Review 2019: Stonehenge

Stonehenge, one of the wonders of the ancient world, a place of religious significance for some, a place of magic and mystery but, if you grew up locally, chances are you see it as that place you get stuck in traffic when going on holiday to Cornwall or Devon. Having been stuck there a few times themselves my children asked “Can we actually go in there one day?” so in Summer 2018 we did.

We pre-booked our tickets on their website, plus parking. The site is managed by English Heritage and the surrounding land is owned by National Trust England so those with these memberships can get in for free, (Free entry is not available to those with National Trust Scotland membership). Prices are quite high for those without membership (Details here) so it may be worth looking at getting it if you wish to visit. Walk in prices are higher so pre-booking is advised.

A short walk from the car park brought us to an impressive, modern visitor centre. From here we got a ticket to the bus that brings you to the Henge, you can walk but it was a really hot day. Whilst on the bus I felt a bit guilty, surrounded by people who had travelled thousands of miles to see the stones and I‘d never been bothered to pop in on the many occasions I had driven past. As we got off the bus the stones were very impressive but after a few initial wows my 7 year old and 4 year old were over them pretty quickly and almost had to be forced to walk the whole way around. We made our way back to the visitor centre and they quickly went from bored children, underwhelmed by one of the world’s most iconic sights, to children completely in love with the display of how those who built the Henges (there are lots of them, many within walking distance) used to live. Brought to life by the volunteers who give talks, the displays include replicas of the housing the builders lived in. The museum also makes use of different kinds of technology to really get them engaged with the history. Also, being surrounded by fields and several walks, there is plenty of room for children to work off excess energy.

We ate at the restaurant which was busy but manageable, even in August, and we found tables easily. The food was good but the price was what you would expect for a global tourist attraction, this goes for the gift shop too although there were some very cool items. All other facilities were really good. Pushchairs would be fine although at busier times you would struggle to take a pushchair on the bus so bring a sling or be prepared to walk.

We went on a sunny day but it would be doable on a day with some rain. I would recommend this as a day out for children, be prepared to spend more time in the visitor area than at the stones, but at just under £50 for a family ticket it is pricey so I would consider putting £50 towards one of the memberships that lets you in for free.

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Review 2019: Thula Mama, Relax and sing whilst enjoying the soothing therapy of salt!

Review 2019: Thula Mama

Thula Mama is a unique and relaxing activity where mums with babies can enjoy singing together in a group whilst cuddling their babies and generally having a lovely time.  There are groups all over the country, but Basingstoke’s offering stands out from the rest in its venue – The Salt Lounge is Basingstoke’s first salt therapy space and is conveniently located close to Festival Place just off Wote street.  It offers treatments that can help alleviate breathing difficulties such as asthma as well as soothing skin conditions such as eczema.

At my first session it was a small enough group to not feel overwhelmed.  Rebecca, who organises it, was super friendly and we were offered tea and biscuits in lovely reusable mugs with lids (to prevent accidents from little grabbing hands!).  We relaxed in the waiting area and chatted for a while, before heading into the therapy room for our singing session.

The therapy room is a soothing white cave of tranquility.  There are comfortable reclining chairs with low arms and footstools, perfect for feeding baby.  You can choose to go barefoot, or with protection over your shoes, and the salt on the floor feels lovely between your toes.  There are mats and toys laid out on the floor for the babies to play, and the lighting is slightly dimmed for relaxation.

The songs at Thula Mama are simple, easy to learn traditional songs from around the world.  The words are written on a flip chart and the tunes can be picked up after hearing the song once.  We sang each through several times, adding in harmonies as we went, and I felt a real sense of achievement from learning some lovely-sounding music and enjoying singing it in less than 5 minutes!  There are no auditions, and no worrying about having any previous experience of singing – it’s all about joining in and having fun with other mums!

Facilities-wise the venue has everything you need – there are lockers for you to leave valuables if you wish, prams can be left in the waiting area where there is always a member of staff present, and the disabled toilet has a changing table too.  There are a couple of steps into the building, but there is always someone to help get prams in if needed.

