Dozens of things to do in Norfolk this Easter
As the Easter holidays begin, there are plenty of things to do and family fun to be had, not just on the big bank holiday weekend, but over the next fortnight. SIMON PARKIN has the ultimate guide to Easter treats (at least some of which involve eating chocolate eggs).
Spring Craft Fair
Sandringham Estate, March 30-April 1, 10am-6pm, �6 (�5.50 cons), �2 children, 01283 820548, www.livingheritage.fsnet.co.uk
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The ever-popular spring craft and food fair returns to the Royal estate at Sandringham this weekend. Expect the usual wide selection of craftspeople showing their wares – and demonstrating their skills. There'll also be food and drink available, plus a range of 'arena' attractions, including falconry and owls.
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Vintage Tractor and Heritage Spectacular
Norfolk Showground, March 31-April 1, 10am-4pm, �6 on the gate, 01986 895133
Nostalgia galore at the Norfolk Showground this weekend. Some of the rarest tractors in the world will be among the stars at this event that will also feature lots of 'old iron', rare breeds and heavy horses including the largest gathering of Doe Triple 'D's and the biggest display of pre-1930s tractors in the country.
The Great Egg-scape!
Banham Zoo, March 31-April 15, normal admission prices, 01953 887771, www.banhamzoo.co.uk
Easter-themed activities running at Banham Zoo over the holidays. Get hands-on with some of the egg-citing creatures at the zoo, plus there's special craft sessions, egg-stravagant face paints and an eggsclusive new trail. Yes, there's a bit of theme here...
Swampy's Silly Sock Day
Bewilderwood, Hoveton, March 31, 10am-5.50pm, normal admission rates, 01603 783900, www.bewilderwood.co.uk
Dig out your most ridiculous socks and show them off with pride during Swampy's Silly Sock Day at Bewilderwood. If your socks are thought to be silly enough, �1 will be donated to Autism Anglia for each pair you wear. There'll also be several silly sock parades during the day.
Spring Diesel Gala
Mid-Norfolk Railway, Dereham-Wymondham, March 30-April 1, �10 (�9 cons), �5 children, �26 family, 01362 851723, www.mnr.org.uk
This Easter gala on the Mid-Norfolk Railway will include their extensive home fleet along with several visiting locomotives including the Deltic 'Royal Scots Grey'. A special timetable will run all weekend check the website for full details.
Busy Bird I Spy Week
Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham, March 31-April 7, �5.50 (�5 cons), �3 children, under-5s free, 01603 270559, www.fairhavengarden.co.uk
During the Easter break keep your eyes peeled on a bird trail at Fairhaven. I spy your way round the garden looking for busy birds among the trees to win a prize anytime between 10am-5pm. The Easter event is included in normal garden entry.
Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, March-31-April 15, �9.75 (�8 cons), �6.25 children, 01328 851465, www.pensthorpe.com
Guide yourself along the trail with 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. There will also be regular interactive activities such as pond dipping and becoming a bug detective.
South Demes, Yarmouth, Sundays, �6, 01493 850698, www.nelson-museum.co.uk
During 2012 this Grade I listed monument will only be open every Sunday pre-booked tours. 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.
Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich, April 5-9
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, the candyfloss and toffee apple aromas, as well as a carousel, dodgems and more thrill-seeking rides for the daring. Plus Easter eggs amongst the prizes.
World Village Market
Gentleman's Walk, Norwich, April 6-9
After last year's event proved a great success, the world village market returns with a suitably Easter festival feel and feature a great range of food including cr�pes, bread and French cheese. Also crafts, clothing and gifts from around the world. City Council culture and events manager Helen Selleck said: 'The Easter fair and market adds to the vibrancy and mix of events, attractions and shopping opportunities the city already has to offer.'
Norwich Ghost Walks
Adam and Eve, Bishopsgate, Tues/Thurs from April 3, 7.30pm, �6 (�4 cons), 07831 189985, www.ghostwalksnorwich.co.uk
The Man in Black and his ghostly team are back for another season of spreading terror around the streets of Norwich, seeking out the local afterlife. The spooky season kicks off on April 3. Until the end of June the walks will be held on Tuesday and Thursday starting at the Adam and Eve. All walks include the usual crowd of added spectres and ghouls waiting to scare the unwary.
Colney Woodland Burial Park, Watton Road, Norwich, April 3, 10am-12pm/1.30pm-3.30pm, �5 per child, 01603 811556, www.woodlandburialparks.co.uk
Help build a tree monster in the woodland at Colney Woodland Burial Park. Walk a trail and take part in other special Easter activities. Wear warm waterproofs. Places are limited, so book early. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Easter Football Coaching
Goals Soccer Centre, Hall Road, Norwich, April 3, 10am-3pm, �15, 01603 790060, www.goalsfootball.co.uk
Goals Soccer Centre in Norwich holds a special Easter holiday coaching session aimed at children aged 5–15 on its excellent five-a-side pitches. It is sure to be a great opportunity for youngsters to develop their ball skills.
