Suffolk Fun Festival 2013 Review

I first found out about Suffolk Fun Festival through my friend Rachel Baker who would be taking her imaginative play and exploratory activities to the event and knew it was something I had to check out further.

It was the first year for the Suffolk Fun Festival, and was the brainchild of Fi Siddall, owner of Easton Farm Park, a popular tourist attraction in Suffolk. Paul Spencer , a local man and organiser of one of The Times Top 50 Festivals 2013, Maverick, an Americana musical festival held on the farm in July.

Fi wanted to hold an event that was predominately for children while still having a “festival feel” with various musical acts including a female blue roots quartet Oh My Darling who have also played at Maverick.

When we first arrived there looked to be a lot going on, there were various barns with activities such as the straw barn, a soft play barn and a crazy golf barn to name a few. There were toy ride on tractors for children to play on which Evan loved.

Evan on one of the ride on tractors.
Evan on one of the ride on tractors.


There were also pony and trap rides, a barrel train which Eila thought was great fun, tractor and trailer rides and a mini train going round the site,  we were slightly confused as to when the rides were running (especially the tractor and trailer ride) as signage wasn’t always clear also we felt that half an hour wasn’t really long enough but I am sure there is a reason for this.

Walking further into the site we saw a stage set up on a grassy area and opposite this were food stalls, stone baked pizza, flavoured popcorns, local ice cream, crepes and coffee and artisan bread. The farm park also had a barbeque serving hot dogs and burgers.

I was pleased to see that the pricing of the stalls were very reasonable and I must give a special mention to Pump Street Bakery where I bought a delicious brioche based delight with fennel and candied orange in, it was incredible, I can’t remember the name of it though. In a small field set to one side was Rachel and her Imps Creativity activities and Jo’s Yoga, what they were providing was wonderful but I almost felt they were a little lost in the field and a bit too tucked away, it would have been lovely to see a few more activities for children in this area, perhaps a few fairground style games, local craftspeople offering workshops for example, things I have seen work very well at other events.

"Cooking for Trolls"
“Cooking for Trolls”

A local preschool in one of the barns doing face-painting, kite making and cupcake decorating for which incurred a small charge but I think this was for fundraising for the group.

We got the feeling that the festival is a good concept but needs more work, the setting is wonderful and we enjoyed walking around the grounds, (which was full of hundreds of wonderful peacock butterflies) looking at the animals, playing on the play equipment and taking part in activities on site but we felt that there could be so much more to enhance the event although we appreciate that it being the first year many things are trial and error.

One thing I picked up on by chatting to other parents was the event wasn’t very well publicised. The website didn’t have a lot of information, for example I wasn’t sure what food would be on offer. Also there was no Facebook group or Twitter account to follow for updates which, in the age of social media spreading the word, wasn’t ideal.

I have heard from Fi that next years event will be 2nd and 3rd August so we do hope we will be invited along next year to see what they have to offer. Fi and Paul were very passionate about the event and offering something different in particular for those with young families, and with being in such a unique and very attractive setting I think it has real potential.



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