Anything Could Happen

Over the last couple of months, we have discovered another hidden gem of the amazing creative scene in Leeds – Anything Could Happen. Before Heidi came along, it’s safe to say that I wasn’t into creative arts, but after going to the Rainbow Factory for the past few years, my eyes have been opened to a whole new world!!

Anything Could Happen

What happens?

Well, anything (obviously!!)

On a serious note, there are two adult (I was going to say grown-up, but they have to be a bit childish!) performers on stage, loosely controlled by the fabulous stage director, Carla. They start off with an idea, and then get ideas from the children in the audience. The children then develop the story as it goes, with random ideas being thrown in from all the children.  After the story has reached a somewhat natural conclusion, which often resulted from mild chaos, the stage is reset and a new idea kicks off more carnage!!

As Anything Could Happen takes place in a real-life, intimate theatre, the children get experience of a professional environment and as they sit on the floor of the stage, they feel part of the action.

Every child is asked to input into the performance over the hour and a bit it is on, and whilst Heidi can feel a bit lost in the number of children and ideas, it does help her understand sharing (does that count as a swear word?!) and being patient.

There is very few opportunities for the children to be on stage themselves, so if you’re looking for a stage school this isn’t for you. However, think of it as giving your child the chance for a front row seat to a brilliant comedy show that they can help create.

However, if your child does go up on stage, get your cameras out, as it is a brilliant memory to have. In January, Heidi was “interviewed” on stage and pretended to explain why crocodiles were coming into houses through toilets. Yes, you did read that right! The best thing was that the atmosphere was so supportive that she was able to go out of her comfort zone and do it!

What age is appropriate?

This is a difficult one, but I wouldn’t expect a child younger than 5 would be able to concentrate for the whole show. It is quite fast paced, but so is the humour and so younger children might not get the jokes.

Also, as the children tend to sit at the front amongst themselves (but not every child does) younger children might feel a little overwhelmed by it all.

How do you prepare?

It might sound a really daft thing to say, but don’t wear too many clothes!! Anything Could Happen takes place in a real theatre, and as such, all the stage lights are on. This means that it does get warm quickly and whilst it never gets uncomfortable, you won’t need a thick jumper on!!

Apart from that, you can encourage your child to be creative in play, but generally, they will become immersed in the experience and develop as they take part.

What Do Adults do?

It sounds strange, but there is very little to do for the adults! You sit back in the audience and enjoy the show.  It is that simple!!!

I do think that the adults enjoy the show just as much as the children, and because the humour is so quick and well put together, there is a layer of comedy that is just for adults!

What about First Timers?

This is a note of caution. Regardless of how confident or old your child is, they are likely to be unsure about Anything Could Happen during the first visit. This is because it is quite intense on their sensors – lights, visual and oral comedy, a different environment etc. My advice would be to go with how they feel and perhaps take some sweets with you to relax them.

However, after the first visit, you’ll have made up your mind whether it is right for your child and so don’t let their first impression put you off coming back. Heidi was restless during her first visit, but I knew she would enjoy it, and on the morning of the second show, she woke up with a huge smile, realising that it was Anything Could Happen Day!!

Heidi being interviewed on stage about crocodiles

Overall

Finding Anything Could Happen has been amazing and has sparked Heidi’s creativity at home even more. However, with these kinds of activities, it is the people running it that make it so special. Without their creativity, passion and a little bit of silliness, the children would not benefit and enjoy the shows. I really hope that Heidi will enjoy the shows for a long time, as I know she will learn so much from them!

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Operation Ouch Live

Heidi is a huge Operation Ouch fan and once the tickets to Operation Ouch Live were available, I made plans to go down to see the show. When I say “huge”, perhaps I mean obsessive. After all, we have 50 recordings saved on the TV! As a result, it was an opportunity not to miss, and it was more special than I could have imagined.

Operation Ouch Live

Operation Ouch Live – The Show

Operation Ouch Live is based on the TV show and you need to have seen a couple of TV shows to get the most of the stage show. However, the stage show stands on its own two feet.

