Wednesday, 4 June 2014

In The Night Garden Live at the O2

Monday was my 32nd Birthday.
As my birthday "treat" we went as a family to see In The Night Garden Live at the O2.

We booked the tickets earlier in the year and chose the date for a variety of reasons.
Always on the look out for a bargain, cheaper babe-in-arms tickets are available for babies under 6 months.
Baby B would be 6 months old on the Tuesday therefore we needed to go before then for him to be entitled to a half price ticket!
Last week was half term and therefore in our opinion potentially busier.
This therefore left us with 1 date.... which just also happened to be my birthday.

We booked the first showing of the day which was 10am.
We felt this would allow us to watch the show and grab some lunch before allowing C to nap in the car on the way home.

After a good run up to the O2 from Kent was arrived at the car park at 9:20.
We knew if was a reasonably long walk to get to the O2 entrance and then an even further walk round the O2 to the showdome therefore we opted for buggy and buggyboard.

We had made no mention to C of what we were going to see today as in the back of our minds we knew it would only take one accident on the motorway and we would not make it to the Arena on time.
It was therefore lovely to watch her interest grow as she spotted posters for the event amongst the avenue of restaurants which culminated with a loud "OOOH!" when we rounded the final corner and arrived at the showdome.

There was a small queue when we arrived at the entrance.  There seemed to be a problem with a few people's tickets.  This quickly cleared though and we were ushered through into the showdome.
We were handed a free programme and directed towards the buggy park where we could leave our pushchair for the duration of the show.

After a quick toilet trip we made our way into the auditorium.

Seating was divided into Standard and Premium however there were no prebooked seats.
In our particular showing there was plenty of space and we seated ourselves reasonably centrally, about half way back.
The seating itself was amphitheatre style steps which, although at first glance looked slightly uncomfortable, was definitely more practical to the children as it meant they were able to move around safely.

The show itself was a mixture of costume and puppeteering.  I have to admit I was not convinced by some of the puppeteering but then I have to remind myself that this is aimed at preschoolers not adults, and none of the children seemed concerned.

Some of the narration could of been louder as we struggled to hear it in places but the overall effect was not lost and the storyline was easy enough to follow.

Poor C when through every range of emotion during the 45 minute performance.  Boredom at the start, then surprise and slight alarm when the characters came on stage, then delight when they started singing familiar songs, then sadness when each character left the stage.  It was wonderful to see her so engaged.

Baby B was gripped for the majority of the performance although there were some very eye catching light up spinning windmills that many of the children had (for a cost of £7) that occasionally distracted him.

The length of the performance was about right.  About 35 mins in you could see that many of the children were starting to get bored and I was concerned that C might start to play up.  However soon after the show began wrap up and all the children were engaged again for the finale.

After the show, the children had the opportunity to meet the characters for an additional cost.  We decided not to opt for this as C was most likely to be terrified!

Was it worth going?
Yes, it was a lovely family day out that both children enjoyed.

Was it worth the money?
We paid £43.75 for the 4 of us.
Personally I do not think that was too bad value (and I am openly stingy).  The day became more expensive if you paid to meet a character and as you would expect many of the souvenirs were pricey but all of these are optional extras.  It is up to you how much you want to spend on the day.

Would I go again?
I'm not sure.  C was the optimum age this year.  Next year I think she will be too old for it.
Yes, I could bring baby B again on his own but then it would not be the same family day out.

Would I recommend it to others?
Yes, if you have little ones that love In The Night Garden and want a special day out then it is definitely worth going to see.

You can see when In The Night Garden Live is in your area here

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