Welcome to a summer of family fun in Middlesbrough!

Whether you’re on a tight budget, looking for something a little different for the kids to try, or you’re wanting to know the best offers for days out and brilliant indoor and outdoor activities (sun keep shining!), we’ve got you covered – this is going to be your most #BrilliantlyBoro summer yet!

Accessible family friendly events

Teesside Family Active is open to disadvantaged families and children, children with disabilities, children who are battling illness and their siblings, as well as the children and families.

This summer they are running free activities – you can take part by nominating your family via their Facebook page. Activities include footgolf, playworld soft play, sensory room, family swimming and ability cycling.

To register your interest comment on the Facebook post pinned to the top of their page and someone will be in touch.

Family-friendly attractions

Newham Grange Farm is one of the region’s top family farms filled with hours of fun, an adventure zone, excellent Facebook reviews, newly refurbished play areas, café terrace and improved accessibility features – and it’s right on our own doorstep!

Newham Grange Farm opening times: Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 5.30pm. Prices: £3.10 child/OAP, £4 adults, £12.80 family ticket.

Whether you’ve been once, a hundred times, or you’ve never paid them a visit – Middlesbrough's two museums both have brand new exhibitions and a whole host of classes for kids to enjoy this summer.

Get involved with the fun and friendly art and craft classes at The Captain Cook Birthplace Musuem: Climb the Rigging, 8th August, 11am; Kids Museum Yoga Club, 14th August, 1.30pm; Together Fest, 13th & 15th August, 11am, Australian Aboriginal Art Inspired Workshop, 22nd August, 11am. Resolution: a performance by PACT Productions, 22nd & 23rd August, 7pm; Weave Away, 27th August, 11am; Sew Much Fun, 29th August, 11am; Toddler Takeover Day, 5th September, 10.30am & 1pm. 

The ‘Avoid Exploring with Captain Cook’ exhibition is all about life on the seas with Cook – there’s fun filled interactive elements so kids can learn what it would be like to have sailed the high seas. Don’t miss the Cook themed events taking place throughout the summer.

Captain Cook Museum opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 10.30am – 3.30pm. Prices: £2.50 child/OAP, £4 adult, £10 Explorer Pass.

‘Safari’ is Dorman Museum’s brand new really wild exhibition! Head deep into the savannah in search of some of nature’s biggest beasts and see the animatronic Lion come to life.

A range of art and craft classes are also happening at the Dorman in August: Garden games, 15th & 22nd August, 11am; kids museum yoga club, 8th & 15th August, 1.30pm, storytelling sessions, 13th, 20th & 27th August, 11am & 1pm; handmade parrots 9th August, 11am; animal handling; Together Fest, 14th & 16th August, 11am. 

Dorman Museum opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 10.30am – 3.30pm.  Prices: entry to the museum is free, admission price for Safari is: £2 child/OAP, £3 adult, £8 family ticket.

There’s tonnes happening down at the beautiful Town Hall this summer including Steel Pan Fridays, Mini Mela, music club and gig school.

Disney fans are in for a treat if they take part in the week long Disney Musical Revamped with the Town Hall Performing Arts School!

Disney Musical Revamped: Monday 29th July – Friday 2nd August, 9.30am – 3.30pm. Prices: £75. Ages 6 – 13 years.

Central Library and our library hubs have plenty of activities to get involved with – you could set your little treasures on a reading adventure to see what new characters they discover by the end of the holidays and get them to create their own adventure tales.  Join the Space Chase #SummerReadingChallenge at Central Library and the library hubs and enjoy some space themed fantastic activities. Places are limited so must be booked direct, head to the Middlesbrough Libraries Facebook page to find out about all the Reading Challenge activities.

An absolute must-see this summer is the incredible Book Benches Trail from 13th July to 6th September. Pick up a trail map from Central Library or other participating venues and see if you can spot all of the benches that have been decorated with beautiful artwork, inspired by Middlesbrough’s favourite children’s books such as The Gruffalo in the Hillstreet and BFG in the Dundas Shopping Centre! 

Book Bench Trail, various venues: Saturday 13th July – Friday 6th September. Free.

Head to mima for family-friendly free activities that are running all summer, including the art trolley and mini mima sessions.

Art trolley: every Saturday, 1pm-4pm. Free

Mini mimas: every Thursday, 10am – 11.30am. Free

Book bench trailBook bench trail

Sport and play

There’s loads of ways to get sporty and active in Middlesbrough that don’t cost a penny. Or you could take up something new this summer – why not set your family a summer swim challenge?

