17 things to do with kids on a rainy day in Norfolk

Days out, Family

Posted by Elianne Reed on 17th June 2021

The impressive county of Norfolk is known for its stunning countryside and miles of beautiful coastline. While a holiday here should be filled with lots of fresh air and adventures, sometimes the weather lets you down! 

If the heavens open during your stay, take a peek at our top all-weather places to take the kids to keep them nicely entertained during rainy days in Norfolk. The indoor choice need not be the second-best choice when there are so many fun things to do either as a family or with the grown-ups.

Come face to face with playful seals, feel like a giant as you traipse around miniature worlds, or if you're feeling brave, pull on your wellies and splash through puddles in a nature park that's stunning come rain or shine.

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If you are searching for the perfect place to snuggle up in wet weather, find holiday inspiration in our collection of cottages in Norfolk. From wood burners to spa facilities, we've got a wonderful range of cottages where you'll welcome the chance to stay in and relax. 

Norfolk cottages


Aquariums

Sea Life Great Yarmouth

Sea Life Great Yarmouth

Rainy-day activities in Norfolk don’t get much better than metaphorically diving into the depths of the ocean to discover the myriad bright and beautiful inhabitants which live below the waves. 

At Sea Life Great Yarmouth you can get nose to nose with some of the most diverse creatures from our oceans, including blacktip reef sharks, a green sea turtle and cheeky Humboldt penguins. With an underwater tunnel, sea life talks, animal feeds, interactive exhibits and an adventure quiz, you’ll forget about the rain falling outside as you become fully immersed in the wonders from under the sea.

Where is it? Great Yarmouth

When is it open? 9.30am 4pm every day, however, this can vary throughout the year. Please see website for details.

How much is it? Prices start from £9.57 per child.

Stay nearby: Tidal Sands, Caister-on-Sea | Sleeps 6


Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary

Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary

Aquariums are one of the best indoor activities in Norfolk and there are several to choose from! If you want to see seals, though, head for Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary - Norfolk’s only seal sanctuary that is open to the public. 

Meet the menagerie of orphaned and poorly pups as they are rehabilitated for release, as well as a spectacular array of other sea life, including piranhas, turtles, penguins and sharks to name a few of the more colourful characters! High-tech displays tell you all about the creatures, and little ones will love the rainforest section where they can hold creepy crawlies and slithering snakes.

Where is it? Hunstanton

When is it open? 10am – 4pm, however, this can vary throughout the year. Please see website for details.

How much is it? Prices start from £9.57 per child.

Stay nearby: Alexandra House, Hunstanton | Sleeps 8 + 2 dogs


Museums

RNLI Henry Blogg Museum

RNLI Henry Blogg Museum

This interesting museum is dedicated to Coxwain Henry Blogg who was the RNLI’s most decorated crew member and served for 53 years on Cromer’s lifeboats. 

Having saved 873 lives with the help of his crew, the RNLI Henry Blogg Museum is full of fascinating stories of both Blogg and other local heroes. There are interviews with members, lifeguard uniforms to try on and the exciting opportunity to learn morse code! Pop along to the pier afterwards to take in the fresh sea air.

Where is it? Cromer

When is it open? Times vary, please check website for opening times. 

How much is it? Admission is free

Stay nearby: Midway, Cromer | Sleeps 8


Image credit Instagram @museumbroads

Museum of the Broads

One of the benefits of this rainy-day attraction in Norfolk is that it is dog-friendly! The Museum of the Broads tells about the history of the Norfolk Broads which were actually formed by medieval peat diggings, rather than being a completely natural phenomenon.

Exhibits are housed within a collection of themed buildings and there’s even a chance to take a river trip on the Victorian steamboat, Falcon (if the weather allows!). There’s plenty of activities for families, including trails, dress-up and activities such as Morse code learning and knot tying. The playboat is sure to be a highlight!

Where is it? Stalham

When is it open? March to November: Sunday Friday 11am – 3pm. Closed Saturdays except for events. (See website for exact dates)

How much is it? Adult £6, child £2. 

Stay nearby: Cobble Barn, Hickling Green) | Sleeps 6 + 2 dogs

For more places to visit throughout this beautiful region with your four-pawed pal by your side, read through our guide to dog-friendly days out in the Norfolk Broads


Thursford Collection

Thursford Collection

Children will be more than excited to head to the amazing collection of steam engines and organs at the Thursford Collection. The Wurlitzer is played every day by a renowned organ player and there are fantastic shows put on throughout the year. 

The most famous is the Christmas Spectacular, where West End performers deliver an extravaganza of singing and dancing. Set in magical surroundings of mechanical organs and fairground carousels which children will delight in, there is also an enchanting winter wonderland in Santa’s Magical Journey if you can go later in the year.