I left my first session feeling both physically and emotionally refreshed.  My little one and I both had colds at the time, and I’m sure the salt therapy helped us feel better, and it was such a nice change to do something calming and relaxing with babies (although we are all for the sensory play and bright colours and loud noises of other baby groups too!).  I have since been back every week for the past couple of months and treat it as my weekly retreat!

I give Thula Mama 5 out of 5!  At £10 per week it’s really reasonable, especially considering you get a salt therapy session for free!  The first session is free for you to come along and try, so what are you waiting for?  Get in touch on the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/ThulaMamaBasingstoke

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Review 2019: Happy Faces Easter Egg Hunt

Thank you very much to Alison for today’s NHM Secret Review! She’s done a brilliant job!!!

Review 2019: Happy Faces Easter Egg Hunt

Today I took my two year old to the Happy Faces Easter Egg Hunt in Sherfield-on-Loddon. It was on from 10am-12pm at a cost of £2.50 per child. We arrived shortly after 10am to find a queue had already formed at the entrance & most parking spaces taken.

The ladies of Happy Faces were all very friendly and welcoming. We were given a bag to collect eggs, a piece of paper with our clues on and a raffle ticket. Then we set off on our hunt.

Thanks to the sudden glorious bank holiday weather we had a lovely little walk finding clues and mini eggs along the way. For someone who doesn’t know Sherfield-on-Loddon that well we managed to follow others and figure out where each clue was hidden. Knowing that we needed to look out for the ladies wearing bunny ears helped! I especially liked the added touch of the Easter bunny (although my son found him slightly scary, lol)

At each stop the children were allowed two mini eggs for their bags. The distance covered was just enough for young legs and the gap between clues was just right to keep them interested. We had a lovely time and especially enjoyed visiting the ducks.

We worked our way back round to Happy Faces where we exchanged our raffle ticket for a large Easter egg (enough chocolate for any child). After this we had a lovely time exploring the garden, which was much bigger than I had expected.

Inside Happy Faces were many different stalls etc all helping to raise money. There were lots of amazing looking cakes for sale too.

At £2.50 I thought it was great value and my son thoroughly enjoyed himself. I would definitely do this again. It was very popular so I think getting there early is key!

Happy Faces Playgroup, Sherfield on Loddon

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Review 2019: Proteus Creation Space – Christmas Toy Shop

Thank you very much to today’s NHM Secret Reviewer. She’s done a fab job!

Review 2019: Proteus Creation Space – Christmas Toy Shop

After being told about the Christmas show at Proteus Creation Space numerous times when my firstborn was young (but never getting a chance to attend), I finally booked a space for my youngest and I to see the Christmas Toy Shop.

Unfortunately, after years of living on the outskirts of Basingstoke, I am still hopeless at navigating around but Proteus was really easy to find using Googlemaps. There was parking at the venue and also plenty of spaces along the surrounding roads. It is also very close to the short stay car park by ‘old town’.

We arrived a minute or two before the show started so didn’t get to fully scope out the facilities. Most people were waiting in a small cafe style area, indicating there are options to get a drink and/or piece of cake etc. We were running a little too late to sample anything.

The show itself was lovely. The number of people in the room was just right and enough to let the performers engage well with everyone. It was very immersive for the young ones (mine being 2.5yrs old), with activities for them to get involved in along the way. During the show we moved into three different rooms which stopped any little ones from getting restless and kept a sense of excitement going.

If you have young toddlers and are looking for something a little different at Christmas, I would definitely recommend Proteus Creation Space. It wasn’t too loud or too busy (which some places can be at that time of year) and it let the children take part in the experience too.

I would give it a 5/5 rating.

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Review 2018: Oh no you didn’t!!!! A Review of “Snow White & the Seven Dwarves” at The Anvil

Written by Victoria Kennedy, Thefairyclothesmother.com (thank you VERY much Victoria for the awesome review!!! 

About

Snow white: http://www.anvilarts.org.uk/snow-white

When offered the chance to attend the Christmas Panto at The Anvil, Basingstoke, I jumped at the chance. Many of my fond childhood memories are of attending the local panto! Panto’s are guaranteed family fun! And this one didn’t disappoint! There was plenty of audience participation- from song and dances, sweetie-chucking and water pistols to the traditional panto villain ‘boo’s’ and comedy slapstick of ‘He’s behind you’.

