10 ways to … have fun with your family this February half term
PUBLISHED: 13:21 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 13:21 07 February 2018
Archant Norfolk 2015
Make a nest box, seek dragons and mermaids, watch a Viking ship burn, try competitive puddle jumping, eat pancakes this February half term in Norfolk and Suffolk
1 The inspirational 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ list includes stone skimming, kite flying, animal tracking and bug hunting. The list was devised by the National Trust, which will be helping children (and adults) enjoy several of the activities on 50 Things Thursday, at Brancaster beach (look out for the flags) on February 15.
The free day includes the chance to fly a kite, skim a stone, track an animal, build a sandcastle, watch birds and much more. There are stickers and stamps for adventures achieved and families can stay for as long or short a time as they want between 10am and 4pm.
2 A Lord of the Rings themed quest at West Stow, near Bury St Edmunds, includes a Hobbit hole, the huge spiders of Mirkwood, a dragon guarding treasure and the Ring Quest trail around the country park and Anglo Saxon village. Ring Quest runs from Saturday, February 10 to Sunday, February 18, 10am to 5pm. Entrance fees and full details from whatsonwestsuffolk.co.uk/whats-on/event/3874/ring-quest
3 Vikings will be rampaging through Sheringham on Saturday, February 17, with battles in the town and on the beach, a torchlight parade from 4.30pm and a ceremonial boat-burning at 5pm. For full details of the free Viking Festival visit www.sheringhamcarnival.com
4 It’s national nest box week and you can make your own nest box at RSPB Minsmere nature reserve, near Dunwich. Wood, hammer and nails are provided for £5, plus usual reserve entry fees, and you can take your bird box home, from Monday, February 12 to Friday, February 16, 10am-4pm, no booking required. There is also a guided bird watching for begininners session at the RSPB reserve on Wednesday, February 14.
5 Make a splash at puddle jumping championships. There’s plenty of water at Welney Wetland Centre so show off your puddle jumping skills, with points for enthusiasm, style, creativity and the biggest, craziest splashes you can make. Dusty’s Puddle Jumping Championship runs at Welney, near Downham Market, from Saturday, February 10 to Sunday, February 18. Puddle jumping free with normal admission. The centre also has daily swan feeds and hare walks at 2pm on Saturday, Monday and Thursday.
6 See some of the most memorable scenes from David Attenborough’s Frozen Planet, set to music in a family concert at Snape Maltings, near Saxmundham. Frozen Planet in Concert, on Saturday, February 17, features the BBC Concert Orchestra accompanying the drama of polar bears battling, birds soaring through snowy landscapes and killer whales hunting prey. George Fenton, who composed the music, conducts. Tickets £9-£40
7 Search for sharks and mermaids – and stay to spring clean the beach. Meet at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Holme Dunes visitor centre to search for sharks’ egg cases, often know as mermaid purses, and find out about the sharks which swim nearby. The family event at Holme Dunes, near Hunstanton runs from 10.30am-12 noon on Monday, February 12. £3-£3.50. Pre-book on 01603 625540. And then families are welcome to stay for a beach clean – helping benefit coastal wildlife - 1-2.30pm, £3-£3.50
8 Celebrate Pancake Day, or Fat Tuesday (the literal translation of Mardi Gras) at The Drill House, Great Yarmouth, on Tuesday, February 13.
Enjoy music, silliness, food and family fun, including a crazy crepe race and French folk and popular tunes from an accordionist, 4pm-late.
9 Find early man, knights and princesses at Framlingham Castle.
With Aardman Animation’s Early Man in cinemas Framlingham Castle has a special trail where you can go in search of Dug, Hognob and the rest of the Early Man tribe. Follow the clues and complete the quest to uncover centuries of history in one day, from February 10-18, 10am-4pm. There is an Early Man Mini Model Making Kit for successful adventurers. Children can also learn how to become knights and princesses at the historic site from February 12-16.
10 King’s Lynn Mart has been held in the Tuesday Market Place for more than 800 years. It traditionally opens on Valentine’s Day and is the start of the travelling fair season. As well as thousands of thrill seekers and a kaleidoscope of lights, sounds, candy floss and rock, the fair is also reckoned to bring ‘Mart weather’, with its arrival heralding a cold snap. Tuesday Market Place, King’s Lynn, February 14-24.