11 fun things to do with the kids in Whitley Bay this summer

*This is a collaborative post. Please see my disclosure page for details. 

Whitley Bay is a traditional seaside resort in North East England. It's fair to say it's had it's ups and downs over the years but I think most will agree that the area is certainly going through a period of regeneration at the moment. I have fond memories of visiting St Mary's Lighthouse with my grandparents as a child myself and climbing all the way to the top before hunting for crabs in the rockpools below. Then as a teen I had my first taste of independence in Whitley Bay as we were allowed to visit Waves Swimming Pool without a grown up for the first time and Whitley Bay is where we first 'met up' with boys from outside of our school. Back then we'd spend our whole summer hanging out at Spanish City and on the beach.

Fast forward to today and you'll often find me buying (the best) fish and chips from Pantrinis with my own children followed by an ice cream from Di Meos and spending our 2ps in the amusement arcades. Yes, Whitley Bay certainly holds lots of special memories .

11 fun things to do with the kids in Whitley Bay this summer

I am the first to admit that I am stuck in my ways - we always park at the same place, order the same deal from Pantrinis and play in the same arcades so when Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade asked me to discover what else there was to do for families over the summer, I was more than up for the challenge and we spent a full weekend putting family activities in Whitely Bay through their paces. It turns out there is LOADS to do and I only scratched the surface really. Here are my top recommendations (that have been tried and tested by us) for family fun in Whitley Bay this summer:

1 - Family breakfast | Olives at the Station

If you're travelling into Whitley Bay by Metro, or even if you're not, Olives at the Station is a fab spot to stop for breakfast. Joined onto the Metro Station (which also has it's own car park) and open from 9am Monday-Saturday, the breakfast menu is large and offers exceptional value. My boys tucked into epic sausage sandwiches, Heidi devoured some thickly sliced toast with butter and preserves and for me, it had to be eggy bread with bacon and syrup (I would highly recommend you order this dish yourself). All of our food was hot, delicious and plentiful and served with a smile. There's a large outdoor terrace where you can sit if the sun is shining too. Oh and they serve a decent coffee which for me is a definite summer essential!

11 fun things to do with the kids in Whitley Bay this summer

11 fun things to do with the kids in Whitley Bay this summer

2 - Pirate Escape Rooms

Did you know there are Pirate Escape Rooms in Whitley Bay? Because I didn't. You'll find their doorway on Park View next to the Police Station where you can head upstairs to a Pirate's Paradise. There are three different games to choose from and up to 6 players can play at once. You have 60 minutes to solve the riddles and break out. Ideally, the games are for ages 10+ but I would say younger children can definitely join in as part of a group. I don't think children would be able to manage a game alone though so it definitely needs to be a family effort. We tried the Tavern Game and loved it. There were around 20 codes to crack and lots of puzzles to solve using Pirate-themed props. There are a few hidden surprises too. The games are designed to be family-friendly so there are easy door releases and you can press a special button on a screen if you need a clue without any embarrassment (we did this around 30 times). We escaped the room in just over 60 minutes and felt very proud of ourselves for working together. A one hour Pirate Escape room challenge costs £60 for up to 6 people and can be pre-booked online here or by calling 0191 4358428. If you're looking for a family activitiy with older kids or want something that will tear them away from their computers without any moaning, I would certainly recommend.

11 fun things to do with the kids in Whitley Bay this summer

3 - Enjoy epic shakes at Vintage Powder Room and Teashop

The Vintage Powder Room and Teashop isn't somewhere I would immediately think to take my children - it looks far too beautiful inside! But it turns out I was wrong and if you're looking for a place to stop for epic shakes and cake, this place has to be it. There are lots of milkshake flavours to choose from including some more unusual ones such as Jaffa Cake or Milky Bar. The teashop is very child-friendly with wipe-clean tablecloths, boxes of toys to keep little ones entertained, super friendly and welcoming staff and a few special offers that are just for kids too. Heidi and I will definitely be returning for a special girly treat soon.

11 fun things to do with the kids in Whitley Bay this summer

4 - Whitley Bay Park and Water Park

Whitley Bay's Play Park & Water Park is in the middle of the town centre near Whitley Bay library and an ideal place to head if the kids need to let off some steam or cool down on a hot day. There are water fountains as well as two play parks for various ages as well as a kiosk selling drinks and snacks and free-to-use public toilets too. The water park is open from 10am-6pm between Easter and the end of September and the play park is open all year round. Don't forget your towel!

5 - Visit the blue-flag beach

I think it's almost impossible to spend any time in Whitley Bay without a little trip to the beach. The beach has been awarded a blue flag and the water quality is rated as 5*. Lifeguards are on duty during peak periods and there are lots of facilities including cafes, non-motorised watersports and toilets. There's a skate park and a lovely promenade to walk along too. We could happily spend hours here. We picked up new buckets and spades from a shop in the town centre for a couple of pounds so dont worry if you leave yours at home.

6 - Sunday lunch at board games at Evan's Bistro

Evan's Bistro is a new family-owned restaurant on Whitley Road serving delicious homemade food. I highly recommend booking a table for Sunday lunch where adults can enjoy a delicious 2 course lunch for just £12.95 (with the best gravy ever, homemade Yorkshires and buttery mashed potato) and kids can eat from £4.55. There are plans to start a Sunday lunch time kids club on selected Sundays with kids crafts and entertainment and special offers such as kids eat half price throughout the school holidays - keep an eye on the Evan's Bistro Facebook page for details to be announced soon. What I really love about Evan's Bistro though is that your table is yours for the afternoon so you can really enjoy some quality time together and maybe even play a game or two in the Bistro's snug over after-dinner drinks.

