With October half-term upon us, the week offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy some quality family time.
Filling up the calendar with events can naturally be expensive - especially for those with a bigger brood - but with many parents already stretched having to keep young ones entertained as much as possible during the holidays, they will be keen to find ways to enjoy an outing together that won't hurt the pocket.
The good news is that there are plenty of free things to do and venues to visit across the North East and we cover a range of these in our guide, which is bound to keep you busy over the week.
Remember to pre-book ahead to save disappointment and follow Covid-19 safety guidelines.
Go here for more Northumberland news and updates from Northumberland Live
Big Science SLIME Party, Sunderland Museum, Sunderland
What kid doesn't love slime? Join the Big Science Parties team for some fiendishly clever science experiments and make your own gooey slime to play with and take home.
The party runs on October 29. Tickets are Â£4 per child, adults go free.
Burdon Rd, Sunderland SR1 1PP
Silent Family Disco, Durham Cathedral, Durham
Mum and dad dancers, groovy grandmas and grandads and techo tots are invited to this unique family dancing experience, under the seven-metre diameter Museum of the Moon installation. Each member of the family will don a headset and can choose their tracks to dance to.
This event starts at 5.45pm and ends at 7pm.
Tickets are Â£10 and Â£7 per child and can be purchased here
Durham DH1 3EH
Fix It Cafe, Great North Museum Hancock, Newcastle
Got broken items hanging around your house waiting to be fixed? Bring them along to the Fix It Cafe for free and get them repaired there and then.
These skilled makers and menders will bring those broken and worn items back to life. There is no limit to the items you can bring along to mend (as long as it fits in your bike basket or on the bus) and the team will show you how to use tools and resources to give that worn out, broken item and new spring in its step.
There will be boxes of glues, drills, soldering irons, needle and threads, tools and much more, plus experts on hand to show you how to use everything.
Kids are welcome, but must be supervised.
Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4PT
Old Durham Gardens, Durham
If the weathers nice, why not explore this scenic and charming garden cultivated more than 350 years ago?
Entry is free, and there's plenty of room to let little ones round around and blow off some steam by the woodland or on one of the riverside walks.
Bent House Lane, Durham, DH1 2RY
Discovery Museum, Newcastle
You don't get a more affordable day out than free admission to one of Newcastle's most famous museums.
Discovery Museum is made for families â€“ parents and children will all enjoy seeing the display of science and engineering triumphs, with a particular slant on what the North East has contributed to the world.
Old and young can enjoy the museum's new free trail which includes the exhibitions 'Colourful Discoveries', where you can play the part of a 'colour detective' and peer around the galleries through a prism of colour. There is also a exhibition on climate change and on the amazing achievements of women from Tyneside.
Paid-for events are also on offer, including the museum's RAFâ€™s Red Arrows flight simulator.
Blandford Square, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4JA
Calling all mini monsters, there's a whole week of Halloween themed fun at the Metrocentre.
Running from Monday 25 September to Sunday 31, kids can spot the famous Metrocentre gnomes in their spooky fancy-dress costumes they roam the malls in search for the best dressed little monsters to give special Halloween treats to.
Don't forget to wear your scariest Halloween costume for a chance to be greeted by the ghoulish gnomes.
This event is free.
St. Michaels Way, Metrocentre, Gateshead NE11 9YG
Rockpooling, South Shields
See what you can find living in the pools left behind by the tide.
Lead by an outdoor education specialist, and with all equipment provided, this rockpool session costs Â£5 per person and is perfect for curious kids as well as adults.
The event runs on October 23, to book visit here
South Shields Surf School, Promenade, NE33 3NG South Shields
Meggie Magicia, Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle
This kid's show from the comes with a 'pay-as-you-feel' price tag.
It follows a young girl called Meggie who moves to the seaside to live with her Gran. Desperate to fit in, Meggie follows in the footsteps of her magician Dad and sets about practising her magic show which she'll perform at the annual Lifeboat Festival the next day, with the aid of her toy penguin.
Book tickets here
St. James' Boulevard, Newcastle, NE1 4HP
Half-term Bowling Deal NAMCO, Metrocentre, Gateshead
Take advantage of this great deal at NAMCO Funscape, located within the Metrocentre.
Visitors from the 25 - 29 October can get one game of bowling and one turn on the dodgems for Â£8.95 per child / Â£9.95 per adult.
St. Michaels Way, Metrocentre, Gateshead NE11 9YG
Everybody's Talking About Jamie, Theatre Royal, Newcastle
For tween and teens, join the cast of the hit West End show for the musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie.
The cast includes EastEnders star Shane Richie and TV favourite Shobna Gulati, as well as lead West End star Layton Williams.
The feelgood story follows sixteen-year-old Jamie New, who lives on a council estate in Sheffield, but doesn't quite fit in. Join him as he goes on a journey of self-love and acceptance, complete with catchy music.
The show runs from Monday 25 â€“ Saturday 30 October and tickets are available from Â£15.
100 Grey St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6BR
Game Over VR experience, Alnwick Playhouse, Alnwick
Suitable for teenagers 14+, this 40-minute VR theatre experience is one-moment heart warming, and the next heartracing.
Guy himself will introduce you to the world of VR, immersing you in his story, surrounding you in his designs, and teaching you his favourite new GUY-inspired VR game.
Suitable for those with and without prior VR experience.
The experience runs from Wednesday 27 - 28 October and on a pay as you decide basis. You can reserve seats here for Â£2.
Bondgate Without, Alnwick NE66 1PQ
Woodfired Pizza and live music, Land of Oak & Iron Heritage Centre, Blaydon-on-Tyne
This free evening event on October 29 means parents and children can treat themselves to a freshly made wood-fired pizza from Lucca Pizzaâ€™s Vintage Trailer, whilst they listen to some live music.
Come rain or shine, the event will still be going ahead, but the event will take place indoors instead.
Alcoholic drinks for parents and sweet treats for kids will be available to purchase from cafÃ©.
No need to book, just turn up and enjoy yourself between 6pm â€“ 9pm.
Spa Well Road, A694, Winlaton Mill, Blaydon-on-Tyne NE21 6RU
Sheila from Shields, South Shields Museum and Art Gallery, South Shields
October 30 will be the last day to catch South Shield's own resident artist Sheila Graber's collection of artwork, which marks her 80th birthday.
This free family-friendly exhibition brings together the full range of Graberâ€™s engaging and passionate work, including landscapes, portraits and delightful animations. Her playful and humorous cartoon cat companion features throughout.
10 Ocean Rd, South Shields NE33 2JA
St Mary's Island, Whitley Bay
Visitors can cross the short causeway to visit St Mary's Island and explore the the beachâ€™s rockpools, clifftop grassland, and recently-created wetland habitat.
However, if families wish to go inside St Mary's Lighthouse and climb the 137 steps inside the tower to the lantern room to enjoy the spectacular views along the coast there is a charge. Admission prices apply to the visitor centre and lighthouse tower only.
St Maryâ€™s Island, Whitley Bay, NE26 4RS
Hadrianâ€™s Wall, Northumberland
The wilds of Northumberland are spectacular, especially around Hadrianâ€™s Wall. One of the best places to enjoy the scene is from one of the dominating crags such as Cuddyâ€™s Crags or Crag Lough. The children no doubt will be impressed by the ruins of the forts at regular intervals along the Wall, as well as Sycamore Gap â€“ the lone tree guarding the dip in the wall made famous by the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
Hadrianâ€™s Wall, Northumberland, NE46 1BS
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