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Fun for all the family with August activities at Norfolk Museums

Norfolk County Council's Museums Service has talks, tours, trails, exhibitions and events to keep everyone in the family entertained this summer holiday.

From mysterious treasure to secret vaults under the city; a village at war to art inspired by the coast, there's plenty to see and do across the county throughout August.

Norwich Castle

Until 5 September (excluding Sundays) – Treasure!

Make your way to Norwich Castle this summer to discover Treasure! – a hoard of exciting crafts, activities and trails inspired by the mysterious 17th century painting, The Paston Treasure. 10.30am – 3.30pm. Activities are included with admission and change daily.

Exciting bonus events include:

4,11,18 & 25 August and 1 September – Science Shorts

6,7,13 & 14 August and 3 & 4 September – The Paston Puzzle

30 August – Track Your Tree

An interactive investigative drama, and a chance to explore your family’s history in with the Norfolk Record Office. Activities included with normal admission.

Exhibitions

The Paston Treasure: Riches & Rarities of the Known World

Created in partnership with Yale Center for British Art. The exhibition explores the glitz, glamour and global appeal of the famous Paston family's 17th century collection, with many of the displayed objects reunited for the first time in 300 years.

Visible Women

Brings together work from the modern and contemporary collection by women artists, including Barbara Hepworth, Peggy Somerville and Bridget Riley.

John Sell Cotman in Norwich and London

Small, but perfectly formed, this exhibition explores the last two decades of the famous artist’s life through beautiful watercolours and rarely seen drawings.

Treasure! at Norwich Castle

The Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell

Open Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10am to 4.30pm

FREE admission until 5 August thanks to the Norwich Freemen

Find out about life in a fine city, through the industries that historically made it England’s second most important urban area after London, and the people, famous and not, who shaped its path.

25 August – Undercroft guided tours

The Museum of Norwich sits on a secret. Beneath it lies the largest vaulted medieval undercroft in the city where both mercantile goods, and prisoners were kept. Learn more about this incredible space with a guided tour at 11am, 12pm, 1.30pm or 2.30pm. The tour is included with admission, but booking is essential. Call 01603 629127 to book.

NEW – Time-travelling escape game!

See the undercroft in a completely different light with our exciting new offer. Book your place through History Mystery at www.historymysterygame.com/escape-game-museum-of-norwich

Tuesdays to Saturdays, until 1 September – Hare We Go!

If you’re seeking out the GoGo Hares in Norwich, be sure to stop by the museum to see their pair of leverets and take part in the Hare We Go! trail and craft activities, until 1 September, from 10am-4.30pm.

Strangers’ Hall

Open Wednesdays to Friday, 10am-4pm, Sundays 1-4.30pm
FREE admission until 5 August thanks to the Norwich Freemen

Home to merchants and mayors for centuries, Strangers’ Hall is an architectural gem hidden away in Norwich’s bustling heart. Explore the grand Tudor great hall, the calm surroundings of the Elizabethan-style garden and the fine oak panelling of the Georgian dining room.

5, 12 & 19 August and 2 September – Theatre in the garden

When the sun’s out, there are few nicer places to be in Norwich than in Strangers’ Hall’s 17th century style garden. Join the team on Sundays throughout the summer for traditional games and tours. During August you can watch pop-up mini theatre too. 1pm-4.30pm.

8-31 August, Wednesdays to Fridays – Celebrate a Queen’s visit
Join the Stranger’s Hall team for crafts and a trail, to commemorate Queen Elizabeth I’s visit to the city in 1578. On Wednesdays you can write a welcome speech, make a ruff and learn to dance – essential requirements to entertain royalty! Activities run from 10.30am-3.30pm.

16 August, 11am and 1pm – Walking tours
To learn more about the local places connected to the famous Queen, book a place on our walking tours, starting at the museum. Booking essential – call 01603 493625 / 495897.

Gressenhall Village at War

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse

Enjoy a summer of discovery with over 50 acres of unspoilt Norfolk countryside to explore, including an adventure playground, traditional working farm and the evocative stories and objects in the Voices from the Workhouse displays.

There are family activities planned for every day of the week until 5 September.

Daily until 12 August – A Walk in the Woods

Discover more about the trees of Gressenhall with our daily nature-themed activities.

13 August-5 September – Food Glorious Food

Help us prepare for an extra special Teddy Bears’ Picnic. You're sure of a big surprise! Activities run 10am-5pm and are included with normal admission, no booking required.

26 and 27 August, 10am-5pm – Village at War

Travel back in time to the Village at War and discover how Norfolk helped to feed the country during WW2. Stroll around military and civilian vehicles, meet costumed characters from both the British and American forces, enjoy 1940s music and live radio shows from ‘Timescape’, and see just how far the rations can be stretched, with cooking displays in the farmhouse kitchen.

Special event ticket prices apply. Free for Norfolk Museums Pass holders, £5.00 entry for those in 1940s dress (only available on the day of the event). Further details and ticket link.

