60 Fabulous family days out in Norfolk
- Credit: Archant
Avoid the call of the bored this summer with some of the best Norfolk days out, selected by Judith Palmer
Hunstanton Sealife Sanctuary
Open daily 10am–5pm
Discover what lives beneath the waves and enjoy Pirate Bay outdoor play area, with the beach just outside.
Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach
- 1 20 of the best places to eat out in St Ives
- 2 6 waterfall walks in Derbyshire and the Peak District
- 3 16 beautiful beaches in Devon you have to visit
- 4 20 of the best restaurants in Hertfordshire
- 5 12 beautiful waterfalls in Yorkshire
- 6 Seven Falls, Tintwistle - a hidden gem in the Peak District
- 7 Gardoolet: WIN this summer's best garden game
- 8 10 of the best restaurants in Hastings
- 9 Afternoon tea in Kent: 15 of the best tearooms
- 10 Yorkshire Olympians, the Brownlee brothers: where they love to eat, to train and to explore
Open from July 1, 11am–6pm (4pm off-peak).
There’s a mix of big fun rides and traditional attractions to appeal to all the family.
Blakeney Point Seal Trips
Book a trip to see the delightful seals around Blakeney Point - don’t forget your camera!
beansboattrips.co.uk www.sealtrips.co.uk www.bishopsboats.com blakeneypointsealtrips.co.uk
Cromer RNLI Station
Open throughout the year
Learn about the great work of one of our county’s lifeboat crews.
RSPB Titchwell Marsh
Visitor centre open daily, 9.30am-5pm
Walk, watch the birdlife and enjoy the views from the wheelchair-accessible hides.
Rockpooling at West Runton
August 3, 1-2.30pm
Investigate the secrets of the seashore with Norfolk Wildlife Trust (arrive 15 minutes early to sign up).
Sheringham Leisure and Fitness Centre
Open daily, 11am-6pm
Enjoy the Waterslide ‘n’ Waves sessions in the indoor heated pool.
August 6, from 3pm
Get in the carnival spirit with a parade of floats, music and dancing.
Planes, trains and automobiles:
Bressingham Steam Museum
Open daily, 10.30am–5pm (999 Day on July 24)
The 999 Day on July 24 has Fireman Sam plus retired fire engines and the Fire and Police services.
Muckleburgh Military Collection Display Weekend
August 20-21, 10am–4.30pm
See tanks and vehicles in action with military vehicles, re-enactors and living history groups.
Strawberries and Steam with Bure Valley Railway
Weekends throughout July, 10am–5.25pm
Every fare-paying passenger who takes the journey between Aylsham and Wroxham stations will receive free, locally-sourced strawberries and cream.
Old Buckenham Air Show
July 30-31, 10am–8pm
See classic cars, ride in a tank, watch breathtaking aerial displays and enjoy the food village.
North Norfolk Railway Vintage Transport Weekend
July 2-3, 10am–4pm
From bicycles to Rolls Royce cars and tractors will be on show, with vintage buses giving free rides.
Caister Castle Car Collection
Open daily (except Saturdays) until September 30, 10am–4.30pm
One of the largest private collections of motor vehicles in the country, including rare veteran, vintage, classic, sports and tour automobiles and motorcycles.
Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championships at Snetterton
July 30-31, 7.30am–9pm
The UK’s biggest car racing championship stars highly-modified saloons and hatchbacks.
Into the woods
Open daily until October 2, 10am–5.30pm
Imaginations run wild in this woodland adventure park.
High Lodge, Thetford Forest
Open daily, 9am–7pm
The WildPlay area has a sound trail, climbing sculptures, sandplay, slides, swings and dens to build.
Fairytales and Fables at Mannington Hall
August 14, 12-5pm
Norwich Puppet Theatre stages two performances and a drop-in workshop at beautiful Mannington Hall and Gardens.
RSPB Strumpshaw Fen
July 21-31, 10am–5pm
Take the self-guided family trail to explore this beautiful reserve and complete the challenge sheet for a small prize.
The Canterbury Tales at Sheringham Park
July 2, 6.30-9.30pm
Join the pilgrims for puppetry and poetry, music and magic. Bring your own chairs and a picnic.
All year round
Join the fun of hiding and seeking boxes containing a log book to record your find and small items for trading.
Fairhaven Woodland & Water Garden, South Walsham
Open daily, 10am-5pm
Explore the gardens, tearoom, gift shop and enjoy events including guided canoe trails (1.30-2.30pm) with Free Spirit Canoe Tours.
Choose between easy or moderate trails, with plenty of benches along the way for a picnic stop.
Open daily, 9.30am–5pm
From cheetahs to red pandas, there is plenty to see in 50 acres of parkland and gardens. Enjoy the International Tiger Day celebrations on July 29.
Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Caldecott
Open Friday to Monday, 10am–4pm
Currently home to almost 120 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, bring a picnic or treat yourselves in their café.
Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens
Open daily, 10am
Home to tigers, otters, monkeys and crocodiles, plus lots of space for little ones to burn off some energy.
