Children’s arts opportunities put in the spotlight

From the regular visiting children’s theatre productions to the toys in its cafe area along with in house provisions such as the Diddy Disco, accessible changing facilities and a lovely warm welcome, the Lincoln Drill Hall has long been a favourite destination for young audience members.

And now the Free School Lane arts centre is making it even easier for those wanting to find out what’s on offer to enjoy alongside their children by launching a new family brochure.  Sales and communications manager Gavin Street explains why…

“Lincoln Drill Hall is a great place to introduce children to the arts.  The venue hosts a year-round programme of live shows, theatre groups, workshops and creative sessions specifically aimed at younger audiences – from tiny tots to teenagers – plus events the whole family can enjoy together.  And with the launch of a new seasonal family brochure, you can find it all in one place!

“So what’s coming up in the Spring?  Running through the season are the Happy Monday Club weekly creative play sessions for pre-schoolers, which includes sessions based on storytelling and drama, dance and movement, art and making and rhythm and music.  These sessions take place in the venue’s cafe bar on Monday mornings, 10.30am-11.30am.  On Wednesdays, the Drill Hall also hosts Hartbeeps, weekly musical adventure classes for newborns, babies and toddlers.

“Or for older children, why not Fishtank, the city’s alternative youth theatre, where the kids create their own original theatre pieces and then perform them in front of a real audience.  Drama skills, self-confidence, team-building and fun are guaranteed in these sessions for Tiddlers (ages 3-6), Juniors (ages 7-11) and Intermediates (ages 11-16).  Sessions run on Saturday mornings throughout the year.

“And rounding off the first half of the Spring, February half term is packed with events.  These include the first outing of the season of Diddy Disco (Tuesday 13 February), the venue’s hip dance club for under 7s and the interactive theatre adventure The Dead Sea (Wednesday 14 February), which follows a young marine biologist on an ecological rescue mission to the bottom of the ocean.  There’s also Rhubarb Theatre’s time-travelling Sidney’s Shed (Friday 16 February), which whisks young audiences on an exciting journey to dig up the past and weed out history’s bullies and Hiccup Theatre brings the classic story The Gingerbread Man (Saturday 17 February) to vivid life through amazing puppetry and fabulous live music.”

For more information about these and other events later in the season pick up a copy of the new Drill Hall Family brochure or read it online here.  For more about the venue visit www.lincolndrillhall.com (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

And don’t forget there’s still the pantomime to enjoy before the end of this year.  To find out more about Jack and the Beanstalk, showing from December 8th to January 2nd, click here.

 

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Santa’s Workshop has an extra touch of magic this year

The Lincolnshire Food and Gift Fair 2017

SW1

If Christmas itself and the chance to catch a glimpse the man in red aren’t magical enough for your children then the Lincolnshire Showground has arranged for an extra spellbinding attraction at the Santa’s Workshop at Lincolnshire Food and Gift this year.

The Magical World of Fingley, a series of five children’s novels, will be bringing two of its pixies, Astoria and Nixie, to the event taking place on December 2nd and 3rd and they’ll be helping younger visitors to enjoy colouring, crafts, reading, writing, storytelling and treasure hunts.

There will also be a range of Christmas crafts for children to have a go at and Super Chefs will be helping them decorate their own festively-shaped pizzas.

Lincolnshire Showground CEO Jayne Southall says “Christmas is all about family and we’re keen to ensure that the Fair celebrates everything that is great about Lincolnshire by offering something for everyone.  Children love the magic of Christmas and we are delighted to run the Santa’s Workshop for a second year following its popularity last year, and to welcome The Magical World of Fingley.”

The fair is open from 9am to 4pm on the Saturday and Sunday.  Tickets are £5 in advance, £6 on the door, accompanied under 16s and parking are free.

Find out more on the Lincolnshire Showground’s website.

Children of Lincoln

Children of LincolnHave you heard about the Children of Lincoln project?

