20 ways keep your family entertained this Bank Holiday weekend

Friday, August 22, 2014
6:00 AM

From history to herring, festivals to family fun at the races there is something to keep all your family entertained this Bank Holiday week. SIMON PARKIN highlights events with something for all ages.

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• Lovely Bugs

The Walks, King’s Lynn, August 21, 11.30am, 01553 782081, www.everybodydance.org.uk

An outdoor, interactive aerial dance performance for all ages and abilities, Lovely Bugs tells the story of dangerously different bugs on a quest, unfolding a tale of friendship and understanding. The performance is set on a spectacular 6m high dome rig and giant spider’s web with a sound score of narrative and rhyme. Two performances and the chance to take part in participatory workshops.

• Mammoth Monsters and Minibeasts

Cromer Museum, August 21, 10.30am–12.30pm, 1pm-3pm, included with museum admission, 01263 513543, www.museum.norfolk.gov.uk

Discover the monsters of prehistory - dinosaurs, mosasaurs and spectacular mammoths — and meet some modern mini-beasts at creepy crawly handling sessions at Cromer Museum (11.30am/1.30pm). Family fun with fossil handling, craft activities and a dinosaur trail.

• Harness Up

Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse, August 21-23, 10am-5pm, £9.90 (£8.60 cons), £6.50 children, £29-£20 family, 01362 860563, www.museum.norfolk.gov.uk

Discover a day in the life of a horseman and find out about all the different trades who used to help keep the horses working on the farm. Make your own winning rosette.

• Trunchonbury Festival

The Paddock, Mundesley Road, Trunch, August 22-24, Sat/Sun day ticket £10, £5 under-16s, under-4s free, www.trunchonburyfestival.co.uk

Charity festival that aims to create a friendly, vibrant atmosphere in Trunch. Local music from all genres. The Trunchonbury Playhouse, diverse children’s area including Roy Davenports Magical Kingdom and body painting workshops, mask making, children’s puppet show, circus acts, a cinema tent, healing fields, food and boutique stalls, even a Buddhist tent.

• All About Gardening/All About Dogs

Norfolk Showground, August 23-25, 9.30am-5pm, on gate £6.50 (£5.50 cons), £2 under-16s, under-5s free, 01702 549623, www.aztecevents.co.uk

Two shows for the price of one. All About Gardening includes show gardens created by local landscape garden designers, floral display marquees, live entertainment and food and drink festival. All About Dogs takes place simultaneously on August 24-25 (10am-5pm) with just about anything to do with dogs; from fun ‘have a go’ competitions to expert advice.

• Theatre Open Day

Norwich Theatre Royal, August 23, 10am-4pm, free admission, 01603 630000, theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

Always fancied taking to the stage? Here is your chance as well as having a look behind the scenes at the annual Theatre Royal open day. See the dressing rooms where the stars prepare for their performances. Have a go at lighting, sound, ‘flying’ and stage management. There are always loads of activities, talks and demonstrations and it’s free.

• The Three Musketeers

Ickworth Estate, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, August 23, 6pm-9pm, £10, £12.50, £10 children, 0844 2491895, www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Outdoor theatre and picnic for one and all! Boxtree Production’s perform the swashbuckling adventures of d’Artagnan and his best friends and musketeers Athos, Porthos and Aramis in the beautiful setting of Ickworth gardens.

• Children’s Truck Convoy

Leaves County Hall, Norwich, August 24, convoy departs 10am, 07511 531355, www.eastcoasttruckers.co.uk

The lorries have been cleaned and polished and the East Coast Truckers and their passengers are about to hit the road for this year’s special 29th anniversary charity convoy, which features some 80 trucks. Logistically, the best place to see it is somewhere near the Marina Centre in Yarmouth but, if you just want a good view get yourself onto a bridge on the A47. But, be early. Lots of people have the same idea.

• Children’s Day

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham, August 24, 11am-3pm, included in garden entry £6.10 (£5.60 cons), £3.60 children, under-5s free, 01603 270449, fairhavengarden.co.uk

Enjoy theatre with Robin Hood’s Lost Adventure - fight injustice with Robin, shout boo to the Sheriff of Nottingham and solve the mystery of a medieval alien invasion. Two performances, craft workshops, magic-making and loads more. Meanwhile on August 27 it’s the last Wildlife Wednesday (11am-3pm), with fun family wildlife activities.

• Greyhound Fun Day

World Horse Welfare Hall Farm, Snetterton, August 24, from 11am, £1 per race, £5 all 6 races, 01406 330459

Unique day of games for greyhounds and their owners, from egg and spoon and football dribbling races to musical statues, where the dog will be judged, not the human! You don’t need to own a greyhound to attend; there will be lots stalls, family fun and more.

• Longshore Herring Festival

Lifeboat Station, Hemsby, August 24, 10am-4pm, 01493 846346, www.great-yarmouth.co.uk

The Longshore Herring Festival returns to Hemsby beach in celebration of the area’s important fishing traditions and heritage. The always popular annual event, held at the Lifeboat Station, includes live music, a parade and barbecued herrings to eat on the beach.