The show lasts 70 minutes, and make sure you get into the theatre 10 minutes before as they play a clip from the TV show, which was a nice touch.

There are bits of goriness involved, but it is all educational. For example, they use a probe to see into Xand’s ear to see his ear drums, as well as inflate a set of animal lungs so you can see how they work in practice. However, it is tastefully done and won’t put anyone off.

Also, the Operation Ouch Live show tells you a little about the Doctors themselves, which was an amazing little touch, especially for a mega-fan like Heidi.

The Venue

Operation Ouch Live is at the Apollo Theatre. This is on Shaftesbury Avenue about 2 minutes from Piccadilly Circus underground station. For those who know London a little bit, it is near the Rainforest Cafe. Whilst the venue holds 775 people, it is quite compact and so you’re not too far away from the stage.  The leg room is decent, and the seats are comfortable enough for the 70 minute show!

Just make sure you look up, to see the fabulous ceiling…

The Apollo Theatre ceiling

They do sell merchandise before the show as well in the foyer, some of which Heidi is modelling after winning a Facebook prize!

Operation Ouch Live – Laughs

As you can imagine, the Operation Ouch Live show is full of laughs and silliness. After all, it is aimed for children aged 5-12! There are daft songs, silly jokes and good old panto humour.

However, the best part is where they showed how a virus spreads quickly between people. This is done by throwing massive wobble balls into the audience and getting them to throw them around. This proved hilarious for the children, but also very educational. They could see how a virus spreads, but also the importance of stopping viruses at source.

Happy faces!

Operation Ouch Live – Teaching

Whilst Operation Ouch Live is definitely a show to entertain, it is also there to teach. There are scientific terms thrown in at semi-regular intervals, but it is age appropriate and done in a manner for children to learn. The skit with the frontal lobe and amygdale is a prime example of this.  Heidi, aged 5, was absolutely fine with the learning part of things, but younger children may struggle.

However, from a parent’s point of view, there is a monologue by Xand which was powerful and poignant. Xand referenced his struggles as a child and gave some well directed life advice to those children who need something a little different in school and life. By this point in the show, the children were like sponges, taking everything in and I am sure that it will help so many. For me as a parent, it was the highlight of the show.

Operation Ouch Live – Chris and Xand

Chris and Xand are excellent on stage and whilst their background is medicine, their on stage performance was very polished. However, after meeting them after the show and an unexpected Twitter message or two, they are genuinely nice people.

Part of doing this blog was to write about the “good guys” in life and have a positive influence on Heidi’s life. Chris and Xand certainly fit into that category. The way they spoke and interacted to Heidi after the show melted my heart and made the trip down worth it. Heidi was over the moon meeting them, especially knowing that her heroes are just as nice in person as they are on TV.

Operation Ouch Live – The Verdict

Operation Ouch Live is simply amazing. I can’t put it any more simply as that!

As the show was ending, Heidi started crying saying that she wanted to come back to see the show again. For me, that is the sign of an amazing show and you cannot fake that reaction. (At this point, she didn’t know about my plan for her to meet them!)

Hopefully diaries will allow us to go down to see Operation Ouch Live again before it finishes on 6th January 2019.

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Tractor Fest 2018 – Newby Hall

Going to a “Tractor Fest” doesn’t immediately jump out as a good way to spend the day with a child. However, Tractor Fest at Newby Hall is more than just about tractors!

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Yes, there are tractors – hundreds and hundreds of tractors in fact.  They come from far and wide from all over the country to the event. However, there are all over types of agricultural machinery from motors to plough, diggers to trailers so don’t think that tractors are all that is on offer!!

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In fact, it has more of a feel of a Country Show than a pure “Tractor Fest”. This is because there were shops, food stalls, and children’s activities. The children’s activities included the Police Tractor, land train and ride on mini tractors/cars (£3 for 15 minutes). There is also a helter-skelter, dodgems and a mini train roundabout.

