Half-term in Norwich

February is a difficult month; not quite winter, not quite spring but usually quite dark, damp and cold. But not to worry, ignore the weather as February half-term in Norwich will brighten your spirits.

Norwich can always be counted on for interesting things to keep all ages occupied in the school holidays.

Let’s start with a toddler disco. A what? Yes a disco for toddlers. The Garage provides a fantastic venue for pre-school children who love to dance (ages 18 months to four years) and for only £3 it’s affordable too (Friday 17 February, 10.30am). For older children (seven years to 11 years) there’s Scooby’s Street School (Monday 13 February and Tuesday 14 February, £50) where for two days the kids will be put through their paces learning street dance routines. Do you have a budding Bruno Mars or Beyoncé?

And finally from The Garage, a three-day Actors and Musicians’ Academy takes place for young people aged between 14 and 25 from Monday 13 February. This is well priced at £30 (10.30am to 3.30pm) and great to see an activity aimed at this age group.  Working with experienced industry professions, the course covers physical, rhythmical and musical theatre.

We’re so lucky to have a Norman castle slap bang in the middle of Norwich! This February take advantage of their Rowdy Romans theme by joining in a host of activities included with entrance to the museum. Actor Neil Paris will be performing (most days), The Roman Empire in 20 minutes plus you will be able to find out about Roman weapons and tactics, Roman food, manners, and hygiene and follow a Roman trail around the museum. Plus there’ll be a Gladiators! Roman Fight Demonstration. Join fight expert Keith Wallis to explore the fighting style of the gladiators, and how it differed from the Roman Army Demonstrations.

There’s also a host of activities at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell; getting creative with torn textiles, a collection of button badges and making jewellery. However whether there are special things going on or not, the museum is an absolute treat for families, with loads of interesting stories about Norwich and plenty of hands-on objects to play with – adults will never get bored either!

Norwich Puppet Theatre offers some magical performances, get a group together to see; Goldilocks (Friday 15 February), Gingerbread! (Thursday 16 February) or A Real Alien Adventure (Saturday 18 February).

Norwich Cathedral has a special Spring into Spring Family Fun Day on Thursday 16 February (10.30 to 3.30pm) and costs only £2 for the over fives (under-fives free). There’ll be crafts, storytelling and music. No need to book, just turn up!

When was the last time you went to the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts? Or have you never been? If this is a first time visit you’re in for a magnificent treat. Entry is free for the permanent collection where  you can see up, close and personal art from around the world from names you might be familiar with such as  Picasso. Yet this remarkable collection is exciting whether you know about art or not because it also includes exhibits from far flung places around the world; masks, ceramics, ceremonial objects and loads more (and some of it is so tiny you have to wonder how it was ever found).

The building itself is spectacular – an incredible design, so make a visit if its only for the fact Avengers: Age of Ulton was filmed here! During half term there’s usually some holiday studio dates. On Thursday 16 February there’ll be Children’s Holiday Studio – Pattern and Decoration (10.30 to 3pm, £18). The studio will include all materials used and children will be able to develop their skills and explore materials and techniques with a practising artist.

For details of all of these lovely things to do and more go to the What’s Happening section of www.visitnorwich.co.uk. To keep up to date with Norwich life sign up to the Norwich, the city of stories e-newsletter at www.cityofstories.co.uk.


By Melanie Cook of VisitNorwich