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School’s out! The Norfolk summer holiday guide 2022

Summer's here and the school holidays are FAST approaching! Right on time, here's our bumper guide to what to do with kids of all ages in Norfolk this summer. We've got you!

Check out a carnival (or two, or three!)

Many of Norfolk’s most famous carnivals are returning in 2022 for the first time since pre-pandemic days – so get the family ready to party hard! 

Between 29 July and 7 August Wells Carnival will offer a week of traditional seaside festivities including floats, fancy-dress, sand-castle competitions, gillying (crabbing) on the quay and more. 

Cromer Carnival will also be returning between 13-19 August, featuring a Red Arrows display as well as plenty of kid-friendly games and entertainment; while Diss Carnival is back on 3 July with a fabulously-named “Great-Diss Showman” theme. 

Try a cool and quirky festival

Even the grumpiest teen will surely be won-over by the magical sights at the Old Buckenham County Park Balloon Festival 2022 from 12-14 August. 

There’s going to be glowing night displays, street food, a beer festival, entertainment – oh, and not least – the chance to purchase and win balloon flights! With glamping and camping available, you can really make a weekend out of it. 

The same weekend will see the Festival of Sport 2022, running between 12-15 August in the gorgeous grounds of Holkham Estate. Kids between five and 17 can meet sporting legends, try their hands at new sports (lacrosse, anyone?) as well as making friends and enjoying lots of expert coaching. Plus, there’s plenty of sporty fun laid on for us parents, too! 

Encourage mini Robin Hoods 

There’s going to be oodles of summer fun at Blickling Estate between 19 July and 5 September – featuring everything from bike rides and discovery trails to traditional games (such as croquet) and secret tunnels. We especially love the sound of the free archery classes, which will be running every Wednesday. Perfect for that budding Prince or Princess of Thieves.

Embrace dino-mania

The prehistoric GoGo Discover trail is back across Norfolk from 27 June-10 September – and this summer is looking fittingly dinotastic all across the county.

Don’t miss Valley of the Dinosaurs, an interactive attraction featuring awesome animatronic dinosaurs which has just opened at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure. The touring spectacular Jurassic Live also hits the UEA Sportspark on Aug 13-14, a massive production featuring loads of impressive special effects – and real flames! 

@roarr_dinosauradventure

For something lower key, perhaps more suitable for little ones, check out the Tricera-top days which will be on at Castle Quarter every tuesday in August. 

It’s showtime!

@hippodromegy

There’s nothing like a proper show to bring a family together, and the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome’s Summer Circus and Water Spectacular looks like just the, er, ticket! From 6 July to 18 Sep you can see the world-famous and seriously impressive family circus, where the entire ring also sinks to reveal a huge swimming pool.

@norwichtheatreroyal

There’s also plenty of lovely things going on at the Family Festival 2022 at the Norwich Theatre Royal between 26-31 July. Younger kids will adore The Bubble Show while slightly older children can test out their comedy chops at the Comedy Club 4 Kids. Everyone is welcome to a picnic on the Theatre Royal stage itself at Norwich’s Poetry Picnic (pictured), while we reckon groovy tweens will love the Learn to Beatbox show.

Also in Norwich, and continuing on a theatrical tip, The Garage is laying on a truly fantastic array of holiday activities. Most exciting of all is the chance for seven to 18-year-olds to spend two weeks putting on a fantastic, full-scale production of Bugsy Malone. Splurge guns at the ready!

Down on the farm

Wroxham Barns is always good for a day out, but they’re really hit it out the park (or should that be field?) this summer. Get ready for a carrot carnival, daily foam parties, an Instagram-tastic August sunflower meadow and a two acre “maize maze” – plus all the usual lovely stuff they usually have on offer, from pony grooming to fun park rides.

Na na na na na na na na BAT WALK!

For a night out with a difference, sign up for the Family Bat Walk on 17 August at Fairhaven Water Garden. Learn all about these fascinating and strange nocturnal creatures, plus try your hand at some bat-themed craft. 

If bats aren’t really your thing, this gorgeous garden in the middle of the Norfolk Broads has all sorts of family fun going on this summer – from Katakanu adventure tours to wildlife canoe trails

Totally buggin’ – time to have lots of invertibrate-themed fun.

Know a young fan of creepy crawlies? They’ll love the fantastic Norwich Science Fair’s special Bugs and Beasts Weekend, taking over Waterloo Park on 23-24 July.

This free event, sponsored by Pensthorpe Natural Park, will feature everything from bug-tasting crafting to a pop-up store from brilliant city bookshop Bookbugs and Dragon Tales.

We’re also keen to check out BugzUK, a huge and brand-new insect zoo in Lenwade. There’s even the chance to handle some of the scuttling critters – just what you’ve always wanted, right?!

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