Toddle About Blog

Review: Peter Pan – 2018’s Christmas Panto at Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Royal & Derngate's 2018 Christmas Panto is Peter Pan - and it's quite possibly the best panto I've ever seen

Royal & Derngate’s 2018 Christmas Panto is Peter Pan – and it’s quite possibly the best panto I’ve ever seen

If you enjoy a good panto, then this Christmas’ offering from Royal & Derngate – Peter Pan – is well worth a visit. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s quite possibly the best panto I’ve ever seen.

We attended with our children and it has been pitched perfectly for a family audience, so the kids loved it too. There’s nothing too scary, nothing too rude – though still plenty of jokes for the grown ups. And good jokes too. Too often I find pantos churn out the same gags, and they get a bit tired – but not this version of Peter Pan. Continue reading

Have you discovered the amazing family music scene yet?

Guest Post by Brady Rymer (Legendary Children’s Singer-Songwriter from America)

Songs Across The Pond by David Gibb & Brady Rymer

Songs Across The Pond by David Gibb & Brady Rymer

The American family music scene is cookin’ these days, serving up a heaping helping of love, excitement and positively groovin’ vibes with styles ranging from pop to hip hop, bluegrass to singer/songwriter and multilingual to punk. The musicianship and production of this current crop of music is top notch; the songs are creative, fresh, fun, educational and engaging. The scene is flourishing and supportive of newcomers.  I love being part of something so infectious and appreciated – bringing joy and happiness to so many kids and families.

At the time my rock band From Good Homes disbanded, following a long, adventurous and fruitful run in the 1990s, I was just starting a family. Steeped in new fatherhood, Continue reading

Excitement BUILDS as BRICKLIVE returns to Brum

BRICKLIVE 2018 is back in Brum

BRICKLIVE 2018 is back in Brum

The UK’s largest LEGO® fan convention returns to the NEC Birmingham this November, welcoming a host of new and improved features that will encourage children and adults to create, play and discover. Taking place from 1-4 November, BRICKLIVE lets fans explore 11 zones, as well as see live stage shows and meet the makers.

Brand new for 2018 is Mythical Beasts, a powerful presence that is sure to drive brick fans wild when 50 models and interactive experiences bring the fascinating world of creatures from mythology to life using LEGO® bricks. Inspired by legends from ancient Greece, the show revolves around the mythical Pandora’s Box which, when opened, will unleash a horde of trapped beasts upon the world. As the “heroes” of the experience, visitors must find all of the escaped creatures, to send them back into the box and seal them away. Mythical Beasts like Valkaria the majestic Hippogriff and Owl of Athena will be your allies, but beware of the likes of Asterion the vengeful Minotaur, Vladdigor the fearsome four-headed Chimera, and the seven-headed Hydra, who won’t be as friendly.

Returning to this year’s BRICKLIVE is the Warrior Bots Zone, where custom-built battle zones will provide the backdrop for adrenalin-filled wars. With each LEGO® bot comes a different set of brick-built weaponry, so all you have to do is grab hold of a remote control and battle it out for robot supremacy in this custom-built area. Also returning for 2018 is a new and improved Star Wars Zone, where you can choose the Alliance or join the Empire and create new spaceships to be used in the galactic war. As well as being able to take part in an out of this world adventure, visitors can explore a huge selection of official Star Wars sets on display, spanning over 15 years’ worth of official LEGO® releases.

This year’s event also welcomes back the LEGO® theme City, a build zone that has four dedicated activity areas all within one area. Visitors can use specialist elements to create everything from a house and automobile, to a boat or plane. Builders can create their own adventure and display it within the cityscape, harbour, airport or town.

In addition to the new and improved features of BRICKLIVE 2018, some old favourites also make their return, including the ever-popular Minecraft Zone, where you can create using the playable console pods or dig through the pits of bricks to build. As well as the Race Ramps, where you can design and build your ultimate vehicle and try it out on one or four challenging car tracks. There are also Stage Shows, the chance to have a Dance Party with your friends, play amongst the Fairy Bricks, get competitive in the Gaming areas, and be hands-on in the Duplo® Build Zone. As well as the BRICK Pits, Build Map, BRICK Lane and so much more!

