20 Things to Do in Ipswich in 2020

POSTED ON: 03/02/2020


Get out and explore Ipswich to the full by following our 20 Things to do in Ipswich list! You can also find this in stores around the town so keep your eyes peeled. 

See a theatre show or dance performance

See a theatre show or dance performance


There are plenty of theatres to choose from in Ipswich!

Dance East:brings world class dance to the East of England. The James Hehir Theatre, the heart of the DanceHouse, hosts a diverse programme of performances to widen audience experience.

Ipswich Regent : East Anglia's largest theatre, features top names across comedy, music and theatre. Some of the most notable names to appear at this venue include The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix.

New Wolsey Theatre : A non-profit organisation, the theatre is best known for its annual rock a roll panto, which is always a sell out for Christmas. This theatre hosts a range of shows and comedy acts.

Red Rose Chain :Entirely independent and self-sustaining, Red Rose Chain create original productions that confront social concerns, often working with overlooked or hard-to-reach groups to create powerful and insightful stories that demand to be told.

The Corn Exchange: The Corn Exchange hosts a range of spectacular live events and performances. Also located to the back of the Corn Exchange, the Ipswich Film Theatre boasts a fantastic atmosphere


Have lunch or dinner at an independent bar, pub or restaurant

Have lunch or dinner at an independent bar, pub or restaurant


There are so many wonderful pubs and independant restaurants to choose from in Ipswich. Take a look at our food and drink directory to point you in the direction of the pub, bar or restaurant that tickles your fancy!

Book onto a workshop and learn a new skill at Suffolk New College or the Ipswich Institute

Book onto a workshop and learn a new skill at Suffolk New College or the Ipswich Institute


There are so many places offering excellent courses in Ipswich so you can learn a new skill this year! Check out our events page to find courses happening in the next few months. Events are added on regularly so keep checking back to find one that inspires you.

Visit Christchurch Mansion

Visit Christchurch Mansion


This Ipswich gem can be found a stones throw away from the town centre in one of the many gorgeous parks surrounding the town. Adventure inside and explore the rooms of the mansion, interesting artefacts and unique artworks (including a Picasso!). If you have time, why not pop into the gallery to see what exhibition is happening.

Find out more about Christchurch Mansion here

Follow the Blue Plaque trail

Follow the Blue Plaque trail


Ipswich is full of history - travel through the streets of the town centre and discover the famous names that have impacted our town, including Thomas Gainsborough, Thomas Wolsey and Charles Dickens.

Find the plaque trail map here

Have lunch from the Ipswich Food Quarter on Queen Street

Have lunch from the Ipswich Food Quarter on Queen Street


Come try some of Ipswich's favourite grub, from award winning vegan burgers, creamy Mac & Cheese and Fillipino Dishes.

You can find out which stalls are trading on which days on the food quarter here.

Book a cruise down the River Orwell

Book a cruise down the River Orwell


The River Orwell has been voted one of the most beautiful and historic rivers in England. Explore it in style with unique cruises down the river, combine it with an Afternoon Tea or Buffet lunch, Supper or a candlelit dinner.

There are plenty of different cruise packages and choices to find what suits your interests.

Alan Gardener

River Cruise Restaurant offering brunch, lunch, sunset and candlelit dinner cruises along the River Orwell from the historic Ipswich Waterfront. Sailing all year round, including Christmas Day, the Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant is designed to provide a different and exciting dining experience, for up to 12 passengers.

Sailing Barge Victor

Sailing Barge Victor is a 19th-century barge with comfortable, modern facilities for boat trips and river cruises down the Orwell. A sailing trip on Sailing Barge Victor offers a truly memorable opportunity to experience living history and can accommodate comfortably up to 40 guests.

Topsail Charters (Thistle & Hydrogen)

Up to 50 guests for a relaxed and memorable river sail from Ipswich Waterfront. Ideal as a venue for a special birthday or anniversary, wedding reception, group outing or corporate event.

Orwell Lady

Cruises depart Ipswich Waterfront, passing through the lock gates, and onto the river, under the stunning Orwell Bridge, through areas of outstanding natural beauty and wildlife, to the bustling ports of Felixstowe Harwich. Enjoy the river from Orwell Lady’s open top deck or undercover saloon.

Visit an Exhibition at the Ipswich Art Gallery

Visit an Exhibition at the Ipswich Art Gallery


Ipswich Art Gallery, located just up the hill from the museum, has a rotating schedule of exhibitions so you're bound to see something new every time you go. From works loaned by the Natural History Museum, to local artists exhibiting in the annual open call there's always something interesting happening.

Find out more about the gallery and what's happening at the moment here.

