Take part in The Big Draw in Norfolk

The Big Draw is the world’s biggest drawing festival and from 1 – 31 October everyone is invited to sketch, doodle, paint and much more. The Big Draw attracts imaginative and creative ways to encourage drawing – anything from face painting to life drawing, architectural sketches to sand sculptures.

This year’s theme is Every Picture Tells a Story. The Big Draw mini magazine presents some inspirational ideas to get drawing from previous years.

Fine Folk have collated what is happening for The Big Draw in Norfolk. There is so much to try out – from designing underwear to creating sand sculptures, building your own world to making postcards and prints. Most events are taking place during the October half term, so this is a great opportunity to get drawing with your little ones. Please check with each venue for more details.

When: Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 October

Where: Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

The Big Draw: Build your own World

Make an imaginary world -what do you think should go in it? Come and add your imagination to the mix as we build the world of our dreams. A whole galaxy of drawing and making!

Cost: Free with museum admission

BUILD YOUR OWN – Adult £5, Concession* £4, Child (4-18) £3 Museums Pass and under 4s free


When: Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 October; Tuesday 27 to Saturday 31 October

Where: Museum of Norwich, Bridewell Alley

The Big Drawers!

Frilly or plain, whatever takes your fancy! Be inspired by our collection of Edwardian undies and design your own drawers. Learn about the life of children in the early 1900s, with real toys and children’s clothes from the time.

PLUS Storytelling on 28 October 1pm to 3.30pm

Cost: All free with museum admission

Adult £5.20, Concessions £4.70, Young Person (4-18) £3.90, Family Ticket (2 adults + all children) £14.50, Family Ticket (1 adult + all children) £10.90

Museum Pass Holders, Friends of Norwich Museums, Carer with a disabled visitor, Under 4s Free


When: Saturday 24 – Friday 30 October, 10.30am – 12.30pm and 1pm – 3pm

Where: Cromer Museum

 Tel: 01236 513543

The Big Draw – A Line in the Sand, Cromer

Use real natural history objects from the museum collections as inspiration to make mini sand sculptures and photograph your ‘sandy-work’ to take away.

Cost: Adults £3.75 Children (4-18) £2.80 Family ticket (1 adult and all children) £7.90 Family ticket (2 adults and all children) £10.50


When: Monday 26 October – Sunday 1 November, 11 am – 4pm

Where: Time and Tide Museum, Great Yarmouth

The Big ‘Sustainable Fish’ Draw

Find out fascinating facts about fish in the ‘Fish Tail Trail’, make a Floating Fish and photograph it in the Aquarium of ‘Fish – tory!’

Cost: Included in normal admission

Adult £5.20, Conc. £4.70, Young person (4-18) £3.90 Family tickets are available. FREE admission for Over 55’s
01493 743930


When: Tuesday 27 October 2015, 10.30am – 1pm

Where: Lynn Museum

The Big Draw Family Event

Calling all budding artists! Come and try your hand at a range of fairground art activities

Cost: free with museum admission. Free admission for all visitors from October 2015 – March 2016.


When: Wednesday 28 October, 10am to 4pm

Where: Strangers’ Hall, Norwich

Every Drawing Tells a Spooky Story

Join artist Rachel Daniel as we draw for a day of Spooky fun.

Suitable for children under 12

Cost: free with museum admission


When: Thursday 29 October 2015, 10am – 4pm

​Where: Henry Blogg Museum, The Rocket House, Cromer 

The Big Draw: Our Story on 53 Pages

Work with us to draw the incredible history of Cromer Lifeboats in pictures. All ages and abilities welcome. For more information call the museum on 01263 511294.

Cost: Free


When: Friday 30 October – 10am to 12pm

Where: King’s Lynn Arts Centre

Drawing Games with artist Amber Lawrence – have some fun at the Big Draw event!

Have fun learning how to use drawings as pictograms – to tell stories and play games!

Places limited to 15 children – please book in advance.

For age 6-11

Cost: £6

When: Saturday 31 October – 10am to 12.30pm

Where: King’s Lynn Arts Centre

Drawing for Print

Neil Pittaway will provide a guided tour of his two exhibitions before showing you how to turn one drawing into several prints to make cards, postcards, headed paper and illustrations for your own stories!

Places limited to 15 children – please book in advance.

Ages: 11-13

Cost: £6


Whilst we try to make sure that all the information on Fine Folk is correct, please always check details with venues directly, as we accept no responsibility for errors.

Images supplied The Big Draw.

Autumn Family Craft Projects

As we head into Autumn, the crispy leaves, shiny conkers and tiny acorns provide so much inspiration to get creative. Our household certainly has the sniffles this week, so our nearly nine month old and I haven’t ventured too far. However, the glorious autumn sunshine has briefly dragged us outdoors. We’ve gathered up all sorts of goodies to get crafting this weekend.

