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Friday, 30 September 2016

What's on in the North East for children & families | 1st & 2nd October

Hello October! I actually love this month as we have a half term (yeah) and Halloween to look forward to as well as all the pretty autumnal colours to enjoy when I'm out and about. We're going to be searching for Snowdogs this weekend with Tyne & Wear Metro. If you haven't already, please check out their £10 family deal (you all get your own Snowdog wristband too).  The bands are valid for up to 2 adults and 3 children on all Metros, local trains & the Shields ferry so if you know of any Snowdogs I can access this way, please let me know.



If you're saving Snowdog hunting for another day, here are 5 other suggestions for days out in the North East this weekend:-


Children's Spookfest at Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve
Sunday 2nd October | 10am - 4pm

Get into the spirit of October with a Spookfest at Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve. Entry is FREE and there will be Halloween mask making, Halloween face painting, pumpkin carving, craft activities and spooky games. Fancy dress is optional. It all takes place in the visitor's centre (downstairs room) and the 'spooky' adventure playground. Find out more here. 



Early bird opening for children with an autistic spectrum condition  | Seven Stories
Saturday 1st October | 9am-10am

Seven Stories open their doors extra early on the first Saturday of every month and welcome children with an autistic spectrum condition. An earlier opening ensures the building is quieter and there is a relaxed storytime in the attic at 10am. Normal admission applies. See here for further details. 


Harvest Festival |  Beamish Museum
Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd October

Beamish are celebrating their harvest in this annual festival. There will be stunning displays in the Pit village chapel and harvest displays at Pockerley Old Hall and the farm. Don't miss the choir performances in the Pit Village Chapel at 12noon and 2pm on both days. Find out more here.


Red Squirrel Week | Wallington Hall
Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd October | 11am - 3pm

Join the Wallington Hall rangers on a special squirrel spotting walk and then head to West Wood to take part in special squirrel-themed crafts. Free event (normal admission applies). Find out more here. 


The Little Mermaid | Tyneside Cinema
Saturday 1st October | 10:30am

There will be a special screening of The Little Mermaid this Saturday as part of the Fantastical Disney Season at Tyneside Cinema. All tickets are only £4 and children will receive a free lollipop and everyone will be entered into a raffle where you can win a fantastic prize before the film starts. Book tickets here.


Let me know what you're up to this weekend. If you're a bit of a planner like I am, grab your diary and start planning October Half Term with our Guide to the Juice Festival and 36 ideas for Halloween in the North East.


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Thursday, 29 September 2016

St James' Park Festive Fayre | Preview & Ticket Giveaway

Everyone knows that I LOVE Christmas. It's a time of year that makes me warm and fuzzy inside and for me, festivities can begin as soon as Halloween is over. It is also HUGELY important for me to support local businesses where I can. Although I will admit it is difficult to buy everything I need from small & local businesses, I can certainly buy most of my food, drinks, handmade gifts and decorations from local people. I am super excited to see that over 170 if my favourite (and mostly local) businesses will be joining together and holding a Festive Fayre at St James' Park in Newcastle on Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th November.



St James' Park Festive Fayre for Children


St James' Park Festive Fayre is set to be a family affair. As well as over 170 exhibitors there will be a Santa's Grotto (must be pre-booked - see here), character appearances courtesy of Let it Snow Productions, live music, Carol Singing, Magician Ryan Phelps, crafts from the creation station, Hooray Softplay, animals from the Zoo Academy and more. 

Let it Snow Productions will be there


The event is supporting Metro Radio's Cash for Kids and any children who bring along a gift to donate to Metro Radio's Cash for Kids will be admitted to the event completely free of charge and provided with vouchers for FREE face painting courtesy of Rainbow Jelly Face Painting and play in the Hooray Soft Play Mobile Soft Play. 


Exhibitors


There are going to be over 170 exhibitors at this massive indoor event selling everything from food & drinks to handmade gifts, clothing, jewellery and more. Check out St Jame's Park Festive Fayre on Facebook for a full list.  Some of my favourites include Wor Brand (I love my Wor Brand Tree Decorations!), Freya Lillie (gorgeous clothing for children), Northumbrian Smokehouse, Geordie Bangers and Mini Figure Madness.  Even if you don't buy much on the day I always find that these type of events are perfect for gaining inspiration and getting the details of businesses you like to pop back to and purchase at a later date. 

Alice and Fox will be there
Pick up a local gift from Wor Brand

Pick up some gorgeous baby and children's wear from Freya Lillie 

Order a personalised Christmas plaque from Mini Figure Madness 

More from Mini Figure Madness

Pick up some yummy Northumberland Cheese


Where to buy tickets

Tickets are available to pre-book for £5 (plus booking fee) for one day or £8 (plus booking fee) for the whole weekend. Children's tickets are £3 or FREE if they bring along a gift to donate to Metro Radio's Cash for Kids on the day. You can book tickets online here.

Giveaway


I have kindly been provided with 5 x pairs of weekend tickets to giveaway. Simply enter via the rafflecopter below (you can come back daily to enter via Twitter). 5 lucky people will be selected at random and each will win a pair of tickets. Good luck! 


