9 Christmas events still going ahead in Norfolk
- Credit: Archant
While many of Norfolk’s Christmas events have been cancelled this year due to coronavirus, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out completely with markets, pantos and other festive experiences still going ahead with social distancing measures.
1. What: The Norfolk Lights Express
Where: Sheringham Station, North Norfolk Railway PLC, Station Approach, NR26 8RA
When: November 16 to January 3 2021, various times
Cost: £16pp, norfolklights-express.co.uk, 01263 820800
The Norfolk Lights Express returns to the North Norfolk Railway by popular demand and will be fully decorated with lights as it departs on a magical journey through the countryside between Sheringham and Holt. While aboard the steam train, guests will be treated to an amazing light show with illuminated festive scenes and there will be refreshments including mulled wine, hot chocolate and warm chestnuts. To make sure it is Covid-safe, groups of up to six will get their own compartment and staff will wear face coverings, though guests don’t need to wear one on board as they will be in their social bubble.
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2. What: A Right Royal Christmas - Panto in a Pickle!/A Circus Carol/She Go does it under the Christmas Tree...With Friends
Where: Norwich Theatre Royal, Theatre Street, Norwich, NR2 1RL
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When: December 16 to 24, various times
Cost: From £13.50/from £17.50/from £21.50, norwichtheatre.org, 01603 630000
While the annual pantomime is unable to go ahead, you will still be able to enjoy Christmas shows at the Theatre Royal this year - oh yes you will! The special festive programme is called A Right Royal Christmas and it includes three separate shows, which are Panto in a Pickle!, starring Norwich’s favourite dame Richard Gauntlett, A Circus Carol, from Lost in Translation Circus, and She Go Does It Under the Christmas Tree…with Friends, with comedian Karl Minns, and they will alternate during the season. The auditorium will be adapted to accommodate a socially distanced audience and the shows will all run from 60 to 90 minutes without an interval.
3. What: Norfolk Christmas Fayre
Where: Norfolk Showground, Dereham Road, New Costessey, NR5 0TT
When: December 4, 12pm to 8pm, December 5, 10am to 6pm
Cost: £5pp, booking essential with timed entry slots, tickets on sale soon at rnaa.org.uk, free parking
The Norfolk Christmas Fayre is back for its third year and moving from Norwich Cathedral to the Norfolk Showground, so there is more space, and there will also be timed entry slots. The outdoor market supports local small businesses and producers, with everything from cheese to Christmas decorations, and there will street food available too.
4. What: My First Panto: Goldilocks and the Three Bears/Cinderella Rocks
Where: The Garage, 14 Chapel Field North, Norwich NR2 1NY/ The Workshop, Marshall Street, King’s Lynn, PE30 1PG
When: November 27 to January 10/ December 16 to January 3
My First Panto: Goldilocks and the Three Bears will run at The Garage and My First Panto: Cinderella Rocks at sister venue The Workshop in King’s Lynn, with social distancing measures in place. They have been created by Norwich-based theatre company All-In Productions, which has performed at both venues before, and are interactive shows aimed at children aged seven and under and their parents.
5. What: Thursford’s Enchanted Journey of Light
Where: Thursford Collection, Thursford, NR21 0AS
When: November 19 to January 3 2021, various time slots
Cost: £16.50pp, under-twos free, booking essential at thursford.com
While audiences won’t be able to enjoy the Christmas Spectacular this year, which has been postponed until 2021, all is not lost as a one-off festive event will take its place. The Enchanted Journey of Light features an indoor Wonderland Trail, promising an immersive experience with a maze of engines and fairytale characters, Santa’s Magical Journey Building, with giant teddy bears and elves hard at work, and an outdoor four-acre Lantern Light Extravaganza with luminous sculptures. There will be a one-way system and a limit of five groups per time slot, with a maximum of six people in each.
6. What: Luminate Light Trail
Where: Sandringham Estate, Sandringham, PE35 6EN
When: November 20 to December 20, various time slots
Cost: Adults (16+): from £14, children (3-15): from £10, under-twos free luminate.live/sandringham-estate
Immerse yourself in a mesmerising mile-long trail, which starts just after the Sandringham Courtyard area, with a clearly defined route to follow through the Country Park. Expect stunning lighting elements and fabulous light play - all set to ambient music.
7. What: Rapunzel - The Lockdown Panto
Where: St George’s Theatre, King Street, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2PG
When: December 15 to 19. 5.30pm, extra 2pm matinee on December 19
Cost: Adults £10, under-16s £6, stgeorgestheatre.com, 01493 331484
Let your hair down and head to St George’s Theatre this Christmas for a socially distanced pantomime and audiences can expect the usual family festive fun with songs and slapstick. At Rapunzel - The Lockdown Panto, groups of up to six will be allocated their own table to watch the performance, so make sure all the members of your social bubble book at the same time.
8. What: Outdoor Christmas Market
Where: The Raynham Estate, East Raynham, NR21 7EF
When: November 28 to 29, December 5 to 6, 10am to 3pm all days
Cost: Free, visitors need to pre-book car parking for £3 at which goes to charity, ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on?q=raynham
A new outdoor Christmas market with up to 75 stalls is coming to The Raynham Estate, giving people the chance to shop in a safe and spacious environment. With a festive mix of local produce, gifts, crafts, street food, a bar and even locally-grown Christmas trees, the free market will be open for two consecutive weekends. It will take place in The Walled Garden and steps taken to ensure visitor safety include a one-way system, hand sanitiser stations and a socially distanced eating area. Those interested in a pitch can email firstname.lastname@example.org
9. What: Mother Goose
Where: Princess Theatre, 13 The Green, Hunstanton, PE36 5AH
When: December 19 to January 1 2021, various times
Cost: Adults: £15.00, children: £12.50, concessions: £12.50, family tickets available, princesshunstanton.co.uk, 01485 532252
Tom Rolfe Productions is bringing a socially distanced pantomime to the Princess Theatre this Christmas and the show features a cast of five and lasts 90 minutes with no interval. The story tells of how Mother Goose is about to be thrown off her land because she cannot pay the rent. Along comes Priscilla the Goose, sent by the good fairy, who lays golden eggs and makes her rich, but The Demon King tempts Mother Goose with the one thing she doesn’t have - youth and beauty and her friends turn against her. Seats at the show will be in social bubbles of up to six.