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There is also the lovely Newby Hall gardens a short walk away from the main festival which is free for Tractor Fest. Here there is a mini train to ride (£2.20 each for a 10 minute ride – brilliant value!) a really good playground and a water/splash area. Because of this, a spare change of clothes is advisable!!

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Just a few things to bear in mind:
– It is an outdoor attraction so you need dry weather!
– It is held in a farmers field and so a sturdy pair of shoes (and pushchair!) are advisable/
– The main Tractor Fest doesn’t seem to have baby change facilities. The best place is in Newby Hall Gardens. Likewise, the best toilets are down there.

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The parking is free and plentiful and due to the volume of cars, make sure you make a note of where you parked your car. The car park entry and exit was very efficient and organised. Even though the car park was busy, the event did not feel busy.

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You will see a good number of “farmer” types who come to Tractor Fest for the tractors. It was pleasantly surprising to see how many young children were there, especially in the Gardens. It shows that there is much more to Tractor Fest than tractors, and the free admission for under 4’s really helps with this!

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We were at Tractor Fest for 4 hours and we had a really good time throughout. The 2 year old (it wasn’t my weekend to have Heidi) fell asleep towards the end through the combination of fresh air, exercise and mental stimulation.  That’s not a bad thing at all!!

Hopefully next year, Heidi will have chance to experience the fun (in the sun hopefully!).

Continue reading Tractor Fest 2018 – Newby Hall

Scrooge’s Christmas Carol – Rainbow Factory

“Scrooge’s Christmas Carol” is the Rainbow Factory’s third Christmas Show. We have been privileged enough to see all three and the performances have been outstanding each and every year.

Without giving too much away of the story (after all, adults are meant to enjoy it as well as the kids!) why should you choose to see this show over any of the others in the area?

The performance is accessible to all.

The children sit on cushions on the floor and can move and wiggle as much as they like. No need for binoculars or climb a mountain of stairs to get to your seat. You are so close you can touch the actors and have photos taken afterwards.

It is made for children.

The show is “only” 40 minutes long which means younger children can enjoy it wouldn’t being bribed to stay still/quiet and there is childish humour involved.

It is also for adults.

This performance has more quick witted puns than the previous shows and so you will enjoy it as a show in it’s own right.

It is cheap!

Tickets are only £6 each. With money tight at Christmas, it is so much better value than some of the bigger theatres in the region who seem to charge a small fortune for the Christmas pantomime. (parking is free as well!)

The staff and performers are wonderful, genuine people.

Rainbow Factory is almost our second home and without them, Heidi would not have developed as she has done. The Rainbow Factory is a small, local business and they put so much in so it is only right to support them in whatever way possible.

So what about the actual show – Scrooge’s Christmas Carol? Well, as you would expect, it is fast paced, but probably unlike any version of the story you have seen enacted before, with the use of puppets, songs and various other effects (not wanting to spoil the surprise at the end!)

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There is a slightly scary part 10 minutes in with a ghost. However, this quickly forgotten about but something just to bear in mind.

However, the most upsetting part was with about 10 minutes to go, Heidi asked if it was nearly the end, because she didn’t want it to end at all!! Only bribery stopped a minor meltdown!!

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This blog post could best to summarised by Scrooge himself when he said “Christmas is about grabbing as much joy as you possibly can” – and he is correct. As such, one of the best ways of doing that this Christmas is to go and see Scrooge’s Christmas Carol!!

And because you’ve made it so far, here is a sneak peek of the show…

DISCLOSURE: We received 2 tickets for this show, although there was no influence on this post.


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Sneaky Experience – Fairy Tales Kingdom

So we finally managed to get to a “Sneaky Experience” event! Given that the second day of the event is tomorrow, I thought that I would try and do a quick recap, without giving too much away!! (Update: this was in 2017, but the “Sneaky Experience” experience is the same!

