30+ Places To Take Your Toddler Across North East England

Take it from me, the older your children grow, the more expensive days out will be. It is also true what they say, the pre-school years really do fly by. I have put together some of the best places to take your toddler before they start school. Let me know if you have any suggestions to add to the list too.

30+ Places To Take Your Toddler Across North East England Before They Start School

For more ideas for days out across North East England, why not join our  UK Days Out Facebook Page here. It is FREE to join and a lovely community full or recommendations and advice. 

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To access all of these features, you do need to 'sign up' to my website which is quick and easy to do the first time you click the button. You should stay signed in once you have signed up. There will also be a prompt to sign up to my new monthly newsletter which will focus on key ideas for this to do in the upcoming school holidays. I really hope you sign up and make the most of these features. 

Seven Stories and Ouseburn Farm

We are so lucky to have the National Centre for Children's Books right on our doorstep. Seven Stories is brilliant for toddlers and they often run age-specific events. The ever-changing exhibitions are always packed with hands-on fun and feature favourite characters.

I think our many trips to Seven Stories over the years definitely helped to encourage a love of reading and storytelling in my three. One of our favourite memories is listening to a story in the loft called ' I Want My Hat Back ' OMG it was hilarious and Steve and I had to buy the book straight away. If you haven't read it - hunt it out.

One of my first ever blog posts featured Seven Stories - you can have a read here if you fancy a laugh (it's super cringe)

A trip to Seven Stories is always paired with a visit to Ouseburn Farm across the road. The farm is free (although donations are welcome) and is home to a nice variety of animals including pigs, sheep, rabbits, chickens and turtles. You can read more about Ouseburn Farm here.

Discovery Museum

The Discovery Museum is not far from the train station in Newcastle and FREE to visit. It's a lovley day out for preschoolers who love the water play area (small extra charge - bring spare clothes).

There are often craft activities too and there's always lots of hands-on fun and exhibitions to keep little ones entertained. We took part in play+invent a few years ago and had a brilliant time. 

Jarrow Hall

Jarrow Hall is like paradise for a toddler   - there are farm animals, space to run around, an indoor toy area and a fantastic playground next door complete with a model ship to play on. Hive Coffee Company is also super child-friendly. You can read our full review of Jarrow Hall here.

Jesmond Dene

Jesmond Dene is a leafy park on the outskirts of Newcastle and perfect for a toddler-friendly day out. There are pushchair-friendly woodland walks,  a small play park, animals to meet in pets corner and the perfect bridge to play pooh sticks on. You can read more about Jesmond Dene here. 

Whitehouse Farm

Whitehouse Farm is one of our favourite North East attractions and somewhere you can spend a whole day.

During term time it is a lot quieter and you can visit and feed lots of animals, enjoy the indoor and outdoor play areas (including the new JCB themed play area) and the trampolines and bouncy pillows. Read our full review of Whitehouse Farm here. 

Plessey Woods

Plessey Woods in Northumberland is a brilliant place to meet up with friends. You can play pooh sticks on the bridge, take a stroll through the woods and look out for the ogre swamp, troll doors and other sculptures, enjoy the lovely enclosed play park and maybe treat yourself to an ice cream from the cafe / ice cream van too. You can read more about Plessey Woods here. 

Splash Pads

We are lucky in the North East to have access to a selection of splash pads in the summer months. Ridley Park in Blyth is our favourite and somewhere we used to spend hours.

WWT Wetland Centre

30+ Places To Take Your Toddler Across North East England

WWT Washington is a brilliant day out for toddlers - you can spot 100s of birds, take a welly walk and enjoy the fantastic outdoor play area. You can read our full review of WWT Washington here.  

Great North Museum

Great North Museum sometimes feels like it has been designed with toddlers in mind. There is a replica dinosaur skeleton not to be missed, a cute mouse house play area and regular toddler events including discos, storytime and toddler takeovers. See here for details. 

Druridge Bay Country Park

The walk around Ladyburn lake is just over a mile and perfect for little legs. The stepping stones are always fun and you can spot lots of ducks and birds along the way.

There is a park and a lovely visitor centre and cafe too plus the beach is just across the road. See here for details. 

Pre-School Day at Life Science Centre

I used to love taking my children to pre-school days at LIFE. They usually run every couple of months and offer reduced entry plus a host of extra toddler-friendly activities. Fantastic value and a good chance to explore the centre without older kids around. See here for details. 

Exhibition Park

Exhibition Park in Newcastle features lots of green space for toddlers to run around. There is a small (and temperamental) water play area, a selection of play parks, walks and a model boat lake too.

