Springtime Live is a relatively new edition to the family friendly event world but it’s come in with a bang.
You can see my video of the day here:
We actually attended last year, stumbling upon the event advertised on Facebook and booked the tickets on a total whim! Last year was a bit of a wash out though as it rained all day which was a shame as the bad weather always puts a dampener on things, but even though we got soaked through we really enjoyed the day out and Zach begged us to return.
Thankfully this year was different; the sun was shining bright albeit it a little chilly, but as long as it was dry we were happy.
The doors open at 9am and getting there early is a must as there is so much to do and fit in before the doors close again at 4.30pm. Now this year I have seen people leaving after only a couple of hours and commenting on other blogs of the little time they have spent here – I wonder to myself what on earth they could of done in that short amount of time?! Surely even the ticket price would put you off if you only spent a couple of hours enjoying it?
My biggest enjoyment out of the event is actually seeing the kids interact with the folk running the stalls and learning about community interest groups and businesses in the area that I otherwise may have never stumble upon myself. Zach spent a good 15minutes talking to a lovely gentleman about dry stone walling!
The majority of the things to do at this event are indoors in the main hall, which is good for the time of year it is held. But there is also an outdoor area with food stalls and seating area, alongside a climbing wall, balance bike agility track, fire engine and woodland crafts area.
In the main hall, there is so much to do and see and im fairly sure I havent remembered it all but here is our family highlights;
Most of the stalls are interactive so the kids can get involved and gets hands on with various different crafts and activities. On arrival Zach instantly got stuck straight into making a bird feeder. Cutting up apple and cheese pieces and sliding it onto a wire with raisins to then tie in a hoop to make a feeder to hang at home. I really like that some of the activity ideas are cheap and cheerful and certainly something you could re do at home with ease.
Next, we went on to see the live critters and small animals, both the boys met a rabbit and guinea pigs, and Zach eagerly asked if we could adopt one for home. I quickly side tracked this conversation as I know too well that the missus would quite happily add further mouths to feed in our family home if I allowed it and I am certainly not ready for more pets just yet! Unfortunately we had just missed a session with the critters, last year Zach held a giant land snail and stick insect and I helped him hold a snake. Its really interesting to hear about how these animals are best looked after and see some of the more unusual animals.
Eli was soon sidetracked here when he spotted ride on tractors in a little course and was off like a shot. Unfortunately his legs still have some growing to do and he couldn’t reach the peddles so Mammy to the rescue and pushed him around the track a few times.
There was also a que here for a face painter who looked to be making some wonderful designs – normally we would of happily had the boys faces done but the que was rather long at this point and Zach was already off looking at the books on an Usborne stall.
We then stumbled upon a vintage merry go round and Zach was up to the que in a flash. I must admit they did seem to be more “ques” this year than last year, which I presume is down to more tickets being sold. Honesty this wasn’t really a concern for us as the ques seemed to disappear fairly quickly. My only gripe would be at areas where the kids had stood for some time patiently waiting to be told once they were at the front that they were now having a break, which happened twice when looking at the chicks. A little more consideration to having time slots maybe or stopping queuing when it became near break time would be beneficial? Zach was a little saddened by this as he had a hundred and one questions to ask about chicks hatching and the egg shells but missed out on a chance twice unfortunately.
As we carried on walking around there was a local butcher who was running sessions formaking sausages – a few other kids were asking the butcher lots of questions about the pig’s head that he had up on the table and Zach took interest in what the butcher had to say. He actually ended up sawing the skull in half to show us what the jaw and brain looked like inside, which was really interesting. Take a look at my video here to see for yourself.
Zach got involved with a science experiment and planted a seed that had been soaked in soap into gel and then planted a tray of runner beans further round. We made another bees wax candle again this year and even tasted some of the different honeys. The obligatory soft play and inflatable area was tested out for 20 minutes whilst we had a quick cup of tea.
There are a few activities that you book onto a slot either in the morning or afternoon. These are always really popular and the ques can become a little daunting. This year we managed to get onto one of the cupcake decorating sessions which was ran by Nun Munkton Baking school which Zach absolutely loved. He made a lovely sheep cupcake with buttercream and marshmallows. I didn’t get to taste it, as he scoffed it all himself, but it certainly looked impressive. The lady who was running the workshop was really informative and interactive with the kids. The other bookable activities were burger making, bread baking, sausage roll making and another stall where it looked as if they were making bugs out of vegetables?!
Down at the bottom of the hall was the main Springtime Live stage where all the fun and music happens with special guest Mr Bloom making an appearance a couple of times throughout the day. Theres plenty of seats to rest your weary feet here too whilst the kids sing and dance along.
Through past the cafe area is another area which has many different farm animals to see and also the main ring, where different events happen throughout the day. We managed to catch a little of the falconry display, but the hawk out of display took a liking for the rafters instead much to everyones amusement. Not entirely sure how she managed to coax it down as once the boys had spotted the farm animals we were off. These kids defiantly take after the missus for loving animals – so much so that we ended up going round this area twice throughout the day.
Once outside we had a quick chat and stroke of the various horses before joining the que for the balance bike agility course. Both boys really enjoyed this activity and it was great to see Zach fly off ahead with great confidence whilst I helped Elijah. We then went on to making a flag, which was decorated by bashing a wooden hammer over leaves folded in between the fabric. It was touch and go as to whether I was going to make it out with all ten digits but Zach took great pride in the flag he had created and it was such a simple task. One that i think we may be recreating when we are up at Wild Northumbrian or one of our other adventures.
Elijahs attention was once again drawn to the mini tractors and the inflatable Tractor Teds – fairly certain this kid is gonna grow up to be a farmer! So we spent some time here before having a stroll around the wooded area with bug houses before heading back to the car with only 10 minutes left to go before closing.
I did notice this year that there was no police vehicle attendance as there was the previous year which Zach remarked upon, which was a shame as its always good to see there attendance at events. The fire engine was outside when we were leaving but we hadn’t seen it earlier in the day. We seemed to spend less time outdoors this year, which was surprising considering it wasn’t raining this year!
Overall its a really good day out. Plenty of things to entertain kids of a variety of ages and make a good day out of fun. The ticket pricing is reasonable and the event isn’t too busy it becomes difficult to engage in. We were all shattered by the end of it – the boys even dosed off in the back of the car on the way home – always a sign of a good day out!
Im sure we will be returning next year again to see what they have in store for us – Elijah will then be big enough to participate in more of the activities with ease then too. We may also try and book on to one of the pupperty sessions they run next time to see what thats all about.
Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.