We’ve only lived in this city for three years but the novelty of living somewhere where things happen definitely hasn’t worn off. We have attended all sorts of free family days out. Unfortunately they’re not always well advertised but if you look in the right places you’re bound to find things going on.

Firstly keep an eye peeled about town for posters or banners.

Search about on social media.  Local mummy Facebook sites are also a good source of info (if you can siphon out the bullshit about whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding wins or arguments about someone potty training too late). Durham Bid is a good source of info for Durham. There will be touristy sites too which will advertise local events.

Actually look through the shit that comes home in book bags and through the letter box, local magazines and leaflets. I used to almost immediately bin them until I realised how much stuff is going on locally.

Here’s what I’ve found in the Durham  area coming up in the next few weeks and the run up to Christmas. If I’ve missed anything off please let me know and I’ll add it on.

Doorstep Orchard

Live in Durham?  Like making bird boxes, creating minibeast homes, playing games or decorating trees? Come and join OASES for lots of family fun in Framwellgate Orchard.  We will be running free family activity sessions on:

Monday 24th October 2016,10am– 12noon
Monday 20th February 2017, 10am– 12noon 
Monday 10th April 2017, 10am– 12noon

Great North Snowdog


St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice has teamed up with Wild in Art to stage Tyne and Wear’s biggest ever mass-participation, public art event – Great North Snowdogs!

The interactive trail features 61 large scale Snowdog sculptures, decorated by artists and inspired by the much loved animated short film, The Snowman™ and The Snowdog. Until 29th November 2016 you can follow the trail using our map, unlock special offers using our dedicated app and to try to see as many of the sculptures as possible.

Sunderland Illuminations


Bigger and brighter than ever before, Sunderland Illuminations will take place in Roker Park and along the seafront from 24 September until 5 November. Lights are on 5-10pm every night, last entry into Roker Park is 9pm.

Celebrate Science 2016


Following the great success of the ‘Celebrate Science’ event in October 2015, Durham University invites you to join us on Tuesday 25th, Wednesday 26th and Thursday 28th of October 2016 for three fun packed and fascinating days of free events, activities, workshops, experiments and lectures celebrating science.

Take Off Festival 


Our fabulous TakeOff Family Day takes place on Saturday 22 October 2016 from 10am – 4pm when we will be taking over Durham City Centre with heaps of marvellous activities and shows for all of the family to enjoy.

This year is set to be our biggest yet with six brilliant shows for children of all ages running throughout the day at venues across Durham centre. Why not take part in one of our free family music workshops or make something in our arts and crafts sessions. We’ve got storytelling, face painting, street theatre and a rather marvellous moustache trail. Take a look at what’s happening and come along and have fun with TakeOff Festival 2016!

My family will definitely be making the most of these events. I hope you and your family find this useful.