The Best Indoor Activities in Norwich

22 September 2022

The Best Indoor Activities in Norwich

Since the weather has not been too great recently, we wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve found yourself hankering for a bit of indoor fun. Just because it might be a little chilly (or wet) outside, it doesn’t mean your fun day out has to be cancelled. In fact, there’s plenty of indoor activities to entertain you here in Norwich.

Rather than sit on the sofa devouring the latest box set, get active with fun activities such as bowling, an underground walking tour or blasting a few space invaders at a retro arcade.

Bowling House

Keep the kids amused with a spot of 10-pin bowling at Bowling House, a funky, retro-style bowling alley. The lanes are shorter than you’re perhaps used to, but that’s all part of the fun (and makes it fairer for the younger ones). Grab a burger while you’re there and maybe even a cocktail or two for the adults in the party. And best of all – bowling is FREE with a main meal! (Small deposit required). Otherwise, it’s £18 for 30 mins, and for groups of more than three, it’s £36 for one hour.

Bowling House lanes

Bowling House

Cryptic Escape

If you like watching The Crystal Maze or enjoy a brain teaser or two, you’ll love Cryptic Escape, where you’ll have to find your way out of a locked room within one hour. But don’t worry – there’s plenty of clues and hints to help you along the way. There are even games masters onsite to help. A great way for the family to have fun together and to blow away the brain cobwebs. Games cost £22.50 per person and can be booked online.

The Shoebox Experiences

Explore myths of medieval prison cells, spooky tunnels and hidden streets – all beneath the city of Norwich with The Shoebox Experiences. Guides will lead the way while you’ll learn the history and significance of the ancient architecture en route. A fun, spooky journey down two flights of stairs to an underground city nestling beneath Norwich Market and the Norman Keep. Tours are available from 10am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday. Costs £15 (adults), £8 (child 4-12)

Hidden History tours at The Shoebox Experiences

Norwich’s Hidden Street Tour

The South Asia Collection

Familiarise yourself with the fascinating collection of artefacts, sculptures, jewellery, textiles, furniture, paintings and costumes from South and Central Asia at The South Asia Collection. And, as if the exhibits weren’t splendid enough, the Collection is set in a former Victorian roller rink – a spectacular architectural gem. It’s free to enter and afterwards enjoy browsing the colourful museum shop Country and Eastern. Open Mon to Sat 9.30am to 5pm.

The South Asia Collection upper floor displays, which showcases a range of fascinating pieces

The South Asia Collection in Norwich houses a range of fascinating pieces

Norwich Castle

Learn the history of Norwich Castle and its use as a gaol from the 14th century onwards. Today it’s also a museum with a fascinating array of collections, covering the Romans and Egyptians all the way up to the Vikings and the Royal Norfolk Regiment. The castle is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 1pm to 5pm on Sundays. Admission for families is £6.50 (adult, with a paid child ticket), and £6 (child aged 4 -18).

Museum of Norwich

Get lost in the history of the city at the Museum of Norwich. This museum is filled to the brim with Norwich paraphernalia from throughout history – so there’s bound to be something that piques your interest. Whether that’s an exhibition showing how shoes have changed over time, or a recreated early 20th century chemists shop with all its potions, packets and pills. Adults £7, children £6.

The Pharmacy at Museum of Norwich

The Pharmacy at Museum of Norwich

Strangers’ Hall

Learn what life was like in Norwich during the 14th century and beyond with this visit to the past via a merchant’s house at Strangers’ Hall. Each room is decorated in the style of a different era, with historic furniture, artefacts and lifelike displays – transporting you back in time. Guided tours take place on the last Wednesday of every month from 2.30 to 3.30pm. This can be booked online, with tickets including museum admission. Open Wednesday 10am – 4pm and Sundays 1 – 4.30pm. Costs £5.60 (adult, with a paid child ticket), £5.30 (child aged 4 -18).

Norwich Cathedral

Admire the fabulous architecture, step out into the Cloisters (the largest in the country) and learn about the history of Norwich’s marvellous 900-year-old Cathedral. Attend one of the free guided tours from Monday to Saturday which run every hour from 10am – 3pm. You don’t have to book, just turn up at the Font in the Nave. Once you’ve taken in the Cathedral, stop off to enjoy coffee and cake at the Refectory Café (open 10.30am to 3.30pm, seven days a week), then take time browsing the gift shop.

Norwich Cathedral Interior

Norwich Cathedral Interior

Cathedral of St John the Baptist

If you’re a fan of historic buildings, make sure to spend some time exploring the gothic architecture of the Cathedral of St John the Baptist. This lovely building boasts stunning stained-glass windows and intricately carved stonework. Afterwards, why not have lunch in the café and then spend some time relaxing in the Duckett Library or browsing the gift shop. Admission is free.

Cathedral of St John the Baptist interior

Cathedral of St John the Baptist interior

Chantry Place

There’s plenty for children and adults to enjoy at the many high street and independent stores at Chantry Place. For a treat, head to the Hotel Chocolat café, where you’ll find delicious creamy hot chocolate, thick milkshakes and a wonderful selection of ice creams. Or you can opt for a family meal at one of the many welcoming restaurants on Chantry Square. Enjoy the burgers at GBK or Byron, go for some delicious Asian cuisine at Chi, Yo! Sushi or Wagamama and, for Mediterranean cuisine, head to the likes of Ask Italian or The Real Greek.

Castle Quarter

Retro Replay is the place to head for at Castle Quarter if you want to show how hot you were at computer games decades ago. Space Invaders, Pacmania and Galaxian – it’s all there. Show the kids how it was done back in the day (and try not to get too upset when they figure it out in seconds and beat your high score!) Or the whole family can put their brains together and try to solve the mystery in SI5 Spy Missions. And if you’re feeling peckish, why not mix golf with some grub at Putt Putt Noodle? And of course, Castle Quarter is also home to Vue Cinema – the perfect place to spend a few hours getting lost in the movie magic.

Vue Castle Quarter

Vue Castle Quarter