30 things to do with the kids in Norfolk over the summer holidays
PUBLISHED: 15:51 24 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:28 25 July 2019
From a Wizard of Oz afternoon tea to David Walliams' Mr Stink live on stage, there is plenty to keep the kids entertained over the summer holidays in Norfolk and Waveney.
1. Cromer Carnival
Various locations around the town
August 17 to 23
Various prices with many free events, cromercarnival.co.uk
Carnival week is back for 2019 with a jam-packed programme of events including crab catching, a family disco, street dance competition, soapbox derby and on Sunday, August 18 from 10am the carnival takes place which will also feature a big screen to celebrate its 50th year, a Custom and American Car Show and a Beer and Cider Festival.
2. Old Buckenham Airshow
Old Buckenham Airfield, NR17 1PU
July 27 to 28, 10am to 5pm
Online adults £18 (gate £20), 12 to 16 year olds £7.50, gate £10, children under 12 go free, oldbuckenhamairshow.com
The annual airshow - the only one in Norfolk - is known for bringing the greatest pilots flying the world's most exciting and rarest aircraft. On the ground is a busy show with masses of classic cars, military displays, stands, stalls and activities.
3. Norwich Pride
City centre, parade starts from City Hall at 1pm
July 27, from 11am
The fun will begin from 10am with stalls in The Forum of Chapelfield Gardens and there will be speakers, music and dance throughout the morning. From 12.45pm there will be speeches at City Hall and the colourful parade will take place at 1pm ending up in Chapelfield Gardens for 2pm where there will be live music.
READ MORE: All you need to know ahead of the Old Buckenham Airshow
4. CPRE Summer Fair
Raveningham Hall, NR14 6NS
July 28, 10am to 4pm
£5, purchase in advance at eventbrite.co.uk or at the gate, under-13s free
The fundraising fair has been organised by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and is part of this year's Norfolk Day celebrations. The fair will feature over 50 stalls of local, award-winning food, drink and crafts, Wildcraft barbecue and bar, entertainment including the Rattlebox Norfolk Folk Bank and Hoxon Hundred Folk Dancers, a classic car display, archery, tours of the garden with RHS president Sir Nicholas Bacon, a raffle and an antiques valuation tent with Elizabeth Talbot from BBC's Flog It!
5. Grand Summer Spectacular and Water Show
Yarmouth Hippodrome, NR30 2EU
Until September 15
Adults from £19, concessions from £16, children from £11, hippodromecircus.co.uk
The Jay family run four shows throughout the year and 2019 is an extra special year as it marks 40 years since Peter Jay took over the Hippodrome. This year's Circus and Water Spectacular line-up includes the Motorbike Globe of Death Riders, acrobatic street talent direct from Chicago, synchronised swimming and Jack Jay will be joined by his comedy partner Johnny Mac once again.
READ MORE: All you need to know ahead of Norwich Pride 2019
6. Worstead Festival
Village centre, NR28 9SG
July 27 to 28, 10am to 6pm
Adults £6, under-12s arefree, worsteadfestival.org
A jam-packed weekend of entertainment which raises money for local charities and celebrates rural life, farming and the crafts and produce of Worstead and north Norfolk. Among the attractions at the event includes a dog show, grown in Norfolk produce show, flower show in St Mary's Worstead, Pimms and prosecco bar, craft fair, sheep shearing, alpacas, a sheepdog display, vintage tractors, street food and bars and demonstrations from local chefs.
7. Downham Market Water Festival
Hythe Bridge, PE30 0AE
August 11, 10am to 5pm
Free, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details
There is something for everyone at the Water Festival including stalls and attractions and the Dragon Boat races with teams from local businesses, charities and groupsof family and friends. Crews of eight to 10 are required and all boats and no experience is needed.
READ MORE: 12 places in Norfolk to see outdoor cinema this summer
8. Character Days at Africa Alive!
Whites Lane, Kessingland, NR33 7TF
Various dates, africa-alive.co.uk, 9.30am to 6pm
Included in entry, adult £19.95, child (3-15) £14.50, under-threes free, seniors (65+) £18.10, registered disabled child/adult/carer £9.95
Plenty of favourites from children's TV are coming to the popular walking safari this summer with Gruffalo on July 31, Chase & Marshall from PAW Patrol on August 7, Peter Rabbit on August 17, Dora the Explorer August 21 and PJ Masks on August 27. Africa Alive! is set in 100 acres and home to more than 80 species of animals from Africa.
