What's On for Kids in North East England | Easter & April 2023

what's on for kids in north east england - Easter 2023

This post contains adverts & affiliate links. Please always double check informtion with venues direct before setting off as things can change! 

Bishop Auckland Food Festival 

πŸ‰ FREE entry with no booking/ticket required - 22 & 23 April 

πŸ“Bishop Auckland Market Place in the Town Centre 

This is always a brilliant family-friendly event with fab reviews.

πŸ‘¨‍🍳 FREE-to-watch celebrity chef demos & appearances including Phil Vickery & Rachel Allen

🎷 Loads of FREE entertainment, music and street performances including the famous 'Grannies', Human Hedges, Waiter Surprise, North Tyneside Steel Band & Hungry Chefs  

Fantastic low-cost bookable workshops including: 

πŸ‘¨‍🍳 Gnocchi Making for Kids (ages 5-12 accompanied by an adult). Tickets are just £4. Book here: https://galadurham.co.uk/book-online/?webeventid=0606

πŸ‘¨‍🍳 Chef Knife Skills for ages 16+. Tickets are £5pp. Book here: https://galadurham.co.uk/book-online/?webeventid=0303

πŸ‘ FREE kids crafts workshops including lino tote bag printing and live graffiti wall 

πŸ«• Over 150 local traders including street food producers and artisan food producers including Barista Sisters, Churros Barcelona, Fat Hippo, Fire n Dough, Flip n Fast, Little Bubble Box, Parm-o-rama, R Place, Redheads Mac n Cheese, Scranners Arms, The Geordie Banger Company, The Little Profetje Pancake Shack, Twisted Chick, Breaking Bread Durham, Calder's Kitchen, Lacey's Cheese, Le Mini Macaron, Northumberland CheeseSimply Cheesecake, Screaming Chimp, The Hedgehog Bakery & loads more! See the full list here: https://bishopaucklandfoodfestival.co.uk/exhibitors/

🚌 Convenient & accessible park & ride available. See here for details: https://bishopaucklandfoodfestival.co.uk/visiting/

🐩 Dogs on short leads welcome but be aware, it will be busy 

Got a question? There is a comprehensive FAQ section and contact details here: 


Protest at Northern Stage 

Book now for 27 April - 6 May. 

Protest shares the story of three girls who prepare to stand up to what they believe in despite the injustices stacked against them. Recommended for ages 8+, this new play explores the importance of your own voice and making a difference alongside the power of friendship. 

Book for dates between 27 April - 6 May here: https://northernstage.co.uk/whats-on/protest/

  • Audio described: 4 May 6pm 
  • British sign language interpreted: 5 May 7pm 
  • Captioned performance 3 May 7pm 

Swimming at Paddlepod 

Did you know you can book an open swim session at any Paddlepod venue on a pay as you go basis? We are big fans of these pools. Here's why we love them: 
  • Swim sessions cost £3.50 per swimmer (for a 60 minute session) and should be booked in advance

  • PAYG open swim sessions are available at Paddlepod Shiremoor, Killingworth and Whitley Bay

  • Warm pools which are maintained between 30-32 degrees

  • Adult : child ratios are as follows - one adult can supervise up to two children under the age of 8 years and one adult can supervise up to five children aged 8-16 years

  • Modern changing rooms 

  • Pool toys, floats and small inflatables are included 

  • Some sessions are available exclusively for families with babies and pre-schoolers 

  • Some sessions are available for all to enjoy 

  • Additional open swim sessions available during school holidays 

  • All venues have on-site cafes and play areas for under 5s 

  • Pools come with modern viewing areas where family can watch (with a nice cuppa too) 

  • Find out more, check timetables and book here: paddlepod.co.uk/swim/open-swim-sessions

What's On 22 & 23 April 

Events to book now 

Events with no booking required 

What's On 29 & 30 April 

Events to book now 

Events with no booking required 

The Magical Music of Harry Potter
at Middlesbrough Town Hall 

Wednesday 5 April at 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm). 

This looks like it's going to be such an incredible evening. Guests will enjoy a spectacular concert like nothing before.

Starring some original actors, star soloists, a choir and the London Symphonic and Philharmonic Film Orchestras, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be brought to life. 

Audiences will enjoy a fully immersive experience with jaw dropping visual and magical effects plus state-of-the-art lights and laser alongside music from all of the Harry Potter films and the award-winning play The Cursed Child. 

A live concert, not to be missed! Find out more and book tickets here. 

