Nine places in South Shields and Sunderland to visit during half-term for free

Here are the top nine places to visit for free in Sunderland and South Tyneside to keep the kids entertained this February half term.
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Keeping the kids the entertained during half term can be tricky not to mention expensive, particularly for those who have more than one child. With February half term just around the corner, you’re probably scrambling around for ideas to occupy your children. No need to stress and scour the internet for ideas, here’s a list of nine free places in Sunderland and South Tyneside to visit with children.

Hylton Castle

The castle is a great chance to explore local heritage and find out more about the decorative gatehouse-tower of a castle which was built by the wealthy Sir William Hylton shortly before 1400.

Children playing during half-termChildren playing during half-term
Children playing during half-term

Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens

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Discover the story of Sunderland, its people, its industries, art exhibitions and tropical Winter Gardens– all under one roof. There are a few events and activities on offer during half term. Visit to find out more.

National Glass Centre

At the National Glass Centre you can discover how glass arrived in Britain, how it’s made and why Sunderland has such a rich glass making heritage. You can watch demonstrations of glass blowing and explore glass exhibitions created by university students.

Hylton CastleHylton Castle
Hylton Castle

Herrington Park

If you’re looking to embrace the fresh air, take the children for a walk around Herrington Park which offers a range of walking routes and plenty of space for children to enjoy the outdoors. Afterward stake a hike up to Penshaw Monument for some spectacular views.

Roker Park

Located on the sea front the park makes a perfect day to keep the kids occupied for free. Children can feed the ducks, play in the park and make use of the sports courts.

Sunderland Museum and Winter GardensSunderland Museum and Winter Gardens
Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens

St Peter's Sculpture Trail

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Enjoy some time outdoors and take on the sculpture trail which brings together Sunderland’s past and present, and takes in the riverside, right to the beach and sea, passing National Glass Centre and Sunderland Marina on the way.

The Word

The Word, in South offers exciting new experiences, activities and facilities for people of all ages to engage and enjoy, from a digital media wall and FabLab to an immersive storytelling experience and interactive touch-tables. Visit to find out about current exhibitions.

National Glass CentreNational Glass Centre
National Glass Centre

South Shields Museum and Art Gallery

The museum celebrates the rich heritage of South Tyneside and the people that shaped it with a range of interesting exhibitions. The museum is spread over two floors telling the story of the borough's social, industrial and maritime history from 4,000 years ago to the present day. You can check out what’s on by visiting

The Leas

Miles of coastal trails, with wildlife spots and beaches to explore – and plenty of green space to run around.

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There is also the impressive view of Souter Lighthouse. There is an entry charge if you wish to go inside, but it’s a must-see, especially if you’re interested in Victorian technology.

The building, with bands of red and white, is an icon in the North East, and since it was decommissioned in 1988 has become a visitor attraction. The historic machinery is on show inside, while you can climb the 76 steps to the top for a view to behold.

Herrington ParkHerrington Park
Herrington Park
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