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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

What's on in the North East - Halloween 2016


What's on in the North East - Halloween 2016 - 36 ways to celebrate Halloween in the North East

Halloween just seems to get bigger and better every year and there is SO much going on in our region that we really are spoilt for choice. Here are 36 suggestions for how to celebrate this October:-


Halloween Weekend at Woodhorn: Terrible Tales & Birds of Prey

Gary Cordingly will be telling his spooky tales from Northumberland's past at various points throughout the weekend plus there will be birds of prey displays and a pumpkin trail for children.

Where: Woodhorn
When: Sat 29th & Sun 30th October
Cost: Storytelling & Birds of Prey are FREE, Pumpkin trail costs £1 per child. Entry to Woodhorn is FREE but you do need to pay £3.50 per car for parking.
Tickets/Info: Woodhorn Website


Halloween Evenings at Beamish Museum

Halloween evenings at Beamish will give you a fright you'll never forget. There will be all sorts of creatures walking amongst the shadows and only the bravest will knock on the doors to wish the Beamish residents a Happy Halloween.

Where: Beamish Museum,
When: 24th, 25th, 28th, 29th, 31st October | 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Cost: From £9
Tickets/Info: Beamish Website


All Hallows' Walk at Auckland Castle

Join a 40 minute Halloween trail around the castle's grounds. There will be lots of live pop-up theatre, tales and local fables. Bring a torch and wrap up warm. 

Where: Auckland Castle
When: Fri 28th & Sat 29th October | 5:30pm - 8pm
Cost: From £4
Tickets/Info: Auckland Castle Website

What's on in the North East - Halloween 2016 - All Hallows' Walk Auckland Castle


Halloween at the Seaton Delaval Hall

Bring your pumpkins and best costumes along for a day of spooky fun. There'll be pumpkin carving and spooky storytelling from the Seaton Delaval Hall Ghoul! 

Where: Seaton Delaval Hall
When: Sun 30th October | 11am - 5pm
Cost: Entry charges apply, activities are included in admission.


Harry Potter's Halloween Party at Newcastle Marriott

The Marriott's Grandstand Suite will be transformed into the Great Hall where you'll dine on a Harry Potter-themed afternoon tea, attend potion class, play quidditch and more. All to the backdrop of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on the big screen. 

Where: Newcastle Marriott Hotel, Gosforth Park
When: 26th October | 12noon - 3pm
Cost: From £10
Tickets/Info: See Facebook event and call 0191 236 4111 for tickets



The Little Customs House of Horrors and Wendy the Witch | Customs House South Shields

The Little Customs House of Horrors is a family Halloween party with a difference. There will be fancy dress, food, drink and lots of fun and games. In a separate event, Wendy the Witch is back for another theatrical performance with The Mummy's Curse - a musical tale for families. 

Where: Customs House South Shields
When: House of Horrors | Sun 30th Oct & Wendy the Witch | Sun 30th & Mon 31st Oct (various times)
Cost: From £7.50
Tickets/Info: Customs House Website

Tanfield Ghost train

The Tanfield Railway has to be the ultimate Ghost train. There is a zombie decontamination zone, witches brew for sale, a spider tent, a criminal crown, a zombie outbreak on the train, an electric chair, singing pumpkins, trick or treat, wand making and much more.

Where: Tanfield Railway
When: 29th & 30th October (various times)
Cost: £12 per person
Tickets/Info: Tanfield Railway Website

What's on in the North East - Halloween 2016 - Tanfield Ghost Train



Children's Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Pumpkin at Wynyard Hall

Little ones are in for a real pumpkin experience with pumpkin carving, themed stories, arts & crafts followed by homemade pumpkin soup served with crusty bread. 

Where: Wynyard Hall
When: Thurs 27th Oct
Cost: £15 per child (accompanying adults are free)
Tickets/Info: Wynyard Hall Website

What's on in the North East - Halloween 2016 - Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Pumpkin at Wynyard Hall

Spooky Night at the Museum

Join the museum for a special after-hours Halloween party. There'll be a devilish disco, freaky feel boxes, bewitching tales, bugs n stuff and much more. 

Where: Discovery Museum, Newcastle
When: Friday 28th October | 5-7pm
Cost: From £1
Tickets/Info: Discovery Museum Website

Keel Row Halloween Party

Join Sharon and the team for their annual Halloween get together. There'll be a spooky disco, party games and even a FREE buffet. 

Where: Keel Row Pub, Seaton Delaval
When: Sat 29th Oct | 6pm - 11pm
Cost: FREE
Tickets/Info: Pick up your free tickets from the bar. See Facebook event for further info. 

What's on in the North East - Halloween 2016 - Halloween party at Keel Row Pub
Image Credit : Keel Row Pub



Magical Myths & monstrous monsters at Arbeia Roman Fort

Go on a monster hunt around the fort, listen to spooky stories and on Friday, create some creepy crafts. 

