Thursday, April 10, 2014
Easter has plenty of things to do for all the family. Simon Parkin previews dozens of events and activities to keep the kids entertained over the holidays — and don’t worry they don’t all involve eating chocolate eggs!
Woods At Easter
Bacton Woods, April 10/17, £2 per event, www.northnorfolk.org
A range of activities over the Easter holidays, with events for children and adults on offer at Bacton Wood, near North Walsham. Mini beast hunt and pond dipping on April 10 (10am-12pm), then on APril 17 (10.30am-12.30pm) an Easter egg trail with a prize for children from the Easter bunny.
Mid-Norfolk Railway, Dereham-Wymondham, April 10, 12-13, 15-21, £8 (£7 cons), children free, £18 family, 01362 851723, www.mnr.org.uk
Mid-Norfolk Railway - which runs between Dereham and Wymondham – is running kids go free services throughout the Easter holidays. Then April 18-21 there will be extra special Easter heritage diesel train service for a 22 mile round trip with every child getting to meet the Easter Bunny and receive a free chocolate surprise.
Yuri’s Night (& Day)
Seething Observatory, Toad Lane, Thwaite St Mary, April 12, 2pm-6pm, £3.50, £1.50 children, 01953 600534, www.norwichastro.org.uk
Norwich Astronomical Society celebrate international Yuri’s Day with an afternoon of children’s events. Decorate a rocket before the “rocket man” helps launch them high. There’ll be comet making, talks, solar viewing through special solar scopes, as well as scale of the solar system and other activities. Look at the moon and stars from the societies telescopes.
Pensthorpe Natural Park, near Fakenham, until April 22, 10am-5pm, normal admission prices, 01328 851465, www.pensthorpe.com
Hands-on nature games and a self-guided trail will enable visitors to get up close and personal with the natural world. Leap like a frog, see the world through the eyes of a bug, hop like a hare and learn about hedgehogs. With a focus on spring time, see the new arrivals in the brooder room or play a lambing activity. Plus on April 14, Sally North will present her magical, musical puppet show Short’nin’ Bread and the Sparrows (11am-2pm).
Rock Pool Rummaging/Rocks & Relics
West Runton Beach, April 14, 11.30am-1.30pm/2.30pm-4pm, each event £3.50 (£3 members), www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk
Once again Norfolk Wildlife Trust will be rummaging in rock pools in search of life and need keen eyes to help investigate the secrets of the seashore. If you don’t know a barnacle from a belemnite the experts will be on hand to identify your finds. Then in the afternoon explorers may be lucky enough to find a fossil to take home – and make your very own fossil shark’s tooth necklace.
Crafty Creations/Miraculous Minibeasts
NWT Roydon Common, April 16, 10.30am-12pm/1pm-2.30pm, each event £3.50 (£3 members), pre-book 01603 625540, www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk
At Roydon Common to create woodland works of art; look out for wildlife as we collect natural materials, then use these materials together with some clay to create masterpieces on the trees. Then in the afternoon forage among the foliage and search between the sedge for any mini-beast which may be waiting.
Family Nature Walk
RSPB Minsmere, Suffolk, April 16, 11am/12pm/2pm/3pm, £1.50 per person plus entry fee, pre-book 01728 648281, www.rspb.org.uk
Spring into action with this family walk. Nature enthusiast Stephen Massey will bring the nature reserve alive with a 45 minute adventure looking at the signs of spring. Discover more about those bursting buds, who made those footprints and whose been nibbling the leaves. The walk will start in the Discovery Centre where there will be quizzes and Easter crafts taking place.
Norwich Ghost Walks
Adam and Eve, Bishopsgate, Mon/Tues/Thurs from April 15, 7.30pm, £7 (£5 cons), under-5s free, 07831 189985, www.ghostwalksnorwich.co.uk
The Man in Black and his ghostly team are back for another season of spreading terror around the streets of Norwich, seeking out the local afterlife. The spooky season kicks off on April 15. Three different walks all start at the Adam and Eve. No need to book just turn up.
