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Who doesn’t love some time away during the Summer Holidays? The kids are off school until September, the adults get some time off work, and everyone gets to relax while exploring somewhere different from their daily life! Plus, it’s the perfect way to spend valuable time with the family.
The best bit? When you’re visiting Norwich, your holiday doesn’t have to break the bank. Here, there is so much for the whole family – with plenty at free or affordable prices. There’s vast culture, rich history, exciting activities, delicious food, and so much more. This is a city with a story to tell. Read on to find our recommendations for this summer!
If you’ve visited the City of Stories in previous summers, you may have been lucky enough to spot some fantastic performances on the stages of ‘Head Out, Not Home’ by the Norwich Business Improvement District. Now, to mark its tenth year, this annual programme of street entertainment is relaunching with its brand-new name – Norwich Summer Sessions.
So, when visiting Norwich in July or August, the chances are you and the family will be able to catch Norwich Summer Sessions in action. Starting from 12:40pm on Sunday, July 30 and repeating weekly throughout summer until Sunday, September 3, you can find an afternoon of entertainment for FREE across five stages in the city. These five stages are: The Forum, Westlegate, St Gregory’s Green, London Street, and Gentleman’s Walk.
Expect to see some incredible acts that will delight all ages, from the very best local musicians to Covent Garden Entertainers, which will create a festival atmosphere across the city every week.
So, make your time in Norwich that much more exciting by planning to see all five stages and the incredible acts performing on them. Visit our huge range of independent businesses, pop into our delightful cafés, or settle down for lunch with our tasty restaurants, and enjoy a Sunday like you’ve never known!
The programme for Norwich Summer Sessions is managed by NORCA, including a large range of both national and local acts, with a performer from each of the last ten years returning once again. For more information about Norwich Summer Sessions and what acts are returning, click here!
Chantry Place has some unique visitors this summer… From Saturday, July 22 – Sunday, September 3, gather the family for the FREE ‘Safari Summer’ event and hunt for the ten large animal sculptures inhabiting Chantry Place.
Simply pick up your trail map from Deichmann on the lower ground floor, then get exploring! We won’t spoil the fun and tell you every animal there is to be found, but expect some giants, including a hippo, giraffe, panda, and much more!
Once all the animals have been found, make your way back to Deichmann and be awarded your free goody bag, which offers a complimentary child’s ticket to Banham Zoo or Africa Alive Reserve with a full paying adult! And, if you enter your details, you could be in for a chance to win a family annual pass to either zoo, with a pass up for grabs every week! Plus, there’s an animal medal to be won to show off your expert safari skills.
If the trail has got the kids excited about all things animals, Chantry Place have gone one step further and introduced Wild Wednesdays every week throughout the holidays. In partnership with Schoodoodle, book on to free animal-themed arts and craft sessions, which feature new activities each session!
One week, it’ll be designing bird masks, the next, doing some tropical tie die. With so much more planned, what’s not to love? To find out more and book your child’s spot on these exciting sessions, click here!
Chantry Place aren’t the only ones to have wildlife visitors… This summer, the jungle is coming to Castle Quarter (Monday, July 24 – Friday, September 1). Animals have taken shelter inside Castle Quarter, and they need some help in finding them. They need the best people for the job – you!
To help you track all the animals down, you can pick up a trail sheet from Castle Quarter or download it from their website, then get looking to see which animals you can find. Why not snap a quick photograph with them all too? It’s not often you see these animals in Norwich!
Once the job is done and all the animals have been found, return your completed trail sheet to the postbox by the spiral staircase in White Lion Square. From there, one lucky explorer will be selected to win a £50 voucher to spend at Castle Quarter. Be sure to save this one in the diary, it’s a day out the kids will love!
Get your children’s imagination running wild this Summer Holiday. Join The Garage every Monday lunchtime (12:30pm – 2pm) for FREE weekly creative arts sessions, perfect for exploring creativity in a multitude of different ways!
The Garage are offering a whole host of different workshops, exploring varied art forms such as gelli platemaking (a type of gel printing), illustration, origami, poetry, and so much more! There really is something to take every child’s interest this summer. Plus, it’s a relaxed and sociable setting, so it’s a safe space for everyone express themselves freely!
These weekly sessions will run for four weeks every Monday from July 3, with further sessions from September onwards to be announced. To find out more about The Garage and their Creative Arts Sessions, click here.
Who doesn’t love a museum? They’re great for all ages, and everyone can learn something fascinating and new (without being in school!). For the perfect museum experience, we’d highly recommend Strangers’ Hall. This hidden gem of Norwich can be found on Charing Cross, right by St Benedicts Street, and it’s a must-visit during the summer holidays, especially since they’re extending their opening times with FREE admission on Wednesday, August 23 – Friday, August 25 and Sunday, August 27!
As one of the oldest buildings in Norwich, Strangers’ Hall is gorgeous. With each room, you wind back the clock as you explore the different time-periods this museum holds host to, including the Great Hall, Victorian Room, Chestnut Room, Georgian Dining Room, and so much more! There’s even a beautiful knot garden you can explore, so bring along some lunch, take in the sights of the surrounding medieval buildings, and relax among nature!
New for this summer, interpretation panels in these period rooms will be introduced with images of archive photos and documents, with stories attached to each room! These will tell the story of the founding of Strangers’ Hall. There’ll also be some new acquisitions, including Mr & Mrs Taylor’s Doll House, a Victorian Bazaar Doll, and peg dolls in National costume. Go and see for yourself how the toys of today differ!
Finally, we can’t forget the fantastically fun events Strangers’ Hall regularly host. Try some kaleidoscope colouring sheets inspired by artist Will Teather, who’s paintings are on permanent display in the museum. Or maybe you’d prefer to get crafty and brew up some potions with the whole family? There’s always something new and exciting on here.
There you have it, just a few recommendations you can find scattered across the City of Stories this summer! There is tonnes to get up to here, so it would be impossible to fit it all into just one blog. So, if you’re hungry for more free and low-cost activities in Norwich, be sure to check out our Free & Low-Cost page!