Summer Activities in the North East, that don’t need to be pre-booked!
You can enjoy some fantastic family-friendly events and activities in the North East during Summer 2022. If you need a bit of flexibility and spontaneity, there are plenty of great ideas below with no pre-booking required.
There’s fun for all ages with family fun days, kids clubs, live music, arts & crafts, funfairs and much more. Most of the options below are free (or just a few pounds) so are a great option for summer fun without breaking the bank.
You can browse the A-Z below or check our quick guide in date order here. More events will be added throughout the summer so do check back, and if you have any recommendations to add, please do get in touch here🙂
Details are subject to change, please check for the latest updates using the links below. It’s also advisable to check again on the day in case of last minute changes.
Arbeia Roman Fort 📌 Arbeia Roman Fort, South Shields 📆 July-Aug 2022 👉 Free (donations welcome), no booking needed, more info here. 🌞 A range of events throughout the summer including a pop-up choir, Dr Bike, weekly Crafty Romans on Wednesdays with drop-in crafts, and demonstrations and ‘Meet the Romans’ on selected Saturdays.
BALTIC Gateshead – Family Activities Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead, NE8 3BA Wednesdays-Sundays, 23rd July – 4th Sep 2022 Free, no booking needed, more info here. 🌞 A range of timetabled activities throughout the week, from Toddler Time and Wonder & Wander toddler tour, workshops for ages 5-12 and for 13-19 years, Hula Fridays and a self-guided scenic walk here from BALTIC Gateshead to Dunston Staiths with fun family activities, and more.
Big Local Gateshead – Summer Events Gateshead Tuesdays, 2nd-30th Aug 2022 Free, no booking needed, more info here. 🌞 Family Gardening session at Arkle Street Community Allotment, and Eco Warrior sessions at Redheugh Football Club such as bee and insect surveys, building beasty boxes, litter picking, weeding and river clean up.
Discovery Museum – Summer Events 📌 Blandford Square, Newcastle, NE1 4JA 📆 From 26th July 2022 👉 No booking needed, more info here. 🌞 Summer Crafts: themed sessions including kaleidoscopes, rocket wands, games and more, with free crafts and £1-£2 crafts available. Tuesdays 10.15am-12.15pm (recommended age 6+, although all welcome). 🌞 Family Events: interactive comedy act Wonky Olympics, Wed 3rd Aug, and Bubble-ologist, Wed 31st Aug (additional Family Challenges scheduled on Wednesdays in August with pre-booking required). 🌞 Play on the Plaza: free family events outside on the museum on different themes, with games, crafts, LEGO™ and more. Thursdays, 10.15am-2.15pm.
Ferryhill Summer Gala 📌 Ferryhill, Co Durham, DL17 8J 📆 Sat 6th – Sun 7th Aug 2022, 11am-6pm. 👉 Free entry, no booking needed, more info here. 🌞 Fairground rides and stalls and much more. Free parking available in the car park at the rear of Mel’s Travel.
Gateshead Early Years and Children’s Centres – Summer Fun Drop In 📌 Gateshead 📆 Mon 1st – Tues 2nd Aug 2022 👉 £1 per child, no booking needed, more info here. 🌞 Water, sand, messy play, crafts and trikes available, ofr parents/carers and children aged under 5 years. 📆 Mon 1st Aug, 1-3pm 📌 The Elgin Centre 📆 Tues 2nd Aug, 10am-2pm 📌 Leam Lane Children’s Centre, Chowdene Children’s Centre & Tyne View Children’s Centre
Gateshead Libraries – Summer Events 📌 Gateshead 📆 July – Sep 2022 👉 Free, no booking needed, more info here. 🌞 Make it Mondays: weekly drop-in crafts at Pelaw Library on Mondays, 2.30-3.30pm from 25th July-22nd Aug. 🌞 Wind Tunnel Challenge: see how your paper flying objects fly using the wind tunnel at Crawcrook Library, 10.30-11.30am on Fri 2nd Sep (suitable for ages 5+). 🌞 National Doodle Day: families are invited to doodle on the windows of Birtley Library, using chalk pens! Add your own creations, 9.30am–12.30pm on Sat 3rd Sep.
Hebburn Carr-Ellison Carnival 📌 Carr Ellison Park, Hebburn, NE31 2UE 📆 Fri 22nd July 5-9pm & Sat 23rd July 2022, 12-10pm 👉 Free entry, no booking needed, more info here. 🌞 Annual event organised by Clegwell & Hartleyburn (CIO), with live music, firework display, fun fair, inflatables, drink and food outlets and various stalls.