It is a lovely place to spend a sunny afternoon in Newcastle and they run FREE mini train rides on the first Sunday of every month in the summer. See here for details. 

Alnwick Garden

Toddlers always make a beeline for the tractors at Alnwick Garden and I don't blame them - they look like lots of fun. They also seem to enjoy dashing between the water fountains and playing with the various water exhibitions.

Plus there is the fabulous treehouse and rope bridges. Look out for the ducks too. See here for details. 

Segedunum Roman Fort

Kids go free at Segedenum Roman Fort and it is generally pretty quiet during term time. Toddlers will love the play park outside, watching the River Tyne from the viewing tower and playing dress up in the Roman museum. Read more here. 

Barter Books

Barter Books in Alnwick has a dedicated children's section. Little ones will love jumping inside the train-themed bookcase or ride-on toys, browsing a huge selection of children's books and watching the model train travel around the top of the bookcases.

Don't miss the station cafe for a big slice of homemade cake. Read more here. 

The Paddling Pool at Morpeth Park

The outdoor paddling pool at Morpeth usually opens at the end of May for the summer. Little ones love splashing about here and playing with their water toys with their friends.

It is a brilliant place for a picnic on a warm day or why not check out the famous chinese van? The paddling pool is right next to a cute play park and the river Wansbeck where you can feed the ducks afterwards. Read more here. 

Blue Reef Aquarium

Personally, I would recommend Blue Reef for under 3s when you don't have to pay for them as it is pretty small and not somewhere you will spend hours.

Regardless of this, little ones are always captivated by the marine life and animals here and it is a nice option for a special treat when the weather isn't so great. Find out more here. 

Strawberry Castle Play Area at Gibside 

We used to spend hours here when the kids were little and I really believe it is one of the best play areas in our area. It is HUGE - there are mini castles to climb, tunnels to crawl through, slides, swings, castle-themed areas and more.

The play area has a dedicated toilet plus seasonal snack/hot drinks kiosk and you are welcome to bring your own picnic too. Read more here. 

Toddler Clip n Climb

There are various Clip n Climb venues across the North East and many offer toddler sessions. Our local Clip n Climb at Concordia Cramlington offers Toddler sessions for just £6 which include a 15 minute safety briefing, 45 minutes climbing and 60 minutes in the zoo softplay.

Sounds like the perfect way to wear them out! (Suitable for children aged 2-4 at specific times only). Find out more here. 

Bolam Lake Country Park

The walk around Bolam Lake is only around a mile in length and nice and flat so perfect for little lets. There are a few wooden carvings dotted around the wood, a nice toddler-friendly cafe and an abundance of wildlife to spot.

A lovely place to come and feed the ducks. It's free too. Find out more here. 

Hamsterley Forest

Hamsterley Forest is a pre-schoolers paradise. As well as the Shaun the Sheep Farmageddon Trail, there is a giant Gruffalo sculpture hidden in the woods to find.

The woodland walk is filled with lots and lots of play equipment and adventure playgrounds and it is the kind of place you can bring a picnic and spend all day in the summer. Read more here. 

Cullercoats Beach

Cullercoats Beach is one of my favourites for visiting with small people. It is lovely and sheltered and not too big, there are loos just up from the beach, you can often watch lifeboat launches from the lifeboat house and there are lots of toddler-friendly places to eat on the promenade.

There is also a cute little play park overlooking the bay.

Stephenson Railway Museum

Stephenson Railway is another FREE place to visit and a must for toddlers and pre-schoolers who love trains. There are trains to climb aboard, train tables, dress up and sometimes you can even enjoy a train ride (small extra charge). Read more here. 

Preston Park and Butterly World

Butterfly World is a captivating place for little ones. As you walk through the tropical rainforest there are lots of beautiful butterflies to spot as they fly around you - you can learn all about their life cycle too and say hello to some of the other animals.

Preston Park is just next door and home to an epic adventure playground, Victorian Street with traditional sweet shop and a lovely little museum. They run a fantastic programme of events throughout the year too ranging from Seaside fun to Child-friendly Halloween Walks. Find out more here. 

A Day in South Shields

South Shields is a lush day out for little ones. You can ride the mini train in Marine Park, hire a boat on the lake, play in the playgrounds, enjoy the beach, take your scooter to the skate park, feast on fish & chips and ice cream, visit Haven Point Swimming Pool, explore the soft play at the Dunes, visit the toddler-friendly exhibitions at The Word and South Shields Museum and enjoy a few fairground rides at Ocean Beach - there is loads to fit in!

