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Summer may be ending, but there’s no need to be sad. Soon enough we will be blessed with gorgeous red, orange and yellow colours atop our trees. We’ll be able to pull our favourite jumpers out the back of the wardrobe and get cosy. Hot chocolates will become the new favourite drink, plus there’s Halloween to get excited for too! We won’t blame you if you’re secretly happy that summer is over.
And to get you properly in the mood for the season, we’ve found all the best autumn activities in Norwich and Norfolk to enjoy – including all the spooky Halloween events coming up too!
Sainsbury Centre, Norwich
With the days getting a little cooler, there’s nothing better than heading into the warm to marvel at incredible art. Full of incredible sculpture, jewellery, paintings and more, the atrium of the Sainsbury Centre is free to enter and makes for a perfect day out. We’d recommend paying a little extra to see the new exhibition Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years, which opens on 19 September. It’s the first exhibition dedicated to Perry’s earliest forays into the art world, showcasing the creative works he made between 1982 and 1994. (Tickets £12.) Once you’ve had your fill inside, why not grab a hot drink from the café and head out into the Sculpture Park? Take in terrific sculptures as you wander around the grounds.
Gaia at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich
If you’re heading into the city centre this autumn, then you have to pay a visit to Gaia at St Peter Mancroft. This stunning installation will be on show in the heart of the 600-year-old church from 1st – 31st October. 6 metres in diameter and created by artist Luke Jerram, the piece depicts our planet using NASA imagery. And it’s free to see! We’d recommend popping over before getting a nice hot lunch from Norwich market. Or perhaps delving a little deeper and booking one of the talks taking place at the church, looking at the planet and the climate crisis from the perspective of both faith and science.
Assembly House Afternoon Tea, Norwich
Autumn is a season filled with foodie delights. Who hasn’t given in to the temptation of a pumpkin spiced latte? Or a delicious Sunday Roast at the local pub? Well, now you can enjoy a famous Assembly House themed afternoon tea. The Autumn Hedgerow Afternoon Tea consists of finger sandwiches, savoury treats, scones and delightful seasonal desserts. Does a Falling Leaves Cupcake with ginger sponge and toffee buttercream tempt you? Or a Bramble Hedgerow Trifle? If that’s not enough to get you booking your table, we don’t know what is! £23.95 for one or £47 for two.
Norwich Cathedral and GoGoDiscover, Norwich
The GoGoDiscover T.rex sculpture trail became a highlight for families and visitors to the city this summer, and now there’s a farewell event so you can see some of your favourite fantastically decorated dinosaur sculptures one last time! This special event will also celebrate Dippy the Diplodocus cast’s last week at Norwich Cathedral. Don’t miss your last chance to see the T.rex sculptures in the beautiful cathedral grounds and Dippy in the Cathedral nave. Taking place between the 24th and 31st October, the event is free to attend with no booking required, however there is a suggested donation of £2.50 per person towards Break, the East Anglian children’s charity.
Pensthorpe Natural Park, Norfolk
As part of the Norfolk Heritage Open Days programme, Pensthorpe Natural Park is opening its doors to visitors for free on the 13th September! A glorious garden stretching for miles, it’s the perfect place to go for a long walk and enjoy spotting wildlife. Just present your Heritage Open Days festival brochure to gain free entry. Or you can head there on any other day and pay just £12.95 for entry.
Holkham Hall, Norfolk
Leisurely walking around the grounds of a stunning estate and perhaps going inside to discover more is the ideal way to make the most of a mild autumn day. At Holkham Hall you can get yourself standard entry to the grounds, walled garden and hall (£22 combined ticket, plus £5 parking), or you can discover even more by booking one of their insightful tours! We love the sound of A Working World Beneath Your Feet: The Holkham Courtyards & Cellars. Discover how servants used the courtyards and cellars and see the kitchens for yourself. Tickets £30 including parking. Check out the website to see what other events are on at the Hall, including wildlife trails, art exhibitions and more!
History Mystery and City Escape Games, Norwich
Want to challenge yourself this Halloween? Well, History Mystery and City Escape Games have teamed up to bring you a new challenging outdoor adventure that’s perfect for a bit of spooky fun. Book yourself onto Revolting Earls & Body Snatching Bishops and find yourself delving into dark rumours and investigating dodgy dealings across the streets of Norwich. All you need is a fully charged smartphone. You can play by yourself, or in teams of up to 6, and it only costs £24.99 per team.
Cryptic Escape, Norwich
Looking for something a bit more creepy? The Haunted game from Cryptic Escapes may be just what you’re looking for. Based on a true story, you’ll enter a haunted house on Tombland and seek out the mysterious truth behind this spectre’s eternal imprisonment, before helping to banish the spirit once and for all. Not suitable for players under 14 years of age. Tickets from £15 per person for a group of six.
Norwich Ghost Walks, Norwich
Are you brave enough to head out with a tour guide and learn of the city’s dark past? It’s the perfect time of year to take an eerie moonlit walk through the streets of Norwich and discover their history as well as tales of spirits, poltergeists and more! And the best part? Tickets are only £10 per person! All walks start from outside the Adam & Eve pub and last approximately two hours. Tickets need to be booked in advance which you can do here. Recommended age 10+.
Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure, Norfolk
Fancy something a little spooky that the whole family can enjoy? Well then head over to Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure for Dippy’s Halloween Days. Running from 23rd – 31st October, you can enjoy storytelling, Halloween crafts, pumpkins, a ghostly disco and more. Book your tickets online now.
Fielding Cottage Pumpkin Carving, Norfolk
Who doesn’t love a good Halloween pumpkin? Let’s face it, it’s probably the most fun part of Halloween (other than the sweets and chocolate and costumes). This year, opt for pumpkin carving at The Goat Shed at Fielding Cottage. Hosted in an under-cover and Covid-secure environment, it’s perfect for families. Book a table for up to 6 people, and get 4 pumpkins, carving kits, hot drinks for adults and juice cartons for the kids, plus a bag of Norfolk cookies to devour! Running between the 26th and 30th October, tickets are only £30 per table.
Wroxham Barns, Norfolk
For some Halloween fun with a bit of a difference, check out Wroxham Barns pumpkin festival. Pick out your own pumpkin and visit the junior farm and the fun park. Tickets include a free pumpkin for every child! £13.99 for children, £12.99 for adults (not including a pumpkin). For an even spookier experience, you can go pumpkin picking at night. Pick out your pumpkin before heading to the carving barn to decorate it. Your ticket will include unlimited play and rides at the fun park and access to the junior farm. £9 per person including a pumpkin. Find out more and pre-book here.
Fancy a fantastical adventure? Then you won’t want to miss The Glorious Glowing Lantern Parade at BeWILDerwood. In this magical evening light extravaganza, you’ll get to journey as a family through woodland and enjoy terrific tales and magic storytelling. Plus – you get to craft your own Boggle Bindle Lantern to help you light up the woods! Tickets are £10, with children under 92cm, wheelchair users and carers free. Running from 16th – 17th October, and 23rd – 31st October.