Summer Holiday Survival Guide
We'll never leave you stranded - 32 awesome things to keep the little darlings happy this summer. Deep breath - you can do this!
School’s out for the summer and we have six glorious weeks with the kids before the teachers take over again. Grab yourself a large G&T and start planning with our bumper Summer Holiday Activity Guide.
See you on the other side!
Kingswood Camp for Young Adventurers, West Runton, Sun 28th July – Sun 25th August
Kingswood centre in West Runton offers a range of school holiday summer camps for kids aged 8-17 years old. These camps run for a week and there are still places available on 4 sessions before the summer ends! Loads of water sports and activities are available plus sandy beaches and an adventure park. First time away or summer camp veterans – this sounds like an unforgettable experience.
Book places: From £299
Sportspark’s Sportscamps, UEA Sportspark, Mon 29th July – Fri 30th August
UEA Sportscamps are the perfect solution for busy parents who want to plan ahead and are looking for a school holiday programme that will keep youngsters entertained and active. Sportscamps offer a HUGE range of activities, including archery, climbing, nature activities, swimming, football, tennis, fitness, badminton, Korfball, crafts and basketball – phew I need to sit down!
UEA camps are a day camp only and so a good option for those nervous about staying away from home, but they do offer extended days finishing at 6pm for late working parents.
Book Places: From £32.64 for junior members
Performing Arts Summer School, The Garage – Norwich, Tues 27th – Fri 30th August
The Garage in Norwich is running an arts course at the end of August which gives kids a chance to work on their performance skills over four days. Morning and afternoon classes are available and include musical theatre, music, drama and street dance!
Book Places: From £45
Rainy Day Fun
Quasar, Norwich, Sat & Sun
There’s no need to let a bad weather day ruin your fun, and we have some top picks. Quasar laser tag centre in Norwich run under 16 sessions every weekend morning – 2 hours of laser fun, with at least 4 games and a free slushie to cool off!
Book Places: £9.95
Strikes, King’s Lynn
Strikes bowling alley in King’s Lynn is a great grey day option. With offers and group deals, it won’t break the bank to take the family out last minute!
Book Now: From £5.95 for U14’s and £6.95 for Adults
Doodle Pots Ceramic Café, Holt
Let the kids unleash their inner artists and create a masterpiece for the grandparents!
Doodle Pots ceramics studio in Holt is open daily for walk-in sessions during the school holidays, however we recommend booking a session when it rains as it can get busy.
Book Now: Starting at £3.75 plus pottery which starts from £5.00
Waterworld and Breckland Leisure Centre, Thetford
Enjoy a summer holiday splash with lilos and pool noodles galore. Waterworld is a huge indoor swimming pool in Thetford, complete with slides and play areas. They also have a learner and leisure pool with spaces for all ages to hang out and relax.
Price List: From £3 for Juniors & £1.45 for Under 4’s
Norfolk Museums – 10 across the County!
We salute the the Norfolk Museums Service – they have been our school holiday saviour for many years! This summer they have a wide programme of exhibitions and events across the 10 museums – click here for a few of our favourites.
My First Play: A Midsummer Night’s Nap, The Garage, Norwich, Until Sun 4th August
Fancy introducing your little ones to Shakespeare? This immersive 50 minute production by All-In Production is aimed at 0-7 year olds and families. Don’t worry about boisterous Mudlings – they are actively encouraged to get involved and make noise. Phew!
Book tickets Adults £12.50, Child £7.50, Under 1’s free
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Open, Tues 6th – Sun 11th August
Watch out! The most Fantasmagorical musical, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang lands in Norwich for one week only. It’ll have audiences of all ages flying high with a mixture of madness, intrigue and exuberance. All aboard!
Book Tickets: £18 GA and £68 family admission
Mr Stink, Marina Theatre – Lowestoft, Mon 5th – Weds 7th August
A staged version of David Walliams’ warm-hearted and funny Mr Stink come to the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. Packed with a host of original musical numbers, you’ll laugh and cry – but you might want to hold your nose!