BRICKLIVE is all about bringing the LEGO® fan community together, encouraging all ages to create masterpieces, play with fellow fans, and discover each of the zones. The show welcomes both families and Adult Fans of LEGO, with masterpieces by the experts sitting alongside areas dedicated to making your own creations.

Tickets for BRICKLIVE 2018 are on sale now, priced at £20 + fees for General Admission day tickets, which permit entry from 10.30am, or £27.45 + fees for Priority Admission that gets you into the show 30 minutes earlier. There are also VIP tickets priced at £35 + fees, which includes 9.30am show entry, a lanyard, event guide and goody bag. Family tickets are also available.

To buy tickets, visit www.bricklive.co.uk.

 

BRICKLIVE Challenge 2018

Review: Emerald Storm Irish Dance Sensation

Emerald StormBy Lorraine Holmes at Toddle About HQ.

My daughter and I had the pleasure of attending the Emerald Storm show at The Grove Theatre in Dunstable at the weekend and we can honestly say we had a truly amazing evening.

The show includes a mixture of different genres of dance from gentle ballet style and fiery Salsa to your high energy, toe tapping Irish Tap with a more modern day twist to it and all performed by an amazing cast of highly talented dancers and we were both engrossed right from the start.

The Story, which is told throughout the show, takes you on a journey where mortals are trying to save the mythical land from destruction and this is all told through a range of dance, music and singing.  The lead vocalist, John-Philip Bowen, has a voice that is out of this world singing solos, duets and also singing along with the dancers performing it was just stunning and we didn’t know where to look when the stage came alight with the whole cast performing all at the same time. Continue reading

All aboard for the unmissable swashbuckling pantomime adventure – Peter Pan at Royal & Derngate

Peter Pan PantomimeDarren Day, Flawless,The Grumbleweeds and Abigail Dever brought a touch of early Christmas magic to Northampton today as they officially launched Peter Pan, this year’s swashbuckling Royal & Derngate pantomime, with a photo call at Northampton’s Riverside Hub play centre.

Actor, singer and television presenter Darren Day will play the dastardly Captain Hook. Darren has had a varied career having starred in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Grease, Summer Holiday and Godspell and numerous UK tours. He since went on to host You Bet! and Don’t Try This at Home for ITV and appeared in The Bill and Holby City. Last year Darren came third in Celebrity Big Brother, released his album This is the Moment and starred as Tick in the UK tour of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Last year Darren starred as the Teen Angel in Grease across the UK, joined the cast of Sky TV comedy Stella, and starred in Hollyoaks and Holby City. This year Darren will be seen in the feature films Rudy and Demon Eye. This production marks Darren’s third time donning the infamous hook. Continue reading

Disney On Ice presents ‘Dream Big’ is coming to the UK

Disney on Ice Dream BigAudiences will set sail with the wayfinder Moana as she makes her UK debut live on ice in Disney On Ice presents Dream Big. This all-new production, produced by Feld Entertainment, assembles a collection of inspiring stories connected by a cast of characters with a desire to explore the depths, heights and horizons of their dreams. Alongside Moana and demigod Maui are eight tales of courage and heart, including Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Tangled.

Courage leads the way for Disney’s most daring heroines, in this brand-new ice skating spectacular. Travel to the kingdom of Arendelle with Anna, Elsa and Olaf in a dramatic retelling of the sisterly love that saved a kingdom. Jump into amazing adventures with Aladdin as he seizes his chance to outwit his adversaries in the marketplace of Agrabah. Discover uncharted worlds with Rapunzel and Jasmine. Battle the villain Maleficent in the form of a fire-breathing dragon alongside Prince Phillip, igniting the ice in a blazing spectacle. Dive under the sea with headstrong Ariel as she yearns to explore life above the waves and is willing to risk it all for curiosity and the thrill of adventure. And find the inner strength that comes from kindness and determination with Belle, Aurora and Cinderella. Plus, arrive early to celebrate 90 years of Walt Disney’s true original, Mickey Mouse. High-flying jumps, breathtaking skating and lovable Disney friends make Disney On Ice presents Dream Big an experience your family will never forget! Continue reading

Win a Dream House and Help Raise £1 Million for Dementia

Win a HouseOur Story – by Marty Pumbien and Annie Brown.