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So, the event is in Kirkstall Abbey itself. Therefore, be prepared for uneven ground and narrow walkways (not suitable for double buggies!!!) and so if it is wet,  take a picnic blanket to sit on as there is a bit of sitting down watching performances. While you’re at it, take some food as well!!

So, having never been to a Sneaky Experience event before, I didn’t know what to expect. Essentially there are 10-14 pop-up entertainers throughout the Abbey performing for the whole of the 3 hour session. While it seems a bit chaotic, it tends to be a good idea just to go with the flow. It is all very fast paced anyway, so you don’t have that long for downtime.

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The entertainment ranged from puppet shows, Elsa singalong, Anna fashion show and a big version of Twister.

However, the best entertainment was the 2 person performances of both “Hook and Pan” and “Toad and the Mole”. Whilst they lasted 20 minutes or so each, the audience fully bought into the show. So much so that the children were so excited that they nearly invaded the stage! The children were so loud that I couldn’t speak to the person next to me (who I thought that I knew but wanted to ask!!)

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The fabulous Hook and Pan

The entertainers were all dressed up and in character. If they weren’t doing a performance, then they were more than happy for pictures to be taken with the little ones. This was almost as exciting than the shows for the little ones.

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We lasted 2 ½ hours and I enjoyed a sleeping 4 year old on the way home. There was always something to do because the event was so fast paced. It probably wouldn’t be suitable for those under 3 and above 8 or so. Whilst there were a high proportion of girls, there is nothing gender specific about it. Likewise, while plenty dressed up in princess outfits, there is no obligation or incentive to do so. It might make the event a little more special, that’s all.

There were a few stalls to buy ice cream/drinks, but you are probably best taking your own. The queues were big, and you’d rather be enjoying the entertainment.

Sneaky Experience do all sorts of events and I’ll be sure to check out some of the others in the future as this was of an excellent quality.


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Cinderella’s Christmas Wish – Review (7/12/2016)

Firstly, there is a special preview post for the show here so feel free to give that a read first, prior to reading the review post, especially if you have never been to or heard of the Rainbow Factory.

Secondly, there are no spoilers whatsoever, so even by reading this, you won’t know what is going to happen, or how it is going to happen – the magic for young and old will certainly be there still!!

Writing a review for anything to do with the Rainbow Factory is so difficult because no matter how creative or spectacular the blog post is, it pales into insignificance compared to the magic they produce, and that magic was in full force for this show!!

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The first part of the show is what you would expect from Cinderella, setting the scene, introducing the ugly sisters (with a difference!!) and Cinderella. However, after 15 minutes, the story turns from a traditional fairy-tale to a unique Rainbow Factory creation, thanks to the mystery character, played by Lydia Toumazou.

Once this character enters, the audience interaction jumps up a notch, children start to feel the need to shout to help the characters and there is laughter filling the room. This is because the groundwork has been set, and the characters play off each other wonderfully to get to this stage.

The ending is somewhat traditional, but this underlines the fact that you are watching a performance based on Cinderella, but a completely unique performance nonetheless.

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Think of it like a Rainbow Factory sandwich (bear with me…!) Between the start and end of the show, which are based around tradition and fairy tale, there is a middle jam packed with creativity, magic, and laughter – everything that the Rainbow Factory is famous for. Getting this mix right is difficult, but they managed to do it perfectly.

Just a couple of notes to be aware of, given that the performance lasts 40 minutes and there are only two performers, shortcuts have to be taken in the story, but you are in no doubt that you are watching a Cinderella performance. Also, be prepared for slight audience participation if you are (un) lucky to be chosen – thanks Lydia!!!! Nothing to worry about at all, but just thought that I would mention it!!

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Look at the children mesmerised!

The quality of the performance is of the highest standard, Lydia is the Education Director of the Rainbow Factory and wrote the show and has a First Class degree from Cambridge, as well as 25 years of working in the arts and education industry (which meant that she started when she was 3 I think!). Rachel Abigail Smith is Cinderella and has performed on some of the nation’s biggest stages – this is not an amateur production by any stretch of the imagination.

