August Activities to Keep the Whole Family Busy
How to make the most of the summer holidays
Don’t miss four free days of street theatre, dance, music and arts as the 35th Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF) returns to the town. In celebration of Canal and River Trust’s 10th anniversary, SIRF will present a special international showcase at Tees Barrage – an ambitious installation of 500 wind instruments. There’s plenty of family fun to enjoy too, kicking off with a live music, aerialists and acrobatics with a spectacular explosion of colour today (4th August). The event runs until 7th August.
Back by popular demand, NE1 Restaurant Week is returning from 8th–14th August and now is the time to book a table or two – or three. With more than 100 restaurants offering £10, £15 or £20 menus, we’ve hand-picked just a few you’ll want to try.
All the Fun of the Festival
The 28th International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival returns to the Royal Hall, Harrogate this month (from 10th–21st August). Packed full of entertainment, it’s a unique celebration of Sir Arthur Sullivan’s glorious music and W.S. Gilbert’s wit. The acclaimed National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company will perform three new productions and the must-see NGSOC show is the rarely-performed Utopia Limited, directed by Jeff Clarke and starring Richard Suart as King Paramount. Meanwhile, John Savournin directs a brand new production of Iolanthe starring Matthew Kellett as the Lord Chancellor, and running alongside the festival is a jam-packed fringe programme including talks, concerts and university productions. Tickets are selling fast!
See the Sights
For Yorkshire Day (1st August) two film makers produced a free cinematic film flying the flag for the county, narrated by Sean Bean. Scott Elliott and Sid Sadowskyj are celebrating their hard work and encouraging everyone to share the beauty of Yorkshire. Watch the trailer to see for yourself.
As August comes around so does the Ebor Festival (from 17th–20th August) at York Racecourse, surely one of the greatest racing events in the calendar. A real social occasion, it’s all about fantastic racing from start to finish, and it’s a great opportunity to dress up too. Highlights are the Juddmonte International, Ladies’ Day and Sky Bet Ebor.
Here Come the Boys
Oh, what a night. The internationally-acclaimed stage sensation Jersey Boys is back in the North East, starring Sunderland-born Michael Pickering as Frankie Valli alongside Lewis Griffiths as Nick Massi, Blair Gibson as Bob Gaudio and Dalton Wood as Tommy DeVito. The smash-hit musical goes behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons – four guys from New Jersey, who had a sound nobody had ever heard before. You’ll be dancing in the aisles. Get tickets to see the show at Newcastle Theatre Royal from 30th August.
Enjoy a great day out at Cragside in Northumberland over the summer holidays. Less than an hour from Newcastle, you can discover the pioneering past of this impressive Victorian home nestled in a huge grounds. Take the kids on an adventure through the Gorge. They can swoop and slide on the equipment in the play area, get closer to nature on a stroll around Nelly’s Moss Lake and explore the weaving paths of the labyrinth on a hunt for William the Wizard and Nelly’s Den.
Make a Splash
We’re hoping August will bring sunny weather, and less showers, because we’ll be heading to the coast to try some watersports. There’re plenty of places to get involved from sailing to surfing and SUP all the way from Whitby to Bamburgh.
Bringing together ground-breaking contemporary artists, Glass Exchange showcases four new works in locations across the North East, from Durham Cathedral to a disused shop in Sunderland. Pascale Marthine Tayou, Katie Paterson, Monster Chetwynd and Ryan Gander have been working with specialist teams at the National Glass Centre and have been collaborating with Sunderland-based artists who are experts in working with glass to exchange their skills. This is documented in a new exhibition at Sunderland’s National Glass Centre – running until September.
Don’t miss No Time Like The Present, a unique dance and music experience presented in the gardens at Wentworth Woodhouse (from 19th–28th August). The one-act ballet is a female-led production created and performed by a diverse team of five dancers, set to a synth pop score. Creative producer and dancer, Tala Lee-Turton will present this (her first live production in her home county) 10 years after making history when she began her training at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Moscow. She was the third British female to graduate from the Academy, in its then 245-year history – and the first from Yorkshire.
Hunt for Treasure
Treasure hunts, Punch and Judy, balloon modelling, face painting and plenty more awaits shipmates at Head of Steam’s Pirate Fun Day this August Bank Holiday (29th August) in Darlington. Plus, don’t miss the magic shows and pirate party games throughout the day.
Go Back in Time
With displays, talks, activities and re-enactors on every corner, there’s fun for all the family at Eden Camp at their August Living History Weekend (27th–28th August). Try your hand at ration recipes and explore the escape hatch of the Sherman Tank, or dance to live music in the engine shed and explore the Heritage Hall. Your children will learn lots while having plenty of fun.
Strike a Pose
North East sustainable children’s wear, women’s wear and lifestyle brand Freya Lillie are giving your child and family the chance to win a modelling contract with TTM Management to launch their modelling career, as well as star in their Autumn/Winter 2022 photoshoot this September. Freya Lillie are looking for families, as well as boys and girls aged 0–eight. They welcome everyone to get involved in the competition and join them in celebrating the beauty of individuality and diversity. Simply send a photo and your current clothing size to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the Freya Lillie shop (on Back Silver Street, Durham) to have your photo taken. The winners will be announced at the end of August.