Particularly suitable locally for children are the Kielder Water Bird of Prey Centre, the North’s most complete collection of birds of prey, where you can see and sometimes handle birds including kites, eagles hawks and falcons and Falconry Days near Wark, one of Northumberland’s top visitor attractions, with over 70 performing birds of prey.
Leaplish Waterside Park activities include junior archery, table tennis, fencing, gymnastics, swimming and walking on water inside an inflatable ball. It is also great for walks and bike rides along the Lakeside Way or to look out for some of the Kielder ‘Super Six” wildlife including ospreys, red squirrels and roe deer. You can also hire pleasure or fishing boats or board the Osprey Ferry for a tour of the lake.
Kielder Castle Visitor Centre is a great place to test your mountain biking skills or to pick up a trail using the maps available. If you didn’t bring your own bike, you can hire one here. You can get lost in the fabulous Minotaur Maze, visit the Red Squirrel Room and great viewing hide to give a better chance of seeing them and discover the life cycle of salmon at the Kielder Salmon Centre.
Stellar - in all senses! - the Kielder Observatory has special events at half-term for parents and their young scientists, while older children will love almost any of the star-gazing sessions.
In winter, Kielder hosts the wonderful Winter Wonderland for young children, where you will meet Father Christmas, Mrs. Christmas and their festive friends, and enjoy a full day of wondeful activities and surprises that will engage all the family (annually, late November to just before Christmas).
Go Ape at Matfen is the Award-winning No. 1 Forest Adventure in the UK. Features include Tarzan swings, high ropes up to 11 metres, and a Tree Top Adventure plus various obstacles.
Beamish Open Air Museum is world-famous, telling the story of life in North East England during the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s. The Edwardian Railway Station, 1940s farm, Colliery and Pit Village, and pre World War I town complete with sweet shop, wonderfully interpreted by costumed staff, make this a great day out for all the family.
Young children can enjoy several excellent farm parks where many of the animals can be fed and petted. The parks are homes to exotic as well as more familiar species.Whitehouse Farm Centre near Morpeth also enables visitors to see, handle and feed a wide variety of animals. Hands on activities include meeting mini beasts & reptiles, stroking anything from a snake to a skunk and being mesmerised by meerkats & marmosets. Eshottheugh Animal Park near Morpeth and the recently opened Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens near Ponteland are other similar options.