This Autumn Dominic Wilcox has been encouraging the people of Sunderland and South Tyneside to return to their inventing roots.

From October 2015 Dominic worked with schools, community groups and the public across the Cultural Spring wards to inspire as many new Inventors! as possible. Over 500 people have taken part in workshops and we have collected hundreds of invention ideas that will all feature in the exhibition.

Christmas Funfair

Get Christmas off to a flying start with a visit to the funfair at the Frost Village on the Vaux Site.

The former Vaux Site is being transformed into a stunning traditional fairground with a magnificent Star Flyer, traditional carousel, waltzers and bumper cars to name a few.

The following are the opening hours

From Monday 7 to Sunday 20 December the funfair will be open at the following times:

Monday to Thursday

From 3.00pm to 8.00pm


From 3.00pm to 10.00pm


From 12noon to 10.00pm

Ryhope Engines Museum August Steaming Weekend

See one of the North’s most impressive industrial monuments working under steam power at Ryhope Engines Museum.

Marvel at the giant beam engines of 1868, help stoke the hand fired Lancashire boilers of 1908, try your hand in the Blacksmith’s shop, while watching the working waterwheel turn. Can you stay dry with our ‘hands on’ wet exhibits?

Finish your visit with a relaxing break in the Gatehouse Tea Rooms.

Supported by Northumbrian Water.

Pick up your nature explorer passport at WWT Washington

The WWT Washington Wetland Centre is calling all nature explorers – ‘your passport is issued, your expedition is set, your summer adventure is waiting at WWT Washington Wetland Centre!’

Splash, hunt and dip your way through our wetlands this season to become a Super Nature Explorer, with fun family activities to enjoy and unforgettable close-up wildlife just waiting to be discovered.

Jurassic Gardens

You’ve seen the film now meet the dinosaurs.

Hidden amongst the lush vegetation of our indoor garden a whole series of amazing dinosaur models are waiting to be discovered. See a baby T Rex as it hatches from its giant egg, watch a stegosaurus and a triceratops grazing on the greenery and spot some pteranodons flying over-head. Hunt down a veloicraptor before it finds you and try not to disturb the sleepy crocodile as it lurks by the pool.

The Giant Tea Party

Everything stops for tea - and that's certainly the case as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the creation of Alice in Wonderland.

The Mad Hatter will be your host, with a whole range of family friendly activities involving some of your favourite characters.

There will be 150 golden balloons to celebrate the 150 years of Alice, filled with some special offers and spectacular prizes for some lucky people to pop on the day.

Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters

The kingdom of Lancre. The King is murdered, the Duke is afeared of trees and the kingdom is not happy.

From the “Wyrd” and surreal mind of the late great Terry Pratchett – a master of adventure, fantasy and the somewhat bizarre.

Join us on Discworld, a flat disc balanced on the back of four elephants, themselves standing upon the turtle Great A'Tuin, as he hurtles through space.

The search is on to find the true king of Lancre. Packed with witches, actors, actors playing witches, fools and royalty; and more than a little dark humour to boot.

Stavros S Niarchos visit

The impressive sailing ship Stavros S Niarchos is in Sunderland giving a chance to get a sneak preview of what’s in store when the Tall Ships Race 2018 visits the city.

Stavros, a two masted brig, is the largest vessel of its kind to have been built in Britain in the last century. She is moored at Corporation Quay and will be open to the public on Saturday 4 July from Noon to 5pm.

Admission is free but donations to the Tall Ships Youth Trust are welcomed.

Armed Forces Weekend

The Armed Forces Weekend returns to Roker this Friday for a full weekend of celebrations for all ages.

Why not come along, join in and show your support for our Armed Forces over what’s going to be a great weekend of entertainment for all the family.

Friday 26 June – Open ceremony and reunion,

Saturday 27 June – Military Parade and Union Flag Waving Concert

Sunday 28 June - Family day which includes:


Did you know?

Sunderland is one of the few cities in the UK to have a river, beautiful coastline and two award winning beaches at Roker and Seaburn.


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