The lighter way to enjoy Summer – FREE or low cost ideas!
Do you start the summer holidays by packing the days with treats and adventures and then run out of steam by week two as the cost gets overwhelming? Keep the fun running for longer with these summer savers.
FREE family fun
Summer of Dinosaurs: If your children are dino-crazy, you’re in luck! Dinosaurs are everywhere you look this summer and most events are totally free to enjoy. Take the T-Rex trail, visit Dippy or see some walking dinos in action – full information is in our Jurassic Summer of Fun post.
Head Out Not Home: Sunday afternoons (2pm to 5pm) 25th July to 5th September. Throughout the summer holidays you can enjoy free, live entertainment dotted around the city on Sunday afternoons. Head out and follow the sound of music, dancing and laughter.
Free tours of Norwich Sculpture Park: Sunday 29th August and Sunday 5th September, 2.30pm. Join an expert guide for a walking tour of the Sculpture Park and see works by Henry Moore, Cristina Iglesias, Antony Gormley and Elisabeth Frink. Places must be booked in advance. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 01603 593199
Redwings Horse Sanctuary: Redwings Aylsham is welcoming visitors every day until the end of August. The centre is open between 10.30am – 4pm daily. Paddock walks close at 3pm but the cafe and gift shop remain open until 4pm. Meet friendly rescued horses and donkeys. Redwings, Aylsham, NR11 6UE and Redwings, Caldecott, NR31 9EY. Due to Covid, you must book a visiting slot in advance. Donations are gratefully received.
Norwich Millennium Library:This year’s Summer Reading Challenge theme is Wild World Heroes– keep the kids entertained with a packed programme of online events throughout the holidays. See the schedule here.
History-inspired family activities: Norwich Historic Churches Trust is hosting 2 free family days at St Martin at Palace Church Centre on Thursday 5th August and Sunday 12th September. More details here.
Norfolk Day ideas: Norfolk Day may have passed but we put together a post to help you get the best from our beautiful county on any day of the year. There are 10 ideas for family fun – mostly free! Have a look here.
Kids eat free: Here’s where you can dine out and save this summer with free meals for children.
ASDA – Through August children can eat free when an adult spends £4 in the cafe. The offer is available to children aged 16 and under.
Tesco – Every child will get a free meal when an adult spends £3.50.
Morrisons – Children eat free in the café with every adult meal purchased over £4.50.
The Oak Bar & Terrace (The Oaklands Hotel, 89 Yarmouth Rd, Norwich NR7 0HH) – One child eats free (children under 12, eating from the children’s menu) per paying adult. Available 8am to 6pm (Breakfast, lunch or an early tea!) Monday – Friday.
Hungry Horse Pubs – At all Hungry Horse pubs, children can enjoy a free breakfast throughout the summer holidays. The deal is available daily from 8am-12pm and is valid when an adult spends £2.99 or more on breakfast.
Bella Italia – From now until 5th September, children can eat for £1 with any adult main course. Available Sunday to Friday (NOT Saturday) excluding bank holidays. You must visit the website first, and enter your email address, to receive a code in order to use this offer.
LOW COST summer savers
Twighlight Hours: Visit Norfolk Museums one hour before closing and you can get yourself a Twilight Ticket. Norwich Castle is reduced to £2, Museum of Norwich £2, Strangers’ Hall £1.50, Time and Tide £2, Cromer Museum £1.50.
Explore the Outdoors
We live in such a beautiful city and are spoilt for choice when it comes to parks, gardens & nature reserves. Lots are free to enjoy or have a small entry fee. Have a walk, bike ride or take a picnic…Make it more exciting with nature bingo, a hunt or doing some leaf rubbings – Lots of free ideas available with a quick internet search.
Here’s just a few places to explore: The Broads – Ranworth and Salhouse have all been recommended by Mumblers Strumpshaw Fen Whitlingham Country Park Thetford Forest Holt Country Park Taverham Mill
Playgrounds We have so many parks and playgrounds to visit in Norwich. There is a list HERE, if you visit any then take a snap and send it to email@example.com I’ll post it on the listing for that park so other Mumblers can see what is there before they visit.
Walking Trails & Treasure hunting
Geocaching The worlds largest outdoor treasure hunt – visit the website or download the free app. Mumbler tip:
“Be prepared that the app locations aren’t always bang on so you may have to do a bit of hunting when you get within the General area of a cache”
NW, April 17
The Walking in Norfolk page has LOADS of suggested walking trails. Each one has a PDF with details, including suitability and length.
Home based Activities
Board Games /Jigsaws – Dig out some board games or jigsaws and enjoy some old-fashioned fun.
DIY Pamper/Spa Day – Foot soaks, facemasks, nail painting, cucumbers on the eyes, hand massage, what a treat!!
Slime Making Mumbler Tip:
“We’ve had success with pva glue and Aldi Almat washing gel . ( we used the non bio one!) They put the pva in a bowl then gradually added the almat in tiny amounts keep adding and stirring till it starts to form the slime!!!”
KR, July 17
Scrap Booking – With so much dinosaur fun going on in and around Norwich this Summer, there will be plenty for your little ones to put in a school holiday scrap book. Keep leaflets/tickets etc for them to stick in, photos, maps & drawings, should keep them busy a while!
Karaoke / Disco dancing – turn on some tunes, get the hairbrush microphones out and sing and dance to your hearts content.
Olympics – With sports days done, the Mini Mumblers will be well used to sporting contests, so set up a mini Olympics. Obstacle courses, egg and spoon races, balls in buckets, the list goes on.
Pizza Making – Fun and gets a meal sorted at the same time. Either make your own base or buy ready made/pitta bread for a quick option.
Origami – Lots of patterns/instructions available online for free. Patience required!
Junk Modelling – Empty the recycling box and get creative. Space rockets, robots, wherever your imagination takes you!
Do GIANT drawings – I have had a giant roll of paper from IKEA for yonks and it’s still going. £4 well spent. You could draw round each other, create some story paths of your favourite stories (where you draw a path and then draw parts of the story in order down the path), practise letter/number writing or just do mark making.
Indoor Treasure Hunt – this would require a bit of organising but could keep them searching for a while! Choose written clues for older ones and picture clues for younger ones.