Our top five Autumn inspired family craft projects to check out and try over the coming weeks are listed below. Click on the links and you will get inspiration or a step by step guide to the project. There are definitely differing levels of involvement that little ones can have in each project, so do check out each one out. However, this is a great excuse to all take a family walk through the crunchy leaves and get crafting together.

We’d love see your creations!

Autumn Leaf Bowl by Hello Lucky

Autumn Mobile by Zart Art Play Based Learning

Nature Shadow Boxes by Teach Preschool

Autumn Leaf Bunting by the Artful Parent

Fancy Stick Crown by Mama Miss

Out There Festival, Great Yarmouth


Now in its eighth year, Out There International Festival of Circus and Street Arts was back in Great Yarmouth. Yesterday we took a trip to the coastal town to discover St George’s Park packed full with performances and huge audiences to match. The highlight for us was the UK Premier of Circus Katoen’s Ex Aequo. Incredible acrobatics by the Belgium company, which saw the audience gasp as shelves were tossed through the air at such a pace – terrifying and terrific!

Our little one was happy to sit in her pushchair and take it all in. Out There audiences look used to accommodating all ages, as little ones sat on the floor at the front to watch the show, whilst adults took seats on the benches provided. I have to say that this was a welcome addition, as I’ve not ever seen seating provided at a festival like this before. Thank you.

The festival had plenty of food and drink stalls, as well as toilets always just a short walk away. The site was decorated beautifully at the entrances to the park. Giant flowers, swimsuits and deckchairs adorned the green spaces.

Outside of the park, we stumbled across a walkabout performance by Theater Paspartout. Cock-Tales was extremely entertaining as human-sized poultry strut the High Street playing their wind instruments. This was such a humorous performance of interaction with passers-by and the audience. Our little girl loved the music and looked quite bemused by giant cockerels strutting around the street, but took it all in none the less.

Out There Festival takes place each year, with most performances suitable for all of the family. Seachange Arts, the organisers of the festival, attract the best international acts each year. If you didn’t get to visit this weekend, we highly recommend that you check this out next year.


A feast of fun at Craft Picnic

Today our first ever Craft Picnic took place in Norwich. The Play Room of the Playhouse Theatre was laid our for a creative feast, as hampers on picnic rugs were packed full with art and craft materials.

Babies, toddlers and parents got stuck in with exploring textures and colours of card, fabric, straws, ribbon, wool and lots more. As the music played in the background, arts and crafts magic was happening, as parents created make believe wands, cakes, frogs, super hero costumes, hedgehogs and crowns with their little ones. Further into the session sensory toys were shared out, as the room calmed with the mellow music of Penguin Cafe Orchestra.

We had a terrific time and were overjoyed to see so many parents and children interact through arts and crafts. We are hoping to offer more Craft Picnics soon. Once we have more details, we’ll be sure to tell you all about it.

Happy crafting!

Images by Erin Patel Photography

Family Friendly Heritage Open Days

Today saw the start of Heritage Open Days in Norwich and Norfolk. On until this Sunday, there are 243 free events, including walks, talks and family activities.

We popped into the Bishop’s Garden today, making the most of the autumn sunshine. You still have tomorrow (Friday) to visit the gardens. It’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to check out. The flowers are now slightly past their best, but it was a lovely stroll along the pathways. It was tricky with a pushchair, as stated in the printed literature, but we coped okay with our city buggy.

There is so much to go and visit this weekend, so we’ve put together our list of family friendly activities to check out. All events listed below are free

Anteros Art Foundation: Storytelling
11-15 Fye Bridge Street, NR3 ILJ
Friday 11 September: 15.00-16.00 For preschool to six-year-old children.

Pip is a bat with the power to travel through time. She has many strange tales to tell of hidden treasure, hungry Vikings and possibly a happy ending. Join storyteller Shey Hargreaves in the Main Gallery for stories and games based on the unique history of this ancient house.

Bishop’s House Garden
Bishopgate, NR3 1SB
Friday 11 September: 10.00-16.00

Come and see this historic private four-acre formal city centre garden that has belonged to the Bishops of Norwich for over 900 years. Please note that the gravel paths can make the pushing of wheelchairs and pushchairs more difficult.

Folk Day at Saint Michael’s Ruin, Bowthorpe
Bowthorpe Hall Road, Bowthorpe, NR5 9AA
Saturday 12 September: 10.00-16.00, 19.30-21.00

Family-friendly trails around the ruin and surrounding area. There will be folk music and dance, plus an evening of classical guitar in the floodlit ruin.

Ceilidh dance 11.30-12.30, Folk music 14.00-15.00, Classical guitarist 20.15-20.45

Maddermarket Theatre
St Johns Alley, NR2 1DR
Saturday 12 September: 11.00-16.30

Discover one of Norwich’s hidden treasures. The first permanent reconstruction of an Elizabethan stage is housed in the Maddermarket Theatre, home of the Norwich Players since 1921. Backstage tours, wardrobe tours and workshops; last tour starts at 15.30. Children can dress-up in costumes.

