Thursday 25 July 2013

In The Night Garden Live - The Pinky Ponk Show Review

Having such a big In The Night Garden fan within my midst, there has been a very BIG date on our calendar for the last couple of months.

July 25th 2013.

In The Night Garden Live is exactly what you may think, your little one's favourite television programme brought to life right before their eyes. There are two different live shows to take your pick from.

Leo and I invited along some very close friends of ours to share this amazing experience with us. Leo's best friend and her adorable 6 month old baby sister. We were all really excited and started looking into the options available to make the day as magical as possible.

I had a look into what each of the shows were about and eventually decided to go with the Pinky Ponk Show. I made this decision based on how Macca Pacca played a big part in the runnings of the show, as it is no secret that Leo absolutely loves Macca Pacca.

We were booked into standard seating and decided to add some extra goodies into our In The Night Garden Live experience, so I decided to pre-book 2 goodie bags at the special rate of £20.00 each due to booking before the show (£25.00 on the day). I then decided to book in the toddlers to meet Iggle Piggle after the show just to keep that magic alive for them that little bit longer.

We had been talking about our immanent trip to the Night Garden for weeks, and it was only the other night that I discovered the Show Dome in all of it's glory. You see when you visit the show you are not in a standard theater...Oh no! You are welcomed into the inflatable dome that is fully equipped with everything you could imagine. 

- A very generous amount of space. Plenty of room to park your pushchairs!
- Baby changing facilities and plenty of loo's for you!
- Big fans to keep you cool on warm day (it was still pretty warm)
- Heaters to keep you warm on colder days
- Plenty of In The Night Garden merchandise 

We attended the showing at Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham, and having never been to this park before I was instantly impressed on the setting surrounding the Show Dome. There is plenty of space for the kids to run around before the show, and some lovely play equipment for them to really expand some energy.

We were running late after our picnic and actually walked in just after it had started, I have to admit I had been worried about not getting a very good seat but even if you are seated right at the back like we were, you have a perfect view. The seating is staggered as it goes up so that you can see straight over the heads of those seated in front of you, and in all honesty I think we ended up with some pretty good seats because we could see everything sitting at the very top, and those in the priority seating may have struggled some what as they were so close to the stage. I also have a sneaky feeling that if we had been sat as close to the stage as those at the very front... I would have had a very red face as I apolagised to Macca Pacca when Leo decides to run wild all over the stage....  

As we walked in just after the show had kicked off, Macca Pacca was already on centre stage. Leo walked up the steps and instantly spotted his hero. He stopped right in his tracks. Then he sat down right in the middle of the steps blocking everyone coming up behind him. 

The magic had begun.

I picked Leo up and took him up to sit down, Leo and his little friend were instantly engrossed in their favourite show coming to life right before them. Leo just kept telling me 'Macca Pacca' and hung on tight to the brouchure he had been given on arrival. 

The toddlers clapped when every act finished, they clapped with all that they could muster.  

As a parent taking a toddler I have to say that I was over the moon with the entire performance. So much attention has gone into all of it. From the stage, the set to the projections onto the dome walls. There is something bright and magical happening in every direction. The characters voices are in the background so you can work out who is coming along to say hello next, it made our two toddlers look all around them, just in case they were behind them. 

I loved how the sizes of the characters had been taken into consideration, the Pontipines made an appearance and true to life they were the smallest characters on stage. Macca Pacca is full sized in some sets where as in others where he is with Iggle Piggle or Uppsy Daisy he is a puppet, very cleverly brought to life by on stage actors. 

The show followed Macca Pacca as he went about cleaning all of the most popular characters faces, of course this called for bubbles. Macca Pacca makes a lot of bubbles when he is giving everyone a good wash, and it was a lovely surprise for all of us when bubbles flew out at the audience. 

The performance followed a typical episode and even had the birds tweeting and the story re-cap towards the end. I liked this as it gave the kid's a sense of where they were in the show and knew when it was nearing the end. 

When the show did come to an end though, Leo demanded 'more'. So I am guessing that he is going to love watching this short clip back over and over again. If you are planning on going, hopefully this short clip will give you an idea of what to expect.

The whole day is absolutely fantastic, and I highly recommend booking a meeting with one of the characters. For us this just rounded up a super duper day and I know that it was really appreciated by our toddlers. 

If you pre-book then you can take a seat and let the little one's do some colouring while you await your name to be called out.  While we were waiting Leo did manage to run at the lady holding all of the helium balloons, just so that he could give the balloons a wobble! The poor lady looked a little shocked... You can always count on my boy to let you know you have him!

Leo also decided at this point to run away from me. He literally upped and left the show dome. I ended up chasing after him all the way down the path until I retrieved him, only to find I had missed our names being called on multiple occasions! Luckily they let us straight in to meet Mr Iggle Piggle!

We were invited into a curtained room where we received a one on one experience, the £15 ticket is for 2 adults and 2 children and I found it really personal for Leo and his little friend. 

Leo was a little bit nervous at first and started to walk backwards out of the room, I vaguely re-call a few 'No, No No's' being shouted....But as soon as we were behind that curtain and on our own with the big man in Blue himself, he relaxed and got caught up in the magic once again.

We were with Iggle Piggle for a good 5 minutes or so, where we got the chance to have our photos taken and even just stare at him. Even us Mummy's posed for a photo or two! It is not everyday you meet Iggle Piggle after all...

With an amazing day behind us and many new memories made we left feeling really pleased with our experence, the experience we had given to our toddlers. Toddlers who had quite obviously had the most amazing day ever!

Within 10 minutes of being in the car, all 3 kids were spark out and dreaming dreams of the Night Garden. Both with new plush toys of their favourite characters. One Macca Pacca and one Uppsy Daisy. Both with goodie bags full of treats for their magical day. Both with fond memories of their magical heroes. 

In The Night Garden Live is not the cheapest family day out, for the 5 of us to go it would have cost us £90.00 for our standard seating, and then of course we opted for goodie bags and a character meeting which would have brought our total to £145.00. 

I do highly recommend a visit if you have little ones who enjoy In The Night Garden aged 2+, but I do think the prices are expensive. A child costs exactly the same as an adult does, and you even have to pay for a baby in arms. They do offer a discount for a baby under 6 months but that is still £10 for a baby who won't even remember being in attendance (that goes for a newborn baby too!) I do think that a baby should be free maybe upto a year...But that is just my personal opinion and may be the make or break decision if you are thinking of going along. 

The prices aside though, the real reason you are going is to show your little one the magic on stage and it is surely an experience that will bring out lot's of smiles, excited giggles and a whole host of memories that will live on for a long time. My little man has gone to bed tonight with both of his Macca Pacca dolls either side of his head and I am sure he is dreaming up sweet dreams of his magical day.

Pip Pip Onk Onk!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) to visit In The Night Garden Live and share my experience with you. We paid for the baby in arms to come along and also our goodie bags and character experience. All views are completely honest and my own. 

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