20 Reasons to Visit Royal Quays with Kids

This is an advert for April 2022. Any shares/amendments beyond this have not been asked or paid for. Please check the Royal Quays website for the most up-to-date information.

Sam and Gaia have spent the past few weekends visiting Royal Quays with their families. The centre has changed so much over the past few years and is now a thriving hub with independent shops, fantastic free events and plenty of leisure and dining options. The open-air centre is modern, clean and has a real community feel to it.
Facilities include:

  • Free parking
  • Toilets and baby change
  • Free WiFi
  • Free wheelchair hire
  • Bike racks
  • Plenty of outdoor seating
  • ATM machine
  • Dog water bowls with fresh water

On site parking is free and Royal Quays is easily accessible by public transport. Percy Main and Meadowell Metro Stations are a 10 minute walk away and the Go North East 11 and 19 buses plus Stagecoach 10-11 stop close by. Royal Quays is also next to cycle route 72.

Address: Royal Quays Outlet Centre Coble Dene North Shields NE29 6DW

Royal Quays is generally open from 9:30am-5pm daily (11am-5pm on a Sunday) but do check their website and individual stores as these may differ slightly. Find out more about visiting and download a free centre map here.

You can expect play cafes, gaming areas, inflatables, kids meal deals, an ice cream parlour, bargain shopping, baby and toddler classes and more. 

Below are some of the highlights we enjoyed whilst visiting with our families and 20 reasons to visit.....  

Acorn & Oak Play Cafe

Acorn & Oak is a beautiful new role play cafe suitable for children aged 0-6. Sessions last 90 minutes and include several role play areas and dressing up opportunites for children to enjoy as well as an activity area with craft & sensory activities which change weekly.
Sessions can be booked ahead online (recommended during peak periods) or you can simply pop in if there is space. Their cakes are delicious too. You can read our full review of Acorn & Oak Play Cafe here.

Visit Moorandas Ice Cream Parlour

Royal Quays has their own ice cream parlour where you can sit in or take away.

There are an enormous amount of flavours at Moorandas. They have a great offer where you get two massive scoops of icecream in a waffle cone for £3.

There are no less than 42 flavours to choose from include creme egg, lotus biscoff, rolo, amaretto and black cherry, butterscotch pecan, nutella, cherry liquorice (one for the more adventurous!) and loads more.

Ada went for a scoop of strawberry and a scoop of chocolate but soon changed her mind when she found out they had a unicorn flavour! Swirls of blue and pink icecream – she couldn’t explain the flavour (she’s 4!) but said it was delicious. 

Andy went for the vegan raspberry ripple, which tasted just like normal ice cream he said. They also do a vegan vanilla, great to see a couple of vegan options. I had a scoop of pistachio, my favourite flavour and always hard to find and I can report that it was delicious; as was the espresso I had with it.

Visit the Animals at Quay Pets & Aquatics

Honestly this independent pet shop is one of the best I've visited. You will find over 120 tropical and cold water fish tanks, rabbits and small animals, an aviary plus 45 reptile vivariums. We felt as if we'd stumbled upon a mini farm experience when we stepped in side. Dee was over the moon to find an axolotl. Please follow the signage, supervise children and do not touch the animal enclosures when visiting. The staff here are so knowledgable and they stock a huge range of natural treats, animal food and accessories. Fozzy picked out a new Kong Toy and a couple of goat ears. Nice!

Let Your Hair Down at Inflatanation

We had a great time bouncing around Inflatanation. The kids loved it as it’s essentially a soft play made entirely of bouncy castles, slides and obstacle courses.

The kids loved the obstacle courses and beating us on them, the massive slides and ball pits and for the older ones there are some big boulders to jump across, ‘Total Wipeout’ style but thankfully minus the water!

Spectators and Babies in arms are FREE of charge

A few tips and highlights:

- Wear normal socks and long sleeves/trousers (so you don’t get friction burns like I did!)

- Dedicated under 4s area

- Loads of different challenges - slides, obstacle courses, ball pits, Total Wipeout style balls to jump across 

- Cafe is upstairs so you can see the whole place but there are also tables and chairs downstairs to keep a closer eye on little ones

- The staff really keep an eye on kids making sure they’re ok (actually going into the obstacle course etc) 

- Everything was very clean

- Lockers to put your belongings in which take a £1 coin

- Lots of machines dotted about - rides, claw, sweets, little toys which all take £1 coins

- Cafe serves hot dogs, chips, sausage rolls, pizzas, slushies, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks, reasonably priced.

Bring the Dog

Royal Quays is incredibly dog-friendly with most of the retailers allowing your four-legged friend to join you. If you're unsure, simply ask a member of staff. Fozzy absolutely loved the attention he received.