Take a trip out to Albert Park and try jogging with the kids – set them small goals to make it easy. Or step things up by doing the same around the longer paths at Stewart Park, before your picnic of course!

Check out Albert Park Facebook page to find out about their Buggy Walks and Learn to Ride a Bike sessions. You can find out about any activities at Stewart Park at the Facebook page.

Or why not head out on a woodland adventure to Fairy Dell and spot the wildlife around every corner and record it in an animal diary.

You can take to the water at The Rainbow or Neptune Leisure Centres and splash about all summer in their child friendly pools – who needs to go abroad!

Tennis World has fantastic facilities for all ages with classes and try-out sessions available.

Prissick Plaza Skate Park is the place to be seen for kids who are that little bit older and it is one of the biggest and most impressive in the North East.

Lane 7 is a brilliant new addition to the town centre for all ages with lanes and an impressive indoor arcade.

Newham Grange FarmNewham Grange Farm

Food offers and kids eat free!

Kids eat free at Fellini’s on Linthorpe Road – check out their bellisimo kids pasta and pizza dishes, plus Turtle Bay offer great deals on their children’s menu with fruity coolers and small plates perfect for smaller appetites.

The Curing House are offering a 'kids eat for £1' deal until 31st August and the menu includes mini slider beef burgers and chip and fish fingers and chips and salad. Creams cafe on Southfield Road offers a mouth-watering selection of sundaes and ice creams, and the new kid on the block is Icestone Gelato – which we sure is set to be a firm favourite with kids and parents alike!

Want the perfect picnic? You can set up a picnic basket anywhere and have a fab afternoon for little money. Your local park, back garden or even a trip 10 minutes to Saltburn or the North Yorkshire villages could be great places to unpack the strawberries & cream and sandwiches!

Quick crepes in the Hillstreet Centre, Cooplands Bakery in Captain Cook Square, Jean’s Kitchen in Dundas Arcade and Bubbles shake hut in Cleveland Centre all offer delicious treats that little ones will love.

Exciting family events

As usual there’s an abundance of great free events and bigger days out that will keep little ones entertained.

The Mela weekend is back for the 29th year – and it’s free! As always, there’s loads of activities for all of the family to take part in including giant games, arts and crafts, story-telling and henna painting, plus the fairground is bigger and better than ever, plus Cbeebie's mega star Mr Bloom is heading along too! Don't miss the incredible food stalls and shopping bazaar too. Get in the spirit beforehand at the Mela Carnival which is happening at 12pm on Saturday 17th  August.

Middlesbrough Mela: Saturday 17th  & Sunday 18th July, from 10am. Free event.

Middlesbrough MelaMiddlesbrough Mela


There’s loads of back-to-school stationary in WH Smith in The Cleveland Centre, but before then it’s worth paying a visit to Toytown and the Disney Store for the latest toys and games.

The whole family can head along to Dundas Shopping Centre on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th July and Friday 30th and Saturday 31st for their popular Food and Craft Market, the perfect place to pick up some craft bits for hours of fun.

We’re sure every parent has popped into Smiggle in the Hillstreet once or twice before! They currently have some great summer stock in and offers for those all-important school and playground essentials. Whether your kitting the kids out for Back-to-School, grabbing those last-minute holiday essentials or looking for something to keep the family entertained for free this summer, Hillstreet is your answer.

Hillstreet Summer Showreel is a series of free family events being held every Friday from 9th – 30th August, between 11am and 2pm. Each event is inspired by popular children’s movies and will feature the likes of the Teesside Lions challenging shoppers to basketball tricks with their Mascot Sam Dunk, a hilarious Toy-Story-themed comedy and magic show and a pirate party hunting for buried treasure. Plus, the chance to win movie merchandise, Cineworld tickets and more. 

The Entertainer toy shop in the heart of Captain Cook Square is the ultimate toy treasure trove. There’s toys, trinkets, pocket money items and bigger treats that just may be the perfect reward for good behaviour at the end of the summer holidays! Head to the square this summer and travel around the world with Captain James Cook and his first mate Hayley McSail! Check out Captain Cook’s washed up ship at the centre throughout the summer holidays, and join in each week as he takes you on exciting storytelling journeys across the globe. You’ll learn all about where Captain Cook travelled to and the incredible things he got up to along the way, as well as all the fascinating characters he met at these FREE kids’ events. Events are happening every Wednesday, click here to find out more about them! 

Middlesbrough Shopping Centres