Norwich has plenty to offer visitors of all ages. It’s ideal city for families to visit because there are so many kid-friendly things to do. Plus, not far away you have the lovely beaches of the North Norfolk Coast and the peaceful nature of the Broads National Park.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, first, lets take a look at the best things to do in Norwich with kids.
Photos coming soon.
Best Things to Do in Norwich With Kids
There are plenty of family-friendly attractions in Norwich so you won’t have any difficulty keeping the kids entertained. It’s also nice that many of the options on this list are easy on your budget too.
#1 Visit Norwich Castle
While Norwich Castle may not look like one of the castles from a fairy tale, it is still a fun place to take children. There are interactive displays that will teach them about the castle’s history which goes all the way back to William the Conqueror. They can also take a tour of the dungeon and battlements.
There is also an the exhibition area next to the keep, they have a diverse collection of fine art, including costume, textiles, jewellery, glass, ceramics, teapots, and silverware. There are also displays about Boudica and the Romans, Anglo Saxons and Vikings, and Egyptians as well as a Natural History Gallery.
Note: Norwich Castle is currently undergoing a £13.5m project to transform the castle keep. The Norwich Castle: Royal Palace Reborn Project will cause some planned closures. Get more information here.
#2 Explore Whitlingham Country Park
Whitlingham Country Park is a peaceful haven just east of the city centre. We enjoy the 2-mile (approximately) walk around the larger lake (broad). It’s ideal for kids as it’s relatively flat and not too long.
Kids will also enjoy the water sports and wildlife watching. During the warmer months, you can rent a kayak, canoe, paddleboard, and more. There is a bird hide on the north side of the broad for bird-watching. It’s also fun to do orienteering at Whitlingham, there is a map you can download for free here.
When the kids get hungry, there is a café by the car park with outdoor seating or you can bring your own food to have in the picnic area. While there is no admission charge to visit Whitlingham Country Park, there is a small charge for the car park. It goes towards the upkeep of this lovely spot.
#3 Enjoy a Show at Norwich Puppet Theatre
The Norwich Puppet Theatre is not your typical live performance venue. Inside a converted medieval church, they host family-friendly original shows that play in Norwich before touring the UK and internationally. It’s an excellent way to introduce children of all ages to the magic of theatre.
If your child is interested in learning more about theatre, crafts, and puppets, they also offer various activities, workshops and masterclasses. There are also adult events for time when you don’t have the kids.
Check the schedule for the Norwich Puppet Theatre here.
#4 Paddle Down the Wensum
The River Wensum winds around the Norwich City centre. For the most part, the water is calm so it’s ideal for beginner paddlers and kids, just be sure to follow safety guidelines and wear life vests. You can choose from kayaking, canoeing, or even stand up paddling boarding. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy the scenery and get the kids to burn off some energy.
#5 Visit the City of Norwich Aviation Museum
Kids are fascinated by airplanes and the City of Norwich Aviation Museum (CNAM) is the prefect place for them to learn more. It was started by a group of aviation enthusiasts back in 1977 and it has grown into quite an interesting collection of planes.
You can see a massive Vulcan bomber and some aircraft which have flown from Norfolk airfields. There are exhibits where you can learn more about the local presence of the American 8th Army Air Force, the RAF Bomber Command, the role of women in aviation, and more.
Get more information about CNAM here.
#6 Go to Eaton Park
Eaton Park is 80 acres of greenspace with several attractions that kids will love. They have a crazy golf course, a miniature train, a skate park, a boat pond, a bandstand, and sporting facilities. It is free to visit Eaton Park but there are charges for the different activities.
The Crazy Golf course has 18 holes and there is also a putting green. While they do require all children to be accompanied by an adult, if you don’t want to play there is a free seating area available. Mini golf is good for kids’ hand-eye coordination and they will even burn off a little energy. They will learn to be respectful of others and it is a good introduction to the game of golf. There is also a pitch and putt 18 hole course where you can play footgolf.
Eaton Park’s miniature railway has two different lines to choose from. The Heritage Track is the original elevated track, which has parts dating back to the 1960s, and The Mainline is a longer ground level track introduced in 2006. In 2020, they introduced an accessible carriage that can carry wheelchair users, assistance dogs used by blind people, prams, and pushchairs. It is run and maintained by unpaid volunteers. Check their operating schedule and special events here.
The boat pond in Eaton Park was built in 1928 and is thought to be one of the finest in Europe. It holds 960,000 gallons of fresh water. While it was first used for traditional ‘vane’ yachts, today you can see model boats of all kinds. The Norwich Model Boat Club uses the ponds for its events. Even on events days, anyone can sail their model boat on the pond, as an area will always be left for public use.
You can play all types of sports at Eaton Park. They have tennis courts, table tennis tables, a basketball court, a petanque terraine, croquet greens, and a five-a-side football pitch. It’s a great park for walking, running, or biking too. Every Sunday at 9:00 am they have a free 2K Junior Parkrun for 4 to 14 year-olds. You need to register in advance, get more information here.
