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Ways to keep the family happy this half-term weekend

PUBLISHED: 10:19 22 February 2013 | UPDATED: 10:19 22 February 2013

Cast members from the Another Night At The Musicals

Cast members from the Another Night At The Musicals

Archant

It's almost the end of another half-term school holiday but if you're running out of things to do, don't worry there are plenty of things to do and family fun to be had over this weekend too. SIMON PARKIN has a guide to keep the whole family entertained.

A MAGIC WORLD FOR NORFOLK/MAGIC LANTERN SHOWS

Norwich Castle Museum, February 22, 11am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-3.30pm, normal admission prices, 01603 493625, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk

Final chance to help create your own mystical and fantastical world as part of the Magic Worlds exhibition at Norwich Castle. Throughout the week visitors have been helping to construct a large 3D artwork with artist Emma Jarvis. There will also be magic lantern shows (11am/12pm/2pm/3pm). These ingenious early projectors have been around since the 17th century and still delight today. Listen to fascinating stories and see beautifully coloured and animated pictures projected in the darkened lecture theatre.

BEFORE THE HIGH STREET

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, February 22, 10am-4pm, normal admission prices, 01362 860563, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/gressenhall

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, a couple of miles north of Dereham, hosts family fun activities. It’s Jonny’s birthday and Mrs Clackett is busy preparing for his party. She has so much to do and needs some help! Pop along and lend a hand, meet costumed characters, get creative in Art Attack and find out about buying items in a time before supermarkets and internet shopping.

EXOTIC EXPLORERS

Banham Zoo, February 22-24, open daily from 9.30am, £11.50 (£10 cons), £8 children, www.banhamzoo.co.uk

Rosie the Ranger needs help from some little explorers on her mission to discover exotic and wonderful animals. Enjoy a whistle-stop tour of the animals of Southeast Asia, make a mini telescope and even get a fantastic animal face paint.

TEDDY BEAR EXPRESS

Bure Valley Railway, February 22-24, £12, 01263 733858, www.bvrw.co.uk

Join the Bure Valley Railways new mascot for a half-term week of fun. There will be free travel for every child who brings his own teddy when accompanied by a fare-paying adult (maximum two children per adult), plus a kids competition to see how many teddy bears can be spotted on the journey and teddy themed food in the Whistlestop Cafe. Trains depart Aylsham 10am, 12.40pm and 3.30pm; Wroxham 11.10am, 2pm and 4.40pm.

WRIGGLY WORMS & COLOURFUL CREATURES

Time & Tide Museum, Blackfriars’ Rd, Great Yarmouth, February 24, 11am-4pm, normal admission prices, 01493 743930, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk

Worms might be slimy but they can also be cuddly! Wiggle your way around the ‘Art & Play’ exhibition and then make wriggly worms and colourful creatures to take home.

BOGGLE WISH BONFIRE

Bewilderwood, February 22-24, normal admission prices, 01603 783900, www.bewilderwood.co.uk

Guess the wishes of your favourite Bewilderwood characters, warm yourself around the Bewilderwood bonfire and make your wish for the coming year the secret Boggle way at this half-term special event. Can you work out which wish belongs to which Boggle or Twiggle? Find the wishes and match them to your favourite characters to win a prize.

HOLIDAY OBJECT IN FOCUS

Sainsbury Centre, February 22-24, 11am-4pm, free admission, 01603 593199, www.scva.ac.uk

Each holiday the Sainsbury Centre offers free activities for families 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. This half-term it is inspired by Alberto Giacometti’s The Tree. Make a Giacometti flick book, build a tree sculpture with our bits of wood, relax on our soft, squidgy landscape, play games, hear a tree story. Plus lots of colouring-in and drawing materials available.

SPRING LAMBS

Wroxham Barns, Hoveton, from February 16, open daily 10am-5pm, admission to Junior Farm £5.75, under-2s free, 01603 783911, www.worxhambarns.co.uk

The spring lambs arrive at Junior Farm at Wroxham Barns this weekend and daily indoor bottle-feeding sessions will begin on February 11. The lambs are all the smallest of triplets from local farms and are currently in quarantine, but will be ready to meet visitors throughout half term. The lambs will consume more than 5,000 litres of milk during the bottle-feeding season, so there is plenty of feeding to be done. There are lots of other activities too, from feeding guinea pigs, rabbits and pygmy goats, to taking part in pony grooming and collecting eggs at the hen house. The Piggy’s Play Sty playground, fun fair and mini-gold will also be open.

NATURE EXPLORERS

Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, near Fakenham, February 22-24, 10am-4pm, normal admission prices, www.pensthorpe.com/events

Pensthorpe Nature Reserve and Gardens have a Nature Explorers event to take part in over the half-term break. Learn all about the Spring migration and what to look out for. Fun self-guided trail around the reserve, playing games and answering questions along the way. Event included in admission price.

