Get North! Family Expo - a hands-on free family day out this summer

Hosted at Newcastle's football stadium, St. James' Park from Saturday 4 - Thursday 9 August 2018, the Get North! Family Expo is a huge, free event dedicated to capturing imaginations and engaging with children and their families over the summer holidays.

Stretching over six action-packed days from 10am - 4pm, the event kicks off with a weekend of drop-in fun on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 August, followed by four days of ticketed workshops from Monday 6 to Thursday 9 August.

Over the Family Expo weekend, there will be a huge gathering of artists, scientists, engineers, makers, inventors and designers with over 60 hands-on activities on offer for families to make, do and explore. Expect activities such as gadget factories, gaming, craft, coding, 3D printing, music and art workshops and the chance to create and inspect robots.

No tickets are required for the Family Expo Weekend and families are encouraged to come down from 10am. 

In addition to the Family Expo Weekend activity, on Saturday 4th August, there will be inflatable activities situated on Strawberry Place to coincide with Newcastle United's friendly fixture against FC Augsburg, which kicks off at 3pm.

Lee Charnley, Newcastle United MD, said: "We are delighted that St. James' Park will provide the iconic back-drop for this amazing event. The Family Expo will take families on an incredible journey of discovery through technology, sport and innovation, and promises to be a magical experience for all who 'Get North' this summer."

The ticketed workshops the following week allow families to immerse themselves into fun activities ranging from building and programming a driverless car using LEGO® Mindstorms and iPads or a crash course in circuity and electronics from the Touring Gadget Factory, where you can make your own flashing badge, to scribble bot and footie in the park with NUFC.

Visitors can also get creative with 3D pen design; producing artwork with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and upcycling junk and making an art-bot out of recycled material. There will also be drop-in activity with Lego Smart Cities and Connected Bees to help contextualise the Internet of Things and much, much more. 

Whilst the ticketed workshops on Monday 6 - Thursday 9 August are fully booked, families are still encouraged to attend on a day of their choice as spaces may become available.

Lucy Tetley, Schools and Young People Engagement Manager at Great Exhibition of the North, said:

"The Get North! Family Expo programme is jam-packed full of incredible experiences which are sure to delight, surprise and engage all who visit us this August. With the school holidays now upon us, we hope parents and children will embrace the opportunity to work together to innovate and create, develop skills, get active and delve into new experiences."

All children who visit the Expo Weekend will be presented with a 'Family Expo Challenge Passport', in which they log each activity they complete during their time at the Expo. Once the passport has been filled, which can be stamped up to a maximum of six times, they'll get entered into a daily prize draw to win one of 10 Family Expo goody bags jam-packed with a range of amazing prizes including 3D pens. 

Councillor Angela Douglas, Gateshead Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, said: "It's such an exciting summer in NewcastleGateshead with so many wonderful and stimulating events and activities taking place for Great Exhibition of the North. The Get North Family Expo is a fantastic opportunity for parents and children to have fun working together and immerse themselves into lots of hands-on activities while learning about the wonders of science, sport, innovation and technology. We hope this free event will inspire children of all ages to be more creative - who knows where it might lead them!"  

Councillor Kim McGuinness, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Public Health at Newcastle City Council, said: "The Get North Family Expo will be an amazing event with lots of opportunities for families to get involved in designing, building, inventing and creating. The Family Expo is there to inspire children with fun activities that also give them great skills for the future. Children will be able to get to grips with technology, coding and electronics, use their artistic and musical talents and get involved in fun football activities. There's so much to discover and it's a great opportunity to do something a bit different during the summer holidays - and what's more, it's free! I'm sure families will really enjoy and be inspired by this event and I would encourage people to go along, get involved and find out what they can do."

Great Exhibition of the North is a summer-long celebration telling the inspiring story of the North of England's pioneering spirit. Free to attend, it's the biggest event in England this year. Hosted in NewcastleGateshead, on behalf of the North of England, the event is showcasing amazing exhibits, displays of innovation, new artworks and magical experiences for the whole family.

Throughout the Exhibition, which runs until 9 September 2018, millions of visitors will get to experience family-friendly activity, including a display of invention ideas from children across the North from Little Inventors North 2030; Stephenson's Rocket brought back to life via a fully immersive and memorable virtual reality experience, The Rocket Reimagined; and the story of Northern innovation in over 40 intricate models using 50,000 Lego bricks from Steve Mayes.

The Get North! Family Expo will give children a chance to discover the Great Exhibition of the North's themes of innovation, art and design and explore the part they can play in the North of tomorrow.

Go to the GetNorth2018 website for more information on the Get North! Family Expo

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