Santa's Christmas Grotto in Sunderland 2022: The Bridges prepares for arrival of Father Christmas
Santa is landing in Sunderland this week as his Christmas grotto returns to The Bridges shopping centre.
Father Christmas will take up residence in the festive den from Thursday, November 17, where he will be every day until Christmas Eve.
Santa’s arrival is part of a full day of festive activities in Sunderland city centre, which will culminate in the Christmas lights switch-on in Keel Square.
Sunderland AFC legend Kevin Phillips, now manager at South Shields FC, will join the Mayor of Sunderland Coun Alison Smith and the cast of the Empire Theatre’s panto, Aladdin, for the big event, hosted by Metro Radio Breakfast hosts Steve and Karen.
The event – which will also see Disney Frozen characters take to the stage - will take place in Keel Square from 5pm with a range of activities before an on-stage programme of entertainment begins at 6pm and the lights are officially switched on at 7pm.
The team at The Bridges say the centre has a full programme of activities in the run-up to Christmas, including Breakfast With Santa events on Sunday December 4, 11 and 18.
The events are being held at Esquires Coffee from 9am until 10.30am on each of the dates where youngsters will be able to enjoy crafts with the elves along with festive story time with Santa.
Children will receive a cooked breakfast while adults will get a breakfast sandwich plus a hot drink and at the end of the session, with the kids receiving a Letter to Santa activity pack to take away with them.
Tickets for the event are £10 each and available at the centre’s customer service desk.
The Bridges will also be hosting the annual Reindeer Dash on Sunday 27 November, which raises funds for the Foundation of Light and the Red Sky Foundation.
Karen Eve, Centre Director at the Bridges, is excited about the launch.
“We are really looking forward to getting into the spirit of Christmas,” she said.
“We know how popular the grotto is every year and we can’t wait to see all the children enjoy seeing Santa for the first time.”