The Anvil Arts centre is an award winning concert hall, with amazing acoustics and an international reputation. The beautiful set design had the children captured from the beginning. With special effects such as indoor pyro- there were plenty of mesmerised faces!

A special mention has to be given to ‘Nurse Dolly’s’ wardrobe (I am a stylist after all! ). She had some absolutely stunning dresses, each unique and I would have loved the opportunity to study each in great detail! Take a look for yourself:

Snow White was played by Dani Harmer, of CBBC fame. She played the character well and her gentle, ‘girl next-door’ manner soon had the audience on side.

The Wicked Queen, played by Kirsty Sparks, was both terrifying and utterly lovable at the same time! The stars of the show, form y 5 year old son, was Muddles, played by Chris Pizzey (Basil Brush’s Mr Stephens). His jokey character got the children on side meaning audience participation was full on! The jokes had the kids roaring with laughter, creating a fantastic atmosphere. There was even a subtle ‘dad joke’ or two!

Personally, I loved the dwarves. Each played to their name sake well, with names carefully adapted so not to gain the wrath of Disney! They were both cheeky and lovable!

The show runs until 6th January with both matinee and evening performances- get your tickets here: http://www.anvilarts.org.uk/your-visit/how-to-book/online-booking-information?ticketing_id=A8PE

http://www.anvilarts.org.uk/your-visit/how-to-book/online-booking-information?ticketing_id=A8PE

Tips

Take ear defenders for children who are bothered by loud noises, as there are a few loud bangs. Also there is (without ruining the surprise) a brief moment involving water & the audience, if this is something that could bother your child ask at the info desk for the timing of the ‘stunt’ so you can be ready!

‘Flashy’ wands and the like are for sale but we took our own from previous events. This was allowed and certainly saved a small fortune as well as reducing our plastic consumption.

Dressing up was encouraged- there were many mini snow whites in the audience!

Food

There is a selection of treats –  sweeties, ice cream, crisps on sale at the venue. However, as a huge cost saver I’d recommend taking your own! The show is 2 hrs 35 min long so a drink will most definitely be needed. There is also a bar available.

Facilities

The Anvil is fully accessible to wheelchair users, and pushchairs. There are facilities for baby changing. The audience was a real mix of ages, so babes-in-arms are certainly welcomed. There is a bar onsite for refreshments.

Parking

The Anvil is easily accessed from any of the town centre car parks and just a 2 min walk from the train & bus station.

Prices

This is my only point of contention. The cost of a family visiting the theatre is becoming massively out of reach for many families. Unfortunately this is something that is happening with the panto too. At £28 per adult and £25 per child – a cost of over £100 for a family of 4 it means a big majority miss out. The Anvil does offer group rates, and discounted tickets to local schools.

Ratingout of 5

4 a great afternoon of family fun, with laughter, cheers, boo’s and song! Plus the most wonderful panto dame costume!!!

All images courtesy of Anvil Arts

Disclaimer: This post is a review of “Snow White Seven Dwarves and the  in conjunction with The Anvil. Victoria’s tickets were supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. We were not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are our own.

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Review 2018: Basingstoke Canal Santa Cruise

Thank you very much to W for today’s NHM Secret Review!! She’s done a brilliant job! 

If you would like to be a NHM Secret Reviewer, please get in touch. Thanks! 

Review 2018: BasingstokeCanal Santa Cruise

Helping out with NHM articles that past couple of years I have gained quite a lot of knowledge about local Santa and Christmas experiences and this year I finally got to experience the stuff of local Christmas legend, the Basingstoke Canal Santa Cruise.

About

Each year, in late September/early October the Basingstoke Canal visitor centre opens up early to take bookings for their Santa Cruises. 

Tickets go fast and bookings can only be made in person or by phone so be prepared to spend a lot of time pressing redial. 

One friend did decide to drive there one year to guarantee her spot by booking it in person, but I persevered with the phone and finally got through at around 11am on the first day of booking. 

Their advice is to have a few dates in mind, especially if you want an evening or weekend, and also have the names and ages of children attending ready. 

In 2018 the evening experiences cost £15.50 per person, weekend day times were £15 and weekday day time were £12.  In December 2018 they ran six cruises a day and all but two cruises were sold out. 

