Peppa’s adventure proves great fun for all

#30DaysWild – Day 14

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Peppa Pig's Adventure - cast(c) Dan Tsantilis

I can’t possibly start this review of Peppa Pig Live: Peppa Pig’s Adventure any way other than by saying how much my 17 month old loved it.

At previous shows we’ve taken her siblings to she’s often clapped along with the applause and enjoyed looking at all the lights but then either fed or slept through most of it.

In this morning’s production at the New Theatre Royal however, Faith was fully engaged throughout smiling, giggling, sat forward and focused on the stage, jiggling her body in excitement.

Including an interval it wasn’t a short show either but, as Willow’s first words 10 seconds after the curtain fell were “again, again”, it clearly thoroughly entertained my three year old too who was also a guest of the theatre.

And the delighted noises coming from the other mini audience members as their favourite characters came on stage for the first time in the show that encompasses a range of puppetry techniques meant they certainly weren’t alone in their enjoyment.

As well as Peppa, George, Pedro, Suzy and Gerald, the pre-school favourite was recreated faithfully through the bold colourful set and omniscient voice over.  Black-clad puppeteers maneuvered the smaller characters whilst Daddy Pig, Mummy Pig and Madame Gazelle could contain their actors inside the costumes.  They were joined by Daisy, a new girl starting at their school for her first day and joining them on their school camping trip.

There was, of course, plenty of opportunity for interaction and clapping, singing and dancing along which the young viewers took every advantage of.

Older audience members were equally charmed by the nighttime scene and the fireflies, bats and owls as well as the fun torchlight shadow play.

Water sprays added a delightful 4d theatre experience as a rain shower allowed Peppa and her friends to indulge in their love of jumping in muddy puddles.

I’ve already had several requests to “see show again” but next time can we have Danny Dog and Candy Cat too please?

Find out where else Peppa is performing at Peppa Pig Live!

The next children’s theatre show coming up at the New Theatre Royal in Lincoln is Dinosaur World Live, June 22nd-24th

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30DAYSWILD_ID2 lightgreenThe logistics of the day mean that Peppa and Daisy’s song about enjoying the great outdoors and the characters delight in their camping trip was our #30DaysWild activity of the day and it certainly fuelled my 3 year old’s desire to sleep under canvas again soon. 

#30DaysWild Day 4 – #LincsHour

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_04This evening our county’s weekly Twitter hour saw our discussion focus on this week’s  (June 5th) and  (June 8th) and it’s #PassOnPlastic campaign.

Clearly the environment is a subject that many #LincsHour (Mondays 8pm-9pm) tweeters are passionate about and it made for a very busy hour with lots of suggestions of things people are already doing or could do to help.

ClothNappiesTI asked if anyone else had used cloth nappies, sharing a photo of some of our reusable wardrobe.

Jackie Elton (@GreenAspiration) not only had but she’s used washable wipes too, something that’s on my list to look into.

With her Twitter bio reading “Loves Eco living, organics, sustainability, nature, Ethical Gifts, Salsa Dancing, Social Media esp Pinterest ” and running a website called Green and Natural Living, it’s not surprising that she had much to bring to the discussion – “Some of the things I do to reduce single use plastic beeswax wraps instead of clingfilm, bake my own bread, bamboo tooth brush & natural deordorant “, “every day I try to have as low environmental impact as possible. Including reducing waste & recycling, producing electricity via PV panels, planting plants for bees. Buying local & growing food”.

Jackie was also the first to mention 30 Days Wild and was going to look into the Great British Bee Count (May 17th – June 30th) that’s taking place now too.

Using insulated cups instead of single use ones is something both Anne Clarkson and Jane Means already do.

Litter and recycling were also two topics that were very important to everyone with calls for Keep Britain Tidy adverts to return, fines to be used more widely, better education on the subject, people to take part in beach cleans and recycling bins to be placed next to waste bins in town centres.

@LincsHour’s own @DebsCooper suggested the website Wise Up To Waste for some more useful hints and tips and also introduced us all to the Scandinavian fitness trend of “plogging” that’s just starting to get popular in the UK where jogging is combined with picking up litter.

Lydia Rusling told us about The Big Co-op Clean which is returning for its second year with events in Holbeach, Swaton near Sleaford, Caistor, Grimsby, Saxilby and Chapel Point Beach near Skegness.

And, if it’s a trip out to the coast that you’re interested in, Greenfield Caravans was hoping to see lots of people visiting Mablethorpe Beach for the Sand Sculpting Weekend (June 8th-10th) organised by Visit Lincs Coast to promote World Oceans Day.

