Sunderland Winter Funderland & Ice Skating | Top Tips

AD - Thank you so much to our writer Gaia who visited Ice Skating at Funderland in Sunderland as their guest and has shared these tips and photos. This post has not been asked or paid for. Over to Gaia......

Sunderland Winter Funderland & Ice Skating | Top Tips

Firstly, I’d recommend those not familiar with Sunderland (like me!) just head for The Bridges shopping centre. Funderland is right next to it so we parked in their car park (free after 5.30, £1.50 an hour before that). 

There was no signage for Funderland anywhere that we could see en route, we got a bit lost but found it eventually!

The funfair and tipi are in a separate area to the ice rink but it’s only a few minutes walk between the two. 

Funderland Opening hours are as follows: 

12th Nov - 2 Jan 

Weekdays 12noon-12midnight 
Friday/Saturday 12noon-1am

Weekdays 3pm-8pm
Weekends & Bank Holidays 12noon-8pm 

Free entry with no booking required. Please check their Facebook page before heading out for updates as these hours are subject to change. 

Ice Skating at Sunderland Keel Square 

Ice skating was brilliant! Adults are £10, 5-17 year olds £8 and under 5s are £3 (or so the staff member told me). Skating aids are £4. Little kids are given skates with two blades that fit over their shoes which are fab for tinies who haven’t got much experience on the ice.

It was my 3 year olds first time and she managed on her own no bother. They blast out the tunes and there’s colourful lights, and the ice is real. Great fun! 

Sunderland Ice Rink is suitable for manual wheelchair users (accompanied by someone to push who can skate for free). It is recommended that wheelchair users visit during the week during quieter periods which will allow them more space. You can find out more about ice skating in Sunderland and book here. 

Sunderland Winter Funderland & Ice Skating | Top Tips

Sunderland Winter Funderland & Ice Skating | Top Tips

Food & Drink

The tipi was fantastic - twinkly lights, a real fire and real Christmas trees. There was some brilliant live music while we were there (Jessie & Brandon), check their Facebook page to see when they have live music as it changes.

We toasted marshmallows which you can buy from the bar (a skewer with 5 marshmallows was £2.50, but we asked for an extra stick and shared them between the 2 kids which was no bother). We had hot chocolates/ baileys hot chocolates with cream and marshmallows which were £3/£5 each. 

There was a big screen playing Christmas music videos when the band wasn’t on. The bar accepted card payments. 

We later came back and had food in the tipi - you can buy it from food vans and eat it in there. The kids had hot dogs from the German sausage stall which were £2.50 each and pretty decent. 

Me and my friend shared the Dirty Greek fries (£8.50) from Gyros, the Greek food van and they were enormous - we couldn’t finish them! Very tasty seasoned fries with chicken, haloumi, tzatziki and secret sauce. 

Another thing to note is that the loos were nice and clean and pretty fancy for this kind of event. 


The funfair has all the rides you’d expect - we went on the waltzers which was fun for my 7 year old but a bit too fast for my 3 year old. They also have a few more fast rides more suited for bigger kids which we didn’t go on. Rides are around £3 each and are cash only (bit unusual these days?!)

There was a bouncy trampoline harness thing which my 7 year old enjoyed. The only other suitable thing for little ones was a giant snow globe which wasn’t open at 6:30pm but would reopen tomorrow we were told. We also spied a closed Santa’s grotto, not sure when that opens. 

 Overall we had a great time at Funderland. It’s free entry and I could definitely see myself popping into the tipi for a hot chocolate or mulled wine when shopping at The Bridges. The kids are very keen to go back to the ice rink too! The fairground could do with having a few things for the smaller ones and taking cards.


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