Fast forward to a very cold night in mid-December when I arrived at the centre in Mychett, with my four year old and almost eight year old and waited outside for our boat. 

The area outside the centre had been dressed with Christmas lights and we were greeted by a giant inflatable Santa.  

Facilities whilst waiting were basic, access to toilets and a bench to sit on inside an area normally used for changing, so dress for the weather and don’t leave your car too early. 

We boarded the last boat of the day at 7pm.  There are twelve people per cruise, including adults, our cruise had five children on board.  After boarding the boat our guide asked the children to look out for Christmas lights and let her know when they saw them. 

We cruised up the canal for about 10 mins, when we arrived at our jetty and got off the boat everyone was given a torch. 

The guide then asked the children to look out for the red tinsel which would guide them to Santa, we followed the red tinsel through the dark woods until we found Santa’s grotto. 

Santa’s grotto was a yurt, beautifully decorated for Christmas. 

Inside we all sat on hay bales as we waited for Santa to wake up, once he did he chatted with us all as a group first before looking up names in his book and chatting individually to each child for a few minutes. 

He adjusted his chat accordingly to the age and personality of the child and afterwards we sang a few songs, he then gave out gifts to each child, which already had their names on. 

We were in the yurt for about 20 minutes.  After we said goodbye to Santa we used our torches to find the silver tinsel that would guide us back out of the woods and back on to our boat where we opened our gifts, good quality, age appropriate books. 

We then cruised back to the centre where we did some colouring whilst enjoying mince pies or chocolate bars and hot drinks, all included in the price.  We left the centre at around 8.20pm.

Rating out of 5

We do a few Santa and Christmas experiences each year and this was a really lovely event, unlike anything we had done before and perfect for restoring the magic for my doubting older son. 

The boat and the canal centre are practical rather than luxury but the uniqueness of the occasion and the enthusiasm of the guides and Santa, really made this feel special.  None of the children became bored, with each activity taking the right amount of time. 

All the food was branded with allergy information easily available but it would be fine to take your own if you needed to. 

The experience was really good value for money and suitable for all ages, although I think older children would really prefer the after dark cruises. 

Highly recommended. 

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Review 2018: Muddy Fingers

 

Have a bit of free time and fancy doing something a bit different with your toddler – try Muddy Fingers!

https://www.facebook.com/MuddyFingersGardenClub/

07775594463 or info@muddyfingersgardenclub.co.uk

About

Muddy Fingers truly is a one of a kind class in Basingstoke. I have been to a lot of toddler classes in the local area and I have never been to one like this. If your kids love gardening and learning about nature, food and the environment then this could be for you.

Lauren, who started Muddy Fingers in September 2018, is a keen gardener and has two young children of her own. Her enthusiasm for the subject is obvious and so far, we have covered some great topics ranging from berries, sunflowers to hedgehogs. Each session is based on a new area and every week your child gets something to take something home with them, be that a craft or a seed that they have planted in their own pots.

We particularly enjoyed the pumpkin class that was held around Halloween. Each session starts with a talk about the topic so at this class we got to touch and feel lots had of different pumpkins. The children were encouraged to describe how then pumpkins felt – were they bumpy, smooth, squashy? Lauren then told us about how pumpkins are grown and the differences between each of them. I was particularly surprised that a pumpkin is technically a fruit as its seeds are grown on the inside. Each child then picked a pumpkin and using a fact sheet they measured how big it was, how heavy it was and how tall it was.

The children then picked one pumpkin for Lauren to slice open. This allowed them to all look at the inside and enjoy the messy job of scooping out the flesh and seeds! This was another opportunity to discuss how the pumpkin felt inside as it was pretty squashy and slimy! After a lot of messy fun, we moved onto some tasting as Lauren had brought in some homemade pumpkin soup and roasted pumpkin seeds for everyone to try. The seeds were particularly popular! Our last activity involved orange peppers which the children carved like Halloween pumpkins. My son ate his 5 minutes after finishing it!

The class concluded with a lovely pumpkin themed story which was read by Lauren.

 

Tips

Don’t wear your best clothes to this class, your children will get dirty!

Food

There is not food or drink offered at these classed but occasionally food will form part of the class. For example, we have made smoothies from popular berries which the children drank one week. If your child has allergies it would be worth telling Lauren about them when you register for the class, then she can accommodate for them.