Explore The Shore/Rocks & Relics
West Runton, April 3/6, 10am-12pm, �3.50 per children (accompanying adults free), 01603 625540, www.norfolkwildlifetrust.co.uk
Once again there will be rummaging in rock pools in search of life at these Easter events by Norfolk Wildlife Trust next Tuesday and Good Friday on West Runton beach. You'll need keen eyes to investigate the secrets of the seashore. It will be followed by Rocks & Relics event (2-3.30pm). Good explorers may find a fossil to take home and there will be a chance to make your very own shark's tooth necklace.
Titchwell Marsh, Norfolk, free admission, �4 parking, www.rspb.org.uk/reserves
Titchwell always offers a chance to take a stroll on the sandy beach and watch the wildlife. Special Easter activities include a free Spot-it! nature trail booklet and, in this Olympic year, receive a bronze, silver or gold badge and certificate depending what you spotted! Every Monday Wednesday and Friday there is also Titchwell's Fabulous Wildlife Walk (booking essential).
Playing Games and Being Shamed
Market Place, Norwich, April 4, 10.30am/2.30pm, �7, �15 family, under-2s free, 01603 626627
Join the city's best storytellers as they weave their way, telling tales from long, long ago. Hear about the fortune-telling gray horse, and why Swaine's wife was put in the stocks with a goose around her neck! Then revel in the rare chance to visit the old Mayor's Court in the Guildhall and to see where city justice was dealt out!
Easter Family Walk
Holkham Nature Reserve, April 4, 11am, free admission, pre-book on 07825377652
An alternative to Easter chicks or hunting chocolate eggs. Guided walk through the pinewoods to the bird hide, find out about the birds of prey that live at Holkham, make a marsh harrier and investigate owl pellets. Meet at the north end of Lady Anne's Drive car park.
Really Wild Ranworth
Ranworth Broad, April 4, 11am-12pm, �2 per child, adults free, 01603 625540, www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk
Explore the NWT reserve at Ranworth in search of wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled. Who knows what may be lurking in the reeds.
Swallows & Amazons Activity Day
South Walsham, April 6, �35, �25 children, �99 family, 0845 4969177, www.thecanoeman.com
Paddle to the Canoe Man's base to be taught bushcraft, learn to light fires, build shelters and a woodland archery session. Booking is essential.
Easter Egg Trail
Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham, April 6, 10am-5pm, �5.50 (�5 cons), �3 children �3, under-5s free, plus �1.50 per child for Easter egg trail, 01603 270559, www.fairhavengarden.co.uk
Find out which creatures in the garden are Gold Medal Olympiads. There is an eggy prize at the end. There will also be face painting and Easter crafts for children to take part in too. Every child receives an egg.
RSPB Minsmere, Suffolk, April 6-9, �7.50 (�5 cons), �3 children, �15 family, www.rspb.org.uk/reserves
There are new facilities opening at the RSPB reserve at Minsmere over Easter offering the chance to explore the Wild Zone or embark on your own Wild Wood Adventure. From April 6-9 the Easter Egg Hunt offers extra fun activities including face-painting, a quiz trail and, of course, the chance to hunt eggs.
Bure Valley Railway, April 6-9, 9am-5pm, �12 return, �6.50 children, under-5s free, 01263 733858, www.bvrw.co.uk
Enjoy a train ride on Norfolk's longest Narrow Gauge Steam Railway from either Aylsham or Wroxham. There is a free Easter egg for every child when accompanied by a fare-paying adult (maximum two children per adult).
Holkham Hall, April 6-9, 10am-5pm, �7, �3.50 children, �19 family, 01328 713111, www.holkham.co.uk
Four days packed full of 'egg-citing' things to do over Easter at Holkham. Join in games and try the 'Egg-stacle' course. Can you spot the Bouncing Bunny or Mad Hatter? Crafts and face-painting as they turn back the clocks to Edwardian times and there will be Titanic themed crafts.
Easter Family Fun Day
Yarmouth Racecourse, April 9, �22-�15, under-16s free, 01493 842527, www.greatyarmouth-racecourse.co.uk
This now traditional Easter fixture in the racing calendar is a fantastic family day out with seven 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. First race is at 2.45pm.
You Are Here: The World in Great Yarmouth
Time & Tide Museum, Great Yarmouth, from March 31, �4.80 (�4.10 cons), �3.50 children, 01493 743930, www.norfolk.museums.gov.uk
Explore and celebrate Great Yarmouth's links with the world at this exhibition. People, stories, journeys, objects and memories all come together to reflect the vibrant identity of the town today.
Whizz, Bang, Wallop!
