Dozens of family things to do this Easter

With the Easter holidays underway, there is plenty of things to do and family fun to be had. SIMON PARKIN has the ultimate guide to Easter treats (at least some of which involve eating chocolate eggs).



Chapelfield Gardens, April 22-25

Norwich has long hosted an Easter fair and once again this year there is the chance to swing, slide and be whizzed around on the waltzer as the Showman's Guild take over Chapelfield gardens. Plenty of thrills on offer, together with old family favourites, with Easter eggs amongst the prizes.

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Gentleman's Walk, Norwich, April 22-25

The ever-popular French Market with a few additional stalls returns to Norwich city centre. There are more than 30 stalls of authentic French produce including the essential cheeses, olives, garlic and French bread.


Bure Valley Railway, April 22-25, 01263 733858,

It's all aboard for an 'eggciting' family day out. Norfolk's longest Narrow Gauge Steam Railway is giving a free Easter Egg to every child when accompanied by a fare-paying adult (maximum 2 children per adult). Under- 5s travel free. An intensive train service will be operating from both Aylsham and Wroxham stations.


Broad Tours, The Bridge, Wroxham, April 22-25, �7.50, �6 children, under-5s free, 01603 782207,

Discover the Broads on these special river trips. Children can take part in the onboard nature quiz, egg hunt and free to enter colouring or drawing competitions. All children will receive an Easter egg. All trips include an enter-taining commentary by the skipper. He will point out the nesting birds and newly hatched young.


Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, until April 25, �9.50 (�7.75 cons), �6 children, 01328 851465,

Guide yourself along the trail with eight fun hands-on activities all based around an Easter theme and the diverse range of wildlife at Pensthorpe Nature Reserve. The trails and quizzes are designed with children as well as adults in mind, encouraging the whole family to get closer to nature. Pensthorpe has designed quizzes and trails have been tailored for two age groups, under-6s and above. For those who complete the trail and fill out their booklet there is an Easter Egg prize to collect. There will also be regular interactive activities such as pond dipping, fol-lowing the Wildlife Tracker Trail and becoming a bug detective on the Bug Walk.


Yarmouth Stadium, April 10/24, 6.30pm, �12 (�10 cons), �6 children, under-4s free, 01493 720343,

Thrills, spills, crashes and smashes mean a trip to Yarmouth Stadium is a must for all young petrolheads. These special Easter meetings include the latest round of the Stock Rods East Anglian Championship, plus Rookie Rods, National Banger Micro Madness and a hair-raising figure of eight race.


West Runton, April18 (12pm)/April 21 (2pm), �3.50, 01603 625540,

North Norfolk has fascinating geology — and archaeology — and the geology walks and events at West Runton have established a strong public following over the past 20 years. Here you can join experts from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust to explore the seashore. Find out about brilliant barnacles, marvelous mussels and the other amazing creatures creeping around in the rock pools. Meet at West Runton Beach, outside the beach caf�.


Yarmouth Racecourse, April 25, �22-�15, 01493 842527,

This now traditional Easter fixture in the racing calendar is a fantastic family day out with seven horse races and plenty of additional entertainment for the children. There will be a children's entertainer, face painting, bouncy castle, donkey rides, children's rides, children's races on the race track and an adventure playground. A great way to start our racing season in 2011.


Fairhaven Gardens, April 9/16/23, 10am-12.30pm, �25, �15 children, 01603 270449,

With the help of your canoe guide you can silently explore South Walsham inner and outer broad and undisturbed tributaries, with the opportunity to see some of the Broads' best kept secrets — kingfishers, bitterns and maybe the elusive otter.


Gressenham Museum of Norfolk Life, April 9-24/April 25, 10am-5pm, normal museum admission, 01362 860563,

A bygone family celebration of spring. This hugely popular annual fair on Easter Monday includes craft and local produce stalls, costumed characters, music and storytelling. Perrett's traditional fairground (additional charges) will be in full swing with old favourites, like the Big Wheel and the Helter Skelter. Watch Nutmeg's fabulous pup-pet show – Pip's Wildlife Garden and get in touch with nature through wildlife activities. Plus try your hand at making a hat then show it off in the popular Easter hat parade. Meanwhile throughout the Easter holidays Gressen-hall is also hosting Spring Has Sprung daily events featuring a great range of activities the whole family can join in every day.


From Adam and Eve pub, Bishopsgate, Thursdays, 7.30pm, �6 (�4 cons), 07831 189985,

Experience this highly acclaimed tour on foot as you walk through the ancient and mystical streets of Norwich. The two hour walk led by the Man in Black has been thrilling visitors since 1997 with the real-life stories of maca-bre goings-on, hauntings and the tragic events of yesteryear.


