Just So is a firm favourite here at Festival Kidz. We love the creativity that goes into every aspect of this wonderful family festival, from thoughtful planning through to perfect execution. It is quite simply a haven for families, filled with wonder and magic, where children can be children and adults can be… well, children too.
The Just So programme is at the heart of this event. Jam-packed full of the weird and wonderful, families plan their activities months in advance, and still never manage to fit everything in. So it’s always exciting to see the first flushes of this programme arrive in our inbox.
And wow, what a lot they have instore for us this year. 2018 looks like being another fantastic year for Just So. Here are some of the new activities that have already got us excited and reaching for our highlighter pens…
Playground of illusions
Just So describe this as ‘a new area full of mystery and trickery from Travelling Light Circus’. It sounds a fab area to have fun together, while discovering fanastic illusions. There’s “The Gravity Vortex Floor”, “The Utterly Convincing Mirage” and “The Forever Speeding Up Rythm”. And if that’s not enough, you can also gaze at the hypnotic Pendulum Wave Machine.
Roll Up, Roll Up
This new lakeside area is the one I’m personally looking forward to experiencing the most. Dedicated to all things circus and seaside, it sounds a wonderfully flamboyant space filled with awesome stunts and shows. We are promised tumblers, somersaults and aerial mastery, to include the spectacular high wire show Equilibrius and tightrope workshops from The Bullzini Family.
There will also be a brand new show from Ramshackilicious, The Band At The End of the World! and curious characters to meet at the many sideshows, such as the Levitating Wonder and Fear Eater.
The Flamingo Lounge
Fancy a dance workshop led by Strictly’s coreographer? This is the area for you! In fact, Just So tell us it’s the space for all things dance and tripping the light fantastic. Here you’ll find Silent Discos, Power Ballad Yoga, music and dance performances and workshops. Plus we’re asked to channel our inner Bruce Lee for a dramatic dance stand-off between two opposing groups.
Just So say: “Whirl, swirl, disco, cancan, jig, jive, rhumba, spin, strut, shimmy, swing, two-step and throw ALL the shapes together in this gloriously kitsch wonderland.”
The woods are one of the most magical parts of Just So, and a whole afternoon can be spent wandering them, discovering new things. If peace and tranquility is your bag, Idlewild sounds perfect. Here you will find family yoga, tai chi, Indian head massage and reiki. There will be hammocks to unwind in, while listening to dreamy live music and performance. This includes Canopy of Stars performed in the trees from Whispering Woods. I can’t think of a nicer space to de-stress from the commitments of everyday life.
Ministry of Games Barn
My family loved the board games area at Just So last year, so are very excited to hear it has grown into a barn. The Ministry of Games Barn promises to be a fab place to while away a few hours. One of the things I love about Just So is the quality time and space it provides for family fun, and board games are perfect for this. Just So promise everyone will be catered for.
Is there really more?
Yes, yes, yes. So much more. You can read the full programme info so far on the Just So web site, but here are Festival Kidz’ top picks of the rest:
1. Like a Tree by Hocus Pocus Theatre – In the magical Woodland Theatre this performance promises we will witness how the lives of a sapling and a child are entwined.
2. The Tribal Tournament. Read our 2017 review to find out all about the hotly fought tribal competition that rages all weekend, climaxing in a finale of fancifully dressed owls, foxes, bees, frogs, stags, lions and fish. Who will be victorious this year?
3. We missed out on making lanterns for the Just So Lantern Parade last year (there’s so much to do, there will always be some things you don’t get round to). The parade was so beautiful that we will make this top of our list this year.
4. We will be packing some of our less friendly beauty products to swap for a natural alternative at the Weleda Clean Beauty amnesty.
5. My children would never forgive me if I didn’t include the Midnight Feast in this list. This year, taking place in the Ministry of Games, it promises to be a magical and fun-filled event for any family member who can stay awake long enough to make it!
The only question left to ask is, have you started on your costumes yet?
Tickets are selling fast and are available from the Just So web site.