If all that isn’t enough to fuel your #30DaysWild activities then take a look at Big Family Little Adventure’s suggestions to escape screens and Find the Fun Outdoors instead which includes buying a guide to wildflowers or birds and getting into gardening. 

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#30DaysWild Day 2 – Whisby Nature Park

30Days2From courting as teenagers to taking our mini ones to run off some of their seemingly endless energy, Whisby Nature Park has been one of our favourite places to visit for many years.

Managed by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, the park was created by quarrying for sand and gravel, but “nature has reclaimed the pits and bare sand, creating habitats for many species”.

Feathered encounters may include nightingales, swallows, great crested grebes, tits, finches, warblers, sand martins, terns, chiffchaffs and many more.

We’re more likely to encounter flocks with fellow fledglings looking for a family day out.  The minis like exploring the hides but haven’t yet quite developed the patience and skill of stillness to enjoy them as intended.

Fortunately in the centre of the park is the Natural World Centre which not only houses a bistro and shop but also two children’s adventure play areas – Otter’s Reach indoors and Little Darter’s outside.  Today’s lovely weather meant it was largely a Little Darter’s day.

And it looks like it’s also providing us with lots of lovely photo ops that will show the minis as they grow too – click here for what a difference two years makes.

Find out more at:
www.lincstrust.org.uk/whisby-nature-park
www.naturalworldcentre.co.uk

Need more reasons to visit?  Check out the seven suggested by Our Bucket List Lives at 7 great reasons why we love Whisby Nature Park, near Lincoln.

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The destination for your imagination this July

Newark Book Festival 2018

NBF1The fantastical tales we read as children often stay very real within our imaginations but isn’t it fabulous when they sometimes take actual 3D form too?

PlaceCalledHomeNewark Book Festival 2018 (July 13th-15th) will see knights, bookworms, the Gruffalo, very, very, very long dogs and fat cats, aliens, gardeners and much more popping out of the pages of a book into storytimes, dramatic presentations and character appearances.  And you can even transform yourself into a literary character too and take part in the fancy dress competition.

LongDogInteraction is always key in any children’s event but there are also dedicated workshops to make sure your mini one’s own imagination takes centre stage including a fantasy writing workshop with Gareth Baker (recommended ages 8-12) and the chance to make a concertina stand-up book (all ages).  Author and illustrator Julia Patton will also be helping Newark Library launch the Summer Reading Challenge (age 4-11) encouraging young readers to keep celebrating their love of stories long after the weekend is over.

LittleRedReadingAnd it’s not surprising that at a book festival the love of reading itself becomes the subject of events.  Little Red Reading Hood by Lucy Rowland and Ben Mantle sounds a perfect title for little literary lovers and, for us older ones who still hold fairytales close BookwormLMto our hearts, Lucy Mangan’s Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading (among the many adults events on offer) will see the author and her interviewer Tina Bettison “take a trip down a rabbit hole and a visit to Narnia” as “she relives our best-loved books, their extraordinary creators and looks at the thousand subtle ways they shape our lives”.

Whether you’re cruising down the river on the Ship of Stories or exploring fairy trails in the Castle’s Enchanted Forest, Newark will be a very magical place for all literary lovers to visit in July.

Find out more at www.newarkbookfestival.org.uk and join in the conversation using #newarkbf.

Celebrating 40 years of adventurous fun

Belton House adventure playground

When you become a parent one of the things you look forward to is sharing the highlights of your own childhood with your children.

For Daddy Malpi many of those special memories were the trips he made to the adventure playground at Belton House near Grantham.  Fast forward two or three decades and he has already taken the minis on numerous trips to the National Trust’s playground which was extensively renovated three years ago.

The adventure playground's birthday (2)
Photo: National Trust

And now that playground is about to celebrate 40 years of making memories for all its visitors.

Opened by Peter Purves on Easter Sunday in 1978, the Blue Peter presenter will be returning to the outdoor site four decades later to help mark its anniversary.

His appearance will be part of a full day of play on Thursday, March 29th, including puppet shows, children’s outdoor theatre, bush-craft activities and face painting and more to kick-start this year’s Easter holiday.

The playground, originally called Jungleland because of its woodland setting, was created by the Brownlow family who owned the estate until 1984.  Today it is the National Trust’s largest outdoor adventure playground, offering challenging play in the woodland setting that’s made it such a well-loved destination for generations of families.  

The playground is open from 9.30am every day, closing only on Christmas Day. This event is free, but normal admission charges apply.  For more information, please  visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/belton-house 

National charities join forces to link up two popular visitor attractions

A major project of up to £1.2 million aims to link up two treasured visitor attractions to create a wide expanse for people to explore and enjoy.

