Egg hunting and other Easter fun in Norfolk
Easter has plenty of things to do for all the family. SIMON PARKIN previews dozens of events and activities to keep the kids entertained — and don't worry, they don't all involve eating chocolate eggs.
Busy Bird I Spy Week
Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham, until April 7, �5.50 (�5 cons), �3 children, under-5s free, 01603 270559, www.fairhavengarden.co.uk
You may also want to watch:
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.
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Easter Egg Hunt and Fun Day
Barningham Hall, Matlaske, near Holt, April 7, 11am-3.30pm, �3 children, �1.50 accompanying adults
As well as an Easter Egg trail for real chocolate eggs, children will be able to take part in activities such as crafts and face painting, plus there'll be stories and puppets. A hog roast will be served at lunchtime with teas, coffees and home-made cakes available throughout the day. Many activities will be under cover. The event is in aid of Stepping Stones Pre-School.
Easter Treasure Hunt
Hoveton Hall, April 6-9, 10.30am-5pm, �8, �4 children, 01603 782798, www.hovetonhallgardens.co.uk
Running from Good Friday to Easter Monday, Hoveton Hall Gardens are running a special Easter Treasure Hunt as well as offering new children's activity trails — and the lovely gardens to explore, naturally. The gardens will be open from 10.30am-5pm each day.
Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, until 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.
Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich, until April 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, 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.
Boggle Bow Tie & Bonnet Bounce Off
Bewilderwood, Hoveton, until April 15, normal admission rates, 01603 783900, www.bewilderwood.co.uk
Join in the bonkers Bewilderwood challenge to make your own Easter bow tie or bonnet (the barmier the better) Then adorn your handmade attire and keep your balance with a giant egg and spoon along their silliest assault course ever. Prizes awarded for all those who take part.
The Great Egg-scape!
Banham Zoo, until 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...
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).
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).
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.
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.
Cloaks & Wands
Wroxham and Hoveton, April 10, 1.30pm-4.30pm, �15 per child, accompanying adult free, 0845 4969177, www.thecanoeman.com
Using natural materials collected on a woodland walk, make a cloak or wand to take home on this event run by the Canoe Man. Children are encouraged t come dressed as fairies, wizards or Harry Potter. Children aged under-8 must be accompanied.
Beach Art Day
West Runton, April 10, 11am-1.30pm, �2 per children, accompanying adults free, 01603 625540, www.norfolkwildlifetrust.co.uk
Who needs pencils and felt tips? Join Norfolk Wildlife Trust volunteers and create a work of art using natural materials with the beach as your canvas at West Runton. Scavenge the shoreline to see what beautiful artefacts can be found and then use these in your creation – there is even a prize for the most creative family. Meet outside the beach caf�.
Bloodworms, Beetles and Boatmen
Hickling Broad, April 11, 10.30am-3.30pm, �2 per child, accompanying adults free, 01603 625540, www.norfolkwildlifetrust.co.uk
Try dipping in the dykes to discover the freshwater life at Hickling Nature Reserve. Nets, trays and experts will be provided between 10.30am-12.30pm. In the afternoon there is the chance to create some Woodland Works of Art (2-3.30pm).
Bottle-Feeding Spring Lambs
Wroxham Barns, until June 10, 11am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm, 01603 783762, wroxhambarns.co.uk
Supervised bottle-feeding sessions take place three times a day at the Junior Farm. The lambs are the smallest of triplets from local farms and drink more than 5,000 litres of milk during the bottle-feeding season. Ewes find it difficult to look after triplets, so Junior Farm visitors help out as surrogate mums. This is a hands-on experience not to be missed.
Bugs and Butterflies Workshop
Holkham Hall, April 10, 10am-12pm/2pm-4pm, �15 per child per session, accompanying adult free, 01328 713111, www.holkham.co.uk
From green monsters to dainty butterflies how inspired can you be? Holkham's workshops offer the chance to make your own creepy crawlies. There's a special place waiting for all your handicraft in the massive Victorian greenhouses.
Whizz, Bang, Wallop!
Imperial War Museum, Duxford, near Cambridge, until 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, fly paper aeroplanes, designing aircraft and having fun with lots of other fast-paced activities.
Sainsbury Centre, until April 15, free admission, 01603 593199, www.scva.ac.uk/whatson
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. 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.
Easter Holiday Detectives
Dragon Hall, king Street, Norwich, until April 13, normal admission, 01603 663922, 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.
Castle Museum, Norwich, until 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!
Gressenham Museum of Norfolk Life, April 9, 10am-5pm, �9.10 (�8.10 cons), �6.10 children, 01362 860563
This hugely popular annual fair on Easter Monday includes the chance to watch the museum's Suffolk Punches and visiting teams of heavy horse in the fields. Discover what's cooking in the farmhouse kitchen. Morley's Traditional Fairground has something to entertain young and old, including a traditional arcade, children's swing boats and the dizzying chairoplanes (additional charges). There will also the Grand Gressenhall Parade.
Strangers Hall, Norwich, April 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 Norwich museum.
Japan: Kingdom of Characters
Sainsbury Centre, until June 24, Tues-Sun10am-5pm, free admission, 01603 593199, scva.ac.uk A celebration the growing interest in Japanese sub-cultures such as manga and anime. This vibrant exhibition offers the chance to encounter characters from television, computer games and comics. Many have become much loved household names around the world including Pokamon and Hello Kitty.
Yarmouth Hippodrome, April 6-12, 2.30pm/6.30pm (Thurs no 6.30pm show), �16-�12 (�12 cons), �10 children, �40-�36 family, 01493 844172, www.hippodromecircus.co.uk
Yes – their back again – the UK's big top circus of laughter returns to the Hippodrome this Easter with an all new show. Now in its 17th year, the aim of the hugely popular show — fronted as ever by international comedy awardwinners Clive Webb and Danny Adams — is to 'Keep Britain Laughing'. Adding to the zany humour will be the country's craziest musician Mick Potts.
Little Bo Peep
Norwich Puppet Theatre, April 7, 11am, �7.50 (�6 cons), �5.50 children, �22 family, 01603 629921, www.puppettheatre.co.uk
Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep and doesn't know where to find them. Her companion, Little Boy Blue is doing his best to find the woolly runaways but he keeps falling asleep. Featuring puppets, fantastic scenery and lots of music and singing, this show, specially designed for young children, is a delight.
Norwich Puppet Theatre, April 10-14, 2.30pm, �7.50 (�6 cons), �5.50 children, �22 family, 01603 629921, www.puppettheatre.co.uk
Young Goldilocks likes to explore the world and experience new things. This time, when she wanders into an empty house, she finds much more than three bowls of porridge… Using table-top puppetry and musical influences from around the world, this production brings this classic story to life with a twist. Aimed at children aged 2-5.
The Three Billy Pigs
Norwich Arts Centre, April 14, 2pm, �6 (�4 cons), �16 family, 01603 660352, www.norwichartscentre.co.uk
Once upon a time there were three little pigs whose homes were put to the test by a misunderstood wolf. This new show comes from Noisy Oyster and is aimed at children of three and over. It blends two classic fairy tales The Three Little Pigs and The Three Billy Goats Gruf f with puppets, light-hearted storytelling and live music and an eco-message.