15 Things You Can Do At Home During Lockdown In Teesside

4 May 2020

Anyone else keep forgetting what day it is? It feels like we've been in lockdown for an absolute eternity and given that an end date isn't quite yet in sight, it's too easy to slip into a bit of a downer about it. Trust me, I get lethargic and mopey about the whole thing too - I'd love to be able to go out and explore freely, go try out all the local food, and discover all the hidden bits of Teesside. But on the flip side, being stuck at home doesn't have to all doom and gloom, especially if you're from this little area of the North East.

Us Teessiders are known for rallying together when the times get tough and this has been so apparent during this covid situation. I've seen so many messages of support and absolutely tons of local businesses offering their services, either digitally or through takeaway and delivery. It's been heartwarming, to say the least!

That's why I thought for today's post, I'd share a list of things that you can do from home in Teesside, courtesy of some of our fabulous indie businesses. There's something for everyone in this list and I've included sections in food, fitness, arts & crafts, and just for fun, so take a look and see what could be keeping you busy!


1. Barbs DIY pizza kits
There's no one on the face of the planet that doesn't like pizza and you can make your own with the Barbs DIY pizza kits. Barbs, formerly known as Barbarossa, is a woodfired pizza kitchen on Bedford Street and they're delivering kits to people's doors, so that they can get creative in the kitchen. For only £14.95, you can bag yourself a pizza kit with enough dough, sauce and mozzarella to make three 10" pizzas. All you need to do is add the toppings! Throw whatever you like on top of your pizzas or stick to the classic margarita style, then serve them up on boards for a date night in.

2. Step-by-step recipes from Fork In The Road
The Fork In The Road is a gorgeous restaurant in Middlesbrough, launched by our very own Andy Preston as part of the Recovery Connections initiative. They offer work experience, training opportunities and mentoring to the long-term unemployed and those who wouldn't otherwise get the chance to work in a supportive setting. Throughout lockdown, the restaurant are posting step-by-step recipes on their Facebook, so you can cook your favourite dish at home! Just head to their Facebook photos to see all the uploads so far - at the time of writing, there's a parmo recipe, a custard recipe and even homemade pasta!

Source - The Fork In The Road

3. Homemade parmo kits from The Vault
Craving a parmo as much as I am? Try making your own by using a kit from The Vault, Marske. This bar and kitchen is a popular spot in the seaside town for their parmo and pizza offerings, so it's only right that they give us the tools to try and craft our own. With the breadcrumbed chicken, extra special bechamel sauce, mozzarella, red Leicester and a baking try all included, there's no way to mess this up and you could be having perfectly cooked parmos from your very own kitchen. (These kits will be delivered to Marske , Redcar, Skelton, Saltburn, New Marske and Dormanstown)

4. The Open Jar parmo kits
If you can't get delivery from Marske, give the parmo kit from The Open Jar, Norton a try! These guys are delivering in the Stockton and Billingham areas, and again, their kits are filled with everything you need to create your very own Teesside takeaway, including the chicken, breadcrumbs and bechamel sauce. It's great if you aren't able to get out to the supermarket (or don't want to stand in a mega queue). It's also worth me pointing out that The Open Jar parmos were in the finals of the World Parmo Championships last year, so something tell me that these kits will be pretty darn good.


5. Ananda Wellbeing online yoga classes
The Albert North-based yoga studio, Ananda Wellbeing, is pretty new to the scene, but they've taken lockdown by storm and helped shape it into a very nicely structured down dog. Every week, they've got a line up of online yoga classes and live sessions that you can take part in via Zoom. I believe that some of them may have a small cost (I'm talking like £3), but I'm sure that the team wouldn't mind if you dropped them a message to check! So what are you waiting for? Grab your mat, put on something comfortable and get your flex on!

6. Online pilates classes with Rachel Chapman
Explore the world of core strength and mind-body connection with the online pilates classes from Boro-based Rachel Chapman. This lovely lady will be hopping on to Zoom every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday to bring you a workout that you can do in your own living room, garden or exercise space. Make sure you follow the instructions on her Facebook event to choose your slot and book. Each session is £3 and money will be accepted during the booking process, so all that's left to do is get your gym gear on and get ready to stretch.

7. Online bootcamp with TWR Personal Training
If you're missing the adrenaline rush and satisfying ache from your gym sessions, why not get your sweat on with TWR's bootcamp sessions? Rose specialises in empowering Teesside women and catering her workouts to suit her clients' needs, and her bootcamp has proven to be very popular over the past few weeks! However, if the word 'bootcamp' scares you a bit, why not try out some of her circuit videos that she uploads to her Facebook page? I'm sure that once you give them a go, you'll be kicking butt in the bootcamp sessions in no time!

Arts & crafts

8. Make & Mend craft kits
I'm honestly heartbroken that Make & Mend festival won't be happening this year, but the dynamite duo behind the event and owners of Make & Mend Co. are still producing and selling craft kits. Each of their stitch kits contains a hoop, thread, a needle, fabric, wadding, backing fabric and instructions, so you've got everything you could possibly need to create something whilst in lockdown. Stitching is also a great craft for relaxation, reducing stress and anxiety, and encouraging a bit of patience - something we all need during lockdown. Take a look at their kits and pick out a slogan that speaks to you!

