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  • 10th Apr 2024
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Your ultimate guide to rainy day activities in the North East

We all have to accept that rain sometimes stops play. But in the North East, there are loads of activities to keep us entertained on a rainy day. Here are 30 ideas to hide away and chill, learn or play.

CHILL

Turkish Baths

The City Baths, Northumberland Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 8SG

The c. £8million redevelopment of the Turkish Baths is complete and its now officially open. We’ve seen it on Instagram and it looks like the perfect place to escape the world, with cold plunge, heat chambers and pure relaxation areas. In May 2024 they’ll be opening the spa with a range of treatments including traditional Turkish massage. Sessions can be booked via their app on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Everyman Cinema

75-85 Grey Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 6EF

Cinema? On a rainy day? Groundbreaking – we know. But we can’t think of anything much cosier than curling up in one of Everyman Cinema’s comfy lounge chairs and watching a film. They’ve got a great restaurant and full bar menu which can be enjoyed while you’re watching the big screen.

Lit & Phil Library

23 Westgate Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 1SE

The Lit & Phil is Newcastle’s beautiful independent library, open to all and free to explore and browse.  Founded in 1793, this purpose-built  library opened  in 1825 on Westgate Road, just yards from Central Station. It’s a perfect place to head on a rainy day in Newcastle – you can spend hours exploring the shelves of books before finding a cute spot to read and relax.

Dalton Park

Church Street, Murton, Seaham, SR7 9HU

We don’t need much of an excuse to hit the shops. Visit the North East’s largest outlet centre – Dalton Park – to find 65 designer stores with up to 70% discount. They’ve had some great new openings recently – including a new Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Bonmarche – as well as a Mexican dining destination when you need to refuel.

PLAY

Rainy Day activities in the North East, Newcastle, Middlesbrough

Golf Fang

The Clay Shed, Hoult’s Yard, Walker Rd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE6 2HL

Not your average crazy golf course. Golf Fang is 18 holes of pure entertainment. Surrounded by bespoke art and something new to explore at every turn. Add a fun atmosphere, DJs and cocktails to the mix and you’ll soon forget about the wet stuff outside.

Whitley Bay Ice Rink

Hillheads Road, Whitley Bay, NE25 8HP

Get your skates on at the only public ice rink in the North East. Whether you’re clutching the sides for dear life, or can throw some shapes on the ice, Whitley Bay Ice Rink welcomes everyone and is a great way to entertain little ones.

Go Karting

Scotswood Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE15 6UX

Just two miles from Newcastle City Centre, TeamSport Go Karting offers professionally designed circuits, a virtual reality free roaming simulator, mini bowling, augmented reality darts and sim racing. They’ve also got a super unique concept for the North East called  Combat Karts – where Go Karting meets gaming. Fun, guaranteed.

Point Blank Shooting

117 Newgate Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 5RZ

Take a speakeasy style bar, mix in cocktails, loaded American snacks and a virtual shooting game – and you’ve got Point Blank Newcastle. Blast all your concerns to kingdom come – all under cover from your own private shooting booth. The Point Blank team will direct you to your booth and accompanying 132-inch screen, where you’ll learn how to use their tech, what’s in your personal armoury (the AK-47 is hella fun), and how to smoke the leader board. Which, let’s face it, is fun whatever the weather.

Level X Middlesbrough

Captain Cook Square, 18 – 19, Middlesbrough, TS1 5UB

Escape the weather inside Level X Middlesbrough – you might not want to leave. With VR experiences, craxy golf, karaoke pods, bowling, crash team racing and arcade rooms all under one roof, you can spend hours here having fun and sheltering from the storms.

Axe Throwing at Hatchett Harry’s

Hatchett Harry’s, Unit 9 Forth Goods Yard, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3PG

Book a beginner’s 90-minute session at Hatchett Harry’s Newcastle and learn how to throw axes up to six different ways, including some snazzy trick shots, with competitive challenges and games throughout. We promise it’ll keep you dry, entertained and release your frustration in no time.

Interactive Darts The WonderBar

The Gate, Newgate St, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 5TG

The first and only venue in Newcastle to offer interactive darts – The WonderBar in The Gate, this fun sports bar also offers live sports every matchday and a variety of entertainment through the week, including live music, bingo and comedy nights.

Project Escape Room

Dundas Arcade, 5 Linthorpe Mews, Middlesbrough, TS1 1SE

A real-life experience where participants are locked in a room and must use elements of the room, the group’s collective knowledge, and wits to discover clues, solve puzzles, and escape and/or find the missing item within a set amount of time. Project Escape Middlesbrough is the ultimate make or break team building experience…

DC Bowl Darlington

Horse Market, Darlington, DL1 5RP

DC Bowl Darlington is a new, state of the art, five lane bowling alley inside the Dolphin Centre leisure complex.There’s an entertainment system on each lane delivering more fun, more ways to socialise and more competitive excitement. It’s also handily right next to the Dolphin Centre’s restaurant and bar so you can really make a day or night of it.

Billingham Forum

The Causeway, Town Centre, TS23 2LJ

Everything you need to stay active and entertained under one roof. Head to Billingham Forum to have fun swimming, climbing, ice skating and playing indoor racquet sports. There’s also a soft play for little ones.

Four Quarters Arcade Bar

54 Dean Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 1PG

A bar filled with a variety of original arcade machines and classic gaming consoles. Four Quarters Newcastle rotate a range of cocktails and local craft beer, so there’s always something new to try.