Dogs are welcome in the following stores: 
  • The Works
  • Quay Pets and Aquatics 
  • Garden World
  • Beauty Outlet
  • The Pineapple Room Boutique
  • Klass
  • Discover including indoor seating in the coffee shop
  • Whitley Bay Pizza Company (Outdoor) 
  • Second Bite (Outdoor seating)
  • Moorandas (Outdoor seating)
  • Costa (Outdoor) 
  • Northumbria Flooring and Furniture
  • Discover
  • Quay Furniture
  • Alternative Stores (dogs need to be carried here)
  • Trespass 
  • Mountain Warehouse (they stock a fab selection of outdoor clothing and accessories for dogs) 
  • & more (if you work in Royal Quays and I've missed your store - message me and I will add you to this list). 

As a puppy parent, I know how important new experiences and socialising your dog is and I was honestly so chuffed that Fozzy got to enjoy our day out with us.

All of the staff we met were so lovely with him and greeted him with open arms. Many of the stores have dog water bowls with fresh water outside and some even have complimentary dog treats at the counter. 

Shop Alternative & Independent

Alternative Stores is brilliant for free-from goodies and we were so impressed by their range and lovely shop. I found my favourite dutch cake that I’ve never found in this country which was a big bonus and Ada loved the mini shopping trolleys.

Alternative Stores is also home to a refill station which is handy if your family are trying to be a little more eco-friendly. 


Vintage Vera run regular pop up shops (keep an eye on socials for the next date they’ll be at Royal Quays) and they had loads of cool vintage sweatshirts, denim jackets, dresses and more.

I was expecting a charity shop style jumble sale but it was much cooler than that and I spotted quite a few American brands that you don’t normally see over here. You pay £15 per kilo rather than an individual price per item. One independent store that's not to be missed in Discover. They are a retail co-op which brings together some of the North East's best local producers all in one place. The shelves are packed with local crafts, local produce , homeware, art and gifts. You will also find Beer Box in store which is dedicated to stocking the finest North East beers and spirits.

Discover is dog-friendly and doubles up as a coffee shop serving local coffee and snacks too. They are super welcoming and have colouring sheets on their tables for children to enjoy.

Pocket Money Shopping

The Works and Poundland outlets are great places for the kids to spend some pocket money.
My kids brought £10 of their pocket money to blow on whatever they wanted and there was plenty to choose from in that price range.

They each chose a Zuru surprise egg (dinosaur and unicorn) for £6 each straight away from The Works. I discovered loads of great affordable birthday presents in The Works, which is ideal as the kids’ birthday party invites are starting to appear again. 

Both shops have a fantastic range of craft materials including plenty of Easter ones - I picked up some lovely paint your own wooden decorations from Poundland for £1.

Leon selected a loop the loop car track plus loads of cars from Poundland for £5 and Ada got some cool My Little Pony sunglasses for £1.59 and a little doll for £1. Everyone was happy!

Bargain Beauty for Teens

Beauty Outlet is a fabulous place to shop with teens. Myself and Dee were spoilt with choice. Expect a huge selection of nail varnishes in every colour you can imagine, discounted make up and hair produsts alongside gift sets and accessories. It's a brilliant shop if you need to stock up on essentials or treat yourself to a few pamper bits.

We picked up a couple of nail varnishes, mascaras and sheet masks. The staff were lovely in here too and made us feel very welcome. 

Enjoy Unlimited Gaming at Arcade Warehouse

Arcade Warehouse offers bookable 2 hour sessions where you can enjoy unlimited free play on VR machines, air hockey, retro and modern gaming, E-Sports, pool, basketball, pinball and more. Steve visited with the boys and they had a brilliant time. They were there for the whole 2 hours and didn't complain they were bored once.

While the boys were gaming, Dee and I enjoyed some shopping time and drinks in the sunshine. It was lovely. 

Friendly staff are on hand to help if you're unsure about any games / equipment.

Pizza Heaven

There's not one but two choices for pizza at Royal Quays courtesy of Whitley Bay Pizza Co. and Moorandas. 

10" kids pizzas are £5 at Whitley Bay Pizza Co. where they are cooked in a proper pizza oven using traditional methods.

Pizza from Whitley Bay Pizza Co.

The pizzas were delicious. I went for the Nduja option and added some artichoke hearts. The kids pepperoni went down a treat with Leon too.

Whitley Bay Pizza Co. Pizza

Vegan pizzas are available at both Whitley Bay Pizza Co. and Moorandas and Moorandas offer GF bases too. Both venues are available on a walk in basis so ideal for just popping into on a whim/ when they kids' tummies start rumbling. All pizzas from Moorandas are £5 which I think is a real bargain. We loved the way they were presented and every time you ate a slice, a new joke was revealed. A nice little touch which kept the kids amused.

