Christmas in 2020 is going to be very challenging for us all, and sadly the truth is we won’t be able to do the things we all would like to do this Christmas.

As 2020 draws to a close, we see daily news about science coming to the rescue, and it would’ve been so much worse without centuries of scientific enlightenment. But we are where we are, and whilst we can’t really plan to do a great deal at the moment, we can look back at some of the great Christmassy things we’ve done before, including a couple of things you can still do even in these restricted times.

 

So, we bring you this article with the strong belief that things will get better next year better, and hope our “Top Six Christmas Things To Do In Norfolk” can remind you of happier times and offer promise of good times to come.

1) See the Christmas Illuminations and the ‘Garden of Lights’ at Blickling

Blickling Hall at Christmas

One of the true gems of Christmas in Norfolk, the National Trust’s Blickling Hall looks fantastic. It is something that we think will appeal to all ages and is a delightful way to spend a few hours in the company of your favourite people. For further information, read our enchanted stroll around Blickling.

Sadly, for 2020 Blickling’s ‘Garden of Lights’ event isn’t going ahead this Christmas, but visiting Blickling during this time is still very special and helps to support the National Trust maintaining this fantastic property.

2) Follow Santa’s Magical Journey

Thursford Santa

Every kid wants to meet the big fella, right? Santa, Father Christmas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle…. whatever you call him, the treat of sitting on the big guy’s lap is enough to eek out half-a-day’s good behaviour out of any kid. They’ll have their list of demands, and something special at the top of their wish list; Perhaps a new Football, a “Purple People Eater” game (trust me, this was a thing when I was little), a scientific break-through, world peace or something else. Santa’s Magical Journey at Thursford is at the top end of prices to see the jolly red bloke, but we think it is good value and something we have enjoyed several times over the years. Not only do you wander through the snowy scenes (see photo above) on your way to see Santa, there is a fun show to watch, and you can also look around Thursford (the home of the Thursford Spectacular). Thursford itself has its own lights on display, and these look great after dark.

Find out more about Santa’s Magical Journey and the Thursford Christmas Lights.

Like most things in 2020, Santa’s Magical Journey, is impacted. This year, it has been incorporated in to Thursford’s Enchanted Journey of Light: a magical walk-through experience for all ages. 

3) Enjoy the Festive Lights

Chapelfield bauble Norwich

Across Norfolk, in Norwich and many towns and even some villages, there is an annual tradition of switching on the Christmas Lights. Perhaps there’s a a minor “celebrity” involved, and it’s always a fun gathering, for sure, but we all really want to see the twinkly lights brightening the night sky. There’s nothing nicer than seeing an array of lights glimmering against a black-sky back-drop or shimmering on the rain-soaked paths. Window displays adorn shops, and remind us why going to the town or city is so much more enjoyable than online shopping.

Yes, in Covid times we can’t gather, but we can still walk. We can still wander around to see the lights as our daily exercise as long as we’re all socially distanced and not mixed with other households etc. So, in the safety of your bubbles, and take a short walk at night and enjoy the Christmas lights. (Hoping for a longer wintry walk? Keep reading!)



4) See the Spectacular By The Seaside

2016christmas @ Potters Resort Picture Credit: Potters Resort

At Potters Resort their annual Christmas Show is a production of such high quality and exceptional stars that it could rival the best West End shows. The show is a mix of the traditional, such as old Christmas tunes, intertwined with dazzling choreography, combining to tell a story with a warmth Christmas spirit. Potters offer seasonal breaks which include attendance at the shows, so you can enjoy the Norfolk coast with a 5-star experience alongside a great show.

We visited the show a few years ago and hope to go again in the future because it is a thoroughly enjoyable dazzling spectacle. Click here to read our view of the show.

Potters are still doing a show in 2020 as part of “One Night Festive Break.”

 

5) He’s Behind You!

Pantomimes have their history in Middle Ages England, where a traditional folk play was performed during Christmas gatherings. Over the centuries they have evolved to the modern panto, which are still performed in Britain around Christmas and afterwards. Family audiences flock to the many fantastic theatres in Norfolk and beyond the county borders, and the appeal of the shows is as strong now as it has ever been.

Get yourselves in the Panto mood by reading some of our past panto reviews from the last few years.

The build up to panto season starts several months in advance, therefore many pantos were cancelled earlier in the year. That said, there are still a few pantos to find, albeit in limited formats, including a 5-person panto at the Princess Theatre in Hunstanton. 

 

6) Wintry Walks

Fairhaven Woodland & Water Garden

We enjoy a good walk, and there are plenty of great walks them around Norfolk. But at this time of year, there’s something special about taking a stroll through the woods. Popular tourist places such Sheringham Park and Fairhaven (above) would be great for a winter walk through the woods. Holt Country Park is also a great place for a wintry woodland walk. Other great places for a festive wander are nature reserves like RSPB Titchwell or marshlands such as Marston Marshes, beach walks (erm, Winterton even has winter in its name!), or you could even enjoy a nice short walk to observe the Horsey Sea Colony. For a longer winter stroll, how about walking out to Blakeney Point or to around West Runton & Beeston Regis Heath.

 

Okay, that’s our top 6 things to see and do in the festive Christmas season. We’ll revisit this article and keep it up to date with a fresh view every year on our top suggestions of things to do at Christmas in Norfolk.

 

We’d love to suggest some events too, but with Covid-19 they are few and far between. Any that are scheduled can be found on our main Christmas in Norfolk page, where you can also find places to visit Santa, where to have your office party etc. Again, with the bizarre year we’ve all had, the usual seasonal activities aren’t exactly happening, but, this s still useful info… why not plan ahead for next year!

 

Ok – Here’s A Few More Things To Entertain You!

The Star On Top Of The Christmas Tree

One of my favourite things to do every year is to spend some time on Christmas Eve reading some favourite Christmas books with my kids. Yes, they’re big teenagers now and one of them is bigger than me, but they still insist upon this every year. There are some household favourites in there, such as The Night Before Christmas and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, but a less well-known story we enjoy is The Christmas Starfish, by local Norfolk author, Mark Towers. It’s a firm favourite of ours and we think your family will enjoy it too.

Sounds Festive

We’ve compiled a playlist of our favourite Christmas tunes. This can be found on our YouTube channel, but here’s an article with an overview of our Xmas song choices.

It’s A Wrap!

Need some ideas for stocking fillers? We’ve come up with some greener suggestions, including ideas on more environmentally friendly reusable wrapping.

Let’s Get Quizzical!

Like Quizzes? Then head over to the NorfolkPlaces Fun & Games section and take one of our Norfolk region quizzes. Don’t forget to share with you family and friends to see who gets the top score!