Last year my daughter loved In the Night Garden a lot and it was an obvious choice for a special treat and yes it really easy a special treat, as it is a very expensive day out. Last year we had 4 adults to one child, and I cried when I saw how much my daughter loved the show. It was the first time I’d seen her enjoy something that much and it really changed me as a mother from that day I saw how seeing your child be made happy is the best feeling in the world. Since then I actively seek out days and events that I know will make my daughter happy. As this makes me happy and it really is one of the happiest times seeing her experiencing pure joy.
This year, My daughter doesn’t really like the show, she doesn’t watch it anymore and in fact went off it just before her second birthday, for which we had prepared a themed night garden party. My first lesson into not planning things too far in advance as Children can change there mind about their favourite characters very quickly.
We had decided not to go this year as she was over it and my youngest has not yet discovered it. My mother was asking a lot to take them, it was a few days before my parents birthday and I was out of present ideas and decided what better present than spending a day with your grandchildren.
So I splashed out and brought 4 adult tickets to accompany 2 children, a much more acceptable ratio this year.
I was a bit horrified that my 7 month old just misses out on the under 6 month old reduced rate and we had to pay full wack for him. I really didn’t think he’d be that interested but we had to take him so we had to buy him a full priced ticket.
We turned up at the “igloo” as my daughter called it and my daughter was actually quite excited by the whole experience. We went to the Richmond deer park location and there is a parking place opposite, it’s really well sign posted and easy to get to. With a footbridge and traffic lights to cross over the road to the dome.
We turned up about 20 minutes before the performance, Having been before I knew that the claim that everyone has a good seat it true. Both times the shows we went to were not at full capacity and each family has lots of space to be comfortable.
We picked up our goodie bag, my daughter light up wand from last year had just broken and she was pretty sad about that, so I thought I’d get another goodie bag. They are good value for money and I think this years bag was better than last. We got a mealtime set which you can never have enough of, a sticker book, a magazine, a dvd, a hand puppet, a soft plush and the wand. this year we choose the Upsy Daisy bag and you have a choice between he Iggle Piggle or Upsy Daisy bag. all this for Just over £20 really is a bargain and I love a bargain.
After picking up our bag we used the toilets, I had just asked my husband if he had packed my daughters portable toilet seat, and he had forgot. I was then very happy to see each toilet had a childs toilet seat you can add. as well as little steps. It’s little touches like this that can really make or break and experience and day out. If everywhere was this thoughtful we wouldn’t even need a portable toilet training seat.
We then went to take our seat. and await the show now about 10 minutes out. We had the standard seats, I don’t personally think you need to worry about the premium seats unless you have extra money to throw about. I’m pretty sure wherever you sit you’d get a good view and a good experience.
My daughter was actually getting quite excited by it all and this year she understood more what was going on. As the show started I was again overwhelmed with emotions and shed a tear. A smaller one this time as I was more used to feeling of overwhelming joy at seeing not just mine but lots of children experience pure joy.
My daughter was pretty mesmerised by the show although not quite as much as last year, She still enjoyed herself and sat through the whole thing joining in trying to show Iggle Piggle where his blanket was.
There are two shows to choose from, the Ninky Nonk or the Pinky Ponk. We’ve now seen both, the first year my daughter was in love with Makka pakka so the Pinky Ponk show seemed like the obvious choice. This year we decided to go for the other one. It probably doesn’t matter too much which show you see, I think I slightly preferred the Pinky Ponk show but that could be because it was the first time watching it and maybe I was a bit less interested the second year, to be honest I spent most of the shows watching my kids reactions, which was far better than the show (sorry)
The show is just under an hour and first year I was worried my little one would not sit through this, but she did, there was a little drop in attention amounts most of the children around the 30 minute mark, but the show seems to be able to hold onto their attention at a remarkable rate.
The show also offers a meet a character experience, the first year we did go for this and paid out to meet Upsy Daisy, I was not sure if my daughter would like it having not had any experience of meeting a character before, the experience allows up to 5 (mixture of adults or children). My daughter ran into meet Upsy Daisy and cuddled her and did not let go, we actually had to prise her off to leave. You get a photo included and it’s fairly good value.
As you leave there is also a shop with even more stuff to buy and lots of balloons we got the balloon this year, but unfortunately my daughter popped it on the way home, which was a shame because she did seem to really love it.
As you’ll see from this picture looks like lots of balloons have been lost on the roof of the dome.
I think the optimum age is probably 1-2 years for this although as mine proved under 1 and over 2 do still enjoy it.
I suppose there is a chance we could return again next year, if my son develops the same passion my daughter had for it.