Family things to do this Bank Holiday week
Summer holidays may be drawing to a close but there is still plenty of family fun to be had over this Bank Holiday week. SIMON PARKIN highlights shows and events not to miss.
CIRCUS AND WATER SPECTACULAR
Yarmouth Hippodrome, Mon-Sat 2.30pm (not Fri)/7.30pm, Sun 2.30pm/6.30pm, �19-�13 (�15-�12 cons), �12.50-�10 children, 01493780223, www.hippodromecircus.co.uk
The Yarmouth Hippodrome summer show runs throughout the holiday season until September 18. Award-winning comedy duo Clive and Danny return to star in the brand new summer spectacular to join host Jack Jay, comedian Mick Potts, Scruffy the loveable rogue dog act, some death defying aerial acts, dancers, special effects and, of course, the water spectacular. Co-producer Jack Jay said 'I'm excited by the prospect of having the comedy magic of Clive and Danny again combined with the best circus acts in the world and the unique challenge of producing the water spectacular in a show that will be, as always, a one off!'
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Britannia Pier, Great Yarmouth, August 29, �14.50, 01493 842914, www.britannia-pier.co.uk
Once Yarmouth hosted summer-long variety shows that featured a who's who of stars of the day. Sadly those days have gone and the Britannia Pier plays mainly hosts to a series of one-night shows. The exception is the run of summer shows from every eight-year-old's favourite brothers. The Chuckle Brothers will be in town for theitr final date of their summer run with Return of the Pirates of the River Rother 2.
RED RIDING HOOD
Norwich Puppet Theatre, August 24-25/27-29, �7.50 (�6 cons), �5.50 children, �22 family, 01603 629921, www.puppettheatre.co.uk
We all know the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but which story do we know? This production, designed and directed by Peter O'Rourke, best known for his work on Fantastic Mr. Fox at Little Angel Theatre, is a retelling of this classic folktale. Promises puppet theatre and original music and song, inventive staging and witty dialogue.
SUMMER SEASIDE SPECIAL
Pavilion Theatre, Cromer Pier, until September 29, �19.50-�10, �10-�9.50 children, �50 family, 01263 512495, www.cromer-pier.com
This year celebrating its 35th anniversary Cromer's annual summer season extravaganza is a traditional seaside variety show. It's actually two shows with different productions running simultaneously. Music, specialty acts and comedians Dain Cordean and Ben Langley, contortionist Karina Grigorieva, singers Sophie Bloom and Rob McVeigh and the Seaside Special Dancers.
SHOWTIME SUMMER SPECTACULAR
Pavilion Theatre, Gorleston, until October 2, 7.45pm, �16 (�14 cons), 01493 660830, www.gorlestonpavilion.co.uk
The ever-popular Showtime Summer Spectacular is back at the Edwardian Pavilion Theatre, for what's thought to be the UK's longest summer season (to October). Along with new recruit Olly Day and old boy Nigel 'Boy' Syer the show boasts a full company of singers, dancers and comedians who are guaranteed to fill your afternoon or evening with entertainment. Performances Tues/Wed/Thurs at 7.30pm.
FAIRYTALES OF THE UNEXPECTED
Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich, August 29-31, �12 (�10 cons), �8 children, �32 family, 01603 620917, maddermarket.co.uk
Six classic fairy stories and four performers in two new and exciting shows. With a modern twist on classic interweaving fairy tales, the lively and interactive shows are aimed at children from three upwards with more than enough tongue in cheek content to keep the adults and older children involved. Big and bright costumes, lots of live action, singing and maybe even a few custard pies too! Also at Sheringham Little Theatre on August 27 and September 2.
HAIRY MACLARY AND FRIENDS
Norwich Playhouse, August 25-26, �8.50 (�7 cons), 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk
Following a sell-out UK Tour in 2011 and a Christmas season at the Sydney Opera House, Hairy Maclary and his friends are springing off the page once again. With music, singing and several stories, the show features many of the characters from the books like Hercules Morse, as big as a Horse, Bottomley Potts, covered in spots and Schnitzel von Krumm, with the very low tum.
