Winners of the Norfolk Primary Times Reader Star Awards 2019

Local families vote for favourite places in the Primary Times Reader Star Awards 2019

The best of what Norfolk has to offer families is revealed in the results of this year’s Primary Times Star Awards, as voted for by parents of children aged 4 to 11 years in the county. This year saw the greatest ever response to the Primary Times online survey where readers voted for their favourite local family friendly places and people.

Local parents were informed of the survey in Primary Times, a family friendly magazine that is delivered directly to primary schools across Norfolk. With a distribution of 63,000 copies the magazine reaches 300 primary schools in the county.

The specially designed online survey appeared on the Primary Times website from July to October. Questions in the survey were formulated to incite open and honest replies from readers. The results are truly organic, with the winning awards given to the attraction that gained the most reader nominations in a particular category.

The outcome of the survey is of special importance to many local businesses who value the insightful nature of the award results, as the families who complete the survey are often customers or potential customers.

In addition, the results provide an interesting snapshot of what is popular with families at this current time. It’s a way of local families recommending venues and attractions that deliver good quality service and provision to other readers.

Winning an award is a real accomplishment and many winners proudly display their certificates at their venues and promote it on their marketing material.

Aside from the overall winner, there were 10 different categories asking readers for their favourite: family attraction (full day out); family attraction (half day out); indoor play or activity centre; outdoor play centre; party venue or entertainer; free local family event; best seasonal event of the year; local fair, show or festival; best family holiday or break in the region; best value for money attraction.

The results, which can now be revealed, give the winners’ a well-deserved round of applause…


And this year’s winners are…

Once again, the highly desired Family Attraction award was split into two categories to accommodate the places where people like to spend their time for a full day out and for a half day out.

Winning the Family Attraction Award (for a Full Day Out), was BeWILDerwood. This much-loved attraction continues to add variety with new events and attractions year-on-year. This added interest, along with its existing fun activities and play areas, really hits the mark with local families who visit the park regularly. Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure was the runner-up in this category.

The best Family Attraction (for a Half Day Out) Award includes places where people may visit, perhaps, for a few hours but on a frequent basis, or attractions that offer timed schedules. Wroxham Barns was chosen as the winner in this category. This wonderful attraction is a big hit with Primary Times’ readers and its seasonal events, play areas and cute animals tempts local families to return again and again. The runner-up in this category was Amazona Zoo.

The all-inclusive admission prices make a visit to BeWILDerwood great value, enabling it to pick up the top prize in the ‘Best Value for Money Attraction’ category. Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure was the runner-up in this group.

The importance of outdoor play and its positive effect on children makes the Outdoor Play category a particularly significant one. BeWILDerwood won this category, closely followed by High Lodge at Thetford. Whilst the Indoor Play award, another highly valued prize, was scooped up by Farmer Fred’s Adventure Play Barn, with the indoor play activities at Gravity Trampoline Park in Norwich coming a close second.

The entertaining events and family orientated activities at the Royal Norfolk Show, enabled it to be chosen as the favourite Local Fair, Show or Festival for 2019. The hugely popular Cromer Carnival was runner-up in this category.

The highly prized category of Party Venue and Entertainer is always fiercely contested as the quality of party entertainment in the area is first class. The kid’s parties at James D’s Party Time acquired the highest number of votes, whilst the party packages at Twist ‘n’ Shape by the Sea made second spot.

The award for favourite Free Local Family Event was won by Cromer Carnival for its range of lively activities. The second highest number of votes in this category went to the Lord Mayor’s Procession in Norwich.

A new category for this year was Best Seasonal Event. The Christmas Spectacular at Thursford was chosen as the best event by the readers of Primary Times, followed by Mid-Norfolk Railway’s Polar Express.

Another new category for 2019 was the Best Family Holiday or Break. The wonderful family friendly facilities and accommodation at Center Parcs in Elveden Forest enabled it to get the top prize in this group, followed by Kelling Heath Holiday Park.

The blue-ribbon category, that of Overall Winner, asked readers to think about their favourite attraction which offered them the best overall experience. Collectively, readers chose BeWILDerwood as their Overall Winner for 2019. Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure scooped the runner’s-up prize in this prestigious category.

Linda Edwards, Publishing Editor at Primary Times said: “We’d like to say a massive thank you to our readers for their valued contribution to the Reader Star Awards. The results are incredibly insightful and are sure to help other local families decide what to do and where to go. We would like to applaud all the individual winners of each category and congratulate them on their success. We’d also like to congratulate BeWILDerwood on being such a big hit with our readers once again, winning the particularly significant Overall Winner award. BeWILDerwood delivers incredibly high standards with innovation, and winning several awards is an example of consistent practice and good management. We look forward to seeing what the next twelve months will bring.”


Regional winners in Norfolk are as follows:

Overall Winner

• Winner: BeWILDerwood

• Runner up: Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure


Family Attraction (Full Day Out)

• Winner: BeWILDerwood

• Runner up: Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure


Best Value for Money Attraction

• Winner: BeWILDerwood

• Runner up: Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure


Outdoor Play Centre

• Winner: BeWILDerwood

• Runner up: High Lodge, Thetford


Family Attraction (Half Day Out)

• Winner: Wroxham Barns

• Runner up: Amazona Zoo





Free Local Family Event

• Winner: Cromer Carnival

• Runner up: Lord Mayor’s Procession, Norwich






Local Fair, Show or Festival

• Winner: Royal Norfolk Show

• Runner up: Cromer Carnival





Party Venue / Entertainer

• Winner: James D’s Party Time

• Runner up: Twist ‘n’ Shape By the Sea



Seasonal Event of the Year

• Winner: Christmas Spectacular at Thursford

• Runner up: The Polar Express, Mid-Norfolk Railway


Indoor Play / Activity Centre

• Winner: Farmer Fred’s Adventure Play Barn

• Runner up: Gravity Trampoline Parks, Norwich


Best Family Holiday / Break in East Anglia

• Winner: Center Parcs Elveden Forest

• Runner up: Kelling Heath Holiday Park





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