Enjoy with your family

Plan Your Visit – Helpful Information

Use our Plan Your Visit page for opening times, directions and booking info etc.


Adventure Backpacks

Help Whimsy discover his past at National Glass Centre with our fun trail for all the family!

Explore National Glass Centre with our Adventure Backpacks and see what you can discover!

Packed full of fun and investigatory activities, our Adventure Backpacks allow you to explore National Glass Centre and to discover the properties of glass as well as light and colour.

Inside the backpack you’ll find a set of Activity Cards which will help you to explore the gallery spaces and exhibitions using the contents of the backpack. Each card contains a fun and educational activity with an interesting fact on the back. There’s even an Art Pad in there which is yours to keep!

The Adventure Backpacks are free to use and are suitable for ages
4 +

A refundable deposit of £5 is required for each backpack.

Family Workshops


Children and young people of all ages can get creative and crafty at our Family Workshops. These hands-on sessions include glass painting, glass fusing and sandblasting, in addition to themed workshops for school holidays!

“I would like to tell you how much our grandchildren enjoyed their day. We can’t wait to see the finished fused robots. This is the second time our granddaughter has done a fusing workshop, her parents were so impressed with her butterfly they mounted it in a frame with a glass front and it is proudly displayed at home. Thanks again.” Visitor Comment, 2020

explore our family workshops

Family Spaces


When they aren’t in use, you can also visit our Gillian Dickinson Learning Studio, where you will find colouring activities and a range of fun toys for the little ones, kindly supported by the Gillian Dickinson Trust.

Our spaces are here to be explored and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

We have changing places and baby changing facilities and child-friendly menus in our The Glass Yard.

We will do our best to provide you and your family with a quiet space as and when needed.

Nursing mothers are welcome anywhere in the Centre.

Book a children’s party!

Book your child’s exclusive birthday celebration at National Glass Centre!

Our party package includes:

  • One hour’s craft activity delivered by a member of our learning team (choose from glass painted decorations or ceramic mug painting)
  • Live Glass blowing demonstration to include the birthday child to blow a glass bubble at the end of the demonstration
  • Private Party Room for food – decorated with bunting, balloons and streamers
  • A selection of mini triangle sandwiches, crisps, chocolate or vanilla cupcakes and cordial (other food options available with an additional cost)

£20 per child (minimum of 10 children, maximum of 20 children, room hire included, ages 4+)

Party times are Saturdays or Sundays, 10:30am – 1:30pm, subject to availability.

We recommend you book your party at least one month in advance.

You are welcome to provide your own birthday cake but all other catering must be provided by National Glass Centre caterers.

To book your party or for further information, please call 0191 568 9700.

Virtual Glassmaking Game

Before your visit have a go at making glass with our virtual glassmaking game.

have a go at our Virtual Glassmaking game

Accessibility –

Interactive Tour

Use our interactive tour, social story and sensory map to help plan your visit.



Days Out With The Kids!

Find out what else there is to do in Sunderland and the North East.

Family explorers  Great days out

Sunderland Vibe