We’ve braved the outside world and visited some local family attractions to find the best Norfolk family Attractions during Covid, just in time for the Summer Holidays. If you follow my Social media platforms you will know I’m quite cautious when it come to re-entering the ‘New Normal’ in light of the pandemic. So trust me when I say they have to be of a high standard to make this list.
ROARR! Dinosaur Adventure (Lenwade)
As a proud Ambassador of Roarr! this was the first place we wanted to go. I always feel safe and happy here and know the layout and facilities really well. The family-run business works hard to do things right by its customers and has already extended the season ticket pass to accommodate the missed months during lockdown. More recently they have also added a new 3-month Summer Discovery Pass for just £35 per person to help keep families entertained throughout the holiday season.
Roarr! is Norfolk’s largest all-inclusive family day out you and can read some of my other pre-lockdown reviews here. We visited on the second day after re-opening and apart from a few online booking issues we had no problems getting in. The booked entry times made for a safe staggered entry into the park and we didn’t even have to queue.
We met up with the Blister and my two year old niece Beaux. We felt she would find social distancing the most tough out of all of us but due to the vastness of the site it really wasn’t a problem. Numbers are limited and there’s multiple easy-to-spot automated hand sanitiser stations everywhere you go. The park is very well signposted with distancing stickers, one-way directions and self-service first aid stations. There’s also rigorous cleaning routines, distancing measures, PPE and much more. I felt reassured of mine and my children’s safety all day. The other guests seemed really happy too and responsible, probably encouraged by the conscientious approach of Roarr and its thorough adaptions.
There were some attractions closed when we visited but since then I’ve heard many have re-opened, including the boys’ favourite, The Predator High Ropes. We hope to go back this week and see if the high standards have been maintained. Which I’m sure they will have.
Even if you are a season ticket holder make sure you book your tickets and time slot online. With limited entry numbers, remember to book early to avoid disappointment. Have a Roarr-some time!
Next up in my list of Best Norfolk Family Attractions during Covid was BeWILDerwood. An award-winning, forest full of family fun, based on the enchanting children’s books written by local author and creator of BeWILDerwood, Tom Blofeld. It really is a magical place like no other. Towering tree top walks, rope bridges, slides, mazes and the most glorious swamp boat ride. I challenge any adult not to regress back to their childhood at BeWILDerwood. It’s just too much fun to sit and watch your children, and adults are actively encouraged to get involved. We’ve always had a great time here as you can see from my past stories.
BeWILDerwood is an outside attraction so apart from the face painting and interactive story-telling everything else is open as normal, but with the expected social distancing measures in place. Sanitiser stations are located all around the park (even at the top of some slides). Plus there seems to be more staff about to help with queuing and regulate the numbers on the attractions. The biggest queue was for the boat ride as it’s currently restricted to one family at a time. Don’t forget you can ride it all day, in either direction. It’s worth going back early afternoon when it seemed quieter. The story-telling is still on throughout the day but all participation is done at a safe distance from other visitors on your allocated seats.
The Twiggle Team were all wearing their PPE. And in true BeWILDerwood fashion, some have even decorated them to make them less intimidating. I think this was a lovely touch and something I’ve not seen anywhere else. The new COVID signage was similarly colourful and themed, encouraging you to keep a ‘Crocklebogs’ tail length’ from others. Whilst we were there we saw extra cleaning taking place throughout the day and there were some additional portable loos on-site. BeWILDerwood also have limited numbers so make sure you book up before you visit to avoid disappointment.
Food and Drink
We took our own picnic but the food shacks were open and had the shields and staff in PPE. Make sure you take or buy your own water though because there’s no refills at the moment due to COVID. Overal the day really didn’t feel much different to usual. We had a fantastic day looking for clues and scrambling about in the WILDerness. Don’t forget your mask if you want to visit the gift shop at the end.
Wroxham Barns (Wroxham)
Not only has Wroxham Barns made the list of my Best Norfolk Family Attractions – During Covid, it’s also had a bit of a refurbishment too. I’ve been coming here since I was about 11, so I’ve seen it change quite a bit over the years. More recently I’ve brought the kids for a few hours on the rides or to see Santa but never did I expect to spend over 6 hours here!
Wroxham Barns have taken over ownership of the on-site Fun Park and given it a £250,000 make-over with more plans already being discussed to further develop the attraction into an even more open-plan park in the future. What used to be quite a pricey day out, with token payment for the rides and separate entry for the farm, has been replaced with an all-inclusive wristband for just £10.50. And under 2’s go free!
You can SAVE EVEN MORE by using my promo code COOKIEWB to get a further 10% off your online booking.
Wroxham Barns is great for younger children. It’s easy to get around and the social distancing measures have been well thought out. Staggered and restricted entry meant we never had to wait long for the rides (which we went on countless times) and the farm felt relaxed and not rushed. Sanitiser stations are on every attraction in the park and hand washing facilities can be found as usual in the farm (sanitiser doesn’t kill farm bugs! Who knew). The team wear PPE and clean the rides and the park all day long. The cafe and restaurant have the same adjustments we’re becoming accustom to and there’s plenty of covered and uncovered seating. You’re more than welcome to bring a picnic or you can treat yourself to a take-away pizza for just £12.99 which looked very tasty!
You can still buy food to feed the animals so you don’t loose that interaction. Wilba was overjoyed as this is her favourite bit. Personally I loved Sue the pig and watching her have a mud bath – the pigs’ equivalent of factor 50 sunscreen. The Boy finally got to enjoy the mini golf now that all the attractions were part of the wristband deal. The only closed attraction I could see was the indoor play which is common in the ‘New Norm’.
Shop ‘Till You Drop
The various gift and craft shops seem to have had a smarten up too. I’m going back just for some more fudge and Norfolk Cider. There was a craft pop-up shop with visiting artists, and the Norfolk Gallery has a wealth of wonderful pieces on display. When we visited, The Norfolk Gallery was tracking visitors inline with the government track and trace programme just so you are aware.
The staff were friendly throughout, particularly Dave on the fun park (who was kind to me last time I visited when I ended up leaving in an Ambulance). Harry and the coffee shop girls made us feel very welcome too. I love chatty staff who make you feel valued and welcome. And new general manager Ben, with his Yorkshire accent, was a welcome addition to the team. Dogs are permitted at Wroxham Barns which is great if your nipping to the shops and can go up to the funpark but they are not allowed in the farm for obvious reasons. You can even get them some doggy ice cream in Rick’s Fudge Shop.
Making A Day Of It!
We had such a lovely little day and were really surprised how long we stayed. The new wristbands give you so much more flexibility. You can re-vist rides or animals as much as you like.
I hope that’s been of use to discover my Best Norfolk Family Attractions – During Covid. Please check the various websites regularly for all three attractions before you visit as changes may continue to happen as we come out of lockdown.
If you’d like to see videos of the day head to my Instagram Cookiecrumblesuk where they’re all saved on my highlights.
Have Fun Safely!