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  • Writer's pictureKelly

A Summer of fun in Sunderland - Find out what's on in this mega guide

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

There are lots of brilliant things going on in Sunderland for the summer holidays, I thought I would put together one mega list in a handy place for you to come back to when you are looking for inspiration. Click on the blue links to find out more I have tried my best to make sure everything I have listed is free or cheap. Please do let me know if I have missed anything or you have something running for summer and I will add it to this guide.

What's On

Bridges Sunderland - Arr Matey! Beach and a fab list of activities throughout Summer

3rd Aug 12-1.30 Litter Pick at the beach. Make your own sea creature from what you collect

10th Aug 12-1.30 Arts & Crafts. Decorate your own bucket & space to take home

17th Aug 12-1.30 Pirates & Mermaids. A fun interactive story session with tiara/hat making

24th Aug 12-1.30 Fish Hunt. Play catch a fish and make a fish wand

31st Aug 12-1.30 Pirate Picnic. Take along a picnic to enjoy on the beach. Dress up as a sea creature, pirate or princess.

3rd Sep 12-2 End of Summer Party. Seaside themed party with special guests

The beach is open Monday - Saturday 9.30- 4.30 Sunday quiet hour 11-12 followed by 12- 4

suitable for under 8 and is £2 per child. Parental supervision at all times. Tickets to be collected from the customer service kiosk.

Sunderland BID have some fab events on throughout summer.

Pop up park in Keel Square, with free activities and kids entertainment 11-3 every Monday

Fun in the sun sessions 11 - 3 every Monday

Taste Experience every Wednesday

Wake up, Shake up every Saturday

Free Jurassic Jungle VR Trail around the city using the Sunderland Experience app.

Sunderland Roller Rink is a popular addition this year £28 for a family ticket

You can also find Sunderland Wall offering climbs on the mobile wall for 50p!

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens - Another great free attraction in Sunderland.

Plans are going ahead to update the museum. We can't wait to see what they come up with.

Pyrex Pattern Trail 27th July - 21st Oct £2.50 per sheet and you can collect a prize at the end.

Maritime Mondays - Shipwreck 1st Aug 11-12.30 & 1.30 - 3 Free drop in

Arty Wednesdays - Make Kente Patterns 1.30- 3 Free drop in

Maritime Mondays - Creatures of the deep 8th Aug, 11-12.30 Free drop in

Discovery Zoo 24th Aug. Limited tickets left. Meet some of the creatures. £3 per child (Booking is a must for this one)

Arty Wednesdays Taste Tribes 17th Aug, 1.30-3 free drop in, Make textile artwork.

Big Science Bubble Fest. 22 Aug, £5 per child. 11am, 1pm, 2.30pm. Learn about the science of bubbles and lots more

Pyrex Fridays Animal Sculptures 26th Aug, 11, 12.30, 1.30, 3pm Free drop in

Arty Wednesday Pop up winter gardens 31 Aug 1.30-3 Free drop in

Tuesday Museum Club 6th September this runs every month and is suitable for ages 5-11 £3.50 10am-11.30am

National Glass Centre

Free daily glass demos. Although be warned, it is super warm in there. The Glass Centre is free to enter and you can find a few exhibitions plus kiddies colour area.

Ceramic Sandcastles & Sea Sculptures. Saturday 30th July, 13th, 27th Aug & 3rd Sep also running Wednesdays 27th July, 3rd, 17th, 31st Aug 10am-11.30am. £10 pp limited spaces

Coastal animal glass painting 29th July, 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th Aug 10am, 11.30am, 2pm ages 4+. £4

Marvellous Mobiles 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th Aug 10am, 11.30am, 2pm Ages 4+ £5

Rainbow Rockets Glass Fusing 2nd Aug 10am, 11.30am, 2pm Ages 6+ £12pp

Fantastic Fish Glass Fusing 16th, 30th Aug Ages 6+ £12pp

Sunderland Empire

Musical theatre, drumming & creative cooking workshops 9th-12th Aug, 10am-2pm Ages 8-12. Free to take part

Seventeen Nineteen

Crafts & creativity 15th-19th Aug 10am-2pm ages 4-11. Free to take part

Sunderland College, Bede Campus

Song writing 22nd-25th Aug 10am-3pm ages 13-16

Arts Centre Washington

Free Arts Workshops ages 11-19. Tuesdays 1.30pm-3.30pm , Thursdays 10-12 Sign up using the online form

The Tortoise & The Hare, A Suitcase Story £7pp 16th Aug, 1pm, 3pm

Inspector Drake & The Black Widow £6pp. 18th - 20th Aug 7.30pm

Aerial Arts creative workshop & Creative cooking 2nd-5th Aug 12.30pm - 4.30pm Ages 8-12

Sunderland Bangladeshi Centre

A range of free activities taking place including games, picnics in the park, arts & crafts, sports and lots more. Everyone is welcome. Suitable for ages 5-12 years. Starting 25th July for 4 weeks 11am-2.30pm

Pop Recs Sunderland

Family art days 30th July - you can book for 2, 3 or 4 people (helps to keep numbers to a minimum) 10am-11am, 11am-12pm

Harry's Game Shack

Harry's breakfast club £7.50 Mon-Fri 10am-12pm. You get 2 hours of gaming, pop tarts and juice

Space Camp Sunderland

Located on Marine Walk Roker, £6pp for a 25 minute experience.Running throughout the holidays until 20th August.

