The lights are flashing, the music’s pounding and the dance floor is filling up.
Next to me, my two-year-old is giggling as she throws out some serious shapes, glowstick in hand, getting her first taste of ‘clubbing.’
And with confetti flying, bubbles pumping out and balloons all around, this dance floor is more fun that most.
We’re at The Plug in Sheffield on a Sunday afternoon for Big Fish Little Fish’s kiddie rave - surrounded by hundreds of parents who’ve brought their little ones along for their first taste of big night out.
I’m amazed to see the club really does resemble a Saturday night; there’s a DJ on the desk pumping out real dance music - carefully set to small ear volume - and the bar is even serving alcohol (for the parents) as well as a mixture of soft drinks.
But this is a little person’s playground - we’re barely through the door before Imogen has pulled her Auntie Too and I along to the soft play area to scramble through a maze of tunnels and tents. Once we make it into the heart of the club we stop off at the cake stand (if only real clubs had these!) where we indulge in some chocolate brownies and a lion bun for Imogen before we head over to the colouring wall; that’s right, kids are lined up with felt tips in hand scribbling on a wall that has had a giant mural poster stuck on it. Genius.
When the bun is gone and Imogen has made her mark on the wall, we head over to the playdough table, one of her absolute favourite parts of the event. We spend a half hour alternating between dancing - with Auntie Too demonstrating the original ‘big fish, little fish, carboard box’ dance - and building with playdough.
Next we head to the crafting station to get messy with paper plate mobiles, glitter, glue and plenty of stickers.
Big Fish Little Fish holds regular kiddie raves in the city, each with a different theme, and each one attended by families with kids aged 0-8.
We’ve been helping the post-rave generation of parents be responsibly irresponsible since 2013 and our raves are designed to be as much fun for the adults as they are the children - a social, daft and creative space for all the family,” said Verena Scrimshire, regional manager of the East Midlands and Yorkshire company.
After 90 minutes of dancing, crafting, glowstick waving, sugar-consuming fun, we’re ready to call it a day, but not without picking up an extra brownie for the drive home. Fantastic fun, we’ll be back.
Visit Big Fish Little Fish Events for details of future events.
CHATTERBOOK GOLDEN TICKET EVENT, WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 5, 5.30PM
Budding young writers can learn the basics of story-telling from a published author this week.
Author Nik Perring will be at Sheffield Central Children’s Library tomorrow to host a children’s writing workshop, in celebration of Chatterbooks Week.
Children aged 8-11 can learn what makes a good story, where to find ideas and how to them into brilliant stories. Call 0114 2734734 to book a place.
DISNEY ‘MINI & ME’ MORNING CLUB, MEADOWHALL, FRIDAY , 10AM
For one magical morning, the true enchantment of Disney is coming to Meadowhall. Little members of Meadowhall’s Mini & Me Morning Club will gather in the Oasis Dining Quarter this Friday at 10am for a host of activities around this month’s theme – Disney.
Learn to draw your favourite Disney character and listen to spellbinding tales. Visit Mini Me - Parent & Toddler Club for details on joining the fabulous baby and toddler club.
CARDBOARD JOE AND THE BOOK OF MYSTERIES, THE CIVIC, 2.30PM
“The name’s Joe. Cardboard Joe. And I’m looking for amazing adventurers, clever clue-crackers and stupendous story maker-uppers to help with my latest mystery!”
The Civic, in Barnsley, is inviting families to a show this Sunday, where your children can turn storyteller for the day and help decide how the story goes!
For tickets to the show, suitable for children aged three to eight, visit Barnsley Civic
Step into Mary Poppins’ world
Step into Mary Poppins’ magical world this weekend when Handmade Cinema brings the tale of everybody’s favourite nanny to Sheffield.
The award-winning community cinema is inviting families to experience the Disney favourite in a new and interactive way, as the Burton Street Foundation in Sheffield is transformed into Edwardian London this Saturday, complete with handmade props and scenery.
Cinema-goers can try their hand at various activities, including chalk drawing, word-inventing and much more Poppins-themed fun, including a performance from a one-man-band, before the screening of the film.
Handmade Cinema’s creative director Ellie Ragdale said: “Mary Poppins is one of my favourite films. It is so iconic with lots of songs and settings, which we can’t wait to bring to life with local families. The film has stood the test of time and is beautiful and nostalgic, and we love the idea of bringing it to a younger generation to enjoy with their parents.
“With Handmade Cinema, we’re seeking to overthrow the impersonal nature of film viewing and replace it with a relaxed, creative environment that engages those of all ages and learning abilities.”
Visit Handmade Cinema for tickets.
REVIEW: Dotty The Dragon, Montgomery
My little girl loves dragons – so Montgomery Theatre’s Dotty The Dragon show, by Blunderbus, seemed like an obvious choice for a Saturday afternoon’s entertainment.
The little theatre in Surry Street in Sheffield city centre, was the perfect setting for the tale of the friendly dragon who desperately wants to befriend some terrified villagers – right down to the booster cushions that were handed out to particulary tiny audience members.
We spent a cheery hour watching a cast of three play an entire village of people with absolute mastery, and plenty of panto-humour for both the young and old.
Although a few bits of dialogue felt a bit too mature for such a young audience, the waves of giggles and cheers were a clear indication that every three-to-seven-year-old in the building was having a great time.
Dotty The Dragon by Blunderbus
What’s coming up
A few more things to try...
Get messy with paints, playdough, water and sand at Clifton Parkand Museum this morning.
There’s no need to book, just head on down to the event, suitable for children aged 1-3, at 10.30am today. £2.50 per child.
One for mum and dad – a three-hour Gentle Parenting Workshop is being held at Bradfield Village Hall this Sunday from 1.30pm. Learn the science behind the method. Visit www.eventbrite.co.uk for tickets.
Bishops’ House in Meersbrook, Sheffield, is hosting an autumn fair this weekend. There will be craft stalls, dancing, knights fighting and much more, kicking off at 11am on Saturday. £1.50 per adult, children free.
Like apples? Clumber Park, in Nottinghamshire, is hosting an Apple Weekend this Saturday and Sunday for all the family, offering apple variety tastings, apple games, apple juicing and apple-themed tours of the garden. There will also be a host of apples and produce on sale, all to celebrate Clumber’s National Collection of Apples. The event is free, but normal admission charges will apply.
Visit between 12pm and 4pm.
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There’s no shortage of things to keep youa nd your family busy in South Yorkshire this week.
Is something coming up that you’re particularly looking forward to? An annual event you and your family always attend that you think others should know about? Maybe there’s a hidden gem of a class, workshop or visitor attraction that you’d like to shout about in our review section?
Do you run a class, event, activity or club that you would like to highlight in our weekly listings?
Whatever your thoughts or feedback, if you think other families in the area should know, I’d love to hear from you and see your photos. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @n1kfarah
Until then – happy outings lovely South Yorkshire families!