For the past few weeks we have been promising the girls a trip to the Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books, in the Ouseburn Valley area of Newcastle. As Storm Gertrude pounded the North East bringing with her lots of wet, windy and generally horrible weather-the decision was made that this would be the perfect chance. It’s indoors and, therefore, toasty warm, easy to get to from our home in Gosforth and as annual passholders it’s a cheap option for an afternoon out.
Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books
Seven Stories has been open since 2005 and is a constantly evolving space with new exhibitions every 6 months or so. For that reason we keep coming back as there is always something new to see. I remember bringing Imogen when she was in the buggy and letting her crawl around knowing it was a safe space to explore all the while hoping the visit would start to foster her love of books-so far so good!!
Once we had flashed our pass, got our hands stamped, we were inside and proceeded up to Level 5 where we had been advised that a Little Explorer session had just started. The session was great for Abigail. It was led by a super enthusiastic staff member with a fantastic bobble hat, who guided the children around the gallery exploring the history and origins of our popular nursery rhymes. This also took in a treasure hunt to look for hidden mice around the gallery and a cute interactive parachute game.
Imogen was less so enthusiastic as it really was aimed at the under 5’s and as always desperate to get to her favourite level ‘The Creation Station’. Here children can embrace their inner Blue Peter and have fun with glitter, glue, and pens! We made stars and the girls proudly stuck them up along with the others that had been made by the many visitors!
We finished off our visit in the Attic, which is a huge library, come theatre space for a storytelling session. The same fantastic bobble-hatted staff member who had led the session previously put her heart and soul into telling the stories. Children were encouraged to interact and repeat sections of the book after her! It was noisy in there at times!!
As we had come in the afternoon and the centre was beginning to close we didn’t have time to sample the lovely cakes and coffees in the cafe but they come highly recommend from previous visits. The cafe has a fantastic view of the Ouseburn river and the next door neighbours The Cluny, where we spent our youth hanging out and watching many bands!
I am not sure how long we will continue to visit Seven Stories now the girls are both at school and with a heavy heart probably won’t be renewing our pass when it runs out in April. I think the under 5’s definitely get the most from the galleries. However, may be tempted to book some of the special events such as the Pottermore sessions if they take our fancy!
To find their latest events page visit http://www.sevenstories.org.uk/whats-on for more details.