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30 things to do with the kids in Norfolk over the summer holidays

PUBLISHED: 15:51 24 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:28 25 July 2019

Young carnival-goers testing their strength in a boys vs girls tug-of-war contest.
Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Young carnival-goers testing their strength in a boys vs girls tug-of-war contest. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Archant

From a Wizard of Oz afternoon tea to David Walliams' Mr Stink live on stage, there is plenty to keep the kids entertained over the summer holidays in Norfolk and Waveney.

Cromer Carnival fireworks from East Runton beachCromer Carnival fireworks from East Runton beach

1. Cromer Carnival

Various locations around the town

August 17 to 23

Various prices with many free events, cromercarnival.co.uk

Carnival week is back for 2019 with a jam-packed programme of events including crab catching, a family disco, street dance competition, soapbox derby and on Sunday, August 18 from 10am the carnival takes place which will also feature a big screen to celebrate its 50th year, a Custom and American Car Show and a Beer and Cider Festival.

2. Old Buckenham Airshow

Old Buckenham Airfield, NR17 1PU

July 27 to 28, 10am to 5pm

Among the Old Buckenham Airshow line up is B17 Sally B. 

Picture: MARK BULLIMOREAmong the Old Buckenham Airshow line up is B17 Sally B. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Online adults £18 (gate £20), 12 to 16 year olds £7.50, gate £10, children under 12 go free, oldbuckenhamairshow.com

The annual airshow - the only one in Norfolk - is known for bringing the greatest pilots flying the world's most exciting and rarest aircraft. On the ground is a busy show with masses of classic cars, military displays, stands, stalls and activities.

3. Norwich Pride

City centre, parade starts from City Hall at 1pm

July 27, from 11am

Free

The fun will begin from 10am with stalls in The Forum of Chapelfield Gardens and there will be speakers, music and dance throughout the morning. From 12.45pm there will be speeches at City Hall and the colourful parade will take place at 1pm ending up in Chapelfield Gardens for 2pm where there will be live music.

Norwich Pride Credit: Roo PittNorwich Pride Credit: Roo Pitt

READ MORE: All you need to know ahead of the Old Buckenham Airshow

4. CPRE Summer Fair

Raveningham Hall, NR14 6NS

July 28, 10am to 4pm

£5, purchase in advance at eventbrite.co.uk or at the gate, under-13s free

The fundraising fair has been organised by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and is part of this year's Norfolk Day celebrations. The fair will feature over 50 stalls of local, award-winning food, drink and crafts, Wildcraft barbecue and bar, entertainment including the Rattlebox Norfolk Folk Bank and Hoxon Hundred Folk Dancers, a classic car display, archery, tours of the garden with RHS president Sir Nicholas Bacon, a raffle and an antiques valuation tent with Elizabeth Talbot from BBC's Flog It!

5. Grand Summer Spectacular and Water Show

Yarmouth Hippodrome, NR30 2EU

The CPRE Summer Fair is coming to Raveningham Hall Credit: Supplied by CPREThe CPRE Summer Fair is coming to Raveningham Hall Credit: Supplied by CPRE

Until September 15

Adults from £19, concessions from £16, children from £11, hippodromecircus.co.uk

The Jay family run four shows throughout the year and 2019 is an extra special year as it marks 40 years since Peter Jay took over the Hippodrome. This year's Circus and Water Spectacular line-up includes the Motorbike Globe of Death Riders, acrobatic street talent direct from Chicago, synchronised swimming and Jack Jay will be joined by his comedy partner Johnny Mac once again.

READ MORE: All you need to know ahead of Norwich Pride 2019

6. Worstead Festival

Village centre, NR28 9SG

July 27 to 28, 10am to 6pm

Adults £6, under-12s arefree, worsteadfestival.org

A jam-packed weekend of entertainment which raises money for local charities and celebrates rural life, farming and the crafts and produce of Worstead and north Norfolk. Among the attractions at the event includes a dog show, grown in Norfolk produce show, flower show in St Mary's Worstead, Pimms and prosecco bar, craft fair, sheep shearing, alpacas, a sheepdog display, vintage tractors, street food and bars and demonstrations from local chefs.

