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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Seven Stories - Moving stories exhibition

Seven stories is one of our favourite indoor attractions. It's is the National Centre for Children's Books situated in Byker (next door to the Cluny/Ouseburn farm).

We always try and visit when a new exhibit opens as the displays are always amazing. They are always ultra creative, child friendly and interactive with nice touches for grown ups too.

This Easter I noticed the National Youth Orchestra were performing 'we're going on a bear hunt' which is one of our favourite stories. Tickets to this event specifically included entry to the new exhibition so we could not wait to visit.

You can normally park your car in the Fossway car park or around Byker Bank for free. Our trip to seven stories always starts with a little visit to Ouseburn farm which is a free city farm which is home to goats, sheep, chickens and even a few tortoises if you venture inside. The staff are always very welcoming and there is always lots going on.

I assume seven stories has that name as it is spread out over seven stories! The current exhibition Moving stories - Children's Books from Page to Screen is spread out over two floors and features books that have been adapted into film or for television.

There are many rare objects on display including Roald Dahl's annotated notebooks from Fantastic Mr Fox, original manuscripts and props from Mr Stink and a sketch from Disney's Snow White.

We simply love the thought and detail that goes into all Seven Stories exhibits. There are always lots of opportunities to dress up and play with props.

One of our favourite parts of the exhibit was the 'mixed up fairytales' section. We rolled the dice and had lots of fun making up our own crazy stories.

If you love books you need to visit Seven stories as there are endless opportunities to read some amazing and usually very funny stories with your child.

You might even meet a Cheshire Cat or The Gruffalo!

I would highly recommend the 'Moving Stories' exhibition. You and your children will love it.

Seven Stories offers you a lot for your money. On level one you have a creation station where there are drop in craft activities to enjoy. Level 2 features a cafe with wonderful views of the Ouseburn. Level 3 is where you will find one of the largest independent children's bookshop's in the country and it really is a joy to browse so many fantastic books. Level 4 and 5 feature exhibitions and a book den which is a nice little space to relax. Level 6 is where you will find the story lab which features different galleries. At the moment it is all relating to picture books and how they are produced. On May 17th this will change to Twists and Tails: creating Angelina Ballerina and then finally on level 7 you will find the Artist's Attic which is a wonderful space featuring a giant storytellers chair, books suspended from the ceiling, new titles on bookshelves to enjoy and dress up costumes. Daily storytelling sessions are held up here and it was the location of the Orchestra's 'we're going on a bear hunt'

The performance in the Attic was absolutely fantastic and I would really recommend checking out future events at seven stories. You can really see that everybody who works here is passionate about children's books. It really does shine through.

We have never went to anything remotely similar to watching an Orchestra perform and I was unsure what to expect. The National Youth Orchestra were fantastic though and held our children's attention throughout the 30 minute performance. They were really very creative and their performance included playing their instruments whilst lying on their backs and pretending to swim. The story really was brought to life in front of our eyes. Everyone young and old enjoyed themselves.

Family entry to seven stories is £19 (under 4's are free) or £60 for an annual pass which would be worth it if you were going to visit a few times as the exhibits change over the year.

I would recommend Seven Stories as a fab place to visit on a rainy day however also consider a visit when the sun is shining as it tends to be quieter then.


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