Where is it? Thursford

When is it open? 11am to 4pm – last admission 3pm – Christmas hours vary

How much is it? Under 16 years free entry to the museum, excludes special events

Stay nearby: Lavender Cottage - Norfolk, Hindringham | Sleeps 4


Image credit Instagram @timetidemuseum

Time and Tide Museum

The fascinating Time and Tide Museum is a good place to visit if you’re caught locally in a shower. It is housed within a Victorian Herring curing works and showcases the story of Great Yarmouth all the way back to the Ice Age. 

The original smokehouse still harbours the aroma of smoked fish and hands-on displays and films bring history to life for visitors of all ages.

Where is it? Great Yarmouth

When is it open? Monday – Sunday, 10am – 4.30pm with last admission at 3pm. 

How much is it? Prices start from £5.50 per child

Stay nearby: Cygnet, Reedham | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs


Active days out

High Altitude

High Altitude

This adventure will most definitely get you brownie points – wall-to-wall trampoline courts, over 80 at the last count! You can join the kids (obligatory if they are under six) or watch them from the viewing gallery or coffee shop. 

Little ones can play in the soft play area and, for sporty children, High Altitude has a dodge ball court and slam dunk lanes to keep them occupied when the weather isn’t playing ball.

Where is it? Norwich

When is it open? 9am to 8pm depending on activity

How much is it? Prices start at £7.95

Stay nearby: Lime Kiln Farm, Norwich (5mls S) | Sleeps 8 + 1 dog


Pensthorpe Natural Park

Pensthorpe Natural Park

One of the top family days out, regardless of the weather, Pensthorpe Natural Park is also a wonderful choice for rainy days in Norfolk. 

Not only can you pull on your wellies and embrace the rain and puddles at the magical WildRootz outdoor area for adventure play, but there’s also an amazing indoor play area, Hootz House. The perfect place to burn off excess energy, there are rope bridges, tree towers and slippery slides, as well as soft play equipment for under 5s.

Where is it? Fakenham

When is it open? Hootz House runs various time slots, please see website for details.

How much is it? Prices start from £11.95 (online) per child

Stay nearby: Alethorpe Barn, Pensthorpe | Sleeps 4 + 1 dog


Roller skates

Funkys

When the weather’s bad outside, kids will love to warm up at Funkys – complete with a maple wood roller skating rink and amazing adventure play area over three floors, all ages of children will find something to do here. You can even join them on the rink if you feel you are up to it!

There are regular roller-discos which will take parents back to their youth – a live DJ and light show make this a really special day out. If children are hungry after all this activity, there is a large café on-site selling hot and cold food as well as drinks and healthy snacks.

Where is it? Norwich

When is it open? There are various time slots for different age groups. Please see website for details

How much is it? £7.75 for roller skating, although prices vary for different activities 

Stay nearby: Chapel Bridge Barn, Wymondham | Sleeps 6 + 1 dog


Railway journeys

Poppy Line

Poppy Line

Hop aboard the Poppy Line at Sheringham Station and discover the North Norfolk coast from the comfort of a glorious steam train. Whatever the weather, curl up under a blanket with a warm drink and take in the spectacular countryside outside including Kelling Heath and Sheringham Park to the south and an expansive stretch of the North Sea to the north. 

The journey stops at various stations where you can disembark and explore before heading back to base. Not only do you get a chance to see historic stations but there is a museum, an activity carriage and a museum signal box that kids will find fascinating.

Where is it? Sheringham

When is it open? Times and services vary.

How much is it? Please see website for details.

Stay nearby: Sheringham Mews, Sheringham | Sleeps 5


Wells and Walsingham Light Railway

Image credit Instagram @wellsandwelsinghamlightrailway

Wells and Walsingham Light Railway

When you need to recharge your batteries but still want something interesting to occupy the kids, head to the world’s smallest public railway: Wells and Walsingham Light Railway. You will wind your way through the gorgeous Norfolk countryside and through the prettiest villages in the county, all while enjoying the magic of steam travel. 

There is an abandoned platform on the way so make sure children know to look out for it and also get them to do a photo diary of all of the wildlife and livestock that they are sure to see on the way.

Where is it? Wells-next-the-Sea

When is it open? Open daily from March 18 until end October – times and service vary

How much is it? Prices start at £5.50 per child

Stay nearby: Home Piece, Wells-next-the-Sea | Sleeps 6 + 1 dog


Bure Valley Railway

Image credit Instagram @burevalleyrailway1991 (left)

Bure Valley Railway

Norfolk’s longest narrow-gauge steam railway, Bure Valley Railway is a treat for children who love trains, and even a rainy day won’t stop the fun. Hop on board into the comfort of the carriages and puff along through the countryside from Aylsham to Wroxham, without a care for the wet weather. In Aylsham station, you’ll also find a café which is the perfect pit stop on your day out by rail.