Where: Arbeia Roman Fort
When: Monday 24th - Friday 28th October | 10am-2pm
Cost: FREE (donations welcome)
Tickets/Info: Arbeia Roman Fort Website


Cobweb Ball at Wallsend Memorial Hall

Join Hopscotch Entertainment for their popular Cobweb Ball. There will be fun and games, Halloween characters, prizes, music, dancing, wrap the mummy, food, drink, party bags plus character performances. 

Where: Wallsend Memorial Hall
When: Sunday 30th October  | 2pm - 4pm
Cost: £10 per child 

What's on in the North East - Halloween 2016 - Hopscotch Cobweb ball


Batty About Halloween at Northumberlandia

Spend the morning creating Halloween crafts. Everything is provided including pumpkins. 

Where: Northumberlandia
When: 28th October | 9:30am - 11am
Cost: £5 per child 


The Vampire Rabbit (part of the Juice Festival)

The story of the Vampire Rabbit will be told through circus, puppetry, storytelling, digital technology and live music. 

Where: The Mining Institute
When: 25th - 27th October | 2pm
Cost: From £3
Tickets/Info: Juice Festival Website


Halloween Spooktacular at Castle Mania, Amble

Your ticket includes 2 hours play on the play frames, trick or treat hide and seek, games and a party bag. 

Where: Castle Mania, Amble
When: 30th October | 4pm - 6pm
Cost: From £5.50
Tickets/Info: Facebook Event

Halloween Fun at Souter Lighthouse

Join Professor Grim in his science lab for creepy crafts, a spooky trail and eerie indoor activities. 

Where: Souter Lighthouse
When: 28th & 29th October | 11am - 4pm 
Cost: Free with admission

Frightwater Valley

We LOVE Frightwater Valley and had a fab time at this event a few years ago. There's a Live Scare Maze, Trick or Treat doors, a Scare Train and the ultimate finale at 6:15pm. This is on top of all the fabulous rides, attractions, birds of prey centre and angry birds play areas. 

Where: Lightwater Valley
When: 27th - 30th October
Cost: £12.50 early booking offer (enter FRIGHTWATEREB at checkout - valid for first 500 people)

What's on in the North East - Halloween 2016 - Frightwater Valley
Image Credit | Lightwater Valley


Pumpkin Carving at Alnwick Garden

Head to the Crafty Cottage and help the resident witches create your very own pumpkin. 

Where: Crafty Cottage at Alnwick Garden
When: 26th - 30th October | 11am - 3pm
Cost: Free with garden admission
Tickets/Info: Alnwick Garden Website

What's on in the North East - Halloween 2016 - Pumpkin carving at Alnwick Garden


The Dark Garden at Alnwick Garden

The Dark Garden is a brand new outdoor experience for children and their families who are brave enough to experience ghosts, spirits and creatures of the night who will make you jump. The dark garden is dramatic, scary and memorable with performers, darkness and light, drifting smoke and evil smells. Hand holding is allowed! 

Where: Alnwick Garden
When: 25th - 30th October | 6:15pm - 9:30pm
Cost: From £7 
Tickets/Info: Alnwick Garden Website

What's on in the North East - Halloween 2016 - The Dark Garden at Alnwick Garden


Halloween at Alnwick Castle

Join a medieval alchemist, take part in Halloween crafts, listen to ghost stories and complete the Knight's quest in this 1000 year old castle. There will be regular broomstick training too. 

Where: Alnwick Castle 
When: 22nd - 30th Oct (various times)
Cost: Free with castle admission
Tickets/Info: Alnwick Castle Website

What's on in the North East - Halloween 2016 - Halloween at Alnwick Castle


Half Term Hocus Pocus at Preston Park

There is A LOT going on at Preston Park this Halloween including magic school, owl displays and broomstick training plus the North East's very own Diagon Alley. 

Where: Preston Park and Museum
When: 22nd - 30th October (various times/dates)
Cost: Free with museum admission (£5 per family)
Tickets/Info: Preston Park Website


How high can your witch fly & All Things Spidery | Cragside

Experiment with air powered rockets and see how high your witch can fly plus make your very own spider and web to take home. 

Where: Cragside House & Gardens
When: How high can your witch fly | 27th Oct 11am-3pm & All things spidery 28th Oct 1pm
Cost: Free with admission
Tickets/Info: Cragside Website


Halloween Specials at Aln Valley Railway

Join Northumberland's standard gauge heritage railway for lots of ghoulish fun.

Where: Aln Valley Railway
When: 29th October
Cost: TBC
Tickets/Info: Aln Valley Railway Website


Gruesome Gibside | Pumpkin carving and parade

Get creepy and creative carving your own pumpkin then join Gibside's resident witch for eerie tales and a pumpkin parade at 3pm.

Where: Gibside
When: 24th & 25th October
Cost: Regular admission + £4 per child
Tickets/Info: Gibside Website


Fright Night at Gibside

Pop along to Gibside in your scariest costume for a night of family-friendly spooktacular fun. There will be food stalls, local ales and wine for the grown ups and a mini play area plus spooky activities for the kids. Dogs are welcome too. 

