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Family Fun in Newcastle Upon Tyne - From Bumper Cars and Zip Wires to Open-air Museums

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There's plenty for families to see, do, and enjoy in and around Newcastle Upon Tyne. Kids with an interest in history will like time-travelling to ancient castles and Roman forts. When the weather's fine, you can explore open-air museums and enjoy zip-wire rides and treetop rope-walks. If it rains, there are lots of all-weather attractions for families with children of all ages.

Family-friendly eating places


Families with children are welcomed at most eateries in and around Newcastle Upon Tyne. During the day, you can even take the kids to many pubs and café-bars, especially those which have outside seating. You'll find plenty of such spots in the Quayside neighbourhood. Many bar-restaurants and cafés offer children's menus.


Poppy's Tea Room


This café-bar and ice cream parlor serves child-sized portions of dishes like spaghetti Bolognese, pizzas, and sausage and mash. It also provides picnic boxes. Best of all is the ice cream, which comes in flavors like bubblegum and marshmallow.


Blagdon Smithy, Old Great North Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE13 6DQTel: +44 1670 789 935


Poppy's Tea Room website

High-energy activities for families


If you're looking for activities designed to pump up the family's adrenaline levels, Newcastle Upon Tyne doesn't disappoint. On a fine summer day, you can have fun at outdoor adventure parks with activities to challenge children and parents. There are lots of exciting indoor activities too. The city's big malls offer entertainment and family-friendly eateries as well as shopping.


Namco Funscape


This leisure centre is part of the enormous intu Metrocentre mall. For older kids, high-speed bumper cars are the big attraction. Arcade games, a soft play area for tots, and a café with kids' menu add to Namco Funscape's appeal.


Yellow Mall, Unit 244 Graden Walk, Metrocentre, Gateshead, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE11 9XY. Tel: +44 191 406 1066


Namco Funscape website


Go Ape! Matfen


Make like Tarzan on a rope swing, zoom down zip wires, and clamber between treetops at this adventure park in the countryside. The whole family can also explore the forest on Segways.


Matfen Hall Hotel, Matfen, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE20 ORH. Tel: +44 845 643 1943


Go Ape! Matfen website


Science and technology museums


Looking for something educational to engage young minds or keep your kids happy on a rainy day? Try Newcastle Upon Tyne's museums of science and technology. The city has a long history of invention and innovation. Venues like Life Science Centre and Discovery Museum draw on this heritage to bring the steam age and space age to life.


Life Science Centre


For many families, the big attraction at Newcastle Upon Tyne's Life Science Centre is the 4D Motion Ride. The Planetarium is this venue's other big crowd-pleaser.


Times Square. Tel: +44 191 243 8210


Life Science Centre website


Discovery Museum


The top attraction at this science and technology-focused museum is Turbinia, once the fastest ship in the world. Other exhibits that kids will like include ship models and lots of hands-on, interactive displays.


Blandford Square, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 4JA. Tel: +44 191 232 6789


Discovery Museum website


Open-air museums


You'll find an abundance of family-pleasing open-air museums in and around Newcastle Upon Tyne. They span the centuries from the heyday of the Roman Empire to the 19th century, when Newcastle was one of Britain's industrial powerhouses. Costumed re-enactors are on hand at most of these attractions to entertain and explain.


Beamish The Living Museum of the North


You can ride on an antiquated steam train or an old-fashioned electric tram at this open-air attraction. Kids can buy candy from a shopkeeper in 19th-century costume, and smaller children will love the animals at Beamish Home Farm.


Beamish, DH9 0RG. Tel: +44 191 370 4000


Beamish The Living Museum of the North website


Stephenson Railway Museum


Children visiting this museum are astonished when they hear that little "Billy," the world's first steam locomotive, was once cutting-edge technology. The museum has a fleet of later steam engines, and families can take rides on steam trains at weekends.


Middle Engine Lane, North Shields, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE29 8DX. Tel: +44 191 200 7146


Stephenson Railway Museum website