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After months of staying indoors, it’s time to start enjoying the things we love, with the people we love once again as Coronavirus restrictions start to lift.

With the Government roadmap currently on track, it’s the perfect time to start making plans to fill your weekends, bank holidays and school holidays with family fun activities in the North East of England.

You don’t have to travel far to experience big family days out and adventures in the UK with so much to enjoy right here in the Tees Valley.

 

Be adventurous
The Tees Valley has plenty of adventure activities to excite the young, and young at heart.

Tees Barrage
There are water sports to try at Tees Barrage in Stockton-on-Tees with family rafting, paddleboarding, powerboating, kayaking and canoeing. The biggest high ropes course in the UK – Air Trail is also on site. The climbing adventure course has four levels of 38 unique challenges to take on including an exciting assortment of wobbly rope bridges, troublesome tight ropes, crazy cargo nets and swinging stepping stones, all floating high above the River Tees.

Hartlepool Marina
More family-friendly activities on the water await at Hartlepool Marina with On Water training. Here you can take part in a family stand up paddleboarding session or hold on tight for an adrenaline-fuelled powerboat experience, including a Seafari which takes you out to sea to spot local wildlife including, if you’re lucky, seals and dolphins. An ideal spot for a family day trip, the Marina is lined with a selection of delicious cafes and restaurants perfect for a well-deserved rest and a spot of lunch.

Surfing at Saltburn
Add some adventure to a trip to the seaside with a surf lesson with Saltburn Surf School or Flow Surf School. Try something new by jumping on a board or hone your surfing skills in the pretty Victorian town of Saltburn-by-the-Sea, one of the top 10 places to surf in the UK as voted by The Guardian and Red Bull. Both surf schools cater for ages eight and above and run both group and one-to-one lessons.

Don’t head home without picking up some award-winning fish and chips or trying the Tees Valley favourite – a lemon top ice cream. Hire one of the colourful beach huts that line the seafront from Marshall’s Beach Huts for the day, ideal for warming up after a dip in the sea.

If activity on dry land sounds more appealing, you can try for a hole in one on the crazy golf course, spend some pennies in the arcades on the pier or take a ride on Britain’s oldest water balanced cliff funicular, Saltburn’s Cliff Tramway (limited opening times).

Find out more and discover other on water activities at enjoyteesvalley.com/on-the-water.

GoClimb, Billingham Forum
If you have been climbing the walls of your own home with months of home schooling and staying in, then a trip to the indoor climbing centre GoClimb is a great way for the kids to burn off some energy.

GoClimb, based at Billingham Forum, is a colourful jungle of exciting climbing walls with interactive designs to allow imaginations to run wild! With over 20 unique walls, there’s plenty of challenges for everyone to try.

A great choice for a rainy day, Billingham Forum is also home to the North East’s premier Ice Arena and a large swimming pool. Splashtastic fun is also on tap at Splash! in Stockton town centre.

*Please note that indoor attractions are due to open from 17 May at the earliest. Please check the latest government guidance before visiting.

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Explore the past
The Tees Valley has a rich heritage and plenty of stories to tell, all of which are brought to life at its many museums which make for a great family fun day.

You can let your imagination run wild with a journey through the region’s railway heritage at the Head of Steam Railway Museum in Darlington or step back in time onto the Victorian Street at Preston Park Museum, lined with authentic sweet and toy shop, blacksmiths and police station.

Climb aboard HMS Trincomalee, the oldest warship still afloat at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Hartlepool or uncover the history of British explorer Captain James Cook at the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum based in Stewart Park, Middlesbrough.

Marvel at the electric displays of the Dorman Museum in Middlesbrough or head to Kirkleatham Museum in Redcar for an insight into local history, whilst you are here you can pay a flying visit to the Kirkleatham Owl Centre and meet resident creatures, ranging from Vultures to Meerkats, to Rabbits and Emus.

*Make sure you check opening times and booking procedures with all venues directly before visiting.

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Be entertained
With live performance and theatres closed for over a year, Tees Valley’s art centres and theatres are eager to open their doors again and raise the curtain on some good old family entertainment.

Darlington is home to the only dedicated children’s theatre north of London, The Hullabaloo. The Hullabaloo brings a slice of magic to town with its free enchanted play space and performances tailored for a variety of age groups.

There is a great selection of family-friendly shows due to come to Tees Valley’s theatres across the year, from musicals to children’s TV favourites on stage to pantomimes. You can check out what’s on at Darlington Hippodrome, ARC in Stockton, Middlesbrough Theatre, Middlesbrough Town Hall, The Globe and more by heading to their websites.

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Dates for your diary
Tees Valley events, which includes events in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool are due to make a return for 2021 and the Tees Valley’s vibrant events programme is already filling up.

Planning a family day out in the North East around one of these events is sure to keep the whole family entertained.

Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF)
The region’s largest free outdoor art and street theatre festival SIRF, will take to Stockton high street once again from 29 July to 1 August 2021.

The amazing four-day programme is filled with world-class shows with performers from the UK and across the world. With daily shows and pop-up performances across the town centre, SIRF provides some of the best fun-filled family entertainment – and it’s all free.

Festival of Thrift
Set in the glorious grounds of Kirkleatham Museum, the national festival of sustainability, the Festival of Thrift is back on 25 and 26 September 2021.

