Ideas and info for family-friendly days out, with farms, play cafes, soft play and more!
This handy roundup has loads of useful opening info on days out in the North East, including opening dates and when tickets are available for pre-booking. You can browse below for inspiration, or skip straight to your favourite sections here:
For more ideas for family-friendly days out and activities, click here for Baby to Pre-School Classes in Gateshead, Kid’s Swimming Lessons, Where to go on Rainy Days, Pubs with Outdoor Play Areas & more!
You can also click here for an A4 printable pdf of ‘The Great Outdoors Top 10s’ – a bumper list to stick on your fridge so you’ll never be stuck for ideas of where to visit! Including 70 much loved places in the North East, with parks, gardens, woodland and beaches, most of which are free to visit – all you need is a picnic!
I’ll do my best to add any major updates in the coming weeks and new providers will be added as opening dates are announced, so do check back – and let me know here if you spot something that could be changed or added🙂
Circumstances and guidelines are continually changing. Please do check full details of the measures in place and the latest updates directly with individual providers using the links below before making plans. Always follow the latest Government guidelines on social distancing and protective measures, particularly if you or a member of your household is in a vulnerable group. Don’t forget to take a face covering from 24th July if your visit may include entering a shop. Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms. Check the latest Government guidelines and updates here.
Ace Playce 📌 The Killingworth Centre, Killingworth, Newcastle, NE12 6YT 📆 Open from 22nd August. 🎫 Booking recommended on 0191 268 2388. ▪ Staggered times for pre-booked slots will be operated to allow for cleaning intervals, temperature checks will be carried out on arrival.
AMF Bowling 📌 Galleries Retail Park, Washington, NE38 7SB 📆 Open from 15th August. 🎫 Book online here. ▪ Ten pin bowling open with a maximum of 6 in a group.
Angry Birds Adventure Golf 📌 intu Metrocentre, 56 Garden Walk, Gateshead, NE11 9XZ 📆 Open from 8th July 🎫 Booking is recommended to avoid disappointment, book here. ▪ Groups will be restricted to six people and will be kept one hole apart at all times while playing.
The Ark @Crawcrook 📌 Main Road, Crawcrook, Gateshead, NE40 4UQ ▪ The sad news was announced that The Ark ceased to trade from 3rd April 2020, stating that as a social enterprise the financial situation means the business is no longer viable in the present economic environment.
Battlezone Paintball Ltd 📌 Battlezone Durham, Holmside Park, Edmondsley, Chester le Street, Co Durham, DH7 6EY 📌Battlezone Newcastle, Bygate Plantation, Black Heddon, Belsay, Newcastle, NE20 0JR 📆 Open from 4th July 🎫 Book online here. ▪ Outdoors paintball sessions open. Players will receive a free mask to keep worth £20.
Captain Ted’s 📌 Old Church Hall, West Avenue, Gosforth, Newcastle, NE3 4ES 📆 Open from 24th August 🎫 Book here. ▪ 90 minute softplay sessions. Some areas may not be available, such as the ball pit.
@The Castle 📌 St Hildas Church, Stella Road, Blaydon, Gateshead, NE21 4NN 📆 Open from 1st September 🎫 Booking required on0191 413 2311 ▪ 90 minute softplay sessions limited to 15 children and 22 adults. Exclusive sessions can be booked for up to 20 children.
Clip ‘n Climb Metrocentre 📌 The Yellow Mall, intu Metrocentre, Gateshead 📆 Open from 25th July 🎫 Book online here. ▪ Climbing walls open with reduced group sizes, and only allow one adult supervisor permitted per child. Hand sanitiser must be used prior to climbing every wall.
Diggerland Durham 📌 Riverside Industrial Estate, Langley Park, Durham, County Durham, DH7 9TT 📆 Open from 11th July 🎫 Pre-book tickets to guarantee admission here. ▪ Indoor areas including the indoor play area will remain closed initially. ▪ A non-invasive temperature check will be carried out on arrival. Face coverings are encouraged, and must be worn on certain designated rides.
Dragonflies Durham 📌 35 Dragonville Industrial Park, Durham, DH1 2XW 📆 Open 21st August 🎫 Book here. ▪ 90 minute softplay sessions. No more than 2 adults per one child. Adults are not encouraged to go into the play frame, however if assistance is needed one adult can help if necessary.
