Tag Archives: top 10

Little Scientists at The Centre for Life

28 Jul

An amazing day at The Centre for Life. My daughters six and four absolutely loved the new Experiment Zone. Having not studied science for almost three decades, the thought of how I was going to be able to help them “extract DNA” left me a little nervous! But the instructions were so clear and easy to follow, that literally a four-year-old could do it.
There are a wide range of experiments to choose from and we’ll definitely be back to try out another. Inspiring stuff.






There is so much to do, that you really could spend a whole day inside. We love the Little Bear film in the planetarium about the constellations. The play area upstairs can keep them entertained for an hour alone, and they never seem to get sick of the activities in the explorer zone.
My children are a little young to appreciate the Game On exhibition, but the range on show is fantastic, a real journey through gaming history. Spotting the Speak and Spell and Donkey Kong did however make me feel on the old side!


There is a cafe and restaurant, but also a picnic area too, which I think is great so you are welcome to bring your own food too.
A top quality place for a family day out time and time again.



Plessey Woods

15 Feb

There’s over 100 acres of woodland, meadow and riverside to explore in Plessey Woods. No signs of otters or kingfishers on this trip, but plenty of good sticks and water to poke…



Woodhorn Museum

15 Feb

I love Woodhorn, I really do.  A fascinating and fun trip through mining history, banner displays, the Pitman Painters exhibition, arts and crafts and even a ride on a miniature railway to a feed ducks on a lake, it’s a great day out with the kids…. and apart from the parking it’s free! My kids love walking through the Coal Town – and never seem to tire of opening and closing the door to the outside loo (you’ll see why…) They love the noises and sounds and the interactive nature of the museum that brings it alive. And if that wasn’t enough they have touring exhibitions too like the brilliant Retronaut photographs dubbed “Victorian selfies” and the recently arrived Brick Planet lego display.


Taste of summer: Druridge Bay and Morpeth

20 May

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The merest hint of sunshine can see me scramble for the picnic rug, bucket and spade and mandatory cheese & pickle sarnie and head off like a woman possessed in the direction of the beach.

More often than not, the end result is a progressive drop in the car’s thermometer, a gathering of cloud and a pick-up in the wind until I arrive at the coast to unload my swimming cozzie-clad youngsters shivering onto the sand, while waterproof and welly-wearing dog walkers glance at them in pity.

But not this weekend. To my relief it actually got warmer the closer we got to our sunny destination and I even began to think that it might even be “busy” and “would I get parked?” in our usual spot right above the beach.

I found myself thinking “ooo it is quite busy” – but that was because there were actually one or two other families scattered sparsely across the sand, whereas usually we have almost the whole beach to ourselves and even though I never need reminding, I did think quite smugly how lucky I am to live so close to such a beautiful and peaceful coastline.

Children’s inability to feel the cold never ceases to amaze me and I was quite jealous that while I was slightly chilly in my jeans and cardie, my two girls lolloped around in the water as if we were in the Costa del Sol.

Roll on summer.

Making the most of the weather on Sunday we headed down to Carlisle Park, Morpeth, where the grassy banks were filled with picnic spreads, families took rowing boats out on the river against the backdrop of the busy bowling green, (and Dunkin Donut van) in an almost idyllic vision of Englishness, A dedicated chap was also hard at work painting the brilliant paddling pool, so I look forward to that being open soon.
We then headed along the riverside path, great for scooters and small bikes towards the “Steppy Stones”. Whilst it’s not as scenic with the current flood defence work underway, the shallow river is great for paddling, fishing and like a big kid, I love navigating the Stepping Stones. I also love having a nosy at the beautiful picture-perfect riverbank houses with their terraced gardens that lead down to the river.
If you are out without bikes/scooters/pushchairs you can cross over the stones and the path leads back up to town centre, where you can then walk back to the park.

Tea with the Tiger at Seven Stories

11 Oct


A trip to Seven Stories the National Centre for Children’s Books has never failed to impress me. The quality and detail of the exhibitions lets you step inside and then have a good old rummage round inside the stories. And the return of Judith Kerr’s A Tiger Came to Tea is just brilliant. Although my 3 year old froze in her tracks when she first peeped round the corner, she was soon sitting at the table serving him slices of cake. It also reminded me how wonderful the Mog tales are. I love the idea of cats dreaming of being butterflies. Combined with Story Time in the attic, dressing up and crafts we all had a great time and will be heading back soon.


Cycling and brambling in Rising Sun Country Park

29 Sep








the stag

Who would have thought all this was just behind the Asda?


10 things to do in the North East with kids this weekend

28 Jun

1. Pick your own fruit at Brockbushes Farm – it’s strawberry and gooseberry season and gooseberries are said to make great wine too? There’s also a farm shop and tea room. http://www.brocksbushes.co.uk/

2. Family friendly fun galore at the Heaton Festival: circus skills, animal petting, balloon shapes, hog roasts and much more http://heatonfestival.com/

3. Take a pedalo for a trip on the lake at Saltwell Park, Gateshead http://www.gateshead.gov.uk/Leisure%20and%20Culture/parks/Saltwell%20Park/Home.aspx

4. Enjoy a peaceful walk and feed the swans at Bolam Lake, free apart from the parking http://www.northumberlandlife.org/bolamlakecountrypark/

5. The kids driving you up the wall? try Rock Stars Kids Session at Climb Newcastle from age 3 + http://www.climbnewcastle.com/rockstars.html

6. The society wedding is over, now this weekend the water pistols are out at Alnwick Garden for Splash Alnwick http://www.alnwickgarden.com/events/170/splash-alnwick

7. Take a seat at the Tyneside Cinema’s Children’s Film Club for All Stars https://www.tynesidecinema.co.uk/whats-on/films/kids-club

8. There’s farm fun galore at Adventure Valley, Durham http://www.adventurevalley.co.uk/

9. Park in Wylam and cycle by the Tyne along the perfectly flat Wylam Waggonway past George Stephenson’s birthplace. The 4 mile route to the Tyne Riverside Country Park, plus play area, is great for family cycling http://activenewcastle.co.uk/content/stephensons-track/

10. Explore the rugged wilderness of Cragside: walks through the craggy woods and a great playpark too. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside

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