Easter at Discovery Museum 

(ad) What's On at Discovery Museum this Easter

🐦 1 - 16 April : Springtime Bird Trail (50p - collect from museum reception)
A self-led trail around the museum for all ages. Find all of the local birds and enter a prize draw to win a chocolate hamper. No need to book in advance.

✈️ Daily - Red Arrows Flight Simulator (minimum height of 1.07m applies and some health exclusions apply).
No need to book ahead - simply purchase your flight ticket from reception on arrival. Open daily during normal museum opening hours. £3.50 pp.

🐦 4 April - Discovery Days : Beautiful Birds (best for 5-11 year olds but all welcome)
Easter Craft Sessions including Paper Birds (free), Ceramic Bird (£1) and Papier-mache Bird House (£2). Booking in advance preferred although there will be limited drop in sessions available on the day.

🐦 5 April - Discover a Story : Bird Builds a House (best for 3-5 year olds)
A special story and craft session for young children (part of Tiny Sparks). Booking in advance is essential and tickets are £3.50 per child (accompanying adults & babies go free)

Find out more and book tickets if required here: https://discoverymuseum.org.uk/whats-on

🌸 11 April - Discovery Days : Spring Flowers (best for 5-11 year olds but all welcome)
Easter craft sessions including Paper Birds (free), Flower Wands (£1), Papier Mache Flower Pot (£2). Booking in advance is preferred although there will be limited drop in sessions available on the day.

🌸 12 April - Discover a Story : The Tiny Seed (best for 3-5 year olds)
A special story and craft session for young children (part of Tiny Sparks). Booking in advance is essential and tickets are £3.50 per child (accompanying adults and babies go free).

πŸ₯½ 13 April - Family Parachute Challenge (best for families with children aged 7+)
Get together with your family group (maximum of 6 people per group) and join in with the museum's latest challenge - can you design a parchute to protect an egg and dare to let go? Tickets are just £4 per group and should be booked in advance.

Find out more and book tickets to the above events here: https://discoverymuseum.org.uk/whats-on

🌟 Need to Know 🌟

The museum is closed on Bank Holidays. Discovery Museum will close on Good Friday 7 April and Easter Monday 10 April. The museum will be open on Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday 11am - 4pm.

New FREE Fantasy Adventure Exprience at Great North Museum 

What's On for Kids in North East England | Easter 2023

A brand new fantasty adventure experience opens at Great North Museum on 25 March (runs until 3 September). It is FREE to visit with no booking required and open during normal museum opening hours. All ages are welcome. Here's a little about what you can expect from "Myth Quest: Monsters & Mortals": 

  • An original and interactive fantasy adventure where the visitor becomes the hero 
  • Part immersive story / part live action game 
  • 'Myth Quest' players will explore myths and monsters throughout the museum to complete their quest 
  • Players start in Mary's Study and Archive where they can choose a magical item to help them on their quest alongside a map and quartz crystal 
  • Then head out into the museum to take part in one of three interactive adventures (Foggy Forest of Forgettings / the Serpentine Sea of Sirens / the Moody Mountains of the Monsters) 
  • Those who complete the quest will earn their place in the 'Myth Quest Hall of Heroes' 
  • The exhibition is complemented by Gaming Space for visitors to try out 
  • Find out more here 

Ugly Duckling at Northern Stage 

Northern Ballet's super popular 'Ugly Duckling' is heading to Northern Stage this Easter. This production is the perfect opportunity for little ones to enjoy live ballet, music and theatre for the first time.

The 40 minute performance (no interval) is recommended for under 8s (+ grown ups) but all are welcome and there is a relaxed performance on Sat 15 April at 11am. 

Follow Ugly Duckling as who is ignored by those around her. She tries to make friends with fellow ducklings, frogs, cats and even a fox but realises that she is different to all of these animals. Follow the story as Ugly Duckling overcomes her troubles and learns to love herself and those around her in this classic Hans Christian Anderson fairytale. 

As seen on CBeebies, Northern Ballet's productions are usually sell outs and not to be missed. 

  • Friday 14 April at 2pm and 4pm 
  • Saturday 15 April at 11am (relaxed performance) 
  • Saturday 15 April at 1pm and 3pm 

Kids Fun Zone at Brocksbushes Farm 

The popular Kids Fun Zone at Brocksbushes Farm is BACK! Each 2 hour session includes: 
  • Unlimited Rides 
  • Unlimited Inflatables 
  • Unlimited Mini Golf 
  • Unlimited Garden Games 

Prices have been frozen from last year and are £9.99 per child and £1 per adult. 

