One of the earliest purpose-built shopping malls, the Metro Centre in Gateshead is one of the biggest in the UK. The Metro Centre is the hub of a vast retail area stretching alongside the river Tyne. It has all anyone might need – under one roof.
The Metro Centre is very much geared toward family shopping. To help younger children cope with the acreage of the centre, there are “boobaloos” (battery cars) which can be hired for young children to ride in during shopping.
As an alternative to shopping, the centre offers various entertainments and attractions. Older children (and adults) enjoy the ten-pin bowling and the dodgems in the entertainment centre. The 12 screen cinema shows the most up-to-date films throughout the day and evening.
There is a flourishing Kids’ Club, where the young can become MetroGnomes. Every weekend there are activities and entertainment provided within the open spaces of the centre. During all the major school holidays these increase to keep youngsters very well occupied. For unstructured play, there is a soft play area in Namco Funscape, for all children up to 12, supervised by the parents. The entertainments are mostly housed in the Qube – the most recently redeveloped part of the Metro Centre.