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25 family days out in Norfolk and Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 16:45 04 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:45 04 August 2017

There's so much fun to be had this summer across Norfolk and Suffolk. Picture: Thinkstock.

There's so much fun to be had this summer across Norfolk and Suffolk. Picture: Thinkstock.

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With the summer break officially here, children and grandchildren are looking for entertainment. Here are 25 places to go in Norfolk and Suffolk to keep the family happy - and your purse-strings too. Although of course they could just play in the garden like we used to do!

Southwold beach. Picture: Archant. Southwold beach. Picture: Archant.

1) Head to one of East Anglia’s stunning beaches

A trip to the seaside needn’t be expensive, although, the lure of the attractions as well as the 2p machines may be simply too much for some to resist.

All you need to do is pack a picnic, a blanket, as well as those things to keep your children amused such as a football and of course, a bucket and spade and you’re pretty much set for a cost-effective date with the outdoors.

Budget-saving status: £

Slide down the Time Tunnel at Framlingham Castle. But be quick, as it's only in place until October. Picture: English Heritage. Slide down the Time Tunnel at Framlingham Castle. But be quick, as it's only in place until October. Picture: English Heritage.

2) Whizz down the slide at Framlingham Castle

A visit to Framlingham Castle in Suffolk is an absolute must this summer, as the heritage site reopened on June 16 after undergoing a £1.2 million investment and conservation project.

Castle-goers now have the chance to discover the once fearsome fortress’ 900-year-old history as well as dine in the new restaurant. But before you leave, don’t forget to whizz down the popular ‘Time Tunnel’ as it is known, because it’s only in place until October.

Budget-saving status: ££

Easton Farm Park in Suffolk is a great place to head for the whole family. Picture: Contributed. Easton Farm Park in Suffolk is a great place to head for the whole family. Picture: Contributed.

3) Hug a bunny at Easton Farm Park

This popular farm park in Suffolk’s countryside is a wonderful place where even as an adult, you have the chance to hug a bunny.

There’s abundance of cute farm animals, an adventure park, the chance to have-a-go on a bug barrel ride and so much more. What’s more, if there’s wet weather then you can let your brood loose in the soft play barn while you sit and enjoy a cuppa in the café.

Budget-saving status: ££

Don't forget to meet the penguins at Banham Zoo. Picture: Gregg Brown. Don't forget to meet the penguins at Banham Zoo. Picture: Gregg Brown.

4) Meet amazing animals at Banham Zoo

Any animal enthusiast will love this zoo as there are so many things to see and, more importantly, animals to meet.

In fact, this top attraction in the east is set in 50 acres of beautiful Norfolk countryside and encompasses many innovative enclosures housing some of the world’s most exotic and endangered animals.

Budget-saving status: £££

Why not experience a rollercoaster this summer with your family? Picture: Digital Vision/Thinkstock. Why not experience a rollercoaster this summer with your family? Picture: Digital Vision/Thinkstock.

5) Be an adrenaline junkie at Pleasurewood Hills

For almost 35 years, this theme park has remained a firm family favourite in East Anglia and it isn’t hard to see why.

With three rollercoasters, including the one and only Wipeout, which is the fastest and tallest coaster in the region, as well as the one-of-a-kind Cannonball and the family favourite Marble Madness – there are thrills for all.

Budget-saving status: £££

There are so many animals to meet at Africa Alive! Picture: Philip Jones. There are so many animals to meet at Africa Alive! Picture: Philip Jones.

6) Travel to the Plains of Africa

Kessingland-based attraction Africa Alive! offers explorers the chance to see the sights and hear the sounds of this fascinating continent.

From lions, giraffes and meerkats to hunting dogs and many more. Before you go home, don’t forget to climb aboard the free Safari Road Train and then let your under 12s burn off some steam in the play area.

Budget-saving status: £££

The Suffolk and Norfolk Aviation Museum in Flixton. Picture: Peter Bash. The Suffolk and Norfolk Aviation Museum in Flixton. Picture: Peter Bash.

7) Discover the aviation history of Norfolk and Suffolk

If your child is really into planes and helicopters, then East Anglia’s aviation museum near Bungay is one for them.

With a collection of nearly 70 aircrafts and over 30,000 smaller artefacts, there really is something to see at every turn.

Budget-saving status: £

Go Ape Thetford. Picture: Contributed. Go Ape Thetford. Picture: Contributed.

8) Go Ape in Thetford

This mother of all courses is set within 50,000 acres of pine and is the UK’s largest man-made lowland forest. You and your kids can enjoy two to three hours in the trees taking on zip wires, Tarzan swings, rope ladders and a variety of obstacles and crossing.

Afterwards, try out the play sculpture train or while away the afternoon in the adventure play area. You can even hire bikes, or bring your own, book a Segway or take on the Go Ape high wires course.

