Beat the winter blues with fun February half-term events at Norfolk Museums
05 February 2018
Children across Norfolk can enjoy half-term fun as museums around the county put on special events and activities to bring history to life.
Sites at Norwich, Thetford, Great Yarmouth, Gressenhall and King’s Lynn will all be offering half-term activities for families.
“The range of activities on offer really illustrates the breadth of specialist staff knowledge and exhibits our award-winning museums service offers to families. So whether you fancy being a King, Pirate or a Viking, there is something on offer to suit,” said Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Communities Committee.
Norwich Castle will be holding court during half-term with its Kings, Queens & Dirty Rascals week, which will complement the new exhibition launching on 9 February, Square Box on the Hill. Visitors can learn about the history of the castle with Olivier nominated actor Neil Paris as he performs a Right Royal Drama, and try not to get told off in the Mind Your Manners for Scallywags immersive drama activity. Youngsters can also learn to defend the realm with TV Fight Director Keith Wallis (of English National Opera and Amazon’s Vikings fame) and Ed Young, as they demonstrate medieval fighting techniques. Crafty activities include making a Kings and Queens of England timeline, building a castle hat and crowning themselves King or Queen.
At the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell, follow the cocoa bean trail around the museum on Valentine's eve and make a chocolate box or Valentine's card for your loved one. Then in the evening enjoy a bit of chocolate history and chocolate tasting, from 6 to 8pm. Booking essential: 01603 629127.
Valentine’s Day sees Strangers' Hall re-open after its annual deep clean! Celebrate the Feast of St Valentine by joining the household as they prepare for a sumptuous meal, with demonstrations, object handling and craft activities. The love will be in the air from 10.30am to 3.30pm.
At Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse a big Spring Clean will take place during half-term week Monday to Friday. Lend a hand to help rejuvenate the museum ready for the 2018 season and get a chance to see history up close.
In Great Yarmouth, the Time and Tide Museum is featuring the photography of Tony Ray-Jones which captures a humorous yet melancholy 1960s England, alongside works by photographer Martin Parr. Only In England is showing until 15 April.
There is also still time to take a photograph for entry into the Only in England Photography Competition, which has a 16 and under category. Find out more details here: bit.ly/2F8vKMu
More of a seafarer than a landlubber? Navigate a route to Time and Tide on Monday 12 February from 11am to 3.30pm for an adventure into the world of Pirates, Pistols & Gold Doubloons and learn the skills you'd need to survive a life at sea.
And on Valentine’s day, the venue hosts a children’s workshop about the elusive Norfolk legend Jack Valentine where youngsters can make their crushes a card to celebrate as well as enjoy a treat along the way, 11am to 3.30pm.
Time and Tide also hosts a taste of seaside summer family fun with their Sunshine in Winter day. Enjoy the fun of the seaside with the warmth of indoors on Friday 16 February, 11am to 3.30pm.
At Ancient House Museum in Thetford the Vikings are coming. Trek down for a family trail and help Sweyn Forkbeard gather his Viking horde for the invasion of Thetford to win a prize. 50p plus museum admission between 10 – 17 February, 10am to 4pm.
If trails aren’t your thing, you can meet costumed characters and handle real Anglo-Saxon objects at Ancient House’s family event, the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings Discovery Day. Strike your own Anglo-Saxon coin and try your hand at blending Viking cheese, on Tuesday 13 February from 10am to 1pm.
Over in Kings Lynn children can join the free Spot the Scarab Trail, hunting for hidden scarab beetles around Lynn Museum to win a small prize! Saturday 10 – Saturday 17 February, 10am to 5pm.
Also at Lynn Museum, handle real Ancient Egyptian artefacts, create bead necklaces and hear Ancient Egyptian myths from a professional storyteller at this free family event. Drop in any time on Thursday 15 February, 10am to 1pm.
For more details on all events and activities, plus the opening hours and admission charges, visit www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk