10 free ways to celebrate the start of the 2017 school summer holidays in Norfolk and Suffolk

Cromer Beach. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Cromer Beach. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Free fun for families including fireworks in Yarmouth, world record sandcastles in Lowestoft and theatre for kids in Holt

1 World record sandcastles

Take part in a world record attempt as part of Lowestoft Summer Festival. All-comers can help the town build the most sandcastles ever in a single hour. The fun starts at 6pm on Saturday, July 22, on Lowestoft south beach. Bring buckets and spades and bundles of enthusiasm! The Summer Festival runs throughout the weekend and includes shows, funfair rides, beach football, live bands, stalls and the final of Lowestoft's Got Talent.

2 Oh we do like to be beside the seaside


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It's the classic summer day out for a reason. Whether you're looking for the perfect place to paddle, flashy arcade fun, acres of space for outdoor games, or fish'n'chips and ice cream – head for one of our wonderful beaches.

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3 Free fireworks

Every Wednesday ends with fireworks in Great Yarmouth. Throughout the school holidays fireworks will explode from the beach at 10pm each Wednesday. The summer firework spectacular from the central beach begins with music and entertainment in the Sea Life Centre gardens from 8pm.

Nearby Hemsby has fireworks at 10pm every Tuesday through the holidays.

Both sets of firework fun are funded by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area.

4 Capture a castle

A free tour of Clare Castle and Clare Country Park, near Sudbury, includes the chance to find out more about the ruins and ramparts of the Norman castle, plus the wildlife of the parkland, from 11am to 12.30pm on Saturday, July 22.

5 A children's festival

The Holt Children's Festival runs all week. Marvel at a performance of The Tinderbox by Norwich Puppet Theatre, 11am-noon at Holt Community Centre on Tuesday, July 25, and circus skills workshops with the Foolhardy Circus Troupe, the following day, also at the community centre.

On Friday, at 11am, Rhubarb Theatre brings Granny's Game to the community centre - a combination of theatre, song, puppetry, shadow and dance. There is also storytelling with music by Paul Jackson, for three to eight year olds, on Monday, July 24, at 11am at the community centre, and songs, stories and games for under sevens at Holt Bookshop from Monday, July 24 to Saturday, July 29.

6 No need to dig deep

A free archaeology open day at Suffolk Archaeology Warehouse, Needham Market, includes lots of info about recent finds and the chance to chat to archaeologists.

Try making pots and whittling wood too, on Saturday, July 22, 10am to 4pm.

7 Quiz and craft

Crafting, a Broads quiz trail and wildlife activities are all part of a free family day at Whitlingham Country Park on Wednesday, July 26.

The Visitor Centre will be alive with displays, games and more from 11am to 3pm.

8 Parklife

Discover the wildlife of Holywells Park, Ipswich from 12-4pm on Wednesday, July 26. Enjoy free bug hunts, pond dipping,

bug and bird box building and crafts,

9 Party in the park

A free family fun day in Belle Vue Park, Sudbury, on Sunday, July 23, includes arena performances, taster sessions and activities from 11am to 5pm and then local bands and musicians on the main stage from 5-9pm.

10 Shopping centre fun

At Norwich's Castle Mall a fairytale theme runs through the summer as it launches a programme of free storytelling, crafts, characters and competitions.

It all begins on Tuesday, July 25, 11am to 3pm, with Hansel and Gretel. Hear the story and then create your own gingerbread house.

At intu Chapelfield the kids' club runs every Wednesday and Thursday, and celebrate a different aspect of Norfolk's landscape, culture or heritage, each week. Begin with animals and puppets on July 26 and 27, with crafts led by a team from Norwich Puppet Theatre.

At Yarmouth Market Gates Shopping Centre, Marlon Gator's kids club runs every Thursday from 11am to 3pm. This Thursday, July 27, make fish, star fish, seahorses, seagulls and colourful carnival masks.

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