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16 Fun and Free Activities For All the Family During the School Holidays

dad swing around little girl. Credit Forestry England Forestry England
July 2022
Reading time 10 Minutes

Having fun as a family shouldn’t have to cost you the earth

We’ve rounded up some of the best activities you can do with your gang without even spending a penny.
Across The North East
Hamsterley Forest wooden sculptures Hamsterley Forest

Saltwell Park
Kids can explore the play areas and get lost in the maze. Mums can look on from Saltwell Tower café as they enjoy a slice of cake. Parenting done right.
East Park Road, Gateshead NE9 5AX

Hamsterley Forest
From wildlife watching to stargazing, and adventure play for all the family, to exhilarating mountain biking, there is something to keep everyone busy at this amazing space.
Redford, Co Durham, DL13 3NL

RSPB Saltholme
These family-friendly wetlands have a helpful visitor’s centre, hides and screens which let you get up close with the wildlife, plus a family discovery zone, café, play area and accessible trails.
Seaton Carew, Middlesbrough TS2 1TU

The Baltic
Baltic offer special family days with free creative activities several times a year, however year-round there are also learning lounges, sensory rooms and trails, so there’s plenty for families to get involved with
Quayside, Gateshead NE8 3BA

Kielder Water and Forest Park
Kielder Water and Forest Park is perfect for families that want to get out and about and active with plenty of opportunities for water sports, cycling and adventure. See if you can spot a red squirrel too.
Kielder, Northumberland, NE48 1ER

Pet’s Corner
The selection of animals and birds in this corner of Jesmond Dene will keep the family entertained for hours, and there’s plenty of space to run around in the park and a good trail along the Ouseburn too. Plus, there’s usually a handy ice cream van parked up to perk everyone up when needed.
Jesmond Dene, Newcastle NE7 7BQ

WWT Washington Centre
It’s all about unforgettable wildlife encounters at the award-winning Washington Wetland Centre. If adorable otters can’t lure the kids out of their rooms this summer then nothing will. 
Barmston Lane, Washington NE38 8LE

Hancock Museum
The life-size dinosaur skeleton is a favourite with kids, while the Hadrian’s Wall gallery is the best way to learn about our own heritage – not to mention the popular planetarium shows which are out of this world!
Barras Bridge, Newcastle NE2 4PT

Read More: What To Do This Weekend To Get Your Summer Holidays Off To A Great Start

Hancock Museum Dinosaur Hancock Museum
Pet’s Corner- birds Pet’s Corner
The Baltic art installation The Baltic
Across Yorkshire
Bempton Cliffs Puffins Bempton Cliffs

Roundhay Park
With more than 700 acres of beautiful woodland and open grassland, as well as play areas with sandpits, swings, slides, skate ramps and adventure trails, this is the perfect spot to enjoy some fresh air with the family.
Mansion Lane, Leeds LS8 2HH

Bempton Cliffs
Take the kids to visit these huge white chalk cliffs, which during summer are transformed into England’s largest seabird city, where puffins, gannets, kittiwakes and guillemots live life on the edge.
Cliff Lane, Bridlington YO15 1JF

Dalby Forest
Home to 8,000 acres of breath-taking views, endless walking, running and cycle trails and Gruffalo adventures, a great day out for all the family awaits at Dalby Forest.
Low Dalby, Pickering YO18 7LT

National Science and Media Museum
With a number of galleries, exhibition spaces, learning activities and cinema screens, a trip to the National Science and Media Museum is sure to inspire the scientists and engineers of the future.
Little Horton Lane, Bradford BD1 1NQ

Hackfall Woods
A walk at Hackfall Woods is full of surprises, with lush ancient woodland, waterfalls and follies. With more than 120 acres to explore, families can choose between short scenic walks or full-day adventures.
Grewelthorpe, Harrogate HG4 3BS

Stewart Park
With everything from rabbits and guinea pigs to deer and llamas, the selection of animals in Stewart Park’s pets corner will keep the family entertained for hours. There’s also a children’s play area and outdoor table tennis, plus, there’s a park café to refuel too.
The Grove, Marton TS7 8AR

Pop-up Ping Pong
Serve, spin and smash your way through a game of table tennis at Lakeside Village’s pop-up ping pong parlour. Free to play, it’s a great way to keep the kids busy while you get the shopping done.
Lakeside Village, Doncaster DN4 5PJ

York Art Gallery
York Art Gallery offers a great family-friendly day out with activities, events and workshops available throughout the year, including everything from arts heroes fact sheets to drawing and colouring pages too.
Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EW

Read More: Connect with Nature at Washington Wetland Centre

National Science and Media Museum Mirror Maze National Science and Media Museum
Stewart Park bridge over lake Stewart Park
York Art Gallery York Art Gallery

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