The Dunes Adventure Island 📌 Sea Road, South Shields, South Tyneside, NE33 2LD 📆 Soft play and bowling open from 15th August 🎫 Booking is recommended on 0191 455 5255. ▪ There are set times for soft play sessions, lasting 90 minutes. Adults cannot accompany children into the play frame.
The Fun Jungle 📌 Sulgrave Road, Washington, NE37 3AZ 📆 Soft play open from 15th August 🎫 Booking is recommended on 0191 563 4674, or message here. ▪ Soft play sessions, lasting 1 hour.
Funshack 📌 Unit A3, Benfield Business Park, Benfield Road, Newcastle, NE6 4NQ 📆 Open 15th August 🎫 Booking recommended here. ▪ 90 minute softplay sessions. All areas are open and available including all toddler and softplay areas, although some play elements that are high frequency touch points have been removed such as ball pools. Temperature checks will be carried out on arrival.
Haven Point Swimming Pool 📌The Links, Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, NE26 1TQ 📆 Open from 27th July. 🎫 You must book in advance on 0191 424 7800. ▪ Flume slide and water play area for younger children are open, Costa Coffee is available to buy. There are no spectators allowed (children may require an adult in the water).
Holmside Park 📌 Edmondsley, Chester le Street, Durham, DH7 6EY 📆 Open from 1st August, soft play open from 15th August 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪ All 20+ activities will be available, including roller skating, archery, inflatables & more. Cafe open for takeaway and table service. ▪ There are two entrances & exits for the soft play, & users should stay at least two floor mats away from others.
Infinite Air 📌 New Ferens Park, Belmont Indurstial Estate, Durham, DH1 1GG 📆 Open from 8th August. Tots area open from 16th August. 🎫 Booking is recommended to avoid disappointment, book here. ▪ Customer temperature checks will be carried out. Tots soft play and mini trampolines are open, and main trampolines with new airbag systems. Foam pits have been replaced with airbags made with an anti-bacterial and anti-microbial fabric. ▪ Family jump sessions suitable for ages 3+ are running at 9, 9.30 and 10am daily (tots jump sessions coming soon).
InflateSpace Newcastle 📌 Benfield Business Park, Newcastle, NE6 4NQ 📆 Open from 25th July 🎫 Booking is recommended to avoid disappointment, book here. ▪ Customer temperature checks will be carried out and some one-way systems are in place.
Jumbo Jungle & Ultimate Bounce Zone 📌 Unit 40, No 1 Industrial Estate, Consett, County Durham, DH8 6TW 📆 Open from 18th August 🎫 Call to book on 01207 593 773 (Jumbo Jungle), 01207 508 711 (Ultimate Bounce). ▪ Soft play sessions (with toddler area) and trampoline zone, must be booked separately. Look out for weekly deals on Facebook page. Maximum 25 children per session.
Jump Giants 📌 Forge Road, Dunston, Gateshead, NE8 2RB 📆 Trampolines open from 25th July. 🎫 Book here. ▪ Trampoline sessions and under 5s soft play area open.
Jump 360 Newcastle 📌 Benton Business Park, Bellway Industrial Estate, Newcastle, NE12 9SW 📆 Open from 25th July 🎫 Booking is recommended to avoid disappointment, book here. ▪ Customer temperature checks will be carried out and some one-way systems are in place.
Krazy Kingdom 📌 Unit 4 Greencroft Industrial Park, Annfield Plain, Durham, DH9 7YB 📆 Open from 24th August. 🎫 Book here. ▪ 90 minute softplay sessions, including daily ‘shielding play’ sessions with even fewer places than the standard ‘safe place’ capacity. Go Karts will remain open. Only one Bowling Lane will operate. ▪ Some high frequency touch point play elements have been removed, such as ball pools, footballs, cannonballs, rubber balls and small baby toys. The Football area has been converted into a Little Tikes compound for toddlers.
Millie’s Magical Garden 📌 The Oval, Concord, Washington, Sunderland, NE372QD 📆 Open from 3rd September 🎫 Call 0191 561 3880 to book. ▪ Soft play open, although toys have been removed from the baby area. Cafe due to re-open after first few weeks.
Mister Twisters Jump Centre 📌 Unit 15E Follingsby Park, Wardley, Gateshead, NE10 8YG 📆 Open from 25th July. Soft play open from 17th August. 🎫 Call 0191 415 5550 to book. ▪ Trampolines, soft play, cafe and new outdoor area are open with football, mini golf, toddler cars and outdoor seating.