Where is it? Start at Aylsham or Wroxham

When is it open? Timetables vary

How much is it? Prices start from £5.50 for a child single. Part journeys are available, please see website.

Stay nearby: Half Moon Inn, Aylsham | Sleeps 6


miniature railway

Wroxham Miniature Worlds, Hoveton

You can't step aboard the trains at Wroxham Miniature World, instead, you'll find a whole host of tiny trains and displays. The largest indoor modelling attraction in the UK with some of the largest model railways in the world on display, this delightful place fills over 10,000 square feet. 

It is separated into different areas and the highlight is a city made completely from Lego, model boat displays, toys from all eras and doll displays. Better for older children, young ones will still enjoy it if you explain to them what everything is. There is an on-site café and a model shop to finish off this unique day out.

Where is it? Wroxham

When is it open? 10am-5pm (last admission 4pm), 10.30pm 4.30pm in the winter (last admission 3.30pm)

How much is it? From £6.95 per child (under 5’s free)

Stay nearby: Herons Quay, Wroxham | Sleeps 4

If you're planning a holiday in Norfolk with your children, take a look at our wonderful collection of family cottages in Norfolk.

Family cottages in Norfolk


Heritage buildings

Sandringham

Sandringham

If you’re looking for indoor things to do with older children, a visit to one of the Queen’s homes, Sandringham, could be the perfect day out. In the old stables and coach houses is The Museum, where exhibits include a dazzling array of vehicles, including a half-scale Aston Martin used by William and Harry. 

While the gardens may be best left for a drier day, a look around the ground-floor rooms of the house which are regularly used by the Royal Family is a must. It’s fun to picture the family relaxing around the house and the entertaining children’s quiz (£1.50) is great for keeping kids engaged.

Where is it? Near Sandringham.

When is it open? 9.30am 5pm, please book ahead 

How much is it? Starting from £12 for a garden ticket 

Stay nearby: Hayloft Dersingham, Sandringham | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs


Norwich Castle

Norwich Castle

To continue with a historical theme, the magnificent Norwich Castle is well worth a visit. Children of all ages will love this famous landmark, which was built as a Royal Palace by the Normans 900 years ago. There is so much to learn about, from its palace days to when it was used as a prison.

There is a museum and art gallery too which older children will enjoy. They can ride on a recreation of a warrior’s chariot and browse the African and Indian objects in the second gallery. Book onto a trail guide or take them on a dungeon tour if you dare!

Where is it? Norwich

When is it open? Monday to Saturday 10am - 4.30pm, Sundays 1pm - 4.30pm

How much is it? From £8.50 per child

Stay nearby: Jackdaws, Aylsham | Sleeps 8 + 3 dogs


Norwich Cathedral

Norwich Cathedral

One of the most majestic cathedrals in the country, kids will delight in finding out about its dramatic history – how it came through war and plague, as well as riots. You can take an hour-long tour during the day and go on one of the many trails with a map which helps children to understand what they have learned. 

For nature-loving children, see if they can spot the peregrines that nest in Norwich Cathedral - you can get a better look from the observation point which is open in the day during April and June. This is one of the great things to do in Norwich in the rain if you get caught out!

Where is it? Norwich

When is it open? Daily 7.30am-6pm

How much is it? Free

Stay nearby: The Coach House – Mulbarton, Mulbarton | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs


Creative workshops

Child painting ceramics

Sticky Earth Café

There’s nothing children like more than getting creative, especially if it involves working on something that they can take home. At Sticky Earth Cafe they can design and paint onto T-shirts, canvases and ceramics; the latter will be glazed and fired ready to be picked up a few days later. 

You can decorate cups, plates, tanks, unicorns and also put baby’s feet and hands onto heart-shaped plates as a keepsake or as a gift – the paints are non-toxic so it is perfectly safe. There is also the option to make jewellery, do some ‘decopatching’ or make a cuddly toy that you can name yourself.

Where is it? Cromer

When is it open? Monday, Thursday and Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-5.30pm and Sunday 11am-4.30pm

How much is it? Prices vary

Stay nearby: Tower Apartment, Cromer | Sleeps 5


Map of attractions:

Plan your family holiday in Norfolk by finding your favourite indoor family attractions from the list on the map below.



If you're looking for more inspiration for things to do in Norfolk with your children, take a look at our blogs 'The best days out for kids in Norfolk' and 'Top 10 things to do in Norfolk'.

Make the most of rainy weather with a holiday cottage full of home comforts and luxury extras. Stay in and treat yourself to an evening in a hot tub or film night in a stylish cinema room while it rains outside, or splash through muddy puddles and take in atmospheric views on a rural getaway to a farm or cottage by the sea. 

Norfolk cottages

*Prices are correct at the time of publishing; however, they are subject to change.


Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.