With the British weather showing no signs of letting up this week Roo and I decided we had better just get on with it and get outside with our wellies on. So on Monday as part of the 2012 Lichfield Festival Roo and I headed off to Beacon Park for an adventure with Alice and some very special friends in Wonderland.
Growing up Alice in Wonderland was one of my favourite story books. What little girl wouldn’t want to fall down a rabbit hole and be transported to a make believe world with tea parties, mad hatters, Cheshire cats and the Queen of Hearts? Luckily the weather held off and despite some grey clouds we didn’t get rained on but I went prepared with rain coats and wellies in true British mummy style.
I packed a picnic and garden chairs and picked Roo up from Nanmar’s for our adventure. We arrived at the park to be greeted by Alice herself. Alice had her trademark blue and white dress on, white tights and black shoes and made all the children feel ever so welcome by asking them if they had come far today and had they ever been on adventure. One by one the children began to shrug off their shyness and they sat transfixed as Alice told them of her stories in Wonderland.
There was some brilliant audience participation where Alice chose three children from the audience to play parts of the characters from the Mad Hatters Tea party; someone was the dozy dormouse and we all had to yawn like sleep dormouse’s, another girl was the Mad Hatter shouting ‘more tea please’, and then another girl got to be the March Hair and bounce up and down. All of which bought much squeals of delight from the young audience who had been transported into this fairytale.
At the end of the tale Alice told us that the cards who look after the Queen of Hearts had lost her teapots and that the Queen of Hearts was very very angry. The cards wanted to know if anyone would help them find the missing teapots in the garden, 30 little hands shot up like lightening to offer assistance (funny how hands never shoot up at home when I ask Roo to find something!). However, we all know how grumpy the Queen of Hearts can be and so to make sure we were safe in the garden Alice told us we had to make a special hat so the queen would know we were her friends and she wouldn’t shout “off with their heads!”
So out came some gold corrugated crowns, sticky dots, pencils, buttons and shiny foil and each child was encouraged to create their own beautiful masterpiece. When all the hats were done we had to embark on a garden adventure to find and count the number of teapots in the garden. Roo and I duly found all 8 with a little help from all our other friends and when we told the cards we had found them all they let us play games in the garden as a reward!
We had to be quiet though because we didn’t want the Queen of Hearts knowing we were playing games without her. Thankfully, unlike in the film no hedgehogs and flamingoes were used in our game of croquet and the children had to work in pairs which was a great way of them making a little friend for 15 minutes or so.
We then went onto play hoopla and Roo loved this managing to get the hoop on the post twice – smug mummy moment! The cards told the children that they had to tidy up all the garden toys so that they didn’t make the Queen of Hearts cross and lo and behold every little person raced to pick up balls, hoops, croquet clubs – note to self must be the Queen of Hearts at home because apparently this makes all children do as you tell them!
Playing with Cards in Wonderland
Once everything was put away we sat down on the grass to have our picnic lunch, Roo sitting on her little plastic red chair that I bought her and we then went off to the park for swings, pirate ships and a round of crazy golf. The whole event cost just £4 and was brilliantly put together and great for both babies and toddlers and something both Roo and I thoroughly enjoyed and thankfully we didn’t get wet!