Namco Funscape 📌 Garden Walk, Metrocentre, Gateshead, NE11 9XY 📆 Arcade games & bumper cars open from 4th July, bowling open from 15th August, soft play open from 19th August. 🎫 Book bowling games here, to book soft play call 0191 406 1066. ▪ Bowling shoes will not be provided – suitable shoes should be worn. ▪ 1 hour soft play sessions available, for a maximum capacity of 30 children (with max of 2 adults per child). Ball pits and moveable blocks have temporarily been removed.
New AdventureLands 📌 Rear 24 Benton Road, Newcastle, NE7 7DT 📆 Open from 21st August. 🎫 Booking recommended here. ▪ 90 minute soft play sessions. Both play frames are open with some minor adjustments, adults are welcome to join younger ones in the play frame. Many of the toddler toys have been removed temporarily.
Ocean Beach Pleasure Park, South Shields 📌 Sea Road, South Shields, NE33 2LD 📆 Open from 4th July 🎫 Fun Cards for rides available online here. ▪ 40+ rides, attractions, arcades and food kiosks open, with some new rides and new contactless Tap & Play Fun Cards.
Pirates Cove 📌2 Rolling Mill Rd, Jarrow, NE32 3DP ▪ On 15th August the sad news was announced that Pirates Cover will not reopen.
Round The Twist 📌 Unit 28, North Tyne Industrial Estate, Whitley Rd, Benton, Newcastle, NE12 9SZ 📆 Open from 20th August 🎫 Booking recommended on 0191 215 0055 ▪ 2 hour soft play sessions and indoor racing track.
TJ’s Jungle 📌 Bassington Industrial Estate, Cramlington, Northumberland, NE23 8AD ▪ The sad news was announced on 3rd September that TJ’s Jungle will not reopen, as with the current restrictions it would be a struggle to cope both financially and with meeting guidance rules to keep customers and staff safe.
TopGear Karting 📌 13 Rennys Lane Industrial Estate, Durham, DH1 2rs 📆 Open from 4th July 🎫 Book online here. ▪ Public and private sessions and parties available. Suitable for adults and 8 years+.
Tynemouth Park 📌 Grande Parade Tynemouth, Tynemouth, North Tyneside, NE30 4JL 📆 Crazy golf open from 4th July, playground from 14th July, Jungle Wipeout giant outdoor inflatables open from 26th July. ▪ No booking required. Jungle Wipeout has 1 hour sessions from 9.30am – 5.30pm (weather dependant) with 45min slots between for cleaning, arrive 15 minutes prior to session start time. Find out more here. ▪ Cafe open with indoor & outdoor seating or takeaway, toilets are open. ▪ Toddler inflatables and boating lake will initially remain closed.
Waves Swimming Pool 📌The Links, Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, NE26 1TQ 📆 Open from 17th August 🎫 You must book in advance on 0191 643 2600. ▪ Family swim sessions from 10am every day. The main slide and waves will be operating at restricted times. The pirate ship area will also be available for younger children.
🐷Farms, Animals & More
Adventure Valley, Durham 📌 Brasside, Durham, County Durham, DH1 5SG 📆 Mini golf course open selected dates from 20th June. Additional outdoor attractions open from 9th July. 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪ Cowboy-themed 18 hole golf course open as a stand-alone bookable attraction (access to wheelchairs and pushchairs is not permitted). ▪ Outdoor play areas, cafe and toilets are open from 9th July, with some one way systems in place. Birds of Prey & animal meet & greets running from 20th July, Water Wars and Panning for Gold open from 24th July. ▪ The Indoor PlayTown, Busy Bees Barn, Theatre and Cannon Saloon, all remain closed initially.
Broom House Farm & Forest Adventure 📌 Near Witton Gilbert, Durham, DH7 6TR 📆 Forest Adventure trail open from 4th July. 🎫 Book the Forest Adventure or ‘Family Farm Walk’ here. ▪ The Family Farm Walk is a free 2 hour staff-led educational visit for groups of 5, to explore the farm and hay meadows, see the animals, learn about where your food comes from, and take part in a forest activity. ▪ Tickets for the Forest Adventure trail with treetop walkway are released on Sundays for the week ahead and can book up quickly. ▪ Coffee shop open for takeaways and pre-booked meals, accepting card payments only. Takeaway cooked breakfast and Sweet Treats Box available to pre-order on set days.
