A Day Out At The Gate, Newcastle

When The Gate first opened back in 2002, it was one of my go-to places for cocktails and shots. Starting in Wetherspoons then visiting the likes of Players, Beyond, Opera and Mood before nipping next door to finish the night at Sam Jacks and Tiger Tiger. Good times!

Twenty years later and the leisure complex on Newgate Street couldn’t be more different from The Gate I ventured to most Fridays and Saturdays in my late teens/early twenties. Gone are the bars blaring out loud music with their various drinks offers trying to entice the punters and in their place is a much more chilled, family friendly scene.

So, what’s in The Gate now?

Leisure Facilities

• Cineworld a multiplex cinema showing the latest blockbusters in 2D and 3D https://www.cineworld.co.uk/cinemas/newcastle-upon-tyne/8117

• The CTRL Pad Newcastle’s first video gaming lounge https://thectrlpad.com/

Escape Newcastle’s premier escape rooms https://www.escape.game/escape-newcastle

• Game Of Throwing urban axe throwing experience https://www.gameofthrowing.co.uk/

Image by Game Of Throwing

• Mr Mulligans crazy golf course https://mrmulligan.com

• Selfie Central the ultimate pop-up selfie studio https://www.selfie-central.com/

Image by Selfie Central

• WonderBar digital darts https://wonderbar-newcastle.co.uk

• YuMe World state of the art amusement arcade and virtual reality entertainment centre https://www.yumeworld.co.uk/

Food & Drink

NB – when it comes to dining, the options are very chain heavy so the lack of independent businesses is slightly disappointing

• The Mayfair offers a menu packed with traditional home cooked meals

• Nando’s and it’s legendary flame grilled Peri-Peri chicken

Pizza Hut serves up pizzas, sides and desserts

• Starbucks the world famous American Coffeehouse

WonderBar serve a range of delicious breakfast, lunch and main meal offerings, as well as a traditional Sunday Lunch, and a variety of bar snacks and sharing platters

• Wetherspoons budget friendly pub grub


The Gate has a 24 hour, manned car park with over 250 spaces including designated accessible bays, parent parking and EV charging points.


We live on the Northumberland Coast so Newcastle Centre is about a 30 minute drive from us. Despite being so close, we often book a hotel and enjoy an overnight stay in the city followed by a full day of exploring. If you fancy doing this, hotels close to The Gate include

• Hotel Indigo https://www.ihg.com

• Maldron Newcastle https://www.maldronhotelnewcastle.com

• Motel One https://www.motel-one.com

• Premier Inn Newgate Street https://www.premierinn.com

• Sandman Signature https://www.sandmansignature.co.uk

Read about why we love the Premier Inn here https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/03/23/reasons-why-we-love-premier-inn/

Keep up-to-date with what’s happening at The Gate here https://www.thegatenewcastle.co.uk/whats-on

We all love a bargain so check out https://www.thegatenewcastle.co.uk/offers to see what deals The Gate is currently running

A few years ago I read that the owners of The Gate wanted to “rebalance the occupier mix to cater for a wider cross section of consumers, including families” and it seems like this has very much been achieved. For us, The Gate is definitely a place where we would visit and spend a full day. It’s a brilliant way to occupy children of all ages in Newcastle City Centre.

Have you visited The Gate recently? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments

Looking for ideas for days out that include age-suitable activities for teens and pre-teens? Have a read of https://northeasteats.home.blog/2021/06/03/teen-preteen-friendly-activities-in-around-the-north-east/

Teen And Pre-Teen Friendly Activities In & Around The North East

Now Evie and Harry are a little older, planning days out that include age-suitable activities as well as things we haven’t done every school holiday since they were younger, is becoming more and more difficult. Luckily, businesses seem to be recognising this gap in the market and have started running session for that awkward stage between “little ‘uns” and adults.

Below are a list of boredom busting days out for older children

Alpaca Walk at Barnacre Alpacas, Heddon-On-The-Wall

About: Barnacre’s hugely popular ‘Alpaca Walk n Talks’ are a great way of experiencing alpacas up close. The experience, where everyone gets their own alpaca, lasts at least an hour during a 1 mile gentle walk on the farm

Minimum Age: 10 years

Price: £25 per person

Website: https://barnacre-alpacas.co.uk

Barnacre Alpacas

Axe Throwing at Valhalla North, Durham

About: A bad*ss axe throwing centre with a Viking theme

Minimum Age: 8 years

Price: £20 per person

Website: https://www.valhallanorth.co.uk

Valhalla North

Batting Cage at Gutterball Alley, North Shields

About: Step inside the Bull Pen and practice your batting skills

Minimum Age: TBC

Price: from £7.50 for 30 mins

Website: https://www.gutterballalley.co.uk

Gutterball Alley

Climbing at Newcastle Climbing Centre, Newcastle

About: The premier indoor climbing venue for Tyneside and the North East and one of the best indoor climbing venues in the U.K.