At the beginning of November Daddy and the two eldest minis attended a family fun day entitled Imagining a ‘Child Friendly’ Lincoln at the University of Lincoln.  They enjoyed some art and crafts activities and taking a shot at the Lincoln City Imps in the Community goal and had the opportunity to find out more about children’s rights and “Child Friendly Cities”.

UNICEF Child Friendly Cities initiative was launched by the UN in 1996 with the aim to make cities liveable places for all by putting children first stating “The well-being of children is the ultimate indicator of a healthy habitat, a democratic society and of good governance”.

The School of Social & Political Sciences at the University of Lincoln have been working with the City of Lincoln Council and Lincolnshire County Council since 2016 to launch a child rights initiative for the city of Lincoln and the fun day saw this aim realised.  Other Children of Lincoln steering group partners include the Lincolnshire Children’s University, Children’s Links, Lincoln BIG, Education Business Partnership, Priory Academies, Bishop King Primary School, St Francis Special School, LiNCHigher, Bishop Grosseteste University and LCVYS.

Now they can start work to achieving their aims.

“Our aspiration is to be recognised by UNICEF as a Child Friendly City alongside a number of other cities in the UK.  We aim to raise awareness of children’s rights in Lincoln, by holding events for children and families, conducting research and working with local services and businesses to help them prioritise children’s rights.”

Acknowledging that Lincoln is already a great place to grow up in, they wish to pay special attention to the most vulnerable children within our city listing children with disabilities or health needs, children who are looked after by the state, children who get into trouble with school/police, children who are young carers, children living in poverty and children who are homeless.

Find out more at http://childlincoln.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/

Do you think Lincoln is a child friendly city?

The Light Princess

STphoto-LP-AnnaUsing elements of circus and classical choreography, a new full length ballet taking the tale of Sleeping Beauty as its inspiration is being performed at the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre this weekend.

Ballet Cymru’s The Light Princess tells the story of a princess afflicted by constant weightlessness, unable to get her feet on the ground, until she finds a love that brings her down to earth.

STphoto-LP-Beth RobbieFeaturing video projections and a new score by Welsh harpist, composer and recording artist Catrin Finch, The Light Princess was produced in collaboration with The Riverfront Theatre in Newport and continues Ballet Cymru’s work using powerful and timeless stories to challenge its dancers to interpret some of the finest characters in literature.

The Light Princess will be performed by Ballet Cymru at the LPAC in Lincoln on Sunday, November 19th at 5pm. Click here to find out more.

Heigh-Ho Ho Ho, it’s off to the grotto we go

Christmas 2017

Santa 2017If my blog stats are accurate then many of you are a lot more organised than me (although I probably didn’t need numbers compiling to tell me that).

Last year’s Looking to find the man in red?, a list of where the bearded one and his helpers were appearing in and near Lincolnshire, has been steadily gaining views again since early this October.  Despite my usual “not until at least after Halloween” ruling I had considered doing my usual Father Christmas visit round-up earlier this year.  My post Putting the heart into Halloween might explain why I never managed to but, as I’ve also seen certain venues are already selling out, I thought I better get on with it now.  You never know, it might make me get on with booking our visit too, after all it’s not that long until he has to return to the North Pole to see to his global duties.

As always, live events can be subject to last minute changes and selling out so be sure to check booking details before you travel and certainly before promising anything to excitable mini ones! 

And, if you know of one we’ve missed, then please email hello@theminimalpi.co.uk with the link and I’ll be happy to add it.

