Samantha & Gaia (from North East Family Fun) recently paid us a visit with their families. Here’s a little look at what they got up to and their top recommendations for things to do with kids at Royal Quays…….
Acorn & Oak Play Cafe
Acorn & Oak is a beautiful new role play cafe suitable for children aged 0-6. Sessions last 90 minutes and include several role play areas and dressing up opportunities for children to enjoy as well as an activity area with craft & sensory activities which change weekly.
Visit Moorandas Ice Cream Parlour
Royal Quays has its own ice cream parlour where you can sit in or take away.
There are no less than 42 flavours to choose from including Creme Egg, lotus Biscoff, Rolo, Amaretto and black cherry, Butterscotch pecan, Nutella, Cherry liquorice (one for the more adventurous!) and loads more.
Visit the Animals at Quay Pets & Aquatics
You will find over 120 tropical and cold water fish tanks, rabbits and small animals, an aviary plus 45 reptile vivariums. We felt as if we’d stumbled upon a mini-farm experience when we stepped inside. Dee was over the moon to find an axolotl.
Please follow the signage, supervise children and do not touch the animal enclosures when visiting.
The staff here are so knowledgeable and they stock a huge range of natural treats, animal food and accessories.
Let Your Hair Down at Inflatanation
We had a great time bouncing around Inflata-nation The kids loved it as it’s essentially a soft play made entirely of bouncy castles, slides and obstacle courses.
The kids loved the obstacle courses and beating us on them, the massive slides and ball pits and for the older ones there are some big boulders to jump across, ‘Total Wipeout’ style but thankfully minus the water!
Spectators and Babies in arms are FREE of charge
Bring the Dog
Royal Quays is incredibly dog-friendly with most of the retailers allowing your four-legged friend to join you. If you’re unsure, simply ask a member of staff. Fozzy absolutely loved the attention he received.
Dogs are welcome in the following stores:
- The Works
- Quay Pets and Aquatics
- Garden World
- Beauty Outlet
- The Pineapple Room Boutique
- Discover including indoor seating in the coffee shop
- Whitley Bay Pizza Company (Outdoor)
- Second Bite (Outdoor seating)
- Moorandas (Outdoor seating)
- Costa (Outdoor)
- Northumbria Flooring and Furniture
- Quay Furniture
- Alternative Stores (dogs need to be carried here)
- Mountain Warehouse (they stock a fab selection of outdoor clothing and accessories for dogs)
- & more
All of the staff we met were so lovely with him and greeted him with open arms. Many of the stores have dog water bowls with fresh water outside and some even have complimentary dog treats at the counter.
Shop Alternative & Independent
Alternative Stores is brilliant for free-from goodies and we were so impressed by their range and lovely shop. I found my favourite dutch cake that I’ve never found in this country which was a big bonus and Ada loved the mini shopping trolleys.
Alternative Stores is also home to a refill station which is handy if your family is trying to be a little more eco-friendly.
One independent store that’s not to be missed in Discover. They are a retail co-op that brings together some of the North East’s best local producers all in one place. The shelves are packed with local crafts, local produce, homeware, art and gifts.
Discover is dog-friendly and doubles up as a coffee shop serving local coffee and snacks too. They are super welcoming and have colouring sheets on their tables for children to enjoy.
Pocket Money Shopping
The Works and Poundland outlets are great places for the kids to spend some pocket money.
My kids brought £10 of their pocket money to blow on whatever they wanted and there was plenty to choose from in that price range.
They each chose a Zuru surprise egg (dinosaur and unicorn) for £6 each straight away from The Works. I discovered loads of great affordable birthday presents in The Works, which is ideal as the kids’ birthday party invites are starting to appear again.
Both shops have a fantastic range of craft materials including plenty of Easter ones – I picked up some lovely paint your own wooden decorations from Poundland for £1.
Beauty Outlet is a fabulous place to shop with teens. Myself and Dee were spoilt with choice. Expect a huge selection of nail varnishes in every colour you can imagine, discounted makeup and hair products alongside gift sets and accessories. It’s a brilliant shop if you need to stock up on essentials or treat yourself to a few pamper bits.
We picked up a couple of nail varnishes, mascaras and sheet masks. The staff were lovely here too and made us feel very welcome.
Enjoy Unlimited Gaming at Arcade Warehouse
Arcade Warehouse offers bookable 2-hour sessions where you can enjoy unlimited free play on VR machines, air hockey, retro and modern gaming, E-Sports, pool, basketball, pinball and more.
Steve visited with the boys and they had a brilliant time. They were there for the whole 2 hours and didn’t complain they were bored once.
While the boys were gaming, Dee and I enjoyed some shopping time and drinks in the sunshine. It was lovely.
Friendly staff are on hand to help if you’re unsure about any games/equipment.
There are not one but two choices for pizza at Royal Quays courtesy of Whitley Bay Pizza Co. and Moorandas.
10″ kids pizzas are £5 at Whitley Bay Pizza Co. where they are cooked in a proper pizza oven using traditional methods.
