Eight family favourites for half term in Sunderland

Penshaw Monument is the starting point for a four-mile circular walk.
Penshaw Monument is the starting point for a four-mile circular walk.
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As families across the city enjoy some time out from the rush of the school run this week, Wearside Matters has put together a top eight of family-friendly things to see and do in the city this half term.

As the weather gets warmer and the city’s young people enjoy a hard-earned rest from school, there’s plenty going on across Sunderland to keep the whole family entertained.

1) Down Ducklings

For animal lovers, Washington Wetland Centre and their specialist duckery will get the whole family feeling chirpy. Meet the latest fluffy arrivals and get exclusive access to the outdoor nurseries, where it is possible to see little ducklings and goslings taking their first wobbly steps.

2) National Glass Centre

There’s a range of activities taking place at the National Glass Centre this half term, including the chance to paint a glass postcard; create a glass collage and mould a glass shape, all running across the holidays.

3) Jurassic Gardens

Hidden amongst the lush vegetation of The Winter Gardens’ indoor garden, is a collection of dinosaur models waiting to be discovered. See a baby T Rex as it hatches from its giant egg, watch a stegosaurus and a triceratops grazing on the greenery and spot some pteranodons flying over-head. A great day of exploring for the whole family.

4) Miners Fete Bowes Railway

Join the Miners Fete at Bowes Railway for a great free event on June 3. There’s the Washington Heritage Fair, colliery banners, brass bands, fun fair attractions, traditional games, local authors and much more to be enjoyed.

5) History Heroes Family Trail

Until Sunday, June 4, the museum will play host to a trail featuring amazing facts about Sunderland’s history heroes including Jack Crawford, Harry Watts and Margaret Dryburgh. Tickets are £2.50 per entry.

6) Penshaw circular walk

For an active half term, Sunderland offers the Penshaw circular walk. This is a 4 mile (6.5km) walk starting from the foot of Penshaw Monument and offering great views over surrounding countryside. A downloadable map is available at www.seeitdoitsunderland.co.uk

7) Washington Old Hall

Discover what is in a pond, hold a scary beast and enjoy more things to do every day of the holidays at Washington Old Hall. Every day there is a different activity to try, from garden chess to a crafts class sharing how to make a willow bird feeder.

8) Shop till you drop

The Bridges shopping centre is a haven during wetter days over the holidays. Under cover, and jam packed with High Street favourites like Debenhams, H&M and Boots, if the whole family has a thing for fashion, there’s something for all.

For more things to see and do in Sunderland, visit www.seeitdoitsunderland.co.uk or for the latest news and updates visit www.sunderlandvibe.co.uk