Our Favourite Fun Days Out In Norfolk For Families 2024

Norfolk is a beautiful county known for its vast sandy beaches, historic towns and of course, the Norfolk Broads, one of the UK’s 15 national parks.

There are also so many lovely days out in Norfolk for families. And actually – I’m smiling as I’m writing this post because we have had done loads of great family things in Norfolk.

I grew up in the neighbouring county of Suffolk and often visited some of these attractions in Norfolk for kids.

I won’t say how old I am but some of these family-friendly attractions in Norfolk have been around for over 40 years.

One of them even dates back to 1909 and even now is one of my kids favourite things to do in Norfolk! Can you guess which one it is? Find out further down!

This is our list of family days out in Norfolk and only includes the very best things to do in Norfolk for kids.

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Norwich Market at twilight.

These are the best days out in Norfolk for families

We’ll start with things to do with kids in Norwich first as you’ll either be staying here or passing through it at some point during your stay in Norfolk.

Norwich is a lovely city.  It has managed to maintain its historical charm but has kept up with the times at the same time.

Norwich has been undergoing a regeneration with lots of trendy bars and restaurants to be found in the Norwich Lanes.

If you happen to be needing a restaurant in Norwich, we can highly recommend Haggle (Lebanese food) and L’Hexagone (French bistro).

You can visit Norwich on a day trip from London. It takes just under 2 hours on the train.

And if you’re in Norfolk and looking to visit London on a day trip from Norwich, take a look our our London posts:

But back to Norfolk – here are some of our favourite things to do in Norwich with kids.

Norwich Castle

Norwich Castle is a great place to visit with kids and great to keep up your sleeve if you need rainy day activities in Norfolk with kids.

We visited whilst the castle was undergoing renovations so some of the areas were closed (the castle keep which re-opens in 2024) but we still found that there was loads to see and do.

Our kids picked up a booklet for kids at the entrance and were able to answer questions in it by finding clues around the castle.

There is a surprisingly large natural history section with an area dedicated to animals found in Norfolk.

Boy looking at a notice board showing what's on at Norwich Castle with Norwich Castle in the background.

Museum of Norwich

We love a good museum so next on our list of places to visit in Norwich with kids was the Museum of Norwich.

This is where you will learn about the history of Norwich over the years. It used to be the fabric trading centre of the UK.

Today it is still a thriving market town with one of the oldest and largest outdoor markets in the country.

There are some interactive exhibits and a little play area for kids towards the end of the museum.

Kids in Napoleon hats sitting at a table writing at the Norwich Museum.

Norwich Market

Norwich Market is the largest and oldest outdoor market in the UK. It was first established by Norman invaders in the 11th century so it is over 900 years old.

I remember it being all about traditional goods. A butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker. Today it is almost all about street food. And great street food at that.

There is so much choice. Our kids loved going round trying a few different cuisines from around the world and finishing with the most ridiculous (but goooood) brownie in a cookie.

Two kids ordering food at a market stall in Norwich Market.

Paddleboarding in Norwich

You don’t have to get out into the countryside to go paddleboarding. You can paddleboard right in the centre of Norwich.

The River Wensum runs right through the city centre and you can paddleboard (or kayak).

There are also lots of tributaries running to the Norfolk Broads so you can even get on your paddleboard in the middle of the city and head out into the countryside.

There are quite a few places to hire a paddleboard in Norwich if you don’t have your own.

The Rivergarden in Thorpe St Andrew or The Red Lion Bishopgate were just a couple that we came across.

Or you can book a paddleboard tour here.

This is one of the most fun things to do in Norfolk with kids when the weather is good and of course, it’s a great work out.

If you’re into water sports then you might want to visit Whitlingham Adventure where you can sail, kayak, paddleboard and windsurf.

Kids paddleboarding on the Norfolk Broads on a sunny day.

Indoor markets in Norwich

Visiting an indoor market is a great idea if you’re looking for indoor things to do in Norfolk with children.

There are actually lots of indoor markets in Norwich but one that we loved is St Gregory’s Antiques and Collectibles in an old church.

The kids will love delving into this absolute treasure trove of old toys and books, jewellery and collectibles.

