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Now we’re all settled into the New Year and the days start to get longer, it’s time to look forward to an exciting February in Norwich! It’s a leap year too, so we’ve even got an extra day to make the most of the month.
Whether you’re looking for things to do throughout February half-term, or just get out and about in (hopefully) less frosty weather, you’ll find plenty to do in the City of Stories. Here’s a list of what’s on that we think you’ll love…
Not only a highlight for February, but the year, is the return of The Forum’s Norwich Science Festival! It’s a marvellous celebration of science with over 180 events across the month, where you can enjoy intriguing discoveries, inspiring talks, engaging exhibitions, cutting-edge research, and plenty of family fun!
As always, you’ll find a huge range of FREE activities throughout Norwich and Norfolk with family talks, shows, and workshops put on throughout the festival. It’s a fantastic way to spend the February half-term as you and the family learn more about the world and those who have shaped it.
And if you’re looking for some events that are strictly adults only, they have that covered too, with heaps of laugh-out-loud lectures, taboo topics, deep dives, and even some chances to get involved!
‘Don’t miss events’ of this year’s Norwich Science Festival include ‘Maddie’s Wildlife Rangers’ (Saturday, February 17, 2:30pm), where the BAFTA award-winning presenter and author will take you and the family on a fascinating journey through the world of animals and conservation – expect to be quizzed on what you’ve learnt and experience the thrill of an animal rescue mission! Norwich Theatre Royal, £10-£13.50, includes book signing.
Or you can join CBBC’s Operation Ouch! Presenter, Dr Daniel Olaiya as he takes you on ‘Dr Daniel Olaiya’s Scientific Space Adventure’ (Sunday, February 18, 2pm) to discover the effects of space travel on the human body. You’ll see the effect of gravity on the heart through ultrasound, and even witness the explosive results of pressure on the lungs! Norwich Theatre Playhouse, £11 per child, £16 per adult.
And for an activity you can take part in whenever you’d like, look no further than the ‘Under the Sea Trail’ at Chantry Place (Saturday, February 10 – Saturday, February 24). On this insightful trail, you’ll dive into ‘Great Britain’s Barrier Reef’ to discover eight of the most amazing animals and plants that make this 100-million-year-old chalk reef their home.
Once you’ve found all eight animals and your trail is complete, you can collect a reward sticker and enter a competition to win a huge selection of goodies provided by Chantry Place. You can collect your trail map from Langley’s in Chantry Place (bottom floor), or from The Forum!
During the festival, The Forum’s atrium and Millenium Plain will be transformed into The Explorium – a heated marquee filled with FREE family-activities. Open from 10:30am – 4pm, with a quiet hour available to be booked from 9:30am-10:30am.
For the grown-ups, why not join ‘The Science of Beer-making with Jaega Wise’ (Sunday, February 18, 5pm)? In this exciting evening, join author, presenter, and award-winning Head Brewer of Wild Card Brewery in London, Jaega Wise, for this unique beer tasting event. Held in collaboration with local breweries, Ampersand and Duration, you’ll get the chance to taste a delicious range of beers whilst learning more about the mastery behind brewing! YALM Foodhall, £25 per person, age 18+ only.
A new wave of thought-provoking exhibitions are coming to the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts this February. As part of their new season addressing another one of life’s ‘Big Questions’, the Sainsbury Centre will now look at ‘What is Truth?’.
Against the backdrop of fake news, elaborate scams, and burgeoning presence of Artificial Intelligence, these exhibitions will ponder whether we’re experiencing a time when technology can diminish our own sense of authenticity. It’s bound to be deeply fascinating.
This new season will start with three exhibitions opening in February, ‘In Event of Moon Disaster’, ‘Liquid Gender’, and ‘Jeffrey Gibson: no simple word for time’. Another will follow later in May, ‘The Camera Never Lies: Challenging Images through The Incite Project’.
According to a YouGov poll, an astonishing 16% of people believe that the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon Landing never actually happened. So, inspired by the title of a speech prepared for President Nixon, ‘In Event of Moon Disaster’ is an Emmy Award winning immersive experience which recreates the speech using ‘deepfake technology’.
Meanwhile, ‘Liquid Gender’ will explore the relationship between identity and culture, asking ‘how do we know who we really are?’. Through photography, collage, sculptural work, and a new holographic sculpture, the pressures of societies are pushed aside to reveal the true self.