Where: Gibside
When: 29th October | 6pm - 9pm
Cost: FREE entry
Tickets/Info : Gibside Website



Halloween fun at the National Glass Centre | Sunderland

There is a full calendar of events taking place at Sunderland Glass Centre this year including 'Make a Glass Pumpkin', 'Ghoulish Glass Painting', 'Trick or Treat Plate' 'Clay Monsters' and 'Jam Jar Lanterns'.

Where: National Glass Centre | Sunderland
When: 22nd - 31st October
Cost: Various
Tickets/Info: National Glass Centre Website 


The Phantom Pirates of Percy Main at Stephenson Railway Museum

Join Stephenson Railway for a day packed with pirate games, scary stories and pirate crafts. There will be spooky heritage train rides running throughout the day too. 

Where: Stephenson Railway Museum
When: 30th October 11am - 3pm
Cost: FREE entry (there is a small charge for train rides)


Make Me a Monster at Baltic

Families can delve into the world of materials and create their own costumes to take home with them. Make paws, claws, spikes and everything in between and learn how to move like a monster too. 

Where: Baltic, Gateshead Quays.
When: 28th - 30th October | various times from 10:30am
Cost: £4.95 per child
Tickets/Info: Baltic Website


Light Your Way at Ormesby Hall

Head to Ormesby Hall and create your very own lantern for Halloween. Craft materials and battery candle supplied. 

Where: Ormesby Hall
When: 25th October | 12noon - 4pm
Cost: £1 plus regular admission
Tickets/Info: Ormesby Hall Website

Pumpkin Patch at Brockbushes Farm

Take a tractor ride around the farm, join in some spooky Halloween fun and choose your own pumpkin. 

Where: Brockbushes Farm Shop & Tearoom
When: 22nd - 30th October
Cost: £6.50 per child (accompanying adult is free)
Tickets/Info: Brockbushes website


Day of the Dead Family Celebrations | ¡Vamos! Newcastle

In collaboration with the Juice Festival, Day of the Dead is a fantastic family alternative to Halloween. There will be live music, performances, colourful costumes, crafts, street food, face painting and more. 

Where: ¡Vamos! Social, Market Street | Newcastle 
When: 29th October 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm
Cost: £6 per ticket
Tickets/Info: ¡Vamos! Website

What's on in the North East - Halloween 2016 - Vamos Day of the Dead


Dark Dahl Mash up at Seven Stories

Celebrate 100 years of Dahl with a special Halloween twist. There'll be revolting rhymes and a chance to explore some of the world's most famous 'baddies' from the Grand High Witch to Miss Trunchbull. 

Where: Seven Stories
When: 22nd - 30th October
Cost: Free with admission
Tickets/Info: Seven Stories Website


Halloween at Adventure Valley

There are over 10 Halloween activities to join in with at Adventure Valley including Gooey games, Monster Hunts, a Wheel of Misfortune and Daily Magic Shows.

Where: Adventure Valley
When: 22nd - 30th October | 10am - 5pm
Cost: £9.75



Halloween Happenings at Cherryburn

Head down to Cherryburn and get crafty with the team & create lots of Halloween decorations and accessories. 

Where: Cherryburn
When: 30th October | 11am - 2pm
Cost: Admission + £1
Tickets/Info: Cherryburn Website


Trick or Treat Trail at Dalton Park

Dress up in your scariest costumes and join Dalton Park for their special Trick or Treat Trail which will raise money for the Sick Children's Trust. Follow the pumpkin lanterns on a special family walk full of spooks and sweets. 

Where: Dalton Park
When: 28th October | 11am
Cost: Free entry (however families need to pre-register and raise money for The Sick Children's Trust in the form of sponsorship) 
Tickets/Info: Dalton Park Website


Creatures of the Night | Busting the myths of mummies

Expert curators will be on hand to explain about the latest mummification research, answer questions and dispel myths. 

Where: Great North Museum | Hancock
When: 28th October | 11am - 3pm
Cost: Free



Let me know how you'll be celebrating Halloween this year and don't forget to join our 'North East Days Out' Facebook Group for even more suggestions.

What's on in the North East - Halloween 2016
Events/Timings correct at time of publishing. Please double check details before booking anything.




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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Enchanted Parks at Saltwell Park 2016 | How and where to buy tickets


We have decided to visit Enchanted Parks at Saltwell Park this year after seeing all of the fabulous photographs across social media in the last few years and reading this post featuring Life in Geordieland's visit last year.

I have been eagerly awaiting an announcement that tickets are on sale so I am VERY excited to be able to tell you that tickets will go on sale at 9am on Tuesday 4th October. Set your alarms or make a note on your calendar if you'd like to get your hands on tickets as I suspect the event will sell out.

Enchanted Parks at Saltwell Park 2016 | How and where to buy tickets

The annual event will see Saltwell Park transformed into a magical, mythical wonderland from Tuesday 6 December - Sunday 11 December. Overwhelming public demand for the event has led to the organisers adding an additional date this year.

