25+ Fun Things to Do in Whitley Bay with Kids

Disclosure - I have worked with some of the places mentioned in this post but nobody has asked/paid to feature in this post. 

Whitley Bay is a traditional seaside resort in North East England and somewhere I have always loved visiting.

25+ Fun Things to Do in Whitley Bay with Kids


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 visiting for fish and chips 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 .

Whitley Bay : Parking & Public Transport 

There is ample parking in Whitley Bay, I have never struggled to get parked there. It can be a traffic warden hotspot so please always check signs and park legally. Below is a screenshot of some of the car parks available, off-street parking is available in some areas too but do check the signs for restrictions. 

My go-to car park is The Playhouse Car Park (NE26 1LZ) which has 80 spaces. I like this one as it is fairly central, close the Spanish City, the Playhouse and the beach/town centre and it is free with no time restrictions. It is popular though so it is not always possible to park here. 

My next choice of car park is Park Road Car Park (NE26 1LT) which has 78 spaces and is free for 2 hours between 8am-6pm (no restrictions after this time). This car park is just behind the play park and close to both the town centre and the beach so a good all-rounder. 

Whitley Bay is super easy to get to by public transport - you can catch the Metro to Whitley Bay or Monkseaton and loads of buses travel along the coast this way. 

20+ Fun Things to Do in Whitley Bay with Kids 

This post is going to share a few ideas for fun things to do with kids in Whitley Bay - let me know if you have any suggestions to add and we will try and squeeze them in this summer and add them to this post if we think they're fun. This post is based on life with no COVID restrictions, please check individual venues for their current opening information. 

All of these attractions are within easy walking distance of each other with R Place and Fun Little Foodies being a 10 minute walk from the centre and Golf / St Mary's Lighthouse located 1-2 miles along the coast from the centre. 

Bonus entry for May half term 2021: 

What they say: 

The Spanish City Family Funfair returns🤡🎡🎠
From Saturday 29th May - Friday 4th June
Open 11am- 6pm Daily.
There will be your usual family favourites from the Waltzer, Dodgem, Licensed To Thrill Crazy Frogs, Experience Miami, Odeon Tagada, King Sizzler, Runaway Train Roller Coaster, plenty of Children’s rides and Hook a duck stalls. Also the Giant Mad Mountain Slide and Bungee Trampolines.
✳️ Covid-19 Secure. Passed by HSE and Public Health.
Precautions include:
✅ numbers monitored for maximum social distancing
✅ hand sanitiser and entrance and exit to each ride
✅ All rides cleaned between customers
✅ All staff to wear masks or screens
✅ Contactless payment available on all attractions
✅ QR track and trace code for everyone that enters
✳️ Don’t forget. Please maintain social distancing all ALL times. Find out more in the official Facebook event here.

1 - Visit Spanish City 

The funfair may have long gone but dining under the dome always feels pretty special. There are several options when it comes to dining with kids with our favourites being Fish & Chips in Trenchers or Kids Afternoon Tea. Find out more and check up to date menus / make a booking here. 

2 - Pirate Escape Rooms

Did you know there are Pirate Escape Rooms in Whitley Bay? 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 four different games to choose from and up to 7 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 a few years back 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.

Find out more and book here. 

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

3 - Enjoy Epic Shakes from Stacked

Stacked serve pancakes, dirty dogs, nachos and fantastic epic shakes - choose from the likes of Reeces Pieces or Kinder Bueno. There is a customer collection point within Pantrinis. A nice little treat for the kids. Find out more here. 

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, a kiosk selling drinks and snacks and free-to-use public toilets too. The water park is usually open from 10am-6pm between Easter and the end of September (obviously this may be different under current restrictions so please check before setting off) and the play park is open all year round. Don't forget your towel! Find out more here. 

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. You can pick up new buckets and spades from a shop in the town centre/ kiosks for a couple of pounds. Find out more here. 

6 - Sunday lunch at Second Bite Bistro 

Second Bite Bistro (formerly Evan's Bistro) on Whitley Road serves delicious homemade food. Second Bite are a Social Enterprise (which means they invest their profits back into the community) and have worked with various charities throughout the pandemic to deliver hot meals to those in need. They also provide training opportunities to vulnerable members of the community / those who face employment challenges within all aspects of catering and hospitality. So when you buy from Second Bite Bistro, you really are giving back to the North Tyneside community. 

I highly recommend booking a table for Sunday lunch where the whole family can enjoy a delicious lunch with the best gravy ever, homemade Yorkshires and buttery mashed potato. There are Vegan options available and a kids menu too. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for re-opening information and new menus. Find out more here. 

7 - Catch a movie at Jam Jar Cinema

The Jam Jar Cinema is an award winning independent cinema and such a gem. A visit here 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.

Jam Jar show a wide variety of films and run special seasons alongside the latest blockbusters. You can also privately hire the venue for a kids party and host your own special screening. 

Find out more here. 

