A SPOOKTACULAR weekend of ghosts, ghouls and freaking good fun is lined up for visitors to Sunderland city centre as the scariest night of the year approaches.

Ahead of Halloween on Wednesday 31 October, Sunderland businesses are channelling their inner witches and wizards with a spellbinding selection of parties, events and fun for all the family.

The Bridges shopping centre is keeping families entertained this week with a selection of Halloween-inspired events, and the fun doesn’t stop there.

Sunderland Museum and Winter Garden is hosting a Spooky Science party on Friday 26 October from 5-8pm, where guests aged five and above are invited to don their best Halloween costume to make their own slime, take part in eerie experiments and even explore the Winter Gardens by torchlight.

Tickets are £6 per child and must be pre-booked from the museum shop or at www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/269600.

The museum is also running a Halloween Creatures Trail daily until Sunday 4 November, priced at £2.50 per child.

Youngsters can get crafty with a selection of workshops and fun sessions at Katie’s Garden, High Street West this week.

Various activities are planned daily, including broomstick making, pumpkin preparing and other craft workshops each day.

Party people can also look forward to a weekend of spooky themed fun, with many of the city’s leading bars hosting parties on Saturday night (27 October).

808 Bar and Kitchen at St Thomas Street is getting ready to celebrate its first Halloween since opening with a Boos and Booze night.

Entry is free and visitors – who are encouraged to venture out in fancy dress – can enjoy exciting new cocktails and fun throughout the night.

Revolution at the Victoria Buildings has teamed-up with Bacardi for a Halloween Party with creepy cocktails and prizes throughout the night.

Holmeside’s Sinatra’s Bar is inviting revellers to dress up as their favourite dead movie stars on Saturday for a night of hocus pocus fun and cheap drinks with various offers and promotions.

The Peacock at High Street West is another city centre bar offering Halloween-inspired fun this weekend, with an American Horror Story night on Saturday. Fancy dress is encouraged, and guests can expect scary fun and general weirdness.

For anyone seeking the perfect fancy dress costume, Dr Funkenstein at Derwent Street has an enviable selection of pieces to hire and buy and also stocks extras like broomsticks and face paints.

Alternatively, Crazy Fantazy in Jacky Whites Market is also worth a look for adult and children’s costumes to hire, along with other accessories to help create the perfect Halloween costume.

Sharon Appleby, head of business operations at Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID) is hoping these parties and events will entice more people into the city centre in the run-up to October 31.

“Everyone loves Halloween – children and adults alike can have great fun dressing up and it’s always the perfect excuse for a party,” she said. “Once again, the city centre’s bars, museums and other venues have laid on a selection of different events for all ages.

“From craft and entertainment sessions for children to grown up fun for adults there is something for everyone this year.

“Halloween is a fun event and I’m thrilled that so many city businesses are creating special events of their own to embrace it, and I hope everyone makes the effort to get dressed up and have a fun time, whatever they choose to do.”

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