Attractions rethink half-term activities because of Covid

Banham Zoo, near Diss. Pic: Banham Zoo

Banham Zoo, near Diss. Pic: Banham Zoo - Credit: Archant

Some of Norfolk’s top tourist venues have reduced activities for youngsters as a result of coronavirus.

Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure, Lenwade. Pic: EDP

Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure, Lenwade. Pic: EDP - Credit: Archant

At Banham Zoo, near Diss, and sister zoo, Africa Alive! in Suffolk, activities are having to be reduced after slow ticket sales and no government grant funding throughout the pandemic.

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Bill and Deb Jordan, owners of Pensthorpe Natural Park, near Fakenham. Pic: EDP

Bill and Deb Jordan, owners of Pensthorpe Natural Park, near Fakenham. Pic: EDP - Credit: Archant

Claudia Roberts, joint managing director at The Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZESA) which runs both zoos, said: “In previous years, October half-term has seen a whole host of activities including arts and crafts, pumpkin carving and even ‘potion’ making. However, in light of the current situation, we have scaled back these activities this year to ensure we keep all of our colleagues and visitors safe.

“There will still be lots to enjoy during your visit, with our spooky Halloween activity trails where you can explore more about the animals we have at each zoo and find a spooky clue to win a prize. If you prefer a calmer approach, come and enjoy a freshly brewed local coffee or a hearty lunch in our new Congo Café at Africa Alive! after popping along to our giraffe house to see our two week-old male giraffe calf.”

At Pensthorpe Natural Park, near Fakenham, which saw a welcome upturn in visitor numbers during the summer, marketing and PR manager Jo Artherton said: “October half term is in the top three most significant school holidays in the visitor attraction season. It can also be one of the most challenging, for outdoor businesses, due to unpredictable weather. Covid-19 restrictions add a new challenge, however Pensthorpe provides the antidote. It is a place where our visitors feel safe and enjoy time together outdoors, offering unrivalled views, wildlife at your fingertips and an introduction to nature for families.


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“Our new child-friendly ‘Eerie Explorers’ half-term event has changed slightly. We are not offering our usual craft-making activities, however our event focuses on connecting families with the natural environment, with a wildlife-themed Halloween trail and scavenger hunt.”

Adam Goymour, park manager and company director at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure, Lenwade, said: “This half term we are offering our visitors the full spook-tacular Halloween Days experience as we always do, but with the necessary Covid-19 safety measures in place. After half term, Roarr! will move to a four day opening to safeguard the park’s future. These are unprecedented times but we are planning for our future in order to ensure that our visitors can continue to enjoy everything Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure has to offer well into the future.”

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