Days out in Newcastle

Family day out in Newcastle? We’ve hunted high and low for the best things to do. Here’s our step by step guide to a family day out in Newcastle.

Grab breakfast at the Long Play Cafe

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and you’ll certainly need it for a day rampaging around the ‘Toon’ with the little ones. Start the day as you mean to go on with a hearty breakfast at the Long Play Cafe, a short from the station.

One of the best cafes in Newcastle, the Long Play has friendly staff, great food alongside and massive collection of vinyl which you can buy. Enjoy a breakfast with the family (as well as some great tunes) before heading out into the city for fun.

Bags of fun at the Life Science Centre

Our next stop is the Life Science Centre. There are lots of family-friendly things to do including interactive activities. In winter there’s an outdoor ice rink. You could probably spend the whole day here, but here are the top picks:

  • 4D Motion Ride - journey into the lushness of the Amazon in the centre’s 4D motion ride
  • Planetarium - learn about the world of astronomy through animated films and activities
  • Young Explorers’ Zone - tailored for the under-sevens, the explorer zone features a garden with a tree house, a kitchen and a recycling centre. They can grow fruit and veg and sort out the rubbish for recycling!

The power of the story

Next, walk (about 20 mins) or catch a bus or metro to Seven Stories, a dedicated children’s book museum. Get your kids’ creative brains whirring with books, dressing-up, creative writing sessions and craft activities.

British children’s books are some of the most widely read in the world, from Alice in Wonderland to the Gruffalo. But as well as being a celebration of the printed word, Seven Stories also delves into the practice of making books. Take a look at the events section of its site to find out what’s going on when you visit. It’s a must-see on a family day out in Newcastle.

Lunch!

You’re bound to be feeling peckish after a morning spent riding into the Amazon, seeing stars and galaxies and learning about the love of the printed word.

Our top picks for family-friendly eats in Newcastle include Nando’s at the Gate (here’s the kids’ menu), Piccolinos on the city’s Quayside is great for children and there’s family-run Italian joint Bistro Neri on Station Road. It runs a children’s meal deal - pizza or pasta with ice-cream and a soft drink for £4.50.

So what’s in store for your afternoon?

Treasure Trail

Head to Newcastle’s beautiful Quayside and kick off your afternoon with a fun treasure trail. A great way to see the city, we found this one called Wor Jackie’s Toon Trail. It costs about £7 but it’s worth it. Download the trail to your smartphone or order a postal version.

Get your heads together to solve the clues as you work your way along the trail spotting hints on statues, monuments and signs around the city. There are plenty of places to stop for a rest as you go round too.

Beach fun!

If the weather is good, how about a trip to the beach? You can get to Whitley Bay from Newcastle centre on the metro or bus (takes about 40 minutes). Why not enjoy a seafront walk, build some sandcastles on the beach and grab a bite to eat before making your way back to Newcastle city centre?

Limbering up!

Get active by heading to Climb Newcastleabout 30 minutes’ walk away from the station (or jump on a bus). You could make this your last big thing-to-do before heading for the train home. Newcastle’s major indoor climbing centre, Climb Newcastle offers more than 200 climbs and has something for people of all abilities, so if you’ve never climbed before, have no fear. The centre runs kids’ climbing coaching sessions too and has a dedicated childrens’ area.

History at Castle Keep

Making your way back to the station you’ll come across Castle Keep and Black Gate, an ancient Norman monument. The children will love wandering around and exploring its ancient walls and there are some great views of the city and River Tyne from the rooftop.

Finish with a quick bite to eat on Pink Lane

Head back to the station and wander up Pink Lane (just over the road from the station’s main entrance) for a drink and bite to eat before you go home. There are plenty of pubs and cafes to choose from but we like the Forth. Great pub food and why not treat yourself to a beer or glass of wine at the end of your day. Take your time too - the station is about one minute away so you don’t have to rush.

Family fun in Gateshead

Newcastle’s neighbour Gateshead is a hop away from the city centre and well worth a visit. Check out the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and Saltwell Park.

Wherever you choose to go, Newcastle has all the ingredients you need for a fantastic family day out.

Have a great day out with the family in Newcastle.