Sunday, 23 July 2017

Kew Science Festival at Wakehurst - review by Bex

We were invited along to Wakehurst to check out the Kew Science Festival in the gardens this weekend and I wanted to get a post up on the blog tonight to show you all how much is going on, we'd definitely recommend it if you're at a loose end tomorrow!  Although it's aimed at older kids, there's still plenty for toddlers to do and keep entertained.

Unfortunately we were late arriving as Nik got called into an emergency at work 15 mins before his on-call shift ended so by the time we all got ready in the morning it was already 11am!  The couple of hours we did spend was a lot of fun though and we can't wait to go back tomorrow to explore more as we didn't even see half of what was going on.  When we arrived Priya asked for "Paint Face", she seems to associate this with the word festival now after the Foodies Festival and Uckfield Festival so we wandered down to see what we could find.

The first activities we came across were the art & crafty bits in the seed bank building.  There was painting, sticking and model making in bright colours as well as a giant globe to paint.  The kids loved making a mess, Nik seems to think there are plans to do something with them so we left ours behind to dry with all the others.  It would have been better if they had some steps to stand on or lower tables for the smaller ones as the twins did struggle to reach and see what they were doing.

We then saw a massive red sign outside - "Face Painting", phew!  The lovely Deborah from Tick Boom Body Art was amazing - so talented and extremely good with the kids - definitely the best face painter we've come across so far!  She even painted Priya's arm as well so Priya could see what was happening.  The full face design for £4 was good value and both the kids (and I) were delighted with their new faces, despite the usual serious faces during the actual painting.  Priya and Kalyan both chose their designs themselves from the picture menu, P chose a Mermaid and Kalyan chose a Lizard Monster.  I love their finished designs, so beautiful and detailed.

Next we designed some clay tiles which will be used on a wall somewhere in the gardens I believe (I didn't hear all the details as Priya wanted some help).  We also examined some leaves with a magnifying glass and Leasa's kids earned more stickers and a certificate to go with the medal they already had by the time we arrived.

We managed to watch a little bit of the science talk in one of the marquees before we had to go and find some lunch.  They'd cut an apple seed when we arrived and then moved on to talk about strawberry seeds and then chillies, demonstrating with each one.  I reckon it would be great for older kids as it was made to sound fun and I was certainly interested but P&K are still a bit young to sit and watch and we were dragged off.

Having met up with Leasa, William & Emily, we all headed off to the restaurant together, stopping en route to investigate the pond and explore under trees.  We definitely need to go back another time to wander around the rest of the gardens, they look beautiful.  And we LOVE having another family to hang out with at these events - P&K love W&E, it's so cute to watch them together.

I wanna be in their gang ;)

Lunch was OK, we opted for jacket potatoes in the restaurant but the kids only ate the skin which was lucky for me as I got to finish theirs since my choice of hot filling was not nice (chicken casserole).  The coffee was lovely though!  I think we'll just stick to the pop up food tent tomorrow.

The rain started while we ate lunch so we waited for it to ease before heading back to the car.  Despite there being plenty of options under cover, Priya had already had enough apparently (we suddenly had a lot of whinging) so it was time for them to nap, hence the need for a return trip tomorrow, much earlier in the day hopefully!

You can get in for free if you're a National Trust member but you have to pay up to £10 for parking.  The festival is included in the entry price which is £12.50 for adults (under 16s free) and you get free parking or you can become a "Friend of Wakehurst" for £25/year with free parking (DD price).  Will we see you there tomorrow?

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