Free events to explore at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival will begin with a giant domino topple.

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival begins with a giant domino topple, shown here in Hull - Credit: Tom Arran

Each week our Your Money Matters campaign aims to provide helpful advice and information for families combatting the cost of living crisis. Today we hope for some fun in the sun.

Entertaining the kids can prove challenging on a budget but the Norfolk and Norwich Festival will be providing free events around the county for the rest of this month.

Alongside the festival’s array of paid-for events from across the spectrum of performance art, NNF also traditionally features free offerings.

That kicks off on Friday, May 13, with a show on a grand scale as State House Opera bring 'Dominoes' to the city. 

Aiming to stretch from Anglia Square and through the city centre to a finishing point outside The Forum, thousands of breezeblocks will be used to create the moving sculpture. 

Starting from 6pm, the event is due to last around 30 minutes and is sure to a draw a crowd for the first night of NNF, which continues through until Sunday, May 29. 

Unfurl 

Air Giants bring the Unfurl installation to Chapelfield Gardens across the weekend of May 13-14, between 2pm and 5pm, then 6pm to 9pm. 

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Described as a “garden like no other” where “nature, art and technology have combined to create something spectacular”. 

Side by Side 

Local musicians from Britten Sinfonia will be performing across Norfolk on Saturday, May 21. 

Starting at St George’s Theatre in Great Yarmouth between 10am and midday, Sheringham Little Theatre follows between 1pm and 3pm, then the band stand in Chapelfield Gardens between 3pm and 4.15pm. 

The day culminates with the musicians coming together to perform en masse in Chapelfield Gardens from 6pm, with school pupils from Flegg High, Sheringham High and CNS involved throughout the day. 

250 Fanfares 

To celebrate the festival’s 250th anniversary musicians from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra will be popping up to play in surprise locations. 

Fanfares are around 60 seconds in length, with the first to be played by Nneka Cummins outside St Andrew’s Hall at 7pm on Friday, May 13. The full guide is on the festival’s website. 

Keeping it Regal 

Follow QR codes on a cross-city trail to celebrate 900 years of Norwich Castle. A city-wide partnership has asked people of all ages to explore what being regal is all about – and replies have arrived in a variety of ways, from haikus to breakdancing. 

Festival foundations 

Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell also has free entry to all of its exhibits during NNF, including an exhibition exploring the founding years as 250 years of the festival is celebrated. 

For full details, head to nnfestival.org.uk

The free Garden Party will return to Chapelfield Gardens.

The free Garden Party will return to Chapelfield Gardens. - Credit: Dibs McCallum

Tip of the week

Save money and protect the environment by using a refillable water bottle when out and about. Not-for-profit firm Refill seeks to reduce marine pollution and their mobile app will point you to a nearest refill point, with Norwich and local towns including Swaffham, Hunstanton and Wisbech all signed up to its network. Head to refill.org.uk for more details. 

Bargain of the week

Pensthorpe Natural Park has launched a discounted ticket for its Hootz House indoor play area. For £6.95 the offer admits a child and an adult, with five time slots throughout the day between 10am and 3.30pm. Tickets for additional adults are £2 and children under one can enter for free. Available weekdays until Friday, May 27, see pensthorpe.com for full details. 

A family playing at Hootz House play area at Pensthorpe Natural Park. 

A family playing at Hootz House play area at Pensthorpe Natural Park. - Credit: Richard Jarmy

Little and often better than nothing

Saving for the future is something that many people struggle with but Norfolk-based money coach Kim Uzzell insists that little and often is better than none at all. 

We all know that many households are facing some form of squeeze on their finances. 

We also know that this isn’t likely to change for the next few months at least. 

So it may be reasonable to assume that finding money in the household budget to put into savings or investment for the future isn’t a priority right now. 

But if we want to do all of the things we want to do next year and beyond - holidays, birthday treats, days out, getting the car through its MOT etc - we need to incorporate this into our routine now.

It’s easy to think that you’ll do it later. That you’ll get round to sorting it out at the end of the month, or after the next half-term break, or if you get a windfall at some point.

The reality, though, is often that we forget, prioritise other things, and just don’t get around to doing it, and that will mean that we find ourselves in the same financial predicament next year.

But we don’t need to make it complicated, and we don’t need big sums of money to make a start. 

Keep it simple, and remember that “little and often” is better than never getting started.

You probably have all your bills set up to be paid automatically just after payday, or on the same day of the month each and every month.

Money coach Kim Uzzell

Norfolk-based money coach Kim Uzzell of mymoneymovement.co.uk - Credit: @Valentinestudio

You don’t need to think too much about them. You know they will go out, so you don’t need to make any sort of diary note to remind you to pay the rent/mortgage, water bill, TV licence, Netflix subscription or your mobile phone bill. 

Automating your payments means the bills don’t get missed. You can do the same with your savings/investments instead of putting it off, or never getting round to it. 

Set yourself a regular savings payment or regular investment order to come out automatically by standing order or direct debit and make it as much a priority as paying your mobile phone bill. It doesn’t need to be much, and even a small payment each month, made without stress, will go a long way towards easing the squeeze in the future. 

For more from Norfolk-based financial expert Kim Uzzell head to mymoneymovement.co.uk or follow her on Instagram @kimuzzellmoneycoach.