Facilities

Currently sessions are held in two community centres – Brocas Hall at Clift Meadow in Bramley and Brookvale Village Hall, Basingstoke. Both halls have a toilets and disabled toilets with changing facilities.

Parking

Both halls have good parking facilities. The car park at Brookvale is closed as soon as the class has concluded. Brookvale Village Hall is an easy 10 min walk from Basingstoke town centre.

Prices

£40 for 5 weeks block of classes, and every week your child gets to take home something.

Tuesdays at Brookvale Village Hall, Basingstoke at 10am-10.50am.

Fridays at Brocas Hall at Clift Meadow, Bramley at 10am-10.50am.

Rating out of 5

5 out of 5. It may be a pricey class but it’s great to do something so different with your children. They truly love getting their hands dirty when they have done planting. We have made our own runner bean mini greenhouse one week!  The best bit is that this class helps you and your children learn about the world around them. Kids are encouraged to try new foods and get outdoors in the garden. My son and I are really looking forward to attending the summer classes when we will see the results of our winter planting and then we can start growing some fruit and veg for next summer! Roll of 2019!

 

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Review 2018: Gymfinity

Thank you very much to S for today’s NHM Review! She’s done a fab job!!!

Review 2018: Gymfinity

About

Gymfinity is a kids activity centre.

They say: “Gymfinity Kids is the one-stop destination for active classes for kids. From budding gymnasts to natural born ninjas, all skill levels are welcome to join the fun!”.

They host all types of gymnastic classes, holiday camps, baby balance, Ninja Zone and parties.

There are several types of gymnastic classes ranging from beginners, intermediate to advanced and team gymnastics.

Ninja Zone was: ” designed to help children channel their boundless energy into something productive.

This fun and energetic class combines a mix of martial arts, freestyle movement and gymnastics. Every one-hour session includes warm-ups, games and rotations adapted to each child’s ability, plus a fun obstacle course. As their skill and ability grows, each child will advance through the different levels.”

Baby Balance sessions are: “”30 minutes of FREE sensory play for babies aged 3 months +. These are parent-led sessions where you can spend quality time with your little one, while catching up with other parents too!”

There are lots more details about each of the classes at the following link: https://www.gymfinitykids.com/locations/farnborough/activities/#gymnastics.

They have branches in Farnborough, Colchester, Reading and Leeds. I visited the Farnborough branch with my 8 year old son.

Every child has a free trial prior to signing up; this means that the child and parent gets to see if the facilities work for them, and it also gives the coaches a chance to assess the child’s ability and place them in the correct group for their ability.

Every coach is trained by a regional trainer regularly which means that they are all trained to the same standard. They also train coaches on the floor during classes so they receive on-the-job training.

Tips

Gymfinity is based on the upper floor of the Meads Shopping centre (above Sainsbury’s). I would advise you get to your session in plenty of time to get a parking space and pay for your ticket.

Food/drink

There is a vending machine and a hot drinks machine in the gym. These are usual vending prices.

Facilities

There is plenty of seating so you can watch your child during the class. There are a couple of tables. There are male and female toilets and disabled toilet with nappy changing facilities. They are very clean and well maintained.

There are two party rooms, both with disco lights which are very cool. I was told their unicorn themed party is very popular.

The gym itself has loads of equipment including balance beams, trampolines, assault course (with timer), vaulting horse, climbing wall as well as two slides which end in a massive foam pit.

Baby facilities

There are changing facilities in the disabled toilets

Parking

There is a car park which costs £2 for two hours. This can be refunded if you spend £5 in Sainsbury’s.

Prices

The trial session is free but if you decide you want to go ahead with classes these are prices as follows;

Pre-schoolers (up to 4.5): 25.95 a month with £30 annual membership fee
Recreational (4.5-16 years): 34.62 a month with £30 annual membership fee
Additional child: same monthly price but just £5 annual membership fee

Classes run daily and at weekends. At the end of each class children receive any awards and certificates they have earned.

Rating out of 5

5/5. Gymfinity is honestly amazing; it is well air conditioned without being chilly, light and airy. The gym itself is bright and colourful and very inviting to children (I was very tempted to dive headfirst into the foam pit after my son!)

