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Top 12 ways to spend an alcohol-free day

Sunderland - Dry Jan 17

Stockton - Dry Jan 17

S Tyneside - Dry Jan 17

Redcar - Dry Jan 17

Northumberland - Dry Jan 17

N Tyneside - Dry Jan 17

Newcastle - Dry Jan 17

Hartlepool - Dry Jan 17

Gateshead - Dry January 17

Durham - Dry Jan 2017

Darlington Dry Jan 17

The North East has a lot of hidden gems. We’re lucky to have easy access to stunning countryside and coast, exciting attractions and plenty of fun activities, right here on our doorstep. The weather might not be too great in January, but indoors, outdoors, wherever you go, there’s nothing better than blowing away the cobwebs and discovering something new.

And what better way to do it than free of a dreaded hangover?

We’ve teamed up with our partners around the region to share ideas, hints and tips for things you can do when you take on the booze-free challenge for 31 days.

Join the millions of other people around the country taking part in Dry January and use it as your opportunity to try something different or visit somewhere you’ve never been before.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg – we’d love to hear all your ideas and adventures so we can share and celebrate all the great things about our region.

Find us at or tweet @BalanceNE and don’t forget to include #DryJanuary

1. Embrace community spirit at Pattinson House in Gateshead
A community hub in the Nest and Old Ford Estates, Pattinson House has activities and groups for people of all ages to enjoy.

2. Take a walk down memory lane in Walker Park
Revisit old memories by the newly restored Robert Burns statue and take a nostalgic stroll in the beautiful green spaces of Newcastle’s Walker Park. Facilities include a large play area and two football pitches, plus plenty for people of all ages to enjoy.

3. Enjoy a lakeside wander at Rising Sun Country Park
Recognised for its Green Flag Status, Benton’s Rising Sun Country Park in North Tyneside, offers a rich mix of heritage, nature and fun all in one location. Perfect for a winter wander to blow away the cobwebs, the lake offers peace and tranquillity, and you can sample delicious food at the onsite café.

4. See art with a difference at Northumberlandia – the lady of the north
Built into the land, Northumberlandia is a unique piece of public art set in a 46 acre community park with free public access and four miles of footpaths on and around the landform, along with a visitor centre and café.

5. Discover the beauty of storytelling at The Word
Let your imagination run wild at South Shields’ stunning new cultural venue, The Word. With a library, exhibitions and the immersive StoryWorld, people of all ages can embrace the joy of storytelling at the exciting national centre for the written word.

6. Be inspired at Sunderland Winter Gardens
Discover Sunderland’s fascinating history in one place. With a collection dating back to 1846 there are plenty of surprises including Wallace the Lion and the first Nissan car to roll off the production line at their Sunderland factory in 1986. In the tropical paradise of the Winter Gardens over 2,000 plants thrive in the glass rotunda and from the tree top walkway visitors have bird’s eye view of beautiful Mowbray Park.

7. Explore Durham’s newly revamped Wharton Park
A gem in the heart of Durham, Wharton Park has recently reopened with an array of new facilities to explore. Step inside and enjoy the new heritage centre, café, play areas and improvements to the park’s amphitheatre and surroundings. Take in the peace and quiet, it’s a breath of fresh air for everyone to enjoy.

8. Travel back in time at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Hartlepool
Step back in time at the North East’s premier maritime attraction, to experience how it was aboard a real British naval frigate, two centuries ago. Explore the historic quayside, featuring 'Pressganged', 'Fighting Ships', realistic period shops, houses and much more.

9. Embark on the ultimate family adventure at Air Trail Tees Barrage
Reach for the sky on the UK’s biggest Sky Trail™ high ropes adventure course. It’s like nothing you’ve experienced before. Four levels, 38 unique challenges, there’s something for everyone to conquer with an exciting assortment of rope bridges, tightropes, cargo nets and swinging stepping stones, all high above the River Tees. All that’s needed is a spirit of adventure!

10. Get active at The Dolphin Centre, Darlington
Swimming, soft play, indoor sports, fitness classes – there’s something active people of all ages can enjoy at The Dolphin Centre. With an alcohol-free January, now is the ideal time to kick start your health and fitness routine and sign up for something new.

11. Go behind the scenes with a Riverside Stadium tour
A must-do for every Boro fan, take a tour of the spectacular Riverside Stadium, home to Middlesbrough Football Club. Highlights include a behind the scenes look at the ref’s room, tunnel and pitch-side, with experienced guides on hand to illustrate the history and traditions of the club.

12. Ride the wave at FlowRider in The Heart, Redcar and Cleveland
Water, waves, boards, fun, fitness, sport – FlowRider in The Heart offers an exhilarating cross between surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding and wakeboarding, everyone can enjoy. Start your New Year in style with a great new activity to get fit, learn new skills and have-a-go at something different.

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