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Top Places To Visit In Norfolk With Kids Right Now

Now that England is opening up a little more, there are more options of things to do in Norfolk with kids. Whether you live within driving distance or are perhaps visiting the area whilst camping or even glamping in Norfolk, here you will find lots of current details on the following places. Including where to eat on site, toilet facilities, guidelines, what facilities are closed and other useful information. Alternatively, here is an extensive list of the best beaches in Norfolk including many quiet beaches in the height of summer!

  • Fairhaven Woodland & Water Garden (Norwich)
  • Pensthorpe Natural Park (Fakenham)
  • Holkham Estate (Wells-next-the-Sea)
  • Sealife Hunstanton (Hunstanton)
  • Amazona Zoo (Cromer)
  • BeWILDerwood (Norwich)
  • Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens (Great Yarmouth)

For more details, go straight to your preferred attraction by selecting it from the contents table or scroll down.

Things to do in Norfolk with kids.

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden (Norwich)

Fairhaven’s 130 acres of woodland with its own water garden and inner broad is perfect for a relaxing family day out. You can either take a leisurely walk and witness the UK’s finest collection of candelabra primulas or opt for a pleasant boat ride (which runs April through October).

Website: https://www.fairhavengarden.co.uk/

Opening Dates: OPEN

Where to eat: Tea Room (takeaway)

Toilets: The garden toilets – the ones on the car park are available for use.  They aim to open one of the garden toilets mid-July.

Accessibility: 

  • lots of benches
  • Primula boat is wheelchair accessible
  • mobility scooters for free use

Other useful information: 

  • Free parking
  • Doggie poop scoop provided

Guidelines: Fair Haven Gardens are delighted to be welcoming visitors back to the garden and have introduced a few simple measures to keep people safe.

  • Entry to the garden is allowed via pre-booked arrival times only, with a maximum of 15 guests per half an hour time slot.  Please don’t miss your half an hour window, they aim to make the system as fair as possible for everyone, staff included!!
  • When you arrive, if another family are getting out of/into their car close to where you have parked, please just wait until they are safely away until you exit your vehicle.
  • Please have your order number ready to present at the ticket hatch upon your arrival – you don’t need to print it out as we can look you up from the order number on the side edge of the pdf tickets.  It helps to speed things up a little, and saves a few trees!!
  • The Gardens have adopted a one-way system around the garden with 3 routes available.  Please stick to your chosen route direction, you can always shorten or extend your walk using the appropriate joining points.
  • You can use benches at your own discretion, but please wait if it is already occupied.

We have had to make some temporary closures…

  • The garden toilets – the ones in the car park are available for use.  We aim to open one of the garden toilets mid-July.
  • Bird hides will be closed until further notice.
  • The Tearoom inside areas, including toilets (other toilets available on the car park).  Take away drinks and food will be available via hatch service from the groceries window under the veranda.
  • The boat trips will not be running until further notice.
  • The Gift shop space will be used as an entry corridor and not as a shop to ensure there is reduced risk of lingering (hooray I hear parents, and partners of trinket hoarders cry!)

Pensthorpe Natural Park (Fakenham)

Experience a thrilling family adventure by exploring 200 acres of woodland walks, nature trails, and stunning gardens of Pensthorpe Natural Park. You can also join Hootz the owl on his magical journey, explore the WildRootz and sculpture trail, or experience the Hootz House indoor adventure.

Website: https://www.pensthorpe.com/

Opening Dates: (10 am–4 pm, closed on Mondays)

Where to eat: 

  • Courtyard Cafe(takeaway and outside seating available only)
  • We have added in additional picnic benches and general seating around the site. 

Toilets: 

  • There are five sets of toilets, one by the entrance, consisting of ladies (6 cubicles and baby changing) and gents (2 cubicles and one urinal). 
  • A set in cafe, WildRootz, Hootz House, and 5 cottages, all with baby change facilities.
  • Baby changing facilities will be available in the toilets that we have open.

Accessibility: 

  • A small number of wheelchairs are available for loan free of charge and are on a first come, first serve basis
  • The main entrance is situated on the ground floor with step free, level access
  • Seating is available throughout the park
  • The paths around the site are a mix of loose gravel, tarmac, grass and boardwalks. Flooring buildings are tiles, carpet or wooden flooring and impact flooring is used in Hootz House
  • There are 7 wheelchair accessible toilets. Two can be found near the public toilets by the coach drop off point, the third is situated within the cafe, the fourth in WildRootz, fifth and sixth in Hootz House and seventh within 5 cottages.

Other useful information: 

  • Free parking
  • We welcome trained assistance dogs, a water bowl is available on request.