Wroxham Barns, Hoveton, open daily 10am-5pm, junior farm entry £5.75 per person, under-2s free, 01603 783762, www.wroxhambarns.co.uk
Wroxham Barns’ popular lamb-feeding sessions continue. It is one of very few places in East Anglia where visitors can bottle-feed lambs so early on in the year and the sessions will take place every day at 11am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm.
Epic Easter Egg Adventure
Whitlingham Country Park, Trowse, Norwich, April 17, 11am-3pm, £1 per person, 01603 756094, www.enjoythebroads.com
Follow the tricky treasure trail around Whitlingham Country Park to complete the tasks and win yummy Easter eggs. Then craft a nest basket to take your prize home. Make sure to take outdoor clothes and footwear. This one is suitable for all ages, but no unaccompanied children. Car park charges apply.
Strumpshaw Fen Nature Reserve, April 17, 1pm-4pm, £3.50, £1.50 children, £7 family, 01603 715191, www.rspb.org.uk
Can you find all the clues and complete the wild Easter quest through the woods at the RSPB reserve at Strumpshaw Fen? This is a drop-in family event with Easter-themed activities and a small prize for everyone. Included in normal reserve entry charges.
International Horse Trials
Sussex Farm, Burnham Market, signposted from Fakenham and King’s Lynn, April 17-19, from 8am, £8 on gate, £4 children, £21 family (Apr 19 £11, £5 children, £28 family), 01485 210070, www.musketeer.co.uk
Burnham Market International Horse Trials is one of the country’s finest events where visitors can see a multitude of Olympic and Championship athletes competing on home turf. Riders who regularly compete at Burnham Market include Zara Phillips, Team GB Olympians William Fox-Pitt, Pippa Funnell and local girl Piggy French. There will be plenty of children’s fun (Razz and Pearl will be performing circus workshops Apr 18/19).
NT Easter Egg Trails
Sheringham Park, until April 22, 10am-4.15pm, £2.20 per child, 01263 820550/Felbrigg Hall, April 18-21, 11am-3.30pm/Oxburgh Hall, April 19-21, 11am-4pm, £2/Blickling Hall, April 20-21, 10.30am-4pm, normal admission, plus £2 per trail, 01263 738030, www.eastereggtrail.co.uk
The National Trust is having Cadbury Eggsplorers Easter Egg Trails during the Easter holidays at Sheringham Park, Felbrigg Hall, Blickling and Oxburgh Hall. Tread amongst the early flowering rhododendrons and camellias for the clues to complete your Easter trail at Sheringham Park. Follow the rhymes to discover more about the wildlife and plants to collect your Easter prize. Then there will be lots of eggs-static events to be enjoyed over the Easter weekend at Blickling. Discover the story of Blickling as you follow the trail around the garden. Come back and tell them your favourite character and win your Cadbury chocolate Egghead.
Catch The Easter Bunny
RSPB Titchwell Marsh, near King’s Lynn, until April 27, 9.30am-5pm, £1 per child, 01485 210779, www.rspb.org.uk
The naughty Easter bunny has stolen all the Easter eggs, visit Titchwell Marsh, help find them and get an egg-cellent prize. This is a fun self-guided walk, to test your wildlife knowledge as you search for nest boxes around the reserve, but be careful the Easter bunny has made it difficult and will try to trick you. The £1 per includes a chocolate prize.
Holt Country Park, until April 16, 10am-12pm, £2 per child, www.northnorfolk.org
Countryside Rangers are hosting a range of activities over the Easter holidays at Holt Country Park. Easter egg trail through the woods on April 15 with a prize for children from the Easter bunny. Muddy Boots Club on April 16 (1.30pm) offers a chance to learn woodland skills from the rangers and the importance of woodland management. 1.30pm to 3.30pm.
No booking required, free entry, open to all ages, gloves provided. Meet the rangers outside the Visitor Centre.