Brocksbushes Farm Shop & Tea Room 📌 Brocksbushes Farm, Corbridge, Northumberland, NE43 7UB 📆 Pick your Own Fruit bookings from 11th June. 🎫 Book a time slot to PYO fruit here. ▪ PYO slots fill up quickly, you can sign up to receive email alerts here. ▪ Farm shop, tea room and toilets open, with social distancing measures in place. ▪ Selected stock, including fruit, groceries & sweet treats, available to order online here for contactless collection or delivery.
Down at the Farm 📌 Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, DH5 8JG 📆 Open from 22nd June. 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪ There is a new outdoor activity trail around the animal enclosure area, the café is open for takeaway drinks, ice creams & slush and toilets are open. ▪ The farmyard, animal activities, playgrounds, tractor, barrel and quad rides won’t be available initially. See plans on the gradual reopening of facilities here. ▪ Tickets will be released every 2 days.
Hall Hill Farm 📌 Lanchester, Durham, DH7 0TA 📆 Open from 18th July. 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪ Outdoor play areas, tractor rides, barrel trains and animal handling are open. Kiosk is open serving snacks and drinks. ▪ Indoor play areas, puppet shows, donkey rides, teashop and giftshop are initially remaining closed.
North East Falconry 📌Heddon View, Ryton, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE40 3JB 📆 Open from 6th July. 🎫 Advance bookings only, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 07592932533 ▪ Outdoors falconry experiences will be provided for groups of 4 or less, however there will be no touching of any birds.
Northumberland Country Zoo 📌 Eshottheugh Farm, Eshottheugh in Felton, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE65 9QH 📆 Open from 4th July. 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪ Indoor areas, play area and toilets are open and takeaway food will be available with contactless payment only. One-way systems have been introduced in some areas. ▪ There will be no public animal feeds/talks, and the Lemur Woods walkthrough will initially remain closed.
Ouseburn Farm 📌Ouseburn Road, Ouseburn, Newcastle, NE1 2PA 📆 Open from 4th July. 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪ There will be a new temporary entrance fee of £3.50 per ticket to help support the costs of reopening, which will include an activity pack for children. ▪ Toilets are open and cafe open with takeaway service. ▪ Animal handling and indoors areas will remain closed, with the exception of the small animal room.
Pets Corner 📌Jesmond Dene, Jesmond, Newcastle, NE7 7DA 📆 Open from 6th August with reduced hours of 11am – 2pm. ▪ No booking required. Nearby play area open, plus woodland trails and waterfall.
📌 Filipoke Lane, Blackhall Colliery, Co Durham, TS27 4BT 📆 Open from 4th July. 🎫 Booking is recommended to avoid disappointment here. ▪ Outdoor play areas, tractor rides and indoor & outdoor animal areas are open, tea room offering takeaway service. ▪ Indoor play area, barrel rides and animal handling will initially remain closed.
Tynemouth Aquarium 📌 Grand Parade, Tynemouth, North Tyneside, NE3O 4JF 📆 Open from 4th July. 🎫 Tickets can be bought online here or at the reception desk on the day. ▪ There is no requirement to pre-book a given date (online tickets are valid for 12 months), numbers will be restricted so there may be queues.
Whitehouse Farm Centre 📌 North Whitehouse Farm, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 6AW 📆 Open from 11th July. 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪ Cafe and kiosks are open, outdoor walkway and play areas are open, ride on pedal tractors, carts and cars are operating, tractor rides and animal handling sessions will be available. One way systems are in place in some areas. ▪ Indoor play areas will remain closed initially. The Bird of Prey area is open with handling opportunities potentially available, flying displays will initially not be running. ▪ Tickets are released on Tuesdays for the following week.
WWT Washington Wetland Centre 📌 Barmston Lane, Pattinson, Washington, NE38 8LE 📆 Open from 10th June, takeaway cafe open from 27th June. 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪ Toilets are open, and cafe serving takeaway drinks and snacks. ▪ The play area and water lab remain closed initially, feeding of birds is prohibited and staff-led walks and talks aren’t running. ▪ Tickets are released at 9am on Wednesdays for the following week and can book up quickly.
🌷Parks & Gardens
The Alnwick Garden 📌Greenwell Road, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1YU 📆 Open from 1st July. 🎫 Tickets for the Garden and for Adventure Golf must be booked in advance here. ▪ Some routes have changed with one-way systems in place. ▪ Food and drinks will be available for takeaway only, limited toilet facilities will be available, the Gift Shop and Plant Centre will be open, accepting card payment only. ▪ The Treehouse will remain closed initially and children’s tractors will be unavailable.
