With the year it’s been, we’re all in the mood to have a great summer. Here is the Newy with Kids Ultimate Guide to Summer. It’s packed with lots of ideas for family fun. There are so many fun things to do in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & the Hunter that we decided to put together a massive round-up of ideas.
With the list below, you’ll find plenty to keep the whole family happy, active and entertained. No chance whatsoever for kids to say that they are bored! Enjoy a summer of fun!
Head to a local beach, ocean baths or one of the swimming spots around the region.
- Best Beaches & Ocean Baths for Families
- Swimming Pools in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter
- Merewether Ocean Baths
- Canoe Pool at Newcastle Beach
- Blacksmiths Beach
- Grannies’ Pool
- Belmont Baths
- Naru Beach
- Best Things to Bring to the Beach for a Family Day Out
We’re blessed with so many different playgrounds in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter region. You can choose from large playgrounds like Lake Macquarie Variety Playground in Speers Point Park, Blackbutt Adventure Park in Newcastle, Bridges Hill Park in Cessnock or smaller less-visited neighbourhood playgrounds. Check out our guides to find out more about playgrounds in our region.
- Best Playgrounds in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter for Toddlers
- Best Playgrounds in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter for Older Kids
- 9 Playgrounds With Basketball Courts in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter
- 9 Playgrounds with Flying Foxes in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter
- 5 Playgrounds with Scooter Tracks in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter
Go for a walk with kids. We’ve put together a collection of our favourite family walks around the region. Explore historical and cultural sites, experience nature or enjoy stunning views of harbours, lakes and beaches. Whether you’re looking for a stroller-friendly walking track, a flat walk for your toddler or preschooler or a more challenging bush walk or nature hike for school-aged kids, we’ve got you covered.
- Best Family-Friendly Walks in Newcastle
- Best Family-Friendly Walks in Lake Macquarie
- Best Family-Friendly Walks in Maitland
- Best Family-Friendly Walks in Cessnock & Hunter Valley
- 20 Dog-Friendly & Kid-Friendly Places around Newcastle & Lake Macquarie
Jump on your bike and head out for a ride. We’ve put together a collection of our favourite family bike rides and mountain bike trails in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter to suit a variety of ages and abilities.
- Where to Bike in Newcastle: 15+ Cycle Paths to Enjoy With Your Family
- Where to Bike in Lake Macquarie: 10 Cycle Paths & Trails to Enjoy With Your Family
- 15 Kid-Friendly Cycle Paths in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter
- Where to Bike in Cessnock & Hunter Valley: Cycle Paths & Trails to Enjoy With Your Family
- Bike at The Bay: Family Bike Rides in Port Stephens
- Explore Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest by Bike!
- Try Newcastle’s Best Family-Friendly Mountain Biking Trails!
On the Calendar: Events, Fairs & Festivals
Summer is peak event season with lots of family-friendly events to enjoy. We’ll keep updating this list as we find out about more events.
- What’s On in December: Events in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter
- Enjoy Live Music Outdoors in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter
- Celebrate New Years Eve 2021 in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & The Hunter
- Lake Mac Festival on the weekend of 22-23 January 2022
Get out and enjoy summer. We’ve put together a big list of activities to do with kids. Whether it’s taking out a SUP on some calm bays, playing frisbee golf or playing mini-golf, there’s plenty of fun to be had.
- Where to Go Kayaking & Stand up Paddle Boarding in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter
- Bring your Frisbees to Jesmond Park to play Disc Golf
- Play Disc Golf with Frisbees at Styles Park in Rathmines
- 30+ Skate Parks Around Newcastle & the Hunter
- Take a Sightseeing Tour on Newcastle’s Famous Tram.
- Where to Play Mini Golf in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter
- Slide & Ride at Toboggan Hill Park
- Newcastle TreeTops Adventure Park: Fun, Nature and Thrills for Kids
- 7 Must-Do Activities for Adventurous Kids around Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter
- Explore Newcastle’s Coast with CoastXP
- Visit the Waterfalls at Beautiful Somersby Falls
- Discover the Moss Wall at Boarding House Dam Walk in the Watagans
- Explore Gap Creek Falls in the Watagans
Places to Visit
We’re truly blessed with some iconic spots in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter region. Get out for the day and explore one of these places with your family.
- Exploring Caves Beach
- Discover Fossils at Swansea Headland Fossils
- Blackbutt Reserve
- Explore Nature at Hunter Wetlands Centre
- Enjoy a Nature Day Out at Kooragang Wetlands in Hunter Wetlands National Park
- Explore Nobbys Headland On Weekends
- Heddon Greta Drive In – Enjoy a Movie in Your Car!
