06 July 2023

DINOSAURS, Dirty Dancing and outdoor dining are some of the exciting mix of events and experiences that will be on offer in Sunderland this summer.

Hot on the heels of the recent successes of Sunderland Food and Drink Festival and Make Music Day, organisers Sunderland BID, in partnership with Sunderland City Council, have unveiled an action-packed programme with something for everyone.

The summer programme will run from 22 July to 3 September, with a whole host of activities aimed at keeping all the family engaged.

The BID is turning back the clock with the Jurassic Jungle Trail, where visitors can use the free Sunderland Experience app and find AR characters scattered around the city centre.

The app will also feature a number of special offers and discounts that can be used when the characters are unlocked.

At the same time, six “real” dinosaur eggs will be placed in key locations, some of which offer 3D interaction.

Keel Square will be hosting an outdoor cinema on three dates across the summer, with a number of family favourites and adult classics on show.

On 5 August, visitors can enjoy Disney’s The Jungle Book, followed by Beauty and The Beast and then winding up with Dirty Dancing.

On 19 August, Matilda, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and A Star is Born will be screened, followed on 2 September by Encanto, The Lion King and Back To The Future.

The cinema experience will be completed by a range of street food stalls as well as a Pimms van and patisserie, Sweet Petite.

Market Square will play host to a climbing wall every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the holidays, while free, nine-hole crazy golf will be on offer at High Street West on 27 July and 10 and 24 August.

Sunniside Gardens will hold Family Fun Days on 16,23 and 30 August, which will include circus skill workshops, crafts and garden games, which are free, but participants need to register in advance at

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, believes the programme will be a godsend for parents wanting to keep their youngsters occupied during the summer.

“We know that it can be a challenge keeping children entertained during the long summer break, which is why we’ve come up with a programme which really does have something for everyone,” she said.

“There are lots of fun activities for people of all ages and also the opportunity to enjoy some movie classics.

“After the recent success of both the Food and Drink Festival and Make Music Day, we are very positive that the summer events will be very well received.”

Councillor John Price, Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for Vibrant City, said: “We want to encourage families to get out and enjoy everything that’s on offer around the city this summer, and with this programme of events, there is plenty for everyone to enjoy.

“The Jurassic Jungle Trail is a great way to keep kids entertained through the school holidays while providing a boost to Sunderland’s local businesses, and the outdoor cinema experience will offer something for everyone.”

The free Sunderland Experience app can be downloaded via Google Play and the Apple app store. Details of all activities can be found at