7 things to do this weekend
The weekend starts here kids (and parents); wrap up warm and see the best of what’s on offer for December’s first weekend. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
We’re Going on a Bear Hut, Norwich Playhouse, Norwich – Fri 2-Sat 4 Dec
If you’ve got children of a pre- or infant school age, you will know this gorgeous, award-winning book written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury . The play adaption of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt comes to Norwich this weekend on the back of a West-End and International tour. Adapted by stage and directed by Sally Cookson, this lovely story comes to life with a versatile score by Benji Bower. Watch actors wade through the gigantic swishy swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the thick oozy, squelchy mud in pursuit of a bear.
Voices from the Workhouse Project, Gressenham Hall and Workhouse, Dereham – Fri 2-Sun 4 Dec
Big changes have been taking place at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse with new displays including ‘Voices from the Workhouse’, a three-year Heritage Lottery Fund project telling the real stories of the people who lived and worked in the workhouse. Take an immersive journey through the new galleries and find out more about the workhouse regime, including what inmates had to eat.
Kids’ Club, Cinema City, Norwich – Sat 3 Dec
I’ve always wondered why a trip to the cinema is more generally expensive than a watching theatre production, going to the ballet or attending a gig – particularly when all they have to do is press ‘play’ on an already fully-produced piece of work. This is particularly true of taking kids to the cinema; an experience for a family of four – including drinks and popcorn – commonly costing close to £70! So, a big round of applause to Cinema City who run a kids’ club each Saturday morning at 11am for just £1.50 per person, be that adult or child. Arrive early and join in a small crafting session at the front of the screen themed around the movie – this week it’s ParaNorman.
Christmas Show 2016, Cromer – Fri 2-Sun 4 Dec
Now in its 12th year, The Cromer Christmas Show returns after a hugely successful and record-breaking year in 2015. Legend Olly Day will be returning for his 8th year, joined by Martyn James – vocals come from Duncan Sandilands and Emily Yarrow. Of course, no Cromer Christmas Show would be complete without the sensational Seaside Special Dancers adding glamour and sparkle, with the children from Marlene’s School of Dance providing the all-important ‘aah’ factor.
Christmas Shopping, Norfolk – Sat 3-Sun 4 Dec
I know, I know, I just swore at you, but with December arriving this week, denial is no longer going to help when it comes to buying Christmas presents on time for the big day (25 days people, 25!). If you can’t Christmas shop during the week, do the sensible thing and get it out the way earlier before the scrums really starts – i.e. this weekend. Whether you’re in Norwich, Kings Lynn, Wymondham or Diss, the rules to surviving the day are the same: write a list of ideas before leaving the house, get up early and beat the traffic (and the fights for car parking), stop off regularly to re-fuel energy levels with hot choc or cups of coffee, and get out before 4pm to avoid the worse of the traffic (and risk missing the start of Strictly!).
The Norfolk Beaches – All weekend
The weather is set to stay dry, crisp and sunny right up until Sunday, so why not wrap up warm and blow away the cobwebs with a walk on the beach? With over 30 to visit – from pristine and pretty to rugged and rural – you’ll easily find one to suit your mood. This is a great time for kids and dogs too – pooches are allowed to be lead-free this time of year, while kids are less likely to want to try and drown themselves in a sea which is cold and moody (although my daughter will probably still give it a good go!). You may even have the entire stretch of sand to yourself – what’s not to love.
Christingle, St Thomas’ Church, Norwich – Sun 4 Dec
You don’t have to be a regular church go-er – or even religious – to enjoy spending time in a church – after all, churches are, in the main, spectacular feats of architecture. They are particularly beguiling around Christmas with carol services, beautiful decorations and even mulled wine for sale – if nothing else it’s a great time to marvel at some magnificent stained glass windows. St Thomas’ Church on the Earlham Road reaches out to its local community with regular events, including summer barbecues and the recent Norwich Maker’s Market. This Sunday, join the organisers for three Christingle performances, at 9.30am, 11am and 4pm, where hundreds of candles will be lit in a nod to the festive season.