RING QUEST

West Stow Country Park and Anglo-Saxon Village, near Bury St Edmunds, February 22-24, 10am-5pm, normal admission prices, 01284 728718, www.weststow.org

Meet an Orc, an Elf and a Rangers as the ever popular Ring Quest family challenge event with a Lord of the Rings theme returns to West Stow with new clues to follow and runes to collect before you can solve the puzzle and save Middle Earth. Your family could win the big prize at the end of the week. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

BLOODY MARY

Framlingham Castle, near Eye, Suffolk, February 22-24, 11am-4pm, £6.50 (£5.90 cons), £3.90 children, £16.90 family, www.english-heritage.org.uk/framlingham

Follow the journey of Bloody Mary at magnificent Framlingham Castle in a family fun trail at this English Heritage property over half term. Running from 11am-4pm every day, you can find out the story of Mary I, the Tudor queen who stayed at the castle on her way to claim the throne in 1553 — and the persecution that followed.

HOW HIGH?

Diss Corn Hall, February 22/Guildhall, Bury St Edmunds, February 23, 11am/2pm, £7, 01379 652241, www.disscornhall.co.uk/www.theatreroyal.org

Half Moon presents a show for three to eight year olds that explores children’s relationship to the world using the concept of height at community halls in Suffolk and Norfolk. Hetty loves to measure things. She measures in feet and hands, in sausages and snails, in butterflies and Barbies. Her uncle Magnus travels the world in his hot air balloon, searching for the tallest things he can find, sending her leaves from lofty treetops and stories of giants and trolls.

VALENTINE TRAIL

Bridewell Museum, Bridewell Alley, Norwich, February 23, 10am-4pm, £4.40 (£3.80 cons), under-25s £3.20, under-16s £2.70, 01603 629127

The Bridewell Museum hosts a special Valentine’s event that aims to reignite the local tradition of Jack Valentine (an all-round man of treats and trickery) with the next generation. Take our Valentine trail and make your own (belated) card for that special someone.

BARN OWL WALK

Lakenheath Fen Reserve, February 24, 3.30pm-6pm, £6, £3 children, 01842 863400, www.rspb.org.uk

Winter afternoons are a great time to look for barn owls hunting over the RSPB Lakenheath Fen Reserve. So, if you missed January’s barn owl walk, here’s another chance to see these beautiful birds hunting over the reserve during Sunday afternoon. Pre-booking essential.

FAMILY SHOWS

THE SELFISH CROCODILE

Norwich Playhouse, February 22, 11.30am/2pm, £9.50 (£7.50 cons), 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk

Deep in the forest, by the banks of a great river, lives a large crocodile. He’s a very selfish crocodile and he won’t share this river with any of the other creatures. But, one day there’s a terrible scream — the crocodile has a toothache. Nobody dares to help him. This is a funny, heart-warming tale from Blunderbus is based on the best-selling book by Faustin Charles and Mike Terry. Performers use puppets to bring this watery adventure to life with a very happy ending. It’s aimed at 3-7 year olds.

RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET

Rackheath Village Hall, February 22, 7.30pm/February 23, 2.30pm/7.30pm, £7 (£5 cons), £5 under-14s, 07552 086982, www.rackheathplayers.co.uk

Rackheath Players celebrate their 60th birthday with the feelgood sci-fi musical. Join Captain Tempest and his fearless crew on their voyage into hyperspace as they dodge asteroid storms, contend with mad scientist Doctor Prospero, and battle with a foul space monster – while still finding time to sing numerous rock‘n’roll.The show takes the 1956 film with plot taken from Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

THE ICE QUEEN AND THE WIZARD

Aylsham Town Hall, February 22, 7.30pm/February 23, 2pm/7.30pm, £6 (£5 matinee), 01263 731430, www.aylshamplayers.co.uk

Half-term theatrical fun by the (ice) bucketful as the Aylsham Players present their 2013 pantomime. A wedding to a handsome Prince should be a happy day, but not when there’s a jealous Sister around who will stop at nothing to take your crown. Princess Gotya persuades the evil Wizard ‘Smirnoff’ to kidnap the Ice Queen Princess Katya.

ANOTHER NIGHT AT THE MUSICALS

Sheringham Little Theatre, February 22, 7.30pm/February 23, 2.30pm/7.30pm, £6-£5, 01263 822347, www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com

Following the success of last year’s show, the talented young people from North Norfolk are back with another medley of musicals. Performing more scenes from some of theatre’s best-loved musicals, including South Pacific, High Society, Chicago, Grease and Oliver. Director Michelle Thompson said: “It was so successful last time that all three shows sold out. This time we have scenes from the likes of Oliver!, High Society, Chicago and Les Miserables, timely of course because of the film. We also have a Judy Garland medley, which should be fun, and a little bit of Love Never Dies, the sequel to Phantom of the Opera.”

OLD MOTHER HUBBARD

Norwich Puppet Theatre, February 23, 2.30pm, £7.50 (£6 cons), £5.50 children, £22 family, 01603 629921, www.puppettheatre.co.uk

A fun nursery rhyme journey as Old Mother Hubbard clatters about in her kitchen with her dancing dog. With a spicy blend of slapstick and folk humour, Norfolk-based Garlic Theatre has created a fresh and funny adaptation with well-crafted puppets and musical treats, with crafted glove puppets, singing teapots and a feast of musical treats. Garlic has built up a strong reputation for innovative and hugely enjoyable shows. Several of have become favourites at the Norwich venue and this one returns by popular demand.

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