What are the best things to do with kids in the beautiful region of Norfolk? Norfolk is officially the driest county in the UK, but occasionally it does rain! Luckily, Norfolk has loads of activities to keep your family entertained indoors, from medieval Norwich castle to an award winning, sustainable indoor play centre. Norfolk’s miles of wide sandy beaches and acres of unspoiled countryside is what attracts so many families each year. In search of seaside relaxation, fresh air and a family bonding time. Whether you’re after an action packed experience in bustling Great Yarmouth, or a remote stay surrounded by the wild beauty of The Norfolk Broads National Park.
BabyBreaks has listed the Best Things to do with Kids in Norfolk:
One of the city’s most famous landmarks, Norwich Castle was built by the Normans as a over 900 years ago. Visitors can walk through the ages as they explore galleries devoted to Boudicca, the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings. Kids will love the Egyptian tomb’s ancient mummies, and the Natural History galleries’ taxidermy, fossils and butterflies.
There are lots of child-friendly events at weekends and during the school holidays, as well as tours of the dungeons.
Children will love this amazing aquarium, home to over 1,500 creatures in its 250,000 litre Tropical Ocean Display and a Shark Nursery. Meet a huge array of sea life, from the tiny seahorse to colourful jellyfish and graceful rays. Animal talks and feedings take place throughout the day, where the kids can learn loads of cool facts to impress their friends.
BabyBreaks tip: Save up to 40% when you book your ticket in advance online.
The last remaining last end-of-pier theatre in the world, a visit to Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre is as much about history as it is entertainment. Consequently, the annual Cromer Pier Show entertains audiences with a line up of traditional variety acts for three months throughout the summer.
From comedians to jugglers, singers and dance troops from Britain’s Got Talent, there’s something for everyone here. Throughout the year there are also lots family friendly shows like “Horrible Histories” which brings famous figures to life, including King Henry VIII and Mary Queen of Scots.
Hootz House is an indoor play area with a difference. Voted Best Sustainable Project 2015, this imaginatively designed indoor playground aims to blend adventurous play with a connection to the natural world. Furthermore, the wooden structures encourage children to move as they would outside- balance across rope bridges, climb up huge tree towers and race down winding slides. There is also a separate soft play area for little ones under 5’s.
If the weather brightens up you can explore the rest of the amazing Pensthorpe Natural Park – a 700 acre site nature reserve complete with lakes, woodland and abundant wildlife.
Where better to spend a rainy day than The Royal Family’s private country house? All the main ground floor rooms used by the royals are open to for the public to explore. You can also admire family portraits, priceless antiques and treasured family possessions. Some highlights in the museum include a 1900 Daimler and an Aston Martin used by Princes William and Harry.
There are also stunning manicured gardens, 600 acres of parkland and the Sandringham Church to explore.
Winner of Norfolk’s Best Large Attraction (EDP Norfolk Tourism Awards), Pensthorpe Natural Park is certainly the perfect Family Day out in Norfolk. The 700 acre nature reserve has woodland walks, interactive nature trails and amazing outdoor and indoor adventure play areas to explore. You can spend the whole day here – bring a picnic and see if any wildlife comes to say hello!
A dinosaur-themed adventure park that the kids will love, Roarr! offers hours of fun for a wide range of ages. Aside from the huge, life size models of dinosaurs hidden around the park, there’s in addition a Victorian Walled Garden home to a range of farmyard animals, a Lost World Maze, High Ropes Course and a Deer Safari to spot the red and fallow deer who live here.
If the weather turns wet, there’s an indoor play area too, which of course is also dino-themed!
Norfolk’s coastline is some of the UK’s most unspoiled, so a day at the beach is an absolute must when you visit the area. Some of our favourites are below:
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk’s most popular family resort has a large beach and lots of entertainment on the Golden Mile. A promenade between the two piers lined with amusements arcades, ice cream shops and cafes. However it does get very busy in the school holidays. You will be guaranteed a great family day out in Norfolk.
Wells-next-the-Sea is one of the most photographed beaches in Norfolk, thanks to its row of 200 colourful beach huts which line the sand. This picturesque stretch of beach is ideal for dog walking and birdwatching, and it’s never likely to feel crowded.
Holkham Bay recently won “Beach of the Year” (BBC Countryfile magazine awards 2018) and “Best Beach in the UK”(in a survey of travel writers on 101 Holidays). Your family is bound to love it as much as we do. Stretching for more than four miles, it is part of the Holkham National Nature Reserve, and is home to a fascinating array of flora and fauna. Unspoiled Norfolk beauty at its best.
9. Holkham Estate
This 25,000 acre estate on the north Norfolk coast is an exceptional place to explore with your family. Rich in history, architecture and wildlife. 18th century Holkam Hall is home to the Earl of Leicester and his family, who take great pride in sharing their house and grounds with visitors.
Designated walks allow visitors to explore the extensive grounds, where you can spot the free roaming fallow deer, as well as lots of other wildlife. There are lakes, a farm, woodland and a walled garden to discover, as well as a high ropes course, cycle hire and boat hire.
Be WILDerwood is an award-winning Adventure Park based on the series of children’s books written by local author, Tom Blofeld. Your kids will love spotting characters from the books as they enjoy a Lazy River boat ride, or tackle the Sky Maze treetop trail. There are always lots of activities happening throughout the year, from storytelling to treasure hunts, puppet shows and craft workshops.
Where usually seals are mostly found in Scotland, population seems to spread also in England and more particularly on the Norfolk coast. During the low tide, you can spot some seals families resting near Brancaster beach. They are getting less afraid of humans now but don’t stand too close to them. They are still wild animals to preserve as much as we can.
12. Bircham Windmill
Very few functioning windmills are still visible today in England. Bircham Windmill is one of those cherished windmills you can still appreciate today. The windmill has over 200 years of history and requires 5 floors to climb in order to get the view from the fan stage. The venue also have a bakery, tea rooms and a gift shop.
The Gardens are a delight to visit with the changing colors of their trees depending on which season you plan to visit Norfolk. Your children will also enjoy one of the most elegant country houses in the region by discovering the different rooms at the Hall. The kitchen is particularly impressive and you could immerse yourself as if you were the cook in this massive mansion. Felbrigg Hall is part of the National Trust charity.
As the name mentions it, this venue hosts one of the biggest lavenders fields in the UK with over 100 acres of lavender collections. This place is a perfect place for a day out with the kids. You will enjoy a tour guide of the estate, as well as a garden centre, animals gardens and play park. And if you would like a hot drink or have lunch, it is possible thanks to their tearoom and restaurant. Breakfast is also served from 10am until 11am.