Do Something Special on Suffolk Day

Do Something Special on Suffolk Day


Suffolk day lands on the 21st of June every year, and what better way to celebrate Suffolk than taking part in some Suffolk day activities. It also falls on the same day as fathers day (2020) so why not double up on activities to celebrate both!

Attend an open air event on the Cornhill

Attend an open air event on the Cornhill


The Cornhill holds many different open-air events including the monthly farmers market, summer film screenings and entertainment. To find out what's going on on the Cornhill follow our Facebook and Twitter or take a look at our Events page.

Visit one of The Saints Street Markets on St Peters Street

Visit one of The Saints Street Markets on St Peters Street


Filled with independent shops and handmade goodies, the Saints Street Market happens twice a year so don't miss the opportunity to go and explore the unique stands. The dates vary each year so keep an eye out on our events page to find out when this market will be happening on St Peter's street.

Attend a FREE festival in Christchurch Park

Attend a FREE festival in Christchurch Park


In the summer Christchurch Park is the location for THREE FREE festivals. The Ipswich Music Day, Indian Summer Mela and Global rhythms. There's also fun fair attractions and festival food stalls to immerse you in that summer festival feeling, without having to camp in a muddy field!

If you fancy a winter time festival Christchurch Mansion fills up with gorgeously decorated trees from community groups, why not go along and decide on your favourite.

Visit Ipswich Museum

Visit Ipswich Museum


Ipswich museum is home to a wide variety of different pieces of history, including Rosie the Rhino, Anglo Saxon Artefacts and a real life Egyptian mummy! There's so much to explore about Ipswich's history, you'll find yourself organising to come back.

Go Bowling at Superbowl UK in the Buttermarket Centre

Go Bowling at Superbowl UK in the Buttermarket Centre


Drop into the Buttermarket for some arcade and bowling fun at Superbowl Uk, there's 12 full sized lanes for you to choose from. There's also plenty of arcade games including claw machines, penny slots and air hockey, all the perfect arcade attractions are ready and waiting for you here.

Visit some of Ipswich's historic sites during Heritage Open Weekend

Visit some of Ipswich's historic sites during Heritage Open Weekend


Take a leap and explore some of Ipswich's most important and commonly unnoticed historical buildings. Including he Pykenham's gatehouse once owned by a clergyman of St. Mary-le-tower, the old bookshop on Silent Street, and secret underfloor bank volts.

Test your nerve at an escape room

Test your nerve at an escape room


Help your friends solve a mystery in one of Ipswich's great escape rooms, how fast can you escape?

Escape Ipswich

Located just a 5 minute walk from the town centre this could be a perfect way to start off your weekend or have as an after work treat. Escape Ipswich has 6 different themed rooms ranging from Da Vinci to Submarines.

Ipswich Escape Rooms

Will you be able to make it out of the puzzle in 60 minutes? Rated as the top fun thing to do in Ipswich on Trip Advisor Ipswich Escape Rooms will not disappoint. Choose between different rooms and see how long it takes for you to puzzle your way out.

Suffolk Food Hall

Based in farm buildings at the Suffolk Food Hall, underneath the Orwell Bridge, the adventures encapsulate the heritage and rural background of the site and surrounding area and are suitable for ages 9 to 90.



Go for an autumn walk in Christchurch Park

Go for an autumn walk in Christchurch Park


Christchurch Park is gorgeous all year round, but there's something magical about autumn. Feel the crunchy leaves beneath your feet, smell the fresh air and watch the squirrels run around. On a sunny day the park in autumn is a great place to have a lunchtime picnic or to just take a break from work.

Watch the Christmas lights switch-on

Watch the Christmas lights switch-on


The most wonderful time of the year wouldn't be quite that without the Christmas light switch on. Gather around with family and friends to watch Ipswich be lit up with stunning lights all over the town hall and our magnificent Christmas tree and get that christmassy feeling!

Spend an afternoon exploring the independent shops

Spend an afternoon exploring the independent shops


Ipswich is home to so many independent gems that you will end up getting lost exploring Ipswich for the afternoon. To find out where to go for your independent shop retail therapy have a look at our shopping directory - for us the indie hotspots are St Peters Street (known as The Saints) and Dial Lane, where you can find independent homeware, jewellers and beauty salons.

Visit St.Mary-le-Tower Christmas Tree Festival

Visit St.Mary-le-Tower Christmas Tree Festival


Feel utterly enchanted visiting the St Mary-le-Tower Christmas tree festival in the setting of one of Ipswich's oldest churches. With last year seeing over 115 charity Christmas trees installed in the church this event is a Christmas spectacular you won't want to miss.


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