20 don’t miss events for the family this May Day bank holiday
- Credit: Archant
From dancing around the Maypole to heading into the countryside to taking a ride on Thomas the Tank Engine, there will be no shortage of family outings over the May Day Bank Holiday. Simon Parkin highlights where to head and what to do.
Me & My Bee
Sheringham Little Theatre, May 4, 6pm, £6, £4 under-16s, 01263 822347, sheringhamlittletheatre.com/St George's Theatre, Great Yarmouth, May 5, 11am, £4, 01493 331484, stgeorgestheatre.com
Climate change is massive. Bees aren't. Multi award winning theatre company, ThisEgg, invites you to save the world – one bee at a time. A new comedy for children and adults alike. Devised and performed by Joe Boylan, Josie Dale-Jones and Greta Mitchell, this is an imaginative piece of comic theatre charged with vitality and immediacy. Ages 5+
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Horning Boat Show
Horning, May 5, 10am-5pm, entry donation £1, 01692 630892, www.horningboatshow.co.uk
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Celebration of the Broads boating heritage: past, present and future. On display will be traditional and modern, luxury and affordable motor cruisers, yachts and boats. Entertainment includes music from the Felixstowaways Shanty singers and BroadBeat Choir, classic cars, Redwings ponies Spirit of Coltishall aircraft cockpit, plus get on the helm with sailing taster sessions.
St Catherine's Country Crafts
St Catherine's Chruch, Norwich Road, Ludham, May 5-6, 10am-5pm, free, 01692 678060, northnorfolkfestivals.org/Ludhamfestival
Local artists and craftsmen displaying and selling a great diversity of their work in the beautiful medieval church of St Catherine's for the 13th year of this event. Many craft stalls new and returning, sheep- shearing, demonstrations of spinning and weaving from the Norfolk Guild of Spinners Weavers and Dyers, entertainment and music from the Benefice Band and the Occasional Minstrels and more.
George and the Dragon
Norwich Puppet Theatre, May 5, 2.30pm, £9, £9 children, £30 family, 01603 629921, puppettheatre.co.uk
Beware! In a cave under the castle lurks a fiery dragon waiting to devour, knights, sheep and ... princesses!
Will George be bold enough to take on the challenge - or will he run away? In Garlic Theatre's award winning production, a delicious mix of wit, humour and inventiveness combine to celebrate one of the most famous medieval legends of all time. With live performance, rod and glove puppetry, masks and music.
Day Out With Thomas
North Norfolk Railway, Sheringham Station, May 5-7, £18 (£17 cons), £12 children, under-2s free, £52 family, 01263 820800, dayoutwiththomas.co.uk/northnorfolk
'Well, bust my buffers!' That well known cheeky engine pays a visit to the North Norfolk Railway once again. Over the weekend there's a chance to ride behind a real steam engine, shake the hand of the Fat Controller and explore a range of Thomas related activities at the specially transformed Imagination Station, full of fun including dressing up, storytelling, colouring in, and more, plus the bouncy castle and new Thomas Movie Room. Thomas will be joined by a number of his friends from the Island of Sodor.
Heritage Steam Gala
Bressingham Steam Museum, Low Road, Bressingham, near Diss, May 5-7, 10.30am-5pm, £13.17 (£12.26 cons), £8.63 children, under-3s free, 01379 686900, bressingham.co.uk
Always an early summer highlight at Bressingham Steam Museum. There will be over 20 engines in steam each day over this bank holiday weekend. The gala will welcome vertical boiler 2ft locomotive 'Fernilee' to Bressingham, joined by a number of visiting traction engines and steam rollers over weekend. There will also be some miniature engines in steam too. Norfolk Fire Museum with vintage fire engines and there are the glorious Bressingham's Victorian Gallopers.
Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, May 5, 10am-5pm, normal admission prices, 01362 869263, museums.norfolk.gov.uk
Down on the farm this May bank holiday. From horses to drones, find out how farming methods have changed over the years. Discover how Gressenhall Farm helps care for its local countryside. Take a tractor and trailer ride and discover what's growing in the fields. Meet the Suffolk Punch horses and watch them working, carrying out the seasonal tasks. Get creative in Art Attack!
Framlingham Castle, May 5-7, 10.30am-5pm, £9.50 (£8.60 cons), £5.70 children, £24.70 family, 0870 3331181, english-heritage.org.uk
Step back in time at Framlingham Castle and discover medieval England with a weekend of weaponry displays, demonstrations and activities. Marvel at the strength and agility of the Medieval fighting Knights in a display of medieval weaponry. Enrol your budding champions into sword school. Between displays explore the bustling medieval encampment and meet the peasants, Knights and Ladies of the court, busy with their everyday activities.
Wighton Scarecrow Festival
Wighton, between Wells and Little Walsingham, May 5-7, 01328 820511
The 19th annual Wighton Scarecrow Festival will again take place over the May Bank Holiday around the village. The ever popular Children's Scarecrow Competition will take place on Sunday afternoon at 2.30pm on the common opposite the Carpenters Arms; you bring the child and they provide the rest! Free entry and prizes. This year will also see the return of Scarecrows to the village church, Wighton All Saints. Watch out for the 'Live Scarecrows' on Sunday. Plus the annual tractor rally.