9. Head Out, Not Home
Norwich City Centre
Thursday evenings until August 29, 4.40pm to 8pm, norwichbid.co.uk
Organised by Norwich BID, every Thursday this summer there will be live music, theatre and comedy events taking place around the city in London Street, Westlegate, Gentleman's Walk, St Gregory's Green, Riverside and Cathedral Grounds. Highlights include singer-songwriter Lucy Grubb, Uncalled Four R&B band and Immray the street clown - you can view the full schedule at norwichbid.co.uk.
10. Wizard of Oz Afternoon Tea
OPEN Norwich, 20 Bank Plain, NR2 4SF
August 30, 1pm
Adults £14.95, under-14s £9, opennorwich.org.uk
Follow Dorothy on her grand adventure over the rainbow to discover there really is no place like OPEN to have an afternoon tea - located in the grandeur of the former Bank Manager's dining room.
Expect yellow brick road sandwiches, flying monkey cupcakes, munchkin scones, Toto's bone shaped biscuits, and Emerald City milkshakes.
READ MORE: Norwich Playhouse announce new season
11. All About Dogs Show
Norfolk Showground, NR5 0TT
August 25 to 26, 9.30am to 5pm
Advance adult £12, concession (60+) £11.50, child (5-15) £6.50, camping and entry with pitch £59, allaboutdogsshow.co.uk
There will be two days of exciting arena displays, expect advice, shopping and activities for dogs such as flyball, aqua sports and an obstacle course. There will also be fun dog shows including dogs with a disability, gorgeous golden oldie and best rescue dog. Lucy Heath and dog Trip will also be bringing fun and interactive displays and you may recognise them from the final of Britain's Got Talent in 2016 after winning the public wildcard.
12. Matilda the Musical
Norwich Theatre Royal, NR2 1RL
Until August 17, 7.30pm with 2.30pm matinee performances on Wednesdays and Saturdays
£10 to £58.50, in person at the box office, by phone on 01603 630000 or online at theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk
Matilda The Musical is an uplifting tale about a gifted and brave girl who loves books but is born to parents who don't understand her and who send her away to a school run by the terrifying Miss Trunchbull. Commissioned in 2010 by the RSC, the lyrics and music are written by comedian and musician Tim Minchin, featuring memorable tunes include Revolting Children and When I Grow Up.
READ MORE: Norwich restaurant launches Alice in Wonderland afternoon tea
13. Alice in Wonderland Afternoon Tea
The Assembly House, Theatre Street, Norwich, NR2 1RQ
August 1 to September 1
£21.95 for one or £42 for two, children's tea (under-12s) £12.95, assemblyhousenorwich.co.uk
Guests at the Mad Hatter's tea party will enjoy a colourful feast, starting with a little "Drink Me" bottle that invites you to guess the fruity flavours and it may, or may not, cause you to shrink. Tasty treats include a carrot cake with a disappearing rabbit, The Queen of Hearts' Tarts, Tweedledum and Tweedledee sweet and savoury scones and finger sandwiches. All the Alice in Wonderland cakes are vegetarian and gluten free and the full tea also has dairy-free, nut-free and vegan versions.
14. Nature's WILD Tribe at Pensthorpe Natural Park
Pensthorpe Natural Park, Fakenham, NR21 0LN
July 25 to September 3, 10am to 5pm
Included in ticket price, adults £10.95 online, £11.95 gate, children (3-16) and senior citizens (60+) £9.95, £10.95 gate, pensthorpe.com
Bring along your own wild tribe and get messy in the new mud kitchen in WildRootz, go on a barefoot trail, play hopscotch, seek out the wonders of the natural world around every corner and learn about some of the creatures that call Pensthorpe home. Bring along your own wild tribe and get messy in the new mud kitchen in WildRootz, go on a barefoot trail, play hopscotch, seek out the wonders of the natural world around every corner and learn about some of the creatures that call Pensthorpe home.