Enchanted Parks at Saltwell Park 2016 | How and where to buy tickets

The theme for this year's event has been inspired by the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death and will involve a hidden manuscript in Saltwell Towers unleashing a strange magic over the park as A Winter's Tale comes to life.

How to Buy Tickets to Enchanted Parks at Saltwell Park


Date on Sale: 9am Tuesday 4th October

Where to Buy: enchantedparks.com 

Cost: £8 per adult, £2 per child under 16, under 3's are free

Find out moreLike Enchanted Parks on Facebook and Follow @WinterFestNG on Twitter

Enchanted Park Dates: Tuesday 6th December - Sunday 11th December 2016

This post has not been sponsored in any way - I am just super excited to spread the news. I am hoping to purchase tickets to visit on my birthday (7th December), let me know if you are planning on visiting too.

Enchanted Parks is funded by Arts Council England and Gateshead Council. It is developed and commissioned by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with Gateshead Council as part of NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s festivals and events programme.
Enchanted Parks is part of Light Up The North; a consortium of seven light festivals taking place across the North of England www.lightupthenorth.com
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Monday, 26 September 2016

The ULTIMATE guide to what's on for families | Juice Festival - October Half Term


The Juice Festival is returning to NewcastleGateshead this October Half Term and there is a jam-packed line up of activities, events, workshops and performances that have been designed to inspire creativity, induce fun and provide a chance to try something new.

The ULTIMATE guide to what's on at Juice Festival for families | October Half Term



Juice festival is aimed at under 25's and their families and today I am bringing you a guide to what's on for under 11's (and of course their family). Look out for a guide to what's on for under 25's next month (or if you can't wait, check out the Juice Festival website).


Saturday 22nd October


Big Juice Family Day
These two venues will be packed with fun and exciting activities plus special preview performances. 
VENUE: Discovery Museum, Newcastle & Trinity Square, Gateshead
TIME: 11am- 3pm
AGE: Family
BOOK: Just turn up
COST: FREE


Sunday 23rd October


Lulladub 
Traditional lullabies from around the world will be re-mixed. Combining dance, voice, technology and percussion, this is a real chance for little ones (and their grown-ups) to let their hair down and have fun.  
VENUE: Cluny 2, Ouseburn Valley
TIME: 1pm
AGE: Babies aged 0-2
BOOK: juicefestival.co.uk
COST: £6 per adult (babies free)


Monday 24th October


Downside Up
Dance on the floor as well as in the air and get the chance to have a go hanging upside down, in cocoons or on the trapeze yourself too. 
VENUE: Northern Stage
TIME: 10am & 1pm
AGE: 5-11
BOOK: 0191 230 5151 or book online here.
COST: £4 per child (parents and carers go free)


Tuesday 25th October


Downside Up
Dance on the floor as well as in the air and get the chance to have a go hanging upside down, in cocoons or on the trapeze yourself too.
VENUE: Northern Stage
TIME: 10am & 1pm
AGE: 5-11
BOOK: 0191 230 5151 or book online here.
COST: £4 per child (parents and carers go free)


Great North Explorers
Look out for pop up performances across the museum that will bring the museum's collections to life and there'll be a mini mobile museum on wheels in the city centre too. 
VENUE: Great North Museum, Hancock
TIME: Museum Opening Hours
AGE: Families
BOOK: Just turn up
COST: Free

Six Legs
Explore the fascinating world of insects through puppetry, performance and audience participation. 
VENUE: Gateshead Central Library
TIME: 11am & 2pm (1 hour duration)
AGE: 4-7 years
BOOK: Book online here
COST: £3


Wednesday 26th October


Great North Explorers
Look out for pop up performances across the museum that will bring the museum's collections to life and there'll be a mini mobile museum on wheels in the city centre too.
VENUE: Great North Museum, Hancock
TIME: Museum Opening Hours
AGE: Families
BOOK: Just turn up
COST: Free

Windibops Performance
Join these dancing scientists as they explore everything from flatulence to global warming. Dance and science will be brought together in a huge ball of fun with test tubes, fart jars and lab tables.
VENUE: Dance City
TIME: 10:30am (relaxed performance) & 2pm
AGE: Families
BOOK: 0191 261 0505 or book online here.
COST: £7.50

Windibops Workshop
Your chance to get closer to the action and explore science and fun in this exciting workshop. 
VENUE: Dance City
TIME: 12:15pm-1:15pm
AGE: 5-10 years
BOOK: 0191 261 0505 or book online here.
COST: £8

The Vampire Rabbit Matinee
The Vampire Rabbit has baffled Geordies for over 100 years. This gothic performance brings the mystery to life with circus, puppetry, storytelling and digital technology.
VENUE: The Mining Institute
TIME: 2pm
AGE: Families
BOOK: Book online here. 
COST: £5, under 12s £3


Thursday 27th October


The Big Juice Read
Celebrating the wild and wacky world of Roald Dahl. Expect activities, themed crafts and workshops.
VENUE: Gateshead Central Library
TIME: 2pm - 4pm
AGE: Families
BOOK: Just show up or book in advance - 0191 433 8400)
COST: FREE

