North East Connected

Summer fun heading to Darlington

A fun-packed programme of events is heading to Darlington this summer, with plenty to keep kids of all ages occupied.

The town centre will be transformed as the popular Darlington by the Sea returns to the Market Square at the end of the month (25-27 July) offering all the fun of the seaside for the whole family.

The holidays will blast off to dizzy heights as the annual Summer Reading Challenge – Space Chase in Darlington Libraries gets underway (13 July – 7 September). Space Cadets aged 2-16 can borrow books and earn themselves an out of this world experience at either Create and Paint or the Gamers Lounge.

Other library events include Fun with Lego, Space Chase Arts and Crats, Scrap Junk Challenge, Bear’s Adventures, Superheroes show, mind boggling magic with Tom Rolfe, Princess party Toy Story fun and games, stop animation workshops and Harry Potter Day.

The Head of Steam’s summer programme features a host of events from All the fun of the fair on Sunday 21 July, 10am-4pm. There will also be activities on offer throughout the summer holidays including Romans at the Railway Museum, crafts from around the world, crazy creatures, Acorn Antics, circus skills workshop, jewellery and model making and Time Travel Tuesdays – for details pick up a copy of the museum’s events leaflet or visit the website.

The museum is also playing host to two special exhibitions over the summer – the Moon Exhibition, which runs until 26 August, and Play and Display: Paper and Card Toys Exhibition, open until 1 September.

There’s a lot to shout about in Darlington and the town will play host to the British Town Crier Championship on Saturday, 3 August, 11am-3pm.


Sports fans can saddle up for the latest in the series of cycle rides – The Castles Ride – on Sunday 4 August, and thousands of runners will take to the streets for the annual SG Petch Darlington 10K on Sunday 11 August. There will also be the Darlington Junior 3K for ages 8-14-year-olds along with a family fun run for all ages. Further details and how to enter can be found at

The Cornmill Centre is offering a safari-themed summer of fun with special stay and play activities taking place in the centre between 11am and 3pm on three consecutive Mondays – 5, 12 and 19 August. Look out for more details in the centre or online at

The popular annual GOLD Tea Dance, will be offering up live music, tea and scones, information stalls, as well as plenty of opportunities to lead your partner around the dance floor in the Market Square on Thursday 15 August, 11am-3pm.

Darlington’s first ever Drum Festival also takes to the streets on Friday 16 August, 11am-7pm, with live performances, drum circles and workshops offering you the chance to give it a try. There’s also more live music in the Market Square on Sunday 25 August with Mish Mash, a family music event 1-8pm.

The Darlington Vintage Vehicle Rally will be motoring into the town centre on Saturday 24 August, 10am-4pm, with a selection of fine vehicles from yesteryear on display and the Head of Steam will play host to the popular Model Railway Weekend, Saturday 31 August – Sunday 1 September, 10am-4pm.

Active families can also take part in a whole range of sports and activities at the Dolphin Centre and Eastbourne Sports Complex. These include junior gym, junior badminton/squash, Disney inspired Toy Story 4 sessions, trampolining, athletics and football camps as well as fun in the pool with The Determinator inflatable and pool parties. For details contact the Dolphin Centre on 01325 406411 or visit:

Cllr Paul Howell, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for leisure and the local environment, said:

“Our events team and town centre partners have worked hard to put together a packed programme of events that promises to be out of this world, with space-themed activities and a terrific summer of sound for everyone to enjoy.

“There’s also plenty to do for the more active among us, not least our popular series of cycle rides. I’ll be one of the many runners taking part in this year’s SG Petch Darlington 10k and will be joining in the fun at as many of the events as I can – do say hi if you see me!

“With so many events going on this summer you won’t be bored here in Darlington, which has everything you need including shops, cafes and bars, right here on your doorstop.”

Some activities may require booking and while some are free, charges do apply for others. More details of what’s on offer in Darlington over the summer can be found in the #LoveDarlo events leaflet or follow them on Facebook @LoveDarloUK or pick up a copy of Darlington Libraries Summer Activity Programme or the Head of Steam Events leaflet which are available at venues across the town centre. Details of events can also be found online at

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