Imagine a place with enchanted forests and beautiful scenes from classic stories brought to life; a magical place where your kids can laugh and play and learn; a wonderland where they are someone else’s problem and you can just sit back and relax with a brew (OK I might be joking with that last bit…kind of 😉). Anyway, sound good? Well this place exists, not only in your dreams, but in Farsley, Leeds no less. This place is the Rainbow Factory.
I hadn’t heard of the Rainbow Factory before, (can’t believe I’ve been missing out for the last 18 months!) so when we were kindly invited to visit them last week to get a sneak preview of their Christmas Show, I couldn’t have been more excited and intrigued. Plus, a Christmas themed activity which is actually indoors for once, was right up my street!
Cinderella’s Christmas Wish is a reimagined version of the traditional fairytale, with a little festive sprinkling for good measure and it definitely packs a punch! Featuring dance, puppetry, and original songs, there really is lots in this original production to keep your littles entertained. The show lasts a wriggle-proof 45 minutes, and is aimed at kids between 2-7 years old but promises fun for all the family. Dexter is a little under the target audience age, but still loved it! Just be prepared if your kid is under 2 that they might be a little more ‘wriggly’ than the older ones (snacks and festive treats available from the Rainbow Factory’s Gingerbread Cafe…they definitely help!).
The great thing about coming to a show like this with small ones instead of heading to a traditional pantomime, is that everyone is in the same boat so you don’t have to worry about whether your child is going to be the one to ruin it for the rest by screaming at the top of his lungs! Phew.
Christmas for us has it’s magic back again now that we’re parents, so I’ve been adamant that I want to pack in as many child-friendly festive activities as possible in the month of December. This show was definitely up there with the best of our festivities, and I love how engaging it was for the kids and adults alike! There was lots of audience participation, which I think did a great job at keeping the children interested and at keeping their bums on (very comfy, child-friendly) beanbags. The show’s script and songs are written and performed by the two multi-talented Rainbow Factory performers, Rachel and Lydia, who did a fab job at bringing the characters to life. I’m not going to go in to detail about the content of the show itself though…you’ll have to go along to find out!
The whole experience, from walking in through a dimly lit enchanted forest through a curtain (very Narnia-esque), to the yummy nibbles and friendly staff, made the Rainbow Factory feel massively warm and inviting and both myself, Mr B, and most importantly Dexter, can’t wait to go back.
About the Rainbow Factory
Being a first-time mum involves lots of winging it and plenty of guess work, none more so when trying your best to find new and interesting things to do with your baby/toddler (more on ‘mum guilt’ soon), so I am so glad to have found out about this hidden gem. Although a little out of our way, R.F. will be somewhere we visit again very soon to see what they have in store once the Christmas hype has died down. I love the concept behind this place, which aims to inspire a love of reading and encourages youngsters to use their imagination through innovative storytelling-themed activities.
Things to Expect from a Typical Visit to the Rainbow Factory
- Making their own plasticine models with help from a master model-maker
- Getting crafty in the creative kitchen
- Dressing up and taking to the stage to act out scenes from their favourite books
- Listening to tales beneath the storytelling tree
Cinderella’s Christmas Wish is running from December 8th right through to the 30th and the tickets are selling out fast so I would advise getting yours asap to avoid any disappointment! They are £6 each for adults and kids aged 1+ and babies under 12 months are free. You can get yours here.
If you take your minis make sure to let me know what you think and if you all enjoyed yourselves.
(Photo credit: Debbie Newman, Rainbow Factory Communications Manager)
*Brought to you by the Rainbow Factory, however words and opinions are my own.