AFTER the busy build-up and celebrations, Boxing Day can come as something of an anticlimax – and leave us feeling at a loose end.
Here are five things to do to beat the post-Christmas blues and save you from going stir crazy:
1) Stretch your legs with a festive walk.
Getting out in the fresh air is the perfect way to help burn off the turkey and mince pies, as well as recovering from stressful shopping trips and claustrophobic family gatherings.
Easy rambles close to home include Penshaw Monument, Tunstall Hill, Sunderland seafront, Herrington Country Park and Cleadon Hills.
But if you fancy something a further afield, County Durham and Northumberland offer some breathtaking beaches and spectacular countryside to explore.
2) Hit the sales.
If you’re not spent up or sick at the sight of shops, Boxing Day is a great time to pick up a bargain as the post-Christmas sales being.
The Bridges is open from 9am to 5.30pm, and a range of other shopping centres and stores across the North East will be opening their doors for dedicated shopaholics.
3) Brave the Boxing Day Dip.
Hundreds of brave soles will be sloshing about in the icy-cold North Sea as the annual Boxing Day Dip aims to raise thousands for charity.
It’s not to late to enter, with late entries accepted at 9.30am at the Seaburn Centre. You can, however, stay warm and dry while cheering them on from the beach. The event begins at 11am at Seaburn Beach. More details here.
4) Head to the flicks.
The festive season is one of the best times to visit the cinema, with schedules bristling with blockbusters.
The concluding instalment of The Hobbit trilogy, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, a remake of Annie and Ridley Scott’s latest outing Exodus: Gods and Kings are among those tipped to pull in the biggest crowds.
5) Go to a pantomime.
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s a reason this is one of Britain’s longest-running Christmas traditions.
A few rounds of “oh, yes it is – oh, no it isn’t” will almost certainly beat off the winter blues.
The Sunderland Empire’s offering this year is Snow White, starring Su Pollard, Matt Lapinskas and Andrew Agnew.