7 - Catch a movie at Jam Jar Cinema

The Jam Jar Cinema is my new favourite place! It offers such a different cinema experience to what we're used to when compared to the large chain cinema we normally visit. This independent cinema is quirky and fun and every chair is a premium one, offering plenty of space and comfort. You can even reserve your own sofa in the front row. I love that all sweets in the cinema are priced at just £1 and you can order an alcoholic drink or two to enjoy in the cinema. You'll find special kids screenings which are just £2.50 per ticket, bargain days/evenings (all seats £4/£5), special screenings as well as the latest blockbusters. The cinema is available for private hire too which I think would make a wonderful alternative children's party. We watched the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid and loved it - one of those films that will make the grown-ups smile and the kids laugh.

8 - Support a local pub with dinner at The King George

On one hand, I am excited to see the Premier Inn open in Whitley Bay It's going to be fabulous for the town and will hopefully bring lots of new visitors. I am not so happy about the new Beefeater pub that's all shiny and new in the perfect location overlooking the sea. We dined at a different Beefeater last week and found it to be SO overpriced. My surf and turf was £22 and served with frozen chips! I can feel this turning into a bit of a rant but I really hope the independent and family-owned pubs and restaurants in Whitley Bay aren't forgotten about. If you can, please try and support a local pub or restaurant like The King George this summer.

The King George is part of what used to be 42nd Street and perhaps not the obvious choice for a family meal. We went in with open minds though and have to say we were really impressed. I probably wouldn't take the kids late on a Saturday night but it's perfect for lunch or an early dinner. The pub was packed out with families during our tea time visit. The King George has it's own microbrewery which pleased Steve and all of the food is cooked from scratch. The prices are around 30-50% cheaper than the Beefeater too so it's a no-brainer really. The portions are huge aswell. Kids meals are £3.95 and my delicious Scampi and chips with homemade tartar sauce was just £6.95.

9 - Catch the land train to St Mary's Lighthouse

A special land train is set to return this summer and will take passengers from Whitley Bay, to St Mary's Lighthouse and back. Now it's an easy-ish 4 mile round trip if you fancy walking from Whitley Bay to the lighthouse but I think the train will be so much more fun! We can't wait to jump aboard later this month. St Mary's Lighthouse is probably one of the best places in the North East to go rock pooling. You can buy nets and buckets from a little kiosk in the lighthouse car park.

10 - Visit a traditional sweet shop

There aren't too many places you can visit a 'proper' sweet shop anymore and visiting somewhere like Bay Sweets and Gifts is a real treat for children. You'll find this shop on park view selling a huge variety of traditional and retro sweets from cola cubes and giant gobstoppers to proper sticks of seaside rock. Definitely worth popping into for a treat.

11 - Try Virtual Reality Games at Pirate Escape Rooms

I've honestly never seen Harry so happy as when he spotted the sign for an HTC VIVE outside the Pirate Escape Rooms. I had no idea what he was talking about but apparently, they are all the rage in the virtual reality world and he couldn't wait to try this expensive bit of kit out for himself. Aimed at children aged 10+ and grown-ups, the special VR room can be hired for just £60 per hour for up to 4 people. There will be a trained member of staff with you at all times and you can choose from a huge selection of games from light sabre training with Darth Vader to fun houses and even walking a plank across the New York Skyline. I tried the latter and let me tell you, it is so realistic! Although in my head I knew I was standing in the middle of a room, I really did feel as if I was walking along rooftops and in the end, I chickened out 'jumping' off the edge of a tower. Harry was a lot braver than me and managed it no problem. Harry wants to return here for his birthday in September with his friends and I think if you book an hour's session for your older kids or teens this summer, you'll definitely be seen as a cool parent.

I was honestly blown away by just how much there was to do for kids and families in Whitley Bay. No doubt we'll be returning a fair few times over the summer. If you'd like to see more, please check out the video we created on the day below:

Let me know your favourite thing to do in Whitley Bay and if you've tried any of my suggestions. 



  1. I love Whitley bay, I spent so much time there when I was younger! It was also where I used to go every summer on nights out. My other halfs dad lives near the beach & waves and we always make a day of it when we go and visit him as the children love the beach and had such fun on the land train last summer. I had no idea they had a pirate escape room either and the mum and that me package looks great, I think I might have to take my girls in the summer X

  2. The Pirate Escape Room sounds somewhere definitely worth a visit. Don't know who'd enjoy it more - the grown ups or the kids!

  3. Brilliant round up! look forward to a trip to Evan's bistro soon and the pirate room looks like fun!

  4. Next time we're planning a date night we're definitely going to head to Evans Bistro - I feel like we've waited long enough!

    I've been wanting to go to the Jam Jar cinema for ages, I can't believe I've still not made it there yet!

    So many great things to do in Whitley Bay - I can't believe how many things you've thought of!

  5. We really need to take a trip to Whitley Bay as we have friends who live there. Who knew there was so much to do in the area too. Great review and pictures as always Sam x

  6. We have been to a couple of these this weekend based on this (though we did also visit the beefeater, 33% off, oops). We were very impressed with Olives at the station, for breakfast. We also did Sunday lunch at Evans, we got half price kids meals and a free bottle of wine!!
    We visited the lighthouse today and loved watching the seals.
    There are still lots more things we want to do, including eat at the beautiful Spanish city, we will be back.
    Dawn x

  7. Great post! We are heading to Whitley Bay today, the kids absolutely Waves swimming pool which I would definitely add to your list. It has a huge slide and the waves go off every 30 minutes. We then usually head to to the Rendevouz cafe for an ice cream sundae afterwards!

  8. Great write up Sam. I go all the time and didn't know some of the places you mentioned. Could I also mention the Rondevous Cafe. It's our favourite place to take the grandkids after a walk along the promenade. It's a laid back place where it doesn't matter if you have dogs or kids scruffy from the beach.


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