Guidelines:

  • We are limiting the number of visitors per day so that we can safely manage people and ensure physical distancing. We recommend you book your visit early.
  • All visitors, including members and children under 3 years old, will need to pre-book tickets online to ensure that we can safely manage numbers. 
  • Tickets are free to members and children under 3 years old. 
  • Tickets will be available to book online from Wednesday 17th June for members. If you wish to visit us from 1st July onwards, online booking will be available from Friday 26th June.
  • You will need to book your tickets by midnight the day before your visit, subject to availability.
  • We have added in additional picnic benches and general seating around the site. Some have been moved to adhere to social distancing measures so please do not move any during your visit.
  • Our bird hides are open with signage reminding visitors to socially distance, and we ask that you help us maintain these standards and respect other visitors using the hides too.
  • We would prefer contactless payments, wherever possible.
  • Face coverings are not mandatory however if you feel more comfortable wearing a face mask then please feel free to do so for your own peace of mind. 
  • Protective screening has been installed at contact points, including the admissions desks and café tills.
  • There will be floor markings to demarcate 2m distances so we can manage queues.
  • We’ve added additional signage to remind staff and visitors of physical distancing and handwashing guidelines.
  • Additional hand sanitiser points have been implemented around the park.
  • There will be a one-way system through the admissions area, for visitors to enter and leave the park.
  • We have implemented some one-way routes around the park where pathways are narrow.
  • Our gift shop will have a one-way system so you can browse and enjoying shopping with peace of mind.
  • Our daily bird feed talk and other warden talks will not take place in order to prevent overcrowding.
  • Pensthorpe Explorer tour will not be running. 
  • Any hands-on activities such as our stamp trail and pond dipping will not be running, however we will have a treasure hunt trail available when we reopen and a new trail coming at the beginning of July, where you can meet some of Pensthorpe’s wildlife characters.
  • We are not selling bird feed for now, but please be rest assured that our birds are well fed by the wardens, so please don’t bring bread or any of your own food for them.
  • Our Wader Aviary will remain closed.
  • Our outdoor and indoor play areas, WildRootz and Hootz House, both remain closed.

Holkham Estate (Wells-next-the-Sea)

Holkham is a special place where a stunning coastal landscape meets one of England’s great agricultural estates. It is a haven for wildlife, walkers, and anyone seeking to connect with the uplifting power of nature.

Visitor attractions include the superb 18th-century Palladian hall, ‘Field to Fork’ Experience, and Walled Garden.

Website: https://www.holkham.co.uk/

Opening Date: Daily basis from 10 am to 5 pm.

Where to eat: Courtyard Cafe(10am-5pm)

Toilets: 

Accessibility: 

  • complimentary ticket policy for carers
  • accessible toilets for disabled visitors
  • two wheelchairs which are free to borrow
  • staff trained in First Aid, Mental Health First Aid, Disability Awareness, Autism Awareness, and Dementia Awareness

Other useful information: assistance dogs are welcome

Guidelines:

  • The green spaces of the park will be available for you to enjoy, as will the toilet facilities for your convenience. 
  • Our Cycle Hire offering will also be operating on the 21st, 27th, and 28th June.
  • However, to begin with the Hall, Walled Garden, Holkham Stories Experience, The Courtyard Café and Gift Shop, Ropes Course, Boat Hire, and Woodland Play Area will remain closed.
  • Food and drink concessions within the park will be available on some days.
  • As part of our safety policy, we ask all customers to adhere to strict social distancing, use the sanitiser provided and pay by card across the estate at all times.
  • We do hope you will choose to visit Holkham Park, and that when doing so you will respect our staff and their right to be given safe social distancing in carrying out their jobs. 
  • Please follow their directions as they manage a new way of working. We also ask you to respect other visitors by maintaining appropriate social distancing and being aware of tighter spaces during your visit. 
  • And please remember to appreciate and respect the surrounding wildlife, take your litter home with you and keep your dogs on leads at all times within the park.

Sealife Hunstanton (Hunstanton)

From TripAdvisor: Hunstanton SEA LIFE Sanctuary is a state-of-the-art marine aquarium taking visitors on a memorable undersea odyssey filled with amazing close encounters with sea creatures of astonishing variety and meet our friendly team of Rainforest Rangers who are ready to show you some of their jungle beasties and creepy crawlies. 

From FB page: Visit Rescued Seal Pups, Penguins, Otters, Sharks and so much more!

At Hunstanton SEA LIFE Sanctuary experience close encounters with jungle beasties, snakes, and lizards from the rainforests of the world. As you dive into the underwater world you will get closer than you ever imagined to sharks, seals, otters, penguins, and Ernie the Giant Sea Turtle.

