Friday, 1 August 2014

In the Night Garden Live

Last Friday we took Henry to see In the Night Garden Live. In general, we try not to let him watch too much tv as he's still fairly small, however there are always days, or times of the day where I'm trying to get things done and we indulge him. Before bed time is one of those times, and In the Night Garden has become a staple before bed. His little face lights up and he holds out his palm and traces round with his finger like they do in the opening credits, he squeals loudly at the Ninky Nonk and Pinky Ponk and claps his hands along with Makka Pakka. The temptation of seeing his face light up seeing the show in person was too strong and I went ahead and booked tickets the Tuesday beforehand.

In the Night Garden Live is a travelling show and pops up for two weeks in various cities during the summer. This year it kicked off in London before coming to Birmingham then onwards to Manchester and Glasgow. It's held in it's very own inflatable showdome and in our case set up in the beautiful Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham.

There were two shows to choose from, either the Ninky Nonk which featured Iggle Piggle losing his blanket or the Pinky Ponk show, where Makka Pakka washes everyone's faces. As Henry is an avid Makka Pakka fan we opted for the Pinky Ponk show. Both shows however contain all the characters so you're really not missing out on one over the other. 

We travelled there using public transport and considering we had a toddler in tow it wasn't too bad. I think helped by the fact I used buses in Birmingham a lot when living there for uni and thoroughly planned snacks and essentials on hand to placate Henry from boredom.

We arrived about an hour before hand and had a late lunch/snack time picnic in the park before heading in slightly before the doors were open. The only downside to this was Henry wanted to run around everywhere, so naturally was causing chaos as the ques began to form. 

The showdome itself had three main sections-the entrance, the show arena with special staggered seating and the gift shop/meet the character area. It looks like a giant white space bubble from a distance and added to the whole atmosphere of the show. There was also a buggy park where you could leave your pram before the show started.

The show itself was fantastic. We were sat in the 6th row in the middle and had the perfect view. As I said before, the seating is staggered so where ever you are in the venue you get a good view. There are premium seats that you can buy at extra cost but I don't think they'd have been worth the money, in all honesty. 

As someone who never sits still, and was trying to run amok before the show started from the minute the music began Henry sat transfixed through the whole show leaving myself and Loz a bit flabbergasted. The only time he moved was to either come and sit on one of our knees and for a snack and drink. The shows run time is 53 minutes which was just the right amount of time I felt. His face absolutely lit up when Makka Pakka came on the stage, it was so lovely to see his excitement.

We didn't meet a character this time (£15) as I wasn't sure whether he would be too tired and grumpy after the excitement of the show so I bought him his very own Makka Pakka from the gift shop to huge smiles and he now goes to sleep cuddling it every night.

You can pre-order goodie bags at a cost of £24 online (£29 at the show)-but as the tickets were already costing upwards of £50 for us three + travel I thought I'd leave it this time and see what they were like in person-they did look quite good so I think we will get one next time when he can appreciate the contents a little bit more.

All in all it was a lovely family afternoon trip and we'll definitely be going again next year and experiencing the extras.

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