Teddy Bears Picnic

While I have written about the Scarborough Spa Orchestra in a generic way previously in this post I realise that I haven’t done a proper write up. However, as we had a long weekend on the North Yorks Coast last weekend, we took in the first Teddy Bears Concert of the summer season.

Throughout writing this, I am thinking “Why does no-one else do this type of event?”

The event is relatively simple: A professional orchestra plays a series of songs for an hour and a half with a bit of interaction and education for the children and everyone goes away happy. It is not massively complex, but it works and it is perhaps the highlight of the summer for me.

Firstly, it is a proper concert, witnessed by the number of adults without children enjoying the music – therefore the quality is obviously there (note, I am in no way a music aficionado). However, some of the songs are “child friendly” – for example, tunes from the Wizard of Oz were played.

Preparations taking place

However, unlike other concerts, the children are encouraged to get up, sit as close to the stage as they want, dance, clap and enjoy the music in any way they want. There are generally a couple of marching songs which gets the children active, as well as instruments being shared out in the second half of the show.

The glamorous (and I am putting this because my disguise is blown and she knows who I am!) Kathy is the compère and she is excellent at describing the instruments of the orchestra for the children, as well as playing conductor, in trying to get the children to play slow/fast as well as stop. It is really something to see, as well as the “calming down” song towards the end where magically the children are all settled for a relaxing piece of formal music.

The Playlist

It doesn’t sound too complex (I am sure it is hard work behind the scenes), but “Why does no-one else do this type of event?”

It falls right for us to get to the first show of the season (every Monday in July and August at 11am) and it has become a bit of a tradition, which is really nice. It appears as though Yorkshire Coast Radio have the similar tradition as we have bumped into DJ Dex for the last couple of years!!

Heidi with DJ Dex!

Sometimes with the music, your child might just “get it”. At the concert last week, Little Clockwork Fairy was played, and Heidi got “it”. She interpreted the music into a story and was very upset when the music (and fairy!) stopped. We then had to look in Scarborough for a wind up fairy!!! Hearing Heidi talk about that made me realise that going to these concerts really does help her develop, although you may not see it straight away.

In terms of practicalities, it is a long concert and so if the little ones are flagging a bit, don’t force them to stay (£4 a ticket means it is excellent value for money) and food seems to help them concentrate, so bring a picnic (and teddy!) to keep them going, although there is a cafe there as well. They try to hold the concert in the Sun Court, which is outside and as the name suggests, a bit of a sun trap, so if the forecast looks good, pack the suncream and lots of fluids. However, if it is raining, they will take the concert indoors, so you don’t need to worry about it being cancelled. You can pay on the door as well, but for the Christmas concert, that is really busy so I would suggest ordering online for those.

Fully prepared with sunglasses and Elmo!

In terms of baby changing facilities, there aren’t that many available, but there are loads of toilets dotted about, so if there is a queue, the helpful (and yes, they are helpful!) staff will point you in the right direction. Given the Spa’s location, parking is an issue. If you’re spending the rest of the day on the front, you might as well bite the bullet and pay for the day long parking just outside the Spa. However, previously we have parked on the cliff top (free!) and walked down, which is lovely if tiring and then get the cliff lift up afterwards.

As I mentioned earlier, there are multiple concerts in the summer season, but they are all different songs so no two concerts will be the same. Also, whether your child is 3 months, 3 years or 13 years, they will get lots out of it, just in different ways (and yes, there are lots of small babies there!) which underlines how good this concert is and I ask myself again, “Why does no-one else do this type of event?”. I just need to find some more days off for us to go again this summer!


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