Stack Seaburn

All Free to enjoy

Winkle & Storm Pirate Show 28th July 12pm-2pm

Magic Monday with Magician Marvin 12pm-2pm, 4pm-6pm

Mickey & Minnie mouse 2nd Aug 12pm-2pm

Toy Story 3rd Aug 12pm-2pm

Little Mix Tribute 4th Aug 1pm-3pm

Winkle & Storm Pirate Show 6th Aug 12pm-2pm

Magician Marvin 8th Aug 12pm-2pm, 4pm-6pm

Frozen & Belle 9th Aug 12pm-2pm

Cinderella 10th Aug 12pm-2pm

Magician Marvin 15th Aug 12pm-2pm, 4pm-6pm

Celebration of Encanto 16th Aug 12pm-2pm

Peter Pan & Tinkerbell 17th Aug 12pm-2pm

Winkle & Storm Pirate Show 18th Aug 12pm-2pm

Magician Marvin 19th Aug 12pm-2pm, 4pm-6pm

Celebration of Paw Patrol 23rd Aug 12pm -2pm

Rapunzel & Jasmine 24th Aug12pm-2pm

Winkle & Storm Pirate Show 25th Aug 12pm-2pm

Magician Marvin 29th Aug 12pm-2pm, 4pm-6pm

Mickey & Minnie Mouse 30th Aug 12pm-2pm

Celebration of Encanto 31st 12pm-2pm

Big Chef Little Chef series, Kids Cookery Workshops with Mateo Baran from Posh Street Food on Selected Mondays 8th, 15th, 25th Aug 5th Sep. For Ages 6+ Maximum of 10 kids

Adventure Sunderland

Running the Adventure days sessions throughout August and I think it is such a bargain.

Suitable for ages 8-16 years. Kids get to experience kayaking, canoeing, Rifle shooting, Archery, Paddleboard. £8 per session or £30 for the Adventure days

WWT Washington

Junior Wetland Rangers can enjoy a full timetable of activities such as pond dipping, animal tracking, den building, nest detectives, moth mornings, bug hunts and lots more. 23rd July - 3rd September

Back On The Map - Hendon

Fancy A Day Out programme running Monday & Wednesday for ages 5-11 years. Lunch is provided and places must be booked in advance

Hendon Together free family fun event in Barley Mow Park 29th July 11am-2pm

Durham Wildlife Trust, Rainton Meadows

Wild Green Days 8th Aug-10Aug 10.30-2.30

A three day summer school. Lunch is provided, booking is essential although it is free.

Please note days 1 & 2 will take place at Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve and Day 3 will take place at Hetton Lyons Country Park so you must be able to travel to the locations each day.

Souter Lighthouse NT

Seashore Safari 31st July, 14th & 30th August. £1 per child

Summer of sports running until 31st August. Free event. 11am-3.30pm

Bird ball making 4th, 25th Aug 11am-4pm £2.50

Create a Cress Head 11 Aug & 1st Sep 11am-4pm £2

The Palm Sunderland

Attenborough's Apprentices 28th July 1pm-2pm & 2.30pm-3.30pm £5 per child

Minnie & Mickey Family Fun day 31st July 1pm-4pm Meet & Greet, Disco, Crafts, Games and more. £5 per child

Beacon Of Light

Massive range of activities throughout the holidays check out the website for more. See below for an idea of what's on offer.

All 28th July

Little Dribblers Playgroup 9.30-11.30 £3

Robots Primary under 11 - 10am-12pm £10

Futsal ages 12-14 1pm-3pm £8

Summer Reading Challenge with Libraries

Gadgeteers - Various activities taking place for free. Call into your local libraries to find out more.

The Play Café Sunderland

Lunch With Moana 4th Aug

Drama Class for ages 4-6 4th Aug

Rockpool School 18th Aug very limited spaces

Rockpool School 25th Aug limited places

Teddy Bears Picnic 30th Aug

Everyone Active have a range of summer activities for free. Places are limited.

Just a few ideas (contact your local centre to find out more) usually for ages 8-11

Hetton Lyons Community Pool

Raich Carter Centre

Silksworth Sport Complex

Washington Leisure Centre

Active Sunderland Summer Family Fun Days

Free activities for all, no booking needed. You can expect giant garden games, mini tennis, mini golf, obstacle course and lots lots more

3rd Aug Princess Anne Park - Washington

10th Aug Barnes Park

20th/21st Roker Park

31st Mowbray Park

Usworth Welfare Park

6th Aug Washington Miners Picnic 11am-3pm. Parade, face paints, crafts and more

Oxclose Play Park

Pop up play- Every Thursday until 1st Sept. 4pm-6pm Free fun activities plus free packed lunch contact the centre to find out more or to book

Thorney Close Action & Enterprise Park

Running 3rd, 5th, 10th, 12th, 17th & 18th Aug Free summer of fun activities includes a free lunch plus snacks Suitable for ages 10-17 Booking recommended. contact the centre to find out more.