Minimum Age: 7 years

Price: from £30 per person

Website: http://www.newcastleclimbingcentre.co.uk/

Newcastle Climbing Centre

Smart Cookies Cookery School at Blackfriars, Newcastle

About: For the slightly more confident 11-15 year olds who are fed-up with making fairy cakes and want to get their teeth stuck into something a little more challenging. These sessions are all about building on from the basics and really developing their culinary skills and confidence – but at their own pace. They’ll have a choice of delicious dishes to make which can be challenging or well within their own comfort zone. The sessions include refreshments throughout the day, a communal lunch in the Cookery School and recipes to take home

Minimum Age: 11 years

Price: from £45 per person per day

Website: https://www.blackfriarsrestaurant.co.uk/cookeryschool

Blackfriars Cookery School

Digital Darts at The Wonderbar, Newcastle

About: Whether you’re playing for fun, or get competitive, Wonderbar’s interactive darts experience allows you to battle through different games to become the ultimate interactive darts champion. No experience is necessary and anybody can play

Minimum Age: Nothing official but best suited to 8 years plus

Price: from £15 per hour

Website: https://wonderbar-newcastle.co.uk/darts/

Wonder Bar

Escape Room at Clue HQ, Sunderland

About: Teams of 2 to 6 are locked in a room and given 60 minutes to find the clues and solve the puzzles in order to figure out a way to escape

Minimum Age: 7 years

Price: From £10 per player

Website: https://cluehq.co.uk/sunderland/

Clue HQ

Gaming at The CTRL Pad, Newcastle

About: Newcastle’s first and only video gaming lounge

Minimum Age: Game dependant

Price: £5 per person per hour

Website: https://thectrlpad.com

The CTRL Pad

High Ropes at Air Trail, Stockton-On-Tees

About: Set over 4 levels, over 38 unique challenges, Air Trail is the UK’s biggest high ropes adventure course

Minimum Age: As long as you’re taller than 1.2m

Price: from £11.50 per person

Website: https://www.airtrail.co.uk

Air Trail

Paint Balling at Bedlam, Sunderland

About: Bedlam Paintball is renowned for its realistic, purpose-built paintballing Game Zones and imaginative game scenarios that transport you into another world

Minimum Age: 12 years

Price: from £15 per person

Website: https://bedlampaintball.co.uk

Bedlam Paint Balling

Pottery Throwing & Painting at The Pottery Experience, Jesmond

About: Newcastle’s best pottery making and painting experience

Minimum Age: 10 years

Price: from £33 per person

Website: https://www.thepotteryexperience.co.uk

The Pottery Experience

Quad Biking at The Quadfather, Cramlington

About: TBC

Minimum Age: TBC

Price: TBC

Website: TBC

Snowboarding at Silksworth Sports Complex, Sunderland

About: Home to the North East’s premiere ski facility with three ski slopes consisting of a 160m floodlit and misted main slope plus two dedicated nursery ski slopes. Lessons run by our highly qualified instructors are available for skiers of all abilities.

Minimum Age: N/A

Price: from £30 per person

Website: https://www.everyoneactive.com/centre/silksworth-sports-complex-and-ski-slope/ski-slope/

Silksworth Sports Complex

Stargazing at Kielder, Northumberland

About: All year round – a star gazing and astronomy heaven! Kielder Observatory is located in the heart of Northumberland International Dark Sky Park. They have the largest expanse of dark night sky in the whole of Europe, thanks to minimal light pollution. Winter nights are darkest and best for viewing deep sky objects such as galaxies, while in summer you can view the beautiful Milky Way, passing comets, shooting stars and see the Sun’s surface using our incredible telescope.

Minimum Age: TBC

Price: TBC

Website: http://www.visitkielder.com/visit/kielder-observatory

Kielder Observatory

Virtual Reality at YuMe World, Newcastle

About: YuMe World is the first entertainment centre in the UK To unveil some of the most exciting and challenging Virtual Reality game concepts the world has ever seen. Sourced Exclusively by industry specialists, these stunning units will blow the minds of even the most dedicated gamers

Minimum Age: TBC

Price: TBC

Website: https://www.yumeworld.co.uk

Water Sports at Tees Barrage, Stockton-On-Tees

About: Tees Barrage International White Water Centre is Teesside’s award-winning home of adventure, which was reopened in 2012 after extensive redevelopment. This magnificent centre of activity can be found on the banks of the River Tees between Stockton and Middlesbrough and offers a unique variety of watersports the whole family can enjoy

Minimum Age: 14 years

Price: sport dependent

Website: https://tbiwwc.com

Tees Barrage

Young Driver Lessons at Young Driver Experience, Newcastle

About: The Young Driver training programme mirrors what you would learn when driving on the road. The only difference is you will learn to drive in a safe environment on a specially constructed road course

Minimum Age: 10 years

Price: from £39.99 for 30 mins

Website: https://www.youngdriver.eu

And finally, something totally different at Selfie Central, Newcastle

About: Selfie Central is a fun, interactive experience. Think of it as the ultimate photo studio with 11 totally different sets

Minimum Age: 12 years

Price: £10 per person

Website: https://www.selfie-central.com

Selfie Central

Thanks for reading, I hope I’ve given you some new ideas to try. If you do give any of the above a go, I’d love to know what you thought of them in the comments ☺️