Belsay Hall Castle and Gardens 📌 Belsay, Northumberland, NE20 0DX (English Heritage site) 📆 Open from 4th July. 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪ The gardens are open with a one way system in operation, the shop is open and the café is serving takeaway food and drink. From 18th July, free downloadable Summer Explorer Quest and Trail Map available. ▪ The Castle and Hall will initially remain closed.
Birkheads Secret Gardens 📌 Birk Heads, Marley Hill, Gateshead, NE16 5EL 📆 Open from 21st June, coffee shop open from 10th July. 🎫 Call 07778 447 920 to book an hour slot. ▪ The number of visitors is restricted to 6 per hour with a one way system in operation. ▪ The plant sales area is open with a contactless payment system, cafe open with options to dine or takeaway.
Crook Hall and Gardens 📌 Frankland Lane, Sidegate, Durham, DH1 5SZ ▪ Very sadly, it was announced on 19th June that Crook Hall and Gardens will be permanently closed due to the financial impact of the pandemic. The business is going into liquidation with plans to sell.
Exhibition Park 📌 Claremont Road, Newcastle, NE2 4PZ 📆 Wylam Brewery open from 4th July, play area open w/c 13th July. ▪ Wylam Brewery open daily serving food & drink, with toilets available. Reservations recommended for Sunday Lunch. ▪ No model train rides running initially, check for updates with the TSMEE.
Gibside 📌 Rowlands Gill, Burnopfield, Gateshead, NE16 6BG (National Trust) 📆 Grounds open from 3rd June, cafe open from 23rd June. 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪ Toilets are open and cafe serving takeaway hot & cold drinks, cakes and snacks, accepting card payments only. ▪ The farm section of Valley Views walk, and all buildings and play areas initially remain closed. ▪ Tickets are released on Fridays for the following week and can book up very quickly.
Hardwick Park 📌 Hardwick Park, Sedgefield, Stockton-on-Tees, Co Durham, TS21 2DN 📆 Play area open 11th July. ▪ Toilets are open, with the café, visitor centre and play areas initially remaining closed.
Jesmond Dene 📌 Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne And Wear, NE7 7DA 📆 Visitor Centre toilets open from 15th June, Mon-Fri 11am-3pm (initially closed weekends). Play area open w/c 13th July. Pets corner open 6th August. ▪ Pets corner re-opened with reduced hours, 11am – 2pm.
Lambton Park 📌 Lambton Castle, Lambton Park, Chester-le-Street, Co Durham, DH3 4PD 📆 Seasonal footpaths open from 2nd July ▪ Footpaths open Sundays only, 9am-6pm, with woodland and open parkland along the River Wear Gorge to the Castle. It can become busy, so avoid peak times if possible. ▪ Lambton Castle not open to the public.
Leazes Park 📌 Richardson Road Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LR 📆 Play area open w/c 13th July. ▪ Tower Café is open for drinks and snacks and also offering delivery, toilets are open at cafe.
Riverside Park Chester-le-Street 📌 Riverside South Sports Pavilion, Chester-le-Street, Durham, DH3 3SJ 📆 Cafe open from 6th July. ▪ Toilets are open, play area remains closed until repairs are complete.
Saltwell Park 📌 East Park Road, Gateshead, NE9 5AX 📆 Playground and public toilets open w/c 20th July. ▪ Toilets open from 11am – 3pm. There may be queues as toilets are cleaned between uses. ▪ Saltwell Towers cafe and toilets will remain closed initially.
Wallington 📌 Cambo, near Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 4AR (National Trust) 📆 Grounds open from 3rd June. 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪ The toilets, grounds, walled garden and woodland are open. ▪ The house, cafe and shop initially remain closed. ▪ Tickets are released on Fridays for the following week and can book up very quickly.
Wharton Park 📌 Framwellgate Peth, Durham, DH1 4FJ 📆 Play area open 11th July. ▪ Toilets are open, with the café, visitor centre initially remaining closed.
Derwent Waterside Park 📌 Edmundbyers, Consett, Co Durham, DH8 9TT (Northumbrian Water Waterside Parks) 📆 Car park, toilets & walks open from 20th May, cafe open from 15th June. ▪ Toilets are open and café open for takeaway snacks, ice cream, hot and cold drinks and gifts, accepting card payment only. ▪ Indoor seating will not be available initially and the play park will remain closed.
Druridge Bay 📌 Red Row, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 5BX 📆 Car parks open from 12th May. Cafe open from 4th July for takeaway service. ▪ Toilets and cafe are open, newly refurbished visitor centre remains closed initially.