Melsop Park Farm, Scoulton
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am–5pm (closed Mondays during term time)
Outdoor and indoor play areas, and paddocks and ponds filled with animals.
Pensthorpe Natural Park
July 1 to September 4, 10am–5pm
Encounter bugs, cranes, flamingos and red squirrels, and run wild in WildRootz outdoor or HootzHouse indoor play.
Pettitts Animal Adventure Park, Reedham
Open daily until October 30, 10am-5pm
See creatures great and small, enjoy the outdoor play area, miniature railway, rides and slides.
Wroxham Barns Junior Farm
Open daily, 10am-5pm
Feed the lambs, cuddle a guinea pig, try out the fun fair and visit the shops and restaurant.
Amazona Zoo, Cromer
Open daily, 10am–5pm
Meet the 200 animals who live at the zoo, and under-12s will love Jungle Tumbles Soft Play.
About town (and city):
Peppa Pig’s Surprise at Norwich Theatre Royal
August 31 to September 1
Enjoy fun, games and surprises in this new show, perfect for pre-schoolers.
Events include a scavenger hunt, soapbox derby, fashion show, darts competition and the annual parade and carnival celebrations.
Running daily until October 1, from 10.30am–3.30pm
Take an open-top bus and enjoy panoramic views of Norwich with a fascinating recorded commentary.
Downham Market Water Festival
The annual water festival and dragon boat race takes place on the Great Ouse Relief Channel.
Visit your local library
Let the children choose some good reads for summer or take part in the many events run at libraries throughout the county.
Wroxham Miniature Worlds
Open daily until September 4, 10am–5pm
This indoor modelling attraction stretches over 10,000sqft, with some of the largest model railway displays in the world.
King’s Lynn’s free music festival line-up includes The Vamps, Phats and Small and Jake Morrell.
Open all year, 10am–5pm Monday-Saturday and 1-5pm Sunday
Fantastic collections, from fine art and archaeology to natural history.
Open daily, house 12-5pm, grounds 10am-5pm
Explore the estate and join in special events and trails.
Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse
Open daily until October 30, 10am–5pm
The historic former workhouse sits in 50 acres, and features a new exhibition, Voices from the Workhouse.
Grimes Graves, Lynford
Open daily until Sept 30, 10am-6pm
The only Neolithic flint mine open to visitors in Britain - descend 30ft by ladder into an excavated shaft.
How Hill Trust Family Fun Day
July 26, 10am-4pm
Try your hand at thatching, dyke dipping and den building.
Open daily until Sept 30
Climb five floors and on windy days see the sails and machinery turning. Children can bake bread in the baking corner.
Open Sunday to Friday, 12-4.30pm
The world’s largest collection of steam engines and organs, plus fairground carousels, silent movies and back stage tours.
Castle Acre Priory
Open daily until September 30, 10am–6pm
A trail leaflet guides you around the priory, into the village to explore the bailey gate and castle.
Summer of sport:
High Altitude Trampoline Park
Making exercise fun for all the family, with play for toddlers through to adult fitness classes at Whiffler Road, Norwich .
Bawburgh Congo Rapids Adventure Golf
Open daily, 8am–8.30pm
Full of obstacles including a real plane - turn up, pay and play.
Hire a tennis court
Various opening times
Let Wimbledon inspire your young tennis stars this summer and hire a court.
Whitlingham Outdoor Activity Centre
Open daily 9am-4.30pm weekdays, 9.30am–5pm weekends
With a range of courses to get you out on the water, or just visit for a walk around the broad on the edge of Norwich.
Have a kick-about
Grab a football and head to the nearest park for a game of five-a-side or see who can get the most goals past Dad.
Sportspark climbing wall, UEA
Climb The Peak – the largest indoor climbing wall in Norfolk, with a bouldering cave, overhang and routes to challenge all abilities.
Retroskate, Great Yarmouth
Open 11am–4pm school holidays (check website for term times)
With skate hire, under-fives play area and a roller tots rink and cafe.
Norfolk Snowsports Club, Trowse
Open Sunday to Friday 10am–10pm, Saturday 10am–7pm
Try out tubing, and join the club members for freestyle sessions, as well as the junior club.
Let’s get creative:
Doodle Pots, Holt
Open daily, 10am-5pm
Young and old can paint anything ceramic from a mug to a vase in the fun and creative studio.
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia
Summer School: July 26–29 (10am–4.30pm)
Artists and scientists organise a popular two-week summer school for children, aged eight to 12.
Time and Tide Museum, Great Yarmouth
July 14, 10-11.30am (open daily 10am–4.30pm)
At the Little Kippers Day pre-schoolers can enjoy the exhibitions, listen to stories and make things to take home.
Norwich Puppet Theatre
August 13, 11am–12.30pm
The Super Heroes and Sneaky Villans workshop is the chance to let loose your creative side.
Make the most of your children’s imagination and see what art you can make with shells, sticks and stones.
The Garage, Norwich
A great place for young ones who love to perform, The Garage’s Big Summer Production is The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.