Yarmouth, April 16/17/30, �6, 01493


During 2011 this Grade I listed monument will only be open for a limited number of pre-booked tours. And this Easter offers a rare chance to climb all 217 steps to experience the breathtaking views — Norwich Cathedral can be seen on a clear day — and to learn more about the Monument. Tours last for 30 minutes. Due to the slim spiral staircase and very small viewing platform at the top, only two visitors at any one time.



The Forum, Norwich, until April 23, 10am-5pm, free admission, 01603 727950,

Following the success of last years' Retro Arcade, the large Fusion digital screen at The Forum is once more host-ing Retro Arcade, a celebration of all those computer games you have loved in the past. There are a host of con-soles for you to play on, moving from retro gaming to the modern day. Why not challenge your friend to a game of Tekken, have a blast on Mario 3 on the NES, on one the fantastic big screens? If you were weaned on Space In-vaders and Pac Man this is for you.


Dragon Hall, until April 22, �5 (�4.50 cons), �3 children, under-5s free, 01603 663922,

The opportunity for families to make their springtime sparkle. All materials will be provided to make and decorate an Easter bonnet and basket. All crafts will have easy to follow instructions for marbling, decorating with patch-work tissue, sequins and sticky jewels and ribbons and it can all be done at your own pace as you wander round the magnificent old hall.


Toy Department, Jarrolds, Norwich, until April 25, free admission, 01603 660661,

The toy department on the third floor of Jarrolds has a busy schedule of fun Easter holiday events this year includ-ing lots of activities to get involved with. Among the events are a find the word competition, daily demonstrations of remote control toys, the chance to get stuck in with Playfoam demonstrations and free face painting, available 10am-4pm everyday throughout the holidays.


Sainsbury's Centre, UEA, until April 24, 11am-4pm, free admission, 01603 593199,

Each holiday the Sainsbury's Centre offers free activities for families to do together at the art table, and a booklet packed with fun facts, drawing, puzzles, challenges and trails for you to do in the gallery and when you get home. Activities are designed by Sainsbury Centre Guides and link to objects in our world art collection. This time the object of the holiday is a dramatic helmet mask from New Britain, an island in the Pacific Ocean.


Dragon Hall, April 23, 10am-1pm/2pm-5pm, �7.50 children (3-16), �4 adults, under-3s free, 01603 663922,

A special three hour long interactive experience of medieval fun for all the family at Dragon Hall. In two separate packed sessions young visitors will be able to learn more about England's patron saint and his dragon slaying feat. Children will also be able to become a medieval Knight and design and create their own sword, shield and tabard. Historian and storyteller Christina Brailsford will also be on hand to tell a specially adapted family story of St George and the Dragon. Historian Tim Wilson will be on hand to show what would have been expected of knights in the middle ages and teach medieval techniques used to train knights to fight the fire-breathing dragons.


St Gregory's Centre for the Arts, Pottergate, Norwich, April 23, free admission, 01603 465304

Book festival celebrating St George, with activities for children, two yarnsmiths, Liam Carroll and Dave Tong, will tell their version of George and the Dragon and the Princess. A number of well-known authors will be there to sign their books, including Nicholas Groves, Karen Maitland, Rory Clements, D.J.Taylor, Rachel Hore, Hayley Long and Andrew Hook.


Norwich Puppet Theatre, April 23, 2.30pm, �7 (�5.50 cons), �5 children, �20 family, 01603 629921,

Marvel at the magic produced by Professor Jingles as he invites us into the timeless, hilarious and totally chaotic world of Mr Punch. Ageless and endearing, Mr Punch continues to entertain in the time-honoured fashion of slap-stick. Bryan Clark has been performing Punch and Judy for over half a century, introducing generations to the world of Punch and Judy.


Time & Tide Museum, Great Yarmouth, April 21/24, 12pm-4.30pm, normal admission prices, 01493 743930,

The Time and Tide is hosting drop-in workshops for children on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the Easter holidays that provide a great opportunity to have a go at some great fun craft activities. Then on Easter Sunday the museum is hosting a special chocolate fish hunt, which is certainly a novel take on the traditional Easter eggs. There will also be a chance to listen to some tales of spring with storytelling. Meanwhile grown-ups will also be able to pop into Secrets of the Saucy Seaside Postcard, a new exhibition (opening tomorrow and running through-out the summer featuring the art of the seaside postcard with original designs by Bamforth & Co, whose mischie-vous illustrations and double entendres were synonymous with the great British seaside holiday.


Cromer Museum, April 19, normal admission prices, 01263 513543,

Cromer Museum will be hosting two separate Easter holiday children's art workshops starting on April 12 with a chance to pop in and make your own Easter chick to take home. Then on April 19 there will be a similar event this time making a beautiful spring butterfly to take home. Both events are suitable for under-8s and children must be accompanied by an adult.