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Friday, 24 February 2017

Seven Stories Newcastle | Bears! | Exhibition Review


We are huge fans of the Ouseburn area of Newcastle and are always recommending a visit to this area of town when people call upon our advice. Seven Stories (The National Centre for Children's Books) sits right in the heart of Ouseburn and we are super lucky to have this multi-award winning attraction on our doorstep.

Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review


I have reviewed various exhibitions at Seven Stories in the past if you fancy a trip down memory lane:


I can hand on heart say that every exhibition we've visited has been engaging with lots of hands on fun. We were invited along to review the new 'Bears' exhibition which is open until February 2018. 


Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review - Exterior plus river Ouse

Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission


We usually park in the Foundry Lane car park (NE6 1LH) which is FREE and home to around 60 spaces. This car park can get busy during weekends and school holidays so I'd advise arriving early.

Alternative car parking:
  • Ouseburn South Car Park | FREE | NE6 1BU
  • Ford Street, Albion Road & Stepney Road are all within a 5-10 minute walk of Seven Stories

Check the Seven Stories Website for public transport details here.

Admission Prices (checked February 2017):

  • Adult | £7.70
  • Baby (under 12 months) | FREE
  • Toddler (1-3 years) | £2.50
  • Child (4-16 years) | £6.60


Family Tickets and Annual Passes are available. Check website for details. Admission is valid for a full day and you can come and go as you please, just make sure your hand is stamped.

*From 24th April 2017, Seven Stories will be closed on Mondays during term time*

Seven Stories Newcastle | Bears! Exhibition


Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review

We visited the exhibition on a rainy day in February Half Term and this new exhibition had been open less than a week. I am always honest in my reviews and I will say that I would never advise anyone to visit Seven Stories on a rainy day in the school holidays - it gets super busy and I have know the centre have to close to new admissions on occasion. I would recommend visiting after school during term time (the centre closes at 5pm) or on a super sunny day when it is likely to be less busy to make the most of your experience.

Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review - Jack

You will find Bears! on level 5 and the exhibition does not disappoint. The exhibition focuses on various Bears! that have featured in various children's literature over the years. Expect everything from Paddington to We're Going on a Bear Hunt, The Bear Under the Stairs and more.......

The exhibition is super hands on with lots of opportunities for fun. I loved the sensory wall featuring various types of real bears and explaining their habitats, what their fur feels like plus a few fun facts. My favourite bear on the wall is the 'Spectacled Bear' - what a name!

Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review - bears sensory wall

Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review - bear facts

Every corner of the exhibition and every single piece of space has been used up. There is something to look at or read wherever you look. I love that there are baskets upon baskets of books featuring bears across the exhibition and I imagine if your children are aged 3-5 years and you can visit during term time, you would have lots of fun sharing story after story together.

Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review - baskets of bear stories

The attention to detail in the exhibition space is fantastic and we enjoyed following the paw prints around the room.

Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review - footprints on floor

Back in 2013, we listened to story time in the attic and one of the books that was shared was called 'I Want My Hat Back'. We hadn't heard of this book before but we immediatly fell in love with it. It appeals to a very particular type of humour but it really tickled us. We bought our own copy from the Seven Stories book shop that day and since then it has been one of our favourite ever stories. We still laugh at it now. Anyway, we were delighted to find a whole corner of the Bears! exhibition dedicated to our much loved story, along with multiple copies of the book for you to enjoy for yourself. If you visit the exhibition, you must read this book. I promise you will giggle.

Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review - I want my hat back poster

Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review - I want my hat back exhibition

Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review - bear from I want my hat back

This is a Seven Stories exhibition so of course it features lots of dressing up opportunities. You'll find lots of Bear costumes dotted about and of course lots of places to improvise and act out your favourite stories.

Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review - bear dress up costume

Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review - goldilocks and the three bears review

Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review - sofa

Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review - bear story books

There is a bear trails throughout the exhibition and children are invited to bring their own teddy bears along to share the fun. If you forget your bear like we did (oops), there are plenty of teddy bears available for you to play with around the exhibtion.

Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review - kids on sofas

Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review - entrance to bears exhibition

The Bears! exhibition was lots of fun and we enjoyed spotting characters from some of our much-loved stories plus meeting some new bears too. Harry (aged 10) enjoyed the exhibition but I think he is at the upper age limit. I would definitely recommend for toddlers and pre-schoolers during term time when it's not so busy - Seven Stories is a fab place to meet for a play date with your mum friends.  Children of Primary School age will also enjoy the exhibition.

There are a whole Seven Stories of fun to be had and the Bears! exhibition just forms one part of your day at Seven Stories. From crafts to regular story time, various exhibitions, sensory back backs, a story station plus one of the best bookshops in the North East and a coffee shop, you can easily spend half a day here.


Disclosure | We were provided with Press Tickets to review this exhibition. 

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Seven Stories Newcastle | Parking & Admission plus Bears! Exhibition Review

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7 comments

  1. The bed is the cave from "Can"t you sleep little bear?". Having read the book 4 trillion times i recognised it straight away as did my toddler :-)

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    Replies
    1. Ah really? We haven't read that story. My theee wanted to act out Goldiloxks instead 😬

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  2. Sam you look great as a bear! I'd never heard of a spectacled bear - this exhibition must have been tons of fun, as well as interesting.

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  3. I will have to take Sophia here as she adores books and is learning about Goldilocks and the three bears at nursery school this term. x

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  4. I should really take Dinky back now she's toddling round and more aware of her surroundings. Last visit she was only a month old! Thanks for the reminder :)

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  5. Oh I need to visit this! One of my pet names for my daughter is the little bear so it would be perfect for us - I want my hat back is brilliant, always makes me laugh, definitely not what you'd expect from a children's book, while Paddington is a current favourite. #citytripping

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  6. If only I lived nearer this centre. It sounds very appealing. The bear exhibit looks super fun. What child doesn't love bears? We love I Want My Hat Back too. Thanks for linking #citytrippping

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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