9. Arty challenges with MIMA's #mimamaking
Get your creative juices flowing with weekly art prompts from MIMA and Katie! This duo are running a bit of a campaign throughout lockdown called #mimamaking, which is designed to get you thinking outside the box when it comes to your artwork. For example, the prompt may be 'landscapes' and Katie will provide a video with suggestions on how to make your work unique - it could be drawing with your 'wrong' hand, trying to create your piece while hanging off the edge of the bed or even using someone else's hand to draw. It's a reminder to enjoy the art process! Then you can join the community and share photos using #mimamaking. It sounds like a lot of fun, so it's perfect for the creatives.

10. ARC Stockton's We ARConnected
Stockton ARC are on a bit of a mission to connect the people of Teesside through their creativity and build an exhibition of work. No matter what discipline you specialise in, whether it's art, photography, textiles, crafts, or even music or poetry, they want you to get involved! All you need to do is get in touch with them at connected@arconline.co.uk. Every fortnight, you'll get a theme and a 'hand in date', then you can go about creating your pieces. You can send your finished work to the email address provided or post it to ARC, Dovecot Street, Stockton On Tees, TS18 1LL, and it will all be compiled and transformed into an exhibition once the lockdown is over! You can create whatever you like - your own recipes, a short story, a multi media piece of art, short films, soft craft projects - anything at all!

Just for fun

11. Teesside Hospice quiz & Big Night In
Everyone loves a quiz during lockdown and here on Teesside, we're lucky that Teesside Hospice are running one every Saturday night (8PM) via Facebook Live. It's totally free to take part, but as this is a charity, you are more than welcome to make a donation towards palliative care in our region. All you need to do is bring a pen, some paper, yourself and maybe a little team, and watch along with the live show. There's three rounds of 10 questions, so get your thinking caps on and get involved! On Saturday 16th May (7PM), you can also take part in their Big Night In, a fun event where we can all work together to hit 10,000 steps and raise funds! Get ready to dress up, dance and do little tasks to help the charity get their daily step count - it's going to be a fantastic night. Check out the Facebook event for more info!

12. Boro's Got Talent 2020
Think you've got what it takes to perform live on stage at Middlesbrough Town Hall? Now is your chance to shine with the Boro's Got Talent 2020 competition! Whether you're a prima ballerina, the next Adele or Ed Sheeran, a Mozart-worthy musician, a belly laugh-inducing comedian or something completely different, the Town Hall want to see you strut your stuff. All you need to do is record yourself doing your talent (or get someone else to record it for you), then post it to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #borosgottalent2020. You'll be in with the chance of winning an opening slot to perform live before a huge act on the Town Hall's stage! It's a fantastic opportunity and could be a whole lot of fun. This will be running throughout lockdown, so you've got a bit of time to think about your video performance and post it.

Source - Love Middlesbrough
13. The Georgian Theatre Live Stream Sessions
I'm missing live gigs so much and a couple that I had lined up have been postponed, which is so gutting, but we can all get our fix, thanks to The Georgian Theatre. Every Saturday night (7:30 - 8PM), you can head to their Facebook page to enjoy their Live Stream Sessions, a series of live videos with a different artist performing each week. As The Georgian are well known for supporting the local music scene at full throttle, you can expect to see some of Teesside's musical gems in the line up, as well as plenty of other musicians from a range of genres for you to discover.

14. Drake The Bookshop's lockdown reading pharmacy
I flipping love Drake The Bookshop. It's one of those little shops that's tucked away, but when you find it, it's like discovering Aladdin's cave and all of the treasure inside. Because I love it so much, you can imagine just how excited I was to find out about their lockdown reading pharmacy. Basically, Drake have set up a new service for the lockdown period where you tell them what genres you like, what you last read, which other books you've enjoyed, and they'll choose a book from their shelves and deliver it to you. The catch is that you don't know what book you're getting until it arrives! I think this is such a fun idea for bookworms and they've even got a kids reading pharmacy too. (This service is only running in Stockton)

15. Virtual hard hat tour of The Globe Theatre
If you fancy learning a bit of history during lockdown, the lovely people at The Globe Theatre have put together a virtual hard hat tour for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own sofa, complete with interviews and a sprinkling of nostalgia. The theatre officially opened its doors back in 1935 and became the stage for tons of huge acts, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Morecambe & Wise, T-Rex and so many more. The theatre closed in 1974 and it sat empty on Stockton High Street, gathering dust for years. But with all of the restoration work and projects that have gone into this historic venue, the doors are set to open again later this year, and you can get a sneak peek behind the scenes with this tour! Keep your eyes peeled on The Globe's Facebook page for other snippets of Stockton history.

Phew, that's quite a list and I know for a fact that there'll be lots of other little bits and bobs that I've missed. But these are some of my favourite Teesside-based lockdown activities and I hope that there was a couple that sparked your interest. If not, social media is definitely your best friend, so hop on, have a search about or even ask for suggestions from friends and family. There are plenty of small, indie businesses in our region and I'm sure that one of them will have something available to keep you entertained!

Of course, if you're from outside of the Teesside area, you can still get involved with the online bits that I've talked about. So don't be shy - come and join the fun up north! And if you are getting involved with any of the local businesses, don't forget to spread the love and tag them in your social posts.

What else have you been doing to pass the time in lockdown?

Would you like to comment?