Kayak

Summer open hours: Mondays, Fridays & Sundays: 9am-6pm, Tuesdays - Thursdays: 9am-dusk

You could be forgiven for thinking we'd been transported to Hawaii this summer with the stunning wall-to-wall sunshine we've enjoyed. Make the most of this unprecedented summer weather and head out to the coast. Cullercoats Bike and Kayak have a cracking range of activities for you to take part in during the school holidays including a chance to try Paddleboarding, coasteering and kayaking. Or simply hire a bike and pedal around the scenic coastline. Check out all they have on offer and book an adventure.

Go Ape, Matfen Hall

Open daily during the summer

Bring out your inner ape and enjoy up to three hours high up in the trees at Go Ape, Matfen Hall. Take on zip wires, Tarzan swings, rope ladders and a variety of obstacles and crossings. Enjoy 15% off per person with a special promotional code valid until 30 November 2018.

Beamish Museum: Summer of fun

Saturday 21 July – Wednesday 29 August, themed weekends at various dates

Every day has a different theme at Beamish this summer. Whether you want to learn a new skill on Try it Tuesdays or find out what will be involved on Thunderous Thursdays – the award-winning living, working museum has plenty to keep all the family busy.

Explore the latest addition to Beamish Museum. Joe the Quilter's Cottage has just opened and is a spectacular recreation of the "lost" home of renowned Georgian quilter Joseph Hedley who was murderd in 1826 in an appalling crime that shocked the nation.

A family day ticket to Beamish museum costs from £43.50 but is then valid all year so you can make as many return visits as you can fit into twelve months.

NE1 Screen on the Green

Screenings until 2 September 2018

With all this glorious sunshine - you'll need your suncream and a hat! What a difference from the usual school summer holidays? Head to NE1’s Screen on the Green in Old Eldon Square and claim a giant deckchair. There is a packed programme of free films - 84 movies to be exact - and with a choice of two a day you're bound to find something you love from classics like Mary Poppins (30 August, 12noon) and Grease (17 August, 6pm) to more recent blockbusters such as Dunkirk (1 August, 6pm), Thor: Ragnarok (19 August, 3pm) and Moana (24 August, 12pm). Keep up to date with the full NE1 Screen on the Green listings.

We have a whole host of other events listed on our What's On so take a look for more inspiration of things to do with the kids during the summer holidays. Sign up to receive regular emails from us to be in the know all the time!

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