The Best Things to Do With Kids in Newcastle, UK

The Angel of the North is a must-visit landmark in Newcastle that kids will love
The Angel of the North is a must-visit landmark in Newcastle that kids will love | © Anthony Winter / Unsplash
Photo of Richard Franks
Freelance Travel & Music Writer6 October 2020

Newcastle upon Tyne is one of the most popular cities in the UK for a number of reasons, including its diverse culture, its fascinating history and, of course, its abundance of fun things to do. From Parklands Mini Golf to the Spy Mission Treasure Trail, there’s no shortage of exciting, child-friendly activities in Newcastle. Here are the top 15.

BBC Newcastle Tour

Building
Map View
Step behind the scenes of some of the best-known television and radio programmes with this insightful tour of BBC Newcastle. With a chance to see the inner workings behind live BBC broadcasts, as well as a chance to sit in the director’s chair yourself, the experience is perfect for kids interested in all things television. The tours themselves run between live broadcasts, which means no two visits are the same, and they are ideal for children aged six to 12.

Life Science Centre

Museum
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A view of the Centre of Life, Newcastle Upon Tyne
© Mark Hope / Alamy Stock Photo
Although the mention of a museum might lead to moans from the little ones, they won’t be bored when visiting the fascinating Life Science Centre. Giving guests the chance to live the life of an inventor, work behind the scenes as a researcher or test experiments like a real-life scientist, the place will interest the whole family. Kids can let their curiosity loose in a whole village dedicated to science, space, nature, construction and so much more. The Life Science Centre is open throughout the week and is suitable for all ages.

Seven Stories

Museum, Art Gallery
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With seven floors of exhibitions, storytelling and learning spaces to explore and discover, Seven Stories is the perfect place to let yours and your children’s imagination run wild. With unique exhibitions showcasing some of the best-known children’s authors and stories, a visit here will be a memorable experience for the whole family. Suitable for all ages, Seven Stories is a must-visit for any young bookworms.

Laing Art Gallery

Art Gallery, Bridge
Map View
Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. UK
© Islandstock / Alamy Stock Photo
Founded in 1901, the Laing Art Gallery has been enthralling families ever since. Encompassing all matters of British art, with a special focus on oil paintings, watercolours, ceramics, silver and glassware, the gallery is a great way to introduce the younger generation to the country’s best cultural heritage. With an impressive amount of displays dedicated to the local area, the Laing Art Gallery will show your kids a different side to the city of Newcastle.

Parklands Mini Golf

Sports Center
Map View
Perfect for a sunny summer day out, the Parklands Mini Golf course is an excellent choice to get the family out of the house. Perfect for all ages and skill levels, from putting novices to professionals, the 18 holes of bright putting greens, challenging obstacles and exciting water features are sure to get the competition going among you and the kids.

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Art Gallery
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Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (BALTIC), River Tyne, Newcastle, England, UK
© travelbild / Alamy Stock Photo
A beautiful building found on the South Bank of the River Tyne, the Baltic Centre celebrates all aspects of contemporary art – encouraging learning and non-linear thinking. An eye-opening experience for the whole family, the gallery has welcomed over 7 million guests since its opening in 2002. With over 204 exhibitions to explore, the centre is an extremely popular attraction in the city; and with new exhibitions popping up frequently, it’s definitely worth return visits.

Stepney Bank Stables

Sports Center
Map View
For kids who want to take their first horse ride, Stepney Bank Stables is a great place to give it a go. Offering individual lessons or group bookings for riders of all levels, Stepney Bank Stables is a unique equestrian experience that caters for everyone. The stables themselves are dedicated to making horse riding accessible to the whole community, allowing riders to build confidence and gain life skills on well-looked-after horses.

Angel of the North

Architectural Landmark
Map View
One of the most well-known landmarks in the North of England and a welcoming sight for those returning to the city, the Angel of the North is a must-see for everyone visiting Newcastle upon Tyne. First installed in 1998, the daunting sculpture stands at just over 20m (66ft) high and is made from 200 tonnes of steel. Visiting this unique piece of art will give kids a lasting impression of their time in the city.

Spy Mission Treasure Trail

Take the story of Newcastle into your own hands with a unique Spy Mission Trail. This online guidebook takes you through the heart of Newcastle, where you and your family will work together to solve the mystery, cracking clues along the way. This 3km (2mi) trail can be done at your own pace, with a free mobile service if you happen to get stuck on a clue. For those who manage to complete their mission, teams are entered into a monthly draw to win up to £100. Guidebooks can be purchased online through the Treasure Trails website.

Victoria Tunnel

Museum
Map View
First used as a wagonway in the 19th century to transport coal underneath the city, the extraordinary Victoria Tunnel was then converted into an air-raid shelter during the long years of the Second World War. Nowadays, the Victoria Tunnel offers guests the chance to relive these fascinating moments in history through interactive exhibitions. Suitable for children over seven years of age, the Victorian Tunnel is a great way for kids to learn about some of the local history of Newcastle.

Gibside

Architectural Landmark
Map View
View from the Long Walk to the Palladian Chapel, begun in 1760 to the design of James Paine, at Gibside, Newcastle upon Tyne. George Bowes inherited the estate in 1722 and landscaped the grounds around Gibside Hall.
© The National Trust Photolibrary / Alamy Stock Photo

One of the country’s few surviving 18th-century designed landscapes, the Gibside Estate is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city for young ones. With expansive green areas – perfect for playing – and woodland for them to explore, the estate is a great way to get children into the great outdoors. Heading into the nearby Derwent Valley, you’ll be able to find several recreation areas, as well as the excellent Strawberry Castle play area, offering an ideal spot to take a break.

TeamSport Karting

Sports Center
Map View

For parents looking to get their kids behind the wheel early, TeamSport Karting is an excellent way to get their adrenaline going. This state-of-the-art go-karting track has options available for everyone, with specific racing packages catering for kids and families. If you’re looking for a pit stop in-between bouts on the track, TeamSport also has a fully licensed bar and a kids menu available to make sure the whole team is fuelled up for the next race.

No Limits Paintball and Laser

Paintball Venue
Map View

Found just five minutes outside Newcastle city centre, No Limits Paintball and Laser makes for an excellent day out. Covering a massive 1,394sqm (15,000sqft) and with game zones covering two floors, it’s definitely one of the best paintball and laser centres in the country. Offering both paintball (suitable for slightly older kids) and laser tag (which is great for all ages), No Limits caters for everyone. With a team of fully trained marshals on hand to deck you and the family out, you’ll be going head to head in no time.

Canny Crafty

Store
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Found along Salters Road in Gosforth, Canny Crafts is a fantastic environment for your kids to get creative. With pottery painting, crafts and clay prints available throughout the day, it will keep them entertained while you grab a quick coffee or cake from the cafe. An ideal place for birthday parties and baby showers, Canny Crafts is definitely a place you should remember when looking for something suitable for both kids and adults alike.

Bill Quay Community Farm

Zoo
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First opened in 1986, this once derelict site is now a fantastic 10ha (25-acre) community farm, dedicated to outreach programmes as well as education aimed at younger people. With a whole host of farm animals to interact with, including pigs, sheep and goats, you’ll find it’s a perfect opportunity for kids to learn more about animal welfare and day-to-day life on a farm. This non-profit farm is free upon entry, and therefore accessible to everyone, and has a wonderful on-site cafe, with a delicious choice of coffee and cakes on offer.

Additional reporting by Nicholas Grantham

These recommendations were updated on October 6, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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