Things to do with kids at The Grainger Market, Newcastle

Newcastle's Grainger Market probably isn't the first place you'd think of when planning a family day out in Newcastle but it's honestly one of our favourite spots in town. It's FREE to visit and soak up the atmosphere, the stalls and traders are all local people and your visit will support them and with over 100 traders, there is always something new to discover. The Grainger Market is so much more than 'just a market' - it's a bit of a Newcastle institution I think. We probably visit the Grainger Market more than any other shop in Newcastle and really enjoy taking the kids along for the experience too.

Things to do with kids at The Grainger Market 

My favourite thing to do at The Grainger Market with the kids is to use a visit to try and educate them about money, finances, where food comes from and how to get a good deal. If we have a spare half an hour in Newcastle I'll set them a task such as finding the best deals for strawberries. They now know that the cheapest isn't necessarily the best value and know to look for the weight of the strawberries they are buying and their condition too. They have turned into quite the bargain hunters over the years! The age-old fact that if you encourage kids to shop for food and prepare it themselves, they're more like to eat it is definitely true. We love walking past the butchers and watching them chop up whole pigs and checking out the different types of fish & seafood available from the fishmongers - SO much more interesting than shopping at the supermarket. Here are a few other ideas: 
  • Guided tours
  • Air raid shelter tours (selected dates only)
  • Visit the fish market, proper butchers and fruit & veg stalls - encourage the kids to find a bargain/order produce themselves
  • Play table tennis in the arcade
  • Visit the monthly make and mend market
  • Get weighed in the historic weigh house
  • Ask questions - discover new cheeses at Matthews Cheese Shop, watch a bread slicer in action at The French Oven and 
  • Enjoy a slice of pizza that is bigger than your head
  • See crepes make the French way
  • Pick up a cake treat or pick and mix sweets
  • Eat your way around the world from Turkish wraps to Chinese dumplings
  • Visit the Marks & Spencer Penny Bazaar - a piece of Geordie history 
  • Shop for gifts and treats and take advice from experts from the likes of the Simply Small Co, That Retro Game Shop & Ellen's Cosmetics
    & so much more...........
We visited last weekend and took some snaps from our visit and I can't wait to share a few highlights from our last visit. Above all, I really hope I inspire you to visit with your own children and for you to experience all there is to offer yourself. 

It's free to visit The Weigh House and 50p if you'd like to weigh yourself. The scales in here are HUGE. The Weigh House is an original feature from The Grainger Market and it is one of the few units which has an entrance in more than one alley. Traders used to use the scales to weigh their deliveries and it's very easy to picture them doing this when you step inside. 

Ellen's Cosmetics is like an Aladdin's Cave and the staff here are so lovely and happy to provide lots of advice. The store changes with the seasons and in October has been tranformed into a one-stop shop for all things Halloween. From face paints to glitter hair spray, temporary tattoos and make-up, it's a fab shop for kids to spend their pocket money.

There are a couple of jewellers in The Grainger Market and we popped into S Murray Jewellers. They are small and friendly and you can actually watch the jeweller at work from the counter. Kids can get their watch battery replaced (from £4), fit new straps, repair jewellery and more......

Heidi and Jack's absolute highlight from last weekend was definitely a visit to La Petite Creperie. Julien is so engaging and will even teach your kids a line or two in French while they wait. H & J were fascinated as they watched their crepes being made and declared them to be the best pancakes ever. There are a range of toppings available and the prices are so reasonable too. Visit La Petite Creperie and I promise your kids will love you forever! They also offer pancakes that are dairy free and suitable for Vegans too. Check out our video featuring the best pancakes in Newcastle:

I have lots of memories of visiting the old-school cafes in the Grainger Market for a cheap lunch with my own parents and love doing this with my own kids too. This time we visited Wi-Fri and Harry bought himself a hot dog and the kids enjoyed a cup of juice whilst Steve crossed over the alley to Pumphrey's Coffee to get his espresso hit. The prices here are rock bottom and the staff are lush - they came around and offered the kids a lollipop each as we left.

After our morning in the Grainger Market the kids were being dropped off at grannies as we had tickets to see Katherine Ryan and plans to stay at Hotel Indigo. We popped into That Retro Game Shop and Jack picked up a Disney DVD for £5 to take with him. I love the retro game consolde that are suspended from the ceiling here and I pointed out an original Playstation to the kids.

There's a proper sweet shop in the heart of The Grainger Market and Heidi loved choosing her own pick and mix for later. There's lots of choice and they had my favourite giant strawberries. Yum!

Finally, our morning ended with a trip to Nan Bei Dumpling Bar. The kids loved watching these being made and were captivated by the Golden Lucky Cat on the counter welcoming in good luck. The dumplings here are so tasty and perfectly sized for little hands. At just £3.50 for 6, they're a bargain too.

Other places we love at The Grainger Market include La Casa which sells the best Spanish food. There are often tasters available too. The Frech Oven is fab for a takeaway lunch and we love their soda bread. Pet Lamb Patisserie is one of our favourite places to pop in for a treat - Jack LOVES their brownies and their cupcakes are delish! We also adore Matthew's Cheese Shop and will be re-purchasing a Christmas cheese board (check out last year's cheeseboard here).

The Simply Small Company is a beautiful children's boutique and if you're lucky, owner Natalie might let your children choose something from her sweetie jar as you browse the gorgeous clothing, gifts and furniture on offer and finally, Pizza by Slice is a real Grainger Market institution and the constant queues speak for themselves. 

The Grainger Market features over 100 local traders and is open Monday - Saturday 9am-5:30pm. If you're looking for a purse-friendly morning out, delicious food and to experience a bit of Geordie history, pop-in next time you're in Newcastle and let me know what you get up to.

I have teamed up with the Grainger Market to giveaway a fabulous bumper prize worth over £200 to one lucky reader. To enter, simply head over to this Facebook post and follow the instructions. 



  1. I LOVE the Grainger Market and really don't go enough! Last time I popped in I couldn't believe how many new little restaurants have popped up in there, i have such a list of places to try now!

  2. I wish I could be as excited about the market as you are today, it's my first day back after holiday. Haha! In all honesty, I'm quite looking forward to going back. I've missed the friendly faces and, quite frankly, the pizza!

    Love this post, so sad we missed you.

    Katie xoxo

  3. I used to hate visiting the Grainger Market as a kid, all the butchers and fruit shops were so boring to a child. However lately I really like visiting as it has some fab little shops x

  4. Good morning just came a cross this post love it :) as a kid back in the day I never liked it as I have growing and had my own kids and family lost I go there a lot to just feel that feeling as a kid back in the old days mam skriping a last pounds up to get me a sandwich and her a coffee. Love this place and so dose my son now. Watching the old film purely beltera takes me right back to the cafe me and my mam whent:)

  5. Good morning just came a cross this post love it :) as a kid back in the day I never liked it as I have growing and had my own kids and family lost I go there a lot to just feel that feeling as a kid back in the old days mam skriping a last pounds up to get me a sandwich and her a coffee. Love this place and so dose my son now. Watching the old film purely beltera takes me right back to the cafe me and my mam whent:)


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