Play Hard

Virtual activities in the North East

Stay loyal to your favourite local businesses during lockdown. From online pub quizzes to self-isolation supper clubs and fitness classes, Holly Hobkirk has sourced something for everyone.

Written by High Life North
Published 10.04.2020

By Holly Hobkirk

Many local businesses closed their physical doors in recent weeks, but they’re still coming up with creative ways to keep us engaged online. Below you’ll find a selection of digital activities, from virtual cook-a-longs to live-streamed events.

The Stand, Newcastle

Every Saturday at 8:30pm, the comedy club is running a live stand-up show via YouTube with guest stars like Mark Watson and Omid Djalili. Digital admission is free, but donations are welcomed.

To view this week’s show, click here.

Enigma Tap, North Shields

The Enigma Tap is running a virtual pub quiz every Wednesday at 7:30pm in aid of The Bay Foodbank. Entry is £2 per person, with a maximum of six people per team.

To join in, visit their website.

Cogito Books, Hexham

Hexham’s independent bookstore is offering free lists of literary recommendations – tweet them to let them know what you like to read, and they’ll send you a personalised suggestion.

Visit their Twitter page to find out more: @CogitoBooks

Drake: The Bookshop, Stockon-Upon-Tees

The shop has launched ‘Dr Drake’s Lockdown Reading Pharmacy’. To receive a ‘General Fiction Prescription’, tell them the last book you loved, and receive a mystery read via post.

Place your order here.

Kith & Kin, Whitley Bay

Kith & Kin will be launching an e-book of recipes available to download via their website – the super-easy flatbread guide is a favourite amongst regulars. 

Until then, you can check out their daily Instagram recipe stories.

Horticulture, Newcastle

The Horticulture team is on standby with recipe and cocktail suggestions. 

Message them via Instagram with the contents of your fridge or liquor cupboard, and they’ll send you a custom recipe. 

Parm-O-Rama, Teesside 

The food truck is hosting a live cookalong at Tuesdays at 5pm, teaching viewers how to perfect Middlesbrough’s most famous dish – the Chicken Parmo. 

To join in, follow them on Instagram at @ParmORama 

Dotty in the Kitchen, Newcastle

Dotty is hosting a Saturday night Self Isolation Supper Club. For £18pp, ingredients for a three-course meal are delivered to your door along with detailed recipe cards. Prepare your dishes and follow other guest’s progress with the hashtag #dininginwithdotty, and settle down for dinner at 8pm. 

To RSVP, head to her website

Riley’s Fish Shack, Tynemouth

The restaurant is hosting a ‘Cook at Home’ service. Fresh ingredients are delivered to participants on Mondays and Saturdays, with sharing recipes and cooking tips on social media. 

For information on upcoming recipes, contact [email protected]

Hotpod Yoga, Jesmond

The team at Hotpod Yoga have opened a new online studio with daily classes held by local instructors. You choose what to pay for each class, with passes priced at £0, £3, £5 and £10.

To book, head to their website.

Studio Velo, Whitley Bay

The fitness studio has launched ‘Virtual Velo’, an online service where users can participate in Pilates, Barre and more for £3.75 per class.

To sign up, visit the website.

Juicy Fitness, Newcastle

Juicy Fitness is running a digital bootcamp with different classes for each day of the week, from HIIT to Tabata.

To book your session, head to the website.


The North East-based womens’ fitness club is running virtual classes and offering discounts for NHS staff and emergency service providers.

You can find out more about their services via Facebook.

Happy Yoga

Members of the Happy Yoga community can now enjoy online yoga retreats.

Head to Facebook to join in and find out more.

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