Visit Museums and Galleries in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter

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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, transportation and more.

Fighterworld

49 Medowie Road, Williamtown, NSW
(02) 4965 1810
Website: Fighterworld

Located just 20 minutes drive north of Newcastle, near the RAAF Base at Williamtown, Fighterworld is an aviation museum featuring ‘hands on’ experiences. Exhibited in two hangars, visitors can walk-around, touch and look into the cockpits of famous aircraft such as the Mirage III, the Avon Sabre, the Gloster Meteor, the first Vampire jet built in Australia and new in 2013 the mighty F-111. For more information, including tips on making the most of your visit, read the Newy With Kids review of Fighter World.

Fort Scratchley

Nobbys Road, Newcastle East, NSW
(02) 4974 1422
Website: Fort Scratchley

Visit Fort Scratchley, the only Australian coastal installation to fire on an enemy vessel during World War II. Visitors can take a self-guided tour around the fort viewing the cannons and other above ground defence structures. Kids will be fascinated by the large cannons and views of the ocean. If you would prefer a full site tour and a chance to explore the underground tunnels, pay for a guided tour with one of the Fort Scratchley Historical Society volunteers. Take a picnic and enjoy the view at Fort Scratchley or enjoy the small playground outside of the Fort, perfect if the kids get tired of the history stuff! For a special auditory experience, be near Fort Scratchley when the guns fire on special occasions such as Australia Day and Anzac Day. For more information, including tips on making the most of your visit, read the Newy With Kids review of Fort Scatchley.

Lake Macquarie Multi-Arts Pavilion (MAP mima)

96 Creek Reserve Road, Speers Point, NSW
0448 409 604
Website: MAP mima

The Lake Macquarie Multi-Arts Pavilion, mima is a cutting edge venue, a space where art and innovation come together. Located near Speers Point Park, enjoy a visit to the MAP mima before or after a play at the park. The space hosts national and international contemporary art installations, digital art screenings and audio presentations, live theatre performances, music and more. The space is also a hub for outdoor activities including markets, theatre, drama productions, concerts and events. MAP mima also offer Creative Play for Under 5’s, held on the last Tuesday of every month, from February to November and visitors can hire self-directed MAP Play kits for self-directed STEAM activities. For more information, including details on upcoming exhibitions and events, visit the Lake Macquarie MAP mima website.

Lake Macquarie Museum of Art and Culture (MAC)

First Street, Booragul, NSW
(02) 4921 0382
Website: MAC Lake Macquarie

MAC is a unique arts and cultural destination situated in a magnificent lakeside location. Although the gallery isn’t large, it hosts a number of interesting local and Australian exhibitions. For those who worry that the gallery might not be suited for kids, think again. As a family outing, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery is an ideal spot and the staff are friendly and welcoming to kids. For parents with babies and young kids, there’s baby changing facilities, a café next door and a Family Activity Corner. If the kids get restless inside, go for a walk outside through the wonderful Sculpture Park. For more information, including details on upcoming exhibitions and events, visit the MAC Lake Macquarie website.

Maitland Gaol

Maitland Gaol

6-18 John Street, Maitland, NSW
(02) 4936 6482
Website: Maitland Gaol

Discover life as a prisoner!  Visit Maitland Gaol and learn all about the facility and its 150 years of fascinating history. Maitland Gaol closed as a correctional institution in 1998 after housing some of Australia’s most notorious criminals and you can now experience life on the inside. Open seven days a week, your family can explore Maitland Gaol through three self-guided audio tours including Snitch’s Gaol Exploration, especially for children. The audio tours provide stories about famous characters, and has comments and observations by former inmates, officers, other staff, assistants and researchers. Additional guided tours such are also available on selected days. For more information, including tips on making the most of your visit, read the Newy With Kids review of Maitland Gaol.

230 High Street, Maitland, NSW
(02) 4934 9859
Website: Maitland Regional Art Gallery

Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG) presents various art exhibitions throughout the year. Of interest to parents is MRAG’s dedicated exhibition space for children and families called The Art Factory. It features interactive art displays and a comfy reading spot complete with a selection of books. This is conveniently located next to Seraphine Café allowing parents or caregivers to enjoy a coffee and cake or lunch while keeping an eye on their young ones. On the weekend, check out Free Art Sundays at MRAG for free art activities for children and their parents. In addition, MRAG offers a variety of programs for children and their parents throughout the year including school holidays. For more information, including details on upcoming exhibitions and events, visit the Maitland Regional Art Gallery website.

Miss Porter’s House

Miss Porters House Kids

434 King Street, Newcastle, NSW
(02) 4927 0202
Website: Miss Porter’s House

A National Trust property, Miss Porter’s House is now a living snapshot providing visitors with the experience of early to mid-twentieth century inner-city life in Newcastle. Built by the Porters in 1909, the family lived in this freestanding Edwardian terrace until 1997, when they left it to the National Trust with all its contents intact. Miss Porter’s House is open on the second Sunday of each month. For more information, including tips on making the most of your visit, read the Newy With Kids review of Miss Porter’s House.

Newcastle Museum

Workshop Way, Newcastle, NSW
(02) 4974 1400
Website: Newcastle Museum

The Newcastle Museum, located in Honeysuckle, is a favourite for local families and offers free admission. The interactive Supernova science exhibits will keep children entertained while the Newcastle Fire and Earth exhibition will educate visitors on the history of the region. Don’t miss the 6-minute BHP Steelmaking Show featuring special effects. There’s also Tuesday Tales, weekly book readings, every Tuesday (except in school holidays) as well as great school holiday fun. For more information, including tips on making the most of your visit, read the Newy With Kids review of Newcastle Museum.

Art Cart Newcastle Art Gallery

1 Laman Street, Newcastle, NSW
(02) 4974 5100
Website: Newcastle Art Gallery

With over 5000 works of art, Newcastle Art Gallery is a great place to take kids. On the second floor, there is an art corner where kids can colour. In conjunction with current exhibitions, there are usually Kids Art Trail booklets to keep little art lovers interested. Every Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am to 12:30pm, the Gallery offers Art Cart, a free hands-on art activity program for kids. It’s a popular activity with kids who love to create their own artistic masterpieces. There’s also activities that run every school holidays. For more information, including tips on making the most of your visit, read the Newy With Kids review of Newcastle Art Gallery.

Richmond Vale Railway Museum

262 Leggetts Drive, Kurri Kurri, NSW
(02) 4018 7230
Website: Richmond Vale Railway Museum

Step back in time and discover the history of steam worked railways in the Cessnock Coalfield and the Hunter Valley. Families can ride on the historic steam trains on selected days of the month. The Museum, located at Kurri Kurri, contains a large range of artefacts, maps and photos which documents the history of the Richmond Main Colliery, the development of the South Maitland Coalfields, the equipment used and the social impact of coal mining on the local communities. For more information, including tips on making the most of your visit, read the Newy With Kids review of Richmond Vale Railway Museum.

Tocal Homestead

957 Tocal Road, Paterson, NSW
(02) 4939 8901
Website: Tocal Homestead

Visit Tocal Homestead to view this magnificent homestead and its surrounding collection of colonial farm buildings dating back to the 1830s. Visitors are welcome to explore and interpret this wonderful site and enjoy the stunning views. Tocal Homestead is open selected Sundays throughout the year. For more information, including details on upcoming exhibitions and events, visit the Tocal Homestead Website.

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