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Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art welcomes families into the gallery. We offer a range of events designed for all members of the family, parents, carers and children.  These include activities during school holidays, activity sheets for the exhibitions and drop-in family fun days with other cultural organisations across Sunderland. 

Whilst the gallery is in transition to University of Sunderland, we will deliver family activities in the National Glass Centre and offsite around the city.

October Half Term

Smoke & Mirrors Workshops

Join us for a series of drop-in sessions exploring the magic of illusions, inspired by Chris Cornish's video work 'The Adventure and the Resolution', currently on display in the Collections Gallery until 14th January 2018. 


Tuesday 24th October
Thursday 26th October
Saturday 28th October

Time: 10am - 4pm

Price: Age 4+ / £3 per child


Story Seekers

Calling all Story Seekers! Join Theatre Tots and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art for an autumn of creative play. Each week we will go on an adventure to explore an artwork by Chris Cornish, currently on display in the Collections Gallery. Armed only with our adventure packs, drawing thumbs and vivid imagination, new stories will be made and acted out with all our usual songs and silliness.


Saturday 23rd September

Story Seekers Self Portraits
Story seekers continue their adventures in the gallery! Armed with their trusted drawing thumbs and imaginary tools, your little ones will explore, play and remake what they discover. Who is in the mirror? What do they look like? How are they feeling?

Saturday 30th September

Story Seekers Magic Keepers
Join us on our mission to find the magic in the gallery. We will transform into amazing magicians, using magical spells, tricks, illusions and a magic curtain.

Saturday 7th October

Magical journeys to the Jungle
Join us as we use our magic spells to travel into a jungle and transform into jungle creatures!

Saturday 14th October

Pirates on the River Wear
Story Seekers take on another magical adventure when they spot a pirate ship on the river! Help us build our own ship and join the pirate crew!

Saturday 21st October

Rainbow Adventures
Story Seekers transform into sea creatures, adventuring beneath the River Wear to find the lost Rainbow.

Saturday 28th October

Spooky Story Seekers
Get prepared for Halloween with Story Seekers and make your very own Magical Hat to help you on a magical quest. But be ready to make some difficult decisions along the way!

Time: 10am-11am

Perfect for your little creatives aged 1-6yrs

£5 per session (£2.50 per additional sibling)

Maximum 15 toddlers per class

Please book by phone: 0191 515 5555 or in person at reception



Do you have baby changing facilities?

Baby changing facilities are available on the upper floor of National Glass Centre.

How do I get to the current exhibition?

NGCA is currently showing a 100ft long drawing by Chad McCail called 'Liars of Earth' in National Glass Centre's Long Gallery. The Long Gallery is on the upper floor of the building.

How can I find out about family activities?

We publicise our family events through print and on our website, Facebook page and Twitter.  If you would like to receive e-mails about upcoming events for families, please sign up to our mailing list here. 

Are the exhibitions suitable for children?

The majority of the artwork in our galleries is for all ages to enjoy.  Occasionally there may be work which is unsuitable for young children; if this is the case we will put a sign in the gallery advising parents and carers to check the work first.

What else is there for families to do?

Our current exhibition is situated in the National Glass Centre, so why not explore National Glass Centre's galleries, learning spaces and regular glass-blowing demonstrations too! 

Is there a café onsite?

Yes - The Glass Yard at National Glass Centre serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Choose from a range of delicious home cooked signature dishes and daily specials, complemented by guest beers and wines from around the world.

Open Daily: 10.00 - 17.00