Shake Your Sticks
Grab your ankle bells and sticks and get into the May Day spirit at this fabulous open air museum. The May Day King and Queen (chosen from the visitors of the day) will be crowned at this special event where there will also be Maypole dancing, live folk music and headdress making.
3rd-4th May, Beamish Museum, County Durham www.beamish.org.uk
Dip Your Feet
Grab your wellies for this rockpooling event where you’ll identify your whelks from your winkles with the Northumberland Wildlife Trust Living Seas team. With their guidance, you’ll learn more about our shorelife and how to spot its inhabitants.
9th May, Outside RNLI, Cullercoats www.nwt.org.uk
Gone To The Beach
With fine weather finally on the horizon, make the most of the outdoors and the natural beauty of the Durham Heritage Coast. Discover scenic denes such as Hawthorn Dene, clifftop outcrops dotted with beautiful wildflowers and take in spectacular views from the highest point on the Durham Coast, the summit of Beacon Hill.
Durham’s Heritage Coast www.nationaltrust.org.uk/durham-coast
The Coming Of Spring
Celebrate the arrival of spring at Hexham’s Spring Festival when Hexham Abbey’s picturesque grounds will be bustling with many food, drink and craft stalls. Everyone is welcome to sit in at the Teddy Bears’ picnic, watch the Morris dancers and kids can also take a pony ride.
9th May, Hexham Abbey Grounds and Town Centre www.visithexham.net
Explore the wonders of sensory perception at this fun and family-friendly show in Life’s Science Theatre. You’ll be amazed to discover what makes us unique individuals with the Science Explainers.
Until 14th June, Life Science Centre, Newcastle www.life.org.uk
By The Water
Spend a day on beautiful Kielder Water sailing, canoeing or kayaking, perfect for individuals and families who love water sports, or just fancy trying it for the day. Kielder Water is the biggest manmade lake in Northern Europe and, surrounded by the Forest Park, it’s a great place to cycle or take a walk.
25th May, Calvert Trust Kielder, Northumberland www.visitkielder.com
I Hear Music
Local crooners will be performing to the masses at the third annual Consett Festival. On Bank Holiday Monday, there will also be real ale to sample, market stalls, fairground rides and plenty of children’s activities including a circus skills workshop.
23rd-25th May, Belle Vue Stadium, Consett www.consettfestival.my-free.website
May Half-term Happenings Do As The Romans
Find out what life was like for citizens of Roman Britain at this ancient Roman cavalry fort. Get into character by trying on costumes, handle Roman weapons and objects, and participate in games, drills and crafts to get a taste of life as it was 2,000 years ago.
23rd-31st May, Chesters Roman Fort and Museum, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland www.english-heritage.org.uk
Pick Up A Puffin
Go puffin-crazy at the Amble Puffin Festival where they are hosting a week of fun events and activities. It’s the best time of year to spot the Coquet Island Puffins caring for their newly hatched pufflings, but also to take part in the guided nature walks, get involved in watersports and enjoy live music.
25th-31st May, Venues in Amble www.amblepuffinfest.co.uk
Art can be child’s play at this grand venue in the market town of Barnard Castle. Kids are encouraged to look at paintings and exhibitions, follow trails round the museum and then create their own masterpiece to take home. Fun activities to get the creative juices flowing include painting model boats to designing a paper fan.
26th-29th May, The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk
Your week of fun starts at Gibside where they will be hosting free family activities and outdoor adventures every day of the school holidays. Choose from Explorer Monday, Foodie Tuesday, Wildlife Wednesday, Adventure Thursday and Fit Friday.
26th-30th May, Gibside, near Rowlands Gill, Gateshead www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gibside
Let Down Your Hair
Children’s playwright Mike Kenny’s playful production of Rapunzel, accompanied by music from Chris Mellor, tells the story of a girl who is stuck high up in a tower above the world and faced with the challenge of growing up. Themes of curiosity, growing up, risk-taking and self-discovery are all considered in this lively play.
29th-30th May, ARC, Stockton Arts Centre, Stockton on Tees www.arconline.co.uk