Ten ways to treat the kids for a tenner

Want some advice on how to live on a budget? Emma Harrowing discovers 10 ways to enjoy time with your family for under a tenner.

Find out how we used to live

Have you visited one of the oldest buildings in the city? Strangers' Hall on Charing Cross Road brings the days of the Tudors and Stuarts back to life in a maze of passageways and interlinked rooms. The beautiful restored building dates back to 1320 and is full of textiles and period objects so that you can find out how we used to live. Highlights include the stone-vaulted undercroft, the Tudor Great Hall, the fine Georgian Dining Room, Lady Paine's 17th century bedroom and the panelled walnut room. You can even try making a bed Tudor style and enjoy the collection of historic toys. Entry to the museum is �3.50 for an adult and �1.90 for a child.

Watch a show

It can be cheaper than you think to take in a show at Norwich Theatre Royal. If you book seats in price band E you can get tickets to see some of the top family shows for as little as �4 each. Family highlights at the theatre over the next two months include A Room with a Broom, a family show about the adventures of a witch and her cat. The play is adapted from the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, creators of The Gruffalo, and includes songs and scary fun for children aged three and up. If you are a fan of Thomas the Tank Engine then don't miss Thomas & Friends at the theatre on October 29 and 30. For ticket information call 01603 630000.

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Head to the beach

The weather may be getting cooler but you can still find lots of things to do at one of Norfolk's beaches – and most of them are free! Head to Cromer for the day and spend time playing boules or short tennis on the beach, take a walk up to Beeston Bump or along the prom and spend a few pennies on the two pence pusher machines in the arcade. For a couple of pounds you can also play a game of putting on the cliff top, then how about a fish and chip tea before heading home?

Revamp your wardrobe

Kitting the whole family out with clothes can put a strain on your finances so why not hold a swishing party for your friends and family? Everyone has clothes that no longer fit them or they no longer wear but your trash could be someone else's treasure. Organise a kids' clothes swapping party by asking your child's friends to bring over clothes they don't want, sort through your child's wardrobe and lay out clothes on a table or on a hanging rail. As each child arrives with their clothes give them a ticket for each item and they can use the tickets to swap their clothes with ones that they want. Avoid arguments by flipping a coin to see who gets the desired item. Once your child has been kitted out why not organise a clothes swap party for you and your friends?

Make a discovery

Have you ever wanted to be a pirate and sailed the seas in search of treasure?

Or maybe you would rather be a wizard and cast spells on your friends and family. Whatever you want to be and wherever you want to go The Forum in the city can take you there through the magic of the book!

The library in the Forum offers children's book readings so that you and your children can be whisked away to anywhere. If books aren't your bag why not take a look at Europe's largest permanent digital screen gallery. Fusion screens films, images and sounds which change daily, and it's free!

Or why not browse around Jarrold's Forum shop and pick up some locally produced goodies.


Ready, steady…cook! Get your aprons on, your hands washed and your thriftiness at the ready by cooking your evening meal with the kids. It is possible to make a three-course meal for under a tenner if you use the right ingredients and it can be fun to design a menu to see who can make the cheapest dish!

Eat out for under a tenner

Taking the family out for a meal can sometimes cost the earth, but there are many deals in the city's restaurants that enable you to eat out as a family for less. Pizza Hut is offering a deal where one child will eat free with every adult main course or adult lunchtime buffet purchased. Kids can choose from either a free two-course meal with drink from the kids' menu or a free kids' lunchtime buffet which includes pizza, pasta and salad.

Pizza fans will also love the deals offered by Pizza Express, such as the buy one pizza and get one free offer, which can be claimed when you sign up to the Pizza Express newsletter at www.vouchercodes.co.uk

Embrace your past

It's been there for over 900 years but what do you really know about Norwich Cathedral? Did you know that the cathedral sits on 44 acres of land and that there is a striving living and business community in the grounds? Did you know that you can learn about the city's history as many historical figures including nurse Edith Cavell and Henry Despenser the fighting Bishop have connections with the cathedral? There is also a labyrinth you can try and find you way through and a Japanese Garden you can visit.