Released: Thursday 3rd November 2016 at 16:17
Only days after being crowned Tyne and Wear’s Best Cultural Attraction, National Glass Centre, Sunderland, saw a record-breaking October half term.
Only days after being crowned Tyne and Wear’s Best Cultural Attraction, National Glass Centre, Sunderland, saw a record-breaking October half term. With over 9,500 visitors throughout the period, up 29% from last year, the Centre was vibrant with ‘Spooktacular’ Halloween themed activities.
With activities throughout the holiday such as Ghoulish Glass Painting, Trick or Treat Plates and Fiendish Fusing the Centre also saw a massive rise in family workshop participants, reaching 266 on the busiest day, up an incredible 39% from last year. Alongside the workshops families could also benefit from free family trails, adventure backpacks, activity trolleys and then indulge themselves in a ‘spooky’ ice-cream sundae topped with jelly eyeballs, snails and black sherbet in the Centre’s eatery The Glass Yard. Visitors were also able to meet four mini Snowdogs decorated by located schools as well as National Glass Centre’s Snowdog Frostbite, one of the pooches part of the Great North Snowdogs trail.
Keith Merrin, Director, National Glass Centre said: “We are delighted with the visitor figures from last week, it really highlights the fantastic effort put in by our staff. We realise the importance of creating an affordable day out, most activities only cost a few pounds and entry is free. Encouraging families to use cultural venues is really important to us and last week highlights that this is the right time for Sunderland to aim for City of Culture in 2021.”
Make a Glass Pumpkin workshops ran both weekends allowing visitors to have a hands on hot glass experience making beautiful glass pumpkins. These sold out workshops were accompanied by Hot Glass Pumpkin demonstrations, which were so popular that two extra demos were added each day to accommodate the number or visitors. The Centre received fantastic feedback from visitors. Rhydian aged 9, enjoyed it so much he made a Lego model version of the Centre’s Hot Glass Studio which his mum sent in to share with staff.
Rachel Groves, Senior Learning and Engagement Officer, National Glass Centre said: “It’s great to see all the hard work and planning that goes into programming our family activities pay off. We really enjoy half term as the Centre feels alive, our creative activities are enjoyed by all generations, children, parents and grandparents! It’s great to see families exploring what we have on offer and making something they can keep forever.”
The Centre’s new main gallery exhibition ‘Interior Voices’ by international glass artist Silvia Levenson also opened on Saturday 22nd October, which saw footfall in the gallery increase by an outstanding 43% compared to half term last year. The exhibition runs until 5 March 2017 and explores domestic roles within the home and has a focus on family, how we present ourselves to the outside world and the more private side of life and relationships.
National Glass Centre’s success doesn’t stop there; Blow your own Christmas Bauble and Christmas Snowman Sandcasting, two of the Centre’s most popular festive activities have already sold out! However they still have a whole host of family activities as well as adults courses and classes and evening events running throughout the Christmas period which can be found on their website nationalglasscentre.com.
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