I often get asked by friends what it is like bringing up two very little children in London. My answer has always been – “It’s fantastic”! The best thing about it (for me) has always been the huge variety of entertainment available to families from the traditional (e.g. zoos, parks and museums) to the truly wacky (family raves…..)!
When I was asked by the team behind Big Fish Little Fish (2-4 hour party people) if I would like to bring The Terrorists (and LSH) along to one of their family raves how could I say no?! It is probably the most bizarre family day out I had heard of and I couldn’t wait to see what everyone has been talking about as “London’s latest clubbing craze”!
The concept is actually not as bizarre as it initially sounds. The idea is that us parents (who rarely – if ever – get to go out and enjoy music any-more) go along and listen to top DJs whilst enjoying a drink in an environment which is safe and family friendly.
The events take place regularly at a variety of London venues and we opted to go along to our nearest at the Bedford Arms in Balham.
Upon arrival The Bear made a bee-line for an incredibly well stocked craft table (run by Captain Cookie) and the first 45 minutes were spent happily creating dream catchers with all manner of feathers, coloured pasta and funky stickers. There was a full bar available and some low key music being played (this being one of the chill out rooms) so LSH and I sat back and enjoyed ourselves threading coloured pasta and listening to the music.
The Terrorists then moved on to a huge colouring-in wall, acquired pirate tattoos and ran riot with some balloons, tents and tunnels. So far we had been there an hour and were having a whale of a time, albeit without feeling in the slightest ‘rave like’!
Keen to get the full experience, I dragged LSH away from his pint and The Terrorists away from their (free) Happy Monkey smoothies and took us down to the dance floor to get fully involved….
Having never been a ‘rave girl’, even in my younger days, the DJ part was a bit lost on me but for those in the know I am told that Danny ‘Altered Natives’ is excellent. The whole thing was very well managed with stewards milling around checking that everyone was having a good time and that the children were all happy and safe. The music was loud, but not too much for the little ones, and whilst alcohol was available no one was drunk and the mood was very happy and family friendly.
The Terrorists (whose dancing experience thus far had been limited to our front room with the lights dimmed) LOVED IT! They had been given a glo stick each on arrival and quickly located balloons and a stage where they could show off their moves. There were glitter confetti showers and a huge white parachute which was floated across the dance floor and they thought the lights and the opportunity to dance with other crazy toddlers was too good to be true! We were there a further hour dancing and laughing at The Terrorists as they demonstrated what little divas they really are!
All in all it was a fantastic way to spend a chilled out Sunday afternoon, the whole family enjoyed it and our dream catchers have taken pride of place in The Terrorists bedrooms as reminders of their ‘fun dancing party’ as The Bear has been calling it!
I only wish Big Fish Little Fish would launch an alternative version playing 70s dance floor classics and Take That and it could be my perfect afternoon out!
Top Tip – make sure you visit all of the rooms and have a go at everything on offer (the layout of the Bedford Arms means it is easy to miss bits)
Time to visit – Ours was on 2.00pm to 4.30pm but check their website for your event
Highlights – The Craft and the glo sticks according to The Bear, the ability to enjoy a pint whilst doing fun stuff with the kids according to LSH, the chance to dance on daddy’s shoulders and the glitter confetti (judging by Bollie’s face!) the opportunity to try something completely new and lots of fun (according to me)
Getting there – the events are held in different locations. Ours was at the Bedford Arms in Balham which has ample parking in the Sainsbury’s opposite or is a short walk from the tube.
Pushchair access – there are a lot of steps in the venue so a lot of people had opted to leave theirs in a secure area downstairs, we hadn’t taken ours as it was so near the car park
Price – The prices on the door are – £10 for adults, £5 for children and pre-walkers go free. Check out the website for advance ticket prices which are reduced
Food and Drink –the Bedford Arms where our event was held does very good food. The event itself has a full bar available and (free) Happy Monkey smoothies for the kids. It also had a gorgeous looking cake stall by BakerChef.
Other attractions nearby – If you go to a Balham event, Bertie and Boos is very close and is a great café with soft play
Baby facilities – there was baby change (we didn’t use it so I can’t speak to cleanliness). There was also a chill out room for pre-walkers with some soft play items
Website – http://www.bigfishlittlefishevents.co.uk/