For young fans of action and adventure, Segedunum Roman Fort (Sunday 29 May) and Arbeia Roman Fort (Monday 30 May) are hosting Roman cavalry events. Visitors are encouraged to pack a picnic and get ready to encounter Romans in armour with their valiant steeds. There will even be the opportunity to ride a chariot.
Budding artists aged 7-10 years will be able to learn new art skills, make friends and have lots of fun at one of the Laing Art Gallery’s Art Academy Days (31 May and 2 June). Activities will be themed around the fantastical new exhibition Alice in Wonderland, which is also a great choice for a family outing, especially on Big Wednesday (1 June) when visitors can drop in for tall tales and curious chronicles.
Other arty and crafty activities on offer include Fortunes and Frescoes at Segedunum (30 May), Chairs for Bears at Shipley Art Gallery (2 June), and Maritime Mayhem – bunting and flag design at South Shields Museum (31 May). For very little ones there is Saturday Storytimes in the Mouse House at Great North Museum: Hancock where children can engage with a different theme each week through story, song and fun craft sessions.
Iain Watson, Director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums said: “We always try to give families something extra special during school holidays, and this May half term is looking really exciting.
“We’re very proud that South Shields Museum and Art Gallery is welcoming its 1.5 millionth visitor, and hope that lots of families come along to the free celebration day (3 June), which will feature magic shows, a museum trail and face painting.
“I’m also happy to announce we’ll be running another autism-friendly early opening session at Great North Museum: Hancock. We’ve received some wonderful feedback from children and parents about previous sessions so we’ll be opening our doors early once again for another special event.”
Discovery Museum is going all nautical during May half term. Pirates of the Museum: by hook or by crook (31 May) invites young shipmates to join Captain Raggy Beard to hear tales about life on the ocean waves, play pirate games and do craft activities. Visitors can come dressed as a pirate or fairy for extra fun. Ocean Worlds (2 June) is a chance to meet amazing creatures such as lobsters, star fish and sea anemones up close and personal.
The Stephenson Railway Museum welcomes some very special guests on Sunday 29 May as The Stephenson brothers, George and Robert, will be in attendance. The pioneering brothers are the namesakes of the museum. They spent 20 years on Tyneside developing their ideas for railways and locomotives that would change the world forever. Visitors are invited to have their portrait taken with George or Robert and create a Victorian frame to display it. The museum’s popular heritage train rides will also be available on Sundays and bank holiday Monday to complete the Stephenson Railway experience.
There’s a musical treat on the last day of the holidays as Arbeia presents Tunes in June (5 June). Visitors are encouraged to pack a picnic and get ready to boogie the afternoon away as Garage Studios showcase some of the region’s best up and coming talent in the unique surroundings of the Roman remains.
Many of the half term activities and events are free, although you may need to book your places in advance.
For details of all the events taking place at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums this May half term visit:
Arbeia Roman Fort – www.arbeiaromanfort.org.uk
Discovery Museum – www.discoverymuseum.org.uk
Great North Museum Hancock – www.greatnorthmuseum.org.uk
Laing Art Gallery – www.laingartgallery.org.uk
Segedunum Roman Fort – www.segedunumromanfort.org.uk
Shipley Art Gallery – www.shipleyartgallery.org.uk
South Shields Museum and Art Gallery – www.southshieldsmuseum.org.uk
Stephenson Railway Museum – www.stephensonrailwaymuseum.org.uk
I Love Newcastle Magazine would love to hear your thoughts about the above post, so please feel free to share them in the comments box below.