There is also the Eaton Park Café inside the Grade II listed rotunda that serves teas, coffees, sandwiches, snacks and local ice creams. They have plenty of seating indoors and in the garden behind.
#7 Go Skiing, Snowboarding, or Tubing
You might think it’s not possible to do winter sports in Norwich. While it’s not very often that Norwich gets snow, there is one place in the city that you can ski, snowboard, or go tubing all year long – the Norfolk Snowsports Club (previously called the Norfolk Ski Club). It was founded back in 1968 and has become one of the largest member run ski and snowboard clubs in the country.
The whole family can try (or practice) skiing, snowboarding, or tubing in a fun and safe environment. No prior experience is necessary as all sessions are conducted under the supervision of experienced instructors and helpers. Kids need to be 5 to ski, 6 to go tubing, and 8 for snowboarding. They do offer lessons too if you want to learn more.
When you need a break, check out their fully licensed bar (Alm Bar) where you can grab a drink and bite to eat. You can watch all the action or just relax.
Get more information about Norfolk Snowsports here.
#8 Play Laser Tag
When you play Laser Tag it’s like you’ve being transported into a video game. Players use infrared-emitting light guns to shoot at designated targets in the arena and on opposing players. Like a video game, a score is calculated and a winner is crowned.
It’s a great family activity as anyone 5 years old or older can participate. It’s a good workout too.
You can play Laser Tag in Norwich at Quasar.
#9 Go Bowling
Bowling is another family-friendly game. You don’t have to be a skilled bowler to have a good time. Most bowling alleys can add bumpers over the gutters so even younger kids can join in on the fun. If the kids get tired of bowling, some venues have arcade games to keep them entertained. When someone gets hungry or thirsty, they will bring the food and drinks to your lane.
There are three bowling alleys in Norwich. If you have young children, you might want to go to Superbowl UK since it also has a soft play centre. Alternatively, there is Hollywood Bowl or Bowling House.
It’s best to book bowling in advance so that you don’t have to wait for a lane. Check the websites before you go as they sometimes offer online only specials.
#10 Go Roller Skating
Roller skating was the cool thing to do back when I was young and it seems to be making a come back. If you want to go roller skating in Norwich head to Funky’s. They have a large maple wood rink and a huge adventure play area.
This skating rink is perfect for all skill levels. The floor’s surface is designed to aid all levels of skaters and there is a hand rail around the entire rink if you need it. At certain times, they have family-friendly Roller Discos with a live DJ and light shows.
The play area covers three floors. It has giant tunnels, slides, zip wires, cargo nets, ball pits. and more. It’s designed for children ages 2 to 11 no taller than 150 cm. Parents must supervise all children using the adventure play area.
If you or the kids get hungry during your visit, they serve both hot and cold food. They even have some healthy options too.
Get more information about Funky’s here.
#11 Go Rock Climbing
Kids aged 6 and up can go rock climbing in Norwich at the Highball Climbing Centre. It’s a fun full-body workout that promotes strength and stamina. Rock-climbing requires concentration, problem-solving, and determination. It’s actually calming because it requires focus.
You don’t need any prior experience as novice adults and those under 18 must be supervised. There are trained members of the Highball that can help if you pre-book. If you are over 18 and a competent climber, you can complete a registration process to supervise other climbers.
All the climbing will work up an appetite, so you can get some food at Betacafe. They source their ingredients locally to make sure everything is fresh and have options for those that are gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, or lactose intolerant.
Get more information about Highball Climbing Centre here.
#12 Go Trampolining
You would never think that jumping could be this much fun. Trampolining gyms let you bounce from trampoline to trampoline and even jump off the walls. Kids won’t even realize they have gotten a great workout too.
In Norwich, you have two trampolining options – Gravity and High Altitude. Gravity also has rock-climbing and High Altitude has a soft play area for kids under five. Both have areas for adults to watch the kids jump where you can get snacks and drinks.
#13 Attend an Event at the Forum
Right next to St. Peter Mancroft, you will find one of the most modern building in Norwich, The Forum. Inside you will find the Norfolk and Norwich Millenium Library, a Pizza Express, and more.
They also hold all kinds of free events throughout the year. Some of the most popular ones for kids include:
- Norwich Games Festival
- Norwich Science Festival
For a Limited Time: Dippy at Norwich Cathedral
Now until 30 October 2021, you can visit Dippy at Norwich Cathedral. Dippy is a cast from a fossilised Diplodocus skeleton from the USA who is visiting Norwich from his home at the London Museum of Natural History. While Dippy is the star of the show, there is lots more to see. There are also other dinosaurs-themed events around the city like the GoGo Discover TRex Trail.
More Ideas for Kids Near Norwich
As you can see there are plenty of things for kids to do in Norwich. Some kids may also enjoy ideas from our blogs posts on the best things to do in Norwich, free things to do in Norwich, and things to do in Norwich when it rains.
If you are open to doing things outside of Norwich, you will have even more options. Check out our recommendations for things for kids to do in Norfolk. These options are all within a 90 minute drive.
What kind of things do you like to do with kids in Norwich?