Website: https://www.visitsealife.com/hunstanton/

Opening Date: July 4th, tickets will be on sale starting June 24th

Where to eat: restaurants, cafe facilities in some attractions (takeaway, reduced menu) 

Toilets: There are toilets and baby changing facilities within the centre.

Accessibility: 

  • We do not offer a separate disabled rate but if you are registered disabled you will be entitled to admit one free carer with you.
  • SEA LIFE Hunstanton is fully buggy accessible however, unfortunately they do not have any cloakroom facilities for you to be able to store belongings, buggies or pushchairs on site.

Other useful information: 

  • shops, restaurants, theatres, and guest service buildings – open with new capacity limits
  • for the wellbeing of all our creatures at the centre, we can only allow assistance dogs into the centre.

Guidelines:

  • Please make sure you have made your booking online. This includes pre-paying and selecting the date and time slot of your visit.
  • Please be ready to make on-site payments using a ‘contactless’ bank card, rather than cash.
  • If recommended or required by local health authorities, please bring a suitable face mask/covering. Where necessary, face masks will also be available at our attraction should you require one
  • We have significantly reduced the daily ticketed capacity of our attractions to allow for social distancing and the best possible guest experience.
  • Guests will notice new information signage informing them of key safety messages and instructions.
  • In addition to our employees undergoing daily non-invasive temperature checks, we may also require our guests to participate in such checks as a condition of entry.  Any person who is displaying a high temperature associated with fever will not be permitted into the attraction.  Please contact Guest Services should you have any concerns.
  • We have introduced new arrangements for the application of social distancing within queues. Clear markers or signage have been installed in our attraction entry, restroom, and dining queues to help guests keep a safe distance from one another.  Our employees will monitor the queues to ensure that social distancing is being maintained.
  • We have also introduced new arrangements for the application of social distancing in our cafe areas. Tables and chairs have been reconfigured to ensure enough distance between seated parties, and in areas where strangers are seated together, seats will be removed or blocked to ensure there is a suitable gap between guests.
  • Guests viewing entertainment, in the form of live shows or theatrical scenes, will be separated from the performances and each other in accordance with social distancing requirements.
  • We have introduced new capacity limits for our indoor experiences and facilities (for example shops, restaurants, theatres, and guest service buildings).  These restrictions will help ensure there is plenty of room for social distancing.
  • We have adapted or suspended some experiences and facilities to ensure that social distancing is suitably maintained. For example some games, interactive experiences, play areas, or touch pools and props have either been modified or suspended to ensure guest safety.
  • We have installed new hygiene screens at many of our service counters and food stalls to help physically separate guests from employees.
  • We have revised some of our standard operating protocols in order to reduce the proximity of our employees to guests. 

Amazona Zoo (Cromer)

Amazona Zoo aims to provide a fun day out for the family and features animals from Tropical South America. Although the Jungle Tumbles play area is closed right now, you can still enjoy the Feline Forest and meet the 200 animals who call Amazona Zoo home.

Website: http://www.amazonazoo.co.uk/

Opening Dates: 22nd June-Members, 25th June-Public (10.00 am – 5.00 pm)

Where to eat: Jungle Cafe (limited takeaway menu only which will be available from a service hatch to the side of the Café. Card payments only.)

Toilets: toilet blocks available

Accessibility: 

  • There is disabled access at Amazona Zoo. 
  • All designated concrete paths are wheelchair friendly, but bare in mind the gravel paths can be rocky. 
  • All areas are wheelchair accessible, with slopes and ramps to the main areas.
  • The Zoo offers concessions to carers, when accompanying disabled people.
  • Carers receive free entry* accompanying a full priced paying disabled person.

Other useful information:

  • Free parking
  • Only assistance dogs are allowed
  • Zoo Map is available on the website

Guidelines:

  • You MUST pre book from our website to be able to visit.
  • Please keep your group to a maximum of 6 people, this is in line with the latest Government policy.
  • You must stay in the one way system that has been put in place. All the animals will be visible from the route we have set.
  • The only animal section that must remain closed at the moment is the Tropical House.
  • To open safely and protect our staff and visitors, we will not be doing any feed talks, talk times, animal experiences or presentations – this is to stop crowds gathering in the Park.
  • Indoor and outdoor play areas must remain closed for now.
  • Due to current Government guidelines and Covid-19 we are taking no birthday party bookings.
  • Gift shop is open – Only six people are allowed in the shop at one time.
  • We are taking card payments only throughout the zoo.
  • You will notice some perspex sections at some of the animals enclosures, this is just an added precaution we have taken and the animals can still be seen.
  • You don’t need to wear a mask, but we respect your right to if you want to. 
  • We have provided additional hand sanitising stations all around the Park, by gates and toilet blocks. Do make use of handwashing facilities.

