Host of Easter family activities taking place to coincide with popular Da Vinci display in Sunderland

Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition at Sunderland Museum.
Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition at Sunderland Museum.
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More than 17,000 visitors have so far been to see a unique exhibition of Leonardo Da Vinci drawings at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens.

And hundreds more visitors have already booked to see Leonardo: A Life in Drawing over the coming Easter school holidays, when a programme of complementary activity has been organised.

One of the pieces in the da Vinci display in Sunderland

One of the pieces in the da Vinci display in Sunderland

The exhibition is part of a national tour marking the 500th anniversary of the Italian master’s death. Sunderland is one of only 12 UK venues chosen by the Royal Collection Trust to simultaneously host the exhibition, which features a total of 144 of Leonardo drawings.

The exhibition runs until May 6.

Over the next fortnight, extra Leonardo-related activities have been organised at the Museum and Winter Gardens.

The fun starts today with an Illuminate Science Family Day. This will incorporate two different workshops – Physics Busking and Fluorescent Painting. The Physics Busking session (11am – 12.30pm and 1.15pm – 3pm) will be led by the Institute of Physics and will explore some short experiments using everyday things you can find at home. This will be a drop-in session, so there is no need to book, and the suggested donation is £3.

On Monday, April 15, young people and their families are invited to Horses, Horses, Horses! drop-in drawing sessions. Leonardo da Vinci made many drawings of horses during his artistic career, as preparation for his paintings and sculptures, and the Museum’s sessions will give young people the chance to enjoy a day of drawing horses, including magical unicorns and winged horses. The sessions are from 11am – 12.30pm and from 1.30pm to

3pm, with a suggested donation of £3.

Two days later, the Museum’s Science Buddies project will give young people the opportunity to work in teams to design their own catapults inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s war machines, and try them out in a testing zone. The catapult project sessions will take place on Wednesday, April 17, with sessions from 11am to 2.30pm. Tickets cost £4 per child, and adults do not require a ticket. The activity is suitable for children over five years of age, and no more than two adults per child will be admitted.

Later the same week, on Friday, April 12, young people will be able to make their own Leonardo Da Vinci-inspired inventions with the help of the Little Inventors team and a team of volunteer makers. There are two sessions, one from 11am to 12.30 and the other from 1.30pm to 3pm.

There are also Little Inventors sessions on Monday, April 8 and Wednesday, April 10 (drop in sessions 11am – 12.30pm and 12.30pm to 3pm).

There is no need to book for the sessions, though a donation of £3 would be welcome. All inventions drawn, created and built will be showcased on the Little Inventors website:

For more information visit