Hamsterley Forest 📌 Redford, Hamsterley Forest, County Durham, DL13 3NL 📆 Open from 16th May. ▪ Trails are open and café is open for takeaway only. ▪ The information desk and play areas are initially remaining closed. ▪ There is no requirement to book in advance but it can get very busy, particularly on weekends. When main car parks are full, additional visitors are re-directed to remote car parks (with no toilet or catering facilities), when maximum numbers are reached additional visitors will be turned away. Keep an eye on the Hamsterley Forest Facebook page here for updates before travelling.
Plessey Woods 📌 Shields Road, Hartford Bridge, Bedlington, Northumberland, NE22 6AN 📆 Car parks open from 12th May. ▪ Trails, toilets, playground and cafe are now open.
Souter Lighthouse and the Leas 📌 Coast Road, South Shields, SR6 7NH 📆 Lighthouse Cafe open from 20th June ▪ Lighthouse closed, toilets open and cafe open for takeaway only.
South Shields Beach 📌 Sea Road, South Shields, South Tyneside, NE33 2LD ▪ Toilets are open at Littlehaven, Sandhaven walkway and Marsden Grotto.
☕Play/Craft Cafes & Pubs with Play Areas
Bee Happy Play Cafe 📌 26 Bracken Hill, South West Industrial Estate, Peterlee, Durham, SR8 2LS 📆 Open from 10th July. 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪ Outdoor play area available for morning and afternoon sessions, food from cafe is available to pre-order. ▪ Exclusive use for up to 24 people is available by request.
Cafe At The Corner 📌 169 Sunderland Road, South Shields, NE34 6AD 📆 Open from 3rd August, toys re-introduced 16th August. ▪Play cafe with play house, rockers and hoppers and train set.
Canny Crafty 📌 147 Salters Road, Gosforth, Newcastle, NE3 1DU 📆 Open from 4th July. 🎫 Book here ▪ Open for sit-in pottery painting or Canny Crafty takeaway kits (closed Mondays).
Clart About Sensory Cafe 📌 Unit 33F, Consett Number 1 Industrial Estate, Consett, Durham, DH8 6SZ 📆 Open from 1st September. 🎫 Book here. ▪90 minute play sessions. Each child will be given their own box of resources. Children must be accompanied by adults at all times, including play areas.
Craft House 📌 114 Park View, Whitley Bay, NE26 3QL 📆 Open from 1st August. 🎫 Booking recommended, message here to book ▪ One hour craft & create sessions available.
Dream Big Role Play Centre 📌 Grange Villa, Durham, DH2 3LN 📆 Outdoor play area open from 11th July, indoor play open from 24th August. 🎫 Book here (exclusive hire also available for up to 24 people). ▪ Indoor role play area and outdoor play area with climbing frame and ride ons open.
Gigglewicks 📌 Unit 2, Network Centre, Colburn Avenue, Cramlington. NE23 1WD 📆 Open from 31st August. 🎫 Book here. ▪ Role play village and cafe open.
It’s A Small World 📌 12 Donkin Road, Washington, Sunderland, NE37 1PF 📆 Open from 2nd September 🎫 Message here to book. ▪ 1.5h play sessions in role play village and cafe.
The Kiln Pottery Studio 📌 496 Durham Road, Gateshead NE9 6HU 📆 Open from 1st August. 🎫 Message here to book. ▪ Paint-your-own-pottery sessions available throughout August Thursdays – Saturdays
Lilyput Lane 📌 31 & 37 High Street, Felling, Gateshead, NE10 9LU 📆 Open from 1st September. 🎫 Message here to book. ▪ Role play areas and ride ons will be available.
Little Bee’s Cafe 📌 25 Beach Road, South Shields, South Tyneside, NE33 2QA ▪ The sad news was announced on 13th August that Little Bee’s Cafe will not be re-opening.
Miss Tina’s Cafe 📌 Barmston Village Centre, Washington, Sunderland, NE38 8JA 📆 Outdoor play open from 8th July, indoor play space open from 16th August. 🎫Call to book on 01914472024, or just pop along Wed-Fri, 10m-2pm. ▪ Outdoor play area and indoor play space with baby/toddler toys open, food menu available.
Moobears 📌 Edwards Square, Low Chare, Chester-le-Street, Co Durham, DH3 3QF 📆 Open from 31st August. 🎫 Call 07584 027 296 to book. ▪ Baby area, role play toys, crafts, sensory play and soft play open.