The coaches are fantastic, really encouraging to the children and willing to throw themselves into the activity (my son certainly put his instructor through her paces). There are plenty of coaches on the floor who can help those children who need it and there is a maximum of 10 children per class.

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Gymfinity Farnborough. Our session was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. We were not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are our own.

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Review 2018: Stonor Park, Henley on Thames

Thank you very much to Emma for today’s NHM Secret Review! She’s done an awesome job :-D.

About

Stonor Park is a beautiful stately home found in the sprawling countryside near Henley on Thames. The house itself is open on various dates throughout the year and showcases art, treasures and a step back in time. However, as beautiful as it is, the reason that we loved our visit to Stonar Park was for the Wonder Woods play area that has been built and the beautiful gardens you can explore.

The adventure play area is really big and includes massive slides, swings, water play, climbing frames and gigantic zip wire. We arrived as soon as Stonor park opened at 10am and by 12.30pm the kids were still merrily throwing themselves around on the play equipment. We had to remind them that they needed to eat!

Once we had exhausted the play area we took a wander around the grounds and the children really loved all of the little winding pathways that they could run off and explore – it felt a bit like ‘The Secret Garden’ – really magical.

Alongside all of the exciting things to see, the facilities are also excellent. They have wonderfully clean toilets, a baby changing room, on site parking, gift shop and a café.

Tips

Take a picnic if you feel that way inclined, as they have a lovely big picnic area for you to enjoy whilst watching the Deer frolic amongst the trees.

Be aware that the play area is set on a very steep hillside. I had my baby in a pushchair and I managed to take it all the way up to the top but it was quite a work out to do so, perhaps leave it in the car and grab a sling instead! I also don’t think it would be particularly accessible if you had any mobility issues.

You can pay to visit the whole site (including the house) or just for the gardens and Wonder Woods.

Finally, I suspect that the day was made by the beaming sunshine – it is quite an exposed spot so I am not sure if it would be the same in the pouring rain.

Rating

We had a wonderful day out and I think in good weather it is most definitely a top scoring location! 5/5!

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Review 2018: CarFest South

Thank you very much to R for today’s NHM Secret Review!!!

Review 2018: CarFest South

Wow.  Our day at CarFest was certainly one to remember!  Ha ha. I will explain…

CarFest doesn’t do anything half-heartedly.  It gives 100% to the atmosphere, to the entertainment, to the food, to the music, to the cars and to the fundraising.  It really is impressive. Unfortunately, on our day visit, the weather also decided to give 100%… 100% rain!!! All day.  From start to finish. It rained. And rained. And rained some more. It was relentless.

Now you would think, with all the problems that the weather was creating, that the event would be a washout.  However, I am pleased to report that it definitely wasn’t getting the better of this very British affair. We had an amazing time at CarFest and, weirdly, the crazy torrential rain made the whole experience even more unforgettable!

Top Tip:  Be prepared for all weather conditions (take suncream, hats, layers, waterproofs, picnic blankets/chairs, umbrella, etc) as this is largely an outdoor event.

About

CarFest South is a fantastic weekend of family fun, awesome cars, delicious food and great music.  It was founded by Chris Evans and raises money for BBC Children in Need.

It takes place over the August bank holiday weekend each year.

It is located on Laverstoke Park Farm, near Overton in Hampshire, clearly signposted from Basingstoke.  We didn’t encounter any issues with traffic or queuing at all.

There is plenty of parking onsite.  

Top Tip:  Please note that it is a long uphill walk from the car parks so choose suitable comfortable footwear.  Also make a note of which car park you are in to make it easier to find when you return in the dark!

Since its start in 2012, CarFest has raised £10.5 million for BBC Children in Need!  The purchasing of CarFest tickets, adding to the collection buckets, buying merchandise from the Pudsey shop and getting raffle tickets, all contribute to this wonderful charity helping disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

What’s On

The weekend is jam-packed with family-friendly entertainment.  I couldn’t possibly include everything in this review but here is a quick overview to give you an idea of what’s on:

Family
Farm Olympics, Steam Fair & Rides, Car-nival Parade, Kids’ Theatre, Inflatables, Kids’ Driving School and so much more.

