Discovery Museum | Kidadl

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Please be aware of government guidelines before setting off.

Government Guidelines

  • Visit the Discovery Museum, Newcastle, for three floors' worth of fascinating local history, home to galleries, inventions, heritage and more
  • Check out the interactive activities and exhibits, from learning about Victorian toys, to the transport that made Newcastle the place it is.
  • Don't miss out on the RAF simulation for the best immersive experience as you fly over virtual clear Cyprus skies.

Not only is it free to enter the Discovery Museum, but it's a fantastic day out, boasting a massive space that presents the best of Newcastle’s heritage, stretched over three floors filled with extensive galleries just brimming with inventions, model ships, world-firsts, and interactive activities for curious kids and grown ups alike. You'll get the full story of Newcastle and its people, all the way from the Roman times through to the present day, with the Newcastle Discovery Museum championing the spirit of the North East region.

If you're wondering what to do in Newcastle, then you have to explore the city's history, through a range of exhibitions based on Newcastle upon Tyne and the maritime, scientific and technological value that the area added both to Britain and the whole world. The Newcastle Story permanent exhibition enables your little ones to travel through time and uncover the people and places that made Newcastle upon Tyne what it is today. Check out the Destination Tyneside exhibition, where you'll hear all the stories of the people who have made this north east area, Tyneside, their home.

When you walk into the Discovery Museum, the family will be greatly impressed by the first exhibit, Turbinia, which proudly introduces your museum experience, as the first exhibit of this great Northern museum. The exhibit showcases the first ship ever to be powered by a steam turbine, and the ship’s history comes to life, with the informative story display engaging little ones and grown ups alike, detailing this region's history. There are plenty of interactive displays and exhibits that your little ones can immerse themselves in; the museum is just jam-packed with fun activities, art, science and more for the family to enjoy. This includes a funky wall that you can stand against which then takes a picture of your shadow.

Budding scientists will love exploring the interactive Science Maze, while under-sevens can have a splash in the Play Tyne water play area. Kids will have a blast while learning so much, with the blended play learning that the discovery museums foster. For more fantastic science days out, check out the Life Science Centre in Newcastle city, boasting fantastic exhibitions, events, performances and the biggest planetarium in the north of England.

The Discovery Museum's collection boasts a wide range of objects and artefacts that come from the fields of science and technology all the way to fashion and everyday household items like toys from the past of Newcastle. Your little ones will love seeing the many toys that live in the Newcastle Story gallery, especially Victorian toys as they can compare them to their toys now; they may even prefer that vintage feel! Plus, the Discovery Museum has a large collection of science and industry objects, many of which were extremely useful, giving Newcastle the history it has today, along with loads that are related to Newcastle city transport. Notably, forms of transport like the steamship Turbinia and the electric powered car, Sinclair C5 are at the museum discovery exhibits. Plus, for fashionistas and art enthusiasts, the Discovery Museum has a glorious costume collection, ranging from fragments of Egyptian fabrics dating back to 700-800BC, to more modern objects, like ripped jeans and a hoodie from Primark.

Don't miss out on the array of Discovery Museum events, like the Halloween-themed How to Origami, where your little ones are guided on how to make their own origami flying bat. For more spooky events, there is Halloween fancy dress, too. Or, spread your wings with RAF Red Arrows, where kids will be immersed in experiencing the thrill of the cockpit as they fly with the RAF’s Red Arrows, jetting over clear Cyprus skies in training base at the Discovery Museum’s flight simulator; the best immersive experience around. They'll experience a state-of-the-art capsule for an immersive ride with dynamic motion, high-definition visuals, and surround sound.

If you're after some more artistic days out in Tyne and Wear, check out the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle city centre, home to a magnificent collection of art and sculpture, with their exhibitions being renowned for bringing the best names in historic, modern and contemporary art to the North East.

What to know before you go

  • The Discovery Museum opening times are Monday to Sunday 10am - 6pm.
  • When you're feeling peckish, take time out in the Turbinia Café. They serve delicious homemade food that is locally sourced, so stop by and have a recharge.
  • All floors have toilets, baby-changing facilities and accessible toilets.
  • The museum is largely accessible, with lifts providing access to all floors. There is ramp access on all floors too, providing level access. When you need a little rest, there are plenty of places to sit down.

Getting there

  • The Discovery Museum is located on Blandford Square.
  • If travelling via public transport, the closest station to the Discovery Museum is Newcastle. From there it's a seven-minute walk, or you could get the 31 bus towards Denton Burn, getting off at Westmorland Rd/Discovery Museum.
  • If travelling by car, from Newcastle upon Tyne centre, you can get to the Discovery Museum via St James' Boulevard. From the south, use the A189, and the Discovery Museum will be signposted from the city. From the North, drive into the Newcastle, continue on the A189 south. From the West, use the A695, and then the A189 and follow signs to Discovery Museum from there. From the East, enter the city from the North, and follow instructions as above.
  • There is a small amount of parking on Blandford Square. The closest multi-storey car park is the Grainger Town car park on Waterloo Street. Alternatively, look here for NCP parking.

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