7. Downham Market Water Festival

Great Yarmouth Hippodrome summer show 2018 Credit: David Street (Street View Marketing)Great Yarmouth Hippodrome summer show 2018 Credit: David Street (Street View Marketing)

Hythe Bridge, PE30 0AE

August 11, 10am to 5pm

Free, email info@downhammarkettc.co.uk for more details

There is something for everyone at the Water Festival including stalls and attractions and the Dragon Boat races with teams from local businesses, charities and groupsof family and friends. Crews of eight to 10 are required and all boats and no experience is needed.

READ MORE: 12 places in Norfolk to see outdoor cinema this summer



8. Character Days at Africa Alive!

Whites Lane, Kessingland, NR33 7TF

Various dates, africa-alive.co.uk, 9.30am to 6pm

Included in entry, adult £19.95, child (3-15) £14.50, under-threes free, seniors (65+) £18.10, registered disabled child/adult/carer £9.95

Last Year's Worstead Festival. Pictures: supplied by Sam OutingLast Year's Worstead Festival. Pictures: supplied by Sam Outing

Plenty of favourites from children's TV are coming to the popular walking safari this summer with Gruffalo on July 31, Chase & Marshall from PAW Patrol on August 7, Peter Rabbit on August 17, Dora the Explorer August 21 and PJ Masks on August 27. Africa Alive! is set in 100 acres and home to more than 80 species of animals from Africa.

9. Head Out, Not Home

Norwich City Centre

Thursday evenings until August 29, 4.40pm to 8pm, norwichbid.co.uk

Free

Organised by Norwich BID, every Thursday this summer there will be live music, theatre and comedy events taking place around the city in London Street, Westlegate, Gentleman's Walk, St Gregory's Green, Riverside and Cathedral Grounds. Highlights include singer-songwriter Lucy Grubb, Uncalled Four R&B band and Immray the street clown - you can view the full schedule at norwichbid.co.uk.

10. Wizard of Oz Afternoon Tea

OPEN Norwich, 20 Bank Plain, NR2 4SF

Dragon boat racing at Downham Market Water Festival. Picture: Matthew Usher.Dragon boat racing at Downham Market Water Festival. Picture: Matthew Usher.

August 30, 1pm

Adults £14.95, under-14s £9, opennorwich.org.uk

Follow Dorothy on her grand adventure over the rainbow to discover there really is no place like OPEN to have an afternoon tea - located in the grandeur of the former Bank Manager's dining room.

Expect yellow brick road sandwiches, flying monkey cupcakes, munchkin scones, Toto's bone shaped biscuits, and Emerald City milkshakes.

READ MORE: Norwich Playhouse announce new season



11. All About Dogs Show

Norfolk Showground, NR5 0TT

August 25 to 26, 9.30am to 5pm

Advance adult £12, concession (60+) £11.50, child (5-15) £6.50, camping and entry with pitch £59, allaboutdogsshow.co.uk

There will be two days of exciting arena displays, expect advice, shopping and activities for dogs such as flyball, aqua sports and an obstacle course. There will also be fun dog shows including dogs with a disability, gorgeous golden oldie and best rescue dog. Lucy Heath and dog Trip will also be bringing fun and interactive displays and you may recognise them from the final of Britain's Got Talent in 2016 after winning the public wildcard.

The RSC's Matilda The Musical UK and Ireland tour Credit: Helen MaybanksThe RSC's Matilda The Musical UK and Ireland tour Credit: Helen Maybanks

12. Matilda the Musical

Norwich Theatre Royal, NR2 1RL

Until August 17, 7.30pm with 2.30pm matinee performances on Wednesdays and Saturdays

£10 to £58.50, in person at the box office, by phone on 01603 630000 or online at theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

Matilda The Musical is an uplifting tale about a gifted and brave girl who loves books but is born to parents who don't understand her and who send her away to a school run by the terrifying Miss Trunchbull. Commissioned in 2010 by the RSC, the lyrics and music are written by comedian and musician Tim Minchin, featuring memorable tunes include Revolting Children and When I Grow Up.