Book Tickets: from £15
Matilda, Norwich Theatre Royal, Tues 16th July – Sat 17th August
Over the years, it’s been a staple World Book Day costume for my three girls and Matilda The Musical didn’t disappoint. Winner of over 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical – this is one of our theatrical highlights of the year – tickets still available. Read my full review HERE
Book tickets £10 – £56
Summer Fun, Pensthorpe Nature Reserve
Bring along your own wild tribe and get messy in the new mud kitchen in WildRootz, go on a barefoot trail, play hopscotch, race pooh sticks, leapfrog over tree stumps, build a den and learn about some of the creatures that call Pensthorpe home.
So much outdoor fun to be had this summer plus young nature enthusiasts will learn about the importance of pollination, how many spines a hedgehog has, how fast a hare can run, what rarities swim in the river Wensum and much more.
Book tickets: Adults £10.95 Children £9.95 Under 3’s Free
Pettits Adventure Park, Reedham
Pettits Park is home to a whole host of attractions – animals, rides and play areas for kids. We love the micro pigs, meerkats and miniature horses. The park has a selection of café’s, snack bars and picnic areas to feed your little animals (and the ones in the petting zoo!).
Book Tickets: £15.45 for Children and £14.45 for Adults (under 2’s go free)
The Bouncing Bubble Party Parade, BeWILDerwood, Thurs 25th July – Tues 3rd September
The Party Parade starts at 2pm from the storytelling stage, so get ready to stroll through the woods in a colourfully wild and wonderful procession. A whole host of fun awaits from swooshing though the woods on zip wires to racing down the slippery slopes!
Book Tickets: From £14.95
Hilltops in Sheringham has lots of great activities for slightly older kids. Choose from climbing walls, archery and zip lines but make sure you book ahead!
Book Tickets: £21 for a half day and £40 for a full day
Banham Zoo, Banham
With lots of animals from all over the world, Banham Zoo is always a winning day out for all the family – my favourite is the giraffe walk as you can get up to eye level. There are both indoor and outdoor sections of the park in case you get caught by the rain, plus it’s a great opportunity to teach the little ones about the important conservation work that Banham Zoo does.
Book Tickets: £15.40 for Children and £20.85 for adults (with children under 3 going free)
Coastal Days Out
Pleasure Beach, Great Yarmouth
The Pleasure Beach is an absolute must for the Muddy household. We always leave it until the last weekend of the holidays because then the crowds have eased off and we get to zip around all the rides with our All Day wrist bands. Plus you’ve got the beach, arcades, ice creams and donuts – what else do you need?
Book Tickets: from £16.50
Hunstanton Sea Life Centre, Hunstanton
Hunstanton Sea Life centre has the only seal rescue centre in the UK open to the public – rescuing and rehabilitating over 750 seals since 1989!
Get your waddle on with the Penguin Trail and check out their new winged residents – the Inca Terns or ‘moustache birds’ who can’t wait to fly and dive above your head!
Book Tickets: £11.17 for children and £12.57 for adults (with kids under 3 going free!)
Circus and Water Spectacular, Hippodrome, Weds 10th July – Sun 15th September
This place brings back lots of childhood memories – I love their Summer Spectaculars with amazing circus acts from all around the world (some have even been on Britains Got Talent!), comedy, stunt bikes and my favourite – the spectacular synchronised swimming finalé with water fountains and fireworks!
Book Tickets: from £11
Lost World Adventure Golf, Hemsby
Lost World Adventure Golf is an inexpensive and fun day out in the gorgeous seaside town of Hemsby. Putt past dinosaurs, fossils, water hazards, even an ancient Aztec temple! There’s a great atmosphere at dusk with the the floodlights and sound effects – the kids will love it.
Youth Club, Karttrack
Cromer’s KartTrak runs a youth club for drivers aged 8-16 years who would like to enhance their skills and abilities on the track. There’s different levels to work your way through and the kids will come away like a mini Lewis Hamilton!
