Christmas 2022: The family events happening across Sunderland to celebrate the festive season

Sunderland City Council has announced a full programme of festive events to keep families entertained in the build-up to Christmas.

There's a host of family events taking place across Sunderland this Christmas
There's a host of family events taking place across Sunderland this Christmas

The series of events, which will run from Thursday, November 17, until the New Year has been organised by Sunderland City Council and Sunderland BID starts with the turning on of the city’s Christmas lights.

When are Sunderland’s Christmas lights being turned on?

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Sunderland’s Christmas lights will be switched on during a celebration at Keel Square on Thursday, November 17. The event will begin at 5pm and is set to include special guest Kevin Phillips turning on the lights and kicking off Christmas on Wearside.

The same day will also see the opening of Santa’s Grotto at The Bridges and the launch of the city’s latest augmented reality trail after the successes of previous Halloween and Easter themed walks throughout the city. The trial this Christmas will have seven festive figures to find through the Sunderland Experience App. The trail will remain available for families until Friday, January 6.

Why will there be Christmas stockings across Sunderland?

Six foot tall Christmas stockings will be placed across various city centre locations to find. These stockings will each feature a scannable QR code which will lead through to donation pages for generous members of the public to support local charities.

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Is the Sunderland Reindeer Dash happening in 2022?

The popular event is making a return this year with the big day coming on Sunday, November 27. Anyone who wants to take part in the 1k dash at The Bridges can sign up online with tickets costing £4.50 for children and £6.50 for adults. The event will be taking place to raise money for the The Foundation of Light and Red Sky Foundation.

The weekend is set to be a great one for the city with Sunniside Gardens hosting a Local Heroes pop-up food market on Saturday, November 26, and, staying with open markets, Mackie’s Corner is embracing the festive spirit on Saturday, December 10, when the shops making up the section of the city open their doors for free tasters, entertainment and special offers.