Tourist attractions and venues across East Anglia are joining forces this half-term with the pre-Halloween message to families of ‘less screens, more screams.’
They are aiming to encourage young people to experience culture and history across the region and spend less time in front of consoles and televisions.
In Norfolk, Norwich Theatre Royal, Norwich Playhouse, Norwich Castle Museum Norwich Puppet Theatre, Cromer Museum and the Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth are working with Visit East Of England to highlight a host of family events, performances and experiences.
In Suffolk, the participants are the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich, Ipswich Gallery, The Pacitti Gallery in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal and the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft.
As an added incentive, flyers will also be available at each of the venues that are involved. Young people can collect a stamp at each and gain extra rewards including free seats to the pantomimes at Norwich Theatre Royal or The New Wolsey Theatre, ticket discounts and complementary drinks or snacks.
The initiative follows a recent study by the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development at Birkbeck University that shows children and teenagers are more likely to develop emotional and cognitive skills if they go to live theatre.
This comes after a UN World Health Organisation recommendation that toddlers and young children should spend no more than an hour a day indulging in sedentary screen time.
Stephen Crocker, chief executive of Norwich Theatre Royal and Chair of the New Anglia Cultural Marketing Consortium, said: “This is a fantastic scheme which will, we hope be a highlight of the half term period for families across the region and beyond. Anything that can encourage more young people into the fantastic variety of cultural attractions in the region has to be welcomed.
“It is also a great example of how the region’s cultural sector is collaborating to encourage everyone to experience the fantastic venues here in the East.”
To find out more about the scheme, log onto www.visiteastofengland.com/screamtime
The project is being supported by Norfolk County Council, Suffolk County Council, Arts Council England and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.