READ MORE: 9 unusual things to do in Norwich - from a Rage Room to Snow Tubing
15. Mundesley Deep History Dinosaur Trail
Across the village
You may also want to watch:
Runs throughout the summer
Mundesley Parish Council are running a open to all free Dinosaur Trail this year with three trails around Mundesley and over 150 dinosaurs to find. Trail sheets can be collected for free from Visitor Centre, Fish & Fry, the Beach Hut Café and Norfolk Needle Craft.
16. Mole & Gecko
Various Norfolk Libraries
July 31 and August 1
£5, £10 for one adult and two children, simonmole.com
Poet Simon Mole and musician Gecko have joined forces to write and perform a new show for children (aged 5+) and families, which is heading to four Norfolk libraries - Gorleston Library, Acle Library, Wymondham Library and Norwich Millennium Library. The show features live songs, rap stories, instant poems and a weasel with a serious biscuit problem.
17. Woodfordes Ale Trail
Over 400 pubs across East Anglia
Until September 29
Collect ale trail booklets at participating pubs, woodfordes.com
The highly-anticipated ale trail is East Anglia's largest and has been part of Woodforde's for over 20 years. This year the trail includes over 400 pubs spread across five counties with plenty of family favourites with large gardens, play areas and tasty menus packed with local produce.
18. Activities at Market Gates Shopping Centre
Great Yarmouth, NR30 2BG
Every Thursday until August 29, from 11am
There are free activities running at the shopping centre throughout the summer, including summer crafts, circus skills and wildlife displays. You can view the full programme at marketgates-shopping.co.uk.
19. Laboratory Media Education Summer Workshops
Carrowbreck House, Hellesdon, NR6 5FA
Various dates from July 31 to August 28, 9.30am to 3.30pm
Laboratory Media Education have launched their 2019 Summer Holiday Workshop Program. Each Wednesday through the summer holidays they will be running fullday sessions for youngsters aged 10 to 16 in Norwich. The workshops are 3D Design and Print, Robots, Coding and Circuitry and Puzzles and Conundrums and Animation.
READ MORE: Meet the former Norwich academy footballer playing Miss Trunchbull in Matilda
20. The Bouncing Bubble Party Parade
BeWILDerwoood, Hoveton, NR12 8JW
July 25 to September 3, 10am to 5.30pm
Included in admission price, born to be wild (under 92cm) free, almost wild (92-105cm) £14.95, bewild now (over 105cm) £16.95, still wild (65+) £8.95, bewilderwood.co.uk
The Bouncing Bubble Party Parade will begin at 2pm at the Storytelling Stage - meet there to be part of the action and get ready to stroll through the woods in a colorful, wild and wonderful procession with plenty of bubbles. There will also be activities in the Big Hat and Face Painting Pavilion.
21. Brass on the Lawn
Somerleyton Hall and Gardens, NR32 5QQ
July 28, 2pm to 4pm
Adults garden only £6.95, over 60s £5.90, child (5-16) £4.90, family (two adults, two children) £19.95, adults hall and garden £11.45, over 60s £10.50, child £6.50, family £30, eventbrite.co.uk
Wrenthan Band will be performing in the scenic grounds of Somerleyton Hall with picnics welcome and tours of the hall also taking place for an additional charge.
22. Norwich Vegans Summer Fayre
The Forum, Norwich, NR2 1TF
July 28, 10am to 4pm
Norwich was recently named the most vegan city in the UK and the event attracted 2,000 people in 2018. There will be over 50 stalls, including plenty of tasty treats, and guest speakers.
READ MORE: Theatre Royal's Matilda The Musical offering £5 tickets
23. Dippy's Birthday Week
Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure, Lenwade, NR9 5JE
July 29 to August 4, 9.30am to 6pm
Summer prices: online (at the gate) - visitors 90cm and over £14.95 (£16.95), seniors £12.95 (£14.95), registered disabled 90cm and over (adult and child) £7.50 £8.50), registered disabled carer (adult and child) £7.50 (£8.50), roarrdinosauradventure.co.uk
Come and celebrate Dippy's Birthday Week with a Hawaiian-themed party that everyone is invited to. Join in the birthday games, entertainment, disco dancing, which takes place twice a day, and there will also be birthday cake. New for 2019, there is also a free Dinobus which runs seven days week from July 29 to September 1 from Norwich Station to the attraction, with pick-ups along the way.