Putting your home up as the prize in a ‘Win a house’ competition is crazy, right?

So, giving some of the money raised to charity is even crazier?

Actually, no. It’s absolutely the thing to do…

My partner Annie and I have been nurses for three decades, both of us working with adults.  During our careers, whether on a busy Accident and Emergency Department, Emergency Admissions Unit, or more recently during my rounds as a District Nurse, we both have first-hand experience of helping people who have dementia.

It’s no news that the ageing population in the UK is increasing, along with the number of people with a form of dementia, virtually everyone knows someone who has been affected.

Since moving to a community based job, I’ve noticed services are struggling due to a lack funding available to them. I could list many examples of patients left on their own for hours at a time with my visit as the only contact with other people they had. Suffice to say, I saw it a lot. Continue reading

The Gruffalo arrives in MK for 1st Birthday

The Gruffalo at Childcare HubThis weekend, The Childcare Hub in Milton Keynes, the home of nature-based play, run by Kids Play Nurseries, celebrated it’s 1st Birthday and The Gruffalo was there to host the party!

Over 100 Pre-Schoolers were on the Guest List and the event was packed full of giant sized Gruffalo fun. After meeting The Gruffalo, the children joined in with special Forest school activities, listened to Gruffalo stories, and had their faces painted with a finale being a themed birthday cake and special guest, The Gruffalo.

Sharon Elliott, Childcare Director said, “The Childcare Hub has been a fantastic venue over the last year, giving children a great opportunity to learn more about our natural world. The Gruffalo seemed the perfect guest to host our children’s party”.

The Childcare Hub is the home of nature-based play and opened to the public in July 2017. The newest venue for Kids Play Childcare, this site really is the beacon for their ethos of nature-based play. The Childcare Hub plays host to Forest School sessions for all MK nurseries, has natural resources for all ages of learning and a rooftop garden!  At the event, the children had the opportunity to wear their best Gruffalo fancy dress costumes.

 


The Childcare Hub incorporates a Nursery, Pre-School, After School Club and during School Holidays, Camp MK Activity Day Camps.

Family Festivals for Summer 2018

Summer Events and FestivalsFamily Friendly Festivals, Activities and Entertainment to enjoy this Summer.

Grow Festival:

Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd July

A brand new outdoor arts festival in Corby this Summer. Inspired by the theme of water, the festival will animate Corby’s town centre with performances, experiences and workshops throughout the weekend, creating an imaginary water-filled world of adventure, with storytelling, performances and music. Come and uncover hidden surprises as you sail through the woods to a family area submerged by the Boating Lake – which will also host a spectacular early-evening event.

All around Corby town centre, woods and boating lake. www.growcorby.com

Continue reading

Timber: The International Family Friendly Forest Festival

Timber is a not-for-profit festival with sustainability at its heart.

Timber is a not-for-profit festival with sustainability at its heart.

Timber Festival takes place in the hear of the National Forest from the  6th – 8th July 2018.

Timber is an extraordinary, family friendly festival where music, art, theatre, storytelling, science and play will weave together into an exhilarating weekend in the heart of the National Forest, one of Britain’s boldest environmental projects.

Taking place over three days from 6-8 July 2018, it will be the only international forest festival in the UK. Experience the transformative impact of forests with artists, musicians, storytellers, theatrical performers and scientists from across the world. Explore what woodlands can mean to us and how we can re-imagine our relationship with our environment. Play and create in an arboreal wonderland, where the tonic of wildness rules supreme.

Created by the National Forest Company and Wild Rumpus, award-winning producers of the Just So Festival, the experiences that Timber will offer, alongside early-bird tickets and boutique camping, have been announced ahead of a full programme release in early 2018.

Family friendly programme highlights include: Continue reading