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Ahead of us is a long (and hopefully hot) summer to look forward to, filled with sunshine, relaxation, and an ice cream or two. But it also means that school’s out! As well as being a welcome reprieve for the kids, it’s the perfect opportunity to plan some quality family time together.
Whatever your budget, there’s plenty of fun and exciting things happening in Norwich this summer that are ideal for families to experience.
Fans of dinosaurs are in luck, as our prehistoric friends are taking over the city this summer! And the showstopper attraction is The Natural History Museum’s iconic and much-loved Diplodocus. Dippy will become a temporary resident in the Norwich Cathedral Nave on his only stop in the East of England from 13th July – 30th October. It’s free to attend, so schedule in some time to go and see all 26 metres of him. There will also be a programme of events announced in July to include film screenings, and Saturday Stories – where the kids can hear dinosaur tales told right underneath the tail of Dippy!
Take a Jurassic jaunt around Norwich with the GoGoDiscover sculpture trail. Perfect to tie-in with a visit to Dippy, you can take the kids on a trail of Norwich and see if you can spot the 20 large Tyrannosaurus-Rex sculptures, each one individually decorated by local and national artists. Head down to Riverside, Haymarket, The Forum, Cathedral Close and more locations to find them, with the full trail map coming soon. Running from 12th July – 11th September, it’s also free to do!
After a tiring day chasing T.rex sculptures and marvelling at Dippy, you’re going to need some hearty grub to restore your energy! So, why not keep the fun going and dig-in to some dino-themed cuisine with the City Food Trail. A whole host of local restaurants, cafes and bars will be offering exclusive menus as part of this special offer. (Plus, there’s a dinosaur colouring sheet to keep the kids entertained.) Keep your eyes peeled for neon dinosaur signs in the windows of participating restaurants from 12th July – 22nd August.
If you’re looking for a reason to get off the sofa and take a break from watching movies, Head Out Not Home might just be the answer. A programme of free live entertainment in the city centre running across 7 weeks this summer, Head Out Not Home includes all the best local talent, performers from across the country, and brilliant street entertainment. A perfect way for families to enjoy the sunshine whilst exploring Norwich’s excellent array of shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. Taking place on Sundays between 2pm and 5pm across four city centre locations from 25th July – 5th September.
Mysagarden is a 12-week long food and drink event under the lights of Norwich Castle from 17th June – 5th September. Celebrating Norwich’s vibrant food, arts and music scene, the space will be transformed for a summer festival experience for families, friends and food lovers to come together. There will be a brand-new stage with a programme of live music acts on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, so you can go along for some musical entertainment. Seating is outdoor and undercover, and there’s no need to book in advance with plenty of tables for walk-ins available.
Enjoy over 280-acres of fantastic circular walks surrounded by nature, wildlife and water just outside of Norwich city centre at Whitlingham Country Park, the gateway to the Norfolk Broads. There’s plenty of great space to take a seat, go for a walk, cycle or run plus you can watch the swans and possibly any rowers out on the water too. Don’t forget to check out the remains of the old Chalk works! Beryl Bike Hire is £12 for 24 hours, giving you the freedom to explore the whole broad (if you’re feeling adventurous). Or if you fancy getting out on the water, there’s a choice of kayaks, canoes and more, starting from £12 per person per hour.
The 85-acre park offers true family fun adventure of a Jurassic nature, including animatronic dinosaurs in natural settings, a Splash Zone, Predator High Ropes, Secret Animal Garden and Dinomite – Norfolk’s largest indoor play area. Roarr! Has just opened a new theatre too, a 228-seat venue which houses a large 2D screen and stage with live stage shows and performances. Prices vary depending on season, so check the website for ticket information.
Fancy den building, zip wires and gigantic slides? Or perhaps just space to run wild in the woods! BeWILDerwood is the place to go for outdoor fun for the family. All activities are included once you whizz through the gate, from storytelling, craft making and running in mazes, to treehouses, slippery slopey slides and wobbly wire zip lines! Under 92 cm // free. 92 – 105 cm // £17.50. Over 105cm // £19.50. 65 years // £12.50.
Maybe you’re after something a little different to do this summer in the city? In that case, City Escape Games might be just what you’re after. Entirely self-guided and taking place virtually from their web-app, you can explore Norwich’s sights as well as solving fun and cryptic clues. For teams of 2 to 6 people, from £24.99.
Make a day out in the park something to remember with Eaton Park Crazy Golf! An 18-hole crazy golf course, it’s a great way to have some fun, friendly family competition. There’s no need to pre-book, just show up. And best of all, it’s only £4.50 for adults, £3.50 for children 8-16 and £3 for children 3-7. Plus, there are group deals to snatch up – £10 for a group of three, £13 for four, and £16 for 5. There’s also plenty of other things to get up to in Eaton Park, such as the model boating lake, tennis courts and woodland walks. So, grab a picnic blanket and enjoy the sunshine.
For a fun and educational experience, there’s two fantastic museums right in the heart of Norwich you can head to. Discover Boudica and the Romans, a kaleidoscope of specimens in the natural history exhibit, the Anglo Saxons and the Vikings and more at Norwich Castle. Or head to the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell to experience a 20th century pharmacy, a 19th century hand loom, and learn about Norwich’s rich history. Both museums are £6.70 for adults, and £6.20 for children. Or, you can get a twilight ticket for only £2 an hour before closing.