8 things to do on a budget in Sunderland during school half term

With the schools now closed for the half term break I’m sure you’ll be wondering what you are going to do with them to keep them occupied for the week!

Here is a list of eight things to do with your children in Sunderland during the school holiday that we are sure will keep everyone happy, entertained and excited. Find out what you can do below!

1. Herrington Country Park

Autumn evening at Herrington Country Park

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Photo courtesy of: @andrewmcneill

Herrington Country park is one of the largest parks in Sunderland many events are held here because of the sheer size of the area.

It offers a variety of walking and cycle trails for all levels, ranging from 1km up to 3km – all the routes can be found online at: http://www.sunderland.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2441

This is a great place to take you kids and let them run wild and what’s even better is… it won’t cost you a thing, there is no entry price into the park!

2. National Glass Centre

Photo courtesy of: @helengraham0365

During the half term break the National Glass Centre in Sunderland is hosting a variety of activities suitable for all age ranges. Including the likes of; Ghoulish Ghost Painting, Glass Blowing Demonstrations, Marvellous Mobiles, Shadow Lanterns and Funky Fusing.

Some of the daily activities are free, but some also have entry fees – all information on entry fees, start and finish times and age ranges can found at the following website: http://www.nationalglasscentre.com/about/whatson/thisweek/

3. Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens

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Photo courtesy of: @janchristinebird

Visit Sunderland Museum to learn all about Sunderland’s past!

There is a huge-range of items and artefacts to discover including Wallace the Lion who has been in the Museum for 135 years – go get your photo taken with Wallace! The Winter Gardens is a recent addition found at the back of the museum and is a tropical paradise – it is home to over 2000 plants in the rotunda.

You can walk the stairs or get the lift to the top of the building and get a birds eye view of the Winter Gardens and of Mowbray park in the background.

4. Hylton Castle

Photo courtesy of: @edkluz

Hylton Castle has stood since just before 1400, the four storey tall castle built by Sir William Hylton is an epic vision to look at as you first enter the grounds from the ‘free’ car park!

It is situated in stunning grounds that visitors can explore and get lovely photos of – please note that if you are planning a visit to Hylton castle you can’t gain access into the castle interior.

This would be a wonderful place to visit if you wanted to get some lovely family photos over the holiday break.

5. Roker Park – Illuminations

Sunderland light festival thing was soo pretty! #lights #Sunderland #rokerparkilluminations #gianttap

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Photo courtesy of: @ellielucyfuters

The annual Roker Park Illuminations are still on during the school break!!!

The theme for the lights this year is, all things Disney. The light display starts at the beginning of Roker Beach and stretches all the way across the coastline – the main lights display is based inside Roker Park itself, containing a vast light show and includes a variety of catering outlets and fun family activities including a crazy golf course.

Entry into the park this year is £2 per person at the gate or you can book online for £1 per person before you arrive – the lights along the beach front are on every night but the lights inside Roker Park are on from Thursday through to Sunday.

Tickets can be booked online at: https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/WEBAPPS/WSS/Sunderland_Portal/forms/PaymentOnlyeventsFrm.aspx

6. Spooky Trail @ Winter Gardens


Photo courtesy of: @patholt

Every day until the 31 October 2017 for £2.50 you and your children can get a trail sheet for the Winter Gardens and follow the trail to locate the hidden spooky stories and hidden treasures in the museum collections.

Find all of the hidden items around the Winter Gardens to win a PRIZE!!!

You can take part in the event Monday-Saturday 10am till 4pm and Sunday 12am till 4pm.

7. Museums @ Night – Spooky Science Party


Photo courtesy of: @vanessa.jiron

This is one not to be missed! This event is also taking place at the Winter Gardens on Thursday 26 October and Friday 27 October between 5pm and 8:30pm.

You will get the opportunity to make gooey slime and take part in some wacky and explosive science experiments, you will do a tour of the Winter Gardens by torchlight and make some creepy crafts including bat hats and wolf masks!

Eden café situated in the entrance to the Winter Gardens will be open for you to buy food and drinks while the event is running – tickets for children are priced at £5 and must be pre-booked from the museum shop.

8. Spooky Trails and Tails @ Washington Old Hall

Little trip to Washington Old Hall.

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Photo courtesy of: @pauldavidbaker

This event is running from Monday October 23 to Sunday October 29. The events run from 11am till 3pm each day with activities including the likes of; scary trails and tails around the gardens and pumpkin carving.

Some of the events come with admission charges and full details can be found online at: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/f5b609af-3dac-49da-8f86-90cfae83eb13/pages/details

All the dates are still available for booking – and all children must be accompanied by an adult!

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