10 of the best days out in the North East

With a magical castle, a crazy maze, wonderful wildlife and interactive museums there’s lots to do in the North East

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The Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens has lots to see and do whatever the weather
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Spot great wildlife in its natural habitat on the Farne Islands

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
In recent years, Alnwick Castle has featured as ‘Hogwarts’ in the first two Harry Potter movies and it certainly is a magical place for a day out. The castle has beatiful grounds and lots to keep the whole family entertained. Children can take part in activities and ‘Quests’. In the ‘Knights Quest’they can go back in time to dress up as a knight or princess and learn all about the medieval world with medieval games. There’s a different medieval craft activity on every day.
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Seven  Stories, Newcastle
Seven Stories is an archive gallery that celebrates the wonderful world of Children’s books. They have exhibitions, events and learning programs. You can view exciting items in the archives from famous writers such as Enid Blyton and Philip Pullman. They host lots of activities for children and have visiting authors.
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Minotaur Maze at Kielder Castle, Northumberland
This maze, built from basalt and recycled glass, has been awarded for its design. With walls made from grey rocks piled into cages it looks like a daunting place to get lost, but is great fun. Children will love finding their way to a secret staircase which they can climb to look over the labyrinth and see the centre.
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Farne Islands, Northumberland
A beautiful day out for all the family. The Farne Islands are possibly the most exciting seabird colony in England with views of 23 species, including around 37,000 pairs of puffin. It’s also home to a large grey seal colony, with more than 1,000 pups born every autumn. Children will love spotting animals in their natural surroundings.
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Sunderland Museum and Winter Garden, Sunderland
The Museum & Winter Gardens houses a museum, art gallery, exhibition space and Winter Gardens. In the Museum, discover the history of the city from its prehistoric past to the present day. There are exciting displays and you can get involved with using hands-on exhibits, computer interactive areas and video presentations. The stunning Winter Gardens have over 2,000 flowers and plants. The museum holds an exciting programme of temporary exhibitions which are accompanied by activities and events for all ages.
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The Alnwick Garden, Alnwick
This is a fantastic garden for families, with lots of chances for children to enjoying splashing around and getting wet. Kids can collect water in the mini tractors, paddle in the water, see the many ways water can move in the Serpent Garden and dodge the Grand Cascade’s jets. Little ones will love to play hide and seek in the Bamboo Labyrinth, and bounce on The Treehouse’s wobbly rope bridges.
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Whitehouse Farm Centre, Northumberland
There’s lots to do at Whitehouse Farm Centre. Kids can bottle feed lambs , see the cute meerkats at the meerkat feed and talk show and cuddle fluffy bunnies in the petting barn. Fun for all ages as the Whitehouse Farm Centre offers a hands  on experience. If the sun doesn’t shine kids can still have fun in the Farmers Den themed soft play barn.
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Tynemouth Aquarium, Tynemouth
Blue Reef Aquarium holds a variety of amazing sealife with everything from giant crabs and lobsters to seahorses and tropical sharks. You’ll get a chance to find out more about these creatures’ in over 40 naturally recreated displays. Children can learn about some of the natural wonders of the underwater world and find out why and how we can look after them. Regular talks and feeding displays make the aquarium an unforgettable day out whatever the weather. They also have an amazing ropical rainforest area with a colony of monkeys, including tiny pygmy marmosets and cotton topped tamarins.
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Adventurelands, Tyne & Wear
Adventurelands has an amazing array of indoor themed adventure playgrounds, complete with climbing wall, sports cage, and an interactive computer zone for children. It has an award winning cafeteria with healthy hot meals. A fairy castle themed play frame will keep older children entertained with rope bridges and cargo nets. While little ones can enjoy the underwater themed frame with a boat, soft play area and a real fish tank.
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Discovery Museum, Tyne & Wear
The Discovery Museum is bursting with interactive displays, which makes it the perfect place to learn and have fun. Find out about life in Newcastle and Tyneside, from the area’s famous maritime history, science, technology, fashion through the eras and military history. The have exhibitions designed with kids in mind and lots of events throughout the year which your little ones can get involved in.
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