Days Out

All Free Activities

COVID-19 UPDATE: There have been so many changes for businesses lately it’s hard to keep up! This section will be updated in due course as things return to normal, in the meantime you can use the ideas here as a rough guide or can check our A-Z of Days Out here for more recent info and links. You can also like our Facebook Page here for updates🙂

As well as the info below, there are more ideas here:

Parks & the Outdoors
Beaches & Water Play

If you run a relevant activity or business that’s not listed yet (or if you’re a parent with a recommendation) please feel free to get in touch with details.

Basic listings are free, information on upgraded listings (with up to 200 words, social media links & photos) can be found here.

Angel of the North

Open access.

Durham Road, Low Eighton, Gateshead, NE9 7TY

A regional landmark with a wingspan of 54 metres, it’s a fun photo-op and a pleasant short paved circular walk around the base on a panoramic hilltop.


Arbeia Roman Fort

Open April – Sep (closed Oct – March)
Monday – Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday: 11am – 4pm
Sunday: 1pm – 4pm

Baring Street, South Shields, South Tyneside, NE33 2BB
Tel: 0191 456 1369

Excavated remains and reconstructions of original buildings, displays of finds and artefacts discovered at the site. Offering regular family events throughout the summer, with crafts, gladiator training and falconry.

Free, donations welcome.

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Wednesday – Monday: 10am – 6pm
Tuesday: 10.30am – 6pm

Gateshead Quays South Shore Road, Gateshead, NE8 3BA
Tel: 0191 478 1810

You can enjoy a changing programme of exhibitions, stunning views, a cafe bar and gift shop. There’s also an open area on Level 2 where kids can get creative with crafts and toys, plus a sensory room and sensory wall for infants.


Bill Quay Community Farm

Closed from 28th Sep 2019 until further notice

Hainingwood Terrace, Bill Quay, Gateshead, NE10 0UE
Tel: 0191 441 9715

Previously an organic rare breeds farm with large and small animals, workshops, farm shop and cafe. However Bill Quay Community Farm Association struggled to raise enough funds and the farm is now in the process of being transferred to Chrysalis Services – who focus on education about farming and opportunities for vulnerable people – with the expectation that the farm will reopen in some form in the near future.

Broom House Farm & Forest Adventure

Farm/Coffee Shop daily: 9am – 5pm
Forest Adventure (weather permitting):
Saturday – Sunday: 10am – 4pm
(Daily during Summer/Autumn school holidays).

Broom House Farm, Near Witton Gilbert, Durham, DH7 6TR
Tel: 01913 718382

A working farm with hens, piglets and cattle (no charge to view animals however no feeding/petting). Plus grassy play area and forest adventure, with puzzling quiz trails, zip wires and tunnels.

Farm: free
Forest Adventure: £5.50
Family (2 adults, 2 kids): £20
Under 2 years: Free

Discovery Museum

Monday – Friday: 10am – 4pm
Weekend: 11am – 4pm

Blandford Square, Newcastle, NE1 4JA
Tel: 0191 232 6789

Exhibitions on local maritime, scientific and technological history. Plus a water play room with a mini River Tyne replica (£1.50), and a ‘play+invent’ space for older children to explore and build inventions (drop-in sessions free, facilitated activities-£1.50).

Free, donations welcome.

Durham Cathedral

Monday – Saturday: 7am – 6pm
Sunday: 7am – 5.30pm
(Later closing during selected dates in July/August)

The Chapter Office, The College, Durham, DH1 3EH
Tel: 0191 386 4266

Welcoming of all faiths and ages, with guided tours and regular toddler/family activities. Borrow a kid’s backpack with toys and games, and see the 300,000 brick Lego replica cathedral. Plus nearby are lots of woodland and riverside walks.

Free, donations welcome.

Exhibition Park

Daylight access.

Exhibition Park, Claremont Road, Newcastle, NE2 4PZ
Tel: 0191 232 8520

Park with grassland, woodland and lake, plus crazy golf, skate park, sports courts, water play trough and playground with sandpit and mini diggers. There’s a Military Vehicle Museum, a cafe and Wylam Brewery serving main meals. Behind the brewery is a miniature train track with free rides 11am-3pm first Sunday of each month (April-Sep plus seasonal specials).

Donations welcome for train rides.

intu Metrocentre

Monday – Friday: 9am – 9pm
Saturday: 9am – 7pm
Sunday: 11am – 5pm

intu Metrocentre, Gateshead, NE11 9YG
Tel: 0191 493 0200

There’s a small free toddler area with soft play shapes upstairs in the Forum, and a free outdoor play area outside the Qube entrance for ages 3-10. ‘Fun Buggy’ ride-on cars can be hired from customer service desks, and for older children there are bungee trampolines in Exhibition Square. From here you also can take a train drive around the centre.

Free play areas.
‘Fun Buggy’ hire: £3 – 4 per hour (£10 returnable cash deposit)


Jesmond Dene

Park: open access
Pet’s Corner, daily: 9am – 4.30pm

Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne And Wear, NE7 7DA
Tel: 0191 281 2082

Woodland stretching over three kilometres with streams, waterfalls and a network of paths and bridges. Some parts of the stream are suitable for paddling. There’s a visitors centre, café and outdoor play area with slides and nest swing. Plus ‘Pet’s Corner’ with pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits and birds.

Free, donations welcome.

