I had been meaning to visit Norden Farm for a long time but always get side-tracked. This time, nothing was in my way so I took Yara on a short trip to Maidenhead to this arts centre, dedicated to theatre, art, sand and play.
In the summer, they have a large sandpit for the kids to stick their toes in and make some serious mess – a giant canoe lies to the side to take their imagination beyond the grey skies over Berkshire. I must add that their cafe whips up the BEST coffee I have tasted and that says a lot – happy (and caffeinated) mama equals happy child.
After a quick lunch of sandwiches, at a reasonable total cost of £10, we went into a small, twinkling den for storytime. The storyteller was a young man, dressed like a druid and was so animated in the way he spoke, the kids were giggling all along.
Right after that, we went into a theatre to watch the puppet show production of ‘Little Red Robin Hood’ run by the ‘Garlic Theatre‘. The place was spacious and simple and the production set looked modest at first but as the play went along, it became more elaborate.
I won’t ruin it for you but the play is based on little red riding hood, with a funny twist. Some young kids in the audience were scared and upset so don’t take your kids if they are prone to this as it is unpleasant for them, and the rest of the audience. The copy says ideal for ages 4-8 years and I would stick with that.
The great thing was that the main performer, Mark Pitman, brought out the puppets once the show was over, to help the kids understand the whole idea which is a lovely little gesture and my Yara loved it.
After that, we quickly went to look at the art space which is so child-centred, it gets the 5 stars from me. Think of a tent with a dolphin installation video playing on the roof of said tent – simply mesmerizing! Just look below at some of the artwork, all created by little people.
All in all, I know for sure we will be coming back to Norden Farm much more often, particularly as they will have the ‘Miki‘ play as their main Christmas production, based on the beautiful story by Stephen Mackey. We spent the whole day there and didn’t even notice the time fly by. Definitely go for a visit, you will be pleasantly surprised!