Great family outdoor events in Norfolk this February half-term
- Credit: Archant
What is it half-term already! Yes, it seems like only yesterday they went back after Christmas but the schools are out again. Fear not though, Simon Parkin has plenty of ideas of what to do in the great outdoors.
Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham, February 10, 7pm, £3.50, £2.50 children, pre-book 01603 270449, fairhavengarden.co.uk
Telescopes, talks and teas all evening at this special event in partnership with Norwich Astronomical Society that will have eyes cast skywards into the heavens. Mark Thompson, from BBC Stargazing Live and The One Show will be giving a talk titled The Four Biggest Questions about the Universe. Wrap up warm. No torches though - it destroys your night vision.
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Signs of Spring Week
Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham, February 10-18, 10am-4pm, garden entry £6.85 (£6.60 cons) £3.95 children, under-5s free, 01603 270449, fairhavengarden.co.uk
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Explore the Fairhaven garden, look out for signs of spring and win a prize on the special half-term trail. Design a den in our woodland garden, photograph your creation and post it on the Facebook page to be in with a chance of winning a family membership.
Show the Love Family Day
RSPB Titchwell Marsh, February 10, 11am-2pm, £2 per person, 01485 210779, firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn how the Titchwell Marsh reserve is being protected and more about the surrounding seascapes. Make a heart to wear and share on Valentine's Day and create a home for wildlife from recycled materials. There will be lots of informative activities and ideas to take home.
West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village, near Lackford, Suffolk, February 10-18, 10am-5pm, £6 (£4 cons), £3 children, under-5s free, £16 family, 01284 728718, weststow.org
This Lord of the Rings themed family adventure returns to West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village & Country Park. Enjoy the Ring Quest trail, see the huge spiders of Mirkwood and the dragon guarding its treasure. Complete the Quest to save Middle Earth, see the Hobbit Hole, meet Halbarad and maybe try your hand at archery.
National Nestbox Week
Hickling Broad, February 10, 10.30am-12.30pm, £6 (1 accompanying adult free), pre-book 01603 625540, norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk
National Nest Box week (Feb 14-21) has taken place for nearly 20 years. At Norfolk Wildlife Trust's Hickling Broad reserve you will be able to find out more about the birds in your garden and create a bird box to take home. Take a stroll as in winter a large numbers of marsh harriers roost in the reedbed north east of Stubb Mill; merlin and hen harrier are also regulars.
Early Man Quest
Framlingham Castle, February 10-18, 10am-4pm, £1 per child, 0870 333118, www.english-heritage.org.uk
With Aardman Animation's Early Man in cinemas Framlingham Castle has a special trail where you can go in search of Dug, Hognob and the rest of the Early Man tribe. Follow the clues and complete the quest to uncover centuries of history in one day. There is an Early Man Mini Model Making Kit for successful adventurers. The historic site is also hosting Knights and Princesses events (Feb 12-16) to learn the tools of the trade as you become a knight or princess for the day.
Wroxham New Lambs
Wroxham Barns, Hoveton, February 10-18, open daily 10am-5pm, farm admission £6.25 per person, under-2s free, 01603 783762, wroxhambarns.co.uk
Lots to see and lots to do at Wroxham Barns this half-term. Help bottle feed the new-born lambs on Junior Farm at 11am, 1.30 and 3.30pm as well as our daily programme of animal activities. At the Fairground there's traditional rides, giant slides, a chug on the Wroxham Barns train and ride-on fun and 18-hole Adventure Mini Golf.
Searching for Sharks
Holme Dunes, February 12, 10.30am-12pm, £3.50, pre-book 01603 625540, norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk
At Norfolk's northwest corner, where The Wash meets the North Sea, Holme Dunes is superbly located to attract migrating birds. This half-term event though is more about what's beneath the waves. Search for sharks' egg cases, more commonly known as mermaid purses. Go along, learn more and help identify what sharks can be found off the coast of Norfolk.
Sheringham Viking Festival
Sheringham, February 10-17, free, sheringhamcarnival.com/viking-festival-sheringham/
The Vikings are coming! Sheringham's celebration of its Norse heritage is back this half-term with exhibitions, workshops and pitched battles. The week-long event includes children's shield and sword making workshops on February 10. Design and make your own Viking badge (Feb 11), Viking T-shirt (Feb 12), write your name in Runes (Feb 13), Norse and Celtic colouring (Feb 14) and sundial making (Feb 15). Have a go at Muskox wool spinning and hand knitting (Feb 15). Festival day on February 17 will see re-enactment groups stage combat displays in the town centre leading up to a mass battle on the beach. The torch light Viking parade will end with the boat burning at 5pm.
Wild Animal Tracking
Sheringham Park, February 12-13, 10.30am-12.30pm, £5 children, £3 accompanying adult, pre-book 01263 820550, nationaltrust.org.uk
Foxes, badgers and deer live in Sheringham Park but are seldom seen. Learn how to follow their trails and spot the tell-tale signs they leave behind. Take a walk off the beaten track to look for animal signs - footprints, feeding signs and poo! You will also check the camera trap to see animal activity from the night before and make a plastic cast track print.
The Drill House, Great Yarmouth, February 13, 4pm-late, free, more details at seachangearts.org.uk
Pancake day celebrations with a difference. The event takes its name from the translation of Mardi Gras, another shrove Tuesday celebration, and it will see a combination of music, silliness, food and family fun at the York Road venue run by Seachange Arts. Total Crepe – Great Yarmouth's craziest pancake race, a hilarious carnival style affair where competitors create pancakes and race around an obstacle course, returns. There will be continental music on offer too as Fifi La Mer, a Parisian accordionist, provides a mix of French folk and popular tunes.
Puddle Jumping Championships
WWT Welney Wetland Centre, February 13-21, 2pm-3pm, event free, normal admission prices, org.uk
How good are you at puddle jumping? Can you make a big splash, with enthusiasm, style and creativity? Making a big splash this half-term as Welney Wetland Centre hosts the East Anglian Puddle Jumping Championships. Competition is open to all. The centre also has daily swan feeds and hare walks at 2pm on Saturday, Monday and Thursday.
Natural Treasures Craft Workshop
Holkham Hall, February 13/15, 10am-4pm, free, 01328 713111, holkham.co.uk
Pop along to the Holkham Beach Café for some half-term family fun with the scavenger hunt along the beach and through the pinewoods, looking for 'natural treasures'. Then get crafty turning your finds into something special to take home - will you create a pinecone bumblebee, clay animal, bird feeder or a dreamcatcher? Free, just drop in. Suitable for all ages.
Family Survival School
Sheringham Park, February 14, 10.30am-3.30pm, £22 children, £18 adults, pre-book 01263 820550, nationaltrust.org.uk
Has your family got what it takes to survive in the wild? Make your own weatherproof shelter and get a fire started without using matches. On this bitesize bushcraft adventure you will get to look for edible plants and learn how to navigate using a compass. Be prepared for a full day out in the Norfolk backwoods!
King's Lynn Mart
Tuesday Market Place, King's Lynn, February 14-24, entry free, charges per ride, visitwestnorfolk.com
Traditionally the opening to the travelling season, King's Lynn Mart has a special place in the hearts of the travelling showpeople. The fair has been held in the Tuesday Market Place for more than 800 years. It traditionally opens on Valentine's Day and continues for around a fortnight. As well as thousands of thrill seekers and a kaleidoscope of lights, sounds, candy floss and rock, the fair is also reckoned to bring 'Mart weather', with its arrival heralding a cold snap.