JK Bouncy Castles – Family Fun Days 👉 £10 per wristband for inflatables, available on the day, more info here. 🌞 Family fun day events, with activities such as inflatable slides, bouncy castles, obstacle courses, disco domes, bungee run, hot and cold food and drinks and more. Some activities individually priced. 1-5pm. 📆 Sat 20th Aug 2022: Rutherford AFC, Gateshead 📆 Sun 28th Aug 2022: Ox & Plough, Oxclose, Washington
Land of Oak & Iron – Summer Events 📌 Winlaton Mill, Blaydon, Gateshead, NE21 6RU 📆 From 24th July 2022 👉 No booking needed, more info here. 🌞 The Biking Vikings: drumming, pipe playing and horn blowing bikers dressed as Vikings. The Northumbrian piper also plays whilst walking on stilts! (donations welcome funds for Brain Tumour Research). Handmade goods for sale. Sat 30th July, 1.15-3.15pm. 🌞 Bark in the Park!: fun dog show with categories such as waggiest tail, dog most like their owner, best in show and more! Sunday 21st Aug 10.15am-5.15pm (free to spectate, £3 to enter here). 🌞 Kid’s Crafts Club: weekly craft club continues throughout the summer, with self-led activities on different themes. Sundays 9am-3,30pm (suggested donation of £3 welcome). 🌞 Wildlife Trail: self-led trail around the Heritage Centre to discover hidden wildlife images and learn fun facts about nature, collect a trail page from the café (suggested donation £3).
Melanoma-Me – Summer Fayre 📌 Newtown Ind Est, Birtley, DH3 2QW 📆 Sun 28th Aug 2022, 12-6pm 👉 No booking needed, donations welcome for vital fundraising, more info here. 🌞 Family fun day with live music, bouncy castle, games, various stalls and food vans and more.
Metrocentre – Metrognomes Show 📌 Metrocentre, Gateshead, NE11 9YG (Lower Exhibition Square, near Primark) 📆 Mon 25th July – Sun 7th Aug 2022 👉 Free, no booking needed, more info here. 🌞 The Metrognomes Herbert, Sherbet, Maggot and Rusty are returning this Summer in an out of this world superhero adventure – The Supergnomes and the Gems of Power! Mon – Fri: 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm Sat: 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm Sun: 12pm, 2pm and 4pm
Mini Hoppings Summer Fun Nuns Moor, Fenham, Newcastle, NE4 5 AH Fri 5th-Sat 13th Aug 2022 Free entry, no booking needed, more info here. Funfair rides, food, ice cream and Beach on the Park with sand, deckchairs and buckets and spades. Special appearances from dinosaurs at intervals on selected dates. Open daily from noon.
NE1’s Summer in the City Newcastle July-Sep 2022 Free, no booking needed, more info here. 🌞 Screen on the Green: open air cinema screening two free movies a day including family favourites, cult classics, rom-coms and some new blockbusters. Schedule here, from 25th July-4th Sep @Old Eldon Square. 🌞 Wesley Square: urban garden with beanbags, deckchairs, family-friendly activities and giant garden games, located between the Tyne and the Millennium bridges. 🌞 Tales on the Tyne: storytelling sessions hosted by Seven Stories and BBC Newcastle Radio presenter and author, Alfie Joey. Tuesdays 11am, 26th July-6th Sep @Wesley Square. 🌞 Creative Crafts: drop-in craft sessions including Henna, paper flower making and sustainable plants, selected Saturdays 23rd July-27th Aug, 11-3pm @Wesley Square. 🌞 Pop-Up Performances: family entertainment from theatrical dances to dramatic aerial performances, Saturdays 6th-27th Aug @Wesley Square. 🌞 England Netball: meet some of the North East’s England Netball stars and take part in a range of activities, Thurs 11th Aug @The Swirle, drop-in 1-4pm (or pre-book 12-1pm). 🌞 Music by the Marina: a one-off performance from different bands, artists and choirs, Fri 2nd Sep, 2.30-3pm & 3.30-4pm @Wesley Square.
Newcastle Mela 📌 Exhibition Park, Newcastle, NE2 4PZ 📆 Sun 28th – Mon 29th Aug 2022 👉 Free entry, no booking needed, more info here. 🌞 Multi-cultural event based around Pakistani, Bengali, Indian and other South Asian cultures, with live music, food, art & crafts and activities, clothes, gifts and jewellery stalls, and entertainment from circus acts, dance artists and local groups.
Northern Pride Festival 📌 Newcastle Town Moor 📆 Fri 22nd – Sun 24th July 2022 👉 Free*, more info here. 🌞 A packed programme of events celebrating LGBTQIA+ culture, including pride march, live music, family dog show Paws with Pride, Local Heroes Awards and more. *charge for launch event & Platinum upgrade
Seaham Food Festival 📌 Seaham coastline, Co Durham 📆 Sat 6th – Sun 7th Aug 2022 👉 Free, no booking needed, more info here. 🌞 Free festival with over one hundred food stalls, guest chefs demonstrations, family entertainment, live music and more.