The pizzas were delicious. I went for the Nduja option and added some artichoke hearts. The kid’s pepperoni went down a treat with Leon too.
Vegan pizzas are available at both Whitley Bay Pizza Co. and Moorandas and Moorandas offers GF bases too. Both venues are available on a walk-in basis so ideal for just popping into on a whim/ when the kids’ tummies start rumbling.
All pizzas from Moorandas are £5 which I think is a real bargain. We loved the way they were presented and every time you ate a slice, a new joke was revealed. A nice little touch that kept the kids amused.
Take a Dance Class
There’s a dance studio and studio space at Royal Quays which holds a range of classes including Lil Beatz and Babyballet, and also Dancing Diggers, Heartbeeps, Canny Dramatic and Whitley Bay Operatic Society. They are focussed on being a hive of children’s activity and welcome other classes looking to hire a space to come to check them out.
They also run a dance school from preschool age upwards called Decote Dance. Their core focus is to encourage children and young people to move through dance and exercise.
They believe in making dance accessible to all, whether this is working towards taking dance examinations, taking part in performances and auditions or just taking weekly classes for fun and health benefits.
Their school offers a number of dance classes in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Acro, and Musical Theatre within the UKA syllabus framework. They also offer non-syllabus dance classes including Street Funk, Contemporary, Commercial and Cheer dance!
Hello World Classes
Hello World is due to open this month. They are a brand new venture offering independent baby and toddler classes with singing, sensory and parental support at the heart of everything they do.
Classes are suitable for ages 0-4 years and are available to book now.
Royal Quays is super baby friendly and is accessible for pushchairs.
Chill in the Beer Garden
Black Storm Brewery is a lovely place to stop for refreshments. They offer wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks and you can enjoy them inside or in the outdoor terrace which is a real sun trap and a lovely place to sit and chill while the kids run around on the grass.
In the summer they often stay open for extended periods in the evenings with live music too.
Pick up a Bargain
We popped into the Next Outlet to check out the kid’s clothes. The kid’s section is really good, there are current season items but they are all a bit cheaper than normal Next shops as it is an Outlet, and there are also sale rails.
We found two lovely spring/summery tops in the sale for £2 and £1 respectively, a complete bargain at only £3 for two tops!
There were loads of things in the sale including shoes and quite a few Christmas outfits. Handy
If you need to get your kids measured and buy them some new school shoes then pop into the Clarks Outlet for a bargain. The cost of kids shoes and the fact they grow out of them so quickly is always a challenge so it’s great to save a few quid!
You can book an appointment online for their complimentary professional shoe fitting service too.
Pay It Forward Coffee
If your kids are keen to make a difference, you can add £3 to any purchase from Second Bite which will provide a food parcel or freshly cooked meal to someone in need in the local community.
Second Bite is a CIC working with local grassroots charities to tackle issues around food poverty in the local area. Their bistro at Royal Quays serves drinks, kids’ meals, light bites and more and is a nice place to pop by for a coffee or something more substantial.
Fantastic FREE Events
Royal Quays hosts some fantastic free events which you can find out about on their Social Media or ‘events’ page. Previous popular events have included dinosaur visits and Christmas parades. Booking usually isn’t required and events are generally free to enjoy.
Upcoming events include:
- 9 & 10 April – Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter Egg Hunt
- 7 May – The Legion Star Wars Fundraiser
- 26 – 30 May – Turner’s Royal Quays Funfair
The Royal Quays Marketplace
Coming soon is a brand new venture for Royal Quays – their marketplace. Based in unit 30, this will become a hub for local businesses that can trade and grow their customer base without the huge cost/commitment of renting their own larger retail unit.
There is space for 17 permanent businesses and it sounds like the place will be filled with micro businesses and start-ups. I bet it’s going to be a fantastic place to shop as well as a good opportunity for smaller businesses to get their name out there.
I can’t wait to visit when it opens.
Seating for Tired Legs
If your kids are like mine, they will constantly let you know that they are tired and need a sit-down. Royal Quays honestly has so much seating and stopping for a little rest or breather absolutely won’t be a problem here.
There are picnic tables, benches & outdoor sofas alongside seating inside the restaurants and cafes too.
Shop for Gadgets & Plants
A bit of a random last point to end on but I love the variety of stores Royal Quays offer and there is something for a wide range of interests.
For us, we enjoyed visiting My-G Gadgets Gizmos and Gaming which is filled with tech, games and accessories.
During the past few years our family has really got into gardening too and Garden World is one of my favourite garden centres and always worth popping into.
We are working on creating a new herb garden at home and were interested to discover not one but five types of mint plants for sale. After a few sniff tests, we decided to go with the Moroccan Mint and I confirm it is still going strong at home weeks later.
I appreciate this has been quite a lengthy post so well done if you’ve got to the end. There is so much I wanted to share and Royal Quays is somewhere I genuinely feel is a wonderful place to visit with kids.
There are some places I haven’t managed to mention so please do follow Royal Quays Outlet and Independent Centre on Facebook/Instagram to keep up to date with centre news and events.