Anyone that follows our movements on Facebook or has seen us at all manner of events around the country will know that a large portion of our summer season is spent supply festival children’s area’s to some lovely events across the UK festival circuit.
A festival children’s area the whole family can enjoy!
We want to create a fun filled area that keeps the kids amused of course. However we aim to create a beautiful space that has a little bit of something for everyone. The idea being that families can play together and not feel like their away from the rest of the festival. A circus show that wows even the most seasoned festival goer but mesmerises the kids at the same time. Gran can bounce on a mega ball and dad can ride a crazy bike. Read on to find out what your options are when booking a Bigtopmania area.
What the public said…
A colourful festival children’s area landscape created by us.
We are also big top hire company with a huge amount of own equipment, meaning the majority of the time we supply our own big tops as venues for the shows, craft activities and workshops. This allows us to plan out the area and means festival organisers aren’t having to communicate with multiple suppliers to create one area. Sit back and let us build it beautiful, or indeed as with Camp Bestival give us your creative input to guide us in order to get every little detail just as you picture it. The point stands though that, if we are working in the area, it makes sense that we create the space as much as possible because we know which activities need what space.
Activities and Shows – Generally we program shows in our Big top throughout the day and activities spilling out of the tent and around it to create a wonderfully chaotic and immersive little people party zone.
The vast majority of our activities are brought and managed by us. We never charge for any of our activities and try to keep the kids area as a money free zone. We bring to the table;
Mega Balls – Upto a 10 foot Giant Beach Ball, 5” Earth Balls and lots of different sized giant bouncy balls that children (and adults) can wobble, wiggle, bounce and balance on.
An amazing photo opportunity and fantastic fun.
Interactive Inflatables – These are hard to describe in words. They are crazy shaped alien creations which kids can bundle on, run around, climb up. They have often been mentioned as children’s favourite thing at Camp Bestival, which is really saying something.
Crazy Bikes – A huge range of wacky bikes awaits your punters. Wobbly bikes, unrideable ones, unicycles and tricycles, time to try cycling in the wackiest of ways.
Circus workshop but better! – All the usual juggling, hula hoops, plate spinning and diabolos, plus Slacklines, Tightwires, Acrobatic, and Aerial workshops in TRAPEZE and Aerial hoop – a super popular festival favourite!
Toddler Area – babies and toddlers need a space to kick back when they’ve done too much dancing. A cute little space with a vast selection of cuddly toys, sand pits, trains, puppets, and sometimes even nappy changing facilities.
Etc Etc Etc … Lots and lots of bubbles, walkabout performances, african drumming, catapult water balloons, 5 aside football, volley ball, sock wrestling. The only limit is how much space you can give us!
Shows galore that’ll make you want more
Every festival children’s area includes our resident Bigtopmania Family Show. Which usually includes 3 members of the Bigtopmania family and is usually bolstered by our good friends, fellow professionals as well as a few talented teens to create a fun filled action packed, big tricks in small tent impact thats the perfect first circus experience or equally enjoyable for circus enthusiasts.
There will almost always be the legendary Kids Talent Show which can throw up some wonderful moments that you really have to be there to enjoy but it is generally wonderful Sunday afternoon watching. You can also expect to enjoy Big Bears Big Balloon Disco!
Huge tunes and bigger balloons. You show us your dance moves and if you’re working hard enough we will unleash hundreds of balloons that bounce around the big top. Hold onto your children, they might burst with excitement.
Other shows depend on the festival but we often program a mix of interactive theatre shows, clowns, musicians, puppet shows and storytellers. All of whom we have been working with for many years.
Lets get crafty!
The advantage of working at festivals for so long is that you get to know the most wonderful mix of creatives. People that are silly enough to think of an idea and make it into a workshop. Like Festival Sticker Art and Bottle Top creations, just two of our teams that create fantastic take homes for free out of waste materials such as sticker off-cuts and a winters worth of collecting plastic bottle tops.
Festival season is just one winter away!
We do already have a very full festival schedule but… there are a couple of gaps on key weekends where we could squeeze in something extra, and we are always keen to here about the new events popping up.
If you think are aiming your festival towards a family crowd then drop us a line and see what we can do for you. This post is designed as a guide of what we have done but its not extensive and who knows what we’ve got up our sleeve for next season!
We had 3 inflatables there as part of the children’s play area that we organise for the Bestival team. In fact we take a lot of our equipment there and had big tops, shows, circus skills, mega balls, crazy bikes, and lots of wonderful helpers and other action packed items like Jan’s Van, Noisy Oyster Puppets, Clowns Palfi and Big Foot, bouncy castle, slide, swing boats, crafts, face paints and lots more.
The inflatables are supervised, need power supply and are mostly suitable for babies to 8 -ish year olds.
Colourful. Appealing. Interactive. Fun. Bundle!
Two then went on straight to Salisbury Festival Play Day on the bank holiday Monday and were a big hit there too.
Video of crazy play inflatables in action.
“Mummy.. come over.. your allowed to do it.. please can we get on! ”
Giant Footballs; 6 ft / 2m size bouncing kick power!
BUT WHY? What’s so good about them?
Why are we raving about the Giant MegaBall?
Put it this way..
A Giant MegaBall can withstand a lot!
The mega balls are made in Europe of thick inflatable material.
The big red is capable of supporting up to 300 kg!!
The big orange is capable of supporting up to 150 Kgs.
They are all tested in the Gymnic factory and made to EU standards.
You can bounce them, push them, roll them, climb on them, run at them, float them, get run over by them, levitate them, flip on to them, attack them! We have seen it all…. kids and adults try everything!
How many times do you see Massive GIANT Beach Balls?
