Rediscover the Legend!
Updated: Jul 31, 2019
I had never visited the museum before; however, Izzie has previously visited for a school trip. Since then she has been asking for us all to go and look too, so what better way to view it than during the Viking Exhibition.
The Viking exhibit is running until 8 September 2019.
The exhibition is of no extra cost, you pay entrance into the museum, then you can explore everywhere, from Viking Britain to Egypt and Rome.
Currently on show they have the famous Anglian York helmet, alongside some beautiful treasures on loan from both the British museum and the York museum.
You are welcome to explore the Vikings at any time, however if you would prefer a guided tour these are also available. There is a lot of written information for adults, however they also have loads of activities and items that the children can touch. I feared that taking the children to a museum would lead to me continually screeching ‘don’t touch that!’, however there was so much for the children to do I didn’t have to speak those words once.
Upstairs in the magical castle keep the children were able to create their own replica of the Anglian York helmet from paper. They loved their designs so much they kept them on as we explored the rest of the museum.
In the main exhibition room, they had items like games for the gods, make a map or row a boat. I think our favourite part was the wonderful story told by a lady called Freya, she was dressed just like a Viking. There was a beautiful tent structure, with fluffy rugs, and cushions shaped like logs, all surrounding a pretend campfire. She told us all about the gods, she clearly explained each gods name and what they are the god of. She asked the children lots of questions and showed them actions, so that they stayed engaged and could join in. Even the youngest members of our group were joining in with the fun.
She told us the tale of the Scadi’s Husband’s Feet, she asked the children have you all brought your feet along? To which they all found that very silly and funny.
These storytelling sessions are on a timetable so be sure to check the times, so you don’t miss out, it is worth it.
Once outside of the main exhibit they have a selfie station set up, with costumes, hats and beards so you can feel like a real Viking. Unfortunately, my girls where having none of it so we sat back and watched everyone else take selfies, all the mums in beards were quite a sight to behold.
Our next activity was the Viking trail. Each child was given a clip board, with questions and words that they had to find throughout the upstairs exhibit. This encouraged them to read about each artefact so that they could find the correct word to write down. They then were able to write their names using rune letters, Izzie particularly enjoyed this as her name suddenly got a lot longer! Vikings didn’t use letters like Z or V so we had to improvise, A lovely staff member came to our rescue and explained how we could use S or W instead. I can’t thank that lovely lady enough as we were a bit stuck!
We of course had to stop for a bite to eat, the cafe very kindly catered for us, they made special items for everyone with dietary requirements and the children even had their own little lunch boxes. These included a little child sized sandwich, packet of crisps, chocolate bar, juice carton and an item of fruit. My children are ages 7, 6 and 1, and the lunch boxes where enough to fill them all.
As we had never been to the museum before we stayed after the party had ended to explore even more. We went to Egypt and saw a rather scary looking mummy, we read about wars, and made a pit stop in Rome, for a ride on a horse and cart. My personal favourite section of the museum was the wildlife exhibit. They had such a huge selection of taxidermy creatures, including lions, polar bears, Huge fish and birds or every kind. They even had a Norfolk wildlife section to show off all the animals that can be found in our own county.
We would definitely come back to visit again. We are excited to see what future exhibits they will be holding, as we thoroughly enjoyed learning all about the Vikings.
The only downside to my day was my own fault, Teddy was perhaps a little too young to appreciate most of the museum, so he did have a bit of a meltdown halfway round. Much to the amusement of a very lovely elderly couple trying to enjoy the Boudica exhibit. Thank goodness I packed him a few toys and his tablet, so he eventually calmed down. If we were to bring him back whilst he is still so young, I would pack him a few more items to keep him happy throughout our exploring.
Norwich castle is now on my top places to visit in Norfolk, and I cannot recommend it enough. They even have an annual pass which gets you in to 10 different museums. We are definitely going to be looking into the passes as a museum is always such a great day out for the children.
Thank you so much for having us Norwich castle, we had the most victorious viking day out!