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How to Have the Best Half Term in the North East as a Family

February 2023
Reading time 4 Minutes

Our guide of the best things to do as a family this February half term

From how to make perfect pancakes to a scarily good book, and all the creative fun to be had this half-term, here's everything you need to know this month.

The coolest, cosiest knitwear for kids

Lilac Ribbed knit sweater with top

Ribbed knit sweater with top, £16.99 Zara, Metrocentre

Wool blend crew jumper

Wool blend crew jumper, £42.95 Barbour, stockists regionwide

Diamond knit trouser set

Diamond knit trouser set, £30.99 Little Lambs Boutique, Sunderland

Mustard Frill jumper

Frill jumper, £31 Joules at Barkers, Northallerton

Handmade knitted cardigan

Handmade knitted cardigan, £49.99 BecsKnitwear at Jump, Newcastle


February half-term is coming up and we’ve found the top ways to get creative in the North East this half-term.

Raymond Briggs: A Retrospective

Monday 20th– Sunday 26th February
The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle
Raymond Briggs: A Retrospective is a touring exhibition from Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration and with never-before-seen artwork it’s not to be missed. Half-term is the last week of the exhibition and there will be activities on all week to celebrate, including making a wooden spoon character, a 3D elephant, fuzzy felt piece and cave painting, plus building a bean stalk climber inspired by the book Jim and the Beanstalk

Four Day Art School

Monday 20th– Thursday 23rd February
Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle
Over the course of four days anyone aged 11–16 is invited to the Laing Art Galley to work with a professional arts educator and experiment with a variety of materials to create artwork. They can be inspired by the Laing’s broad collection, before exploring and developing their artistic skills and techniques, and developing a portfolio of work. There is also early drop off and late pick up available if needed.

Mini Mela

Friday 24th February
Darlington, Hippodrome
Packed full of family fun, GemArts Mini Mela comes to Darlington Hippodrome this half-term, and it’s completely free! Just drop in, take part and get creative. Join in workshops featuring visual arts from Indian, African, Chinese and other cultures from around the world, and dance and drumming activities. To learn something new and make your very own creations to take home, this is the half-term activity for you.

Unicorn Moonicorn: Author Illustrator event with Nick Sharrat and Phoebe Tinkler

Sunday 26th February
Seven Stories, Newcastle
Who’ll be your favourite unicorn? The Covered-in-Green-Goo-nicorn? Or the Sparkly Rainbow Poo-nicorn? Discover a world of wacky Unicorn possibilities with acclaimed author-illustrator Nick Sharratt and his new book, Unicorn Moonicorn, at Seven Stories. The original idea was suggested to Nick by local schoolgirl Phoebe Tinkler, who will join Nick at this special event to talk about seeing her work brought to life by her favourite illustrator.

Click for more half-term inspiration.

A Scarily Good Book

If you’re searching for a new page-turner for your kids look no further. Sharks Are Scary Aren’t They?, written by experienced diver Christine Edwards, has just been published and it’s a must-read. Set off the cost of Northumberland, the book tackles themes such as the human impact on the environment and the protection of sharks and their habitats. £8.99 in all good bookshops.

Perfect Pancakes

Shrove Tuesday is 21st February this year, and no doubt you’ll be whipping up a stack of pancakes to celebrate. Whether they help whisk up the batter, try to flip one in the pan or simply choose what toppings to put on, this is a great activity for the whole family to get involved with. From thick and fluffy, to thin and crisp crepes, there are so many ways to enjoy your pancakes. Why not try this alternative Rainbow Pancake Stack.


Want to introduce your toddler to the wonders of an art gallery or a museum? All of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums’ venues offer a variety of free and low-cost, expert-led sessions for under fives where parents and guardians can meet new friends too.

They also all have baby changing facilities, are accessible for buggies, have spaces for packed lunches or child-friendly options in the cafés, and are all breastfeeding friendly too. Read more to find out what’s coming up.

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