While I have written about the Scarborough Spa Orchestra in a generic way previously in this post I realise that I haven’t done a proper write up. However, as we had a long weekend on the North Yorkshire Coast last weekend, we took in the first Teddy Bears Picnic Concert of the summer season.
Throughout writing this, I am thinking “Why does no-one else do this type of event?”
The Teddy Bears Picnic event is relatively simple. A professional orchestra plays a series of songs for an hour and a half. There is plenty of interaction and education for the children and everyone goes away happy. It is not massively complex, but it works and it is perhaps the highlight of the summer for me.
Firstly, it is a proper concert, witnessed by the number of adults without children enjoying the music. As a result, the quality is obviously there (note, I am in no way a music aficionado). However, some of the songs are “child friendly” – for example, tunes from the Wizard of Oz were played.
However, unlike other concerts, the children are encouraged to get involved. As such, they can sit as close to the stage as they want, dance, clap and enjoy the music in any way they want. There are generally a couple of marching songs which gets the children active. Also, instruments get shared out in the second half of the show to keep the children involved.
The glamorous (and I am putting this because my disguise is blown and she knows who I am!) Kathy is the compère and she is excellent at describing the instruments of the orchestra for the children. She also plays conductor, in trying to get the children to play slow/fast as well as stop. It is really something to see, as well as the “calming down” song towards the end where magically the children are all settled for a relaxing piece of formal music.
The Teddy Bears Picnic concept doesn’t sound too complex, but “Why does no-one else do this type of event?”
The first show of the season tends to fall well for us to get to and it has become a bit of a tradition. It appears as though Yorkshire Coast Radio have the similar tradition as we have bumped into DJ Dex for the last couple of years!!
In terms of practicalities, it is a long concert and so if the little ones are flagging a bit, don’t force them to stay. The price of £4 a ticket means it is excellent value for money. To help concentration, food seems to help, so bring a picnic (and teddy!) although there is a cafe there as well. They try to hold the concert in the Sun Court, which is outside and a bit of a sun trap. As such, if the forecast looks good, pack the suncream and lots of fluids. However, if it is raining, they will take the concert indoors, so you don’t need to worry about it being cancelled. You can pay on the door as well for all the Teddy Bears Picnic concerts. However, for the Christmas concert, that is really busy so I would suggest ordering online for those.
In terms of baby changing facilities, there aren’t that many available. However, there are loads of toilets dotted about, so if there is a queue, the helpful staff will point you in the right direction. Given the Spa’s location, parking is an issue. If you’re spending the rest of the day on the front, you might as well bite the bullet and pay for the day long parking just outside the Spa. However, previously we have parked on the cliff top (free!) and walked down. This is a lovely but tiring walk down, but best to then get the cliff lift up afterwards.
Effect on Children
Sometimes with the music, your child might just “get it”. At the concert last week, Little Clockwork Fairy was played, and Heidi got “it”. She interpreted the music into a story and was very upset when the music (and fairy!) stopped. We then had to look in Scarborough for a wind up fairy!!! Hearing Heidi talk about that made me realise that going to these concerts really does help her develop, although you may not see it straight away.
As I mentioned earlier, there are multiple concerts in the summer season. However, they are all different songs so no two concerts will be the same. Also, regardless of your child’s age, they will get lots out of it, just in different ways. There are lots of small babies there which underlines how good this concert is and I ask myself again, “Why does no-one else do this type of event?“. I just need to find some more days off for us to go again this summer!
UPDATE: The Teddy Bears Picnic shows are now every Tuesday in July and August.
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