Budget-saving status: ££ (depending on activities)

See what you can find along the UFO Trail in Rendlesham Forest. Picture: TOM POTTER See what you can find along the UFO Trail in Rendlesham Forest. Picture: TOM POTTER

9) Cycle the UFO trail in Rendlesham Forest

Pretty much everyone knows that Rendlesham in Suffolk is infamous for its legendary alien encounter story. So it won’t come as a surprise that it has its very own UFO trail which you can walk or cycle for free.

This three-mile route is perfect for families and isn’t too demanding either. You’ll have the chance to admire the perfectly aligned trees within the Forestry Commission’s area as well as swot up on the story by reading the information boards as you head around the trail.

Budget saving status: £

Families having-a-go at crabbing in Walberswick. Picture:Sarah Lucy Brown Families having-a-go at crabbing in Walberswick. Picture:Sarah Lucy Brown

10) Go crabbing in Walberswick

Artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh made Walberswick in Suffolk his home for a year and it’s easy to see why. This coastal hot spot is popular with holidaymakers, who enjoy its sand dunes, sandy beach and grasslands.

Bring your buckets and bait – but no hooks – so you can have a go at crabbing by the harbour.

Budget-saving status: £

The summer is a great time to head to an aquarium. Picture: Thinkstock/Ingram Publishing. The summer is a great time to head to an aquarium. Picture: Thinkstock/Ingram Publishing.

11) Under the sea in Great Yarmouth

Head along Great Yarmouth’s seafront and you’ll find the Sea Life centre which features fascinating displays of aquatic creatures. While you’re there, you can go to the Turtle Shelter where you’ll see turtles swimming, sunbathing and snacking.

There’s also the amazing walk-through ocean display, with its tropical fish, sharks and green sea turtle to view.

Budget-saving status: ££

The stunning gardens at Bressingham steam museum. Picture: Barry Pullen. The stunning gardens at Bressingham steam museum. Picture: Barry Pullen.

12) Get on the rails in Bressingham

This top steam attraction is definitely one for the train lover as there are rides, world-famous gardens and there’s even its celebrated Dad’s Army collection too.

Top things to do here include riding on one of the working steam locomotives around the gardens and woodlands.

Budget-saving status: ££

Cool down this summer at Beccles Lido. Picture: Contributed. Cool down this summer at Beccles Lido. Picture: Contributed.

13) Take a dip in Beccles Lido

When the sun is shining, there’s no better way to cool down than by going for a dip in the pool.

This summer, why not head to Beccles Lido where you can swim and then afterwards, sit and sunbathe on the grass? There’s a large pool with a deep end measuring 12 ft, plus a toddler and baby pool too.

Budget-saving status: £

See the stunning horses at The Suffolk Punch Trust this summer. Picture Sarah Lucy Brown. See the stunning horses at The Suffolk Punch Trust this summer. Picture Sarah Lucy Brown.

14) Visit Suffolk horses in Hollesley

For a chance to find out about the region’s agricultural journey and the importance of the animals that were part of it, an ideal place to go is The Suffolk Punch Trust site in Hollesley.

Highlights include the chance to see beautiful horses in the stables, as well as further animals in the farm. What’s more, once you’ve paid to visit the trust once, you can enjoy free entry for the rest of the year!

Budget-saving status: £

Find out about Anglo-Saxon history at Sutton Hoo. Picture Alison Connors. Find out about Anglo-Saxon history at Sutton Hoo. Picture Alison Connors.

15) Be amazed by Anglo-Saxon history at Sutton Hoo

This awe-inspiring Anglo-Saxon burial site is a great place to learn about the discovery of the ancient monuments and the impact they’ve had on our history. In fact, during 1939 an excavation revealed the Anglo-Saxon ship of a great king with all his treasures.

At this site, your budding historians can explore the life and story of the Anglo-Saxons in the modern exhibition hall and discover lots more.

Budget saving status: ££

Meerkats are so much fun to watch! Don't miss seeing them at Pettitts Animal Adventure Park in Reedham. Picture: Thinkstock/nattanan726 Meerkats are so much fun to watch! Don't miss seeing them at Pettitts Animal Adventure Park in Reedham. Picture: Thinkstock/nattanan726

16) Action-packed fun at Pettitts Animal Adventure Park

You’ll have the chance to meet the meerkats, see the chicken puppet show and have-a-go on the playground at this park in Reedham. And if that wasn’t enough you can even try out a bunch of rides including the flying elephants, the teacups, a runaway train rollercoaster and more.

There are also live shows featuring bubbly Bingo the clown and park mascot, Maxi Mouse, during the school holidays.

Budget-saving status: £-££ (depending on the visit)

Somerleyton Hall. Picture: Andy Abbott. Somerleyton Hall. Picture: Andy Abbott.

17) Soak up the grandeur at Somerleyton Hall

At this impressive stately home in north Suffolk, you can head into the rooms, as well as the glorious gardens and a must-see is the tricky maze - will you be able to find your way out? Another part of the experience is Fritton Lake.

