The Late Shows dates have now been announced for 2019….17-18 May. It’s a ‘free late-night culture crawl taking place in NewcastleGateshead when museums, galleries and historical buildings come together to offer visitors one-off events. These can be workshops, behind-the-scenes tours, performances, parties’. You name it, it’s on.  It’s aim is to encourage people to do something cultural with their evening in celebration of the national event Museums at Night.

New in 2018 was the introduction of Twi-Lates, to get young people interested in visiting too. So the Late Shows venues opened their doors a little earlier with special events and activities for 12-17 year olds.

A group of mam friends and I got together last year with our tweens and visited a few venues that were local to us in Gateshead. It really was a great evening and very popular as we spotted several families walking between venues sporting The Late Shows glow stick which every visitor received.

the late shows

It was luckily a warm, sunny evening so we started off on our cultural adventure by strolling along to Gateshead Central Library where waiting for us were the The Time Bandits, a team of historical costumed interpreters. Their theme for the evening was based on the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. There were drop in readings and performances with showings of the 1931 screen adaptation of Frankenstein and a Storm in a Jar workshop for a bit of ‘electric fun’.

Our next stop was Shipley Art Gallery This was a celebration of the Angel of the North’s 20th birthday, so there were lots of  Angel themed crafts to get involved with, plus live music and a bar.

Further along our route we popped into The Nest. They are a family-friendly cafe with community rooms and promote themselves as ‘Fab Food and Family Fun’. They collaborated for the evening with Pop-Up Studio, a family run print studio specialising in design-led personalisation and fun hand drawn graphics.  Visitors were able to ‘Print the Angel’ with their special printing press, either by bringing along an item of clothing or buying a t shirt or tote bag at the venue. For the more creative among us, we could create a freestyle print with vinyl shapes. Afterwards visitors could then ‘Eat the Angel’ and decorate an Angel shaped biscuit using icing sugar and sparkles. It doubled up as a nice opportunity for the mams to catch up over a coffee and cake too. Never let an opportunity slip by!


And finally, our last stop was at the Kiln, an interactive paint your own pottery studio & café where visitors could apply a special Angel of the North stencil to a mug and glaze as they wished. The mugs were then put in the kiln to be picked up the following week. Just a note, this required pre-booking a slot.


The Late Shows 2019 promise a return of the Twi-Lates and we will definitely be re-visiting. It was great to get the kids involved and doing it as a group really went toward them enjoying time with their friends and family as well as doing something creative, which did not involve mobile phones or games consoles. Got to be a Win-Win surely!! And it’s all free!! There are opportunities to purchase extra bits be that gifts, food or drink, so plan ahead if you think you will need a few pennies with you.

Check it out this year and sign up to their newsletter so that you don’t miss out.