Moorandas Pizza

Take a Dance Class

There’s a dance studio and studio space at Royal Quays which holds a range of classes including Lil Beatz and Babyballet, and also Dancing Diggers, Heartbeeps, Canny Dramatic and Whitley Bay Operatic Society. They are focussed on being a hive of children’s activity and welcome other classes looking to hire a space to come check them out. 

They also run a dance school from preschool age upwards called Decote Dance. Their core focus is to encourage children and young people to move through dance and exercise.


They believe in making dance accessible to all, whether this be working towards taking dance examinations, taking part in performances and auditions or just taking weekly classes for fun and health benefits.

Their school offers a number of dance classes in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Acro, and Musical Theatre within the UKA syllabus framework. They also offer non-syllabus dance classes including Street Funk, Contemporary, Commercial and Cheer dance!

Hello World Classes

Hello World are due to open this month. They are a brand new venture offering independent baby and toddler classes with singing, sensory and parental support at the heart of everything they do. Classes are suitable for ages 0-4 years and available to book now. Royal Quays is super baby friendly and is accessible for pushchairs.

Chill in the Beer Garden Black Storm Brewery is a lovely place to stop for refreshments. They offer wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks and you can enjoy inside or in the outdoor terrace which is a real sun trap and a lovely place to sit and chill while the kids run around on the grass. In the summer they often stay open for extended periods in the evenings with live music too.

Pick up a Bargain


We popped into the Next Outlet to check out the kids clothes. The kids section is really good, there are current season items but they are all a bit cheaper than normal Next shops as it is an Outlet, and there are also sale rails.

We found two lovely spring/summery tops in the sale for £2 and £1 respectively, a complete bargain at only £3 for two tops!
There were loads of things in the sale including shoes and quite a few Christmas outfits. Handy if you want to be organised and love a bargain! They have men and women sections too, which I had a quick look around and will return to without the kids so I have more time to browse.

If you need to get your kids measured and buy them some new school shoes then pop into the Clarks Outlet for a bargain. The cost of kids shoes and the fact they grow out of them so quickly is always a challenge so it’s great to save a few quid!

You can book an appointment online for their complimentary professional shoe fitting service too.

Pay It Forward Coffee

If your kids are keen to make a difference, you can add £3 to any purchase from Second Bite which will provide a food parcel or freshly cooked meal to someone in need in the local community. Second Bite is a CIC working with local grassroot charities tackling issues around food poverty and in the local area. Their bistro at Royal Quays serves drinks, kids meals, light bites and more and is a nice place to pop by for a coffee or something more substantial.
Fantastic FREE Events 

Royal Quays hosts some fantastic free events which you can find out about on their Social Media or 'events' page. Previous popular events have included dinosaur visits and Christmas parades. Booking usually isn't required and events are generally free to enjoy. 

Upcoming events include: 

  • 9 & 10 April - Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter Egg Hunt 
  • 7 May - The Legion Star Wars Fundraiser 
  • 26 - 30 May - Turner's Royal Quays Funfair 

The Royal Quays Marketplace Coming soon is a brand new venture for Royal Quays - their marketplace. Based in unit 30, this will become a hub for local businesses who can trade and grow their customer base without the huge cost/commitment of renting their own larger retail unit.   There is space for 17 permanent businesses and it sounds like the place will be filled with micro businesses and start-ups. I bet it's a going to be a fantastic place to shop as well as a good opportunity for smaller businesses to get their name out there. I can't wait to visit when it opens.

Seating for Tired Legs If your kids are like mine, they will constantly let you know that they are tired and need a sit down. Royal Quays honestly has so much seating and stopping for a little rest or breather absolutely won't be a problem here. There are picnic tables, benches & outdoor sofas alongside seating inside the restaurants and cafes too. Below is just a small selection of what's available.

Shop for Gadgets & Plants

A bit of a random last point to end on but I love the variety of stores Royal Quays offer and there is something for a wide range of interests. 

For us, we enjoyed visiting My-G Gadgets Gizmos and Gaming which is filled with tech, games and accessories. 

During the past few years our family has really got into gardening too and Garden World is one of my favourite garden centres and always worth popping into.

We are working on creating a new herb garden at home and were interested to discover not one but five types of mint plant for sale. After a few sniff tests, we decided to go with the Moroccan Mint and I confirm it is still going strong at home weeks later. 

I appreciate this has been quite a lengthy post so well done if you've got to the end. There is so much I wanted to share and Royal Quays is somewhere I genuinely feel is a wonderful place to visit with kids.

There are some places I haven't managed to mention so please do follow Royal Quays Outlet and Independent Centre on Facebook to keep up to date with centre news and events. 


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