Easter Trail/Scavenger Hunt
Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham, April 18, 11am-4pm, £6.10 (£5.60 cons), £3.60 children, under-5s free, 01603 270559, www.fairhavengarden.co.uk
Follow the Easter trail at Fairhaven. There is an eggy prize at the end. There will also be face painting and Easter crafts for children. Today’s event runs from 11am-4pm, an additional £2 per child for Easter egg trail (every child gets an egg). Throughout the holidays there is also a scavenger hunt in the woods (included in admission). Fit as many tiny objects as you can into a small container.
Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich, April 17-21
Norwich has long hosted an Easter fair and once again this year there is the chance to swing, slide and be whizzed around on the waltzer as the Showman’s Guild take over Chapelfield Gardens. Plenty of thrills on offer, the candyfloss and toffee apple aromas, as well as a carousel, dodgems and more thrill-seeking rides for the daring. Plus Easter eggs amongst the prizes.
Easter Treasure Hunt
Hoveton Hall Gardens, near Wroxham, April 18-21, 10.30am-5pm, £7 (£6.50 cons), £3.50 children, under-4s free, £19 family, 01603 782558, www.hovetonhallgardens.co.uk
Hoveton Hall is running an Easter Treasure Hunt. Follow the clues, and the treasure hunt will take families on a journey around the gardens ending at the tearooms so they can collect their Easter prize. It’s included in the usual entrance fee.
Holkham Hall, April 18-21, 12pm-4pm, £13 (hall, museum and garden), £6.50 children, £35 family, 01328 713111, www.holkham.co.uk
Holkham hosts four days packed full of ‘egg-citing’ things to do over Easter including captivating tales with storyteller Paul Jackson in his enchanting yurt, plus well-known children’s author Jackie Morris, famous for her best-selling picture books I am Cat and The Ice Bear. Budding artists can get creative and make an Easter rabbit. For our intrepid young Easter adventurers, there’s a chance to ‘egg-splore’ our mini mazes in the courtyard, whilst tasty Easter treats await in the old kitchen of the hall and decorate a delicious Easter biscuit.
Bure Valley Railway, April 18-21, 10am-4.40pm, £12.50 return, £6.50 children, under-5s free, £33 family, 01263 733858, www.bvrw.co.uk
Enjoy a train ride on Norfolk’s longest Narrow Gauge Steam Railway from either Aylsham or Wroxham (five departure times at both). There is a free Easter egg for every child when accompanied by a fare-paying adult (maximum two children per adult).
Easter River Trips
Broads Tours, The Bridge, Wroxham, April 18-21, 11.30am/2.30pm, £8, £5 children, under-5s free, 01603 782207, www.broadstours.co.uk
Broads Tours’ Easter Special River Trips include an onboard nature quiz, Easter egg hunt and free to enter colouring or drawing competition. All trips include an entertaining commentary by the Skipper and children will receive an Easter Egg.
Easter Egg Fun Day
Barningham Hall, Mastlaske, April 19, 11am-3.30pm, £3 children, £2 adults, 01263 768766, www.steppingstonesaldborough.co.uk
Now in it’s eighth year Barningham Hall hosts another chance to hunt for chocolate eggs while exploring the grounds of Barningham Hall. There’s also fun craft activities and face painting for children, along with stalls, games, a raffle and tombola. Refreshments will be available throughout the day. Prices include the chocolate eggs and craft activities.
Easter Bonnet Parade
Harleston Town Centre, April 19, 11am, free admission, 01379 855235
Watch a parade of colourful and creative Easter bonnets around Harleston town centre, starting at 11am and led by the Town Crier. Specially made Easter Egg prizes for the best hats, and also for the best shop window display, will be awarded at St John’s Chapel at 11.30am. There will be a Zumba dance display on Union Street at 11.30am plus flags and bunting throughout town.
St Catherine’s Church, Ludham, April 20, 2pm-4pm, free admission, churchestogetheronthebroads.org.uk
An Easter egg hunt with a difference. As part of the Ludham Churches Together children’s work, Easter Sunday will see a traditional egg hunt, treasure hunt quiz and (here’s the best bit) the chance to parachute eggs from the top of the church tower. Make a ‘chute and hand to church staff to launch. There’ll be a prize for every egg which makes it down safely! There will also be craft activities and the chance to wander around the churchyard looking for clues to our Easter Quiz.