READ MORE: Norwich restaurant launches Alice in Wonderland afternoon tea

13. Alice in Wonderland Afternoon Tea

The Assembly House, Theatre Street, Norwich, NR2 1RQ

August 1 to September 1

Alice in Wonderland afternoon tea at The Assembly House, Norwich Credit: Steve AdamsAlice in Wonderland afternoon tea at The Assembly House, Norwich Credit: Steve Adams

£21.95 for one or £42 for two, children's tea (under-12s) £12.95, assemblyhousenorwich.co.uk

Guests at the Mad Hatter's tea party will enjoy a colourful feast, starting with a little "Drink Me" bottle that invites you to guess the fruity flavours and it may, or may not, cause you to shrink. Tasty treats include a carrot cake with a disappearing rabbit, The Queen of Hearts' Tarts, Tweedledum and Tweedledee sweet and savoury scones and finger sandwiches. All the Alice in Wonderland cakes are vegetarian and gluten free and the full tea also has dairy-free, nut-free and vegan versions.

14. Nature's WILD Tribe at Pensthorpe Natural Park

Pensthorpe Natural Park, Fakenham, NR21 0LN

July 25 to September 3, 10am to 5pm

Included in ticket price, adults £10.95 online, £11.95 gate, children (3-16) and senior citizens (60+) £9.95, £10.95 gate, pensthorpe.com

Bring along your own wild tribe and get messy in the new mud kitchen in WildRootz, go on a barefoot trail, play hopscotch, seek out the wonders of the natural world around every corner and learn about some of the creatures that call Pensthorpe home. Bring along your own wild tribe and get messy in the new mud kitchen in WildRootz, go on a barefoot trail, play hopscotch, seek out the wonders of the natural world around every corner and learn about some of the creatures that call Pensthorpe home.

READ MORE: 9 unusual things to do in Norwich - from a Rage Room to Snow Tubing



15. Mundesley Deep History Dinosaur Trail

Across the village

Nature's WILD Tribe at Pensthorpe Natural Park Credit: Richard Jarmy www.richardjarmy.co.ukNature's WILD Tribe at Pensthorpe Natural Park Credit: Richard Jarmy www.richardjarmy.co.uk

You may also want to watch:

Runs throughout the summer

Free

Mundesley Parish Council are running a open to all free Dinosaur Trail this year with three trails around Mundesley and over 150 dinosaurs to find. Trail sheets can be collected for free from Visitor Centre, Fish & Fry, the Beach Hut Café and Norfolk Needle Craft.

16. Mole & Gecko

Various Norfolk Libraries

July 31 and August 1

£5, £10 for one adult and two children, simonmole.com

Poet Simon Mole and musician Gecko have joined forces to write and perform a new show for children (aged 5+) and families, which is heading to four Norfolk libraries - Gorleston Library, Acle Library, Wymondham Library and Norwich Millennium Library. The show features live songs, rap stories, instant poems and a weasel with a serious biscuit problem.

Mole & Gecko are coming to Norfolk Libraries Credit: Press photoMole & Gecko are coming to Norfolk Libraries Credit: Press photo

17. Woodfordes Ale Trail

Over 400 pubs across East Anglia

Until September 29

Collect ale trail booklets at participating pubs, woodfordes.com

The highly-anticipated ale trail is East Anglia's largest and has been part of Woodforde's for over 20 years. This year the trail includes over 400 pubs spread across five counties with plenty of family favourites with large gardens, play areas and tasty menus packed with local produce.

18. Activities at Market Gates Shopping Centre

Great Yarmouth, NR30 2BG

Every Thursday until August 29, from 11am

Action from the launch of the new Towering Treetop Tangles at BeWILDerwood. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodAction from the launch of the new Towering Treetop Tangles at BeWILDerwood. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Free

There are free activities running at the shopping centre throughout the summer, including summer crafts, circus skills and wildlife displays. You can view the full programme at marketgates-shopping.co.uk.