BeWILDerwood (Norwich)

BeWILDerwood offers exciting outdoor adventures in their magical jungle bridges and treehouses. Family activities include marsh walks, zip wire rides, boat trips, and even storytelling!

Website: https://norfolk.bewilderwood.co.uk/

Opening Date: 18th July (10:00 am – 5:30 pm, last admission 4:00 pm) Online ticket sales open. Ignore the “We are temporarily closed! ” and click on Book to choose your date from July 18th.

Where to eat: 

  • Cosy Cabin and Munch Bar
  • you can bring your own food, plenty of picnic areas

Toilets: 

  • near boat ride area
  • near snack shack
  • near munch bar

Accessibility: 

  • They have a certain amount of disabled play equipment and facilities. 
  • The upper woodland area, where the play structures are located, is naturally sloping and needs to be assessed as to individual needs. 
  • There’s an alternative route that you can use to enter the park – our Treacherous Trail

Other useful information: 

  • Wild Explorer Map is available on the website
  • Only guide dogs are allowed
  • The Bizarre Bazaar shop will be open

Guidelines:

  • New queuing systems have been put in place where appropriate.
  • We have decreased our visitor capacity to minimise large crowds and the need for queueing.
  • Increased deep & general cleans. There will also be staff members roaming the woods to regularly wipe down equipment, such as handholds and doors.
  • Antibacterial hand sanitiser dispensers can be found all over the park. Antibacterial hand sanitiser will be present by the structures, shop, ticket offices, toilets, and catering outlets.
  • All staff working in the park will have had their temperature taken at the beginning of their shift and to confirm they are healthy, happy and safe to work.
  • PPE has been provided for The Twiggle Team to protect them and you!
  • You are welcome to use your own masks and hygiene products if you so wish
  • Picnicking areas have been spaced farther apart.
  • Some areas/structures may have a one-way system or limited capacity, so please look out for the signs and guidance.
  • We have made the decision to not offer face painting in the park at the current time.
  • We will still be offering free craft making at the Big Hat. 
  • We encourage visitors to use contactless where possible, to reduce risks and minimise contact.

Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens (Great Yarmouth)

From the website: Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, near Great Yarmouth, have 250-year-old landscaped gardens, play areas, and superb willow pattern garden. Renowned for its collection of Asian Mammals, birds, and reptiles in the pleasantly landscaped grounds and gardens of Thrigby Hall. Attractions for all age groups include Snow Leopards, rare tigers, gibbons, deer otters, crocodiles in a swamp house, aviaries, waterfowl, gift shop & cafe. Tropical & forest houses give good all-weather cover.

Website: https://www.thrigbyhall.com/

Opening Dates: 1st July-season ticket holders, 4th July-public (every day from 10 am – 5 pm, last entry will be at 4pm)

Where to eat: 

  • Cockatoo Café will offer takeaway options, with limited outside seating available only.
  • Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnics and picnic blankets/chairs.

Toilets: 

  • Toilets are available.
  • Baby changing facilities will be available in the toilets.

Accessibility: 

  • paths and walkways around the park are predominantly pushchair and wheelchair friendly
  • access to the park from the car park is wheelchair and pushchair friendly
  • the cafe and shop have access ramps
  • we have disabled toilet facilities

Other useful information:

  • The gift shop will have a one way system in place.
  • The Swamp House and Forest House will be closed.
  • All play areas will be closed until 4th After that the 3d Maze and undercover soft play areas will remain closed.
  • Public Feed talks are currently suspended.
  • Free Parking
  • Discounts have been temporarily suspended whilst we are operating with restricted visitors and online booking only. This includes: Spree vouchers, complimentary tickets and £1 off online booking.

Guidelines:

  • We are limiting the number of visitors per day so that we can safely manage people and ensure physical distancing. We recommend you book your visit early.
  • All visitors, including members and children under 3 years old, will need to pre-book tickets online to ensure that we can safely manage numbers. (Tickets are free to members and children under 3 years old.)
  • Visitors are only permitted to enter Thrigby Hall at the arrival time slot they have booked however the arrival time does not affect the length of time you can stay for your visit.
  • We would prefer contactless payments, wherever possible.
  • Face coverings are not mandatory however if you feel more comfortable wearing a face mask then please feel free to do so for your own peace of mind.
  • Protective screening has been installed at contact points, including the entrance kiosk, shop and café tills.
  • We’ve added additional signage to remind staff and visitors of social distancing and handwashing guidelines.
  • Additional hand sanitiser points have been implemented around the park.
  • Regular cleaning will be carried out across the entire park.
  • Please avoid touching any of the glass surfaces around the enclosures.
  • There will be a one way route around the park. There will also be separate entry and exit lanes at the main entrance for visitors to enter and leave the park safely.

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