What’s on this week: 26 Oct – 1st Nov
Woohoo! Come on let's get a teeny bit excited shall we? There's no escaping it, half term and Halloween are here so let's get out for some fun and frolics.
Aladdin Escape Room, daily
Get your teenage kicks with Escape Hunt, a frankly stressful idea in my opinion, but for lots an absolutely thrilling one. You’re against the clock inside a themed world and must work with your team mates to solve clues and puzzles to escape in time. Crikey. 201A North Terrace, Chantry Place, Norwich, NR2 1SQ
Halloween Cocktails at The Ivy, until 31 October
After all the exhausting half-term activities who fancies a little jaunt to The Ivy for a grown-up Halloween treat? Er, yes please! Pumpkin Spiced Latte sounds delicious – Bacardi spiced rum and pumpkin spice syrup with a cinnamon stick and marshmallow. The Toffee Apple Martini also has Bacardi spiced rum, Calvados liqueur, caramel sauce and apple juice. Mmm.
Norwich Science Festival, At home 24 – 28 Nov
The Forum and NSF are bringing it home with 20 online mini events this half-term. Topics vary from the big science quiz, to lunchtime lava, dinosaurs, underwater creatures and space, plus events for adults on COVID-19, the climate crisis, serial killers and a science quiz, and even a live animal dissection – eek.
An hour of proper bonding belly laughs, tubing is a winner for all the family (my teenager insists on this year after year) as well as a treat for the kids. Speed down the snowy slopes in the safety of a big fat inner tube or grab hold of your family’s hands and slide down in tandem. Wrap up warm and grab a hot choc afterwards. Tickets £13
Halloween Drive-In Movies, Norfolk Showground 29 Oct – 1 Nov 6 – 11pm
If you really want to send some chills down your spine then a Halloween drive-in movie at the showground is the answer – just keep an eye on your backseat 😉 With classic horror and spooky movies to suit all ages from two state of the art LED screens, audio fed straight to your car stereo, as well as street food you’re sorted for a night of frights and fun. Covid-safe.
A Fine Balance, Houghton Hall, until November 1
A Fine Balance showcases the work of over 40 artists and makers from East Anglia, with reference to our landscape and the creatures that share it, including the effect and influence of mankind over it. Most of the pieces are for sale, so you can snag yourself an original work of art, too. If you’re not able to get to the exhibition there’s also a handy interactive exhibition walk-through on the website. View the virtual tour here.
Pumpkin Festival, Wroxham Barns, 22 to 31 October
Get your Halloween vibes ready for this cute-as-can-be pumpkin festival with free access to the fun park rides, junior farm, as well as spell and potion lessons with Wilba the Witch and a free pumpkin for every little one to get creative with inside the special carving barn. Book online here.
Norfolk Museums, open daily
Brilliant news that our galleries are opening up again. Get tickets online to visit Norwich Castle, Time & Tide Museum, Gressinghall Farm Workhouse and Lynn Museum. Understandibly things will be a little different, but you’ll still be able to see current exhibitions, including some Andy Warhol at the Castle as part of their contemporary show, or if sci-fi toys are your bag, get your Star Wars fix at Time & Tide.
See the woods in a whole new light as all the inhabitants come out to celebrate the Glorious Glowing Lantern Parade. This year the event is running from dusk so book your slot (5.30 / 6.30 / 7.30) online for an hour and a half of spooktacular fun. Get creative in the Big Hat and craft a beautiful lantern for a Slitherigrub to live in and make sure to dress up in your best spooky costume.
Pumpkin picking, Alby Crafts & Gardens, 21 – 31 Oct
Ditch the mad dash to Tesco’s for the remaining rejects and get the kids down to Alby Craft’s Pumpkin Patch this year. I for one need to create some value this year rather than spend cash on tat and what better way to do that than a wholesome outing to a proper pumpkin patch, followed by a mug of hot choc at the lovely Artisan Cafe. Free entry. 9.30 – 4 daily (cash only) Alby Crafts & Gardens, Cromer Road, Alby, NR11 7QE
Anish Kapoor at Houghton Hall, until 1 Nov
There’s still plenty of time to catch this remarkable exhibition by ground-breaking artist Anish Kapoor. Get dizzy with the sky mirror and marvel at the 24 examples showcasing the past 40 years of Kapoor’s work. Always at the forefront of the country’s heritage/art world, Houghton can be trusted to keep on delivering these impressive shows, pandemic or not.
FAMILY Norfolk Broads Boat Trip, Wroxham, daily
All aboard! Get the family out for the day on the broads and see some of the county’s most beautiful landscape via the smooth (depending on your sailing skills) meandering of the waterways. Stop for lunch at a riverside pub and hop back on the boat for sundown.
Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Aylsham Sat & Sun 10.30 to 3
What could be nicer than spending an hour or two over the weekend with these gorgeous beings, Wiggins and Wacko? Our 2019 Muddy Best Family Attraction, Redwings Aylsham is open again and invites visitors to come along and say hola to its 50 rescue residents, including the herd of notorious shetland ponies aka the ‘Gangstas’. Entry is free but donations are welcome. Book your visit via the website.
Halloween events Wells Maltings Wed 28 Oct 2.30pm
Dig into the dressing up box and find some spooky costumes to join in this retelling of Michael Roberts fantastically creepy book for pre-teens, Mumbo Jumbo. Wells Maltings has a host of events on over the rest of the month including storytelling What’s in the Witches Kitchen, the film showing of 100% Wolf for little ones plus loads more.
LITERATURE: UEA LIVE: AUTUMN 2020 until 18 November
UEA’s renowned literary festival may have been forced online this year, but there’s still an amazing line-up of authors to catch in conversation, including the brilliant alumni and creative writing MA graduate, Ian McEwan. UEA is offering all the events completely free, but you can make a donation of support if you like. Ian McEwan Wed 28 Oct 7pm.
Seal Boat Trip, Morston Quay
After a hearty lunch at the Anchor you’re a stone’s throw from Morston Quay, where you can hop on the ferry to see the gorgeous fat seals. Beans Boats has been running the coastal trips since the 1930s so they’ve got the operation down to an art. Wrap up in your cosiest woolies and expect to enjoy a splash or two while you venture out for one and a half hours of coastal exploration via the boat, with a landing at Blakeney Point at high tide. Book early, check the website for timetables. Tickets are £13. 01263 740505 / 01263 740038