Ways to Wear the Kids Out this Half Term in Norfolk
Published date: May 2019
With half term fast approaching, it’s a good time to start planning ways to wear the kids out in Norfolk. There are many places in the county where you can take the kids or grandkids to let off steam, get some fresh air and exercise and get them away from their phones, games consoles, TVs and tablets!
The Norfolk coastline has so many pretty beaches, with rock pools, dunes and wide stretches of sandy beach, to play ball games, fly kites, run around on and enjoy a picnic. The county has a wealth of outdoor attractions, from parks, zoos and nature reserves, to high ropes, water pursuits and skiing. From activities that don’t cost anything, to those that will make a dent in your wallet; there is so much to do with the kids in Norfolk – here are some suggestions…….
Norfolk Snowsports Club
Take the kids tubing, skiing or snowboarding at Norfolk Snowsport Club in Trowse. With taster sessions, a course of lessons and school holiday activities, this is a great place to learn a new skill, stay active and enjoy the outdoors.
Norfolk Snowsports Club - Whitlingham Lane, Trowse, Norwich, Norfolk, NR14 8TW
Tel: 01603 662781
Sea Palling, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, Cromer, Mundesley, Wells-next-the-Sea, Overstrand and Hunstanton all have excellent beaches to take the kids, and have facilities such as toilets and places to purchase food, drinks and ice creams.
The Canoe Man
Norfolk is blessed with many stunning waterways suitable for canoes, kayaks and paddleboards. See the county from a different perspective by exploring the region on a boat; guaranteed to wear you and the kids out!
The Canoe Man offers canoe and kayak hire, guided canoe trips, paddleboard hire, overnight canoe trails, bush craft courses and more. Please note children must be accompanied by an adult. To find out more, go to the following website:
Located in Whitlingham Country Park, Whitlingham Adventure offers a wide range of water and land-based adventures for all ages and abilities. There are taster sessions, accredited courses, school holiday activities, craft hire such as kayaks, canoes and paddleboards and lots more. Whitlingham Country Park is also the perfect place for walkers, cyclists, birdwatchers and family days out, with cycle paths, a picnic meadow, visitor centre and café and toilets.
Whitlingham Adventure - Whitlingham Lane, Norwich, Norfolk, NR14 8TR
Tel: 01603 632307
Based on the magical children’s books written by local author and creator of BeWILDerwood, Tom Blofeld, this huge award-winning outdoor adventure is fun for the whole family and is sure to wear out the kids! Explore this captivating and enchanting place and discover treehouses, marsh walks, slippery slopes, wobbly wires, storytelling, boat trips, Crocklebogs, Twiggles and Boggles. Outdoor fun and adventure at its best.
BeWILDerwood - Horning Road, Hoveton, Norfolk, NR12 8JW
Tel: 01692 633033
Pensthorpe Natural Park is one of Norfolk’s finest attractions and is home to many species of mammals, birds, invertebrates and plants. With indoor and outdoor adventure play areas, educational facilities, talks and guided tours, bird hides, stunning gardens, a café and gift shop, it’s a great place to take the kids. Pensthorpe’s outdoor play area WildRootz, offers outdoor adventure play for a wide age group and is nestled amongst stunning natural surroundings. To find out more about what’s to see and do at Pensthorpe, admission prices and opening times, go to their website.
Pensthorpe Natural Park - Pensthorpe, Fakenham, Norfolk, NR21 0LN
Tel: 01328 851465
Explore the UK’s largest man-made lowland forest with 18,730 hectares, on foot or on bike. Thetford Forest straddles the south of Norfolk and the north of Suffolk and is the perfect destination for kids to let off steam. High Lodge Visitor Centre offers excellent outdoor facilities, including Go Ape!, 3 cycling trails, forest Segway, 4 walking trails, bike hire, archery, picnic areas, play areas and BBQ hire. There is a large, well signposted carpark and parking charges apply, but if you take a picnic and your own bikes, this can be a fun and cheap day out with the kids.
(This is still under thetford forest section)Go Ape! at Thetford Forest has high ropes suitable for different age groups – go to their website to find out more:
Holkham Park surrounds Holkham Hall and is home to a large herd of fallow deer that roam around freely. Organised walks and deer safaris are available to book, or you can just wander around on your own, follow the nature trail and enjoy the woodland play area. Dogs are welcome but must always be kept on a lead. To find out more and to plan your visit, go to their website:
Holkham Hall - Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, NR23 1AB
There are many parks around Norfolk, some with excellent play equipment, so a day out doesn’t always have to cost the earth. Take a picnic, a ball, kite or cricket set and enjoy a day outside playing with the kids. Some parks to consider visiting - Eaton Park, Earlham Park, Waterloo Park, Wensum Park, Mousehold Heath, Longwater Lane Park, Sloughbottom Park, Catton Park, Heigham Park, Whitlingham Country Park, Haveringland Park, Holt Country Park, Holkham Park and Sheringham Park.
Banham Zoo is a 50-acre zoo in Norfolk that is home to over 2,000 animals and is one of the regions’ top attractions. Get up close and personal to mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates and domestic livestock. Learn about the animals at Banham Zoo and about conservation; a fun day out for children of all ages. To find out more, admission prices and opening times, go to their website.
Banham Zoo - Kenninghall Road, Banham, Norfolk, NR16 2HE
Tel: 01953 887771
Highball Climbing Centre
Take the kids to Highball in Norwich, a dedicated indoor climbing centre where people of all ages and abilities can learn to climb. It’s fun, a great way to keep fit and burn energy, and an excellent way of building confidence and making friends. Highball offer supervised fun sessions for kids and junior coaching programs – booking is essential. And for the grownups – super coffee and hot and cold food.
