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Family Fun In and Around Norwich - Norfolk Broads, Theater, and City Parks

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Norwich has no shortage of family activities, especially during the summer. Pottering around the Castle and Cathedral is interesting and educational, and teens will appreciate Norwich Lanes’ quirky shops and colourful market. The Norfolk Broads can be visited by boat, or you can hire a bike to cycle along the waterways. And kids can enjoy a tennis game or a spin on the swings in one of the city's parks.

Fun on the Norfolk Broads

 

Stretching all the way from Norwich to the coast, the Broads National Park has over 125 miles of navigable waterways, and no locks to negotiate. You can hire a motorized boat for the day, or take a rowing boat to explore narrow and secluded waterways. Kids don’t need any prior experience to try canoeing, and it’s suitable for all ages. Mums and Dads will appreciate the picture-postcard villages along the way, as well as the riverside pubs offering pretty surroundings and local beer. If boating sounds too energetic, you can hire bikes, or simply stroll along peaceful footpaths.

 

Enjoy the Broads

 

The Enjoy the Broads official website is a great source of information to help you make the most of a day out on the water, and lists reliable companies for hiring canoes, kayaks, and motorboats.

 

 

Enjoy the Broads website

Exploring historic landmarks

 

Norwich’s impressive Norman and medieval buildings aren't just for history buffs. The landmark sights of the Cathedral and Castle have plenty to attract younger visitors too, and visits can be fun as well as educational. Older kids will love to investigate the city's medieval and Tudor halls, including Dragon Hall, Strangers’ Hall, and St Andrew’s and Blackfriars’ Halls. Strangers’ Hall in particular is an intriguing building that was once home to merchants and mayors, with a maze of rooms and guides dressed in period costume.

 

Strangers’ Hall

 

Adults will appreciate the knot garden and sumptuous furnishings, while youngsters will love the collections of old toys and children’s books, as well as the feasts laid out in the Great Hall.

 

Charing Cross, Norwich, Norfolk NR2 4AL. Tel: +44 1603 493625

 

Strangers’ Hall website

 

Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

 

colouring tables, computer stations, Egyptian mummies, Vikings, and stuffed animals keep kids enthralled on visits to Norwich Castle. The dungeons always thrill and excite, and climbing up to the battlements is an experience that both children and adults will enjoy.

 

Castle Meadow, Norwich, Norfolk NR1 3JU. Tel: +44 1603 493649

 

Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery website

 

Parks, playgrounds, and outdoor events

 

In and around the city centre there are numerous parks, many of which have children’s play areas or adventure playgrounds. Child-friendly events are also held in various locations, particularly Waterloo Park, which hosts outdoor theatre specifically for kids on summer afternoons. Waterloo Park and Chapelfield Gardens hold bandstand concerts from June to August - perfect for a family picnic - and Chapelfield hosts a fun and quirky garden party over a weekend in May.

 

Eaton Park

 

One of Norwich’s biggest parks, Eaton has a model-boat pond, play area, and tea rooms. Free facilities include a cycle speedway track and a skate park. There’s a charge to use the 18-hole pitch-and-putt, bowling green, and tennis courts.

 

South Park Avenue, Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7AZ.

 

Eaton Park website

 

Waterloo Park

 

Just north of the city centre, this park has a pavilion and bandstand, and holds outdoor theatre events for children in summer. There are expansive fields, an excellent children’s play area, free tennis facilities, and a big seasonal paddling pool.

 

Angel Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 3JD. Tel: +44 1603 419159

 

 

Family-friendly theatre

 

The Puppet Theatre is a Norwich gem, and is visited by touring companies from the UK and overseas throughout the year. There are only 3 permanent puppet theatres in the country, and productions here offer magical - and often hilarious - retellings of traditional stories or inventive new tales. Norwich Playhouse makes an effort to mix highbrow cultural offerings with shows for the whole family. Keep an eye on the Theatre Royal’s events program, too, as it’s an impressive venue in which to catch a musical, sing-a-long show, or pantomime.

 

Norwich Playhouse

 

As well as being a bastion of the comedy circuit, the Playhouse puts on regular musicals, plays, and drama-focused events for all age groups.

 

42-58 St George's Street, Norwich, Norfolk NR3 1AB. Tel: +44 1603 598598

 

Norwich Playhouse website

 

Norwich Puppet Theatre

 

In a converted medieval church, this intimate theatre has worn flagstone floors and walls decorated with fascinating old puppets and vivid artworks. As well as original puppet shows, it offers a year-round program of craft-based workshops for children.

 

St James, Whitefriars, Norwich, Norfolk NR3 1TN. Tel: +44 1603 615564

 

Norwich Puppet Theatre website