Here are the summer holiday family activities to enjoy as Sunderland Winter Gardens turns 20

A host of family-friendly activities will mark Sunderland Winter Gardens’ 20th birthday.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 4:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 4:57 pm

The city’s own Millennium Dome first opened its doors to the public 20 years ago today, on 21 July 200, and continues to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.

This month’s celebrations are firmly focused around family fun as well as celebrating the building's history and the simple steps we can all take to help protect our planet.

Coun Linda Williams, Cabinet Member for Vibrant City at Sunderland City Council, said: "The Winter Gardens has remained a firm family favourite since it opened 20 years ago with visitors who enjoyed it as children now bringing their own families back to enjoy all it has to offer.

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The Winter Gardens opened in 2001

"We're incredibly lucky to have such a tranquil green oasis at the heart of our bustling city centre and we hope visitors will continue to enjoy coming back time after time for many years to come.”

Among the activities planned for the Winter Gardens birthday are:*A fun birthday trail, launching on Wednesday, July 21, exploring the different ways we can all protect our planet through the simple choices we all make every day.

Trails cost £2.50 including a magnifying glass.

Wednesday, July 28, 1pm and 2.30pmDecorate your own parrot glider, inspired by the talking parrot in the original Victorian Winter Gardens. £2 per child. 50p booking fee applies online. Booking essential, visit the website or shop for details.Wednesday, August 4, 1pm and 2.30pmConstruct and decorate your own wooden planter to grow flowers and herbs at home. £2 per child. 50p booking fee applies online. Booking essential, visit the website or shop for details.Wednesday, August 11, 1pm and 2.30pmMake a beautiful fish windsock with colourful scales to flutter in the wind. £2 per child. 50p booking fee applies online. Booking essential, visit the website or shop for details.Wednesday. August 18, 1pm and 2.30pmMake your own garden bugs from air dry clay. Your bugs can be painted when dry. £2 per child. 50p booking fee applies online. Booking essential, visit the website or shop for details.Wednesday, August 25, 1pm and 2.30pmMake a Winter Gardens inspired leaf suncatcher to hang in your window. £2 per child. 50p booking fee applies online. Booking essential, visit the website or shop for details.Year 1 pupils from Hudson Road Primary School have created birthday cards and bunting for the Winter Gardens 20th birthday celebrations, 50 of which will be made into window vinyls for the Winter Gardens' Learning Space.

A view of the dome and walkway

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A short documentary film has made by 3rd Year Media Studies Students from the University of Sunderland, exploring the history of the original Winter Gardens and the creation of the building as part of a multi-million Heritage Lottery funded redevelopment of Mowbray Park and the Museum in 2000/2001 and concluding with a look back over the past 20 years at some of the most significant and special events that have taken place in the Winter Gardens during that time.

The film is available to view on the My Sunderland website and Sunderland Culture website, social media and on screens in the Museum throughout the summer

To find out more about the family programme and book tickets (only £2 per child) visit the website www.sunderlandmuseum.org.uk.

The magnificent William Pye water sculpture

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