We are coming up to that time again, half term holidays! Woohoo! I love the holidays and having the kids off. We are always looking for fun things to do and more often than not, free or very cheap fun things to do, a school holiday can prove very costly!
What I thought I would do, is put together a bit of a list of different events going on over the week and hopefully it will give you some inspiration on what to do
Saturday 23rd May
Emma Enchanted is bringing some May Madness to Sunderland. Alice, Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts will be in Barnes Park all day from 10am until 4pm offering tons of unbirthday fun. Free event.
Whitley Bay are hosting a Carnival kicking off with a parade leaving from the metro station at 12 noon and journeying through Whitley Bay ending up at Spanish City Plaza. Lots of live music, dancing, street food and theatre throughout the day. See Whitley Bay Big Local for more information. Free event
Newcastle Unity Festival is a huge family event held in Leazes Park promoting Unity throughout our city. There is a special kids area hosted by Little Big Butterfly and it has a bouncy castle, facepainting, story telling and many more activities. Free event
Jurassictastic in Castlegate Shopping Centre, Stockton, sounds roar-some. A 7 foot tall and 12 foot long raptor will be appearing to put on a show along with his two scientist friends. Free event
Sunday 24th May
Shaun the Sheep will be at Wallington Hall (Bank Holiday Monday also). Enjoy lots of sheep-filled fun to celebrate the release of Shaun the Sheep The Movie. Normal admission applies, may be a small charge for some activities
Stray Aid are holding their annual Dog Show in Hardwick Park, Sedgefield. All sorts of classes for your pooch to enter including Best Puppy, Best Rescue Dog and Best Trick. There will also be displays to watch. Pop along from some wagging good fun and support an amazing charity.
Durham Mini Club has it's Mini and Classic Car show in Washington. All sorts of cars on display for you to have a look at £2 per person engtry with all proceeds going to charity.
What to Wear Teddy Bear at Stephenson Railway Museum. A really cute drop in event where you can bring Teddy along and make him a fancy new waistcoat, just like an engine driver. £2 per waistcoat.
Monday 25th May
Ouseburn Farm always have lovely free events on in the school holidays, Monday sees their Farmers Club where you will get a chance to get up close and personal with the farms animals, learning how to look after them and how to care for the smaller animals. 10 - 11am. In the afternoon at 1pm there is a Nature Trail where you will join Bryony on a trail of Ouseburn Valley. Lots of other things going on on the other days of the holidays too.
Chesters Roman Fort have a wonderful event How to be a Roman Soldier. Take part in a variety of activities from games to drills and crafts. Learn all about life as a Roman Soldier. Usual admission applies.
Lovely Bede's World have a Folklore, Myths and Legends weekend on. Entry is free and there will be a whole host of craft activities and sellers for you to enjoy.
Tuesday 26th May
Kirkley Hall Zoo is turning 4 and is having a 4th birthday party. All sorts going on including treasure hunts, face painters and games. Normal admission applies
Wyevale Garden Centres at Gosforth Park and Heighley Gate have a Wildlife Week going on. On Tuesday you can go along and make a bug hotel. £2.50 per child from 11am until 1pm. Why not join in the free Hedgehog hunt whilst you are there.
Wednesday 27th May
Alnwick Castle have a whole host of events through the week, mostly free with usual admission. 26-28 May come and see Raphael Falconry put on an amazing display. There is also broomstick training, medieval fancy dress or enjoy a behind the scenes tour of the various locations used at Alnwick Castle for film and TV.
Rockpool rambling at St Mary's Lighthouse as part of North Sea Week. 2pm - 4pm suitable for children aged 5 and over. £3 per person, places need to be booked in advance.
Thursday 28th May
Be-Active is an event hosted by Newcastle Council in Nuns Moor Park, Fenham and is all about promoting ways you can Be Active in your neighbourhood. 11am - 1pm and activities include free bike checks from Dr Bike, help to plant flowerbeds, family games and a Change 4 Life trail
Hopscotch Entertain are hosting a superhero event, at Foxhunters Pavilion in Whitley Bay. Operation:Mayday, featuring Bat Hero, Bumble Autobot and American Hero. Tickets again in advance £15 per child
From Thursday until Sunday, Beamish are holding a Georgian Fair as the Squire of Pockerley sets about finding his new staff for the season. Events include Miss Rebecca's performing ponies, Punch and Judy, live music and clog dancing and many, many more things to see. Normal admission applies.
Rising Sun Country Park have various events on Thursday, a mini beast hunt suitable for children aged 5 and over. Hunt for bugs in the park, all equipment is provided but make sure you wear suitable clothing. 10:30 until 12 noon. At 1pm til 2.30 there is Aquatic Adventures, pond dipping again equipment provided, suitable for all ages. Both events are £2,50 per child
Big Thursday over at Discovery Museum is celebrating all things maritime. Create a porthole picture, try a Keelman challenge and get up close with real maritime creatures. Free entry
Friday 29th May
Hopscotch Entertainment are also hosting a Madness and Mayhem event at Wallsend Memorial Hall. Guaranteed a great afternoon with some very special guest stars M1 and M2. £15 per child, tickets need to be booked in advance
South Shields Museum are showcasing a play specifically for children called And Let Us Run and it has been created by local schoolchildren. More details here. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance.
Saturday 30th May
Brand new exhibition opening at Segedunum Roman Museum in Wallsend and it kicks off with Mercatus, a Roman Fayre. There are so many exhibits here to see including fire jugglers, belly dancers, Roman cavalry and pottery demonstrations. Children under 16 go free.
Birdoswald Roman Fort have a real life Roman Soldier on site leading fun and games for little soldiers. A selection of ancient board games and crafts are just some of the activities you can take part in. Usual admission applies
Sunday 31st May
The Vermont Hotel are hosting a Princess Ball in conjunction with Emma Enchanted. A glittering ball with Snow White, Beauty and Rapunzel, Your little princesses can take part in princess lessons, dancing, story time, mini makeovers and a crowning ceremony. Tickets need to be booked in advance. £14.95 per child £4.95 per adult.
Tyneside Cinema are showing Moomins on the Riviera celebrating 70 years of the well loved characters. Only £4 per ticket with a Tyneside Cinema Family Card which you can collect at the cinema.
Vue Cinema in Cramlington is showing a couple of films as part of their Kids Am offer. Dino Time and Shaun the Sheep are on every day Saturday through to Thursday. Tickets are priced at £1.99 each
Odeon Silverlink are also showing a few films, Big Hero 6 is on Saturday - Friday. Paddington is Saturday - Thursday and Cinderella is on Friday - Sunday. Tickets are priced at £2.50. The Metro Centre Odeon has the addition of Boxtrolls Saturday - Thursday as well as the above.
Empire Juniors in the Gate are showing The Book of Life and Shaun the Sheep on 23rd and 24th May and the following weekend showing Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Horrible Day. These films are an incredible £1,25 per ticket.
So, what started out as a little round up turned into quite a lengthy post and I have only scratched the surface of what there is on offer the May Half Term. Hope it helps a little and please let me know, if you attend any of these events, what you thought, I love to hear your feedback.
DISCLAIMER; All details are checked and are correct at the time of writing. Please double check information with the venue if you are making plans to visit.