SPOOKY shopping will be on offer at Sunderland’s the Bridges next week – with a full programme of activities and entertainment to get everyone in the Halloween mood.

And that includes the opportunity for would-be witches and wizards to join a broomstick training school.

From Monday (October 25) visitors can pop into the haunted grotto in the centre to take a petrifying picture among the ghosts and spiders, as well as get the first glimpse of three of the Mackem Monsters.

The giant inflatable monsters are part of the city’s Lights Out Festival and can be seen on rooftops around the city centre up until 31 October.

The Bridges’ fashion pod – a joint initiative with Sunderland BID – has also got into the Halloween mood, featuring frightening but fashionable outfits, designed by arts students at Sunderland College.

And families looking for ways to keep the youngsters amused next week can also pick up a free terrifying trail map full of riddles, which when solved can be exchanged at the Customer Service Desk for a Halloween “baddy” bag (while stocks last).

On Wednesday the Bridges will play host to award-winning Sunderland author, David Crosby, who will be reading excerpts from his book Which Nose For Witch? along with signing copies.

The centre has also created a full programme of entertainment on 29 and 30 October, including appearances by Halloween characters, storytelling and workshops from 10am until 2pm offering mask making and tea light making.

Karen Eve, Centre Director at the Bridges, believes the packed programme will have something for everyone.

“Halloween has become such an important part of the year and the Bridges has entered totally into the spirit of the season,” she said.

“We’ve got some fantastic activities taking place which are suitable for youngsters of all ages and we’ve converted the unit opposite River Island into our very own Halloween grotto.

“We hope people will embrace the opportunities and come along and have a truly terrifying time.”

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