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Crafty plans for a green birthday

Winter g

CRAFTY PLANS FOR A GREEN BIRTHDAY - SUNDERLAND'S WINTER GARDENS TURNS 20

A HOST of family-friendly activities are lined up this summer to help Sunderland's Winter Gardens celebrate its 20th birthday.

The stunning green oasis at the heart of the city centre - which boasts 2,000 plants, a tree top walkway offering fabulous views over beautiful Mowbray Park and resident koi carp -  first opened its doors to the public on 21 July 2001.

Twenty years on, the tropical attraction is as popular as ever, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors a year before the pandemic.

Councillor 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.

"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."

Unsurprisingly the Winter Gardens birthday celebrations are firmly focussed around family fun as well as celebrating the building's history and the simple steps we can all take to help protect our planet.

Among the activities planned for the Winter Gardens birthday are:

Winter Gardens Birthday Trail
A fun birthday trail, launching today, for families to enjoy over the summer holidays encouraging visitors to explore the different ways we can all protect our planet through the simple choices we all make every day. Themes include growing your own food, fast fashion, travel, protecting wildlife and green energy. Trails are available from the museum shop for £2.50 and all entries receive the prize of a magnifying glass to help them continue exploring and appreciating their world

Winter Gardens Birthday Family sessions

Wednesday 28 July 1pm and 2.30pm
Parrot Gliders
Decorate 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 4 August 1pm and 2.30pm
Perfect Planters
Construct 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 11 August 1pm and 2.30pm
Koi Carp Windsocks
Make 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 18 August 1pm and 2.30pm
Clay Bugs
Make 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 25 August 1pm and 2.30pm
Leaf Suncatchers
Make 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.

Winter Gardens Birthday Cards and Bunting Project 

Pupils from Hudson Road Primary School have been getting creative this term and designing their own birthday cards and bunting for the Winter Gardens 20th birthday celebrations. 

Year 1 pupils visited the Winter Gardens and took inspiration from the plants, fish and dinosaurs to create colourful decorative bunting for the Learning Space and birthday card designs. Fifty of these have been selected to be made into window vinyls which will be on display in the Winter Gardens' Learning Space from Friday 30 July as a backdrop to a range of Winter Gardens themed family events over the summer holidays.

All 150+ birthday card designs will also be shown on a TV screen in the Learning Space during the family activity sessions.

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

University of Sunderland 20th anniversary documentary

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Winter Gardens in Sunderland, a short documentary film has been made by 3rd Year Media Studies Students from the University of Sunderland. The film explores this history of the original Winter Gardens which opened in 1879, on the back of the new Museum, Library and Art Gallery building, but was bomb damaged during World War 2 and had to be destroyed. 

The story continues with the development of the new Winter Gardens as part of a multi-million Heritage Lottery funded redevelopment of Mowbray Park and the Museum in 2000/2001 and concludes 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

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