Ark Wildlife Park, Stickney
Various dates between December 2nd and Christmas Eve
www.arkwildlifepark.co.uk

Baytree Garden Centre, Weston, Spalding
Various date between November 4th and Christmas Eve
www.baytree-gardencentre.com

Belton House, near Grantham
Various December dates
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/belton-house/

Boston Pescod Square
Various December dates
Facebook event

Brigg Garden Centre
Various dates in November and December
www.britishgardencentres.com

Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway
Various December dates
www.cclr.co.uk

Doddington Hall, near Lincoln
SOLD OUT (waiting list available)
www.doddingtonhall.com

Downtown Boston
December 2nd and 3rd
www.oldrids.co.uk

Downtown Grantham Garden Centre
Various November and December dates
www.oldrids.co.uk

Downtown Grantham Superstore
Supper with Santa – Various November and December dates
www.oldrids.co.uk

Dunholme Community Christmas Fayre, St Chad’s Primary School
November 24th
www.dunholme.org.uk

Elsham Hall
SOLD OUT (December 1st, 3rd, 15th, 17th)
Facebook page

Fillingham Trees, near Gainsborough
December 7th, 8th, 14th and 15th
www.fillingham-trees.co.uk

Hildreds Shopping Centre, Skegness
Various December dates
www.hildredsshoppingcentre.co.uk

Holbeach St Nicholas Community Fayre
December 2nd and 3rd
www.allsaintsholbeach.org.uk/st-nicholas-fayre/

Hykeham Lions
Various December dates
Facebook page

Johnsons Garden Centre, Boston
Various November and December dates
www.johnsonsofboston.co.uk

Kelham Hall, near Newark
November 25th and 26th
www.KelhamChristmas.co.uk

Kirton in Lindsey Fair Gardens
Various November and December dates
www.fairgardens.co.uk

Lincoln area – Lincolnshire Firefighters Escort Santa’s Sleigh
December 15th-19th
Facebook post

Lincoln Castle
Various December dates
www.lincolncastle.com

Lincoln Santa Fun Run & Walk 2017
(No grotto but hundreds of Santas!)
December 17th
www.lincolnsantafunrun.co.uk

Lincolnshire Showground Food and Gift Fair
(No grotto but Santa will be visiting on his sleigh)
December 2nd and 3rd
www.lincolnshireshowground.co.uk

Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, Friskney
Various December dates
www.lincswildlife.com

Lincolnshire Wolds Railway
December 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th
www.lincolnshirewoldsrailway.co.uk

Lincoln, Wacky Warehouse, Newark Road
Breakfast with Santa, December 9th, 17th, 23rd
Facebook event

Lincoln, Windmill Farm, off Whisby Road
Breakfast with Santa, December 23rd
Facebook event

LMS Country Store Christmas Market, Wellingore
December 2nd
LMS Facebook

Normanby Hall, near Scunthorpe
Various December dates
www.normanbyhall.co.uk

North Hykeham Fun Farm
Come dine with Santa – December 13th
Facebook event

North Scarle Miniature Railway
December 10th and 17th
www.lincolnmes.co.uk

Oldrids, Boston
Tea with Santa – December 14th
www.oldrids.co.uk

Oldrids, Gainsborough
November 25th and 26th
www.oldrids.co.uk

Oldrids, Scunthorpe
December 16th and 17th
www.oldrids.co.uk

Oliver Boat Trips, Brayford, Lincoln
Various November and December dates
www.facebook.com/oliverboattrips/

The Pink Pig Farm, near Scunthorpe
Various December dates
www.pinkpigfarm.co.uk

Rand Farm Park, near Wragby
Various November and December dates
www.randfarmpark.com

Reepham School Christmas Fair
December 2nd
Visit Facebook event

The Ritz, Lincoln 
Breakfast with Santa – December 19th-21st
Facebook event

Rufford Abbey Country Park
Various dates between November 18th and December 23rd
Facebook event

Scunthorpe Christmas Lights Switch On
November 25th
Facebook event

Sherwood Forest
Santa Paws Dog Grotto
December 9th and 10th
Facebook event

Springfields, Spalding
Various November and December dates
www.springfieldsshopping.co.uk

Sundown Adventureland, Rampton, near Retford
Various November and December dates
www.sundownadventureland.co.uk

