Taking the girls to The Little Welly children’s festival

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Festivals can be an exciting way to experience life. Something new around every corner. Sizzling sausages and grilled onions filling the air. People to watch. A new activity to try.

But there aren’t many festival aimed just at children, so when local mum Rachel Hughes asked if the Modern Family would like to review her brainchild The Little Welly, a Christmas festival at Wellington Country Park aimed at 4 – 12-year-olds, we agreed. Scottish grandma, who just turned 85, was particularly looking forward to going as this would be her first festival!

Rachel and her team have been organising events for many years, and had clearly thought out The Little Welly to the Nth degree. It’s the little touches that really make a difference.

We donned wellies to make our way to The Little Welly, the only Christmas children's festival in the UK.

We donned wellies to make our way to The Little Welly, the only Christmas children’s festival in the UK.

When we arrived we were greeted by very friendly staff. They seemed like a mix of the teen next door that does your babysitting for £5 and hour … and her parents! Everyone was genuinely helpful and went the extra mile to make sure you had everything you needed. Ryan walked with us and pointed out the different tents (there were five big tops) and chatted with the girls, asking if they were they ready for Christmas (yes of course we are).

The Little Welly takes place at Wellington Country Park, near Reading, and features five big tops full of activities aimed at 3 to 12-year-olds

The Little Welly takes place at Wellington Country Park, near Reading, and features five big tops full of activities aimed at 4 to 12-year-olds

 

We started with the Show Tent to catch CBBC presenter Fran Scott and her “Science Misadventures: Daring Demos and Science Stunts”. She did a variety of experiments and encouraged the idea of challenging science by just asking questions. In “How strong is friction” she demonstrated that by simply interspersing to pages of two phone books together, the friction was so strong it could life a car.  She also showed us about gasses, and set a mum’s hands on fire (in the safest possible way :D). To see our girls fascinated with science and encouraged to ask questions made this session worth the whole trip on its own.

 

Then we headed over to the Ice Rink, where there were free skate rentals and a synthetic ice rink the size of a large swimming pool. This was a HUGE hit with my girls. The plastic surface offers a bit more resistance than real ice, and my youngest really mastered ice skating. She was so proud of herself going round and round. The ice rink was so popular we went back at the end of the day and were the last ones off before they closed for the evening. (surrounded by woodlands and trees).

 

The smell grilled sausages was just too much (I’m sooooo hungry mummy) we headed over to the catering area where we met more friendly staff.  The food was simple, but locally sourced. I was about to order a plump sausage when I saw the steak burgers sizzling on the grill (real ones, not the frozen pre-made ones). We had burgers, jacket potatoes and crisps. When we finished we were about to gather everything to put in the bin, when the teen-next-door came by and took it for us.  

Wellies are a must at The Little Welly Festival. The event takes place amongst the beautiful 20 acre Waterloo field at Wellington Country Park.

Wellies are a must at The Little Welly Festival. The event takes place amongst the beautiful 20 acre Waterloo field at Wellington Country Park.

 

He told us to make sure we checked out the Market Stalls in the tent next door. It was full of lots of affordable Christmas shopping for kids. In the Arts and Crafts Tent we were greeted by more mum and dad helpers and encouraged to do one of the crafts. The girls picked a Christmas Tree. It amazes me how still at their age they love crafts.  One never tires of glitter glue!

 

In the Arts and Crafts tent at The Little Welly you could write a little to Santa, decorate a Christmas tree, or design your own welly!

In the Arts and Crafts tent at The Little Welly you could write a little to Santa, decorate a Christmas tree, or design your own welly!

 

Next, we went to visit Santa’s Village. We stood in a queue and waited while the teen-next-door keep would peer through the gap in the door, and send one family at a time through to visit santa. The village was five yurts, and the careful peering was to make sure you wouldn’t run into another family. Frosty the Snowman joined us, and then we knocked on the door of one of the yurts. A proper larger and age appropriate Santa answered and he immediately started engaging with the girls. How old are you. Have you been good this year? What do you want for Christmas? iPad’s are very expensive please keep that in mind. I bet you NEVER argue with each other. He even asked Scottish Grandma if she had been good (she had). It was brilliant and blows Santa’s grotto out of the water.    

 

The Santa's Village experience was one of the best I've ever experienced. Your family is privately escorted through the great oaks to meet a pleasantly plump and very jolly Father Christmas. Each child leaves with a small gift.

The Santa’s Village experience was one of the best I’ve ever experienced. Your family is privately escorted through the great oaks to meet a pleasantly plump and very jolly Father Christmas. Each child leaves with a small gift.

 

In the Activities Tent the girls got engrossed in Christmas inflatables and mini golf and in the Skills Tent we joined a South African drumming workshop.

 

 

 

We never made it to the Chill Out Tent, there was just too much to do!

 

In my opinion, the staff at The Little Welly really made it stand out. It felt like there was the dad of your child's best friend always there an willing to help.

In my opinion, the staff at The Little Welly really made it stand out. It felt like there was “a dad of your child’s best friend” always there and willing to help.

We had a fabulous time at The Little Welly. Rachel is planning more children’s events, and if you have a chance to go, make sure you do. You won’t be dissapointed.

Note: We were provided complimentary tickets to The Little Welly for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are mine and my family’s.

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17 Comments

  1. 12/01/2014 / 21:32

    Just saw this now – looks fabulous. What a great idea, especially to do a festival at that time of year.

  2. 03/01/2014 / 20:21

    That sounds lovely. We’ll be on the lookout for something similar this year. Do they have any plans to come to the Midlands?

  3. 03/01/2014 / 19:03

    I have never heard of a festival at Christmas if I’m honest and it sounds marvellous.

  4. 03/01/2014 / 19:03

    brilliant to be able to do something fun like this together in the winter months too…. the science experiment looks great!!

  5. 03/01/2014 / 17:32

    I’m so pleased grandma was on her best behaviour … what a fabulous day out, it seems they’ve thought of everything for the children meaning parents enjoy a great day too

  6. 03/01/2014 / 15:03

    I like the sound of this. We’ve only been to one children’s festival previously and we were disappointed by that. A Christmas Festival sounds a bit different though

  7. 03/01/2014 / 14:23

    That looks fabulous! I have never been to a festival for grown ups let alone kids but this looks amazing, so I may have to make that one of my resolutions this year!

  8. 03/01/2014 / 11:23

    What a gorgeous, fun festival! It’s great that these things aren’t just consigned to the summer months, getting outside in the brisk air can be great – although I bet you were grateful for those big tops!

    • 03/01/2014 / 11:42

      We were lucky with the weather, but yes those big tops could come in very handy. x

  9. 03/01/2014 / 11:20

    Nice to find something that caters for kids at this time of year! x

    • 03/01/2014 / 11:43

      Yes, twas a perfect time to get the kiddies out and doing something. x

  10. 03/01/2014 / 10:26

    Love this! Especially the show and activities tent. I’ve never done a festival, but this would definitely sway me.

  11. 26/12/2013 / 20:50

    Tickets started from £22, thanks for the reminder I think I’ll go in and add that info. x

    • 03/01/2014 / 11:43

      This was the first one the girls have been to, and they are now hooked. x

  12. 24/12/2013 / 15:43

    What a fantastic festival, it’s good to hear that it was so well organised. How much was it for entry (if you had paid)?