Speaking of imagination – the performance pushes your imagination, relates to your child’s imagination and as such, develops them further in ways that perhaps no other Christmas show will. The show entertains as well as stimulates and develops them.

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As a footnote, we got to meet the cast for photos afterwards and I’m sure that this will be a regular thing throughout the show-run, so hang around for pictures and look at the set (hint: look above the fireplace!) However, I mention this because the person to sort this out wasn’t the Communications Manager or one of the other members of staff, it was the Managing Director. This attention to detail and customer care (and child friendly attitude) from everyone involved in the Rainbow Factory makes it one of our favourite places to visit, but also means that this show will be enjoyed by so many people throughout the Christmas period.

Shows are selling out quickly so go to www.rainbowfactorykids.com/christmasshow to get some tickets! Tickets are £6 each (bargain!) and there are a whole host of FAQ’s on their website.

FULL DISCLOSURE: We received 2 complementary tickets to attend the show. However, the thoughts are my own.


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Cinderella’s Christmas Wish – Preview

This Christmas, Cinderella finds herself in the most magical place on Earth, the Rainbow Factory, and she is inviting you to watch her Christmas Wish!!

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If you have never visited the Rainbow Factory before, they turn the most ordinary into the most magical and bring storybooks to life using drama, song mixed with enthusiasm and amazing talents. We have been going regularly for the last 15 months and whatever activity they do, they do so well and so this show will be no exception!

You’re probably thinking that you might go to a “proper” theatre to see a “professional” show as part of the Christmas activities. While they are all well and good, you are probably going to be a fair distance from the stage and the little ones will be wanting to get on their feet and dance or get some sweets, all while you worry about upsetting the people all around you…

Well, this is why you should come to this show if you have young children (age guide 2 – 7). The stage is a few inches above the ground, the seats, well, they are actually beanbags for the kids, right next to the stage – they can touch the characters, they are part of the show. Also, everyone is in same boat, hoping their child doesn’t cause a scene (ok, maybe just me!) so if it does happen, it really doesn’t matter because everyone has been there!!!

And don’t think that because it isn’t set in a formal theatre, it won’t be of excellent quality. One of the stars/scriptwriters is Lydia Toumazou, who has worked on various SEN projects and is a former teacher, and is an absolute star with a brilliant voice with such a bubbly and warm character. Another star/scriptwriter is Rachel Smith who has a degree in Performing Arts and has performed at the Royal Albert Hall. Everything they do at the Rainbow Factory is of brilliant quality and this won’t be an exception.

Tickets are £6 each for both adults and children over 1 year old (under 1’s are free!) and the show lasts about 40 minutes. The Gingerbread Cafe will be open before every performance for you to purchase drinks and treats (always good for a bit of bribery!) but you have to be quick to book as certain shows are sold out already!!

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To get more information, check out http://www.rainbowfactorykids.com/christmasshow or search for “Rainbow Factory” on Facebook.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have received 2 tickets for this show, but you can see in my other Rainbow Factory posts here (https://leedsdad.com/tag/rainbow-factory/) that I am totally in love with the place!!


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Brass n Bloom

It isn’t often you get a star of children’s TV coming to little old Dewsbury. However, somehow, someway, Mr Bloom found the time to leave his prized allotment and take part in this “Brass n Bloom” Brass Band concert.

If you have been following the blog, you’ll know that I am a big fan of the Scarborough Spa Orchestra (link here) and so we are a used to child friendly concerts. This certainly lived up to expectations.

Taking part in the music workshop

We got there early, ok, a little too early, only to find the doors had not opened. However, the crowds were forming already! As we got in, we headed to the front to allow Heidi additional dancing room and then we explored. The good thing about the concert was that there were things to do before the show. There were music workshops which were just long enough to entertain, but not tire out the little ones, as well as musical instruments to play on.