Tattershall Farm Park
December 2nd and 3rd
Facebook event

Waterside Shopping Centre, Lincoln
December 1st-24th
www.watersideshopping.com

White Post Farm, Farnsfield
From November 25th
www.whitepostfarm.co.uk

The Winter Express
December 20
The Poacher Community Rail Partnership will be taking the train from Nottingham to the North Pole (Boston) to watch the Polar Express in 3D.  On the train there will be activities, treats and on the way home a very special guest.  Booking essential.
www.lincolnshire.gov.uk

Author event may inspire children to write

Dan Walker Book Signing PosterBilled as “amazing, action packed stories,” you can find out more about from the author of Desert Thieves and Sky Thieves himself when Dan Walker visits a Lincoln bookshop on Saturday (October 14th, 2017).

Aimed at ages 9-12, the swashbuckling adventure series includes flying galleons, floating islands and long lost treasure.

And Walker is looking forward to his appearance at the High Street branch of Waterstones from 11am to 2pm just as much as any of his young fans are.

“As a children’s writer, events are super-exciting,” the Nottingham writer explains.

“Writing stories is something children do at school, so the understand the process well.  It is not an abstract thing for them.  So when they meet someone who does it for a living – someone who can give them tips and tricks, talk about structure and characters – it’s really interesting.

“In terms of reading as a hobby, kids are always fascinated by the inspiration for characters, events, settings, everything!  I also get a lot of feedback from children who had given up on their writing, but were inspired by meeting an author to get back on it again.”

DanWalker
Author Dan Walker

And it’s not just the children who might find the event inspirational as Walker finds meeting his young readers very beneficial too.

“For a writer, events are great because it means you get to speak to your readers, ” he says.  Writing is a solitary job, and sometimes you get so buried in the details of a story that you lose touch with why you’re putting words on the paper.

“When you go out to an event, and meet readers, it reminds you of the end-point of your story.  You remember who you’re writing for, and the joy it hopefully brings.

“Practically, it gives you a little boost, so that next time you sit down at the computer you’re ready and raring to go.  From a craft perspective, it’s also good to know which bits of your books kids particularly enjoyed, and which bits they didn’t.

“Feedback is good in every station of life; writing is no different.”

Find out more at: www.waterstones.com

Bushcraft, browsing and a Wobbly Bodger

Belton House Autumn Fayre 2017

Autumn is my favourite season so it’s lovely to hear of other people celebrating it too.

National Trust property Belton House holds an annual Autumn Fayre and this weekend (Saturday, October 14th and Sunday 15th) is 2017’s time to host it.

“The two day Autumn Fayre offers families the chance to immerse themselves in all things autumnal, from learning forest skills with Silverback Bushcraft, and having-a-go at den building in Lincolnshire’s largest outdoor adventure playground, to exploring autumn with the RSPB’s Nature’s Colour trail” says marketing and events officer Anastasia Stratigou.

“Browse a selection of handmade arts, crafts and foods that celebrate the best of regional produce. With local traders selling a variety of foods, vintage linens, handmade jewellery, leather bags, garden items, home décor and more, the fayre promises there will be a treat to be found by all”.

Click here to find details of the stall holders attending: Belton Autumn Fayre Stall Holder List 2017.

The North Front at Belton House, a restoration country house built 1685-88
The North Front at Belton House.  National Trust Images: Andrew Butler.

New for 2017, chainsaw artist Andrew Frost will be creating live action wood carvings in preparation for Belton’s Christmas display, at the fayre on Sunday.  And, on the same day, the Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust’s annual greyhound walk around the parkland will start at 11am.

The Wobbly Bodger will also be demonstrating traditional heritage crafts all weekend.

The fayre will take place from 9.30am to 5.30pm on both days, with different activities throughout the weekend.  Grounds admission applies.

Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/belton-house for more information.