6 best things to do with kids in Norfolk
With stunning countryside, gorgeous beaches and miles and miles of unspoilt coastline, Norfolk is a great place for a holiday with a baby, toddler or older kids. The Norfolk Broads holds a unique charm, as do the county’s charming villages and cities, all of which hold the potential for adventure.
Then there are the countless attractions and historical sites, wildlife parks, nature reserves, seals and dinosaurs that are sure to be a hit, not only with kids of all ages, but also with parents and grandparents too. We know that with so many options it can be difficult and time-consuming to choose your ideal destination and that’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best things to do with kids in Norfolk. These locations are all found within range of some of the best Haven holiday parks, so there’s no need to go out of your way to visit.
1. Sea Life Great Yarmouth
Sea Life is found right on the seafront in Great Yarmouth and features family-friendly exhibits with a variety of fabulous sea creatures in its aquariums. The ocean tunnel winds through a huge tank holding a whopping quarter of a million litres of seawater, where the inhabitants swim around the lost city of Atlantis. Sealife Great Yarmouth is also home to African dwarf crocodiles, blacktip reef sharks, and clownfish of Finding Nemo fame. Your kids can discover more of the world of jellyfish in the Jelly Invaders display, as well as watch the aquarium’s regal Humboldt penguins.
Opening times vary throughout the year (though typically the aquarium is open seven days a week) and pre-booking tickets online is essential, so please visit the website before your trip to this aqua arena.
2. BeWILDerwood Norfolk
No trip to East Anglia is complete without checking out this award-winning theme park based in the heart of the forest. One of the best things to with kids in Norfolk, it’s placed within the Bure Marshes National Nature Reserve with its make up the result of the incredible imagination of local children’s author Tom Blofeld. The magic of his books is brought to life here with characters and fairy-tales that add more than a hint of enchantment to the area.
The park’s rides are great for little and large people with treehouses, zip wires and jungle bridges just some of the things that all can have a go at. It’s a great value day out for all ages, with tickets reasonably priced and including everything from parking to den building. Open from February to October, plan ahead to get the most out of this plentiful park.
3. Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure
Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure based in Lenwade just outside of Norwich, is undeniably one of the best things to do with kids in Norfolk. With numerous attractions such as Predator! High Ropes, Dippy’s Theatre, animal enclosures, an indoor adventure playground, a deer park and East Anglia’s biggest outdoor waterpark, Dippy’s Splash Zone, your kids are sure to be entertained. Young dinosaur enthusiasts will also love the Dinosaur Trail which houses 110 life-sized dinos.
Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure also released a park app in 2021 to help guests get around and find the best special offers and discounts. Be sure not to miss out on the park’s excellent range of dining options either including Jurassic Snacks, Dinomite Café, The Explorers Restaurant, Dippy’s Snack Shack and Nautilus Fish and Chips. The best prices are usually available online so be sure to book before you go and check for the Gift Cards and Season Pass options.
4. Pettitts Animal Adventure Park
Set in the heart of the stunning Norfolk Broads, Pettitts Animal Adventure Park offers a fun day out for the whole family in Norfolk. Home to over 25 different species of exotic and domestic animals from around the world, such as Meerkats, Wallabies, Raccoons, Lemurs, birds and reptiles, the park is an animal-lovers heaven.
There are also plenty of rides for the older kids to enjoy such as the Crazy Caterpillar Rollercoaster, Bouncing Kangaroo Ride, Alice in Wonderland train, Safari adventure, Flying elephants, Mad Hatter’s tea cups, Pettitt’s railway and a pirate ship. You will also find plenty to keep toddlers entertained with three large play areas for them to explore. The park is open every day of the week Monday –Sunday inclusive from 10am – 5pm. Tickets are no longer available on the door so make sure to book online before you go.
5. The Norwich Mystery Treasure Trail
This whodunnit self-guided treasure trail is a wonderful activity that starts in the historic Cathedral District and will take you and your kids through the town looking for answers on local landmarks, signs and buildings, all the while edging closer to the answers. If you think you’ve got what it takes to solve the case, then begin by downloading your trail PDF which has an easy-to-follow route and hard to crack clues.
The journey is approximately 1.5 miles long and should take around 1.5 hours to complete, however, you can complete it in your own time and at your own pace, any day of the year. The organisers recommend the trail for kids aged 6+ so this mission would be perfect for a weekend away with the family. Discover Norwich in a novel way and be baffled by the mysteries which are sure to have young and old scratching their heads and smiling from ear to ear!
6. Bure Valley Railway
Riding the Bure Valley Railway has always been one of our favourite things to do in Norfolk. Running from Wroxham to Aylsham, the line runs through some of the county’s prettiest countryside, making stops in the villages of Brampton, Buxton and Coltishall. The line came into existence all the way back in 1864 as part of the East Norfolk Railway Act.
The last passenger train ran in 1952, but it wasn’t until 30 years later that the line was closed after a period of being a freight-only link. In 1986, it reopened as the narrow-gauge miniature railway it is today. Steam locomotives take you from place to place, and we love the view from the bridge of the River Bure, which is of course what the railway takes its widely known name from.