Sunderland Winter Gardens                    

A while ago, I used to work in Sunderland. I passed by the Winter Gardens every now and again, and once had a tour around for my job. Back then, I was too busy to realise what wonders the museum held, and we just had a little look in at the garden. So a wet and windy day had me going back to see what it’s like now.

sunderland winter gardens domed roof
The ground floor rooms are full of interesting, amazing, curiosities. There doesn’t seem to be a link between the items on display (there probably is), but each thing is fascinating to look at. There are pocket watches, a car, a few lions and this diver suit.
diving helmet in sunderland winter garden
sunderland lighthouse at the winter garden museum
James had more fun playing dress up! There are a few ‘boy costumes’ and a few for girls. I think the girls could wear either, but the boys can’t really get away with the dresses and flowery caps. That’s sad, I think, because boys like dress up too, and we had to wait while a girl wore the top hat and coat. Something for them to think about, perhaps.
dress up in sunderland winter garden museumThere’s a textile room which we enjoyed wandering around, mostly because you can touch the various fabrics, and that’s a nice sensory thing for Noah!  He really liked these rocks in the Geology section upstairs. I’m afraid to say that a few were tasted! He’s fine, and I don’t think the rocks were hurt by that experience!
 Also upstairs is a brilliant collection of glass from Sunderland (the National Glass Centre is just down the road), a collection of stuffed animals, and an exhibition about life in Sunderland through the centuries.
sunderland winter garden museum decadesAnd there’s the adorable little house, which is literally just a hole in the wall.  They need more tea set items, so if you’re nearby, have some you’re going to throw away, and passing – do drop them off! I had to drink my ‘tea’ out of a jug, and what’s that teaching our youngsters about the world?!
  We had our real lunch in the restaurant. I ordered a ham sandwich for James, and a bacon and brie ciabatta for me. James’ sandwich was full of ham, and when he’d had a good go at it, but still left some, I can tell you I really regretted not having a spare Tupperware box with us. lunch at sunderland winter garden
When we visited Sunderland Winter Garden, the dinosaurs were exploring the gardens, too!

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Peep-o dinosaur!

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dinosaur sunderland winter garden waterfall sunderland winter garden dome

All in all, this was a brilliant day out for us. We parked just up the hill from the museum, and secure covered parking cost 90p per hour, which isn’t too bad. There’s a lovely looking park right next to the museum (look out for the walrus!) so if the weather is kind, you could take a picnic. There’s lots to see and do; I’ve just touched on the exhibits in this post, and best of all, the Sunderland Winter Gardens Museum is free!

Have you ever visited a Winter Garden?




  1. October 21, 2015 / 12:28 pm

    I love how kid-friendly Sunderland is! I will have to take my kids one day if we are ever in the area!

  2. October 21, 2015 / 5:00 pm

    I’ve never been to Sunderland, it looks like a great place to visit with kids 🙂

  3. Jenna @ sipbitego.com
    October 21, 2015 / 8:07 pm

    Sunderland looks like an awesome trip.

  4. October 21, 2015 / 9:16 pm

    Looks like the perfect kid-friendly spot! Seems like you guys had a great day!

  5. October 22, 2015 / 1:18 am

    Looks like a wonderful time. That sensory room mustve been amazing for the little one!!!

  6. October 22, 2015 / 1:28 am

    You’re pictures are fabulous! Museums are great places to take curious little ones! 🙂

  7. ohnikkashae
    October 22, 2015 / 3:23 am

    Wow It looks like you had a great time.

  8. Olfa Turki
    October 22, 2015 / 2:32 am

    Sunderland sounds like a great place for families. My kids will love it there.

  9. October 22, 2015 / 3:32 pm

    This looks like a fun place to visit with the family. We have a children’s museum in East Texas that is similar to this, but there’s not much outside to it.

  10. October 22, 2015 / 4:21 pm

    I always love museums which hold activities to engage the kids and edify the adults. Reading this reminds me it has been a while since we visited our local museum with the boys.

  11. October 22, 2015 / 4:41 pm

    It looks like so much fun! Um, that “what could you get for your money” thing had me crying haha!

  12. October 22, 2015 / 6:38 pm

    That sounds like so much fun! (And I’m with your son, I love touching all the fabrics, too!) We don’t have any Winter Gardens down here (not really a need as it’s near tropical year-round) but the indoor exhibits remind me of our local Museum of History with the interactive exhibits, the play house (ours is called Grandma’s Attic), and the timelines.

  13. October 22, 2015 / 6:44 pm

    I have never been to Sunderland before but it looks like you had a lot of fun I am glad that you enjoyed it.

  14. October 22, 2015 / 9:04 pm

    What a fun adventure with your boys!!! Looks like they really enjoyed it! <3

  15. AlmostSexyMommy
    October 23, 2015 / 4:52 pm

    This is so cool! Your pictures are great and it looks like you all had a wonderful time!

  16. October 24, 2015 / 4:51 am

    This place looks so fun! I wish we were close enough to give it a go, my little family would absolutely love it!

  17. kancell724
    October 29, 2015 / 2:11 am

    Looks like a fun place! Seems you all had a good time.

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