Mildred's Fabulous Maypole Fete
Bewilderwood, Hoveton, May 5-7, 10am-5.30pm, full booking details at bewilderwood.co.uk
Bewilderwood fete and spring celebrations. Mildred, the Crocklebog resident of the Scaaaaary Lake, has been practicing for weeks, and would like you all to join her in some maypole dancing to help wake up the bugs for Spring. But of course, it wouldn't be Mildred without a little bit of mayhem, so expect fun and frolics at the Grubbles Mini Games, a series of fete style activities. Race across treetop bridges and zoom along the zip wires, make a mask in the crafty Big Hat and more.
Tour de Broads
Sea Life Centre Gardens, Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, May 6, 01493 656800, tourdebroads.com
Quiet lanes, stunning villages, and dramatic Broadland landscapes are what you will be pedalling through if you join this popular annual cycle race. The season opening sportive returns for its second outing, starting and finishing at Great Yarmouth's Marine Parade. Once again, you will be rewarded with our now customary free ice cream or chips and exclusive commemorative medal. Entry ranges from £15 for 25 mile to £25 for the full 100 mile route.
Railway Open Day
Ashmanhaugh Light Railway, May 6, 2pm-5pm, £2 singe/£4 rover ticket, 01603 404263, ashmanhaughlightrailway.co.uk
Trains running on our 71/4' gauge ground level railway around the fully signalled and landscaped circuits at Ashmanhaugh Light Railway, in the north Norfolk countryside, hauled by a variety of steam, electric and petrol powered locomotives.
Classic Vehicle Rally
Earsham Hall, May 6, 10am-5pm, £5, under-16s free, 07599 935113, bungaylions.org.uk
Bungay Lions Classic Vehicle Rally & Country Fayre always offers plenty to see including classic cars and motorcycles, tractors and commercial and military vehicles, all in the grounds of Earsham Hall. Last year saw 400 classic vehicles on display. Other attractions on the day will include food and craft stalls, trade stands, dedicated children's entertainment area with Punch and Judy and, also for the first time there will be pony rides for all those budding jockeys.
Norwich's Secret Garden
Bishop's House, St Martin-at-place Plain, Norwich, May 6, 1pm-5pm, £4, children free, 01603 977040, homestartnorfolk.org
Charity opening of the Bishop's House garden in aid of families charity Home Start. The garden, which is only open to the public on limited days, should be glorious in its spring and early summer blooms. There will be fun stalls and family activities, home-made cakes and teas, plus the UEA Community Choir will be singing and there will be a performance by the Angel Road School Steel Band.
Norfolk Plant Heritage Fair
Hethersett Village Hall, May 6, 10am-1pm, entrance £1, 01328 701839, norfolkplantheritage.org.uk
The Norfolk Plant Heritage Group encourages its members to grow historic, unusual and threatened plants, to share plants with other members, to help preserve genetic material and biodiversity and to ensure a rich horticultural environment for future generations. The group's second annual Plant Fair will feature exhibitors from nurseries from around East Anglia and farther afield. It's a great way to buy reasonably priced, good quality plants. There will be a 'Plant Doctor' to advise on all things horticultural.
Stradsett Vintage Rally
Stradsett Park, near Downham Market, May 6-7, 10am-5pm, £7.50, under-16s free, 01945 880091, nvtec-ea.org.uk/rally
Now in its fifth decade this always popular great family day out. With over 500 exhibits comprising of vintage tractors, cars, motorcycles, heavy horses, steam engines, lorries, stationary engines and other bygones. There are also ring displays and parades. This year's theme is 100 years of John Deere.
Martham Scarecrow Festival
Martham, May 6-7, 10am-5pm, free, 01493 748547
Martham's popular annual scarecrow festival and May fair returns with activities centred around the village green. A great fun day out for all the family with scarecrows on display in gardens throughout the village and lots of stalls and games to enjoy including garage/garden sales, decorated wheelbarrows, decorated prams and bikes, living scarecrow competition, craft and charity stalls and much more.
Lighthouse Open Day
Happisburgh Lighthouse, May 6-7, 10.30am-4pm, £5, £1 children, happisburgh.org/lighthouse/open-days
On a clear day there are 25 miles of coastal views from this Norfolk iconic landmark. The lighthouse steward will give visitors a full history on the full guided tour. There are 96 steps to the service room, then a further 16 steep steps up to the lantern. For safety reasons there is a minimum height restriction of 1m to climb the tower.
Medieval Mystery Tours
Norwich Castle Museum, May 7, 10.30am-3.30pm, included in normal admission, 01603 495897, email@example.com
Bank holiday at Norwich Castle Museum includes a day of tours and trails including hidden highlights of the Castle Keep, star objects and unusual items from the collections.
The Archdeacon's Charge and Picnic
Holkham Hall, May 7, 10am-3pm, £5 per adult, under-18s free, dioceseofnorwich.org
The Archdeacon's Charge raises money for local churches, schools or youth groups as well as supporting the East Anglian Air Ambulance. This year's fun run course is 5km long and participants can choose their favoured number of laps. The route for those walking will be around the beautiful lake. The event has grown each year and includes a popular craft market, live music performances, classic cars, a large family play area and more. Refreshments available throughout the day.