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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

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.

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 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

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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

*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

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