Norwich Puppet Theatre
St James, Whitefriars, NR3 1TN
Saturday 12 September: 10.00-16.00 Sunday 13 September: 12.00-16.00

Take a peek behind the scenes of the Puppet Theatre and delve into the history of both the Theatre and the medieval church that it is housed in. Seek out memorials to mayors and sheriffs, the rood staircase and other architectural features. Understand how the aisle and chantry were transformed into a theatre for this unique art form and enjoy some puppet making in the drop-in workshop before you leave. Last admission 15.40.:

Pull’s Ferry: Watergate Room
The Close, NR1 4DZ
Friday 11 – Sunday 13 September: 11.00-17.00

Pull’s Ferry dates back to the 15th century. The Watergate Room is situated over the archway which leads to the west bank of the River Wensum. There will be a display of historic pictures. A ‘Pull’s Ferry Challenge’ badge will be available for 6-12 year olds.

St John Maddermarket: Family Heritage Activities
Pottergate, NR2 1DS
Saturday 12 September: 10.00-16.00, Bizarre Brass workshop 10.00-15.00

See how the textures of time have been used to build the church and commemorate its congregation, including nine lord mayors and five high sheriffs. Dress up as a mayor, make your own proclamation with feather quills or medieval Christmas decoration. On Saturday, come along to our Bizarre Brass workshop and create individual brasses which reflect St John’s collection using a variety of materials and techniques.

Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell
Bridewell Alley, NR2 1AQ
Friday 11 – Saturday 12 September, 10.00 – 16.30

From medieval to modern day, the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell tells the story of the city’s industries and the people who lived and worked here. From the textile trade which was at the heart of the city’s wealth, to the production of shoes , chocolate and mustard; the story of how Norwich constantly adapted to changing fortunes and coped with two world wars is told in ten galleries over two floors.

Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery
Castle Hill, NR1 3JQ
Saturday 12 September, 10.00 – 17.00

Meet characters from the past and embark on a journey through time to discover the best methods of attach and defence and the weapons that were used! Last admission at 16.30.

We hope you have a great weekend!

Norwich Print Fair turns 20!

St. Margaret’s Church Gallery, St. Benedict’s Street, Norwich

Monday 7 to Saturday 19 September 2015, 10am to 5pm (Monday to Saturday only)

Open Portfolio Days – Saturday 12 and Saturday 19 September 2015

Printmakers in Action: Artists demonstrating their techniques – Sunday 13 September 2015 – 11am to 4pm

Admission Free

Now celebrating its twentieth year, The Norwich Print Fair is firmly established in the local arts calendar. From the initial Fair in 1995 which featured just eight artists regular printmakers now number well over fifty with approximately thirty selected to exhibit at each annual September Fair. Finalist in the EDP People’s Choice Awards for the last two years, The Norwich Print Fair is still one of the best loved and largest independent selling shows of its kind in East Anglia.

This September, the Fair once again brings together over 30 of Norfolk and Suffolk’s finest printmakers, displaying a wide variety of hand-made print techniques, all within the unique setting of St Margaret’s Church Gallery on St Benedict’s Street, Norwich.  With a mix of firm favourites and new artists this twentieth show promises to deliver yet another stunning display of original prints.

The Norwich Print Fair is a great place to take children or young people. Not only is the work really accessible and stunning, and there are some great events in addition to the main exhibition. ‘Printmakers in Action’ is a rare chance for the public to observe artists at work, producing original prints – from screen prints to linocuts, mezzotints, etchings and collagraphs. This is a really inspiring day of demonstrations by artists, which takes place on Sunday 13 September, 11am – 4pm.

If you’re already missing the GoGo Dragons! Trail, then fear not! To compliment this year’s main exhibition, there will be a special trail of original prints throughout the Norwich Lanes. “20/20” will see twenty of The Norwich Print Fair’s current artists exhibiting the best examples of their work within the windows of local shops and businesses. You can print off the trail map or pick up a copy at The Book Hive and other participating venues. Follow the trail around the Lanes and see how many prints you can discover. You can enter the Art Trail competition for a chance to win a £50 Jarrolds voucher and a selection of greetings cards.

Artists exhibiting this year include:

Rob Barnes, Sarah Bays, Louise Bird, Paul Bommer*, Neil Bousfield, Amelia Bowman, Kerry Buck, Colin Bygrave, Chris Evans, Niall Grant, Brigitte Anne Hague, Rebecca Hearle, Sally Hirst, Richard Horne, Leanda Jaine Hughes*, HJ Jackson, Clare Johnson, Colin Johnson, Vicki Johnson, Jo Stafford, Cordelia Jones, David Jones, Vanessa Lubach, Martin Mitchell, Elaine Nason, Tricia Newell*, Chrissy Norman, Laurie Rudling, Nicola Slattery, Mandy Walden, Laura White

*New exhibitors to this year’s annual exhibition.

For more information please visit: www.norwichprintfair.co.uk