So after the preview post here, the debut of Big Fish Little Fish in Leeds finally arrived. Held in the Warehouse nightclub in Leeds, we arrived at 2pm on the dot to find the queue was about 50 deep already – with other streaming in behind us, clearly not quite knowing where the venue was as it as clearly been a fair few years since we went clubbing!!
A couple of doormen checked people off the guestlist and we went in, still not quite knowing what to expect. As we entered the main dance floor, the bar was already busy to one end and so we decided to go straight for the facepainters, knowing that the key to a childs happiness is actually having their face painted! Although the queue was about 20 deep, the two painters were really quick and the line kept moving quickly!
So now I have a 3 year old with a face of a cat and a dress full of frogs (to go with the animal theme!) we decided not to actually explore, but have a little dance for a bit. Although DJ Mixmaster Morris was a bit late due to train delay, the music still flowed. However, the music wasn’t kiddie music, it was normal dance music – just like a normal Saturday night (well, how I would imagine because it has been a while…!) There was no party games, or synchronised dancing/singing, and as a result, you didn’t feel as though you were going to miss anything if you wandered around – this is a bit different to the events that some Leeds based companies hold, so don’t try to compare the two!!
Soon, the human dynamo Verena (because I tried to catch a word with her throughout, but she never stopped working the event!) started the bubble machine down from the first floor, onto the dance floor, followed by the glitter gun and this caused great joy for the kids, especially as they seemed to happen every 15 minutes or so!
After a bit of dancing, we decided to explore a little. Upstairs was the chill out area for the babies and it was absolutely lovely up there with soft play for crawlers and a nice quiet atmosphere. Heidi was a bit old for there, which was a bit of a shame, but it is only fair for the little ones to have their space!!
Downstairs hidden away in the basement was the crafts area, alongside a limited number of tents etc for the older children to play in. Crafts with a 3 year old is difficult, even more with upbeat music going on, and nigh on impossible with dimmed lights on!! How we made our paper plate snake is beyond me, and how it stayed in one piece afterwards is another miracle! Maybe the best thing is to do the crafts bit just before leaving!
At the crafts table
The final bit of entertainment were some ice lollies made from real fruit – we had the strawberry one and it was amazing! Probably even more amazing as it was warm in there (it was a warm September afternoon and I was carrying a bag and child for most of it!) There was also a bun stall, which we didn’t buy from, but once Heidi saw the buns, her mind was well and truly off dancing!!
Strawberry ice lolly from “the nice lolly co”
All in all, we were there for just over 90 minutes, and we were pretty tired by then as there isn’t really anywhere to sit down, as the idea is that you do dance a bit! The venue was busy, but not crowded and certainly not dangerous – too few people and you wouldn’t get a good atmosphere. I did see a couple of babies wear proper ear protectors and that was a really good idea. The music is loud, but not deafening to adults, but for babies, you might want to be safe. I did notice someone checking the volume levels throughout the building, which was a good sign.
The part which I thought long and hard about was the fact that there is a bar serving alcoholic drinks. Obviously with some cultures, this might not sit well, and with some, it might seem a little strange that there is a bar and people drinking at an event aimed for 0-8 year olds. However, no-one was getting drunk or even tipsy, and everyone knew that they had a responsibility to their children and everyone elses.
However, the fact that they served alcohol and played “normal” music means that this is an event where you can take your child (obviously!) but invite along a couple of friends who don’t have children (if they can get out of bed for 2pm!!) and who you don’t get to socialise with enough. The event is certainly more adult focused than child focused and so it is an opportunity to be like a normal adult, whilst taking your child out as well!
DISCLOSURE – I have received 2 free tickets to cover this event, although had no impact on my views and thoughts
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