THE TALES OF BEATRIX POTTER
Holkham Hall, August 30, �12, �8 children, �36 family, 01328 713111, www.holkham.co.uk
Rounding off its summer open-air theatre season, Holkham Hall welcomes Quantum Theatre with The Tales of Beatrix Potter, an adaptation of the story from the famous English author and illustrator Beatrix Potter, starring the delightful Peter Rabbit and his friend Benjamin Bunny. Using live music this production promises an evening for young and old alike taking them back to the tales of their childhood in a show designed to appeal to all the family. Performance starts at 6.15pm.
REALLY WILD RANWORTH
Ranworth Nature Reserve, August 24, 11am-3.30pm, �2 per child, www.norfolkwildlifetrust.co.uk
Meet at Ranworth Broad's floating visitor centre for a morning by exploring for wildlife from 11am-12pm. Then in the afternoon find out What Lies Beneath at the dipping platform from 1.30-3.30pm.
Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, August 25-27, �9.75 (�8 cons), �6.25 children, under-4s free, 01328 851465, www.pensthorpe.com
Travel back in time experience what life was like on and off the battlefield from the period between AD 900 and 1500. The sights, sounds and smells will be brought to life with mediaeval cooking, crafts and actors talking through how soldiers' equipment, weapons and armour developed. New attractions this year include a mediaeval jousting contest.
FAMILY RACE DAY
Great Yarmouth Racecourse, August 26, 01493 842527, www.greatyarmouth-race-course.co.uk
Yarmouth Racecourse stages its annual Family Fun Day. As well as the special fun activities, three's free entry for accompanied under-16s. Gates open at 11.30am with the first race at 2pm. There will be children's races on the actual racecourse for all ages, the annual mascot race, plus masses more fun. Tree goody bag for the first thousand children.
VILLAGE AT WAR
Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, August 26-27, 10am-5pm, normal admission prices, 01362 869263, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
Gressenhall again hosts one of its most popular events — a re-creation of the Home Front during the Second World War. See the Girl Guides and Southern Norwich Scouts camping 1940s style, discover military enactment groups and find out how they helped protect the home front. The Prime Minister Winston Churchill also plans to make an appearance!
Blicking Park, August 27, 01263 732432, www.aylshamshow.co.uk
The 66th Aylsham Show returns. Main ring attractions include the Devil's Horsemen with their Cossack trick riding. There'll be children's fun, classic cars, a food hall, cookery theatre and more.
THE BIG ONION FESTIVAL
Elveden Estate, near Thetford, August 25, 10am-7pm, on gate prices �7, �5 children, �20 family, 01842 898068, www.bigonionfestival.com
Taking place in Elveden's walled gardens this is a celebration of the humble onion. There will be cookery stages, music from local artists, a children's zone and more than 60 classic cars on show.
Lowestoft Seafront, August 26, from 11.30am, �10, �5 under-16s, 01223 862695, www.bhf.org.uk/get-involved
Shiver me timbers! The Pirate Promenade in aid of the British Heart Foundation. Walk, run or jog along the promenade, starting at 11.30am by the Claremont Pier.
South Quay, Great Yarmouth, August 26, 10am-3.30pm, �5, 01493 850698
Lasdt chance to climb the Nelson Monument this summer. This Grade I-listed Monument was completed in 1819 as a tribute to Admiral Lord Nelson and stands 44m high. The tours provide an opportunity to climb the 217 steps.
Framlingham Castle, August 26-27, 11am-4pm, �6.50 (�5.90 cons), �3.90 children, �16.90 family, 01728 724189, english-heritage.org.uk
Experience the sights and sounds of the English Heritage site as it was during medieval times. There'll be costumed characters, plus family activities, storytelling, cookery demonstrations, and a men-at-arms display.
Thetford Forest, open daily until October 31, �30, under-17s �20, www.goape.co.uk
Thetford's 'hire-wire forest adventure' – a giant obstacle course built through the trees complete with ladders, walkways, bridges, tunnels and a 140m zip-wire. There are also 30 miles of bike and walking trails.