If you have children you’ll know that summer holiday fever is already building. For a child, there’s nothing more exciting than seeing the weeks stretch out in front of you with no alarm clock, no uniform and no homework. For parents, it can be a little harder as we struggle to keep them busy. The good news is there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained, from racing ducks to paddling with dinosaurs!
Image: Holkham Hall Outdoor Theatre in the Walled Garden
1. SWORD SCHOOL FOR SEAFARERS
Do you have a little swashbuckling adventurer at home? Children aged five and over can unleash their inner historic battle hero with a visit to Sword School at Norwich Castle. Wannabe seafarers will step back in time to practice some 19th century cutlass moves and learn about battle tactics under the guidance of an expert swordsman.
Sword School is running on Thursdays from 27th July to 31st August from 10am and entry is included in general admission: Adult £9.15, Conc. £8.70, Child (4-18) £7.30, Family (1 adult) £23.30, Family (2 adults) £31.10.
2. PLAYING WITH PUPPETS
Have you ever wondered what you'd look like if you could be a puppet? Buttons for eyes? Wool for hair? How about having your entire family replicated in puppet-form? Norwich Puppet Theatre is running 'Fantastic Families', a family workshop where you can get creative and handmake your own family of puppet characters. The workshop is designed as a family activity and is suitable for children over the age of three. You'll leave with your own family of puppets so you can perform shows in your own living room! Fantastic Families runs on Saturday 5th August, tickets are £9.50 per participant and can be booked online.
3. THEATRE IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS
A performance is all the more captivating when it's given in unique and beautiful surroundings. This summer the Walled Garden at Holkham Hall will again set the stage for a series of outdoor theatre performances. Strange Fascination Theatre presents Alice in Wonderland on Wednesday 2nd August. This magical show, packed with fun and fantasy, is performed with puppets, singalongs, comedy and surprises that will delight children and adults alike.
If you enjoy a cheeky comedy, don’t miss The Emperor’s New Clothes. The question is...will he really be fooled by the idea of an outfit that can only be seen by the wise? All will be revealed in the Walled Garden on Wednesday 9th August. For a trip back to your childhood, join the Wind in the Willows adventures of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad as they embark on a battle to save Toad Hall on Wednesday 23rd August.
These are just three family favourites, you can see the full theatre programme here. Tickets: Adult £14, Child £10, Family (2 adults and 2 children) £43.
4. THEATRE ARTS SUMMER SCHOOL
Aspiring young actors have an opportunity to enroll on a six-day summer school where they will produce their very own theatre showcase on the final day. The school (21st – 26th August) is held at Norwich Theatre Royal so students will have the benefits of training and gaining skills in a professional setting. The programme includes role play, improvisation skills, script work, learning how to design and build a set and props and technical skills. It's also a great opportunity to meet like-minded friends and see how it feels to be part of a real production as they take to the stage on the final day. The summer school is suitable for eight to 16 year olds and places can be booked online. The course costs £140 (Siblings 20% discount).
5. HEAD OUT, NOT HOME
You know summer has started when you’re clock-watching in the office and you start to hear music and crowds gathering outside the window as it gets towards 5pm! Norwich Business Improvement District is again hosting ten weeks of FREE street entertainment on Thursday evenings from 29th June to 31st August. Expect music, dancing, Covent Garden performers and plenty of surprises taking place in a variety of locations around the city centre. The early evening entertainment is suitable for the whole family and will run until 8pm, depending on weather.
6. GRAND NORWICH DUCK RACE
Nothing says summer fun like thousands of little rubber ducks, in fancy dress, bobbing along the river! This year’s duck race takes place on Sunday 27th August, beginning with a duck parade on St George’s Bridge at noon with the ducks getting under starters orders at 2pm. Victory goes to the first duck crossing the finishing line at St Fye’s Bridge, outside the Ribs of Beef pub. The Lord Mayor or Sheriff of Norwich will open the proceedings on St George's Bridge where there will be lots more family entertainment with a cake stall, ice creams, face painting, Archers Butcher's sausage stall, little duck stall, games and other activities for everyone to enjoy.
7. DIPPY'S SUMMER BEACH PARTY
Join Dippy at the Dinosaur Adventure Park for a splash-about at his special summer beach party. The Splash Zone has 31 water play features for children, so pack their swimsuits and join in the fun. The Dinosaur Adventure Park is packed with family fun including the Dinosaur Trail, an indoor and outdoor play area, animal garden, crazy golf and more. The park is open daily and the Summer Beach Party takes place between Tuesday 29th August and Sunday 3rd September from 9.30am to 5pm. Book in advance online for discounted tickets – Adult £13.20, Child (aged 3-15) £16.10.
COMING TO VISIT?
Greater Anglia have Advance fares from £9 one way between London Liverpool Street and Norwich. Trains run every 30 minutes. Abellio also serves Colchester, Ipswich and Diss on the Norwich line. Direct trains also run from Cambridge.
East Midlands Trains runs services from Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham.
Flights into Norwich served from Edinburgh, Manchester, Exeter, Aberdeen, Jersey*, Guernsey* and Amsterdam.
To find out more and plan a trip to Norwich visit our website: www.visitnorwich.co.uk