Here you can hire out rowing boats (free of charge) or enjoy guided tours on an electric boat. Children can then burn off some energy on the adventure play area which is a must.

Budget-saving status: £

Step back in time and find out about the dinosaurs. Picture: Thinkstock/para827. Step back in time and find out about the dinosaurs. Picture: Thinkstock/para827.

18) Delve into the world of the dinosaurs

Fans of the Jurassic Park movies will love the Dinosaur Adventure Park in Lenwade. Here you can wander around and enjoy a life-sized dinosaur trail, get up close to animal enclosures and take on the adventure playground and deer park.

If the weather isn’t the best, you can head inside to the Dinomite indoor play area where children can immerse themselves in a prehistoric paradise. Meanwhile, outside there’s a dinosaur trail, a secret animal garden, a mysterious maze and further adventure play too.

Budget-saving status: ££

Traditional fairground rides are so much fun. Why not see how many you can go on at Great Yarmouth's Pleasure Beach. Picture: Thinkstock/AnaBGD Traditional fairground rides are so much fun. Why not see how many you can go on at Great Yarmouth's Pleasure Beach. Picture: Thinkstock/AnaBGD

19) Traditional seaside fun in Great Yarmouth

From traditional dips, twists and turns of a rollercoaster to more recent additions such as the gravity-defying Sky-Drop and the dizzying heights of Disko – there’s a ride for every adrenaline junkie at Great Yarmouth’s Pleasure Beach.

Plus, there will be a huge fireworks display taking place every Wednesday night in the summer holidays.

Budget-saving status: £-££

Experience the joy of farmyard animals this summer with your family. Picture: Thinkstock/Ngaga35. Experience the joy of farmyard animals this summer with your family. Picture: Thinkstock/Ngaga35.

20) Wander over to Wroxham Barns

Budding farmers can help with bottle-feeding all those hungry calves from 11am to 3pm at Wroxham Barns. There’s also a daily programme of activities and a chance to get up close to some of the barn’s other animals too.

Make sure to save some time for the indoor play and craft areas where there’s fun for little ones. Norfolk’s FoolHardy Circus will return with the Big Top daily from July 31 to September 3 (not August 5, 13, 19 and September 2) at noon and 2pm.

Budget-saving status: £

Oasis Camel Park, Halesworth. Picture: Contributed. Oasis Camel Park, Halesworth. Picture: Contributed.

21) Ride on a camel in Halesworth

This unique camel park near Halesworth is a wonderful place to go if you enjoy meeting a mix of the friendliest animals.

In addition to furry friends, there are plenty of things to take advantage of from the free land train, play area, the bouncy castle and the museum is a must. In here you can see numerous artefacts, learn interesting things and view memorabilia.

Budget-saving status: ££

The entrance to Landguard Fort. Picture: Peter Wiles. The entrance to Landguard Fort. Picture: Peter Wiles.

22) Discover the history of Landguard Fort in Felixstowe

These coastal fortifications in Felixstowe show what life was like for decades of soldiers who found themselves within its walls. Just walking around the top and within the deep cavernous tunnels is enough to spook the hardiest.

Running until September 3, from 10am to 4pm daily, children can join in the summer fun with the quiz trail around the fort.

Budget-saving status: £

Head off for a magical adventure in the woods. Picture: Thinkstock/AVTG Head off for a magical adventure in the woods. Picture: Thinkstock/AVTG

23) Experience the magic in Bewilderwood

Bewilderwood’s adventure begins when you arrive, where you take a boat through a stream and bog to a magical world of treehouses.

This summer’s special event at the wood is Mildred’s Magnificent Music camp out where dulcet tones of Bewilderwood’s resident Crocklebog, will encourage visitors to join in at the story time stage.

Budget-saving status: ££

Try not to get lost in a maize maze this summer. Picture: Thinkstock. Try not to get lost in a maize maze this summer. Picture: Thinkstock.

24) Head into a maze at Southwold

This giant puzzle of pathways is set within eight acres of maize. It’s a real brain-teaser which will test your powers of deduction and navigation skills to the limit. Children can find the finger stamps and fulfil the forfeit at the end.

If you manage to complete the maze, then there are two jumping pillows, pedal tractors, and a large sandpit, as well as a climbing tower with slide, a cradle nest, swing and pedal go-karts.

Budget-saving status: £

Just some of the pigs at Jimmy's Farm. Picture: Lucy Taylor. Just some of the pigs at Jimmy's Farm. Picture: Lucy Taylor.

25) Down on the farm at Jimmy’s

This popular farm in Wherstead near Ipswich has been transformed over the years by Jimmy Doherty and his team. A good place to head is the farm and nature trail. There you can see ducks, chickens, sheep and of course plenty of pigs too. And if that wasn’t enough, you can even head into the hobbit house.

There’s also a huge sandpit and a wooden playground for the kids too. And make sure you head into the woods for the woodland walk.

Budget-saving status: £

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