- Exploring the Stockton Bight Sand Dunes
Do your kids love animals? Check out these zoos, wildlife parks and reserves in Newcastle & Hunter Valley that gives families the opportunities to get up close to animals.
- See Native Animals at Blackbutt Reserve
- Get Up Close to Critters at Blackbutt Reserve Reptile Show
- Hunter Valley Zoo: What You Need to Know For a Great Day Out
- Oakvale Wildlife Park: Get Up Close to Animals
- Get Up Close to Ocean Life at Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters
- Koala Spotting at Tilligerry Habitat in Port Stephens
- Slithering Fun: A Review of Australian Reptile Park
Museums & Galleries
The Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter region is full of educational and entertaining museums and galleries. Enjoy a family day out with your kids to learn more about Hunter history, art, science and transportation
- Newcastle Museum: Fun Family Day Out
- Visit Fort Scratchley for History, Tunnels & Views
- Experience Life on the Inside at Historic Maitland Gaol
- Get Up Close to Jets at Fighter World
- Ride on a Steam Train at Richmond Vale Railway Museum
- Create Art With Your Kids at Art Cart at Newcastle Art Gallery
- Experience Historic Inner-City Newcastle Life at Miss Porter’s House
Food always seems to taste better outdoors. Pack a picnic and enjoy the outdoors. We’ve put together a collection of spots in the region to enjoy a picnic outdoors with your family & friends.
- Best Picnic Spots in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & the Hunter
- Best Picnic Spots in Newcastle
- Best Picnic Spots in Lake Macquarie
- Best Picnic Spots in Maitland
- Best Picnic Spots in Cessnock and Hunter Valley
- Get Inspired for Your Next Picnic with a Free Recipe Ebook
Summer Eats & Cool Treats
What’s summer without some tasty treats!
- Resturants with playgrounds
- Kids Eat Free
- Best Ice Cream Shops in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter
- 5 Farmers Markets Around Newcastle to Visit With Your Kids
- Best Fish and Chips in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter
Planning some staycation activities this summer? Here are ideas for fun activities you can enjoy without leaving home.
- 25 Water Play Activities To Do With Kids All Summer Long
- How to Have a Fun & Memorable Backyard Camping Adventure With Kids
- Get Back to Nature With a Backyard Scavenger Hunt
Explore your neighbourhood or a new neighbourhood this summer. As well as street art and street libraries, we have free Newy with Kids scavenger hunts!
- Discover Newcastle through Free Family Scavenger Hunt Printables
- Explore Museum Park & The Station through Free Family Scavenger Hunt Printables
- Take a Walk & Enjoy a Neighbourhood Scavenger Hunt
- The Best Street Art & Graffiti to see in Newcastle
- Donate or Borrow a Book From Your Local Street Library
Now that lockdown is over and we’re free to travel, here’s some travel inspo for you. There are some amazing places to visit in New South Wales.
- 50+ Camping, Caravan & Holiday Parks to Stay Within a 3 Hour Drive of Newcastle
- The Best Day Trips From Newcastle to Enjoy With Your Family
- Central Coast With Kids: How to Enjoy a Getaway Next Door
- 15+ Things to Do in Hunter Valley with Kids
- Visit the Hunter Valley’s Best Kid-Friendly Wineries
- Seal Rocks: Lighthouse, Beaches & Nature
- Family Fun: 10 Things to Do in Dubbo With Kids
- Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo: Everything You Need to Know For a Great Visit
- Top Things to do in Port Macquarie for Family Fun
- Top Things to Do in the Blue Mountains for Family Fun
- Visit Coonabarabran & the Warrumbungles for Bush Walks, Stargazing & the Observatory
- Explore the Snowy Mountains in the Summer Months
For even more to do this summer, check out our monthly calendar of events!
Need more inspiration, download our Free eBook: 15 Days of Summer Family Fun Around Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter.
And if you’re hosting friends and family this summer, check out our roundup of Where to Take Out of Town Visitors
Have a fun summer!
Started in late 2012 by a local mum, Newy with Kids has grown into a thriving go-to family guide for the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter region. Parents visit the Newy with Kids website to find things to do with babies, kids and teens. Whether it’s local attractions, upcoming events, kids eat free, school holiday activities or birthday party ideas, Newy with Kids is the best website for local parents to find local kid-friendly activities and information 24/7.