The Forum is hosting an ice rink. Photo courtesy: The Forum
So who likes Christmas shopping anyway? There’s certainly more to the festive season than buying presents. What about all the art exhibitions, ice-skating and craft workshops? Not to mention the ice trail…
Norwich is already welcoming visitors to its ice rink at The Forum. The Energy Ice Rink has changed the look of Millennium Plain, the plaza in front of the Forum, and it will remain there until January 8 2006.
The rink is much bigger this year after being extended to 432m sq so there’s even more space to slip and slide. A canopy of 30,000 twinkling lights, along with the trees and decorations, adds to the atmosphere.
When you’re done with falling over, you can pop inside The Forum for the Origins exhibition.
Origins explores 2,000 years of Norfolk and Norwich history over three floors within the Forum. There are over 60 exhibits – most of which are interactive – plus a panoramic film show.
The Origins exhibition explores Norfolk's history and is just steps away from the ice rink at The Forum. Image courtesy: The Forum.
If you're in central Norwich on December 18, the last Sunday before Christmas, you might notice something peculiar going on. Eleven ice sculptures carved by artists will magically appear as part of a nativity-inspired trail.
The trail will start in the bell tower of St Peter Mancroft Church (adjacent to the marketplace) and end with the live carving of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in the Nativity scene on Hay Hill. A downloadable trail map is available now on the Norwich City Council website.
There are also things to do at nearby Norwich Castle. Throughout the holiday there’s a choice of three temporary exhibitions as well as a host of activities and events.
A touring exhibition from the British Museum is on display until January 15 2006. Buried Treasure is a collection of some of the country’s most remarkable archaeological discoveries. Many of the objects in the show are from East Anglia so the exhibition has special significance here.
Greta Bridge, Yorkshire 1810. John Sell Cotman © Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery
There will also be a 45-minute behind-the-scenes tour of the museum’s collections on December 13 but advance booking is essential.
For art lovers there is the Brown & Co Open Art Show, on display in the castle’s Cotman Gallery until February 5 2006. The show is now in its 200th year and a special series of exhibitions called Landscape 200 have been taking place throughout the year.
The bicentennial exhibition series also includes an exhibition of Cotman watercolours from the castle’s collection, on until March 19 2006.
Elsewhere in the region there’s plenty to do over the holiday. Bressingham Steam Museum will be giving children and bigger kids the chance to ride with Father Christmas on the steam train. There’s also a day of children’s entertainment planned. The Santa days will take place from December 17 right up until Christmas Eve.