For 3 years we have been attending Victorious as a family. Always attending on the Saturday as it offers a great day out for the children as well as brilliant acts on the Common Stage! Plus, a big bonus is that you can buy day tickets, yay!
So 3 years in what do we love that keeps bringing us back?
Well, the Kids Arena gets better each year. There are so many fab things to do which fit all interests that your children will not get bored! The usual attractions were there like the sandpit and deckchairs to sit on whilst your little ones throw sand around, plus the stage which draws in a crowd for the CBeebies acts. Watching Mr Bloom was as good for me as it was for my young one; I love planting things and he makes it look so easy!
Having Lidl GB Mudder was the highlight for us – a mini take on the various adult mud run events that have become very popular. Although there was a long queue, we were amongst the trees and managed to get some shade from the glorious sun. I loved the set up of having the whole Kids Arena by the trees, a thoughtful touch by the team who considered the needs of their youngest festival attendees.
Lidl GB Mudder drew us all in before we had even had a chance to be given a goodie bag at the gates. It had 2 assault courses and we couldn’t help watching and wishing this was for adults as well as kids! My son went straight for the wall, he had to run up and jump over as soon as he got through the gate.
Tough Mudder offers a range of events that usually includes legendary obstacle courses. Working with Lidl and offering a kids section packed with fun things to do was a real winner with the crowds.
My favourite bit was the blenders on bikes where you had to peddle to whizz up a yogurt and then you got to eat it. (If only when eating chocolate you could peddle the calories off as you ate).
Bright yellow goodie bags were given out which held vouchers to spend at Lidl plus drink cartons for the kids and some snacks to help the walk around the large festival site.
Last year we borrowed a festival trolley but this year we bought one back in March and spent time working on it, so we had a build up to the weekend kitting it out with everything we needed. Having seen quite a few of these trolleys last year we knew we needed a bigger size, so we went online and bought one that needed some work. Buying it for £10 (which usually costs around £80) we then bought cool hammerite paint to brighten it up. What was a rusty old green trolley was now looking the bees knees painted blue with bright red wheels. My son loved this project, getting dirty and helping to renovate it. Being 8 at this year’s Victorious meant that our son doesn’t usually manage past 8.30pm even if his peers can keep those lids open with sticks! So for us it was important he felt engaged in the day and had somewhere comfy to chill out but still be involved in the evening. He was on board with the trolley idea. We made a canopy, added bunting and lighting for when it was dark and then wheeled it around in the day. Having a pillow and cushions made it very comfy so was well worth the effort.
To our surprise, our little one actually got to watch James Bay and loved it! I have to say he did have the wow factor. The evening sky created a beautiful backdrop and what a sunset that evening! James Bay put on an amazing set with some really good technical guitar moves. Our little one loved that he got to see a main act and knows his parents love listening to guitar, so he really enjoyed it. Having a festival trolley might not be for every parent but it has certainly made our life easier; it gave our boy a novelty and project to have something as a build-up to the event and also he loved being pushed around in it. At about 9pm he drifted off to sleep and got wheeled home. The downside to the trolley is it can be quite heavy wheeling around all day!
Thanks to Victorious for another great year in the Kids Arena and can’t wait to see what next year might bring! You can book next year’s Victorious tickets now and get early bird prices.
Here are our top 5 things to think about when wanting children to hang around after the Kids arena has finished.
- Get your child to listen to music. Any music. Get them to ask their family what their favourite bands are? What are their favourite songs? Ask their aunties and uncles. Ask their grandparents, ask friends too. Growing up surrounded by all kinds of music is not only good for the soul but it offers a wide range of music so your child can find their own taste. Get them to listen to the act you want to see in the evening in advance so they can be as excited as you are when the evening comes.
- We found that a festival trolley ticked all the boxes for us. Having a festival you can walk home from is an amazing treat but trying to carry an 8-year old for 15 minutes is a killer, so we think this is a great idea. Your child can help dress up the trolley with lights and bring their favourite teddy, plus it’s a storage place you can put your festival bits throughout the day!
- Give your child their own festival bag. This year I packed a band t-shirt, some glow sticks, some sweets plus some pocket money of £5.00 so that my son could take control of what he wanted to buy on the day. A great trick when the money is gone there is no more!
- Show them the site map and let them draw up their own so they can pick where they want to visit at the festival which sits outside of the Kids Arena. There are sweet stalls and lots of shops around the site which is great to go and browse and let’s not forget the glitter stands.
- Take a picnic blanket so when their legs get tired they can just sit and take in the atmosphere around them. The more relaxed you are the more they will enjoy their day too.
By Louise O’Brien