7 things every child in Norfolk should do before they are five

People enjoying the summer sunshine on Cromer beach.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Cromer beach is a perfect place to take young children - Credit: Archant

Norfolk is certainly not short of things for families to do. 

And for young children, there are countless opportunities to make their very earliest memories.

Visitors return to Banham Zoo. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Young children love seeing the animals at Banham Zoo - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

With the launch of the '50 things to do before you’re 5' app, here's a look at what Nelson's County has to offer.

A trip to the seaside

It goes without saying that Norfolk is blessed with a truly glorious coastline.

At any of the area's beautiful beaches, children under five can experience playing in the sand and splashing in the water for the very first time. 

The busy Cromer beach on the hottest day of the summer so far. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Cromer beach is a perfect place to take young children - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020


You may also want to watch:


Family favourites include Wells, Cromer, Sheringham and Great Yarmouth, all of which have facilities close by. 

Take a woodland wander 

Most Read

Dominated by countryside, Norfolk boasts all sorts of wonderful locations to enjoy nature. 

A real jewel in the crown is Thetford Forest, where youngsters can collect acorns and pine cones while spotting an array of wildlife. 

A new trail has been added to Thetford Forest highlighting the heritage of the area. Picture: Marc B

Youngsters can have lots of fun exploring the woodland of Thetford Forest - Credit: Archant

The main visitor centre, High Lodge, also has a great selection of activities for young children to do. 

Enjoy a delicious picnic 

The beauty of picnics is that they can be enjoyed anywhere, but why not head out to one of the county's picturesque parks?

You'll be spoilt for choice in Norwich, with Waterloo Park, Chapelfield Gardens and Earlham Park to name a few.  

Friends Tracie Hart and Jennifer Cooper with their children in Waterloo Park

Families enjoying a picnic in Waterloo Park, Norwich - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

Plantation Garden and the popular Whitlingham Country Park also get worthy mentions. 

Walk with the animals 

Who doesn't love an opportunity to see some of the world's most exotic animals or get up close to farmyard favourites? 

Norfolk's most notable zoo is Banham, with its majestic big cats and mischievous monkeys. You can learn about the wide range of creatures during amazing displays and feeding times. 

Visitors return to Banham Zoo. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Young children love seeing the animals at Banham Zoo - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

Meanwhile, farm parks such as Melsop allow visitors to interact with and feed roaming animals - if their tongues aren't too wet for you!

Soak up some history

Museums offer young children the chance to experience and see things they usually wouldn't during their everyday lives. 

In the city centre you can hardly miss Norwich Castle which includes - among countless other things - a slab of limestone with the footprint of a dinosaur. 

Autumn in the city, Norwich Castle Photo: Brittany Woodman

Norwich Castle in the sunshine - Credit: Archant

Great Yarmouth rich maritime history is on display at the Time and Tide, while Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse is a more interactive day out.  

Look up at the stars

A starry night sky must be one of the best sights going - and it doesn't cost a penny. 

Simply by looking up, children under five can appreciate the awe and wander of the world around them. 

Starry night sky with pine trees silhouettes.

There are plenty of opportunties for stargazing in Norfolk - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Kelling Heath, Wiveton Downs and Great Ellingham have previously been recognised as some of the best places in the country to discover the dark and enjoy starry skies.

We're going on a bug hunt

Another activity that can be done pretty much anywhere outdoors, bug hunting allows toddlers to discover some of the mini beats which are lurking all around them. 

Norfolk has a huge selection of nature reserves such as Sculthorpe Moor, while all kinds of creatures can be found in rockpools on the shoreline. 

The Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve. Picture: Ian Burt

Sculthorpe Moor is a great place to try and find creepy crawlies - Credit: Ian Burt

You could even create a bug box to be left in your garden. Several hours later, use a magnifying glass to see clearly what critters have stopped by. 

The '50 things to do before you're 5' app is available now and can be downloaded for Android or iOS devices. 



Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter