Christmas is one of Pip’s favourite times of the year. In recent years Dinky has accompanied her to Enchanted Parks in her pushchair and it has marked the start of the festive season. It has been great to see her grow in the last year so it was with some excitement we purchased tickets for this year’s Enchanted Parks which forms part of the NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival. Last year we wrote about possibly the best Enchanted Parks yet.
Enchanted Parks run a different theme every year. This year was ‘The House of Lost and Found’. On our walk to the starting point there were your usual ‘characters’, speaking in accents and showing off their wares to keep the children entertained. Dinky was a little taken aback at first but gradually became more comfortable.
It always amazes me just how much effort it must take to set it all up. The rigging and design it has is no small feat.
With this years’ theme being about Lost and Found, there was an array of items on display some from my youth, some obscure and some things I didn’t recognise.
The route through the park was different this year, almost mapped in reverse from last year. There’s an app you can download ahead of your visit this year, too.
There was a strong use of mirrors this year and some of the parts of the show we’d seen at Camera Obscura in Edinburgh just a couple of weeks ago. Shadow stealers, writing with light and light orbs brought parts of the walk alive, especially for little ones.
There didn’t seem to be any big installations to the show like the electrified house like there was last year. I personally felt it lacked the magic of previous years. On the plus side there seemed to be more food options available and more interactive pieces to keep little ones entertained.
MEDHEAD, Scream for Pizza, Fat Hippo, Chucho’s and Nan Bei were all there. Vegan or vegetarian options were weaved in throughout each menu which was good to see. We opted for dumplings from Nan Bei and a vegan wrap from MEDHEAD. This was curated by the team behind By The River and felt it was a great addition. There is also a Christmas Market in Saltwell Towers, although we didn’t have the time to visit as Dinky was getting fractious.
There’s a few more photos of the park below, I’ve limited them to try not to spoil the experience.
There are tickets still available, with a small increase on price from last year. Adults are £9, Children 4+ are £4.50 and Children 3 and under go free.
Dinky seemed genuinely in awe of the installations featuring The Little Legionnaires and was sad to say goodbye to them as we left the park. We both still believe it’s worth a walk around to kick off your festivities, but they’d have had to play a blinder to beat last years show.
Here’s a little video to tell you more about it.
Thanks for reading,