Highball Climbing Centre - 1 Twickenham Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR6 6NG
Tel: 01603 513513
Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure
This family-owned adventure park in Lenwade, Norfolk is a great place to visit for both indoor and outdoor activities. The 85-acre park offers family fun and adventure of a Jurassic nature and visitors can get up close to animatronic dinosaurs, enjoy Dippy’s Splash Zone, Predator High Ropes, Secret Animal Garden and Dinomite – Norfolk’s largest indoor play area. Go on a Deer Safari and Dinosaur Trail and discover a Lost World A-mazing Adventure, Pterodactyl Treehouse, Stone Age Road Race indoor race circuit and X-tinction fossil dig.
Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure - Lenwade, Norfolk, NR9 5JW
Tel: 01603 876310
Enjoy a fun, healthy, active and inclusive time at High Altitude in Norwich, whatever your age or trampolining ability. High Altitude is an ideal rainy-day destination and a great place to get rid of lots of energy! There is a café offering a good range of food and hot and cold drinks.
High Altitude - 91 Whiffler Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 2AW
Tel: 01603 567200
Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse
Set on a fifty-acre site, Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse is a museum of rural life, taking you back in time to explore two centuries of life on the land. With both inside and outside exhibits and attractions, Gressenhall also has a traditional working farm with rare breeds, countryside walks and a well-equipped adventure playground. With loads of open space in which to run around, Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse is a full and fun-packed day out and is sure to tire out the kids.
Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse - Beetley, Dereham, Norfolk, NR20 4DR
Tel: 01362 869263
This children’s indoor play centre in Wymondham caters for a variety of ages and is just the place to burn off lots of energy, with a double story climbing frame, slides, rope ladders, ball-pits and more. There is an enclosed toddler area for under 4s, ample seating for parents and carers and a café serving hot and cold food and a laser tag arena. For further details, visit their website.
Hulabaloos – Units 3-5 Great Expectations Business Park, London Rd, Wymondham, Norfolk, NR18 9SJ
Tel: 01953 604526
Situated in Weasenham Woods in mid Norfolk, this attraction promises to be an exciting day out! Set in mature forest, the VERY high aerial adventure high ropes course is built in some of the tallest trees in the country, and visitors can also enjoy army-style assault course, real tree climbing and quad bike trek. Visit their website to find out more, including opening hours, booking arrangements and prices.
ExTREEme Adventure - High House, Weasenham, Kings Lynn, Norfolk, PE32 2SP
Tel: 01328 838720
This multi-purpose sports facility located on the campus of the University of East Anglia is the perfect place to tire out the kids. Open to the public, there’s no need to be a member, simply pay and play. Their indoor arenas and facilities include: a 10-metre-high climbing wall with bouldering cave, 5 x glass-backed squash courts, martial arts studio and 2 large indoor arenas which can accommodate many different sports. There is also an Olympic sized swimming pool, fitness centre and Sportscafe, offering a good selection of hot and cold food and drink throughout the day.
Sportspark - University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, Norfolk, NR4 7TJ
Tel: 01603 592398
Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach
Located on Great Yarmouth’s famous Golden Mile, the Pleasure Beach is a free to enter amusement park with a mixture of white-knuckle rides and traditional attractions. Their rollercoaster has been the star attraction since 1932 and remains a firm favourite amongst visitors today. Find hotdogs, candyfloss, sugar donuts and plenty of sweet treats dotted amongst a variety of rides that are suitable for all ages. The beach is just a stone’s throw away, if the kids need to get rid of any excess energy.
Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach - South Beach Parade, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30 3EH
Tel: 01493 844585
The Norfolk retreat of HM The Queen, the Sandringham Estate is a beautiful destination and can be an inexpensive day out or as expensive as you wish. The carpark is free, and the grounds open to the general public free of charge are stunning. There is expansive woodland and heathland to explore on bike or foot and loads of places to have a picnic, play ball games and run around. There is a visitor centre with shops, restaurant and toilets and visitors can access parts of the house, the museum and gardens for a fee. For more information, opening times and entry costs, go to the Sandringham Estate website.
The Sandringham Estate - Sandringham, Norfolk, PE35 6EN
Tel: 01485 545400
Located just north of King’s Lynn, Castle Rising Castle is one of the most famous 12th Century castles in England. The stone keep, built in around 1140 AD, is amongst the finest surviving examples of its kind anywhere in the country and, together with the massive surrounding earthworks, ensures that Rising is a castle of national importance. There is a large car park and toilet facilities and a gift shop. For more information, including entry costs, opening times and the latest events being held at Castle Rising, go to their website.
Castle Rising - Kings Lynn, Norfolk, PE31 6AH
Tel: 01553 631330
Farmer Fred’s Adventure Play Barn
If the weather is wet and you can’t get the kids outside, an indoor play area is just what you need to wear them out. Suitable for children from 0-12 years, this 3D farm themed adventure area offers children somewhere safe to run around, explore and climb. Really young visitors (0-2 years) have a baby/toddler area, full of stimulating, sensory equipment and for those who are 2-4, there is a specially designed low ropes adventure course. There is a good café and quality coffee for the grownups! To find out more, go to their website.
Farmer Fred’s Adventure Play Barn - Caley Mill, Lynn Road, Heacham, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE31 7JE
Tel: 01485 579526