Free family days out in the Tees Valley

Inspiration | Published on: 12th August 2021

If family days out are already costing you a small fortune, there’s plenty of free fun-filled things to do  in the Tees Valley. From unmissable events and festivals to gorgeous beauty spots and everything in between, the region’s got you covered if you’re searching for a budget-friendly way to spend your time off.


Enjoy culture that won’t cost you.

Based in the beautiful surroundings of Stewart Park in Middlesbrough, the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum* tells the story of the great navigator and mariner through themed display galleries, temporary exhibitions, interactive activities and a lively events and education programme. Located next to Albert Park, Dorman Museum is home to a a variety of local artefacts, and is the best place to discover the history of Middlesbrough, its industries and its famous residents. Admission is free for both museums. (Costs may apply for certain exhibitions and activities)

Looking for a little culture for the little ones? The Hullabaloo in Darlington is a magical space made up of a number of interactive areas that light up, make noise and tell stories which are guaranteed to keep the kids entertained for free.

Fancy catching a theatre or dance performance without purchasing a ticket? Then you need to check out the Pay what you decide scheme at ARC in Stockton. You can choose from an exciting selection of shows and at the end you are invited to pay a price which you think is suitable based on your experience – you can pay as little or as much as you like!

*Captain Cook Birthplace Museum is closed from November until Easter 2022.

Spend time (but not money) in the great outdoors.

The Tees Valley is abundant in beautiful outdoor spaces, encompassing both rolling countryside and beautiful coastline. Enjoy breathtaking views, pretty parks and fun walking and cycling trails across the region.

Wind your way around the towering trees in Guisborough Forest, which is a mosaic of thriving habitats with woodlands, wetlands and grassland and many different plants and animals to see and discover. There are also two play areas, a sculpture trail, circular waymarked walks, bike trails and a permanent orienteering course which can all be enjoyed free of charge.

Letting the kids blow off some steam in the park is the perfect way to enjoy a family day, plus the only thing you will need to spend is time having fun!

If you’re looking for nature and fun in abundance, Summer Hill Country Park in Hartlepool is the perfect spot. Keep your eyes peeled for sculptures and wildlife as you explore walking trails or get your blood pumping on the BMX track. If you’ve got a head for heights, take on a large climbing boulder or two whilst you’re there.

Take to Teessaurus Park for a roarsome spot bound to impress the little ones with its life size dinosaur sculptures! You can even pack up a picnic and dine amongst the dinosaurs, all whilst enjoying views of the River Tees. If the kids haven’t already tired themselves out, why not take to the Teesdale Way for a riverside stroll up to Tees Barrage?

Get close to Nature for nothing.

You might be surprised at how much nature and wildlife you can uncover in the Tees Valley including meeting our most famous residents – the harbour and grey seals.

Teesmouth National Nature Reserve in Hartlepool, RSPB Saltholme and Fairy Dell in Middlesbrough are just a few places where you can get up close to nature at no cost to you! For other ideas on where to enjoy Tees Valley’s nature go here.

Don’t forget to share the fun by using #EnjoyTeesValley when posting your free family days out on social media.

Discover more things to see and do in the Tees Valley here.

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