Rothbury Riverside Walk

30+ Places To Take Your Toddler Across North East England Before They Start School  - rothbury riverside walk

Rothbury Riverside Walk is a lovely free afternoon out. There are parts by the bridge where you can get up close to the river and skim stones, you can meet lots of ducks and there is a gorgeous playground which is perfect for under 5s. Read more here. 

Adventure Valley

Adventure Valley offer reduced term-time entry and you can buy an annual term-time pass for £30 which is brilliant value if you live nearby and are likely to visit more than four times over the year. There is an indoor play town, undercover farmyard, animals to meet, pet and feed, climbing walls, bouncing pillows and lots more. Find out more here. 


30+ Places To Take Your Toddler Across North East England Before They Start School  - northumberlandia

Northumberlandia is perfect for pre-schoolers who like climbing hills and watching diggers. If you climb right to the top of the Lady of the North you are rewarded with a brilliant view of the diggers and trucks at the quarry below.

You do need to keep an eye on little ones here as there are some drops and open water but my three have always loved it. Read more here. 

Fun Shack

30+ Places To Take Your Toddler Across North East England Before They Start School  - fun shack

Fun Shack Newcastle can work out to be an expensive day out with older kids so I would highly recommend taking advantage of toddler time which runs from 10:30am-3:30pm Mon-Fri during term time. Priced at just £4.95 per toddler including juice and biscuits, it is a brill place to meet up with friends.

Expect slides, volcanos, play frames, cannonballs, toddler towns, mini cinema and more. Find out more here. 


30+ Places To Take Your Toddler Across North East England Before They Start School  - wheelbirks

Wheelbirks is an award-winning ice cream parlour in Stocksfield. It's a lush spot for kids with an indoor pre-school play area, outdoor orchard play area (from Easter-Sept), plus cows and chickens to meet and of course, yummy food and ice cream. Find out more here. 

Little Tykes at Air Trail

30+ Places To Take Your Toddler Across North East England Before They Start School  - little tykes

Air Trail at Tees Barrage is a brilliant day out for older kids but they also have a special mini course for little ones. Air Tykes is suitable for children aged 2+ who measure less than 1.22m. Air Tykes is a mini ropes course which lasts around 20 minutes. Find out more here.   

Wallington Hall 

30+ Places To Take Your Toddler Across North East England Before They Start School  - wallington

We LOVE Wallington Hall. They often run cute toddler activities like leaf collecting with mini wheelbarrows which is super sweet. Out favourite reason to visit Wallington is the three fantastic play areas set in the woodland - plenty to keep little ones entertained for a full day. Read more here. 

Jungle Wipeout at Tynemouth Park 

Jungle Wipeout is a an outdoor, inflatable area for kids to enjoy. They have made our list as they are so competitively priced at £3.50 for under 4s with no time restrictions. There are picnic tables, a cafe, boating lake and play park nearby (as well as other paid-for activities) if you would like to make a day of it. Find out more here. 

Strawberry Picking at Brocksbushes 

30+ Places To Take Your Toddler Across North East England Before They Start School  - brocksbushes

Strawberry picking season usually begins in June at Brocksbushes (check out their news section for exact dates). It is a brilliant activity to enjoy with little ones and visiting during the week will often mean you avoid the crowds.

As well as pick your own, Brocksbushes is home to a tea room, farm shop and small outdoor play area too. Find out more here. 


30+ Places To Take Your Toddler Across North East England Before They Start School  - locomotion

Locomotion Shildon is a FREE day out and perfect for pre-schoolers. There is a huge indoor museum with trains to see & climb aboard. There are model railways (including a Thomas train), train tables, hands-on fun and an indoor picnic area too.

Outside, there is a brilliant train-themed play area and you can ride trains for a small additional charge on certain days. Find out more here. 


The reason I have included Diggerland is because it is free for children under 90cm (otherwise it is a pretty pricey day out). Young children won't be able to go on all of the rides but if they love diggers, it is still worth a trip.

Areas and rides for younger children include an indoor soft play area, diggerland train, Little Tikes area, Sky Shuttle, Skittles Ride,  Dippy Ducks, Dig-A-Round,Go-Karts and more. See here for details. 

Don't miss out Top 5 Toddler Friendly Days Out in Newcastle post. 

Let me know your favourite days out with toddlers and if there are any favourites I have missed, I will gladly add them to this post.

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Thank you for your support as always. 

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. 

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

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30+ Places To Take Your Toddler Across North East England Before They Start School



  1. I wanted to thank you for this wonderful read!!

    I definitely loved every bit of it. I have you bookmarked to look
    at new things you post…

  2. wonderful information, very helpful and a great reminder of of the great places we have here in the northeast.

  3. Thank you so much for this. It must take some time to write and research. It’s appreciated


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