  • 31 March and 28 April : Dedicated Toddler Sessions (for ages 2-5 years only)
  • 1-16 April : Regular Kids Fun Zone Sessions (for ages 2-10 years)
  • 22 & 23 April : Regular Kids Fun Zone Sessions (for ages 2-10 years)
  • 29 April-1 May : Regular Kids Fun Zone Sessions (for ages 2-10 years)
  • Find out more and book here. 

Face painting and games stalls are available for a small additional cost on the day and if you visit on 3/5/8 or 12 April, why not add an Alpaca Experience to your day out for an additional £5 pp (book in advance).

Dogs on leads are welcome in the fun zone area but not the farm shop / tea room / PYO fields and takeaway food and drinks will be available to purchase. 

Easter at Beamish

You no longer need to book a timeslot to visit and can just pop by at any time during normal museum opening hours. The Beamish Unlimited Pass offers excellent value with unlimited daytime visits across a full year. Additional drop-in activities included at no additional cost over the Easter period include: 

  • 1 & 2 April : The Beamish Steam Gala 2023
    A weekend focused on all things steam powered with a chance to see 20 road steam engines and rollers and 25 internal combustion vehicles. The Colliery Railway and narrow gauge lines will also be in operation. 

  • 1 - 16 April : Beamish Egg Hunt 
    Join in with a free egg hunt around the museum and discover the Easter Bunny's real name. Collect your certificate from the museum shop when you leave and you'll be entered into a prize draw to win a fabulous Beamish hamper. 

  • 7 - 10 April : Easter Celebrations at Beamish 
    Celebrate the traditions of Easter with lots of additional activities available across the weekend including traditional food displays, egg and spoon races, Easter wreath making, egg catapulting, Easter card making and Easter food being prepared in various kitchens through time. 

  • 9 April : Singaround Sunday 
    Traditional music in the 1900s Pit Village.

  • 15 April : North East Concert Band 
    Performing in the 1900s Town Band Stand from 2pm-4pm.

  • 15 & 16 April : Napoleonic Muster 2023 
    Watch drill displays and learn about life in the army during this time at the 1820s landscape.

  • 16 April : Sunderland & District Classic Vehicle Show 2023 
    A must-visit event for any transport enthusiast. 

Plastic Band (ages 5+)

Plastic Band is an interactive musical theatre show for children and young people aged 5+ and their families. Catch it at Gala Theatre Durham from 4 - 8 April and Bishop Auckland Town Hall on 14 & 14 April. 

Tickets are just £8 each or a family ticket is available for £30. Here's a little about what to expect: 
  • Be transported to the year 2142 and discover just how much single use plastic has taken over Durham and the surrounding areas 

  • The River Wear is overflowing with bottles, the Cathedral is covered with straws and all instruments are trapped under piles of rubbish

  • How will you ever hear music again? 

  • Join Tate and Madonna as they make music out of the plastic that has built up around us and if you'd like to join the Plastic Band, feel free to Rock Out 

  • An interactive, musical theatre show for families with children aged 5+ exploring our use of single use plastics 
Buy tickets for Gala Theatre here: https://galadurham.co.uk/galapost/plastic-band/

Buy tickets for Bishop Auckland Town Hall here: https://bishopaucklandtownhall.org.uk/bishoppost/plastic-band/

Newcastle Puppetry Festival - FREE Opening Weekend 

Saturday 8 April - FREE Drop In Event at Northumberland Street, Newcastle 

Beasts on the Streets (from 11am) will feature a range of 'Beasts' taking over Northumberland Street. Expect a giant (but friendly) Octopus, life-size dinosaurs stomping around the streets, The Squid and the Sea performance, live music and more. 

This will be followed by Wor Seahouse Spectacle Parade with over 120 participants, giant puppets and music parading through the street.  

Sunday 9 April - FREE Drop In Event at Ouseburn Farm 

On Easter Sunday, families are invited to visit Ouseburn Farm and enjoy a FREE Family Puppet Day with lots of free activities including giant bubble sculptures and bubble play, magic, music, outdoor performances, and facepainting for all ages. 

+ Bookable Activities 

There will also be a range of drop in and bookable activities running across the road at The Cluny and Seven Stories. Highlights include: 

  • Rod Puppet Pals Puppet Making Workshops for ages 6+ at Seven Stories - book here 
  • Sparkle for ages 0-36 months at Seven Stories - book here 
Discover the full range of activities, workshops, performances and events taking place across the Easter Holidays as part of the festival here: movingpartsarts.com/whats-on

FREE LEGO Workshops & Science Shows
at The Common Room, Newcastle 

The Common Room is located next door to Newcastle Central Station and super easy to get to by public transport. 