Laing Art Gallery

Monday – Saturday: 10am – 4.30pm
Sunday: closed

New Bridge Street, Newcastle, NE1 8AG
Tel: 0191 278 1611

Art and sculpture galleries, including a play space for toddlers with toys, books and dress-up, and weekly pre-school workshops with gallery exploration, practical art activity and story time (term-time only, booking required). Also regular Saturday art classes for 10-15 years (booking required). Cafe serving hot and cold meals.

Free, donations welcome.

Moorhouse Farm Shop & Coffee Shop

Monday – Saturday: 9.30am – 5.30pm
Sunday: 10am – 4pm

21 Station Road, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 6DX
Tel: 01670 789350

Working farm and coffee shop with pigs, pygmy goats, chickens, cows and sheep. Plus outdoor play area with ride-on toys, sandpit, kitchen and shed and indoor construction zone. Nearby are swings, climbing frame and a slide. Serving breakfast, lunch and treats.


National Glass Centre

Daily 10am – 5pm

Liberty Way, Sunderland, SR6 0GL
Tel: 0191 515 5555

Gallery exhibitions, daily glass making demonstrations and a virtual glass making game, plus borrow a kids adventure backpack with activity cards and colouring activities (£5 refundable deposit, ages 4+). Regular family workshops including glass painting, glass fusing and sandblasting. Cafe serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.

Free, donations welcome.

Ouseburn Farm

Tuesday – Friday: 9.30am – 5pm
Weekend: 10.30am – 4.30pm
Monday: Closed (excluding school holidays)

Ouseburn Road, Ouseburn, Newcastle, NE1 2PA

A not-for-profit charity with pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, lizards and tortoises, and animal feeding and petting. Plus a garden and orchard and a cafe serving homemade delights.

Free, donations welcome.

Sage Gateshead

Open from 9am, 7 days a week

St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead, NE8 2JR
Tel: 0191 443 4666

Enjoy fun, creative and engaging family concerts and workshops. You can also make a visit for the free children’s playspace, crafts, and cafe.

Free entry for visit, performances prices vary.
(FREE metro travel to/from Gateshead, retain concert ticket for inspection on Metro).

Shipley Art Gallery

Tuesday – Friday: 10am – 4pm
Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Monday & Sunday: Closed

Shipley Art Gallery, Prince Consort Road, NE8 4JB
Tel: (0191) 477 1495

Five gallery spaces showing a range of exhibitions, with regular events including family activities. There is a children’s play space with toys and books, plus you can request a ‘Magic Carpet’ play mat or Toddler Backpack with additional toys and creative activities.

Free entry, donations welcome.

South Shields Museum & Art Gallery

Monday – Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday: 11am – 4pm

Ocean Road, South Shields, South Tyneside, NE33 2JA
Tel: 0191 456 8740

Works of art and interactive exhibits on local social, industrial and maritime history, and 20th century author Catherine Cookson. Plus Creature Corner with live reptiles and insects and free family activities during school holidays. Cafe serving hot and cold refreshments.

Free, donations welcome.

St Mary’s Heritage Centre

Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 4pm
Sunday: closed

Oakwellgate, Gateshead, NE8 2AU
Tel: 0191 433 4699

Medieval, grade one-listed building formerly a parish church, with displays about local history and a heritage bookshop. Also events and workshops including children’s activities, local history talks, tours, concerts and performances.


Stephenson Railway Museum

April – Oct, weekends: 11am – 4pm
Plus bank holidays and school holidays.

Middle Engine Lane, North Shields, North Tyneside, NE29 8DX
Tel: 0191 200 7146

Steam railway museum with interactive exhibitions and a range locomotives and carriages. On Sundays, bank holidays (and selected dates) take a four mile return trip on a vintage locomotive in 1950s passenger carriages.

Free, donations welcome.

Train ride: £5 – £7
Under 5 years: free
Family: £17
(pay once, ride all day)

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens

Monday – Saturday: 10am – 4pm
Sunday: 12pm – 4pm

Burdon Road, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR1 1PP
Tel: 0191 553 2323

Museum with interactive exhibits on local history. Winter Gardens greenhouse with  tropical plants, water features, treetop walkway and dinosaurs hidden among the plants.

Free, donations welcome.

The Great North Museum (Hancock)

Monday – Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday: 10am – 4pm
Sunday: 11am – 4pm

Barras Bridge, Newcastle, NE2 4PT
Tel: 0191 208 6765

Interactive displays on Natural Science, Living Planet, World Culture, Archaeology and Geology. Plus a Planetarium, live animal tanks, virtual aquarium, and full sized elephant and shark models. There are regular baby/toddler/family workshops and events.

Free, donations welcome.

The Word UK

Monday – Thursday: 9am – 7pm
Friday: 9am – 5pm
Weekends: 10am – 4pm

The Word, 45 Market Place, South Shields, South Tyneside, NE33 1JF
Tel: 0191 427 1818

Various family-friendly activities, events and exhibitions. ‘Amazing Space’ exhibition includes space-themed stories and film (until 23/2/20). Also regular storytelling sessions with special effects (booking required), over 80 playable console games, and workshops using 3D printers and vinyl/laser cutters (booking required). Cafe serving breakfasts, lunches and snacks.


Wheelbirks Parlour

Monday: closed*
Tuesday – Sunday: 10am – 5pm
*open bank holidays

The Parlour, Wheelbirks Farm, Stocksfield, Northumberland, NE43 7HY
Tel: 07717 282014

Working farm with Jersey cattle, horses and chickens. Indoor play area with baby and toddler toys including play house, kitchen and carved wooden train. Outdoor play area with sandpit, slide and nest swing. Serving breakfast, lunch and main meals and award winning ice cream.