It has been almost a week since I decided to brave life and venture out on our 1st day trip as a solo parent with 3 kids! I had no idea what to expect..it potentially could be a disaster, it could potentially be GREAT. Thankfully it was the latter as our trip was to a place the kids love and feel safe, a place where they are constantly occupied with one thing or another and a place where I could at times sit and feed if I needed to or join in with them…it was of course “The Rainbow Factory” and we had (as always) a wonderful day together!
The Rainbow Factory, for those who aren’t familiar, is a play centre with a difference. They are creators of imaginative play, story book adventures, theatre, music and crafts. It is a wonderful magical spot that is forever changing and never fails to capture my children’s attention. It is a place we can go and hours pass by without clock watching. I know for a fact when given the choice to go to soft play or the Rainbow factory where their choice will be placed! Other than now knowing that it is a great place to venture out as a new mum with other kids in tow, and a place that is breastfeeding and pram friendly and accommodating of children of all ages. It has some fabulous things that Ethan & Megs ALWAYS look forward to and thus make it a place we love:
Theatre – A personal love of my own that both Ethan and Megan have quickly grown to love too. Periodically throughout the year The Rainbow Factory open for specific performances (one we saw at Christmas), but on a regular visit you will see smaller productions of well known fairy tales performed throughout the day. Megan was in heaven that on our visit it was Rapunzel…her absolute fave!
I love that they always tweak the story to be a little different and quirky and the energy of the staff when performing is incredible! I often think it would be my dream job haha! Between the theatre performances, the kids can dress up and do their own improvisations on the stage…which leads nicely into our next love…
Dress up – The Rainbow Factory have an amazing children’s wardrobe department with princess dresses and accessories, wizards capes, and costumes from almost every kids book. They love to choose an outfit upon arrival and stay in it until they leave. Megan especially, can be seen pretending she really is that character and just loving the opportunity to be so.
Crafts – this section of the factory, known better as “Goldilocks Kitchen” is where Ethan spends the biggest chunk of his time when we visit. Since starting school he has developed a real love for model making and crafts and he loves that here in the rainbow factory, he can sit at the little wooden tables and cut, stick, colour and make to his hearts content. It is laid out in a way that whether I am with him in there or watching the action by the stage, I can easily see both kids and therefore allow them to spend their time where they see fit!
This time round the theme was ‘Food’ and so we made lanterns (and talked about feasts been of light as well as food) and paper plate pizzas, and then as Ethan was wanting more he made a caterpillar (the very hungry type) and a story dice. They always have at least 2 or 3 crafts on rotation and then are happy to embrace the kids that seek more creativity. They are so good at giving them projects to keep them coming back for more.
Story time – Under the story telling tree are chances for kids to sit and be captured by books galore. Whether reading themselves from a parent or during official “Story time”, it is an opportunity to feed a love of books and open the imagination to a world of adventure! Ethan and Megan love to lay on the bean bags and listen intently and stories are told in ways that truly bring it to life!
Food – the food is not a vast choice but I like that, its all lovely food and just enough to fuel you up for more fun in the afternoon. The kids love the lunch boxes (£3.99) and choosing the little things from juice cartons and sandwiches to yogurts and crisps to pop inside. I love getting a panini and tasty bevvy!
Imagination is one of the most important things to me as a parent, I embrace dress up and love it when they want to step out into the world in costume. I love opportunities to feed their imaginations and to watch the cogs turning and eyes lighting up at the endless possibilities. I love to take them places where they can let out creativity through crafts and theatre and help them build both confidence and imagination, it makes me so happy to see…and I love that they can do it all in one place, and it is a place where I can sit back and rest with the baby if needed to or jump right in with them and join in the fun. This is why we love the Rainbow factory, it is fun magical and simply wonderful for a day out, we hope you will love it too… be sure to schedule it in for the hols!
*Thank you to the Rainbow Factory for inviting us for a complimentary visit to see what’s new! All thoughts and pictures are my own!