Souter Lighthouse Summer Fun 📌 Coast Road, South Shields, SR6 7NH 📆 July-Aug 2022 👉 No booking needed, more info here. 🌞 Activity packs: try rock pooling, bird watching, pond dipping and bug hunting. Self-led activity packs available from lighthouse admissions desk. Balance bikes can also be borrowed for younger children aged 2+. 🌞 Summer of Sport: free games and activities in the Foghorn Field on Mondays & Wednesdays, 11am – 3.30pm 25th July-30th Aug. 🌞 Crafts: family crafts available at the gazebo in the Foghorn Field. From £2 (suitable for age 4+) 📆 Thurs 4th & 25th Aug: Bird ball making 📆 Thurs 11th Aug & 1st Sep: Cress head pots 🌞 Seashore safari: explore rock pools with a ranger. Meet at the National Trust van in the lighthouse car park, £1 per child (ages 4-11 years, accompanied by an adult). 📆 Sun 31 July & Sun 14th Aug, 11am – 1pm 📆 Tues 30th Aug, 11.30am – 1.30pm
South Shields Market – Shop, Stay, Play 📌 South Shields Market Place 📆 Sat 30th July 2022, 10am – 3pm 👉 Free, no booking needed. More info here. 🌞 Pop-up green space with open air cinema, giant lawn games and teacup fairground ride. Showing 3 family movies (10am–Paw Patrol the Movie, 11.30am–CoCo, 1.15pm–Encanto). Traditional market stalls will be open as usual.
This Is South Tyneside Festival 📌 South Tyneside 📆 July-Sep 2022 👉 Free, no booking needed, more info here. 🌞 Kids Fun-Fest: free fun, games and activities with a host of amazing performers and entertainers at Seafront Amphitheatre, Tuesdays & Thursdays throughout Aug, 2-4pm. Full schedule here. 🌞 Music in the Bandstand: local bands performing in the Victorian bandstand at the seafront park, Saturday afternoons from 23rd July-3rd Sep (except 27th Aug). Full schedule here. 🌞 Bent’s Park Concerts: free Sunday concerts across July. Gates open approx 12.45pm (priority tickets available to purchase for early access and additional facilities). 🌞 Brass Bands: free live music at Sandhaven Amphitheatre on Sunday afternoons, from 5th June-28th Aug (except Sun 3rd July). Full schedule here. 🌞 Summer Park Events: a series of free community events held in South Tyneside’s parks throughout August, with local musicians, artists, and a selection of children’s entertainers and family-friendly plays. Full schedule here.
Stack Seaburn – Summer Socials 📌 Whitburn Road, Sunderland, SR6 8AA 📆 25th July – 31st Aug 2022 👉 Free, no booking needed, full schedule here. 🌞 Packed program including kids’ entertainment, with characters, games, balloons, live music and activities, with kids meals and street food available.
STEF Farm – Family Open Days 📌 Keelmans Lane, Sunderland, SR4 0RW (free parking available in Ford Hub) 📆 Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4th – 23rd Aug 2022 👉 Tues £2 pp, Thurs £1 pp, no booking needed, more info here. 🌞 Weekly family fun days held in August by Sunderland Training and Education Farm, with animal petting, pony and cart rides, indoors bouncy castle, outdoors play area, cafe and range of large and small animals, including lemurs, alpacas, snakes, lizards and more. Different themes each week, including Spiderman & Batman, Dinos, Pirates & Fairies and Minions. 📆 Thursdays, 1pm – 4pm 📆 Tuesdays, 1pm – 3pm **Toddler and specific needs days** (siblings welcome!)
Sunderland BID – Summer in the City Sunderland 📆 July – Sep 2022 No booking needed, more info here. 🌞 Self-guided trail: discover a ‘Jurassic Jungle’ across the city with Augmented Reality characters and experiences. Download the Sunderland Experience app (available via the Apple and Android), which also gives you special offers from local businesses. 🌞 Pop Up Park: play giant Jenga and other lawn games in Market Square from 12th July-2nd Sep, with kid-friendly entertainment 11am-3pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the Summer Holidays. 🌞 Roller Rink: themed sessions such as Learn to Skate, 70’s & 80’s discos and more, in Keel Square 11am-8pm from 22nd July-4th Sep (charges apply).
Sunderland Bridges Shopping Centre – Indoor Beach 📌 Sunderland, SR1 3DR 📆 23rd July – 4th Sep 2022 👉 £2 per child, no booking needed, opening times & events schedule here. 🌞 Indoor beach open daily, with Kid’s Club activities every Wednesday 12-1:30pm, including pirate party, treasure hunt, crafts and more (suitable for age 8 and under).
Trinity Square – Summer Events Trinity Square, Ellison Walk, Gateshead, NE8 1AG July-Sep 2022 Free, no booking needed, full schedule here. 🌞 Packed program of events on selected dates, including dance performances, live music, storytime, face painting, street circus, fun maths activities with BBC legend Johnny Ball, and Trinity’s Got Talent show!
Wheelbirks Parlour – Tractor Rides 📌 Wheelbirks Farm, Stocksfield, Northumberland, NE43 7HY 📆 Wednesdays throughout school holidays, 11am. 👉 £3 Adults, £2 Children, no booking needed. More info here. 🌞 A fun tractor ride and informative talk for all ages around Wheelbirks country estate, approx 25 mins. If the 11am ride is full there will be a second ride at 11.30am. Activity will run whatever the weather as the trailer has a roof.
There’s plenty on Gateshead Mumbler to help keep little ones (and big ones!) busy, check here for more ideas and info for playgroups, classes and fun days out from tots to teens!