Free kids’ activities in Sunderland

There's so much still to enjoy in Sunderland for the rest of summer, without spending a penny – plus a celebration of our fantastic restaurants starting soon, too.

Promoted by BID Sunderland
Friday, 27th August 2021, 5:19 pm

There is a huge range of summer activities and kids’ entertainment happening every day in the city centre.

Families can enjoy a film for free, hunt for dinosaurs or watch birds of prey soar over the city centre.

Free open-air cinema entertainment will be taking place in Minster Park on September 4 and 5, with a number of screenings each day. Why not take the family and spread out a blanket to enjoy Moana at 1pm, The Greatest Showman at 3pm or Bohemian Rhapsody at 6pm on Saturday? Sunday will see screenings of The Secret Life of Pets at 1.30pm, the 2019 update of Aladdin at 3pm and all-time classic Grease at 6pm.

Looking for fun stuff to fill the last days of the holidays?

Mr Woodfire will be serving perfect pizza and The Sweet Petite will have a delicious range of sweet treats on offer: there is limited seating available, but visitors are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

For digital rovers, there's an exciting interactive trail on the Sunderland Experience app: the Enchanted Garden Trail is an interactive augmented reality experience designed to delight the senses, with a variety of characters to uncover. If you are passionate about saving the planet, love all creatures - especially bees and butterflies - then this is the perfect trail for you.

And magical characters are roaming the streets, with seven Enchanted Garden augmented reality characters and experiences to find at different magical locations across the city. Check them out on Saturday, August 28; Sunday, August 29; Tuesday, August 31; Friday, September 3; Saturday, September 4; and Sunday, September 5, all from midday to 3pm.

All activities are part of an ongoing collaboration between Sunderland BID, the Bridges and Sunderland City Council - supported by the European Regional Development Fund and Northern Powerhouse.

Watch a film in the outdoor cinema, hunt for dinosaurs or watch birds of prey soar over the city centre

Free workshops are taking place while the holidays last, with two sessions on Sunday, August 29: magical fairy tree from 11am to 12.30pm, and bird house decoration from 1pm to 4pm.

Monday, August 30, will see fairy garden yarn wreath-making in the morning and then dino jar lantern creation in the afternoon.

More free sessions take place the following week: Fairy Furniture and Dino Fossils on Friday, September 3, and Dino Slime and Fairy Folk Glow Jar workshops on Sunday, September 5.

There's still the chance to check out the dino trail at the Bridges Shopping Centre too, which will be packed with augmented reality dinosaurs until Friday, September 3. Just download the Bridges Dino Trail official app, find the dinosaur markers hidden around the centre, then open the app to scan the fossils and see your dinosaur come to life.

And visitors can catch free city centre bird of prey displays throughout August with North East Falconry. Saturday, August 28, from 10am to 4pm will witness breathtaking displays at Crowtree, with displays also being held on Monday, August 30, from 10am to 4pm.

For details of all these fabulous free experiences right here on your doorstep, visit

Plus, it will soon be Restaurant Week, which showcases the best eateries across the city, which is back with a bang for 2021 from September 25 to October 3.

In previous years, the event has been a roaring success, with restaurants seeing not only an increase in trade during quieter periods, but also attracting new customers.

Organisers Sunderland BID are looking for restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes which want to sign up to take part. Participating venues are asked to put together £5, £10 and £15 deals that will help to bring in customers who are eager to either return to favourite eateries or try somewhere new.

Any venue that would like to get involved should email [email protected]. There will be regular updates about the event at