Also running for ages 8-11 3rd,5th,10th,12th,17th,19th Aug contact the centre to find out more or to book

Shiney Row Holiday Summer Zone Penshaw Community Centre - Indoor & Outdoor activities with free snacks & lunch

Running :

2nd,3rd,4th 9.15am-1.15pm

8th,9th,10th,11th Aug 9.15am-1.15pm

15th,16th,17th,18th 9.15am-1.15pm

Booking is recommended contact the centre to find out more or to book

Hylton Castle Craigavon Road - Free fun activities for ages 7-11 with free snacks and lunch


2nd, 4th, 5th 12pm-4pm

9th, 11th, 12th 12pm-4pm

16th, 18th, 19th 12pm-4pm

contact the centre to find out more or to book

Houghton Rec Park Holiday Zone

Free Activities


8th 4pm-6pm

15th 4pm-6pm

22nd 4pm-6pm

30th 4pm-6pm

contact the centre to find out more or to book

Flatts Youth Centre Summer Holiday Zone

Free activities plus lunch

Running: 2nd & 6th Aug 11.30am-1.30pm

contact the centre to find out more or to book

Coalfields Summer Holiday Zone

Kirklea Playing Field - 9th,16th,23rd Aug & 1st Sep. 2.30pm-6.30pm

Houghton Sports Centre 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st Aug. 2.30pm-6.30pm

Claremont Drive 8th, 15th, 22nd, 30th 2.30pm-6.30pm

Copt Hill Fridays from 3.30pm-5.30pm

contact the centres to find out more or to book

Harraton Community Association

Fridays until 2nd Sept. 12.45-2.45

contact the centre to find out more or to book

Carnival House & Kitchen Southwick

2nd Aug - Preschool Fun 10am, Baby Bop 1pm

3rd Aug - Baby Bootcamp 10am, Animation Workshop 1pm

4th Aug - Preschool Fun 10am, Crazy Crafts 10.30am, Baby Bop 1pm

5th Aug - Baby Bootcamp 10am

6th Aug - Family Magic Show 11am

Box Youth & Community Project

Few spaces available for

2nd Aug - Forest School 9.30am-12.30pm School Years 1/2/3

3rd Aug - Multi-sports 9.30am-11pm School Years 1/2/3

3rd Aug - Multi-sports 11.30am-1pm School Years 4/5/6

3rd Aug - Cookery & Sports 1.30pm-5.30pm School Years 4/5/6

4th Aug - Youth Club 2pm-3.30pm School Years 1/2/3

4th Aug - Youth Club 4pm-5.30pm School Years 4/5/6

5th Aug - Nicks Nutty Games 9.30am-1.30pm School Years 1/2

5th Aug - Forest School 2pm-5pm School Years 3/4/5

(Booking is needed and it is first come first served)

Other ideas you can do for free include

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens - Take a look around the museum, wander through the winter gardens and look out for the fish!

Sunderland Sculpture Trail ( You can grab a leaflet from the Glass Centre) we love doing this! Start at the glass centre, work your way along to Roker, enjoy the beach grab an Ice cream then go dolphin spotting along Roker Pier.

Enjoy the gorgeous beaches. We have a few to choose from Roker, Seaburn, Whitburn, Hendon and Ryhope beach are all beautiful. Ryhope beach is not suitable for those with mobility issues or pushchairs as there are lots of steps to get down.

Hike up Penshaw Monument and enjoy the views and then walk down to Cox Green and enjoy a lovely river/woodland walk

Head up Tunstall Hill and enjoy the views, if the grass is short you could also enjoy a picnic

Visit A Play Park!

Roker Park which sometimes has a miniature railway and free crafts/trails on a Sunday

Herrington Country Park - The biggest park in Sunderland. You will find a play park, woodland walk, lots of birds to feed (seed please) and plenty of picnic spots

Silksworth leisure complex has a pretty impressive play area

Hylton Castle which also has a disability swing (you need a radar key to use it)

Mowbray park has a half decent play area and the park is lovely and well kept

Backhouse Park is ideal for those who like somewhere a bit quieter

Ryhope Playing Fields has a fairly new play park

Ryhope Cricket Club has a lovely little play area for the younger kids (it is quite small though)

Thompson Park (Southwick end) has a good play area and loads of room to run around.

Downhill Sports Complex

James Steel Park

Hetton Lyons Country Park

Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve has a lovely wild play area

Barnes Park

Silksworth Park (we love the tennis courts in here!)

Check out these other posts

What's on guide for Summer 2022

13 places to go for a walk in Sunderland

32 things to do in and around Sunderland

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