Subscribe to the City of Stories newsletter
By subscribing you will be added to our Newsletter mailing list.
Nights out (or even late afternoons into evening) in Norwich at Christmastime are special. As the sun goes down and the glimmering Christmas lights come on all over the City of Stories, pubs, restaurants, and venues invite us in.
There’s always a festive buzz in Norwich – one you have to feel for yourself.
So, whether you start with a sociable warming Glühwein at Sir Toby’s Beers on Norwich Market followed by an evening of retro bowling, or you settle in with a classic board game and food at Slice + Dice, or you head for a show or you go wild with axe throwing. The choices you have here in Norwich are vast, fun and exciting.
Read on for our eight top recommendations!
Norwich train station is just a 15-minute walk from all the action in the city centre, so travelling by train with Greater Anglia is ideal from London, Essex, Cambridge, and Suffolk. Find more destinations by rail plus bus routes here!
If you’re looking for a good Christmas party atmosphere – The Bowling House is the place to be. Here, you can get involved in retro bowling, karaoke, comedy nights, Barry’s Xmas Bingo (it promises truly awful prizes!) and you can enjoy delicious food and drink (including cocktails) – all under one roof!
Bowling House have even set up a huge range of special packages for every pocket for the festive season, so you can celebrate with friends and family in any way that suits you. Prices start at £10pp for 60 minutes of Karaoke & Drink Token before 7pm (+£2 cocktail).
A bit of bowling and Christmas karaoke? They’ve got a great deal on that. Fancy some bowling and good food? They’ve got that too, including a Christmas food menu, which includes southern fried turkey and pigs in blankets, so sounds super tasty!
Find out more about all of Bowling House’s Christmas packages and book your visit on their website!
Norwich Playhouse have spoilt us for a choice of Christmas nights out this December – it is the season of giving after all! And what a selection there is to choose from. If you’re looking for some feel good festive shows, you can rest assured the Playhouse have got you covered. And if the shows don’t take your fancy, it’s still worth a visit to their gorgeous bar, which even sells hot teas and rents hot water bottles for those colder nights because you can sit outdoors.
Start your December celebrations with award-winning Tom FitzHigham in his Comedy Christmas Cracker (Saturday, December 9). Joined by fellow comedians Andrew Maxwell, Martin Westgate, and Ciara Jack, you’re in for a hilarious night to get into the festive spirit. Expect live music and a few surprises in this very special show!
Or you can choose to ‘Step into Christmas with Joe Ringer’ in his fantastically popular night of incredible harmonies, masterful musicianship, festive sing-a-longs, and lots of snow (Sunday, December 17). From Bing to Bublé – this is a traditional treat not to be missed!
There’s always a reason to visit Castle Quarter, and more than enough to last you many nights out, especially at Christmas! Seriously, there is so much to do here. Whether you choose to mix and match activities in one night, or enjoy them across separate visits.
Take a round of mini golf (or three) at Putt Putt Noodle, which also serves tasty dishes and cocktails, virtual reality games and escape rooms at Vector VR, unlimited nostalgic arcade gaming at Retro Replay, a visit to the bowling alley and arcades of Superbowl, a host of exciting games like axe throwing and crazier golf at Boom Battle Bar, or a run of Christmas films at Vue. We warned you there was a lot! Now there’s really no reason to not have a great night out this Christmas.
Sometimes the ideal Christmas night out is just a few drinks surrounded by those close to you. You might even be looking for the ideal place to start your evening, or a new inclusion in a festive pub crawl. For any of the above, we highly recommend Norwich’s smallest bar, Sir Toby’s Beers on Norwich Market.
Here, you can find a massive variety of Bavarian lagers, craft beers, and real local ales. Simply choose what you want from the fridges or take your pick from what’s on draught! And if you’re not sure what takes your fancy, the incredibly friendly staff are always on hand to give their top recommendations.
At Christmas they even serve traditional German Glühwein, which is a type of mulled wine. It’s one of the best in the City of Stories by far, we’d highly recommend it, especially when there’s a chill in the air!
Another fantastic pub to cosy up to a good pint, The Ribs of Beef is a local favourite and a great spot to visit on your night out. Set on the banks of the River Wensum and on the cusp of historic Fye Bridge, it’s a truly scenic setting which is also well within reach of anywhere in Norwich.
The Ribs of Beef has a seriously good pub food menu and up to nine real ales and craft beers, including five frequently changing guest ales. There’s also regular live music, a pub quiz, and sports on multiple screens. You can find anything you’d want from a visit to the pub right here, including a brilliantly festive atmosphere! We couldn’t recommend it enough for an evening with friends and family.
When you picture Christmas, what do you see? If you see yourself in the warm with those closest to you, playing games and having a good laugh over hearty food and drink, we’ve got the place for you. Slice + Dice is the perfect Christmas night out, in. This board game café offers a huge range of board games to learn and enjoy, as well as a tasty vegan food menu, which saves you the cooking! It’s like a home away from home.
And at this time of year, you can be sure there’s going to be themed board games, seasonal dishes and cocktails, and even a few Christmas events to get involved in! Not sure what to play? Ask the friendly staff for their recommendations, they’ll even teach you the game and get you started! The best bit? It only costs £1.50 per person per hour! What a merry place to be.
Great, vegan food, creative cocktails, and retro arcade machines are literally the name of the game at Barcadia. This recently opened vegan-friendly bar is a brilliant night out, with everything you need in one place! And you can be sure it’s going to get even better during the Christmas season.
At Barcadia, you don’t need the Ghost of Christmas Past to go back in time and relive some of your favourite arcade machines from festive seasons gone by. Enjoy classics your inner child would love, like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Daytona USA, Dig Dug, and so, so many more. All that for just £5 for ten tokens, or £9 for 20 tokens. We love this idea for a nostalgic Christmas. And why not try their dessert fries? Curious, but delicious – they’re a must try for everyone!
It’s always a ‘par-tee’ at Mulligans, especially at Christmastime! This huge venue is filled with fun games and fluorescent colours, from electro-darts to shuffleboard, pool to 18-hole crazy golf. It should top your list of places to go with a group of people – particularly when looking for somewhere that can keep everyone happy during Christmas celebrations.
And who doesn’t love a good deal for the festive season? Luckily for you, Mulligans have got that covered! Try their ‘Xmas Drinks Package’, which gives you a game of golf and two drinks for just £24 per person (six people minimum).
Or, if you’ve got a larger group, the ‘Mulligans Xmas Package’ might be the one for you, which also includes a game of golf and two drinks, but also comes with a buffet for £30 per person (ten people minimum). See the Mulligans website for more details!
And that’s just a few Christmas nights out here in the City of Stories! If you’re looking for even more exciting nights out, or even for some things to do during the day, we’ve got plenty of recommendations. Check out our City of Stories blogs and ‘What’s On’ page for more Christmas inspiration!