Finally, in his first solo exhibition in a UK museum, Jeffrey Gibson – who will become the first Indigenous solo artist to represent the USA at next year’s Venice Biennale – creates a new site-specific installation for the Sainsbury Centre.
Incorporating murals, paintings, textiles and historical objects, Gibson includes text drawn lyrics, poetry, and his own writing, complete with references to abstraction, fashion, and popular culture to prompt the visitor to consider how Indigenous cultures have historically been displayed within museums.
If that’s got your attention, then here comes the best bit… You can gain admission into the Sainsbury Centre see it all at a price that completely suits your budget, yes, even for FREE! It’s all part of their ‘Pay If and What You Can’ scheme, which ensures everyone gets to enjoy art.
If you’ve ever visited The Assembly House, you’ll know it’s a truly magical experience, so it only makes sense that their next themed afternoon tea is… The Wizard of Oz! And as always, it’s truly one you can’t miss out on.
Available now until Tuesday, March 19 (with the exception of Sunday, March 10, when they will be serving a special Mother’s Day afternoon tea, keep your eyes peeled for more on this!), this afternoon tea pulls out all the stops to wow your tastebuds.
Start your afternoon tea with dainty finger sandwiches and tasty savouries (including classics such as Mark Mitson’s parmesan and pistachio shortbread, the Assembly House sausage roll, and warm three-cheese toastie with roasted tomato chutney). Then, tuck into freshly baked scones, before moving onto the main event – the cakes and pastries…
There are some seriously tasty treats with this afternoon tea, like the Somewhere Over the Rainbow Gateau Opera, a lemonade-flavoured rainbow sponge with whipped clouds, I’ll Get You My Pretty Cupcake, a pineapple cupcake with mango filling and lime frosting, and who could forget the iconic Red Slippers? Or, in this case, raspberry shortbread biscuit with frosting and jam.
Afternoon tea at The Assembly House is available for £29.50 per adult and £18 per child under-12, with vegetarian, vegan, and dairy-free options available at no extra cost.
And, as it turns out, there really is a place like home at The Assembly House, as you can also enjoy an overnight stay in one of their individually decorated rooms! Perfect for when you’ve had your afternoon tea and you’re too full to move!
Both afternoon tea and a room can be booked via The Assembly House website.
We’re not done with The Wizard of Oz theme just yet! This month, not only can you enjoy a Wizard of Oz themed afternoon tea, but you can also sit back and be amazed at the real musical on stage at Norwich Theatre Royal (Wednesday, February 27 – Sunday, March 3).
Direct from The London Palladium, this beloved production needs no explanation, as one of the world’s most popular and well-known stories. Join Dorothy, Toto, and friends on an absolutely unforgettable trip down the yellow brick road, featuring the iconic score with songs like ‘Over the Rainbow’ and ‘We’re Off To See The Wizard’.
Tickets are available from £10-£58 and can be booked directly on the Norwich Theatre website!
How do you feel about handling bugs and creepy crawlies? Well, whether you’re looking to get over your fear, or simply love handling these amazing creatures, Castle Critters at Castle Quarter is the afternoon for you! (free, Tuesday, February 20)
Held in collaboration with The Bug Parc, these incredible encounters will let you meet a huge array of bugs, while getting up close and personal to discover the secrets behind their miniature worlds for FREE. It’s going to be great fun for everyone involved, if you can brave holding them yourself!
And if you’re not too keen on holding any critters, you can let your creativity flow instead with their bug-themed workshop. Here, you can craft and create insect-inspired masterpieces! It’s a fun and educational afternoon for the whole family, so be sure to come along!
Have you heard? BeWILDerwood is reopening for 2024 from Saturday, February 17! Just in time for the February half-term to deliver heaps of outdoor adventure for the whole family. And to mark their reopening, BeWILDerwood have announced an amazing offer for the school holiday.
When visiting between Saturday, February 17 – Sunday, February 25, this magical park is offering Buy One Get One Freeee when visiting. The best bit? At BeWILDerwood, there are no extra costs, everything is included in your entry, like giant wooden treehouses, huge play structures, muddled mazes, den building, and of course famous slippery slides and wobbly zip wires!
Any visit is sure to be a day to remember, especially with this offer. Tickets are expected to sell out quickly, so be sure to get yours from the BeWILDerwood website as soon as possible!