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  • Writer's pictureKelly

Ways to Play – October half-term events at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

This October half-term, families are invited to enjoy a great value day out across museums and galleries on Tyneside, including lots of Halloween inspired activities.

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and Tyne and Wear Metro are continuing their award-winning partnership to offer families fun and great value days out.

Find LOADS more half term ideas HERE, or follow us on Facebook or Instagram for even more ideas.

At a time when everyone is conscious of rising costs, Tyneside’s museums are offering a range of high quality, free and low-cost events at well-loved family destinations across South Tyneside, North Tyneside, Newcastle and Gateshead. All of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums’ venues are near a Metro Station, so families can take advantage of Metro’s free travel for children under 11, with a fare paying adult.

The Ways to Play campaign is inspired by the range of ways a child can play, which encourages children to be active, creative and imaginative. Highlights of the autumn half-term Ways to Play programme include; Spooky discos at Discovery Museum, Halloween mask making at Hatton Gallery, The Shipley Art Gallery and South Shields Museum and Art Gallery, and a Ghost story train ride at Stephenson Steam Railway.

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TWAM first partnered with Tyne and Wear Metro on the Ways to Play campaign in Summer 2021. The campaign has since received recognition at the North East Culture awards in 2022 by winning Best Arts and Business Partnership, as well as the best Not for Profit Marketing Award at the North East Marketing Awards in December 2022. It was also shortlisted at the Museum + Heritage Awards in May 2023 for Partnership of the Year.

Museum admission is free for under 16s to all TWAM’s attractions including the Great North Museum: Hancock, Discovery Museum, Segedunum Roman Fort and South Shields Museum. Admission charges and advance booking may apply to some events.

Click to view the Ways to Play webpage.

Keep scrolling for the full event list

Discovery Museum, Blandford Square, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 4JA

Monday 30 October

Various sessions between 10,15am and 2.15pm

Join us in the ghoultastic Great Hall for some creepy crafts this October half term.

Craft pack will include: wooden Halloween lantern, flapping owl, dangling spider and a dash of ‘witch craft’.

£4.50 per child (plus booking fee). Advance booking recommended.

Tuesday 31 October


Bring your babies for a boogie at our toddler disco, brought to the museum by Hartbeeps, award-winning storytellers and creators of multi-sensory play for babies and young children. This fun upbeat session will take place in the spacious Great Hall on the 4th floor with Hartbeep puppets, bubbles and lights all around

£5 per toddler (plus booking fee). Accompanying adults and babies are free. Booking essential.

Spooky Silent Disco

Tuesday 31 October

Don your creepy costumes and draw out your inner diva to dance the day away at Discovery Museum's Spooky Silent Disco for families.

You'll have three music channels to choose from, including a channel with some spooky tunes.

Families have two hours to dance, leap and bust moves in a beautiful Art Deco setting with oodles of space for everyone.

£3 per child (plus booking fee). Booking essential.

Great North Museum: Hancock, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4PT Free admission, donations welcome Spooktacular October half term Saturday 21 October - Sunday 5 November During usual opening hours Dive into an immersive, eerie adventure and explore museum treasures, local legends, and mythical creatures. From creative crafts to spine-thrilling trails, we've got something for everyone at The Great North Museum: Hancock, this half term. Hatton Gallery, King’s Road, Newcastle University, NE1 7RU Free admission, donations welcome

Monday 30 October

10.30am - 12.30pm

Come along and make cards, masks and decorations for Halloween.

10.30am - 12.30pm

Join us for a collage and drawing workshop for young people (11-18 year olds) based on Matt Rugg’s artwork in the exhibition currently showing at the Hatton Gallery until 13 January 2024.

Thursday 2 November 10.30am - 12.30pm

Come and make a fun mobile based on the autumn season.

Segedunum Roman Fort & Museum, Buddle Street, Wallsend, NE28 6HR

Children under 16 years and NE28 residents free, adult admission fee applies

Monday 30 October

11am – 3pm

The Romans used to like to decorate some of their pottery with faces. Have a go at creating your own Halloween inspired face pot or mask. How frightening can you make yours?!

Shipley Art Gallery, Prince Consort Road, Gateshead, NE8 4JB

Tuesday 31 October - Hallowe'en crafts

Thursday 2 November - Autumn crafts

Various sessions between 10.15am and 1.30pm

Autumn days are the perfect time to get cosy and enjoy some crafting together.

Tuesday 31 October - make a haunted house picture, with doors and windows that really open, then draw some spooky characters or friendly monsters hiding inside. We’ll also be making a pumpkin mask using paper and card to complete your Hallowe'en costume.

Thursday 1 November - weave a cosy autumnal decoration / necklace, using wool and lolly stick and make an autumn garland using corrugated cardboard leaves.

£3 per participant (plus booking fee). Non participating adults / children / babies go free but require a ticket. Advance booking recommended.

South Shields Museum & Art Gallery, Ocean Road, South Shields, NE33 2JA Free admission, donations welcome

Tuesday 31 October

11am – 3pm

Explore our exhibition, Portrait Mode, before heading to the learning room to take part in our Tremendous Tuesday Halloween mask craft session!

Stephenson Steam Railway, Middle Engine Lane, North Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE29 8DX

Sunday 29 October

Train times: 11:30am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3pm

Find LOADS more half term ideas HERE, or follow us on Facebook or Instagram for even more ideas.

Other Ideas for this weekend

Spring walk ideas (Also nice during Autumn)



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