Are you looking for things to do with the kids in Newcastle, Gateshead and the North East during the school summer holidays? 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. It may be daunting to have the school holidays sprawled out in front of you and although our fingers are crossed, the sunshine is not a given so it’s always good to have options of what you can do when it’s raining in Newcastle and Gateshead. Here are some indoor and outdoor activities to have up your sleeve in the North East – although whatever the weather, you’ll have fun!

Indoor Events – What To Do In Newcastle When It’s Raining

Valley Climb in Newcastle, climbing centre for all ages

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!

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!

With a whole host of activities taking place every day and some enthusiastic story time performances in their magical Attic – children will love exploring Seven Stories. Don’t miss their monthly events - Dress-Up Weekend and Brilliant Bookswap as well as two writing masterclasses for children aged 7+ and their families.

In case you hadn’t heard – Great North Museum: Hancock are currently hosting a very famous Diplodocus cast. Meet Dippy this summer as part of his tour from the Natural History Museum. Tickets are free but it’s advised that you pre-book to make sure you get the time slot you need.

Discovery Museum is a brilliant free day out with the family all year around but this summer, their inviting you to Build a Summer of Fun (20 July – 1 September). We know how much you love LEGO so head along to the Discovery to see exhibitions, take part in trails and get hands-on with craft activities and science experiments. There may be small charges for some of the activities but entrance to the main museum is free.

Saturday 20 July – Thursday 25 July 2019. Recommended that you book in advance.  

Get creative and let the children use their imagination to build sculptures and installations at BALTIC. Think arty-soft play and you’re halfway there!

Saturday 27 July - Sunday 4 August

Brand new for 2019 – Newcastle Improv Festival is a brilliant and innovative festival that will have you chuckling all summer! With events for all ages – there are plenty of workshops, performances and masterclasses especially for your little comedians.

Life Science Centre is a must-visit attraction in Newcastle with hands-on exhibits to test, inspire and educate families. Check out their Game On 2.0 exhibition and Naughty Monsters in the Sky show in the planetarium.

Newcastle Castle is rich in history and bursting with stories. The attraction is a brilliant day out for the family and also has excellent views across the River Tyne from the roof. Open 7-days a week, Newcastle Castle is a great starting point for anyone looking to discover more about Newcastle's history.

  • Metrognomes Summer Shows at intu Metrocentre

Make shopping for new school shoes a fun day out for all the family with a trip to intu Metrocentre in Gateshead. Join the shopping centre's Metrognomes as they perform daily between 29 July - 26 August 2019. The show is free so get ready for circus performers, fun tricks and juggling galore. Marshall and Chase will also be making an appearance - but don't worry, there isn't an emergency! Say hi to your favourite Paw Patrol pals on Friday 9 August from 10am. Keeps your eyes open as you wander the shopping mall as there is chance to win big with their Disney on Ice competition.

Outdoor Events – Sun’s Shining, Everyone Out!*

*Although, you just need a good pair of wellies and a pack-a-mac to enjoy the following activities whatever the weather!

Things to do in Newcastle and Gateshead during the summer holidays

Saturday 20 July – Sunday 1 September

Whatever the weather – a trip to WWT Washington Wetland Centre is a brilliant family day out in the North East. However, it’s best to save it for a sunny day to get the most out of wandering their beautiful reserves. This summer, pick up a trail map and set off into the wild to see how many cool creatures and animals you can spot following the challenges and activities as you go. Meet the cheeky otters and flamboyant flamingos too at daily talks.

Summer open hours:  Open every day 9am – 7pm

Make the most of living to being so close to the beautiful North East coastline. 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.

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. 

Saturday 20 July – Wednesday 28 August, themed weekends at various dates

You will find fun at Beamish all summer long with activities and things to do with the kids taking place every day. A day out at Beamish Museum is always a great choice as the award-winning living, working museum has plenty to keep all the family busy. Check out their brand, new addition and the first building in their exciting 1950s area.

A family day ticket to Beamish museum costs between £36.50 - £51 depending on the number of children but is then valid all year so you can make as many return visits as you can fit into twelve months.

Until Sunday 1 September

Head to NE1’s Screen on the Green in Old Eldon Square and claim a giant deckchair. There is a packed programme of free, outdoor film screening - 84 movies to be exact - and with a choice of two films a day you're bound to find something you love. While you’re in the centre of Newcastle, relax on a giant grass sofa or get competitive with large, outdoor games during the Blackett Street Family Fun Weekends.

If you’re looking for free fun with the kids while you’re pottering around the city centre – head to NewcastleGateshead’s iconic Quayside and build a sandcastle on the legendary Quayside Seaside.

Wednesday 21 August - Friday 1 November 2019

A herd of colourful elephants will trumpet into the North East for a vibrant parade around the region (starts 21 August). This is the ideal free activity which will keep children occupied for days on end and get them burning off energy in hunt of the next elephant. The St Oswald’s Elmer Parade is an innovative trial around the city. Look out for activities at venues and attractions to celebrate Elmer the Elephant including Seven Stories and Tyne Theatre and Opera House.  

Weekends until 14 September

Kynren is an epic tale told as spectacular outdoor theatre in Bishop Auckland.

New for 2019, Kynren explores the Year of the Viking where visitors can experience a new Viking Village pre-show and an epic ‘Viking Attack’.

English Heritage summer activities just got feisty with a Knights' Tournament and Legendary Joust. Families looking for things to do in the North East this summer will love a visit to Belsay Hall, Gardens and Castle which is in Northumberland and only 30-minute drive from Newcastle.

Mysteries and secrets lurk around every corner as Mary makes new friends and encounters magical creatures in this adaptation of children’s classic – The Secret Garden. The outdoor theatre performance will take place in Gibside National Trust’s stunning wall garden.

Discover the secrets and gruesome scientific facts lurking in The Alnwick Garden’s Poison Garden this summer. The Poison Garden Tours are just one of the activities taking place every day during the summer holidays.

The Auckland Project is centred in and around the 900-year-old Auckland Castle, which was home to the mighty Prince Bishops of Durham. The seven-attraction venue will also include a Spanish Gallery and restaurant, Faith Museum, Mining Art Gallery, Auckland Tower visitor centre, re-imagined Walled Garden and Deer Park. This summer, explore the Deer Park and Bishop Trevor Gallery, taking in scenic views and picturesque paintings along the way on a self-guided trail. Then, head to No.42 and join artistic duo Creative Pop to make your own piece of art, inspired by what you've seen.

Knight School, Wizarding Week and Medieval crafts and dressing up make up just some of the hands-on activities and themed events for families at the fabulous Alnwick Castle this summer. Top tip – buy your tickets online and save 10%. You can then unlock your ticket to Alnwick Castle when you arrive and convert to receive unlimited free returns within 12 months.  

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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