Make friends with a mammoth

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse shares a site with the Norfolk Collection Centre, home of the most complete skeleton of a Steppe Mammoth ever found. Known as the West Runton Mammoth, this animal would have stood taller than a double-decker bus and weighed twice as much as a modern African Elephant.

14 & 16 August – Special tours

Discover more about the mammoth on our special tours 11am-12pm, 1.30-2.30pm and 3pm-4pm. Booking is essential, further details here.

Alasdair Willett as the Games Master

Thetford’s Ancient House Museum

The musem owes its existence to one of the town’s most celebrated residents, Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, son of the last Maharajah, Duleep Singh.

Remembering the Maharajah

This connection is explored in a special exhibition at the museum, centred around Casualty of War: A Portrait of Maharaja Duleep Singh by renowned contemporary artists, The Singh Twins. Exhibition included with normal admission.

New trails to explore

Explore the museum in a different way with a changing programme of trails. Trails are 50p, plus normal admission, and include a small prize for participants.

31 July-4 August – Chocks Away!

7-11 August – Dinosaurs!

14-18 August – Handling Handmade

21-25 August – Tales of the Riverbank!

Discovery Days

Join us for our special summer Discovery Days. The days run from 10am – 1pm and cost £2 (£1 for Friends of the Museum and Norfolk Museums Pass holders) and include museum admission.

14 August – have a go at spinning, handle ancient objects and strike your own Anglo-Saxon coin.

28 August – join in the fun and explore toys and games through the ages.

Drawn to the Coast at Time & Tide, Great Yarmouth

Lynn Museum

The museum in the centre of the town is home to a treasure trove of objects that tell the stories of thousands of years of history. From a hoard of golden coins found in a cow bone, to the fascinating spectacle of ‘Seahenge’ – a 4,000-year-old timber circle preserved in the same way as The Mary Rose.

Animal ABC

This lovely new exhibition offers the chance to explore the animal kingdom, from ammonite to zebra, and runs throughout the summer holidays.

Thursdays, 2-30 August – Family-friendly events

Discover the variety of the museum’s collection at their weekly family-friendly events, covering prehistory to Victorians via the Romans. Event activities included with normal admission, no booking required.

Time & Tide Museum of Great yarmouth Life

Great Yarmouth

Time and Tide Museum resides in a converted Victorian herring curing works and explores the town’s history from windswept sand bank to the bright lights and bustle of modern times.

Drawn to the Coast: Turner, Constable, Cotman

Some of Britain’s greatest landscape artists such as JMW Turner, John Constable and John Sell Cotman were inspired by the coastline around Great Yarmouth. Their work, alongside other notable artists, is explored in the museum’s summer show – Drawn to the Coast: Turner, Constable, Cotman. Open every day and included with normal admission.

Become an artist for the day

Inspired by the works on display in their latest exhibition, Time and Tide Museum will be hosting a series of hands-on art sessions this summer. Activities run 11am – 4pm and are included with normal admission. No booking required.

8 August – Draw(n) to the Coast

17 August – Seaside Sculptures

29 August – Become Turner for a Day!

Elizabethan House Museum

A beautiful example of a wealthy merchant’s home with wood panelled rooms and richly decorated ceilings. It was here, allegedly, in November 1648 that the fate of Charles I was decided.

13 August – A Civil War Conspiracy

Find out more about a common soldier's life during the English Civil War, try on his armour and see the different weapons he would have used.

20 August – An Audience with a Queen

If you’ve ever wanted to ask Anne Boleyn what she had for breakfast, or how long it takes her to get ready, here’s your chance. Activities run 11am – 4pm and are included with admission. No booking needed.

The Tolhouse

Began life as the grand house of Great Yarmouth merchant, but spent most of its years as the home of pirates, robbers and murderers as the town’s gaol. Today the museum explores the darker side of the town’s history. Take our special trail to find out Does the time fit the crime?

Double Bumper History Days

Enjoy entry to both The Tolhouse and Elizabethan House with fun activities and costumed characters planned across the two sites. £3.50 per person, 11am – 4pm, activities included with admission, no booking required.

8 August – Prisons and Parlours

27 August – Rags and Riches

Cromer Museum

Cromer

Cromer Museum was once home to families of fisher-folk who relied on the sea for their survival. Find out about the history of fishing in the area, the richness of local geological and fossil finds, the lasting legacy of Clement Scott’s ‘Poppy Land’, and explore the gallery dedicated to the work of pioneering female photographer, Olive Edis.

7 August – Roll into the Stone Age

Get hands-on with prehistoric objects. Bring along your own finds and help to create a Stone Age wall painting.

21 August – Monsters and Minibeasts

Meet monsters and mini-beasts with a creepy-crawly handling session and a chance to learn about the monsters of prehistory.

Guided walks

If you’re feeling energetic, we also run a fantastic series of guided walks. Advance booking essential on 01263 513543, £4 per person, £3 for Norfolk Museums Pass holders. Summer walks include:

11 August – Sheringham Park archaeological walk

26 August – Explore Cromer’s history

For opening times and admission charges for the Norfolk Museums, visit www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk.

Heritage and history in Norfolk

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