However, the star of the show also did a relaxed meet and greet with the little ones. Perhaps as you would expect, Mr Bloom was so relaxed, approachable and good with the kids!

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And so onto the music. I am in no position to say whether the correct notes in the correct order, but it certainly sounded good from the front row! If they do another one, I may not sit quite as near to the front however!! They played child friendly tunes, including Frozen . As such, there was plenty for the little ones to enjoy.

Mr Bloom did a 15 minute set at the start of both halves – including his ukulele (who knew!) with some audience participation. As a result of Heidi being slightly overconfident, she put her hand up to answer a question and then nerves took over which meant I had to answer! However, a couple of weeks on, she is still made up that she answered a question from Mr Bloom-ish!

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Another good part of the almost 2 hour Brass n Bloom show was the excellent costumes that the band were in. Everything from Batman and Robin to a Teddy Bear! This was especially good during the half time interval seeing them wandering around and interacting with the children. The audience level dropped off a little bit towards the end, but that is completely understandable given the age of the target audience. However, those who were at the front enjoyed a good dance towards the end. Some parents watched on, fearing that their child would crawl under the stage!!!

It was so good to see so many people turn up to enjoy an afternoon of good “traditional” music. This was made really accessible to an age group who don’t usually get included in these types of events. The fact that the local music group “#Musica” were on the stage as well might have inspired some of the school aged children to give music a go.

Hopefully Brass n Bloom will be a semi-regular thing in the region, and given the audience, it has every chance!!


Continue reading Brass n Bloom

Teddy Bears Picnic

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.

The Music

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.

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Preparations taking place

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.

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The Playlist

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!!

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Heidi with DJ Dex!

Practicalities

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.

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Fully prepared with sunglasses and Elmo!

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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Jim of the Garden

Our regular Easter getaway is to Scarborough/Filey and Easter 2016 was no different. Good weather was interrupted by bad weather (I am currently writing this at 5am with the sound on torrential rain all around!). However, on Easter Saturday morning, we went to Scarborough to see “Jim of the Garden”, a performance at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

Location

The theatre is in the centre on Scarborough and while parking can be somewhat difficult, it is in no way impossible, even with a toddler. Don’t let the exterior of the theatre deceive either. Whilst the exterior is aged, inside, the facilities are what you would expect.

The show is targeted for children up to the age of 7 and this feels about right. The children found their way to the front to sit on the cushions, beanbags and blankets at the front as the parents/carers sat at the back and side. The parents who were nervous about their child ruining the show were closest to their child! I have spoken about our first “theatre” trip to the Rainbow Factory here – where I had the same worries!

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Before the show

The Show

Without wanting to give any spoilers away, the performance is about 30 minutes long and involves songs, dancing and mass audience interaction. This breaks it up for the little ones so that they are not sat down for more than a few minutes at a time, and it works really well.  Heidi fondly remembered the “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” song. As a result, she kept on singing it all day!

In terms of a plot, I am not really sure, as in part because the songs and dancing broke the plot up and this isn’t a bad thing at all. There is enough in the performance for adults to get lost in the production, rather than following it through. There is certainly enough for the adults to be entertained with – especially the Lady Gaga cover which was absolutely amazing!

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Play in progress…

There seemed to be 30-40 children there and I am not sure many more could fit it.  However, it was Easter weekend when we went, which might have brought in more people. For £3 each, you’re not going to find much better value for money for a live performance.

Facilities

In terms of the venue, as Heidi is toilet training, we had to play the game of getting a 2 year old girl in a male toilet cubicle. This is always an adventure! Fortunately, the toilets were clean/modern which helps. One thing to note is that the baby changing facilities are on the second floor, which was cordoned off. This is presumably because there were no activities happening on that floor. As a result, if you need baby changing, you might need to ask for assistance.

With all that being said, we will keep an eye out for future child friendly shows at the Stephen Joseph Theatre for when we are making our regular trips over to the North Yorkshire Coast!

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Happy theatre goers!

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