The jam-packed schedule of family-friendly workshops and performances, as well as a thriving food court and market stalls stacked with sustainable products makes for a family day out with a difference.

Food & drink festivals
Keep your eyes out for food and drink festivals returning to the Tees Valley throughout the year.

From the artisan food festival Orange Pip Market which takes over the independent quarter of Middlesbrough on the last Saturday of the month (from June to October for 2021), to seaside favourite the Saltburn Food Festival in July (date to be confirmed) to regular farmers’ markets, the Pease Pudding night market and the Darlington Food and Drink Festival.

Check out the what’s on page for the latest event information enjoyteesvalley.com/whats-on.

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Get outdoors
Now that spring is upon us and warmer weather is on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to get the family outdoors.

The Tees Valley has lots of green, wide open spaces which provide the ideal setting for a kick about or a family picnic. Head to Stewart Park or Albert Park in Middlesbrough, enjoy the Victorian charm of South Park in Darlington, pick up some duck food and make your way to the lake in the middle of Ropner Park in Stockton, picnic in the grounds of Preston Park or find your own adventure at Summerhill Country Park in Hartlepool.

For a roarsome park with a difference check out Teessaurus Park in Middlesbrough and spot the prehistoric sculptures dotted across the park, enjoy a boat ride on the lake at Locke Park in Redcar or take a ride on the Saltburn Miniature Railway (Apr-Oct) in the Saltburn Valley Gardens.

Meet the animals at Newham Grange Farm, enjoy a day exploring the Gardens at Wynyard Hall before taking on the Woodland Walk or grab the bikes or walking boots and discover the trails, adventure courses and stunning viewing spots that make up Guisborough Forest and Walkway at the edge of the North York Moors.

Get close to the nature and wildlife that call the Tees Valley home by visiting the many nature reserves, try to spot the resident seals at Tees Barrage or Seal Sands, look out to sea from Hartlepool Headland or explore walking and cycling routes along the Teesdale Way. Take on routes along the River Tees with picnic spots, play parks and more local attractions along the way such as Broken Scar picnic area, Tees Cottage Pumping Station, the remains of a Roman Fort at Piercebridge near Darlington or Preston Park in Stockton-on-Tees.

For more inspiration on things to do, attractions and events to help build your perfect family break in the Tees Valley explore enjoyteesvalley.com.

*Please respect and protect outdoor spaces when out and about in the Tees Valley, take your litter away with you and only leave footprints behind. If an area seems busy, please consider visiting another day.

You must follow all the latest government guidance when visiting the Tees Valley. You can find the guidance at gov.uk/coronavirus.

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Accommodation

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North Shire

Whether you’re looking for a short break in a tent, a long weekend in a caravan or very magical ...

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Baby Moon

A creative camp where fairy tales begin, it’s all about love, a place to dream your dreams. ...

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Blackwell Grange Hotel

The Blackwell Grange Hotel is a stunning 17th Century mansion, which enjoys an enviable setting ...

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Hampton by Hilton, Stockton-on-Tees

The new Hampton by Hilton Stockton on Tees is based in the heart of Northshore, opposite Teesdale ...

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Wynyard Hall

Situated on the outskirts of Durham in the Tees Valley, this striking four-star hotel provides an ...

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Rockliffe Hall

A hidden gem in the North East of England, Rockliffe Hall is a five star luxury golf and spa hotel ...

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Jurys Inn Middlesbrough

Situated on Fry Street, Jurys Inn Middlesbrough is close to the town centre and less than ten ...

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Premier Inn Hartlepool Marina

Wake up to magical harbour side views at Premier Inn Hotel Hartlepool Marina. The waterfront ...

Food & Drink

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Wallis & Co

Wallis & Co is a trendy Bar & Kitchen Located in the beautiful setting of Hartlepool ...

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Uno Momento – Darlington

Based on the High Street in beautiful surroundings we pride ourselves on sourcing and serving ...

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The Seaview Restaurant

The Seaview Restaurant aims to offer the very best fish and chip dining experience to be enjoyed by ...

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The Derry

The Derry is the home of high quality food and drink in the heart of Long ...

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The Fox Hole

Set in the Roman Village of Piercebridge, The Fox Hole sits almost centrally between the towns of ...

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Pacittos

No trip to Redcar is complete without making a pit stop at Pacittos! Pacittos is an iconic ice ...

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Mary Lambert

Bakery offering freshly baked bread and cakes with Café ...

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Muse

Muse is a Continental cafe situated on the busy high street of Yarm. Serving breakfast, lunch and ...

Things To Do

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Guisborough Forest & Walkway

Guisborough Forest & Walkway Visitors Centre provides the ideal starting point for a visit to ...

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Tees Barrage International White Water Centre

The Tees Barrage watersports facilities and activities are world-class. Designed to deliver an ...

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Air Trail

Standing tall on the banks of the River Tees and just a stone’s throw from the historic market ...

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The Hullabaloo

Theatre Hullabaloo is a pioneering organisation that makes, tours & promotes theatre for young ...

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National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool

A fascinating journey through time, set in an authentically-created historic quayside of the 1800s. ...

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Head of Steam

Head of Steam Museum is located on the 1825 route of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, the ...

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Stewart Park

Stewart Park covers about 120 acres and consists both of mature woodland and arboretum on the ...

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Flow Surf School

Based in Saltburn by the Sea, Flow Surf School is a family run school providing Beginner and ...

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