The Easter holidays are just around the corner and many businesses around the Great Yarmouth area have been gearing up to make this one memorable.

New thrill-seeking rides, a pirate circus spectacular, live lambing, beach donkey rides and the chance to meet a family of lively red pandas are just some ways to fill the Easter break next month.

Here are eight reasons to visit the Great Yarmouth borough this Easter.

Thrigby Wildlife Gardens

Thrigby Wildlife Garden’s red pandas are expected to be even more popular than usual after the release of Pixar’s animated film Turning Red. The film, which features a girl who turns into a giant red panda, became Disney‘s most-watched film premiere on its streaming service.

Thrigby has heavily invested for the upcoming season. The wildlife gardens' Swamp House has been improved to create a more energy-saving and environmentally-friendly building for its Crocodilarium, including re-designed viewing areas.

Work is also under way to create a bigger tiger enclosure with new walkways.

Hippodrome Circus

On the seafront, swashbuckling pirates will be at the Hippodrome Circus for Ringmaster Jack Jay and Johnny Mac’s Pirates Live water show from April 2 until May 2.

Now in its eighth year, the show features a cast of actors, acrobats, and aerialists performing heart-stopping circus stunts and comedy scenes.

The Pleasure Beach

If thrill-seeking is high on the list – head to The Pleasure Beach to try their newest attraction – the Pendulum.

The 16-seater ride sends participants upside down over 50ft in the air in jaw-dropping slow motion.

The Seafront

For families with younger children, ride the famous snails at Joyland, jump aboard the tourist train, have a donkey ride on the beach or enjoy a horse-drawn landau trip along the seafront.

The Sealife Centre

The Sealife Centre is gearing up to showcase the underwater world of creatures, crocodiles, jelly invaders and conservation work.

Hirsty's Family Fun Park

Easter would not be the same without some spring lambs, and Hirsty’s Family Fun Park in Hemsby has it covered. The Easter Spring Baa-Nanza, taking place between April 2 and April 19, includes tractor and trailer rides to see the animals and the possibility of witnessing a lamb or calf being born.

The Empire

For those who have built up an appetite, The Empire’s doors will be open, serving an array of street food. Its latest addition is Norwich pizza firm The Dough Exchange, led by street food creator, Jeff Taylor.

The venue offers performances by live music acts and a craft drink menu. Other vendors include Eagle and Cactus serving Mexican vegan dishes and Rude Burger.

The Ocean Room

For the crafty who love creating extravagant Easter bonnets, The Ocean Room in Gorleston will give a prize for the best bonnet in an Easter evening for families, which includes a disco, games and entertainment on April 14.

Lyndon Bevan, chairman of Visit Great Yarmouth said: “Easter is always much anticipated across our destination. It has so much to offer families and visitors, whether they are looking for a fun-packed day out or a longer break mixing the thrills and spills of the seafront with the tranquil beauty of our spectacular beaches.

“Everyone is looking forward to welcoming regular returners to Great Yarmouth and new visitors who will discover there is far more to our destination than they might think.

"Where else would you find miles of unspoilt coastline, the beautiful Broads, quality attractions, wildlife parks and rich heritage within half an hour’s journey?

“After two years of Covid restrictions and challenges, it will be great to get back to normality.”

Asa Morrison, chief executive of Visit Great Yarmouth, said: “Our day visitors and holidaymakers are in for a real treat this Easter as there’s something for everyone.

“We’re looking forward to a bustling and busy Easter. It’s great to see such a full calendar encompassing so many different activities and events that deliver options to keep busy whatever the weather.”

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