Make It Digital
Drop in for some digitally inspired crafts and activities. 
VENUE: Shipley Art Gallery
TIME: 10am - 2pm (drop in)
AGE: Families
BOOK: Pay on arrival, no booking required.
COST: £2.50 per child

Mirror Mirror
A unique and immersive experience for children and young people with complex disabilities. The audience will be transported to a beauty parlour with messy play and multi-sensory activities and performances being adapted to individual audiences. 
VENUE: Northern Stage
TIME: 10:30am & 2pm  (for young people on the autism spectrum)
AGE: 3-9
BOOK: 0191 230 5151 or book online here.
COST: Child & Carer £9.50

Lawnmowers See and Do 
This is your chance to join the Lawnmowers Independent Theatre Company in a participatory experience through live music, theatre and hip hop. 
VENUE: The Lawnmowers, Swinburne Street
TIME: 10:30am & 11:30am
AGE: 8+
BOOK: Tickets on sale soon
COST: FREE

The Vampire Rabbit Matinee
The Vampire Rabbit has baffled Geordies for over 100 years. This gothic performance brings the mystery to life with circus, puppetry, storytelling and digital technology. 
VENUE: The Mining Institute
TIME: 2pm
AGE: Families
BOOK: Book online here.
COST: £5, under 12s £3


Friday 28th October


Mirror Mirror
A unique and immersive experience for children and young people with complex disabilities. The audience will be transported to a beauty parlour with messy play and multi-sensory activities and performances being adapted to individual audiences.
VENUE: Northern Stage
TIME: 10:30am & 2pm  (for young people with profound and multiple learning difficulties)
AGE: 3-9
BOOK: 0191 230 5151 or book online here.
COST: Child & Carer £9.50

The Big Juice Read
Celebrating the wild and wacky world of Roald Dahl. Expect activities, themed crafts and workshops.
VENUE: Newcastle City Library
TIME: 2pm - 4pm
AGE: Families
BOOK: Just turn up or book in advance - 0191 277 4100
COST: Free

Nowhaus House Warming Party
Join Chalk for the Housewarming Rave of the year. Play in the house, explore rooms and enjoy the live DJ and lots of dancing. Sketch on the giant drawing wall and create your own architecturally inspired piece in the scrapyard to take home. 
VENUE: Shipley Art Gallery
TIME: 2pm-3:30pm
AGE: Children aged 3-11 years and their families
BOOK: Book online here
COST: £2.50 per child (under 3's and adults are free)

The Hogswallops
Expect thrilling circus skills, comedy, clowning, slapstick and theatre in this spectacular performance for families. 
VENUE: Northern Stage
TIME: 7pm
AGE: 3+
BOOK: 0191 230 5151 or book online here.
COST: £12 per ticket of £40 per family (4 tickets inc. at least 1 child)

Stateless
This acrobatic dance performance creates a fascinating experience with moments of courage, sadness, friendship and wit as the journey of crossing borders is explored. 
VENUE: Dance City
TIME: 7:30pm
AGE: All ages with parental guidance
BOOK: Book online here.
COST: £7.50 - £12.50


Saturday 29th October


Day of the Dead Family Celebration
Last year was a sell out so this is an event not to be missed. Join ¡Vamos! as they celebrate the 'Day of the Dead'. Live music, street food, performances, costumes and face painting make this a fantastic alternative to Halloween. 
VENUE: ¡Vamos! Social, Market Street
TIME: 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 5pm
AGE: Families
BOOK: Book online here.
COST: £6 (under 3's free)

The Hogswallops
Expect thrilling circus skills, comedy, clowning, slapstick and theatre in this spectacular performance for families.
VENUE: Northern Stage
TIME: 1pm & 5pm
AGE: 3+
BOOK: 0191 230 5151 or book online here. 
COST: £12 per ticket of £40 per family (4 tickets inc. at least 1 child)

Stateless
This acrobatic dance performance creates a fascinating experience with moments of courage, sadness, friendship and wit as the journey of crossing borders is explored.
VENUE: Dance City
TIME: 8pm
AGE: All ages with parental guidance
BOOK: Book online here
COST: £7.50 - £12.50

There will also be activities all week at Shipley Art Gallery. To find out more about any of the Juice Festival events, check out the Juice Festival Website, follow Juice Festival on Facebook and sign up to the Juice Festival mailing list here.

The ULTIMATE guide to what's on at Juice Festival for families | October Half Term


Let me know which performance or activity has caught your eye.  

Disclosure: Collaborative Post

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Friday, 23 September 2016

What's on in the North East for Children & Families | 24th & 25thSeptember


It's official! Autumn has arrived. I am spending a weekend at St Mary's Inn celebrating a good friend's wedding (New Girl in Toon for those who read Chloe's blog) and I am SO excited. Kids will be staying at grannies and I believe they are taking them to Wallsend Golf Club to test out Harry's golf clubs. Sounds like fun. If golfing isn't your thing, there's plenty going on in the North East to keep you entertained. Here are my top 5 picks for the weekend ahead:

What's on in the North East for Children & Families | 24th & 25th September



Tolkien Weekend
Newcastle Castle
10am - 5pm | 24th - 25th September

Time & Tide Events return with this FREE festival which will transport us back to Middle-earth. There will be market stalls, mouth-watering food, activities, crafts and more. See here for a full list of activities. Entry to the Castle Keep, Black Gate and St Nicholas' Cathedral is FREE across the whole weekend.