Shine A Light
Happisburgh Lighthouse, April 20-21, 11am- 4pm, £3, £1 children (8-16), www.happisburgh.org/lighthouse
Your first chances to climb one of Norfolk’s most famous landmarks are on offer this weekend. Happisburgh Lighthouse will be open on Easter Sunday and Monday. As always, for safety reasons children must be at least a metre tall and capable of climbing up and down the steps unassisted.
Easter Family Fun Day
Yarmouth Racecourse, April 21, from 12pm, £60-£13, under-18s free, 01493 842527, www.greatyarmouth-racecourse.co.uk
This now traditional Easter fixture in the racing calendar is a fantastic family day out with seven races. There will be plenty of additional entertainment for the children including competitions, donkey rides and inflatables. First race is at 1.50pm. Fakenham Racecourse’s biggest meeting of the year also returns on April 21, with another packed and exciting afternoon of National Hunt racing.
Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve, until April 21, 9am-4pm, 01328 856788
Family events at Sculthorpe Moor include a children’s Easter trail around the reserve to learn more about springtime wildlife and solve the puzzle for a chance to win an Easter surprise. Quiz sheets £2.
Easter Treasure Hunt
Plantation Garden Earlham Road, Norwich, April 21, 2.30pm-4.30pm, £3 per child, accompanying adults £2, www.plantationgarden.co.uk
This Easter treasure hunt takes place in Plantation Garden, one of Norwich hidden gems, located just off Earlham Road (in the shadow of St John’s Cathedral). As well as the treasure trail, there will be face painting, crafts and Easter treats, plus refreshments.
Norwich Gaming Festival
The Forum, Norwich, until April 16, 10am-4.30pm, admission free, www.norwichgamingfestival.wordpress.com
The first ever Norwich Gaming Festival includes a wide variety of video game related events designed to inspire, educate and entertain, including some of the very latest games and ones from the past in the Retro Arcade which has all the classic games from your childhood. You can even design your own computer game by taking part in live workshops with pro developers.
Drill House Open Day
The Drill House, York Road, Great Yarmouth, April 12, 2pm-8pm, free admission, seachangearts.org.uk
Seachange Arts hosts its second annual open day at The Drill House which has been established as an international creation centre for circus and street arts. The event will feature a special cabaret show from the Drillaz; resident company Lost in Translation Circus; and Australia’s Flipside Circus. There will be workshops in circus skills, parkour and the chance to create some decorations for this year’s Out There Festival.
Escape the Workhouse
Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, until April 22, £9.90 (£8.60 cons), £6.50 (4-18), £20 family, 01362 860563, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
I’m in the Workhouse – get me out of here! Find out if you have what it takes to escape the workhouse during this special Easter holiday challenge. Mr Scraggs, the Workhouse Master, has hidden all his keys. Perhaps if you could find a good job beyond the Workhouse walls, the Master would let you leave. Discover how to set the table for dinner. If all else fails, make a disguise to sneak past the Master!
Super Models — Some Assembly Required
Time and Tide Museum, Blackfriars Road, Great Yarmouth, until November 2, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, normal admission prices, 01493 743930, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
An exhibition exploring the world of models and model making. You can see everything from model boats to natural history sculptures, and even follow our model men trail. Alongside art works from museum and private collections, there are characters from One Million Years B.C and Wallace and Gromit - The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
Elizabethan House, Great Yarmouth, until April 22, 10am-4pm, normal admission £4.50 (£3.50 cons), £2.50 children, family tickets available 01493 745526, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
Follow this trail around the Elizabethan House museum, dedicated to the lives of families who lived in this splendid Quayside house from Tudor to Victorian times, to discover vile things about Victorian times. Find all the quails eggs and win a vulgar Victorian prize! Activity trail available daily (closed on Saturdays).