FREE Train Workshops at The Common Room 
  • 4, 5 & 12 April 
  • All ages welcome (children need to be supervised) 
  • Activities include building LEGO trains, creating your own train whistle and discovering exactly how trains work 
  • Book your free tickets here

FREE Interactive Science Show at The Common Room 
  • 11 April 
  • All ages welcome (although I would recommend for ages 5-12) 
  • Expect live science demos, discover the deadly dangers of mining and some of the inventions which helped to keep people safe 
  • Book your free tickets here 

The Lion King at Sunderland Empire 

I am SO excited that Disney's The Lion King will be showing at Sunderland Empire from 16 March - 6 May. Recommended for ages 6+, it truly is a unique theatre experience that you'll never forget! 

Find out more and book tickets here.

Deals & Offers 

Easter Holiday Days Out with No Booking Required 

Free Easter Holiday Fun 

These events are all drop in unless stated otherwise. 

Easter Walks, Trails & Egg Hunts

See this post for a full list of North East Easter Egg Hunts and Trails. 

Easter Holiday Dining / Kids Eat Free 

Kids Eat Free 

  • 1-16 April - Kids Eat Free (one free kids meal with every adult meal purchased) at George's Fish Shack in Eldon Square 

  • Kids eat free at Zapatista during all school holidays (with the purchase of an adult main). There are locations in Newcastle and Durham  

  • Kids eat free at Gino's if you sign up to Gino Rewards 

  • Free kids meal (with the purchase of an adult meal) at Dobbies Ponteland, Gosforth, Morpeth, Birtley and Stockton 

  • Kids Eat Free during FREE Movies (available 3-8 and 10-14 April) at Secret Garden Seaton Delaval. This looks like a very good deal. You get 2 free kids meals for every adult meal purchased PLUS free popcorn PLUS a free movie PLUS free arts and crafts. See here for timings, more info and to book. 

  • Kids eat free at Ramside's Pemberton's Carvery Mon-Sat until 15 April. No booking required, one free kids meal per paying adult. Ideal to combine with a trip to Durham. 

  • Kids eat free at Twenty Twenty Newcastle - available for bookings made for 12noon-4pm Mon-Fri during the Easter break. TWO free kids meals with any 20" pizza (enough to feed 2-3 adults). Kids meals include Make your own pizza, chef hat, ice cream/popcorn and a soft drink. 

  • Kids eat free at Tomahawk Steakhouse (this link is for Ponteland but I believe it's at every location - check their social media). Before 7pm Mon-Fri during the Easter break. One child eats free per adult meal purchased from their lunch / evening menu. 

  • Kids eat free at Dobson and Parnell, Newcastle Wednesday - Saturday before 7pm and before 4pm on a Sunday. One complimentary kids main when an adult purchases a minimum of 2 courses. State kids eat free on booking / arrival. Not valid on Easter Sunday. 

  • Kids eat free at Hinnies Whitley Bay - One complimentary main course for children when an adult purchases a minimum of 2 courses from their set menu Wed-Fri before 7pm during the Easter break. State kids eat free on booking/arrival. 

    Kids eat free weekend brunch is also an on-going deal here (until 31 May). One free children's brunch with every adult brunch purchased. 

  • Kids eat free at Blackfriars - Valid Mon-Fri druing the Easter break. One complimentary main course for children when an adult purchases at least 2 courses from the set menu over lunchtimes Mon-Fri. 

  • Kids eat free at Pausa Cafes with every £4 adult spend (Dunelm)

  • Kids eat free at Morrisons Cafes 

  • Kids eat free at Yo Sushi Mon-Fri 3rd-14th April with a £10 adult spend 

Easter Holiday Activities to Book Now

Booking in advance is preferred for these events however do check each individual attraction as they may accept walk-ins on the day if space is available. Apologies if any of these events have sold out. I don't remove sold out events from this post as there may be cancellations / more tickets released. 

Rod Puppet Pals Workshop at Seven Stories

The Gingerbread Man at Dance City 

Dog Friendly Easter Holiday Days Out 

Dogs are permitted in some areas of the following events. Please check with venues direct for more info regarding which areas dogs are / are not permitted. 

Weetslade Easter Wagtastic Egg Hunt

The following places have indoor / sheltered areas where dogs are welcome: 



  1. Wow! As you rightly said that's quite a list. Now just hoping for dry weather to enjoy some of these events when we have our grandsons here.😊

  2. Oh wow! What an epic list of things to do and places to go. I hope the sun keeps shining! x


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