Sunderland Illuminations Launch Night
Cliffe Park, Sunderland seafront
7-8pm | Saturday 24th September 

Sunderland Illuminations return this year and they are set to be better than ever. Launch night will see Ian and Dannii from Sun FM with Spark Drummers, Live Music and local singer Chloe Castro who appeared on The Voice.

Roker Park is going to be transformed from 24th September until 5th November with a pirate, dinosaur and fairy theme. There will be fairground rides, illuminated art, pirate adventure golf, a model railway, giant observation wheel and more. Entry to the park is £1 and some activities are chargeable. Check website for further details.


Hands On Heritage Skills
Beamish Museum
24th - 25th September

Another weekend, another special event at Beamish. I LOVE how busy their events programme is. If you haven't already invested, an annual pass is definitely worth the £. This weekend is all about embracing heritage skills and visitors will have the chance to get hands on skills and crafts including Lace making, Patchwork, Basket making, Corn dolly making, Northumbrian Piper and Candle Making. Find out more here.


Wild Rumpus Rave
Alnwick Playhouse
2-3:30pm | Saturday 24th September

Let off some steam at this WILD  dance party. There's a chance for little ones (and grown ups) to stomp & dance along to a live DJ along with bubbles, hula hoops, inflatables and projections. Tickets are just £4.50 (babies under 18 months are free). You can find out more and book tickets here. 


Open Air Cinema
Chester le Street Cricket Club
1pm & 4pm | Saturday 24th September

Chester le Street Cricket Club is being transformed into an Open Air Cinema this Saturday in aid of St Cuthbert's Hospice. Film fans can enjoy The Lion King at 1pm and/or Grease at 4pm. You can find out more and book tickets here. 


Don't forget to follow North East Family Fun on Facebook for lots more ideas :-) 


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Thursday, 22 September 2016

What do parents do to unwind at home?

The lovely people at Rattan Direct have contacted me and asked if my readers could help them out by completing this short survey which focuses on asking how you unwind around the home, asks how you are celebrating Christmas and finally if Brexit as altered your spending habits around the home and garden.

What do parents do to unwind at home?

It is just a short survey of 17 questions and takes less than 2 minutes.  I hope to share the results with you when all of the data has been gathered and analysed. I'll be interested to see what the results are.




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A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland


A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland

You wouldn't believe it was mid-September when these photographs were taken. We have been blessed with a very mild start to the autumn. I'm certainly not complaining though and Steve and I took the opportunity to head out for one of our favourite walks around Ladyburn lake at Druridge Bay Country Park in Northumberland. 

A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland

Druridge Bay Country Park is a place I have visited many times but I realised I have never actually blogged about it so it was the perfect opportunity to take my camera out and about.

A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland

Druridge Bay Country Park offers FREE parking across multiple car parks, there is a good visitor centre with toilets (see bottom of this post for opening times), a cafe and plenty of seats and picnic benches . You can swim in the lake and water sports are permitted from April - October (check website for permit details and further info).

A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland

After parking our car we walked the 1.5 mile route around the lake. It's a very easy, flat walk and fine for more robust pushchairs I would say. There is the chance to spot lots of wildlife around the lake including swans, ducks, dragon flies and much more.

A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland - watersports and swans

A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland - swans on lake

About half way around the lake, you will find some stepping stones. My children adore these and happily hop from one to the next. I'm a little more hesitant but I still made it over without falling in! If stepping stones aren't your thing there is an accessible path behind the lake that adds a couple of extra minutes to your walk. If you can though, you should definitely attempt the stones. The views across the lake are lovely.

A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland - stepping stones across lake

A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland - crossing the stepping stones

There are plenty of spaces to enjoy a seat and take in the magnificent views. From park benches to huge picnic tables  - Druridge Bay has it covered.

A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland - bench with lake view

A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland

A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland

We visited in September and I have to say - there weren't too many flowers around for me to photograph - I bet this isn't the case in spring though.

A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland - flowers

A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland - weeds

We ended our walk with a quick cuppa and a picnic at the Visitor Centre. There are lots of maps and information leaflets here as well as the loos, cafe, a small shop and wildlife information and exhibits.

A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland - visitor centre and picnic tables

A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland - picnic tables

A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland - flask of coffee

There is a small park for children to enjoy and you can just spot further climbing apparatus in the distance. This is the view from the picnic tables:-

A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland - children's play area/park

The fun doesn't stop there, if you follow the signs from the main car park you will find Druridge Bay beach just a few steps away. I think Druridge Bay is one of the best beaches in the UK - you'll find mile upon mile of golden sands and it is usually very quiet. We've had the beach to ourselves during our last few visits.

