As the cold weather descends on us, it can be hard to think up ideas of what to do with pre-schoolers, or on weekends when the big-uns are off school. If you are looking for somewhere to shelter away indoors, which is also educational and entertaining– then look no further than Seven Stories.
Seven Stories is an award-winning children’s museum, celebrating children’s literature. It’s aptly named after the listed seven storey building which it’s housed in, in the city of Newcastle.
We love Seven Stories and wrote a glowing review of it here.
We have always loved it – but now, we love it even more.
Because now Seven Stories is FREE!
Seven Stories has changed its business model. Historically, you had to pay an entrance fee but now the entire museum is completely free.
Given the cost of living crisis, this is very good news for families in the north east.
There are lots of exhibitions including:
- Where Stories Come From (exploring the 7 basic plotlines of stories. It looks at famous examples of stories that fit into the different categories – including the Gruffalo and Goodbye Mog
- The Wild Woods (an atmospheric exploration of fantasy literature)
- A Winnie and Wilbur room with toys and books to read
- Betty Larom exhibition
- Judith Kerr’s kitchen (the real author’s kitchen, which inspired the illustrations in the Tiger Who Came to Tea)
- The Wombles exhibition
The museum has collections including original illustrations and author’s notes from some of the most influential children’s authors and illustrators from the last century, including names such as Judith Kerr, Cressida Cowell, Phillip Pullman, Enid Blyton and Nick Sharrett.
There’s a lovely coffee shop (selling incredible tray bakes and there’s even an ice cream trolley with delicious sweets and toppings on offer), a café and a children’s book shop on site too.
Now Seven Stories makes its revenue through paid for events. These include learning to draw with famous illustrators, creative writing workshops with authors, craft sessions, live performances, storytelling sessions and even professional development sessions for teachers. Take a look online and you’re bound to see several (very affordable!) events which tickle your fancy. Whether it’s a storytime for under 8s (at a bargain £2 – adults go free), or a learning to sculpt a Shaun the Sheep with Aardman studios (£15.50) or breakfast with Mrs Claus (£12.50) including storytime, breakfast and photo opportunity – you’re sure to find something you will like.
Lots of the events are aimed at children – but not exclusively. There are “ink and drink” evening events where you can learn to draw with an illustrator (only for over 14s) and a wreath making event with a glass of prosecco included.
They also do birthday parties too, these are £14.50pp and include food and a themed party, including storytime.
We had the pleasure of going to one of their ticketed events – we went to an interactive orchestra performance of The Carnival of the Animals by Opera North. It was absolutely outstanding.
Our children – aged 8, 6 and 3 had a wonderful introduction to orchestral instruments through this performance – they were encouraged to dance, to participate and there were 2 themed crafts that they could do at the end too. We were very impressed at the quality of the event and are keen to go back for more.
Seven Stories – it’s a huge thumbs up from us.
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.