24. My First Play: A Midsummer Night's Nap
The Garage, Norwich, NR2 1NY
Until August 4, 10.15am, 1.15pm and 3.15pm
Adults £12.50, children £7.50, under 1s go free, 01603 598646, thegarage.org.uk
My First Play: A Midsummer Night's Nap is a new, immersive retelling of the Shakespeare comedy for the whole family from The Garage in Norwich and All-In Productions and is aimed at children aged up to seven. The show is performed in an informal setting with the audience free to come and go as they please, babies can be fed, youngsters encouraged to make noise.
25. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Musical
OPEN Norwich, 20 Bank Plain, NR2 4SF
August 6 to 11, 7.30pm
£16 to £20, family tickets available
One of the world's favourite musicals, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will have audiences of all ages flying high and featuring the lovable and wacky Caractacus Potts, his two children and Truly Scrumptious as they try and outwit Baron Bomburst. Featuring the classic songs Toot Sweets, Me Ole Bamboo and Hushabye Mountain.
26. Bat Nights
Various churches around Norfolk
Until August 17
Free with donations welcome, batsandchurches.org.uk, any queries call 01553 630842
Expert ecologist Phil Parker is running bat walks around the Norfolk throughout August as part of the Bats in Churches project which is trying to find solutions so that bats can live in churches without causing damage.
The evening will include an introductory talk on bats, how they use the church and churchyard and some of the challenges they face, children's craft activities with prizes, refreshments and the opportunity to watch the bats emerge from the church using infra-red cameras.
READ MORE: Dozens more events to tempt you out on Norfolk Day 2019
27. The Grand Norwich Duck Race
The Ribs of Beef, 24 Wensum Street, NR3 1HY
August 25, 11am to 3.30pm
Sponsor at duck for £2 each, break-charity.org
The Grand Norwich Duck Race is back for 2019 and once again raises funds for Break Charity which has been making life better for vulnerable children and young people across East Anglia for 50 years. The fun starts at 11am with a duck parade on St George's Bridge from midday and there will also be a cake stall, ice creams, face painting, little duck stall, games and other activities for everyone to enjoy. The individual mini duck race takes place at 2pm, with prizes such as restaurant vouchers and a one night stay at the Maids Head Hotel, and the large painted duck race starts at 2.30pm and you or your company can sponsor you own for £100 with the prestigious Duck Trophy up for grabs.
28. Little Orphan Annie
Norwich Puppet Theatre, St James, Whitefriars, NR3 1TN
August 6, 6.30pm, August 7, 7.30pm
Adults £9, children (under 14) £8 puppettheatre.co.uk, 01603 629921
Performing Arts East Theatre Project bring Little Orphan Annie to life on the Norwich Puppet Theatre stage in two exciting performances. Norwich Puppet Theatre are also running workshops throughout the summer, with the chance to make dragons, sea creatures, teddy bears and more.
29. Fox Tales
Sheringham Little Theatre, 2 Station Road, NR26 8RE
August 23, 2.30pm
£8, sheringhamlittletheatre.com, 01263 822347
When a storyteller and his pet fox Reynard are stranded for the night, they pass the time by telling terrible troublesome tales. This show has the best of Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson stories crafted into a delightful and comical retelling with lots of weird and wonderful characters.
Marina Theatre, Lowestoft, NR32 1HH
August 5 to 7, 7pm and 2.30pm matinee on August 7
£15 to £18.50, 01502 533200, marinatheatre.co.uk
The very kind, but lonely Chloe, aged 12, invites Mr Stink and his slightly smelly dog to leave behind the wooden bench they call home and secretly move into her family's shed. Matters become more complicated when Chloe's mother, a woman with unfulfilled political ambitions, tries to take credit for Chloe's generosity. This brand new musical adaptation of David Walliams' acclaimed best-selling book also features a cameo from broadcaster Jeremy Vine.