A walk around Ladyburn Lake at Druridge Bay Country Park | Northumberland - Druridge Bay Beach by Mandy Charlton Photographer
Druridge Bay Beach | Credit Mandy Charlton Photography


Need To Know

  • Address : Druridge Bay Country Park, Red Row. Morpeth. NE61 5BX
  • Toilets open 9:30am - 4:30pm
  • Cafe open weekends 11am - 4pm | April - September and every day during the school summer holidays
  • Car park gates open during daylight hours. Parking is free
  • Dog and horse friendly
  • Overnight contact is allowed with permission (email druridgebay@northumberland.org.uk )
  • No BBQs allowed but there are picnic tables
  • Small children's play area
  • Contact Coquet Shorebase Trust to enquire about watersports 

Have you ever visited Druridge Bay? 




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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Hotel Las Vegas, Bibione | Italy - A Perfect Holiday Choice for Families


Hotel Las Vegas, Bibione | Italy - A Perfect Holiday Choice for Families

The Italian coastline stretches for 4382 miles. Sitting between Venice and Trieste on the Adriatic coast, you'll find the seaside city of Bibione. Known as 'Sun in the heart of Europe', Bibione is famed for it's crystal clear waters and long sandy beaches and as a place that is perfect for families to get away from it all and relax. Here are 6 reasons why a holiday in Bibione could be just right for your next getaway:-


1 - Family-friendly Hotels

Bibione in Italy is home to some lovely hotels which are perfect for families including Hotel Las Vegas. This hotel is just 30 metres from a private beach and offers free bike hire to adults and children, free WiFi, a reading area and TV, entertainment for children at the beach, in the playroom and even during meal times (with qualified staff), a baby menu, high chairs and plastic cutlery, organic food, children's meals and for extra convenience, you'll also find a paediatric pharmacy within the hotel.  All children receive a free gift on arrival and family rooms are very well equipped with cribs, changing tables, night lights, small bath tubs, baby monitors and bottle warmers.

Hotel Las Vegas, Bibione | Italy - A Perfect Holiday Choice for Families - children's mini club on the beach

There is a hotel mini-club where parents can leave their children in very good (and qualified) hands. Children will enjoy fun at the beach, discos, face painting, treasure hunts, magic show and arts and crafts whilst mum and dad have a few hours to relax.

For grown ups there are cocktail parties, live entertainment, dance evenings plus a comprehensive sport and fitness programme.

Erm.....when can I book?


2 - A Perfect Seaside Resort

Bibione beach offers FREE  activities and workshops for kids, the beach has WiFi and is absolutely immaculate (it has held a blue flag for the last 21 years). Beach staff speak English and if you stay at the Hotel Las Vegas, sun loungers and parasols are available at no additional cost.

Hotel Las Vegas, Bibione | Italy - A Perfect Holiday Choice for Families - Private Hotel Beach


3 - Food Glorious Food

Bibione is the white asparagus capital of Italy and local seafood specialities include sardines, mackerel and needlefish. The resort serves much more than local food though with worldwide cuisines and flavours influencing menus. You'll find most restaurants serving delicious handmade pizzas and pasta for kids. Most restaurants offer custom menus for coeliacs too. In the hotel restaurant, there is a 'baby corner', light menu, organic food and everything is freshly prepared by a highly qualified team of chefs. Allergies are very well catered for and there is an extensive cocktail list and wine menu to help you choose that perfect drink to accompany your meal.

Hotel Las Vegas, Bibione | Italy - A Perfect Holiday Choice for Families - restaurant terrace and cocktails

4 - A Cycling Paradise

You don't need a car in Bibione - you can access everywhere by bicycle. Either take your own or hire from the resort (remember cycle hire is free if you stay at Hotel Las Vegas). There are hundreds of cycle routes to choose from and lots are perfect for beginners and children.

Hotel Las Vegas, Bibione | Italy - A Perfect Holiday Choice for Families - cycle route by beach


5 - Explore Northern Italy

If theme parks are your thing, there's lots to keep your family entertained in Bibione.  From Luna Park Adriatico in the centre Bibione to the Zoo of Lignano. Aquasplash and Guilliverlandia are within easy reach of Bibione and Venice, Padua and Treviso are very close by too.

Hotel Las Vegas, Bibione | Italy - A Perfect Holiday Choice for Families - day trip to venice
Explore Venice

6 - Relax in Italy's only Seafront Spa

The Bibione Thermae Spa is the only seafront spa treatment and wellbeing centre in Italy and it's the perfect spot for a little bit of 'me time'. The spa's wellness area includes indoor and outdoor pools, a sauna, salt cabin, herbal bath and rain showers. Water spouts from a lovely 52 degrees from a depth of 500 metres. Children are welcome in some areas and you'll find a wide range of treatments available to book.

Hotel Las Vegas, Bibione | Italy - A Perfect Holiday Choice for Families - Thermae spa


Need To Know

  • Rooms at Hotel Las Vegas are available from 47 euros per room, per night. Rooms are air-conditioned with a balcony, in-room safe, bathroom, LCD TV, fridge and telephone as standard. 

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post. Photographs used with permission .











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