Review - Ignore the fairground but don’t miss the trampoline stunt show at Kidzfest
- Credit: Archant
Don’t be alarmed if the first thing you see when you arrive at Kidzfest today is a queue. It is not a sign of things to come.
Yesterday we arrived half an hour after the gates had opened at Trinity Park and already a queue was snaking through the car park.
It did, however, move at pace, much to the delight of us and the children.
Kidzfest promises to be a celebration of all the things that children love – superheroes, adrenalin-filled stunt shows, princess meets, bouncy castles, sand play and even unicorn rides.
The ‘beach zone’ had various sized inflatables from small castles for tots to army-themed assault courses and jungle mazes. All were included in the price of your entry but sadly the warm weather meant anything other than a quick bounce was impossible.
In fact, even early on the smaller castles were just too hot for my 15-month-old and it was only later in the day that we realised there was a secondary bouncy zone inside the cattle shed – the perfect place to escape the blistering sun.
Another popular spot for shade seekers was the large sand-pit, erected beneath a white gazebo to keep the beating sun off little heads. There was an ample supply of buckets, spades and rakes to keep everyone amused (we didn’t need the supply I had packed under the pushchair!).
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Next door a bubble frenzy was taking place with bubble machines pumping tiny iridescent orbs into the air while youngsters splashed about in the buckets of bubble mixture, blowing huge spheres that drifted across the arena.
The showground is a vast space and only a section of it was used for the festival but it seemed an illogical set up that was slightly difficult to navigate. The beach zone was off to one side with a picket fence forcing you to the far side before you could gain entry.
The main road dissected the two distinct areas of the festival with the main arena, trampoline display area and funfair back towards the car park. It was difficult for children to really see what was on offer and they were ultimately drawn to the trade stands along the centre rather than the attractions guests had already paid for.
We found Alibarmy’s tent thanks to a roar of laughter which floated across the road and what a find. This one-man band had a tent full of pre-schoolers enthralled with his comedy magic show, and later a traditional Punch and Judy show.
I struggled to occupy three children on the way there but this man managed to keep his crowd in order and had them captivated by what some may consider to be old fashioned entertainment. I take my hat off to him.
Another first class act was Gravity Over Distance, a trampoline stunt performance group who dressed as superheroes for one of their shows.
Their timing, dramatic air and stunts were on point and left the audience silenced as they waited to see what was coming next.
Sadly, the call of the funfair was too much for my friend’s duo, aged three and six, so we dutifully watched them as they whirled around on the merry-go-round and the chair-o-plane.
I have nothing against these family favourites but there was so much more to see and do that we begrudged paying extra for something that was fairly run of the mill.
Throughout the day a plethora of characters dotted up around the site to sign autographs and pose for photos, we met a Minion, Scooby Doo, Cinderella, Belle, Olaf, Anna and, my personal favourite, Moana.
Queues for all of these were minimal, no more than a couple of minutes waiting at each, which was ideal given the sweltering heat of the afternoon.
Would we go again? Certainly. Our tips for the day? Head to the cattle shed when the heat gets too much, avoid the fair if you can and grab an iced frappe from the coffee stand next to the trampoline stall (it was delicious, chilled and we got service with a smile).
We just hope Kidzfest returns next year.