Drivers must complete an induction course (£33.00) before joining, but once they’ve passed they’re free to tear up the race track!
Book Tickets: £25 per session
Pleasurewood Hills, Lowestoft
If you’re looking for a great day out with the whole family, Pleasurewood Hills has over 35 rides, shows and attractions. There’s something for everyone whether you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie or prefer the leisurely chairlift and animal shows.
Book Tickets: from £17.50
High Altitude Trampoline Park, Norwich
Feeling a little bit exhausted and the kids driving you crazy?? Let them bounce away all their energy at High Altitude while you relax with a coffee and a book!
Book Tickets: from £5
Festivals & Carnivals
Wells Carnival, Wells-next-the-Sea, Fri 26th July – Sun 4th August
A week of good old fashioned seaside family fun. Throughout the week there will be all sorts of activities and events including sand castle competitions and gillying on the quay. Saturday 3rd July is the main event with the carnival procession around the town featuring floats, fancy-dress, music and dance.
Worstead Festival, Worstead, Sat 27th & Sun 28th July
If the sun is shining this is a picture perfect village event with something for everyone. Traditional agricultural stuff (heavy horses, dog shows, sheep shearingand birds of prey), vintage cars, craft stalls, live music, an art exhibition and artisan market tempting visitors with the best local food and drink in Norfolk.
Fairground and games tent – that’s the kids sorted – and as for me, I’ll be stuffing my face with street food, sipping a large Pimms while watching the cooking demos with local top chefs!
Book tickets: £6 on the door, cash only and under 12’s free
Old Buckenham Airshow, Old Buckenham Airfield, Sat 27th & Sun 28th July
Aerial displays including famous movie planes, food village, fun fair, classic cars, military displays and music. Sounds like a great boy’s trip or daddy and son day – what do you think ladies?
Book tickets: Day tickets – Adults £18, 12-16 year olds £7.50 and under 21’s free. VIP & Camping available.
Classic Ibiza, Blickling Hall, Fri 9th Aug
Introduce the kids to Ibiza! Not quite the same as being on the beautiful Balearic isle itself but a nice way to spend a summers evening, listening to chill out tunes at the beautiful Blickling Hall. Featuring the Urban Soul Orchestra and internationally renowned musicians including DJ Goldierocks. It might get you in the mood for the closing parties in September!
Book tickets: Adults £39.50, Child (5-16) £17.50
Cromer Carnival, various locations in Cromer, Wed 17th – Tues 23rd August
Unofficially kicking off early with a beer festival on Tues 16th August – followed by a week of activities including daredevil displays, a gin evening, fun run, picnics and lawn parties, beach competitions and the sparkly highlight – an illuminated procession on Monday 21st August. Throw in a bit of crabbing on the pier, penny arcades and fish and chips on the sea front – happy summer days!
Book tickets: some events are ticketed, check programme
Food Glorious Food
Wizard of Oz Afternoon Tea, Open, Norwich, Fri 30th Aug
Follow the Yellow Brick Road all the way to this fab Wizard of Oz afternoon tea! To celebrate this classic film’s 80th birthday, Open in Norwich will be serving Yellow Brick Road sandwiches, Flying Monkey cupcakes, Munchkin scones, Toto’s bone shaped biscuits and Emerald City milkshakes. There’s no place like OPEN!
Book Tickets: £9 for under 14’s and £14.95 for adults
Alice in Wonderland Afternoon Tea, Assembly House, Norwich, Thurs 1st August – Sun 1st September
The kids and I loved the Harry Potter theme last year and The Assembly House is back with the brilliantly themed Alice in Wonderland Afternoon Tea. It might not be as bonkers as the real Mad Hatter’s Tea Party but I’m sure the food will be just as delicious with vegan, vegetarian and gluten, nut and dairy free options available!
Book Places: from £16 pp