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October Half Term in NewcastleGateshead

30th August 2010

Categories: Latest News


NewcastleGateshead is fast becoming the destination of choice for families during the October half-term thanks to the award-winning Juice Festival,
Juice – NewcastleGateshead’s festival for children and young people takes place from Wednesday 20 – Sunday 31 October, with Halloween providing a packed weekend of events, many of which are free to attend.

The 10 day festival showcases outstanding work created by children and young people as well as a family- friendly programme delivered by regional, national and international artists. Highlights include:
• The Just Jam Weekend at Dance City. Following the success of films including StreetDance 3D and Step Up 3D, discover your inner bboy and bgirl in this special weekend of workshops and performances with the top 32 bboys in the UK and special guests including Monuir from legendary French bboy crew, Vagabonds.

• Family Fun at Five Fantastic Museums (Mon 25, Wed 27 & Thurs 28 October) sees a special programme of events for all the family at some of NewcastleGateshead’s hugely popular museums and galleries including, The Discovery Museum, Newcastle and the award-winning Great North Museum, Newcastle.

• The Night Pirates (Fri 29 & Sat 30 October) – presented by Theatre Hullabaloo – is a delightful adaptation of the much loved picture book, specially created for young children and their families. A fantastical moonlit adventure with puppets, song and ballet-dancing pirates.

• Halloween means ghosts, witches and more importantly, lots of fun, as BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art kick starts the festivities with Happy Halloween Pumpkin Carving (Friday 29 – Sunday 31 October). Get creative with a team of professional artists and prepare your pumpkin ready for the Juice Festival Finale Parade (Sunday 31 October). Children and families can join in the parade over the River Tyne dressed in their best fancy dress costume and spookily carved pumpkins. The Parade will be led by performers from Northern Stage with accompanying musicians from The Sage Gateshead.

• For details of all the exciting events in this year’s Juice Festival, please visit
NewcastleGateshead is also home to an exciting choice of family-friendly attractions all year-round including:

• Great North Museum opened its doors to the public in May 2009 and has already welcomed more than 800,000 visitors. Highlights of the new museum include a large-scale interactive model of Hadrian’s Wall. Discover the wonders of Ancient Greece and mummies from Ancient Egypt in the new natural world displays. View a life size T. Rex Dinosaur skeleton and grab a bite to eat at the café.

• Seven Stories, the Centre for Children’s books, the only attraction of its kind in the UK, celebrates its 5th birthday in 2010. This exciting venue explores and celebrates our heritage of British children’s books which are the inspiration for all kinds of exciting and engaging exhibitions, activities and events.

• Life Science Centre explores the fascinating story of Human Life by discovering Our Origins and how we evolved. Through interactive technology, virtual games arcades and incredible films, find out what challenges we could face in Our Future. Stargaze in The Dome, catch a live science demonstration in the Live Theatre or enjoy the thrills of the Motion Ride. Exhibitions and events are always changing so there’s always something new.

Where to eat
Family-friendly options include…

• Gusto Restaurant and Bar, 0191 260 2291
Right on the NewcastleGateshead quayside, Gusto is always buzzing and offers good food in the stylish surroundings. With a focus on freshly prepared classic and modern Italian fare, children are particularly well catered for: the menu is varied and even encourages participation – they can create pizzas with their own choice of toppings – and all children’s main course prices include ice cream and a soft drink.

• Northside Diner, 0191 232 5100,
Located in the popular department store, Fenwick, this 50’s style American diner is suitable for those looking for something a little different. Northside offers mouth watering classic American dishes such as 100% prime beef burgers, pancakes served with butter and maple syrup and thick Italian ice cream shakes. The diner focuses on quality and taste using locally sourced ingredients.

• Panis, 0191 232 4366,
This stylish café/restaurant is run by a Sardinian family who are red hot on service. The Italian/Sardinian menu includes anything from sandwiches to pasta plus a range of cakes to die for. This family friendly restaurant is suitable for a quiet Italian coffee, a quick snack, or a blow out meal with family and friends.

Where to stay
• Hilton Newcastle Gateshead, 0191 490 9700,
Located on the Gateshead side of the River Tyne with breathtaking panoramic views of the Quayside and across to Newcastle city centre, this fantastic hotel is the perfect base for a visit to NewcastleGateshead. It offers family friendly accommodation with family rooms, leisure facilities and children’s menus available in the Windows in the Tyne restaurant. 

• Staybridge Suites Newcastle, 01895 512464,
Situated on Buxton Street and just moments from the Quayside area, the contemporary-style Staybridge Suites Newcastle will provide more space and comfort than a traditional hotel room which makes it ideal for a family stay. Each suite offers a state of the art entertainment system with a flat screen TV to keep the children entertained.

How to get there

With excellent links by road, air and rail, NewcastleGateshead couldn’t be easier to access. East Coast trains offer competitive fares and regularly offer special promotions,

Cross Country Trains also offer up to 75% discount when booking online, 

Family travel tip

NewcastleGateshead is an incredibly compact place to visit; much of the centre can be explored on foot. If you are weary or need to head outside the centre, the local Metro train service is a must. A day saver ticket will cost you £3.90 (£4.80 before 9am weekdays) and allows you unlimited travel on Metro, Shields Ferry and local rail services between Newcastle and Sunderland. Whether you want to get to and from the airport with ease, or fancy blowing away the cobwebs on the beautiful beaches of NewcastleGateshead’s coast, it’s all just a metro ride away.
Also available is the QuayLink bus service. Look out for the bright yellow bus to take you to the main attractions and destinations throughout NewcastleGateshead. The service runs frequently from early morning until late night and costs £1.70 for unlimited daily travel or £4.40 for a Family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children).
See for more visitor information


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