Imperial War Museum, Duxford, near Cambridge, March 31-April 15, 12pm-4pm, included in normal admission, 01223 835000, iwm.org.uk/duxford
Over the Easter holidays visitors to Duxford will get the chance to race rockets – horizontally, speedily and slowly – fly paper aeroplanes, designing aircraft and having fun with lots of other fast-paced activities. There'll also be fun science toys to play with.
Norwich Puppet Theatre, April 2-3, �22 for both days, 01603 629921, www.puppettheatre.co.uk
Working with Tim Edwards – the Puppet Theatre's master of animation - you will get to create a short film on this special two-day filmmaking workshop. You will write a script, plan the scenes, create characters from modelling material and then animate them, film their movements and record the soundtrack. The resulting films may also appear on the Big Screen at Chapelfield! Ages 10+
Sainsbury Centre, April 3-15, free admission, 01603 593199, www.scva.ac.uk/whatson
Each holiday the Sainsbury Centre for Creative Arts offer free activities for families to do together. Enjoy treasure hunts and creative activities inspired by objects in the collections and a booklet packed with fun facts, drawing and trails for you to do in the galleries and when you get home. Activities are designed by artists and volunteer guides. Over Easter the centre are celebrating dance and movement across cultures and through history, focusing on Art Nouveau icon Loie Fuller (Degas' Little Dancer) and the Tang Dancers from ancient China.
Shake The Dust
The Garage, Chapelfield North, Norwich, April 3-5, 10am-12pm, workshops free, 01603 283382, www.thegarage.org.uk
Plenty of Easter activities at Norwich youth venue The Garage including a series of workshops called Shake the Dust for those interested spoken word, beat poetry and MCing. The Garage is one of nine regional centres holding free workshops leading toward competitive slam events and a possible competition final in London. Work with industry professionals, learn about writing lyrics and poetry and hone your performance skills.
Sheringham Community Centre, April 3-5, 10am-4pm, free admission, 01603 628367, www.cme.org.uk
Young musicians aged 14-18 are invited to take part in a new project which brings together music and dance being run jointly by Community Music East and Norfolk Dance. The Big Sky Performance Project aims to create an original piece of music to perform live alongside Sheringham's Big Sky Dance group. The project will work towards a series of performances in north Norfolk schools in the summer term.
Easter Holiday Detectives
Dragon Hall, April 3-13, normal admission prices, 01603 663922, www.dragonhall.org
Pick up your detective costume — complete with Sherlock Holmes style deerstalker and cape — and detective kit full of tools and follow the trail to solve the clues in an Easter egg hunt with a difference. A fun way for families to explore Dragon Hall.
Easter Character Glove Puppet
Norwich Puppet Theatre, April 4, 11am, �7.80, 01603 629921, www.puppettheatre.co.uk
The glove puppet is one of the most traditional styles and during this Easter event you get to mak and decorate one with a Easter theme. The question is what character could that be? - maybe a fluffy chick, a hot-cross bun or even the Easter Bunny himself.
2012 BAFTA Shorts
The Curve, The Forum, April 6-7, 7.30pm-10pm, free admission, 01603 727950
Norwich Film Festival presents two evenings of short films which have been nominated for the 2012 Orange British Academy Film Awards.
Castle Museum, Norwich, March 31-April 15, Mon-Sat 10.30am-3.30pm/Sun 1.10pm-3.30pm, normal admission prices, 01603 495897, www.norfolk.museums.gov.uk
As ever there are a range of Easter holiday activities happening daily at Norwich Castle. From making Easter cards to discovering our new art galleries, there will be plenty to do to wash away those winter blues!
Victorian Easter Cards
Elizabethan House, Great Yarmouth, April 3, 11am-4pm, �3.80 (�3.20 cons), �2 children, 01493 745526
Create beautiful Victorian Easter cards and meet the servants to discover the secrets of life upstairs and downstairs in a Victorian town house.
Cromer Museum, April 3, 10.30am-1pm/2pm-4pm, �3.50 (�2.90 cons), �2 children, 01263 513543
A day of drop-in activities for children. Make your own Easter rabbit to take home in this creative workshop led by Victoria Chamberlin.
Time & Tide Museum, Great Yarmouth, April 3-4, �4.90 (�4.20 cons), �3.60 children, 01493 743930
A fantastic two-day event during Easter, full of scientific experiments. Drop-in (no pre-booking needed) and take part in great interactive fun with demonstrations that will amaze and inspire children of all ages.
Strangers Hall, Norwich, April 4/11, 10.30am-12.30pm/1.30pm-3.30pm, �3.80 (�3.20 cons), �2.10 children, 01603 667229
Create a Faberg� style egg to take home and if the sun shines, play spring-time games in the garden at this evocative and interesting Norwich museum.
Gressenham Museum of Norfolk Life, April 9, 10am-5pm, �9.10 (�8.10 cons), �6.10 children, 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. Watch the horses working in the fields and join in the Easter Bonnet parade.