Moorhouse Farm Shop & Coffee Shop 📌 21 Station Road, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 6DX 📆 Open from 14th July. ▪ Coffee shop, covered courtyard and outdoor play area are open.
The Nest 📌 Durham Rd, Low Fell, NE9 5AN 📆 Open from 7th July, play area open from 1st Sep. ▪ Cafe open and indoor play space with toddler and baby toys.
Oopsy Down Town 📌 100 Seaside Lane, Peterlee, Durham, SR8 3PF 📆 Open from 21st August. 🎫 Call 0191 527 2449 to book ▪ 2 hour play sessions, role play toys, crafts and soft play are all available. Temperatures will be taken when entering. All soft toys and furnishings have been removed.
The Orangery 📌Whickham Hermitage Community Garden, Hermitage Lane, Whickham, NE16 4JL 📆 Gardens open from 1st June, tearoom open from 18th July ▪ Orangery tearoom set within Victorian walled garden with sculptures, children’s playhouse and wildlife pond with ducks, plus bantams, budgies and rabbit.
Pineapple and Bears 📌 Spa well Road, Winlaton, Gateshead, NE21 6RT 📆 Open from 11th Sep. 🎫 Book here. ▪Cafe and playhub for the under 7’s. Bookings available for: a) 2 hour softplay session. b) New outdoor play area tables. c) Craft table. d) Cafe only table.
The Play Café Sunderland 📌 9-10 Station Rd, Sunderland, SR69AA 📆 Open from 4th July, play area open from 31st August. 🎫 Call to book on 0191 44 77 575 or book online ▪ Cafe open and indoor play space with toddler and baby toys.
Pots-and Pancakes 📌 12a Russell St, North Shields, North Tyneside, NE29 0BL 📆 Open from 25th July. 🎫 Call 0191 272 8333 or book here ▪Paint your own pottery or build and decorate an MDF model (open Saturdays only), plus take out services of various crafts. Hot and cold drinks will be available but the self service pancake bar is suspended.
The Splat Centre 📌 Unit 1 at 305 Whitley Road, Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, NE26 2HU 📆 Open from 1st September. ▪ 2 hour play sessions. Pre-booking is not required, sessions are limited to 25 children and 2 adults. Adults can access the play frame wearing a face covering. High risk items have been removed, such as dressing up clothes, soft toys, drawing equipment and books.
Thought Foundation 📌 Clarity House, Durham Road, Birtley, Gateshead, DH3 2TB ▪ The sad news was announced on 26th July that TF will not be reopening (aside from as a venue for pre-booked summer events, without the cafe in operation). As a Community Interest Company, the financial situation and distancing measures means the business is no longer economically viable.
Tots Tea Rooms 📌 84 Park Road, Wallsend, NE28 6QY 📆 Open from 3rd August, play area open from 25th August. 🎫 Contact 07812 107 980 to book or message here. ▪ Open Mon-Wed for sit in food and drinks, Thurs-Fri for private hire. Indoor play space is open with slide and baby/toddler toys.
Watergate Cafe 📌 Watergate Park, Gateshead, NE11 0AN 📆 Open from 4th July. ▪ Outdoor seating area or takeaway available. Children’s craft kits available to take away from £1. Closed on Mondays.
Woodland Play Patch 📌 10 Morton Crescent, Houghton le Spring, Sunderland, DH4 6AD 📆 Open from 2nd September 🎫 Message here to book. ▪ Play space open with baby and toddler toys, cafe open with reduced menu for some sessions.
🖼Museums & Attractions
Arbeia, South Shields Roman Fort 📌 Baring Street, South Shields, NE33 2BB 📆 Open from 27th July 🎫 Booking is recommended here. ▪ Tickets are free and can be pre-booked for ‘grounds only’ or ‘grounds plus museum’. A face covering is required to enter the museum as the entrance to the museum is via the shop. ▪ Timequest and the reconstructed buildings will initially remain closed.
BALTIC 📌 Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA 📆 Open 10th August, Sensory room open 10th Sep, Learning Lounge open 19th Sep. 🎫 Book free tickets here. ▪ Booking recommended, visits on the day accepted depending on capacity. The Level 5 Viewing Box is not accessible.
Beamish Museum 📌 Beamish, County Durham, DH9 0RG 📆 Open from 23rd July. 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪ Many exhibits are open with some one way systems, other exhibits will be opened at a later date. ▪ Takeaway catering options will be available, and picnic bags and takeout afternoon teas can be pre-ordered online. Shop and toilets are open. All payments must be by card/contactless only. ▪Period transport will not be running, the Tea Rooms and Coffee Shop will not be open initially.
