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From 17 May, restaurants, bars and cafes will welcome customers in, theatres will raise the curtain once again, museums will be brought back to life and hotels will fill their empty beds – and we can’t wait!

If you’re spoilt for choice, we’ve come up with 17 things to do in the Tees Valley from the 17 May. So, start making plans to enjoy Tees Valley’s unique hotels, amazing theatres, and thriving foodie scene.

1. Go out-out!

Take to Baker and Bedford Street in Middlesbrough to find quirky micro pubs like The Twisted Lip and try craft cocktails from one of the top 50 UK cocktail bars, The Nuthatch.

Discover The Wasp’s Nest and other hidden gems in Green Dragon Yard in Stockton or seek out brilliant bars like Dr.inks and The Black Olive dotted around Darlington Centre and Hartlepool Marina.

2. Flock to the theatres

The curtain will finally lift on Tees Valley’s theatres for the first time this year!

Catch a show or comedy club or watch world-class musicals across the region at Darlington Hippodrome, ARC, The Forum Theatre and Middlesbrough Town Hall.

3. Enjoy an overnight hotel stay

Sleep like a king (or queen) in the stunning Walworth Castle, enjoy riverside views at the Hampton by Hilton or get some beauty sleep at Blackwell Grange Hotel.

Opt for a five-star experience at Rockliffe Hall, stay in the gorgeous surroundings of Gisborough Hall or treat your pooch to a stay at The Spa Hotel.

Slumber in beautiful B&Bs and guesthouses, or enjoy a range of accessible accommodation across the region.

4. Discover new local businesses

The pandemic hasn’t stopped the creativity of Tees Valley’s hospitality sector and even more independents have been popping up across the region, which makes 17 May the grand opening for many brand-new businesses.

Check out these 13 Tees Valley businesses to watch out for in 2021.

5. Let off some steam at the spa

Spa days came back into our lives in April, but now you can truly let off some steam with the return of saunas and steam rooms!

Relax in a Roman sauna at Rockliffe Hall or treat yourself to amazing views from the gorgeous glass fronted sauna in their Spa Garden. Spend your days in the steam room at Headlam Hall or hit the herbal sauna and salt room at Wynyard Hall.

6. Take on indoor activities

Tee off on the world’s longest mini golf hole at Holymolies or take your day to new heights at Go Climb. Get competitive at Gamers World in Darlington, where you can try all the latest consoles and join exclusive parties and competitions.

At last, little ones can burn off some energy at soft play! Why not pop to The Play Factory, race to Roarsome Play Centre or take the children to Crazy Corner Play Centre.

7. Spend cold days in cosy pubs

Rainy days in beer gardens will soon be replaced by relaxing open fires, with pubs welcoming customers back indoors from 17 May!

Feast on comfort food in country pubs, sample real ale in tradition taverns, and enjoy a drink with your canine companion. If you’re seeking comfort during these chilly spring days, check out these Ten Tees Valley pubs perfect for cosy days.

8. Enjoy an art gallery

Discover fascinating galleries and exciting art displays across the Tees Valley. Marvel at incredible art displays in MIMA and Hartlepool Art Gallery, explore exhibitions at Eston Arts Centre or pop to Palace Arts Gallery on Redcar seafront to see amazing pieces.

9. Make your way to a museum

Discover the region’s railway heritage at the Head of Steam Railway Museum or step back in time onto the Victorian Street at Preston Park Museum. Climb aboard HMS Trincomalee at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Hartlepool or immerse yourself in history at Kirkleatham Museum.

10. Catch ups in cafes

There’s nothing better catching up with someone over a cuppa, so drop the Zoom meetings and pop to your nearest cafe for a proper natter.

Sample a try a selection of tea and treats at Tea House Middlesbrough or fill up on homemade bakes from Tea With Alice. Grab a spot of lunch at Baker Street Kitchen or soak up the vintage vibes in Glady’s Vintage Tea Room.
Discover more Tees Valley cafes here.

11. Get yourself to The Globe

The wait is almost over for the grand opening of The Globe on Stockton High Street, which is planned for May 2021. The theatre first opened its doors in 1935, hosting some of the biggest names in entertainment including The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Following a multimillion-pound refurbishment, The Globe is back for 2021 and set to open in style, with the likes of Paloma Faith and comedian Chris Ramsay hitting the stage.

12. Head back to Butterfly World

The tropical oasis that is Butterfly World is back, so why not head over to watch the world’s most exotic and beautiful butterflies fill the air?

Stroll past beautiful flowers, tropical trees and splashing waterfalls before making your way round to see the meerkats and reptiles; all whilst watching the vibrant wing beats of hundreds of butterflies around you.

13. Live music and great gigs

If you’re longing for live music in your life, why not make a weekend of it? Watch both Olly Murs and Tom Jones take to the stage at Darlington Arena, followed by We Love 90’s in the Park all in one weekend!

Check out our What’s On page to discover more music events.

14. Enjoy indoor dining

Treat your tastebuds to top quality cuisine, amazing Mediterranean dishes and satisfying soul food with a range of restaurants in the Tees Valley.

Tuck into traditional Japanese dishes at Umi Japanese or treat your tastebuds to Neapolitan style pizza at No. Twenty Three. Indulge in incredible Italian dishes at Cena and Portofino or try tasty charcuterie boards at Sortie.

Check out our suggestions for Six restaurants to try here.

15. Get your ice skates on with a Simply skate session

Throw on your skating shoes and hit the ice at Billingham Forum Ice Arena, which can finally re-open its fun Simply Skate sessions. Whether you’re a pro wanting to show off your skills, or a first timer looking to learn something new, Billingham Arena offers something for everyone.

Book simply skate sessions here.

16. Start adding dates to your diary

It’s finally time to start adding some dates to your 2021 calendar.

Save the date for the region’s biggest free outdoor art and street theatre festival, SIRF, on 29 July to 1 August; the national festival of sustainability, the Festival of Thrift on 25 and 26 September and the Rugby League World cup coming to the region on 7 November.

Fill up on unmissable street food and even try a salsa lesson or two at some spectacular foodie events, like The Orange Pip Market, Darlington Food & Drink Festival and Saltburn Food Festival.

Keep an eye out on our What’s On page for more events to add to your diary.

17. Food and drink experiences

Swap takeaways at home for tasting experiences across the Tees Valley. Take to The Prickly Pear Bistro to feast on a parmo platter and try this tasty Teesside dish with an international twist!

Bottomless brunches are back! So, you can finally indulge in soul food and an endless supply of cocktails at Turtle Bay, or keep the fizz flowing during “drunch” at the Purple Peacock at The Parkmore Hotel. If you fancy a selection of fine wine, try Fourteen Drops in Yarm or visit the brand new Cookfellas Wine Bar.

Don’t forget to share your post-lockdown fun with us, by using #EnjoyTeesValley on social media.

Please make sure you follow all the latest government guidelines when out and about in Tees Valley. For the latest updates go to Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support – GOV.UK

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