Play Hard

12 affordable family days out by Metro across the North East

North East family fun made accessible – kids 11 and under travel free all day, every day.

Written by Rachael Nichol
Published 25.07.2023

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The summer holidays have officially started.

A great time to get out and about to spend quality time with the little ones but activities, parking and petrol can all add up. That, alongside not all of us having access to a car.

As always, we’ve got you covered. Have you ever considered travelling via the Metro for some North East family fun? Well, here’s why you should…

With kids 11 and under travelling free all day, every day, discounted admissions at top family attractions and being able to travel more sustainably without getting stuck in traffic jams, it’s a stress-free no-brainer to choose to travel on the Metro for a family day out over the summer holidays.

Oh, and there’s no need to worry about a long wait as the Metro comes every 12 minutes so your energy-fuelled little explorers will be off on their adventures in no time.

From a day by the coast exploring sea life and tucking into fish and chips, to urban green spaces home to furry friends, and museums letting you travel back in time, there’s always a Metro station close by to the North East’s top family attractions.

We’ve rounded up some family day out ideas in the North East whether by rain or shine on the Metro.

HLN TOP TIP: Looking for things for the kids to do on their travels? Check out the Metro’s free fun activity packs.



Tynemouth Aquarium

Nearest Metro station: Cullercoats

Walking distance: 14-minute walk

Cost: from £11.50 (under two go free)

Metro offer: £2 off admission when showing your Metro ticket.

Go on an adventure through Tynemouth Aquarium as an animal from all over the world’s waters awaits around every corner.

Get the chance to see seals playing and performing in shows at Seal Cove, come face to face with a shark as you walk in a panoramic underwater ocean tunnel and learn more about exhibits and animals during daily talks and feeds.

HLN TOP TIP: If you’re blessed with sunshine why not extend your day out with a visit to Cullercoats beach?

Discovery Museum, Newcastle

Nearest Metro station: Central Station

Walking distance: 7-minute walk

Cost: Free

Metro offer: Kids 11 and under travel free

Perfect for those rainy days, a visit to the Discovery Museum has something the whole family will enjoy.

From interactive science exhibitions to dressing up opportunities and exploring North East history to a host of workshops and events over the holidays (including crafts, storytelling and circus training), there’s plenty for your little ones to discover.

Plus, get the chance to experience the thrill of the cock pit with RAF’S Red Arrow flight simulator.

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead

Nearest Metro station: Gateshead

Walking distance: 17-minute walk

Cost: Free

Metro offer: Kids 11 and under travel free

With ever-changing exhibitions, one of the best viewpoints in Newcastle with stunning views across the Quayside and a relaxed and informal cafe bar for a spot of lunch, you can spend all day here.

Plus, there’s a fantastic open area called Quay where kids use their imagination and get creative with plenty of fun drop-in activity sessions for them to enjoy.

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens

Nearest Metro station: Sunderland

Walking distance: 4-minute walk

Cost: Free

Metro offer: Kids 11 and under travel free

Discover the history of the city from its prehistoric past to the present day in exciting displays, hands-on exhibits, computer interactives and video presentations the kids will love.

Explore the Winter Gardens that’s home to over 1,500 of the world’s most exotic and unusual flowers and trees, wonderful water features and a stunning treetop walkway.


Ouseburn Farm

Nearest Metro station: Byker or Manors

Walking distance: 12-13-minute walk

Cost: Free

Metro offer: Kids 11 and under travel free

You don’t have to travel away from the city to help your kids be at one with nature thanks to Ouseburn Farm.

With an outdoor allotment and garden for children to learn how things grow, a farm yard and indoor space to meet and feed guinea pigs, sheep and cows and a fantastic community café to refuel on your adventures, there’s plenty to explore here.

There are also plenty of school holiday activities and events hosted here, from goat walking, reptile bathing and rabbit petting.

The Shields Ferry, North Shields

Nearest Metro station: North Shields

Walking distance: 10-minute walk

Metro offer: Kids 11 and under travel free

After fish and chips at North Shields Fish Quay, why not sail on the ferry from North Shields and get your adrenaline pumping at Ocean Beach Pleasure Park, South Shields, as The Shields Ferry is covered by your Metro Zone DaySaver ticket.

If you’re looking for an extra bit of fun, The Shields Ferry offers a ride out with Captain Jack, animal encounters, sing-alongs and evening cruises that the whole family will enjoy. More info here.

Rising Sun Country Park, Benton

Nearest Metro station: Palmersville

Walking distance: 17-minute walk

Cost: Free

Metro offer: Kids 11 and under travel free

A green oasis of 162 hectares, set in the heart of North Tyneside, The Rising Sun Country Park is to let your little ones roam free this summer.

Boasting a nature reserve with ponds, woodlands and extensive grasslands, a farm and an adventure playground, the site is perfect for wildlife spotting and an ideal place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

Plus, there’s a cafe with a terrace and beautiful park views for a bite to eat.

Roker, Sunderland

Nearest Metro station: Seaburn

Walking distance: 19-minute walk

Cost: Free

Metro offer: Kids 11 and under travel free

Stroll through Roker Park until you reach the sandy beach to build sandcastles, then follow the famous Cat and Dog steps to the raised promenade.

If you’re after a longer walk to wear the little ones out, visit Roker Lighthouse or to the picturesque Sunderland Marina. And while you’re there why not check out some of our recommendations? Read here.


Playhouse Whitley Bay 

Nearest Metro station: Whitley Bay

Walking distance: 14-minute walk

Metro offer: Free travel via the Metro (within 2 hours of your show)

Expect a summer filled with a barrel of laughs at Playhouse Whitley Bay. Be entertained in the all-singing, dancing, action-packed show of Fireman Sam Saves the Circus, laugh out loud at Summer Panto 2023: Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs – starring EastEnders legend Cheryl Ferguson as Snow White – and be mind blown by Jurrasic Earth featuring roaming state-of-the-art animatronic life-like Dinosaurs.

Sunderland Empire 

Nearest Metro station: Sunderland

Walking distance: 6-minute walk

Metro offer: Free travel via the Metro (within 2 hours of your show)

Escape to a world of pure imagination this summer with Roald Dahl’s Charlie and The Chocolate Factory – The Musical at the Sunderland Empire. Get the chance to watch this West End hit show from Wednesday 2nd to Sunday 13th of August.

Plus, give your little ones a chance to perform on stage with the Sunderland Empire’s spectacular theatre summer school.

Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Nearest Metro station: Monument

Walking distance: 3-minute walk

Metro offer: Free travel via the Metro (within 2 hours of your show)

The Theatre Royal is hosting a summer school for all ages across the holidays giving your kids a chance to boost their confidence, learn performing arts and perform their own work.

Plus, make sure you secure your tickets for the award-winning Winne the Pooh musical and the hilarious SpongeBob Musical touring this summer.

The Customs House, South Shields

Nearest Metro station: South Shields

Walking distance: 9-minute walk

Metro offer: Free travel via the Metro (within 2 hours of your show)

Treat your little ones to a fun-filled evening at The Customs House theatre. From a laugh-out-loud, dancing spectacular pantomime of Cinderella to The Customs House Summer School fantastic and outlandish, toe-tapping musical Seussical based on stories by Dr Seuss, expect to be singing along and dancing the night away.

For more information on tickets and offers and to check the full Metro map and timetable, visit Metro’s website.

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