Having just spent two days with a stall for Essex Mums at the brand new Kids’Fest festival at Marsh Farm, I wanted to write up a quick review before I sleep for a week. What an amazing event. As great as it was to have a stand there and to meet lots of new Essex Mums as well as a few old familiar faces, I kind of found myself wishing we could have just spent the whole weekend having fun instead! We were at the event the entire time it was open – something like 16 hours in total, and there were still things we didn’t get to do!
My kids are 6 and 4 (and 5 months, though Dexter mainly enjoyed watching the world go by and smiling at all the people) and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. When we’ve done events for Essex Mums in the past they have got a little bored by the end but they really couldn’t get enough of it. When The Partyman Company do something, they really do it well.
The main attraction was Mr Maker… yes, the Real Mr Maker. My children had been quizzing me all week about whether it was really him, was he a real person etc. and they were not disappointed. In fact they went to see him twice, even though it was the same show. I went along to one and really enjoyed it too, though I was a little let down that the Real Shapes weren’t there. I’d sort of assumed Felix might be a little too old for CBeebies-stuff now but he certainly didn’t seem to think that himself and danced along to the arty song with the best of them. The main stage was chocablock from morning until evening, including shows from the irrepressible, big-hearted lunatic Jimbo the Partyman and other Partyman entertainers – I was only able to see Jay Jay but he was entertaining enough to have me doing the conga so it must have been good, Leanne Jarvis (to be honest, I have no idea who she is but I am officially Out of Touch with Pop Culture) and children’s favourites the Zingzillas, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam and loads more. Often at kid’s events there are big gaps between acts but this wasn’t the case – families could (and many seemed to be) have just parked up with a picnic on the main field and had a whole day’s fun.
We were lucky enough to be positioned close to the funfair – with a full sized big wheel, carousel and helter skelter, which my kids went on numerous times, and to the crazy golf and go karts, which again they wanted to go on many times. They loved bouncing on the bouncy pillows and in Inflatable Village, enjoyed train and tractor rides, had a go in the soft play centre and played on the toy tractors. They enjoyed finding the Lost Boys in Never Neverland; Iris loved watching ‘The Magic Man’ – a wizardy fellow with a magical looking globe he moved about his person so much that he started to recognise her. Felix even enjoyed seeing some of the animals, which sometimes he can be a bit bah-humbug about and they both had a go at making watermelons in the Mr Maker Craft Tent.
Included in the things we didn’t get to see were the Barn Theatre, Pesky Pet Show, Country Fayre Arena, Wild West Show, The Savage Skills Stunt Show, the circus (my husband and kids caught some of it but had to leave as Felix wasn’t feeling well), having a go on fire engines, police cars etc. , storytelling, stalls from Talking Tots, Little Scrummers and loads more. Kester refused to go in the Daddy’s Disco. We were all a bit disappointed to miss the circus as a lot of the kids who came to the stall drew it as one of their favourite things from the weekend.
The food stall near us was pretty tasty, selling good quality sausage and bacon sarnies, and the ice-cream was lovely, though the queues for these were pretty long. Honestly though, I didn’t hear many people complaining – maybe that was just because we entertained the kids on our Essex Mums stall with some colouring! Haha.
I’m sure there is plenty I’ve missed but in all it was a truly fantastic weekend, and I’m pretty confident in saying that there hasn’t been anything like it in Essex at the very least. When the festival was first announced I heard a few complaints about the price but everyone we spoke to said they felt it had been worth every penny – families were arriving before the gates opened at 10.30 (which led to them being let in early!) and staying until the very end of the day. Lots of shattered, slightly sunburnt and filthy but extremely happy kids tonight I would imagine!
Apologies if this doesn’t read well, I am exhausted myself, but just wanted to finish by saying: roll on Kids’Fest 2014, we can’t wait!
For more about Marsh Farm, check out their website at http://www.marshfarm.co.uk/