The Bowes Museum 📌 The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co Durham DL12 8NP 📆 Grounds open from 12th June, museum open from 1st August. 🎫 Tickets for museum available online here. ▪Exhibits, cafe and toilets will be open, with a packed programme of family workshops running throughout the summer holidays.
Discovery Museum 📌 Blandford Square, Newcastle, NE1 4JA 📆 Open from 1st September 🎫 Book a free ticket here. ▪ Tickets are released Mondays 6pm, or at 9am for Must-See Members. ▪ Some areas will initially remain closed, including Play Tyne water play, Play+Invent creative space, hands-on interactive displays in all galleries and soft play in Science Maze.
Great North Museum: Hancock 📌 Barras Bridge, Newcastle, NE2 4PT 📆 Open from 1st September. 🎫 Book a free ticket here. ▪ Tickets are released Mondays 6pm, or at 9am for Must-See Members. ▪ Some areas will initially remain closed, including the under 5s’ gallery, crystals and gems display, planetarium, selected galleries and hands-on interactive displays in all galleries.
Jarrow Hall 📌 Village and Bede Museum, Church Bank, Jarrow, South Tyneside, NE32 3DY 📆 Open from 18th July. 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here (booking open from 9am 10th July). ▪ The first Saturday will be for annual pass holders only, with other visitors from 23rd July. ▪ The farm and Anglo-Saxon Village will be open, the museum will initially remain closed.
Laing Art Gallery 📌 Newcastle, NE1 8AG 📆 Open from 10th August 🎫 Book here for William & Evelyn De Morgan exhibition. ▪ No need to book to visit the free displays but there may be a queue. Booking is recommended for special exhibitions, although there will also be some walk up tickets available. Cafe open. ▪ Tickets released Mondays 6pm, or at 9am for Must-See Members. ▪ The Under 5s area, The Watercolour Gallery and Gallery C remain closed initially.
Science at Life 📌 Times Square, Newcastle, NE1 4EP 📆 Open from 1st August. 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪ New Dino Experience exhibit with Lego dinosaurs. Experience lasts up to 1 hour 45 minutes. ▪ Regular spaces and theatres (including the Young Explorers’ Zone) initially remain closed.
Shipley Art Gallery 📌 Prince Consort Road, Gateshead, NE8 4JB 📆 Open from 25th August ▪ No need to book in advance. ▪ The lounge, the study centre and the workshop remain closed initially.
South Shields Museum & Art Gallery 📌 Ocean Road, South Shields, NE33 2JA 📆 Open from 13th August 🎫 Book free tickets here. ▪ Booking is recommended to avoid queues, although there will be some walk up tickets available. Tickets are released Mondays 6pm, or at 9am for Must-See Members. ▪ The upper floor remains closed initially.
Stephenson Steam Railway 📌 Middle Engine Lane, North Shields, NE29 8DX 📆 Open from 28th August (open Sundays during Sep-Oct) 🎫 Book tickets here. ▪ Tickets purchased include a heritage train ride followed by entry to the museum. The tea room is currently closed.
Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens 📌 Burdon Rd, Sunderland, SR1 1PP 📆 Open from 3rd July. ▪ No booking required. Free summer activity packs available, suitable for all ages to inspire you to get creative, collect from the Learning Space. ▪ Some interactive displays may be closed off.
Tanfield Railway 📌 Old Marley Hill, Gateshead, NE16 5ET 📆 Cafe open from 12th July, trains operating from 9th August 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪ Tommy Armstrong Tea Rooms at East Tanfield station is open Sundays from 10.30am to 3.30pm. ▪ Trains will run on Sundays from East Tanfield station to Andrews House station (4 mile non-stop return journey). Available for bookings of up to 8 people within their own compartment. Ticket includes a free guide book and kids activity pack and a hot or cold drink.
Tynemouth Priory and Castle 📌 Pier Road, Tynemouth, North Tyneside, NE30 4BZ (English Heritage) 📆 Open from 4th July. 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪The shop and toilets will be open, a one way system will operate around the site. ▪The gun battery and the upper levels of the keep will remain closed.
Victoria Tunnel 📌 Lime Street, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle, NE1 2PQ 📆 Tunnel tours running from 24th July. 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪ One-hour tours of Victoria Tunnel are available for single households or social bubbles.