It’s always good to have a few indoor ideas up your sleeve for rainy days. There’s plenty to choose from below for all ages, along with opening dates and handy links. You can browse below for inspiration, or skip straight to a specific area here:
Government guidelines stated that soft play areas were permitted to re-open from 15th August, however in reality there is a very gradual staggered opening as venues complete their own risk assessments and put safety measures in place. If in doubt check directly with providers before making plans to avoid any disappointment.
More venues will be added in the coming weeks as opening dates are announced, so do check back – and let me know here if you have a recommendation to add🙂
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. Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms. Check the latest Government guidelines and updates here.
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.
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.
@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.
Jump Giants 📌 Forge Road, Dunston, Gateshead, NE8 2RB 📆 Trampolines open from 25th July. 🎫 Book here. ▪ Trampoline sessions and under 5s soft play area open.
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.
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.
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.
ODEON Cinema Metrocentre 📌 Metrocentre, Gateshead, NE11 9XZ 📆 Open from 10th July 🎫 Booking is recommended here . ▪ Distanced seating will apply and visitors are required to wear a face covering, apart from when eating and drinking. Pre-packaged food and drinks are available to purchase with contactless till payments, cash will not be accepted initially.
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.
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.
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 select 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.
Vue Cinema 📌 High Street, Gateshead, NE8 1AS 📆 Open from 21st August. 🎫 Booking is recommended here (or Mini Mornings here). ▪ Distanced seating will apply and visitors are required to wear a face covering, apart from when eating and drinking. Discounted tickets are available for select children’s films from £2.49 pp on Mini Mornings.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (tickets released Mondays 6pm, or at 9am for Must-See Members), there will also be some walk up tickets available. Cafe open. ▪ The Under 5s area, The Watercolour Gallery and Gallery C remain closed initially.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bee Happy Play Cafe 📌 26 Bracken Hill, South West Industrial Estate, Peterlee, Durham, SR8 2LS 📆 Outdoor play area open from 10th July, indoor play open from 31st August. 🎫 Tickets must be booked in advance here. ▪ 2 hour play sessions available with bookings open for baby area and toddler area, per table for 2-6 people. Exclusive use is available by request.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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+.
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.
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.
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.
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, indoor 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.