A family of 5 with a zest for life, love of good food & passion for travel

A FREE Day Out | Easter Holiday Activities & Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle

After our trip to Exhibition Park and Sunday lunch at Wylam Brewery last weekend, we decided to pop into the Great North Museum (or the Hancock as us kids of the 80s call it) to check out their Bones exhibition. The Hancock Museum and the exhibition is FREE to visit and continues until 14th May. 

 Easter Holiday Activities at Hancock Museum, Newcastle 

We think a trip to the Great North Museum is perfect for the Easter holidays, especially if you are watching the pennies and looking for a purse friendly afternoon out. There are a few additional activities planned too:

  • From 8th April | Hadrian's Cavalry 
  • 10th April | Discover Animal Bones
  • 11th - 12th April | Babbling Vagabonds
  • 13th April | Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them
  • 18th April | Shadow Puppet Workshop
  • 19th April | Animal Handling and Relaxed Early Opening
  • 20th April | Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • 20th April | Roam Around Hadrian's Wall
  • 21st | Meet Dr Tom Hill

Most of these activities are FREE and drop-in but some do have a small charge and need to be booked. Check out the Hancock Museum's website for details. 

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle | Exterior

We have visited the Hancock Museum on numerous occasions so skipped most of the permanent exhibitions. If this is your first visit/you haven't visited in a while, I'd certainly recommend checking out the rest of the museum. There's a replica of Hadrian's Wall and a section on Roman History, lots of information about local and worldwide wildlife (including some fab models) and even a real mummy! Onto the Bones exhibition though.........

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle | sign

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle | whale ribs

You'll find the Bones Exhibition on Level One and it takes up most of the length of the museum. It's a nice open space with lots of interesting things to see, read and do. The exhibition focuses on skeletons, how they work and a few secrets too. We visited with children aged 6, 8 and 10 and I think this is the perfect age for visiting as they can read all of the information and absorb/understand everything themselves. I would also say that it is fantastic for adults. Sometimes museums can be a little boring but I found the exhibition to be fascinating and would visit again myself without the kids. Finally, Babyfoote visited the exhibition with pre-schoolers recently and also recommends. So basically, all ages will take something from a  visit.

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle | exhibition hall

By the exhibit entrance there are a couple of activity sheets (pack a pencil) and I would recommend having a wander around the exhibition first (there is so much to see) and then coming back and working through the sheet which helps you discover facts you may have missed.

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle - activity sheets

Heidi was obviously straight over to the dressing up station and spent a lot of the time walking around the exhibit incognito.

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle - dressing up area

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle - Heidi dressed up

There is lots of simple, hands-on fun for older children and little activities dotted about for them to get involved in learning. Harry is using a flip chart to learn how an animal's spine might move in water and Heidi is using the prompt above this mirror to watch the way her own spine moves as she wiggles about.

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle - spine moving in mirror

We also discovered how the kids size up against various animal bones. Harry is just a little taller than an Ostrich leg.

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle - bone comparison chart

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle - skull puzzle

The best part of the exhibition for me was being able to see the actual real life bones and skeletons from various animals up close. At one point three animal skulls are lined up together and it was super interesting to see just how similar they were. Check out this Hippo (or Rhino??) skull below. I wouldn't want to get too close!

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle - Hippo skull

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle - crocodile skull

I loved the wall of antlers too and there is a spot on the floor where you can stand and get the perfect selfie. Obviously I need no excuse to take a selfie!

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle - wall of antlers

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle - antler selfie

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle

Being able to see the detail in various skeletons is just incredible. I honestly don't know if I was more blown away by the huge whale bones or the tiny skeleton of a bat more?

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle - monkey skeletons

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle - bird skeletons

There are lots of prompts for discussion and questions to be answered around the exhibition for curious minds. You'll learn why birds can fly and how a snake can move when it doesn't have any feet.

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle - snake skeleton

Bones Exhibition at Hancock Museum, Newcastle - fossils

If you're looking for a free day out this Easter, I recommend catching the Bones exhibition at the Hancock Museum while you can. It continues until 14th May 2017.

Are you looking for other FREE days out in the North East? Check out these ideas:

I'm linking this post up to Pigeon Pair and Me #CulturedKids 



  1. That snake skeleton is incredible! Looks like a really worthwhile visit! X

  2. The Hancock really does look as though it's got everything you need to keep youngsters entertained. I didn't think it would be possible to include dressing up in a bones exhibition, but they've managed it! How fantastic that it's free. I feel lucky to have these places in our country. Thanks for linking up with #CulturedKids x

  3. That looks brilliant Sam, I can't believe it's free! #culturedkids

  4. This sounds like a fantastic day our for families! #culturedkids

  5. As a child growing up in Newcastle I spent many many happy days at the Hancock. I'm wondering whether they still have the piranha fish and the scary mummy! This exhibition looks brilliant, my children would love it, skeletons and bones have a fascination for kids. The Hancock looks a lot more hands on now, the dressing up and opportunity to touch things would be great. Looks like there are more great activities too, the Fantastic Beats would be good. #culturedkids

  6. i didn't even know this was on! great review and we will try to head down

  7. I used to love the Hancock Museum when I lived in Newcastle. Glad to see that the glass cases of stuff remain. #culturedkids


I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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