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10 ways to … treat dad to a day out for free in Norfolk and Suffolk on Father’s Day

PUBLISHED: 10:49 07 June 2018

The Red Arrows are coming to the Great Yarmouth Air Show.
Picture: Ministry of Defence

The Red Arrows are coming to the Great Yarmouth Air Show. Picture: Ministry of Defence

© Crown copyright

It’s Father’s Day on Sunday June 17 and we have days out ideas from airshows to gardens and zipwires to zoos

1 High flying dads

The Yarmouth Air Show is a full weekend of fun for all the family. With no entrance fee, air displays from 1-5pm both days and acres of viewing space on the enormous beach and wide esplanade and seafront it’s the ideal way to make dad’s day.

2 Everything’s coming up roses

Wander beautiful rose gardens and enjoy music, tours, craft stalls, competitions and the chance to get all your rose-related questions answered. Peter Beales Roses celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and its annual free Rose Festival will be a spectacular celebration of all kinds of roses from 10am-6pm on Saturday and 10am-5pm on Father’s Day itself. Peter Beales Roses, London Road, Attleborough.

3 Teddy bears’ picnic with dad

If you go down to Christchurch Park, Ipswich, on Father’s Day, you’re sure of a big surprise … there’s a teddy bear’s picnic with a teddy bear hunt in fabulous Christchurch Mansion, plus face painting, funfair rides, giant outdoor games, soft play, activity stations with arts and crafts, and even sherbet sand art, all on the Mansion Lawn, 12-3pm. Free entry and many free activities (some have a small charge.)

4 Big butterflies

The country’s largest butterfly is unique to a corner of the Norfolk Broads and a special Swallowtail Watch will be held at Horsey Windpump on the north east Norfolk coast on Sunday June 17. Visit the wildlife garden between 11am and 3pm, where staff and volunteers will be ready to answer questions about this beautiful and rare butterfly and – weather permitting – you should be able to see the magnificent swallowtail for yourself. Free event, parking charges.

5 Model dads

Enjoy a celebration of model railways, boats and steam engines at the Long Shop Museum in Leiston on Father’s Day.

See full size and miniature steam engines, lots of railway layouts in many different gauges, exhibitions and a fully operation model fairground. Dads go free, 10am-4pm, if accompanied by a child under 16. Tickets £8 adults, £5 children.

6 Dens and fire

Spend time with dad trying out some survival skills including den-building, fire-lighting, knot-tying - and marshmallow toasting! The morning, or afternoon, in the woods at Holkham Hall on June 17 includes materials, hot chocolate and parking. Tickets £10 per child aged five-11, and dad goes free. Prebooking essential on 01328 713111 or at

7 Farm fun

Meet the rare breed farm animals and greet the latest cute arrivals at Baylham House Farm, near Ipswich. Dads go free on Father’s Day, 10am-5pm.

8 Garden walks

Dads go free at Hoveton Hall Gardens on Father’s Day. The 15 acres of grounds at Hoveton Hall, near Wroxham, include the walled Spider Garden and kitchen gardens, a clematis walk, woodland walk and magnolia garden, plus two lakes, an arboretum, magnificent azaleas and rhododendrons, and a listed glasshouse and ice well.

9 A trip to Africa

Take dad on a walking safari (or a free road-train trip) past hundreds of amazing animals at Africa Alive! near Lowestoft. Dad’s go free here on Father’s Day, and also to the park’s sister animal and conservation park, Banham Zoo, near Diss. Africa Alive! is home to giraffes, rhinos, cheetahs, monkeys, meerkats, pythons, parrots and many more animals, as well as all the fun of a full day out for all the family.

10 BeWILDerdad

BeWILDerdad’s Twiggle Treat Day is dedicated to dads and includes tree top walks and slides, plus dad-themed fun from zip wire racing to storytelling, and the chance to make him a Twiggle charm, have matching facepaint and message him – via the beribboned message tree. One free dad per paying person at BeWILDerwood, near Wroxham.

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