Fun things to do in Great Yarmouth for families

The O'Hallorans

The OHallorans

We’re made up of Lyndsey, John and Erin, who all love a new adventure. We try to get away as much as possible, especially during school holidays and variety is a must for us. That means staying anywhere from a luxury hotel to a hostel and it’s not often we go to the same place twice.Β 

The Norfolk coast is the perfect place for a family day out. Great Yarmouth is a popular seaside resort and is definitely worth visiting. There are so many fun things to do in Great Yarmouth and you can find some great suggestions in this post.

Have a beach day

Great Yarmouth is famous for its miles of sandy beaches and its definitely one of the best things to do. It would be a shame to not make the most of this during your visit. Great Yarmouth beach is huge so there’s plenty of space to spread out and find a spot you like. The beach is only a minute walk from the town centre and there are loads of food and drink places nearby. Of course, you can also take a picnic but don’t get sand in your sandwiches. Be sure to check out the tide times before you head to the beach and make sure you’ve packed a bucket and spade.

Hemsby beach and Gorleston beach are close by if you are looking for other options.

Great Yarmouth Beach

Sea Life Great Yarmouth

The Sea Life Centre was one of the first things we ever did as a family in Great Yarmouth and it’s somewhere we’ve been back to multiple times. Tickets can be booked online to save some money or purchased on the day. You can also buy annual passes if you plan on visiting a few times and they work out to be really good value for money.

Walking around, you’ll find all kinds of different fish as well as sharks, penguins and rays. The Rock Pool Explorer is a great place to get hands-on if you’re brave enough and there’s also a fantastic tunnel to walk through, where you can see things swimming above you. Depending on your family, you can spend as little as an hour here or at least half a day if you want to. There’s a small soft play area at the end, along with a cafe and a great gift shop.

Marine Parade
Great Yarmouth
NR30 3AH
01493 330631
Website: https://www.visitsealife.com/great-yarmouth/

Sea Life Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach

For thrill-seekers, a trip to Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach is an absolute must. The season starts in March and you can spend the whole day there if you want to. This is one of the most popular family attractions in Great Yarmouth, offering rides for smaller children and families and bigger roller coaster options for those who want to go a bit faster. Sadly, there is no log flume any more but there are plenty of other rides to keep you busy.

Favourites include the Haunted House, Monorail and a classic… the waltzers.

If you get peckish, there are plenty of places offering food such as hot dogs, burgers and chips, and ice cream.

Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach
South Beach Parade
Great Yarmouth
Norfolk
NR30 3EH
Website: https://pleasure-beach.co.uk

Erin at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach

Joyland

If you have younger children in the family, you might want to consider Joyland as an alternative to the Pleasure Beach. Rides are smaller and more family-friendly, with options for most. Adults can ride with their children so it’s really great for families. In the summer months Joyland can get quite busy though so it’s worth keeping this in mind. The Snails are a classic and a ride not to be missed.

Marine Parade
Great Yarmouth
NR30 2DL
01493 844094

Merrivale Model Village

Looking to do something a bit different? Head to Merrivale Model Village. Tickets can be purchased for daily entry, as well as the option to buy annual passes. Crazy golf is also included in the entrance fee.

Areas to explore include The Merrivale Eye, Beside the Seaside, Merrivale Town Square and a sensory garden. You can spend ages looking at the miniature scenes and seeing what details you can find between you.

Marine Parade
Great Yarmouth
Norfolk
NR30 3JG 
01493 842097
Website: https://www.merrivalemodelvillage.co.uk

Wellington Bowl

Located at the back of Wellington Pier, you’ll find Wellington Bowl. Offering 10 lanes, there is plenty of space for families wanting a game or two of bowling. Drinks and food can be eaten while you play or you tuck in to lunch or dinner at the Bowl Diner, which has a great view over Great Yarmouth central beach. There’s also a small arcade area in the same building!

Wellington Pier
Marine Parade
Great Yarmouth
NR30 3JF
01493 843635
Website: http://www.wellingtonbowl.co.uk

Wellington Bowl

Have a game of crazy golf

Set among other family attractions in Great Yarmouth, you’ll find various options for a game of crazy golf. Walking along the sea front from roughly Britannia Pier you’ll find Castaway Island and Pirates Cove Adventure Golf as well as Adventure Golf just before Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach. This is a great way to take a break from the beach, have some friendly family competition and see who can get a hole in one!

See a show at the Hippodrome

The Hippodrome Circus is quite famous in Great Yarmouth, with at least 4 different shows every year. You can see different shows for Summer, Halloween and Christmas as well as a pirate show. The Summer Circus and Water Spectacular is phenomenal and well-worth getting tickets to if you’re visiting during the summer. Most shows are suitable for the whole family, offering both matinee and evening performances. You definitely won’t be disappointed.

St. Georges Road
Great Yarmouth 
Norfolk
NR30 2EU
01493 738877 (Box Office)
Website: https://hippodromecircus.com

Hippodrome Summer Circus and Water Spectacular cast

Marina Centre

Since its revamp a few years ago, the Marina Centre in Great Yarmouth is a fantastic spot for family days out. Now offering a whole range of activities such as aqua play, swimming, clip and climb sessions and soft play, there is so much to choose from. During busier times, activities do get booked up so it’s worth booking ahead online to ensure you get a spot. There is some parking at the Marina Centre too but again, can get full quickly during weekends and school holidays.

Marine Parade
Great Yarmouth
NR30 2ER
01493 289119
Website: https://www.freedom-leisure.co.uk/centres/marina-centre/

Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens

You really can’t beat a day out with the animals and Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens is an ideal place if you want to get away from the traditional attractions at the seaside.

At Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens you can see animals such as tigers, red pandas, snow leopards, meerkats and reptiles, just to name a few. The big cats are definitely a highlight. Thrigby has special walkways so you are able to get closer to some of the animals, as well as animal feeds and talks at various times during the day. The Cockatoo Cafe offers somewhere to sit for a break and a coffee and there are some really great play areas for the kids.

Another option in the Great Yarmouth area is Africa Alive.

Filby Rd
Thrigby
Great Yarmouth
NR29 3DR
01493 369477
Website: https://www.thrigbyhall.com

Visit a museum

You might not realise but there are a few different museums in Great Yarmouth, including the Time and Tide Museum and Elizabethan House Museum (National Trust).

Time and Tide Museum

The Time and Tide Museum is Norfolk’s third largest museum and occupies the premises of a Victorian herring curing works, the Tower Fish Curing Works, opened in around 1850. You can go back in time and learn about the history of Great Yarmouth and its rich maritime and fishing heritage.

Elizabethan House Museum

Found on the historic South Quay in Great Yarmouth, the Elizabethan House Museum is set out to reflect domestic life from Tudor times to Victorian times. The house is famous thanks to its connection to Oliver Cromwell, who is said to have visited his friend John Carter here. You can find out more about each room as you walk around and staff/ volunteers are on hand to answer questions as well.

With so much to do in Great Yarmouth, where do you start?

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