19. Laboratory Media Education Summer Workshops

Carrowbreck House, Hellesdon, NR6 5FA

Various dates from July 31 to August 28, 9.30am to 3.30pm

£30, laboratorymediaeducation.co.uk

Laboratory Media Education have launched their 2019 Summer Holiday Workshop Program. Each Wednesday through the summer holidays they will be running fullday sessions for youngsters aged 10 to 16 in Norwich. The workshops are 3D Design and Print, Robots, Coding and Circuitry and Puzzles and Conundrums and Animation.

READ MORE: Meet the former Norwich academy footballer playing Miss Trunchbull in Matilda



20. The Bouncing Bubble Party Parade

BeWILDerwoood, Hoveton, NR12 8JW

July 25 to September 3, 10am to 5.30pm

Norwich Vegans Summer Fayre at The Forum Credit: Supplied by Norwich Vegans Summer FayreNorwich Vegans Summer Fayre at The Forum Credit: Supplied by Norwich Vegans Summer Fayre

Included in admission price, born to be wild (under 92cm) free, almost wild (92-105cm) £14.95, bewild now (over 105cm) £16.95, still wild (65+) £8.95, bewilderwood.co.uk

The Bouncing Bubble Party Parade will begin at 2pm at the Storytelling Stage - meet there to be part of the action and get ready to stroll through the woods in a colorful, wild and wonderful procession with plenty of bubbles. There will also be activities in the Big Hat and Face Painting Pavilion.

21. Brass on the Lawn

Somerleyton Hall and Gardens, NR32 5QQ

July 28, 2pm to 4pm

Adults garden only £6.95, over 60s £5.90, child (5-16) £4.90, family (two adults, two children) £19.95, adults hall and garden £11.45, over 60s £10.50, child £6.50, family £30, eventbrite.co.uk

Wrenthan Band will be performing in the scenic grounds of Somerleyton Hall with picnics welcome and tours of the hall also taking place for an additional charge.

22. Norwich Vegans Summer Fayre

The Forum, Norwich, NR2 1TF

Dippy and the new Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure shuttle bus Credit: SuppliedDippy and the new Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure shuttle bus Credit: Supplied

July 28, 10am to 4pm

Free

Norwich was recently named the most vegan city in the UK and the event attracted 2,000 people in 2018. There will be over 50 stalls, including plenty of tasty treats, and guest speakers.

READ MORE: Theatre Royal's Matilda The Musical offering £5 tickets



23. Dippy's Birthday Week

Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure, Lenwade, NR9 5JE

July 29 to August 4, 9.30am to 6pm

Summer prices: online (at the gate) - visitors 90cm and over £14.95 (£16.95), seniors £12.95 (£14.95), registered disabled 90cm and over (adult and child) £7.50 £8.50), registered disabled carer (adult and child) £7.50 (£8.50), roarrdinosauradventure.co.uk

Come and celebrate Dippy's Birthday Week with a Hawaiian-themed party that everyone is invited to. Join in the birthday games, entertainment, disco dancing, which takes place twice a day, and there will also be birthday cake. New for 2019, there is also a free Dinobus which runs seven days week from July 29 to September 1 from Norwich Station to the attraction, with pick-ups along the way.

The cast of My First Play: Midsummer Night's Nap meet the donkeys from Redwings during a launch event for the performance. L-R 
Alex Tosh, Peter Mooney, director Daniel Burgess, Lucy Wells and Kate Hardisty.
 Credit: Sonya Duncan 
Copyright: Archant 2019The cast of My First Play: Midsummer Night's Nap meet the donkeys from Redwings during a launch event for the performance. L-R Alex Tosh, Peter Mooney, director Daniel Burgess, Lucy Wells and Kate Hardisty. Credit: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

24. My First Play: A Midsummer Night's Nap

The Garage, Norwich, NR2 1NY

Until August 4, 10.15am, 1.15pm and 3.15pm

Adults £12.50, children £7.50, under 1s go free, 01603 598646, thegarage.org.uk

My First Play: A Midsummer Night's Nap is a new, immersive retelling of the Shakespeare comedy for the whole family from The Garage in Norwich and All-In Productions and is aimed at children aged up to seven. The show is performed in an informal setting with the audience free to come and go as they please, babies can be fed, youngsters encouraged to make noise.

25. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Musical

OPEN Norwich, 20 Bank Plain, NR2 4SF

August 6 to 11, 7.30pm

£16 to £20, family tickets available

Mr Stink is coming to the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft Credit: Caz DyerMr Stink is coming to the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft Credit: Caz Dyer

One of the world's favourite musicals, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will have audiences of all ages flying high and featuring the lovable and wacky Caractacus Potts, his two children and Truly Scrumptious as they try and outwit Baron Bomburst. Featuring the classic songs Toot Sweets, Me Ole Bamboo and Hushabye Mountain.

26. Bat Nights

Various churches around Norfolk

Until August 17

Free with donations welcome, batsandchurches.org.uk, any queries call 01553 630842

Expert ecologist Phil Parker is running bat walks around the Norfolk throughout August as part of the Bats in Churches project which is trying to find solutions so that bats can live in churches without causing damage.

The evening will include an introductory talk on bats, how they use the church and churchyard and some of the challenges they face, children's craft activities with prizes, refreshments and the opportunity to watch the bats emerge from the church using infra-red cameras.

READ MORE: Dozens more events to tempt you out on Norfolk Day 2019



27. The Grand Norwich Duck Race

The Ribs of Beef, 24 Wensum Street, NR3 1HY

August 25, 11am to 3.30pm

Sponsor at duck for £2 each, break-charity.org

The Grand Norwich Duck Race is back for 2019 and once again raises funds for Break Charity which has been making life better for vulnerable children and young people across East Anglia for 50 years. The fun starts at 11am with a duck parade on St George's Bridge from midday and there will also be a cake stall, ice creams, face painting, little duck stall, games and other activities for everyone to enjoy. The individual mini duck race takes place at 2pm, with prizes such as restaurant vouchers and a one night stay at the Maids Head Hotel, and the large painted duck race starts at 2.30pm and you or your company can sponsor you own for £100 with the prestigious Duck Trophy up for grabs.

28. Little Orphan Annie

Norwich Puppet Theatre, St James, Whitefriars, NR3 1TN

August 6, 6.30pm, August 7, 7.30pm

Adults £9, children (under 14) £8 puppettheatre.co.uk, 01603 629921

Performing Arts East Theatre Project bring Little Orphan Annie to life on the Norwich Puppet Theatre stage in two exciting performances. Norwich Puppet Theatre are also running workshops throughout the summer, with the chance to make dragons, sea creatures, teddy bears and more.

29. Fox Tales

Sheringham Little Theatre, 2 Station Road, NR26 8RE

August 23, 2.30pm

£8, sheringhamlittletheatre.com, 01263 822347

When a storyteller and his pet fox Reynard are stranded for the night, they pass the time by telling terrible troublesome tales. This show has the best of Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson stories crafted into a delightful and comical retelling with lots of weird and wonderful characters.

READ MORE: 7 fun exercise events taking place in 2019 - from a colour run to bubble rush



30. Mr Stink

Marina Theatre, Lowestoft, NR32 1HH

August 5 to 7, 7pm and 2.30pm matinee on August 7

£15 to £18.50, 01502 533200, marinatheatre.co.uk

The very kind, but lonely Chloe, aged 12, invites Mr Stink and his slightly smelly dog to leave behind the wooden bench they call home and secretly move into her family's shed. Matters become more complicated when Chloe's mother, a woman with unfulfilled political ambitions, tries to take credit for Chloe's generosity. This brand new musical adaptation of David Walliams' acclaimed best-selling book also features a cameo from broadcaster Jeremy Vine.

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