The Late Shows 2018 Free Fun for Families - 18 and 19 May

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Do you know about The Late Shows? It's a FREE late-night culture crawl in Newcastle and Gateshead on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 May 2018. Museums, galleries and other spaces in the North East are open after hours. There are loads of events on for families. This year most are starting at 6pm (previous years it was 7pm) so a bit more achievable if you have kids who aren’t used to being out too late.  Saying that, if your kids turn into gremlins from 6:45pm then perhaps wait a couple years down the line, but I've been to the Late Shows for a few years, and they are a fab atmosphere for kids. You need to open your mind for some of them, I'm no Tracy Enim (even my art references are outdated!) so I can't claim that I always understand the events that I've been to, but loads of are pretty mainstream and even the wackier ones have been random but good fun. 

The full itinerary can be found on The Late Show's website, but here are my picks for families and adults. Because there is so much on offer I'm splitting it into two posts. Today's is a suggested route for making your way through what is on in Gateshead and tomorrow's will have Newcastle options. 

Gateshead have really pushed the boat out this year for The Angel of the North’s 20th Birthday. This will be the route we’ll be aiming to follow on Saturday night. 

Family Friendly

Crafting at The Nest

Saturday only

19th May 6pm-11pm

 The Nest’s playspace

The Nest’s playspace

Family favourite cafe The Nest in Low Fell has got an evening of Angel of the North crafts on offer. Join the fabulous Pop-Up Studio to make an angel themed bit of clothing. Just take along a T-Shirt or something you'd like to customise, and use their special printing press to create something unique to you. There will be templates to use, or if you are a dab hand with design you can go freestyle and print with your own vinyl shapes. After trying your hand as a designer it's time for the master baker (well decorater) in you to be released. Have a go at biscuit decorating Angel shaped biscuits using icing sugar, sparkles and other goodies. The Nest is a brilliant location for families, as even if your little ones are too small to do anything other than eat the biscuits, they can be entertained in The Nest's playspace whilst your inner Vivienne Westwood gets a chance to shine. Crafty activities are FREE, as they are sponsored by Gateshead Council Culture Team. Food and drinks will be available at The Nest to buy. 

Paint your own angel mug at the kiln

 Pottery painting at The Kiln

Pottery painting at The Kiln

Saturday Only

19th May 6-11pm

The celebration of 20 years of the Angel of the North continues across the road from The Nest, at The Kiln. The paint your own pottery workshop is opening its doors for the Late Show for a FREE taster. Take your pick from more than 30 colour glazes, brushes, sponges, stamps and stencils available to express your creativity and design an Angel of the North mug to be proud of. The Kiln team will be on hand for guidance and inspiration. There is no cost for the mug painting activity as it is sponsored by Gateshead Council Culture Team.

Initially these sessions were going to be drop in, but due to interest there are now bookable. Find out more by visiting The Kiln's facebook event. Each session lasts 30 minutes and can be booked by messaging The Kiln on facebook. Sessions are being held 19 May 2018  6-6.30pm, 6.45-7.15pm, 7.30-8pm, 8.15-8.45pm, 9-9.30pm, 9.45-10.15pm

The angel's 20th birthday party at Shipley Art Gallery

Saturday Only

19th May 6pm-11pm

Moving out of Low Fell and towards central Gateshead you are invited to a party for the whole family at Shipley Art Gallery. Its the Angel of the North's 20th birthday and the Shipley are throwing a bash to celebrate. There will be live music, a bar to purchase drinks, and the family friendly atmosphere continues with more angel themed crafts. If you are there for 8pm you can join NELKEN-Line.  This is a dance with a sequence of gestures put together by choreographer Pina Bausch.  Everyone is welcome to join the workshop at 8pm to learn the moves. The performance where the NELKEN-line snakes its way through the Shipley Art Gallery is at 9pm. As well as the party you can explore the galleries including the new Grayson Perry exhibition.  

Create light art in baltic square

Saturday Only

19th May 6pm-11pm

Head down to the Baltic museum, where just outside you can ooh and ahh at the exhibition of light installations. Light artist Stuart Langley has created beautiful light pieces all centred around the red ribbon symbol of awareness and support for people living with HIV. As well as seeing the light display in action you can join one of the FREE workshops to make your own light art. Workshops will take place at the following times: 6:00pm, 6:45pm, 7:30pm, 8:15pm, 9:30pm and 10:15 but must be booked in advance. Book here

visit BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art at night

Saturday Only

Open: 6-11pm

 Floor 2 at The BALTIC

Floor 2 at The BALTIC

Probably the most arty of the family friendly offerings in Gateshead, finish your night off at the BALTIC for a rare late-night opening of their spring exhibitions. Visit Idea of North, a group show celebrating northern imagination and identity through architecture, photography, music and design. Explore Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid’s solo exhibition Our Kisses are Petals, which presents new paintings on cloth that employ the patterns, colours and symbolism of the Kanga, a vibrant cotton fabric traditionally worn by East African women. My kids love wandering around the BALTIC as there are so many things to see. Our favourite bit is The Quay on the 2nd floor. The Quay has toys and games to play with, as well as a sensory room perfect for toddlers. 

There are more family friendly options in Gateshead, and the Late Shows website groups them by location so it helps to plan a route around the ones you might be interested in. Here are a list of a few others which looked interesting. 

Saturday

Taster lessons in drums, bass, guitar and keyboards, as well as vocal groups and percussion workshops at Academy of Music & Sound

Glass, ceramics, textiles and sculpture workshops at Bensham Grove

A pop up choir at Dunston Staithes (places needs to be booked in advance)

A performance from The Time Bandits at Gateshead Central Library

So much to choose from and I would think something for everyone. Let us know what Late Shows you will be going to in the comments. 

Head bsck tomorrow for details about Newcastle’s offering.  

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