• Vintage Fair

Plantation Garden, Earlham Road, Norwich, August 24, 11am-4pm, £2, no parking, www.plantationgarden.co.uk

Visitors come from far for this vintage lovers’ idea of heaven in the uniquely quirky Plantation Garden. There will be a larger than ever number of stallholders at this third event, from fashions to homewares to quirky novelties. Suitably nostalgic refreshments all day from the Terrific Tea Team.

• Family Fun Day

Great Yarmouth Racecourse, August 24, 11.30am, first race 2.30pm, £60-£13, under-18s free, www.greatyarmouth-racecourse.co.uk

Yarmouth Racecourse stages its annual Family Fun Day. As well as the special fun activities, three’s free entry for accompanied under-18s. Gates open at 11.30am with the first race at 2.10pm. There will be children’s races on the actual racecourse for all ages, donkey rides, the annual mascot race, plus masses more fun. Youngsters joining the Young Hooves get access to additional fun.

• Awol Dog Show

Sandringham, August 24, 10am-5pm, free admission, 07880 314764, www.AWOL-Egypt.org

Fun dog show with 30 classes, have-a-go agility, stalls, demonstrations and celebrity judge Jane Felstead from Made in Chelsea. All proceeds go to Animal Welfare of Luxor. It’s £2 to enter your dog in a class.

• Railway Open Day

Barton House Railway, Hartwell Road, Wroxham, August 25, 2.30pm-5.30pm, £3, £1.50 under-14s, 01603 782008, www.bartonhouserailway.org.uk

Barton House Railway in Wroxham opens to the public. Ride on two miniature railways in the garden, operating steam and electric locomotives. Visit the museum and take refreshments on the lawn or by the river. You can arrive by road or even better by free electric boat service from Wroxham Bridge - continuous during opening times.

• Fenman Classic Bike Show

Wimbotsham, near Downham Market, Norfolk, August 25, from 9am, £3, 07905 237836, www.fenmanclassic.co.uk

What Started as a small village show has now blossomed into one of East Anglia’s Premier Classic Bike Shows and now attracts over 5,000 visitors every year. Plenty to do and see, including bikes of all vintages, at this popular rally that to date has raised over £110,000 for local charities. If you’re arriving on your own two-wheels, bike entries open 9am (all pre-1975 classes covered).

• Medieval Games Galore!

Framlingham Castle, August 26-29, 11am-4pm, normal admission £6.90 (£6.20 cons), £4.10 children, under-5s free, 0870 333118, www.english-heritage.org.uk

Forget the football season. From nine mens morris and merrils, to sieging a mini castle with crossbows and a trebuchet, play like a medieval mischief-maker by stepping back in time at Framlingham Castle. Join in the games that time forgot and master the skills needed to outmanoeuvre your opponents.

• Catch A Rainbow

Norwich Cathedral, August 27, 10.30am-4.30pm, £2.50 per child, adults and under-5s free, pre-book on 01603 218320, www.cathedral.org.uk

Another day of family fun at Norwich Cathedral. Join in table top art and crafts, scratch art and collage. Be a music maker instruments and voice workshop, circus antics and clowning. Fools Puppet Theatre will have fun medieval tales. Be a Graffiti detective guided trail with the experts and the big graffiti scratching wall. Dance the rainbow labyrinth workshop. Toddler zone provided for little ones.

• Village At War

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, August 24-25, 11am-5pm, normal admission prices, 01362 869263, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk

This year, as well as capturing the usual 1940s home front spirit, this ever-popular event commemorates the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. On the outbreak of the First World War, the 5th Battalion Norfolk Regiment was mobilised from Dereham, just down the road from Gressenhall. Explore a regiment encampment, field kitchen and the farrier with his field forge. Find out how the newly formed Girl Guides supported the war effort. Meanwhile stroll around military and civilian vehicles and meet costumed characters from both the British and American forces, enjoy toe tapping 1940s music and live radio shows from Timescape, and see how far the rations can be stretched. If you’re looking for that period item or accessory, the marquee is filled with stalls selling original 1940s antiques. All eyes to the skies on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon for the Dakota flypast, part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (weather permitting).

• Mediaeval Spectacular

Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, August 23-25, 10am-5pm, £11.25 (£9.50 cons), £8 children, under-3s free, 01328 851465, www.pensthorpe.com

Travel back in time experience what life was like on and off the battlefield from the period between AD 900 and 1500, the time of chivalry, knights and maidens as the popular annual Mediaeval Spectacular returns to Pensthorpe for its 10th anniversary. With living history encampments dotted around the site, you will get a real taste of mediaeval life with jousting, battles, long boat invasions, fire breathing, witch’s hovel storytellers and a traders row from where you can take home a piece of history. The sights, sounds and smells will be brought to life with mediaeval cooking, crafts and actors talking through how soldiers’ equipment, weapons and armour developed. The event is brought to life by Norfolk-based living history specialists Black Knight Historical.

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