Free Things for Families to Do

Free Things for Families to Do

Who doesn’t love a family holiday? Often times, it’s on these trips away that the best memories are made, and in Norwich there’s plenty of opportunities and ways to make those lifelong memories for everyone to look back on fondly. The best bit? There’s tonnes of family-friendly activities, places, and events that are all completely free to enjoy! Holidays are best enjoyed when they aren’t breaking the bank, after all!  

Therefore, to help you plan a fantastic and unforgettable holiday for the whole family to enjoy, we’ve rounded up some of the best free things for families to do right here in the City of Stories. Follow just a few of our recommendations and you’ll have saved enough to plan another trip to Norwich in no time! 

Norwich Summer Sessions 

There are few better ways to enjoy the streets of Norwich than with free, live entertainment, and, with Norwich Summer Sessions, that’s exactly what you can expect throughout the summer! Formerly known as ‘Head Out, Not Home’, Norwich Summer Sessions runs weekly throughout July (Thursdays, 4pm – 8pm) and August (Sundays, 12:30pm – 4:30pm) with pop-up performances across the city from some of the best street entertainers and performers around. 

And, for its eleventh year, Norwich Summer Sessions is making its triumphant return with another programme of entertainment of all kinds for 2024. This time, there’s street theatre, live music including jazz, folk, street brass, and much, much more. And, just like every year been and gone, it’s absolutely FREE to enjoy across all four of the city-wide stages! Find them on London Street, Westlegate, St Gregory’s Green and Gentleman’s Walk. Find more information on Norwich Summer Sessions here! 

Norwich Summer Sessions is the perfect free entertainment to make any day in the city that much better!

Chantry Place 

When it comes to free family activities, particularly during school holidays, Chantry Place is certainly another list-topper. You’ll often find varied and themed activities, an exciting centre-wide trail, and a competition with some fabulous prizes to enjoy. And for summer 2024, Chantry Place have really outdone themselves with their biggest and best yet.  

With both the Olympics and Euros as the world’s biggest stages this summer, Chantry Place is embracing the sporting spirit of both events with ‘A Sporting Summer’, so that visitors can feel inspired and get involved themselves. Partnering with the Community Sports Foundation (CSF), there will be free activities every Tuesday on the lower ground floor near Frasers, including a toe tap challenge, skipping challenges, as well as the opportunity to host ‘post-match’ interviews! 

Meanwhile, every Wednesday, Run Norwich will be hosting activities of their own, including speed bounce, treadmill, and speed incline challenges. And last but not least, their trail will give visitors the chance to win £600 worth of Sports Direct vouchers… That’s worth taking part in alone! Check the Chantry Place website before your visit for more information! 

Get involved and see who comes out on top during Chantry Place’s Sporting Summer!

Castle Quarter  

There’s always a reason to visit Castle Quarter, and during school holidays, that reason is their range of free activities for the whole family to enjoy! It makes them another must-visit on any trip to the City of Stories since they really do have something for everyone to enjoy. Plus, if you are looking to loosen the purse strings, their range of leisure activities are truly unbeatable at entertaining everyone of all ages, PuttPutt Social, Retro Replay, and SuperBowl UK are particular highlights! 

In previous holidays, Castle Quarter have done it all. They’ve had bug handling sessions and crafts with The Bug Parc, they’ve had the Norfolk Ghostbusters visit with their giant Mr Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, medieval trails and royal experiences, alpacas visit, and so much more. For the upcoming summer holiday, the emergency services are coming to Castle Quarter, with different services joining them weekly for questions and conversations about their careers, as well as mini Olympics events, Nerf Battles, and Well-Being Donkeys all making appearances! Find out more on the Castle Quarter website. 

Castle Quarter is Norwich’s top leisure destination and almost always have free activities to get involved in!

Book Bench Trail 

Whether you’re visitors looking for a great way of orientating yourselves around Norwich and seeing the sights on your way, or locals who want to see the City of Stories with a fresh new look, the Book Bench Trail is the perfect way to spend your morning or afternoon while getting some fresh air! 

Across this 5.7km long trail, you’ll find eight benches engraved with notable books and famous authors who are from our county – we are the City of Stories after all! So, from Anna Sewell’s ‘Black Beauty’ to Julian of Norwich’s ‘Revelations of Divine Love’, the first published book by a female in the English language, you’ll find it all and may even be inspired to pick up something new to read after! 

On your way around the city, be sure to stop off at any shops, restaurants, or cafés that take your interest too. You never know what you’ll find, there might be a new favourite just waiting to be discovered! For more information about the Book Bench trail, including a map for your journey, click here. 

The Book Bench trail is a great way to see the city for both visitors and locals alike!

Sainsbury Centre 

For a full day out with the family at a price that suits you (yes, even free!), look no further than the Sainsbury Centre. Inside this world-class, Norman Foster designed building, you’ll find even more world-class works and artefacts spanning hundreds of cultures and thousands of years, from those dating BC to the modern day! Basically, it’s the perfect combination between art gallery and a museum. 

And with their revolutionary ‘Pay If and What You Can’ scheme, you can gain admission to see all the Sainsbury Centre has to offer at a price that suits you, including for free. While you’re there, make sure to see their rotating exhibitions from their host of ‘seasons’ attempting to answer life’s impossible questions, it’s all absolutely fascinating. Oh, and don’t forget to explore the Sculpture Park too, which spans 300-acres and has huge sculptures from artists such as Henry Moore, Elizabeth Frink, and Antony Gormley all dotted about. 

Finally, for the perfect way of keeping the kids entertained, join the Sainsbury Centre’s Family Days, held on the first Sunday of every month for free. There’s no need to book, just simply drop in any time between 10:30am – 12:30pm and let them enjoy a host of crafts and/or exploration with a Sainsbury Centre artist and theme! They’re fantastic days, and perfect for inspiring creativity. Find out more on the Sainsbury Centre website. 

The Sainsbury Centre’s free family days are the perfect way to inspire their creativity and see some fantastic art!

Other Great Ways to Spend a Day

We’re sure you’ll absolutely love our recommendations of where to go for free family activities, but just in case you wanted some more…

And there you have it! A few of our top recommendations on where you can find some fantastic family activities for free here in the City of Stories. To see even more of the city without spending a penny, why not mix and match these suggestions with our ‘Free Sightseeing in Norwich’ picks?