10 ways to … spot something beginning with A to do with your family in Norfolk and Suffolk this weekend

PUBLISHED: 16:39 13 July 2017

Act like an archaeologist at Norwich Castle

Act like an archaeologist at Norwich Castle

Norwich Castle and Museum

A is for archaeology at Norwich Castle, animals at Africa Alive, Alice in Wonderland in Cromer and augmented reality with the Gruffalo in Thetford Forest.

1 An “A is for Archaeology” family day at Norwich Castle tomorrow (Saturday, July 15) will include Indiana Jones and a quest, Dusty Dot the archaeologist, metal detecting, flint knapping and mini talks for families. It’s all part of the Festival of Archaeology 2017 and aimed at encouraging children and families to dig archaeology.

2 Alice in Wonderland, an open-air production by talented local theatre company Strange Fascination, arrives at The Grove, Overstrand Road, Cromer tomorrow (Saturday, July 15). The extravaganza of puppetry, audience participation, sing-alongs and zany characters begins at 1pm and 5pm. Join Alice as she falls down the rabbit and falls into a Wonderland of offers many delights and strange creatures, weird adventures and lots of fun! Meet the Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, Mock Turtle and Queen of Hearts.

Adults £12, children £8, family of four £36. And if you can’t catch Alice in Cromer then the touring show includes performances at Catton Park, Norwich, on Saturdays July 22 and 29, and Bungay Castle on August 11 and 12.

3 Africa Alive, in Kessingland, near Lowestoft, is a walking safari park including aardvark, acacia rats, addax, African lions, Asian otters, Abyssinian geese and many more animals beginning with just about every other letter of the alphabet.

4 Aquariums at the Sea Life Centres at Yarmouth and Hunstanton are fully of maritime marvels ranging from anemones to zebra shark, not forgetting penguins, seahorses, octopus and coral.

5 Animal Agents are coming to a library near you. This year’s summer reading challenge for children is all about Animal Agents who love solving mysteries and need help cracking their biggest case yet. Youngsters, aged four to 11, can sign up, read at least six library books over the holidays and collect stickers, clues and evidence. Sign up from Saturday, July 15.

6 At Castle Acre, which just about counts with the A for Acre, a Medieval Life and Laughter weekend will see visitors travelling back in time to discover the sights, smells and sounds of medieval England. Meet medieval craftsmen, cooks and comedians in living history encampments, discover the lives of the prosperous and the poor, and see swords wielded in mock battles.

Experience Medieval Life and Laughter at Castle Acre Priory, near Swaffham, this weekend (July 15 and 16.)

7 Aldeburgh has a shingle beach ideal for stone skimming, picnics and paddling (ideally with beach shoes.) It’s also got Art, in the shell-shape of Maggie Hambling’s controversial 
scallop sculpture. Pretty Aldeburgh village has a boating pond and much-loved fish and 
chip takeways.

8 Augmented reality via an app brings the Gruffalo and friends to life in Thetford Forest.

The Gruffalo Spotters Trail, at High Lodge, can be downloaded at home and then followed through the forest to find the Gruffalo, Mouse Fox, Owl and Snake. The characters will materialise from special footprint marker points, beginning near the wildplay area. Activity kits can also be bought from the information point for £3.

9 Aylsham is at one end of the Bure Valley Railway, Norfolk’s longest narrow gauge railway, which runs for nine miles through Broadland countryside with stops at pretty Brampton, Buxton and Coltishall. Every full fare-paying passenger on July Saturdays and Sundays receives strawberries and cream.

10 Alton Water, south of Ipswich, is the largest area of inland open water in Suffolk and is home to watersports clubs offering sailing, windsurfing, and canoeing. There are also walks, cycle rides, play areas and a café and next Saturday, July 22, a musical version of the Wind in the Willows will be performed.

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