Smash Space

Smash Space UK, 58–60 Scotswood Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE4 7JE

Newcastle’s one and only “rage room” does exactly what it says on the tin – and we’re here for it. Book Smash Space UK and you’re allowed 15 minutes “smash time” to release your tension and destroy all manner of glass bottles, laptops, phones, plates, mugs, tiles and furniture. It’s easily one of the most satisfying things to do in Newcastle.

HISTORY

Rainy Day activities in the North East, Newcastle, Middlesbrough

Bowes Museum

Newgate, Barnard Castle, DL12 8NP

The beautiful Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle provides a whole world of history, style, arts and crafts – a fantastic day out for adults and children alike. An on-site cafe provides a range of lunch options made from locally-sourced ingredients, as well as coffee and homemade cakes.

Woodhorn Museum

QEII Country Park, Ashington, NE63 9YF

Fancy heading up into Northumberland? The Woodhorn Museum provides a glimpse into the history of the county’s mining history. With several special events and exhibitions taking place between now and Christmas, there’s something for every age. This also has a cafe on-site and is near to the QE2 lake which has a restaurant. 

Hexham Old Gaol

Hallgate, Hexham, NE46 1XD

Head for the Tyne Valley and visit Hexham Old Gaol. Telling the story of what prison life was like in the 1300s, you can learn about the Border Reivers, take brass rubbings and follow a skull trail around the museum.

Discovery Museum

Blandford Square, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 4JA

Head to the Discovery Museum for a fun, free and educational day out. Immerse yourself in the history of Newcastle focusing on the area’s maritime, scientific and technological importance to Britain and the rest of the world. Downstairs, you can check out the current Spirit of Invention exhibition, showcasing contemporary technology alongside eye-catching inventions from the Victorian era – including a ventilating top hat and a typewriter for visually impaired people.

Laing Art Gallery

New Bridge Street West, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 8AG

Founded in 1901, the Laing Art Gallery is home to an internationally important collection of art, focusing on British oil paintings, watercolours, ceramics, silver and glassware. Admission to the gallery and cafe is free, with an occassional charge for certain exhibitions. The perfect place to spend a rainy day.

Kirkleatham Museum

Kirkleatham, Redcar, TS10 5NW

Kirkleatham Museum is home to a treasure trove of artefacts and exhibitions; all housed in the gorgeous 1709 Queen Anne building that began life as Free School for Boys. The museum features a wide range of exhibitions and displays covering local industrial, maritime and social history. Within the museum grounds, a small woodland trail has been created and benefits from hard surfaced pathways, suitable for visitors to enjoy all year round, including those with access difficulties.

Land of Iron

Mill Lane, Skinningrove, Cleveland, TS13 4AP

Standing on the site of the first ironstone mine in Cleveland, Land of Iron allows you to get up close and explore a rich and fascinating history. This hands-on journey takes you back 150 years to a time of industrial revolution when the area and its people supplied over a third of the world’s Iron and Steel. Super fun and interesting, make sure you book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.

ART

Rainy Day activities in the North East, Newcastle, Middlesbrough

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts

South Shore Road, Gateshead, NE8 3BA

A treasure trove of contemporary art and inspiration on the Quayside. Get lost in the Baltic’s expansive exhibition spaces and check out work from local North East artists at the current exhibition – Baltic Open Submission 2024. Pick up a light bite at the Baltic Kitchen, or do really treat yourself, set yourself up at the restaurant and bar, SIX Baltic, to watch the rainfall across the River Tyne.

MIMA

Centre Square, Middlesbrough, TS1 2AZ

We love this free entry gallery. MIMA connects art, people and ideas to empower creative lives and positively contribute to society. An international art gallery and museum, they commission, collect and re-think modern and contemporary art. Always fun, always inspiring.

National Glass Centre

Liberty Way, Roker, Sunderland, SR6 0GL

The National Glass Centre is a museum and visitor centre in Sunderland promises a fun and interactive day out. Discover how glass arrived in Britain, how it’s made and why Sunderland has such a rich glass making heritage. You’ll be able to watch the resident glass makers keep those skills alive – and maybe try it for yourself with a hands-on glass making experience.

The Biscuit Factory

16 Stoddart Street, Shieldfield, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1AN

Set in a former Victorian warehouse The Biscuit Factory showcases original, contemporary art, craft and design from makers across the region and beyond. There’s a gorgeous shop selling wares from independent makers, as well as the Factory Kitchen where you can enjoy coffee and a light bite (or even a cocktail) as you get inspired.

WITH LITTLE ONES

Rainy Day activities in the North East, Newcastle, Middlesbrough

Life Science Centre

Times Square, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 4EP

Entertain little ones as they learn at the Life Science Centre. A hub of fascination, learning and science, there are shows, rides and workshops for children of all ages. Enjoy a snack or meal in one of the cafes or take a picnic and enjoy the centre all day.

Theatre Hullabaloo

Borough Road, Darlington, DL1 1SG

Theatre Hullabaloo is a pioneering organisation that makes, tours & promotes theatre for young audiences, aged 0 – 16 years old, because they believe that young people are the most important audience of all. They have a great range of shows catered for different age groups to enjoy, as well as a free zen garden where children can enjoy interactive play.

Seven Stories

30 Lime Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 2PQ

A free and fun day out, immerse yourself in the world of children’s books at Seven Stories. They always have a range of interactive exhibitions which children will love, bringing their best loved characters to life.

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Laura Kingston
Founder and Editor

Laura is the Founder and Editor of High Life North. She had the idea to set up an exclusively digital women’s magazine after feeling there was a gap in the market in the North East. With over 10 years of experience in marketing and PR, Laura had a very clear…

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