The Woodland Trust and National Trust plan to open up borders on the land connecting the eastern part of Belton House and the more recently created Londonthorpe Woods

Londonthorpe
The area once formed part of the 17th Century Brownlow Estate but over time this historic landscape has become fragmented.

The project will create unprecedented access between the sites, allowing people to seamlessly explore a combined area of 225 hectares of woods and parkland so that people can discover both its secret history and environmental treasures.

Thanks to players of the National Lottery, the project has already received a funding boost of £64,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). This development funding has been awarded to help the Woodland Trust progress their plans to apply for a full grant of £428,800 at a later date.

Ian Froggatt, Londonthorpe Site Manager, said: “We’re thrilled to get this initial piece of financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Lottery players which we hope will lead to a much larger grant to deliver the project.

“The project will allow visitors to not only enjoy the attraction of Belton House but also explore much of the wider Brownlow estate, including what is now  Londonthorpe Woods.

“With a winning combination of history and nature, it has the potential to be the green lungs of Lincolnshire enabling visitors to enjoy and experience a wealth of health and social benefits”.

The National Lottery grant will allow the project to work towards creating a warm welcome with engaging information which will enable everyone to learn more about these two special places.

A programme of events and activities will be organised to actively involve the local community and visitors from further afield.

Conservation will also be at the heart of the project, it will work to restore and enhance key wildlife habitats, helping to ensure their protection long into the future.

It will also seek to protect and enhance built heritage and parkland features, ensuring the continuation of the Brownlow legacy who had first acquired land in the area in the late 16th century and created Belton house as their family seat.

An extensive consultation programme will kick off in summer 2018, and the charities are looking for as many people as possible to get involved with this.  Work on the ground is due to commence from summer 2020.

However, this project will not go ahead without match funding for the potential National Lottery grant, and the two organisations still need to secure another half a million to make it a reality.

2018 events mean lots of fun in the year ahead

Does the year 2018 still sound futuristic to anyone else?  Some of us are still expecting the Y2K bug to wreak havoc anytime soon…

Fortunately 2018 – the Year of Engineering, the RAF’s Centenary, the 100th anniversary of female suffrage, the 60th anniversary of the LEGO brick – has a lot more positive things in store in Lincolnshire and beyond.

If you’re organising an event you’d like added to this list then let me know at hello@theminimalpi.co.uk and if you’re particularly looking forward to attending an event yourself this year then tell us all about it in the comments below!

January 30th: International Bomber Command Centre
Serving as a point of recognition, remembrance and reconciliation for Bomber Command, the IBCC opens at the end of January.

February 12th – 17th: Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood
Trusthorpe Village Hall Theatre Group pantomime

February 24th: Lincoln Mums Expo
Advice, support information, special offers and play/activities for mums to be, babies, right through to toddlers and big kids too.

March 18th: City of Lincoln 10K
Stretch your legs whilst running around Lincoln’s historic landmarks including the Cathedral and the city’s Roman walls.

March 24th and 25th: Discover Lincolnshire Weekend
A weekend of free entry to many of Lincoln city’s and countryside’s attractions.

March 27: Komposit The Performance
Five young composers from the East Midlands present their new pieces of music.

April 8th: Countryside Lincs
The Lincolnshire Showground’s interactive family day out featuring all the fun farming, food and the countryside have to offer.

May 4th-11th: Lincoln Fashion Week
Eight days of fashion events in venues across Lincoln city centre.

June 20th-21st: Lincolnshire Show
A celebration of rural Lincolnshire, with an eclectic mix of entertainment, food, shopping, music, horticulture and farm life.

July 14th-15th: Newark Book Festival
Two days dedicated to celebrating authors and their work that aim to “fire your imaginations, challenge and inspire you present the very best in literature and the arts”.

August 24th-27th: Asylum Steampunk Festival
The largest and longest running steampunk festival attracting participants from around the globe.

August 31st-September 2nd: So Festival
A coastal festival of outdoor theatre.

September 26th-30th: Gravity Fields
The theme for this year’s science-based festival held in Grantham is “voyages of discovery”.

October 1st-31st: Wolds Words
An autumnal cultural festival featuring an array of craft, heritage, literature and performances.

October 13th: Lincoln Sausage Festival
Cooking demonstrations, food stalls, children’s entertainment and live music.

November 24th: Inflatable 5k Santa Run
Flip, bounce and boing your way around the inflatable assault course in full Santa kit at the Lincolnshire Showground.

December 1st-2nd: Lincolnshire Food and Gift
The fair brings together more than 150 varied stands with the very best Christmas offerings, entertainment from live choir groups, cookery demonstrations and a children’s Santa’s Workshop.

December 6th-9th: Lincoln Christmas Market
Cultural entertainment and more than 200 stalls nestled within the medieval square and surrounding area.