My Christmas trip to see the family in Rochdale was somewhat of a flying visit this year. Having used up all my holiday from work to go to Thailand, I had to be in the office unless it was a bank holiday or weekend and didn’t get as much time as I would have liked to spend with my gorgeous niece and nephew over the festive season. So my Mum and Dad had the idea of bringing them to see me in Newcastle and I was absolutely over the moon! There’s nothing I enjoy more than planning a family day out and having the kids here made it even more fun than usual!
Our first stop was one of my favourite places, Tyneside Cinema. I would have loved a day at the park or seaside but it’s hardly the weather for it at the moment! Jack and Emily had never been to the cinema before and I wasn’t sure if they’d sit through the whole 109 minutes of Frozen Sing-a-long but at just £3.20 each it was worth a try.
None of us had seen the popular kids film before but as we settled in our seats surrounded by giddy girls and boys dressed as characters from the film, us adults were quite looking forward to it! Jack and Emily seemed pretty excited too, especially when they discovered the free lollypops and flip up seats! To my amazement they became mesmerised by the animated film from the moment it started and little Jack even clapped at the end!
While we were in the city centre I couldn’t miss the opportunity to show the family the Alice in Wonderland display in Fenwick window. I’d really been looking forward to this and had anticipated it being a magical moment but Emily just cried her eyes out and Jack seemed more interested in Greggs across the road! Oh well, to be fair it was rather loud and cold, not to mention nearly lunchtime!
Laing Art Gallery
We left the crowds on Northumberland Street and made a beeline for the Laing Art Gallery where I’d heard there was a lovely cafe and a play area especially for under 5’s. We ordered tea, coffee and sandwiches, plus a scone for my sweet-toothed Dad and there were kids lunch boxes that included the twins favourite treat, Quavers, so there were smiles all round.
Entrance to the Laing Art Gallery is free and it’s just a stone’s throw from Monument Metro so it was no surprise that plenty of other families seemed to have had the same idea as us and it was pretty busy. Jack and Emily had fun with the other children in the play area while my mum and I checked out the gift shop, an hour passed in the blink of an eye!
The Great North Museum: Hancock
I was conscious that the day was going by way too quickly and there was no way we were going to squeeze in everything I had planned (Seven Stories, Ouseburn Farm and the Kids Club at As You Like It will have to wait for another day!) But we did have time for one final city centre stop and that was The Great North Museum (aka The Hancock).
Sadly we arrived too late to make their most of Saturday Storytime in the Mouse House but we all had a great time exploring the museum and meeting all manner of creatures great and small! As with all Tyne & Wear Museums, entrance to the Great North Museum is free. It really is well worth a visit!
It was so nice to spend time with my favourite people in my favourite city and I’m sure as they get older and visit more often they’re going to end up loving NewcastleGateshead as much as I do!
By Rachel Kershaw