Cars
Race track, Cartopia & Wall of Death, Vintage Village, Motorshow and Pudsey Bear Dream Rides.

Music
Wigwam Stage with performances from new and unsigned acts.
Main stage – headline acts this year included James Bay, Paloma Faith, Clean Bandit and Status Quo.

Food
Food Fair, Kitchen Stage (with live cooking demos from celebrity chefs) and caterers/cafes/food stalls galore!

Top Tip:  Find out what’s on and where from the Daily Planners.  Plan ahead and schedule your day so that you don’t miss out on any of your favourite activities, acts or displays. Some of the children’s activities, such as milkshake making and biscuit decorating, require booking a timeslot.

Top Tip:  The use of ear protection for young children is recommended at CarFest due to the loud cars and music performances.  These can be collected from the Organiser’s Office.

Facilities

  • Toilets and Baby Change
  • First Aid
  • Lost Child Point
  • CarFest encourages the use of reusable bottles to help protect the environment so there are drinking water points across the site.
  • Public Wi-Fi (all proceeds from Wi-Fi connections donated to Children in Need – £1 for 1 day, £3 for full weekend access)
  • Cash Machines (NB withdrawal charges apply)
  • Information Points
  • Electric Scooter & Wheelchair hire

The following must NOT be brought onto the festival site:

  • Dogs (except assistance dogs)
  • Alcohol, Glass, BBQs.

Exhibitors

All the wonderful folk volunteering and working there must have been so wet and cold but it didn’t dampen their spirits at all.  Everyone was so kind, helpful and enthusiastic.

This was particularly true of one stand “Milk & More” who kindly welcomed us to shelter from the rain for a while.  It was very interesting to learn about their service and sample some of their products. Milk & More source milk and other fresh produce from Britain’s farms and deliver them to doorsteps nationwide.  

They are passionate about encouraging people to eat well and live sustainably and it was inspiring to hear their story. I love the idea of waking up to fresh milk from a glass bottle. They were even providing the weekend’s campers with lovely fresh tasty breakfast hampers!  Their website is definitely worth a look.

https://www.milkandmore.co.uk/

Highlights

Chris Evans himself injected so much energy and fun into the weekend’s events.  He is very much present and actively involved in everything that’s going on. He is clearly passionate about CarFest and about the Children in Need charity and it was great to see him compere the evening’s entertainment and interact with all the performers.  

Tickets

http://www.carfest.org/ticket-information

Tickets for CarFest South in August go on sale in the previous November.

Prices vary depending on the number of days you wish to visit and whether or not you will be camping.  A 1-day family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) for the Friday this year was £143.

Children under the age of 6 can enter free of charge but you must order them a ticket.

Top Tip:  CarFest tickets are in high demand each year and can prove tricky to get your hands on.  You will need to set your alarm, be prepared and get online in plenty of time. If possible, use various devices and get friends and family on the case too!  Keep pressing refresh to see the latest information.

Rating

My rating of CarFest has to be 5 out of 5!!!  We really hope to return to this fantastic family event again next year.  We will also be hoping for a bit more luck with regards to the weather.

Reminder of Top Tips

    • CarFest tickets are in high demand each year and can prove tricky to get your hands on.  You will need to set your alarm, be prepared and get online in plenty of time. If possible, use various devices and get friends and family on the case too!  Keep pressing refresh to see the latest information.
    • It is a long uphill walk from the car parks so choose suitable comfortable footwear.  
    • Make a note of which car park you are in to make it easier to find when you return in the dark!
    • Find out what’s on and where from the Daily Planners.  Plan ahead and schedule your day so that you don’t miss out on any of your favourite activities, acts or displays. Some of the children’s activities, such as milkshake making and biscuit decorating, require booking a timeslot.
    • The use of ear protection for young children is recommended at CarFest due to the loud cars and music performances.  These can be collected from the Organiser’s Office.
    • Take picnic food and snacks with you to save some money as purchasing food onsite can be pricey.
    • Be prepared for all weather conditions (take suncream, hats, layers, waterproofs, picnic blankets/chairs, umbrella, etc) as this is largely an outdoor event.

Disclaimer: This post is a review of 2018 CarFest South in conjunction with MilkandMore. The tickets were supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. We were not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are our own.

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