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Nine cheap and free things to do in Norfolk this week - from ice skating to meeting reindeer

Norwich ice rink at Norwich Castle Gardens.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich ice rink at Norwich Castle Gardens. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

From a pop-up ice rink to vegan Christmas fair, festivities are in full swing across Norfolk with plenty of events taking place across the county this week.

What: Norwich Ice Rink

Where: Castle Mall Gardens, Norwich, NR1 3PY

When: December 14 to January 6, 10am to 9pm

Cost: Adult £12.50, child £8.50, additional charge for online booking

The Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News Ice Rink, sponsored by Bakers & Larners of Holt, returns for 2018 in Castle Mall Gardens and is bigger than ever before.

Sessions are booked in 45 minute slots and the price includes skate hire and penguin and polar bear skate aids are also available to hire.

The rink will be open daily until January 6 and will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Hire skates ready for Norwich Ice Rink. Picture: ArchantHire skates ready for Norwich Ice Rink. Picture: Archant

Skaters are advised to arrive at least 15 minutes before their desired session and there will also be a wheelchair only session on December 28 between 10am and 11am - email icerink@archant.co.uk to book.

What: The Bo Nanafana Social Club presents The Office Xmas Party

Where: The Talk, Oak Street, Norwich, NR3 3BP

When: December 15, 8pm to 2am

Cost: £20

Norwich’s finest purveyors of extravagantly decorated parties and outlandish celebrations, The Bo Nanafana Social Club, return to the Talk.

The party delivers two beautifully dressed rooms full to the brim with live music, cabaret, walkabout acts, DJs and much more.

Baron in the Trees Natasha RushbrookBaron in the Trees Natasha Rushbrook

Now in it’s 16th year, this year’s party includes London-based cult favourites Tankus the Henge, Duo Bogof and Miniscule of Sound’s Dan de’Lion and the Time Machine Disco.

Tickets are available from the Bonananafana website, Taxi Vintage at Norwich Market, Soundclash Records in St Benedict’s Street and Rock Collection in Dover Street and at the venue.

READ MORE: Norwich Ice Rink 2018: Everything you need to know

What: Meet Father Christmas and his reindeer

Where: Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Waslham, NR13 6DZ

When: December 15 to 16, 11am to 5pm

Cost: Normal garden entry £6.86 adults, £6.60 children, £10 per child for Father Christmas visit, present and garden entry (booking essential)

Visit Father Christmas in his woodland yurt this weekend and the man himself will arrive on his ride-on lawnmower on both days.

Take a stroll through the illuminated winter woodland garden to meet the reindeer and visit Father Christmas tucked away in his woodland yurt among the trees and booking is essential.

Reindeers visit Fairhaven GardenReindeers visit Fairhaven Garden

There will be live music and an Elves’ Workshop with free Christmas crafts and face painting to keep the children busy.

Hot food will be on sale in the tearoom and dogs are welcome on leads.

There will also be a Christmas market with free entry, featuring tasty treats from local businesses including Fine Norfolk Provender, Fairhaven Rustic Tree Art and Lemon Tree Fine Foods.

What: The Baron in the Trees circus show

Where: The Oak Circus Centre, St Michael Coslany Church, Oak Street, Norwich NR3 3AE

When: December 13 to 16, 6.30pm

Cost: £10 adults, £6 children

The Bo Nanafana Social ClubThe Bo Nanafana Social Club

A taste of Italian festivities comes to Norwich this Christmas with Lost in Translation Circus’ spectacular The Baron in the Trees, inspired by Italo Calvini’s 1957 novel of the same name.

The family show will feature astonishing and astounding performances from Lost in Translation performers and friends.

High flying aerial stunts and amazing acrobatics mix with slapstick poetry and juggling to create a show to thrill young and old alike.

Live music will accompany each of the acts loosely based on the Italo Calvini story.

What: The Big Band at Christmas

Where: Auden Theatre, Greshams School, Cromer Rd, Holt NR25 6EA

When: December 16, 7.30pm

Norwich Christmas Vegan Fair Credit: Shena LouNorwich Christmas Vegan Fair Credit: Shena Lou

Cost: £19 adults/£17 concessions

The Big Band at Christmas is swinging into Holt this weekend and features Five Star Swing as seen at London’s Leicester Square Theatre and BBC’s Children in Need show.

Promising all your favourite Christmas songs given the dynamic Big Band treatment, including Glenn Miller, Sinatra, Basie and Nat King Cole.

Also featuring is Simone from the Ivy Benson Orchestra, and Chris Smith (Jnr), composer and arranger for the BBC Radio Big Band, Herb Miller Big Band, Glenn’s brother, and Tony Bennett’s trombonist.

READ MORE: Seven places you can have breakfast with Santa in Norfolk

What: A Modern Carol - A Millennial’s Take on a Dickensian Revelatio

Where: OPEN Norwich, 20 Bank Plain, Norwich NR2 4SF

When: December 19, 6.30pm

Cost: £8 adults, £6 under 16s

The Big Band at ChristmasThe Big Band at Christmas

OPEN Youth Trust, a city centre youth charity, invite members of the public to join them at their one-off performance of its own take on the Dickensian classic A Christmas Carol.

The script and songs have been written by OPEN’s Youth team and the production will feature young people from all of OPEN’s performing arts groups, including their ballet, musical theatre and drama classes.

Bringing together aspects of pantomime, drama and musical to showcase the hard work and talent of all those involved.

The play is set on Christmas Eve 2018, with Scrooge having ‘pulled funding from a fantastic youth charity’.

What: The Garage Youth Forum presents Plug In

Where: Cadge Road Community Centre, Norwich NR5 8DF

When: December 14, doors open 6.30pm and event ends at 9pm

OPEN's young performers Credit: OPEN Youth TrustOPEN's young performers Credit: OPEN Youth Trust

Cost: Free with donation buckets to help The Henderson Trust and The Garage

The Garage Youth forum are a group of 12 to 18 year olds from Norwich who run all aspects of the event from booking acts to lighting displays.

The line-up for their Christmas celebrations include Wilstar, Tom Mackinson and Heavenli Hewitt with a headline set from local band The Renadeans.

The Henderson Trust are a charity based in the West Earlham area helping disadvantaged families enjoy activites without a price barrier.

READ MORE: Christmas drive-in cinema coming to Norfolk including Elf and Love Actually

What: Norwich Vegan Christmas Fair

Where: St Andrew’s Hall

When: December 16, 10am to 4pm

Cost: £2 entry with all proceeds going to animal charities and not for profits

Norwich Vegan Christmas Festival is a fun day out, with delicious food, a variety of stalls, talks and advice.

There will be live music from Norwich Community Choir and City of Norwich Brass Band, and an Amy Winehouse tribute.

You don’t have to be vegan to come along, everyone is welcome to learn more about following a plant-based diet.

What: Aspire Exhibition

Where: Hostry in Norwich Cathedral, 65 The Close, Norwich NR1 4DH

When: December 15 to January 13, 9am to 4.30pm Monday to Saturday, 10am to 3pm Sunday

Cost: Free

Norwich 20 Group has produced an engaging and eclectic exhibition for their debut show in the Hostry at Norwich Cathedral.

The 20 Group includes painters, sculptors, digital video, installation & conceptual artists, printmakers and photographers and the theme ‘Aspire’ provided by member Andrew Schumann, has intimations of hope and aspiration.

Andrew produced the focus piece from painted board and a Swarovski crystal.

Make sure to check the Norwich Cathedral website before you visit for Christmas opening times.

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