7 cheap or free things to do in Norfolk this weekend

The Botanical Garden Bar is back in Norwich by popular demand, with Norfolk food and drink on the menu. 

The Botanical Garden Bar is back in Norwich by popular demand, with Norfolk food and drink on the menu. - Credit: Rob Dodsworth

From the return of the Garden Party in Norwich to a craft and food market, there are plenty of cheap or free events running in Norfolk this weekend.

Aerial dance company Gravity and Levity will perform at the Garden Party.

Aerial dance company Gravity and Levity will perform at the Garden Party. - Credit: Mark Morreau

1. What: Garden Party 

Where: Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich, NR2 1TN

When: May 22 and 23, 11am to 5pm both days 

Cost: Free, but you need to pre-book at nnfestival.org.uk 

The Garden Party is part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, which is running until May 30, and tickets to all events are pay what you can. 

The party will bring two days of magical outdoor arts to the park with nine performances and experiences, including five world premieres.

The programme includes show Why? from aerial dance company Gravity & Levity, LAStheatre's The Rascally Diner, a messy performance about food, and Jason Singh's augmented reality installation The Hidden Music of Trees.

You can book tickets to one of four zones, which will each have several performances from incredible artists and companies, and shows will be repeated. 

Those Deadbeat Cats perform at Carleton Rode Social Club on Saturday. 

Those Deadbeat Cats perform at Carleton Rode Social Club on Saturday. - Credit: Contributed

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2. What: Carleton Social Club 

Where: Carleton Rode Social Club, Mill Road, NR16 1NQ

When: May 22, 7pm to 10pm 

Cost: Free

Following the success of its Welcome Back Beer Festival over the May bank holiday, Carleton Road Social Club is hosting a free live music event this weekend.

Rockabilly and roll band Those Deadbeat Cats will be performing outside, with table service at the event, and no booking is required.

There will also be street food available from the Dirty Fryer Boys van, which launched in January this year and tours villages in Norfolk, and the menu includes burgers and loaded fries.  

Craft and Food Market in Tivetshall. 

Craft and Food Market in Tivetshall. - Credit: Tivetshall Village Hall Facebook page.

3. What: Craft and Food Market 

Where: Tivetshall Village Hall, 1 Green Lane, NR15 2BJ 

When: May 22, 10am to 3pm 

Cost: Free

A Craft and Food Market is taking place in south Norfolk this weekend, featuring 25 stalls from local vendors. 

The stalls include Lavalux, with wax melts, candles and decorated glassware, Country Horseshoes, selling hand painted and decorated horseshoes, and Lisa's Little Book Den, for children and young adults.

Dirty Fryer Boys are having a busy weekend and will also be at this event, alongside pancake van Flippin Marvellous.

You can also buy food and drink to take home from vendors such as Bala Chang, with Asian dipping sauces, Waveney Dexter Beef and Tindall Brewery - see the full list on Tivetshall Village Hall's Facebook event. 

Pick up a bargain at a car boot sale. 

Pick up a bargain at a car boot sale. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

4. What: Car Boot Sale 

Where: Hellesdon High School Field, Middletons Lane, NR6 5SB

When: May 22, 9am to 12pm 

Cost: Free entry and parking 

Hellesdon High School PTA is holding a car boot sale to raise funds for the school. 

Come along and grab a bargain and there will also be refreshments available.

Sellers can set up from 7.30am and pitches are from £6, which you pay on the day.

Email pta@hellesdonhigh.norfolk.sch.uk for more details. 

Participating households in the Poringland Village Garage Sale.

Participating households in the Poringland Village Garage Sale - visit the Facebook group and event for more details and a larger version. - Credit: Contributed

5. What: Poringland Village Garage Sale 

Where: See map for participating households 

When: May 23, 10am to 3pm 

Cost: Free

A garage sale has been organised in Poringland, a village just south of Norwich, as a fundraiser for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH).

There are 75 stalls signed up so far, with each household giving a £5 donation, and Starkings and Watson Estate Agents has sponsored the event and supplied 'for sale' advertising signs for participating properties.

Buyers are encouraged to walk where possible and park responsibly. 

See who is taking part on the 'Poringland Village Garage Sale' Facebook group, where you can also click the event tab to see a larger map. 

Customers enjoy pizzas from the Botanical Garden Bar. 

Customers enjoy pizzas from the Botanical Garden Bar. - Credit: Rob Dodsworth

6. What: Botanical Garden Bar 

Where: St Simon and St Jude Church, 49 Elm Hill, Norwich, NR3 1HG

When: Ongoing, Thursdays and Fridays: slots from 5.30pm to 10.30pm, Saturdays: slots from 12.30pm to 10.30pm (pizzas from 5.30pm) 

Cost: Free but booking a table is essential at curiousdirective.com/botanical-garden-bar 

Award-winning theatre company curious directive has brought back its popular outdoor bar, which it launched in the garden of its base at the church last summer.

The bar was part of the company's coronavirus recovery plan and on offer are local wines and spirits, international wines, pizzas inspired by places in Norfolk and global sharing boards. 

It is the perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the city in beautiful surroundings and some of the gins are infused with fruits and botanicals from the garden. 

An exhibition by sculptor Tony Cragg has opened at Houghton Hall. 

An exhibition by sculptor Tony Cragg has opened at Houghton Hall. - Credit: Pete Huggins

7. What: Tony Cragg at Houghton Hall 

Where: Houghton Hall, Bircham Road, PE31 6TY

When: Until September 26 (selected days), 11am to 5pm (last admission 4pm)

Cost: Adults: £18, under-18s: free, students: £10, pre-booking essential at houghtonhall.com

Major works by the celebrated British sculptor Tony Cragg are on show in the grounds and historic interiors of Houghton Hall, which reopened to the public on May 19.

The exhibition, curated by the artist himself, includes large-scale bronze and steel sculptures situated in the gardens and grounds and smaller pieces shown in the state rooms and gallery spaces of the house. 

Houghton Hall was built by Sir Robert Walpole, Great Britain’s first Prime Minister, in around 1722 and was designed by prominent Georgian architects Colen Campbell and James Gibbs.

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