8 - Take a Dip at Waves Leisure Centre

Waves Leisure Centre is a popular swimming choice for families. Their pool includes a wave machine, pirate ship, tipping water treasure chest and three high octane slides. Family changing including a Changing Places changing room are available. Find out more here. 

9 - Visit St Mary's Lighthouse

We absolutely love visiting St Mary's Lighthouse and Island. It is an easy-ish 4 mile round trip if you fancy walking from Whitley Bay to the lighthouse or there is a car park if you don't fancy the walk.

There are public toilets at the lighthouse and usually a van selling various drinks / snacks / fishing nets. Do check the causeway tide times before crossing - nobody wants to get stranded! 

You can climb to the top of the lighthouse (booking required - small charge), visit the nature reserve, it is a fantastic place to explore rock pools and you can usually spot seals on rocks towards the sea (please keep quiet and your distance around the animals if you spot any). 

Find out more here. 

10 - Play in the Arcades 

Just by the sea front you will find a couple of traditional arcades - the kids love playing on the 2p machines here. 

11 - Enjoy Fish and Chips by the Sea

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to fish and chips in Whitley Bay and I really can't pick a favourite. Four options stand out for me though - Pantrinis (a traditional fish and chip shop who have been a family business in Whitley Bay for over 100 years), Trenchers at Spanish City (for something a little fancier) or Fisherman's Bay and Laura's Fish Bar which are very much loved by locals and a bargain. 

12 - Take the Seasider Open Top Bus Tour 

We enjoyed an open top bus tour of the North Tyneside Coast back in 2019. I really hope this service will be back in 2021 - watch this space. 

13 - Mini Golf and Foot Golf 

Whitley Bay has its own little mini golf course and foot golf on the seafront. Prices are super reasonable too. Find out more here. 

14 - Buy the Best Ice Cream from Di Meos 

You cannot visit Whitley Bay without buying an ice cream from Di Meos. There are loads of flavours to choose from but their battenburg flavour is my all time fave. There are nearly always queues, but it's worth the wait. Find out more here. 

15 - Visit Soft Play 

Whitley Bay is spoilt for choice when it comes to soft play for little ones. Options include: 
The above soft play centres are fab but they are definitely all best suited to younger children than older kids. 

16 - HotPotz Ceramic Painting 

Credit HotPotz

HotPotz Ceramic Painting is an ideal rainy day activity. Their Whitley Bay studio offers a variety of ceramics to paint and glaze. Find out more here. 

17 - Catch a Show at the Playhouse 

In normal times, we are regular visitors to Whitley Bay Playhouse and I have lots of happy memories watching lots of shows here with the kids. Their calendar is usually nice and varied and prices reasonable. I like that their seats have loads of leg room too. 

Find out more and check out what's on here. 

18 - Try an EPIC doughnut from R Place 

R Place sell THE best doughnuts. They often run special themed weekends (keep an eye on their social media for info) but I have to say, their bacon doughnut is magnificent! Find out more here

19 - Skate Park 

There is a free skate park on the seafront which is popular with both locals and visitors or the prom is nice and flat and suitable for scooting / skating too. 

Find out more here. 

20 - Rendezvous Cafe 

They don't serve the best coffee in the world and there are better options for food in Whitley Bay BUT I have such a soft spot for Rendezvous Cafe on the promenade. Sitting in the art deco building feels like you have stepped back in time and I love ordering an old fashioned peach melba. 

Find out more here. 

21 - The Station Master's Community Garden 

This is such a lovely spot. The not-for-profit community garden runs special events and children's workshops (check out their Facebook page to see what's on), accessible gardening opportunities and spaces for wild play. Find out more here. 

22 - Shop Local

One reason I love Whitley Bay is that it is jam packed with independent shops and such a great place to go shopping. Some of my favourites include: 

This is just scratching the surface! 

23 - Take a Sunset Stroll 

Whitley Bay is perfect for a sunset stroll. There is free parking in the Briardene Car Park (NE26 4NF) which has good access to the beach. 

24 - Try a Fun Little Foodies Cooking Class

Fun Little Foodies offer cookery classes to children of all ages from their dedicated site in Whitley Bay. Jack and Heidi loved their experience a few years ago. Find out more here.  

25 - Go Blackberry Picking at Marden Quarry 

Marden Quarry is a nice place for a quiet stroll if you wish to escape the hustle and bustle of the sea front. It is also an excellent spot for blackberry picking! Find out more here. 

26 - Try the Whitley Bay Treasure Trail 

We love completing Treasure Trails and Whitley Bay has their own Spy Trail which should take around 2.5 hours and fill an afternoon. Find out more here. 

Where to Stay in Whitley Bay 

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

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Please follow social distancing rules & Government guidelines , respect the local area, leave no trace, take litter home, park responsibly and if somewhere is busy on arrival, please consider leaving and returning at a later date. 

Remember face coverings are required for indoor attractions / shops for those aged 11+ (usual exemptions apply)  

Check for local lockdowns / travel restrictions before visiting anywhere. 

Always check updated opening hours / protocols with venues direct before setting off as things may have changed after this post was published. 


  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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