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Apple day fun and take your pick of half-term museum activities

10 October 2018

Families from across Norfolk are invited to attend the first of many activities planned for October at museums across the county.

It’s that time of the year again, the most awesomely-autumnal event is almost upon us – Apple Day at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse.  This year’s event on Sunday 14 October promises to be a corker as always, with a packed programme designed to keep the whole family entertained, come rain or shine.

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Chairman of Norfolk County Council's Communities Committee, said:  "Apple Day is always a popular event in the Gressenhall calendar and it's a great day out for people of all ages. There are also plenty of opportunities to visit Norfolk's many museums throughout half-term, with lots of exhibitions and special holiday events planned."

Celebrate the season’s quintessential fruit with all things apple, including the chance to taste the best juices and ciders from the region’s producers.  Experts from The East of England Apple and Orchard Project will be on hand to answer questions, offer tips and identify any mystery varieties.  Local artists and craftspeople will be demonstrating their skills and selling their goods throughout the day.

For the more adventurous there’s a chance to channel their inner-William Tell (minus apple on head) with Grey Goose Archery - hear about the history of archery before having a go at hitting the bullseye.

Animal lovers can explore the traditional working farm, including seeing the resident Suffolk Punch heavy horses working in the fields. Wild Touch wildlife rescue will also be on site to talk about their work and to introduce some of their friendly critters.

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse is open 10am – 5pm, no booking required. Adults £15 (concessions. £14.25), young people (4-18): £12.75,family ticket (1 adult and all children): £39.60, family ticket (2 adults and all children): £52.80. Free entry for Museums Pass holders, Friends of Gressenhall, children under 4, carers accompanying people with disabilities and Children’s University members.

Further information can be found on the Norfolk Museums website and Gressenhall’s Facebook page.

And for half-term...

From magical moments at Norwich Castle to circus skills at Time and Tide, head along to the Norfolk Museums this half-term to discover costumed characters, crafts, trails, tours, talks and more!

Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery are asking Could it be Magic? from 18 – 27 October (excluding Sundays) with a changing programme of activities, including creating healing potions and patronus charms and a chance to find out about local witchcraft and superstition. In addition to this daily offer the team will be inviting local makers, players and artists to the Castle for special events:

  • Spellbinding Skies on 18, 19 and 20 October, 10.30am – 3.30pm – step into the wonderful world created by artist Kate Munro and cast a spell for good.
  • Neil Paris performs The Story of Magic! on 23, 24 and 25 October, 11.30am ,12.30pm, 2pm and 3pm – discover our magical history with a special one-man performance.
  • Animal Magic on 23 and 25 October, 10.30am – 12.30pm and 1.30 – 3.30pm – Natural History Curator David Waterhouse reveals the magical and mythical world of animals.
  • Pop on your dancing shoes and head to the Silent Magic Disco on 26 and 27 October, 11.30am, 12 noon, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2pm, 2.30pm and 3pm – grab your headphones, hit the dancefloor and listen to the DJ spin magic music for three generations!

Activities included with normal admission, no booking required.

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse is embracing the spooky side of October with their Cats, Rats, Bats and Witches activities from 18 – 28 October, 10am – 5pm (4pm on Sunday 28 October) - explore the past when our ancestors believed witches were all around them causing mischief and ill fortune, and learn the steps they took to counter this wickedness.  Take the trail around the museum to discover the witches’ lost creatures and create your own ‘familiar’ to take home. Activities included with normal admission, no booking required.

Roll up, roll up to Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth to explore their exciting new exhibition, ‘Circus! Show of Shows’ the inspiration for their special event The Magic of Circus on Wednesday 22 October, when they’re inviting visitors to clown around with plenty of dressing-up and juggling! Print to the People will also be on hand to help bring people’s circus poster designs to life, 11am – 4pm, activities included with normal admission. On Friday 26 October the museum will be hosting their annual Herring Day, celebrating the history of the silver darling and the fishing industry that put Great Yarmouth on the map.  Meet costumed characters, find out more about the marine biology around the Norfolk coastline and peruse the stalls of local craftspeople. Activities included with normal admission, no booking required, 11am – 4pm.

The Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell will be celebrating Norwich Science Week with two events inspired by innovative items in their collection. On Tuesday 23 October witness the restored Jacquard loom in action, and discover links between the machine’s punch cards and early computing. On Thursday 25 October discover the scientific processes employed in early photography, before exploring their latest exhibition Picturing the Past a partnership with Picture Norfolk and Let’s Talk. Events and exhibition included with normal admission, no booking required.

If you’re brave enough to enter the Halloween House of Horror then head to Strangers’ Hall on Wednesday 24 October, 10.30am – 3.30pm and 28 October, 1 – 4pm. Explore this historic house and discover the dangers that lurked around every corner for unsuspecting residents of the past.

Help Ancient House celebrate Black History Month this half-term with a special trail around the museum and discover the black history hidden in unexpected objects. To find out what the Romans did for us head to the Discovery Tuesday – Romans event on 23 October, 10am – 1pm to meet costumed characters, handle real museum objects and make and taste Roman food. Explore the links between Thetford and Nagawa, Japan in the Jomon and Obsidian Knapping Workshop on 27 October, 10:30 – 12 noon and make your own obsidian pendant to take home. On Saturday 27 October the museum’s talented teen history club will be offering a Queer History Tour, exploring LGBTQ+ objects and stories in the museum’s collections, including a look at the exhibition they’ve recently curated – Pride of the People: Helping History out of the Closet, tour included with admission, booking essential on 01842 752599.

Lynn Museum will be marking the centenary of World War One with a First World War Family Event Day on 25 October, 10am – 1pm, head along to meet costumed characters, handle real historical objects and learn a new craft. Event included with normal admission, no booking required. The museum’s Animal ABC exhibition, which runs throughout half-term, is a family-friendly journey through the collection with a focus on the animal kingdom.

If the autumn weather has given you a chill then be sure to visit Elizabethan House Museum in Great Yarmouth on 22 October for Mystic Medicine to learn about tried, tested and terrifying historical remedies from the past – a real go-to guide for how not to seek medical relief! 11am – 4pm, included with normal admission, no booking required.

For a two-for-one museum special head along to Great Yarmouth on 24 October for the Double Bumper History Day: Furry Familiars and Wicked Witches! at Elizabethan House Museum and Tolhouse Gaol, 11am – 4pm, special admission of £3.50 per person gives entry to both sites.

For a spooky seaside treat visit Cromer Museum on 24 October for Creepy Cromer! to make a Halloween decoration and hear local tales of ghosts, ghouls and ghastly goings-on. 10am – 3.30pm, included with normal admission, no booking required. For even more spooky tales book a place on the Ghosts and Legends Walk on 28 October to hear local tales whilst discovering Cromer's atmospheric sights. 6.45 – 8.30pm, advance booking essential on 01263 513543, Museums Pass: £3, adult: £4

For opening times and admission charges for the Norfolk Museums visit For further details on events head to, or the individual museum’s Facebook pages.

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