Norwich Castle Museum, April 11-12, 10am-4pm, £5 per group of five, pre-book on 01603 495897, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
As part of the Roman Empire exhibition, Norwich Castle Museum has created our own Colosseum using green screen technology. Pop along and dress up as a Roman, speak in Latin or roar like a lion. They will put you in a film clip of the Colosseum that you can view online, and download to keep. There’s 25% off museum entrance if pre-booked. Suitable for all ages. Children must be accompanied.
Besieged: Lynn and Civil War
Lynn Museum, King’s Lynn, April 15, 11am-2pm, £2, 01553 775001, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
Meet a Civil War Solider and a townswomen defending her home during the Siege of Lynn. Can you help a Civil War spy crack a code? Explore our new Civil War displays and make a drum to take home.
Spring Bunting/Peg Bunnies
Bridewell Museum/Strangers’ Hall, Norwich, until April 19, £4.95 (£3.95 cons), £2.95 children/£4.50 (£3.50 cons), £2.50 children, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
Easter holiday fun at the Bridewell (10am-4.30pm daily) with the opportunity to make celebratory bunting to decorate your home for spring. Easter bunnies, eggs and flowers galore! Meanwhile at Strangers’ Hall (apr 9/16, 10am-4pm) make adorable peg doll bunnies - the sweetest rabbits in town and ecorate a beautiful egg to take home, or to hang on the Easter Egg Tree.
Cromer Museum, April 15, 7pm-8.30pm, £4, 01263 513543, www.museum.norfolk.gov.uk
Listen to legends and ghostly tales of old Cromer and discover some atmospheric sights with Kate Banks. Meet at the Museum 15 minutes before start.
Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, April 21, 10am-5pm, £9.90 (£8.60 cons), £6.50 (4-18), £20 family, 01362 860563, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
Spring fun and games for all the family at Gressenhall. Conquer the inflatable obstacle course and see who can stay on the rodeo sheep the longest. Practice your circus skills with Foolhardy Circus Arts. Get crafty and make a green man mask to show off in the Grand Gressenhall Parade. Wander down to the farm and watch the heavy horses working in the fields.
Hippodrome, Great Yarmouth, until April 21, 2.30pm/6.30pm, £20-£12.50, £10 children, £50-£35 family, 01493 844172,
Avast! A pirate galleon has sailed into the Hippodrome for this special Easter swashbuckling pirate water show that will combine theatre, comedy and circus skills with a 12-strong cast of acrobats and aerial artists joining Jack Jay and Johnny Mac who have also written the show. Running throughout the Eater period it promises to be an all-action, family production all set on the specially built set of a giant pirate ship.
Sleeping Beauty in Woods
Norwich Puppet Theatre, April 10-12, 2.30pm, 11am Apr 10/12, £8.50 (£7 cons), £6.50 children, £24 family, 01603 629921, puppettheatre.co.uk
This adaptation of the story of Briar Rose by the Brothers Grimm, conjures a dreamlike fantasy of palaces and forests, ogres and fairies, princes and babes. A fairy grants the King and Queen their wish of a new baby. But when invited to the christening she casts a spell that the kingdom will fall asleep for 100 years. This bold production from Little Angel Theatre uses puppetry, video projections, automata and live music. Baby-friendly staging on April 12 (11am).
A Real Fairy Tale
Guildhall Theatre, King’s Lynn, April 12, 2.30pm, £9, £6 children, 01553 764864, www.kingslynnarts.co.uk
Mrs Buttersnap is an expert on fairies but she has never even seen one. She needs to photograph one for her book but how can she get one? With the help of an assortment of gadgets and her wise cat she finds herself in fairyland where all is not well. A show full of wonder, mayhem and close encounters of the fairy kind, this show is full of comedy, shadow puppetry and the leaps of imagination.
Scooby-Doo: The Mystery of the Pyramid
Norwich Theatre Royal, April 14-16, 6.30pm, 2.30pm Apr 15/16, £22.50-£5.50, 01603 630000, www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk
Zoinks! — the classic cartoon comes to life with spooky mystery and fun in the Pyramids in this all-new stage production. Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Velma and Daphne arrive in Egypt where they must solve the mystery of Pharaoh Hatchepsout’s Pyramid. Easy, you say? Not if the gang has to deal with mysterious mummies plus the wrath of the Pharaoh who will transform anyone who dares approach the pyramid into stone! Expect plenty of slapstick, songs and special effects.
Kid’s Variety Adventure
Marina Theatre, Lowestoft, April 15-17, 11am/2.30pm, £12 (£9 cons), £35 family, 01502 533200, www.marinatheatre.co.uk
Starring children’s TV legend Dave Benson Phillips this show promises fun for all the family. It tells the story of The Girl, The Wicked Witch and The Entertainer when they travel through the strange land of Mysteria. As the trio set out on their adventure to lift a 100-year-old curse from the land, they encounter many friends and foes – all weird and wonderful characters, each with their very own special talents. With magic from the Wise Old Wizard, comedy from Smilie the Clown and plenty of surprises.
Norwich Puppet Theatre, April 16/17, 12pm, £8.50 (£7 cons), £6.50 children, £24 family, 01603 629921, puppettheatre.co.uk
Polka Theatre’s Three Colours, a co-production with Norwich Puppet Theatre, places the audience at the centre of the experience, gently drawing you into wonderful imaginary landscapes where you can swim with fish, feel frogs nibble your toes, catch grasshoppers and listen to a gentle heartbeat… all magically created out of the colours of light, puppets and music. Suitable for ages 2+
Charlie and Lola’s Best Bestest Play
Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, April 17-19, various times, £13-£8.50, 01284 769505, www.theatreroyal.org
Suitable for children under the age of seven, the large-scale puppet show is based on the popular children’s books by Lauren Child, and was originally created for Polka Theatre in 2009. The audience finds out if Lola will ever tidy her room or if Charlie will get her to sleep, even though she is not sleepy and will not go to bed. Suitable for ages 3+
St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth, April 18, 11am/2.30pm, £12 (£10 cons), £38 family, 01493 331484, stgeorgestheatre.com
Izzy Wizzy look who is back for Easter. Long-standing furry favourite Sooty returns. As ever he will be joined by Sweep, Soo and Richard Cadell who will be attempting to keep Sooty from getting up to mischief. Good luck with that. It’s Sooty’s Birthday party and things aren’t going to plan. Sooty and Sweep get messy baking the cake and will Soo ever decide which dress to wear?
Special party guests include Butch the bulldog and Ramsbottom the snake.
Detect Egg/Panda’s Song
Beccles Public Hall, April 18, 3pm/April 19, 11.30am/1.30pm, £5.50, £20 family, 01502 770062, www.becclespublichall.org.uk
Two Easter children’s theatre productions at Beccles Public Hall. Simply Smiley Productions make a welcome return with the ever-popular Detect Egg (Apr 18). Hattie Hen and Herlock Bones follow the chase across Biddlesdown Farm with Hunny Bunny and Rodney Rooster as they try to uncover the case of the missing egg. Then the Simply Smiley team offer up brand new story Panda’s Song (Apr 19), produced in conjunction with writer Hannah Yaawusaah.
The Just So Stories
Angles Theatre, Wisbech, April 19, 3pm, £8, 01945 474447, www.anglestheatre.co.uk
Four of Rudyard Kipling’s best-loved tales are brought to life in a hugely entertaining and enchanting manner. Find out why the moon pulls tides; why the camel has a hump; why whales no longer eat men (or women or children); and why the elephant’s nose is so long. Four actors will bring fantastical creatures and worlds to life. Suitable for ages 4+
Princess Theatre, Hunstanton, April 20, 2.30pm, £7.50-£6.50, 01485 533352, www.princesshunstanton.co.uk
A brand new adaptation of the classic story by J M Barrie about a boy who never grows up. Peter and Wendy journey to Neverland meeting Lost Boys, Indians and of course the villainous Captain Hook - not forgetting his silly sidekick Smee! The story comes to life with the help of an ingenious set that gives the impression that the whole adventure could all be just a game as the nursery. The audience are encouraged to add to the fun by dressing up as their favourite characters and there is a special prize for the best dressed.