See also this guide to markets in Norfolk.

Antiques market inside an old church in Norwich.

Other things to do with kids in Norfolk

Now that we have covered Norwich, here are some of our favourite days out for families in Norfolk.

BeWILDerwood in Norfolk

BeWILDerwood is the biggest attraction in Norfolk for kids (and probably one of the biggest in the UK too). It is just such a cool place for kids with treetop walkways, giant slides, storytelling all in an enchanted woodland.

We have visited BeWILDerwood a few times now with the kids at different ages and they have loved it every time.

There’s enough for little ones (they have their own play area) and for older kids. Ours last went when they were 12 and there was still enough there to entertain them but I would say that is the upper end of the age limit.

The only other thing I would say is that you really need to visit on a dry day. It is entirely based outside in the woods so there’s not much escape from the rain.

Boys looking at a notice board detailing events at BeWILDerwood in Norfolk.

High Lodge in Thetford Forest

Thetford Forest is managed by Forestry England and is a great day out for families in Norfolk.

There are so many things to do at High Lodge in Thetford Forest that it is best to just direct you to their website to see what’s going on.

In brief, there’s:

  • Go Ape
  • Back to Wilderness
  • Archery
  • Adventure Golf
  • Playgrounds
  • Forest Bathing

You can see here for the full list of activities available. Some of them will need to be pre-booked.

You can also find the Gruffalo on the Gruffalo Trail. He celebrates his 25th birthday in 2024.

It’s one of our favourite places to visit with kids in Norfolk.

If you would like to spend more time here or use it as your base to explore Norfolk, we can highly recommend Forest Holidays. We find Forest Holidays to be a great alternative to Center Parcs.

Young boy in a bright orange top hugging a large wooden gruffalo statue.

Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure

Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure just outside of Norwich is one of the best dinosaur days out in the UK!

As well as the many life-sized dinosaurs there are dino themed adventure rides, a dino themed indoor play area and a splash pad which is great in the summer if you need to cool the kids off.

You can easily spend the whole day here and is an absolute must for dinosaur lovers.

Young child entering the Lost World A-Mazing Adventure at Roarr Dinosaur in Norfolk - one of the best dinosaur days out in the UK.

Norfolk beaches

Norfolk has some of the best beaches in the UK, especially on the north Norfolk coast.

You’ll find huge expanses of sand so even in the busy summer months, you’ll not have trouble finding a spot.

Along the 90 mile stretch of Norfolk coastline there are a variety of different beaches so there’s something to suit everyone.

Holkham beach is our favourite for long walks on a big sandy beach. The water here is also very calm due to the gently sloping sand so it’s great for little water babies.

Next door at Wells-next-the-sea you’ll find colourful and very photogenic beach huts. Hunstanton Beach is great for fossil hunting and then there are the traditional seaside towns of Great Yarmouth and Cromer.

Don’t miss out on the beaches if you’re visiting Norfolk in the winter. We’ve had many a bracing winter walk along the beach followed by a lovely warming roast in a pub. This is one of our favourite kinds of days out in Norfolk in the winter.

We highly recommend The Victoria at Holkham Beach for this.

See here for our top recommended beaches in Norfolk for families.

Family on family-friendly beach in Norfolk looking at colourful beach huts at Well-next-the-Sea.

Norfolk Broads

The Norfolk Broads is one of the UK’s National Parks and is best explored in a boat.

Hiring a boat for a week and slowly exploring the enormous network of waterways can be a great UK family holiday.

There are lots of pubs that you can stop off for a drink or a meal at.

If you can’t spend a week doing this, you can also hire boats for day trips. See Broads Tours for more details.

The Norfolk Broads are also great for other watersports such as paddleboarding or kayaking as we mentioned above.

River cruiser on the Norfolk Broads.

Seal Colony in Norfolk

There are several places to see seals in Norfolk. The main places to see seals in Norfolk are:

At lot of the time the seals are lying around on the beach and you can see them on foot but the best way to see them is by boat.

You can take boat trips (Beans Boats and Bishops Boats) from Blakeney harbour and Morston quay. These trips last around one hour and must be booked in advance.

Two kids waiting for a seal boat tour at Blakeney Point on the north Norfolk coast.

Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach

The attraction I mentioned at the beginning of the post that is over 100 years old is Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach.

Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach has lots of rides to choose from but their traditional wooden rollercoaster is what people come to Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach for.

Dating back to 1932, it is one of only two wooden rollercoasters still operating in the UK.

This is certainly one of the oldest but still one of the best family-friendly activities in Norfolk.

The old wooden rollercoaster at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach in Norfolk.

Hippodrome Circus

Also in Great Yarmouth is the Hippodrome Circus where you can enjoy good old fashioned circus fun.

It was built in 1903 and is the last remaining permanent circus in the UK. It has even been called One of the Seven Wonders of the British seaside by the Daily Telegraph.

There are various events on through the year but their Christmas show is the ultimate time to go. It’s one of the best Christmas days out in Norfolk.

We were treated to a couple of hours of good old fashioned circus fun with a few modern twists.

Amazingly, the stage turns into a swimming pool at the end for an amazing water spectacular!

Aqua show at the Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth.

Visit a SeaLife Centre in Norfolk

There are SeaLife centres in both Great Yarmouth and Hunstanton. Each of them offer a slightly different experience.

At SeaLife Great Yarmouth kids will love the immersive VR experience, ocean tunnel, rockpool experience and sleepovers!

At SeaLife Hunstanton you can see native Norfolk seals and learn about their seal rescue programme.

Kids looking at fish in an aquarium.

Visit a country estate in Norfolk

There are a couple of really love country houses in Norfolk that are worth visiting with kids.

Blickling Estate

Blickling Estate is a beautiful Norfolk National Trust property with sprawling grounds. Through the year they hold fun events including Classic Ibiza which is great for older kids. There’s also family camping available.

If you haven’t got your National Trust membership, we highly recommend getting a family one. Especially when visiting Norfolk.

The other Norfolk NT properties worth visiting are:

Holkham Hall

Holkham Hall & Estate is on the north Norfolk coast and has lots going on. There are special events through the year. This year they are hosting a Bear Grylls Gone Wild festival. There is a high ropes course, a woodland play area, boat hire, cafes and more.

Holkham Beach is part of the Holkham Estate and one of our favourite beaches in Norfolk.

Sandringham Estate

Sandringham Estate is a Royal residence with beautiful walks in the grounds and a play area as well as a variety of places to eat.

Watch out for their seasonal event at Christmas (Luminate) which is hugely popular.

Blickling Estate in Norfolk on a sunny day.

Learn to ski in Norfolk

Kids can learn to ski on the outdoor artificial ski slopes at the Norfolk Snowsports Club just on the outskirts of Norwich. As well as skiing, they have snowboarding and tubing.

There are a number of different slopes and some jumps. There is also a cafe.

Wroxham Barns

Wroxham Barns is a fun place to visit with kids in Norfolk where they can spend the day on jumping pillows, go-karts, mini golf, truck ride and more. Then there are the animals on the Junior Farm to visit.

Make sure to check out what’s on during the school holidays as there are usually fun family activities.

Steam Trains in Norfolk

There are a number of great steam train experiences in Norfolk.

Each of them run specials through the year including Santa Trains at Christmas. Mid Norfolk Railway also runs the popular Polar Express train ride experience.

See also – Wells and Walsingham Light Railway which is the smallest light railway open to the public.


Thursford offers an interesting day out at their steam engine museum where you’ll find the world’s largest collection of steam engines and some vintage fairground rides.

Thursford is best visited at Christmas though when they put on one of the biggest festive extravaganzas in Norfolk. See here for details on their:

Enchanted Journey of Light, Christmas Spectacular and Santa’s Magical Journey.

Kids looking at a winter display at Santa's Magical Journey at Thursford in Norfolk - one of the best days out in Norfolk for families at Christmas.

Places to stay in Norfolk with kids

If you’re looking for lovely family holiday accommodation in Norfolk, we recommend Forest Holidays. They have lovely log cabins (some with hot tubs) in Thetford Forest.

We hope that you got some great inspiration for visiting Norfolk as a family. If you have any suggestions for more things to do in Norfolk with kids, please drop us a line and let us know.