The Giant inflatable beach balls, 3m diameter! Made in China, are more lightweight ( and can be popped more easily… but luckily repairable! ) as to be expected and very good for waterborne or aerial games like giant volleyball but still very capable of supporting children on top.
Believe me! Children and adults find every way possible to abuse the inflatables and have serious fun while they are doing it!
Learning about the planet!
The Inflatable globes are made in Germany and are super strong and very visual.
Learn where you are!
Here in Devon we are pumping up the world and now have the whole world on our doorstep; the whole world in his hands! On top of the world.. Enough!
They are fabulous add-ons to all our other hands on play activities, excellent in our festival kids play areas, great surprises during our theatre circus shows.
The Gymnic mega balls are massive compared to the usual gym balls but it’s great to have all sizes at the same time!
It doesn’t stop there! The best fun comes from team work.. Hence a great use in non-competitive co-operative games and team building activities.
Many hands make light work!
As with small gym balls found in gyms all over then world, the mega balls lend themselves to therapeutic use not only in the human world but also in the animal world, especially in the horse world!
Check out this YouTube horse meets mega ball video.
What’s the Risk with MegaBalls?
All events being different we / you have to dynamically assess the situation.
Climbing on them does mean you can fall off them!
(In fact the manufacturer doesn’t recommend climbing on them as you can fall of them…but hey! risk assess and do it carefully)
You don’t want any unsuspecting persons to be literally bowled over! (They will be when they see them!)
It’s up to the players, parents, children and supervisors to gauge the correct level of excitement and that depends on the aims and objectives as well as the location and abilities.
Avoid sharp objects!
Help each other!
Don’t always use them fully inflated.
I have to say; The increased fun is reflected in the initial cost of the things!
They really are not cheap toys.. they are EXPENSIVE! So don’t ever dare to burst them!
Can’t we just have some fun for once?
They make the kids go WOW!
They make the adults go WHAT THE?
They are simply jaw dropping huge GIANT MEGABALLS of bounce!
Take some photos!
Make some space, find a field, have a GIANT MEGABALL party!
It’s not all circus shows, weddings and marquee hires! We are also one of the best providers of festival children’s entertainment on the UK festival and events circuit and trusted by festival and event organisers to produce the goods!
How can we help your event work?
What services or entertainment can we provide for you?
Release some pressure and let us organise and run the Children’s Area for you!
Festival and Event KidZones are our speciality!
Throughout the summer season Bigtopmania is a juggling act of Events, Weddings, Parties & Festivals. We manage this through a dedicated h of workers & helpers, thorough planning, masses of in-house equipment that is constantly updated and lots and lots of driving!
The festivals children’s areas that we co-ordinate or work at take lots of hard set up work and managing. It can be a welcome change to settle in a nice field for 4/5 days. We are there to work and the resultant happy families and smiling, playing children are a great reward.
Where have Bigtopmania’s Festival children’s Entertainment Kidzones been and where are we and our tents in 2015?
We aim to provide all round wholesome, creative festival children’s entertainment and we aim to be the area where everything is as free as possible. We usually build the area around our main circus tent and can occupy a large swathe of territory!
We often start the day with children’s yoga and round the weekend off with a totally wild children’s talent show which throws up anything from doing a ‘I don’t know’ to balloon sword fighting, karate demos, Twinkle Twinkle singalongs. We literally have seen it all and the children are the stars and everyone gets a prize!
Big Bears Big Balloon Disco
Highlights for many people are theBig Bear’s Big Balloon Disco. (Also available as Big Bubble Bash and Big Bad Hoe Down ). A mad dance-along experience with Big Bear and his Balloonatics (often including Bigfoot the Clown) where the children and the parents have to do the dance routines otherwise the balloons won’t be released! Culminates in 100s of balloons of sizes up to 3 ft, 4 ft, 5 ft and even enormous 6 ft mega balloon bouncing around the big top. Keep them bouncing and at the end the children keep them, spreading balloon love all over the festival!
Children’s trapeze workshop; Nibley festival
Big Bears Big Balloon Disco at Guilfest 2014
Kidzone Arena Activities
Spilling out the tent we have a dedicated Under 5’s Toddler Space with soft toys, puppets, sand pits, water play and mini trikes. We also provide great feeding, baby chill out and nappy changing facilities when required.
Provided by us; including the crazy interactive inflatables which really have to be seen to understand. Children go wild , they love them and it brings out best in them – sometimes total bundle machines!
We have lots of; Crazy bikes! Unicycle Launch Pads! Circus Workshop Skills area, tight ropes, sack lines , Kids Coconut Shy, Mega space hopper fun; Giant Beach balls! (6 foot diameter!).We do Bubble Shows and put the kids inside them!
We have so many creative decor and ideas! We have done so much! I wish i could upload thousands of photos to show you how we can make your event totally rule!
We work with a fantastic roster of Craft workshop teams who help the children to make all manner of things; WeaveWorld pom moms, juggling balls, masks, Festival Sticker Art, Caz N Jo’s creative Crafts, Reasons To be Cheerful.. take home festival souvenirs to full-blown parade preparation and enactment.
Crazy Inflatables. We have a few!
Crazy Bikes Arenas; children and adults!
Kids Coconut Shy; Knock ’em or not; they all win Harribo!
Unicycle Launch Pads
Kids inside bubbles. bubble show, giant bubbles
Giant Beach Ball hits Bestival
Mega Bounce at Rewind festival
Top shows happen in our tents; Give the children quality!
Our Bird Flags
childrens area crafts tent
Small is beautiful? Space or budget limited?
Smaller scale festival Children’s Entertainment
We’ve developed a smaller contained children area for the festivals that aren’t necessarily aimed at families but need to provide for the children that do come along. This can be seen as a stepping stone to becoming a more family festival and we can always expand the children’s entertainment further down the line when families start to see that it’s becoming a festival that provides for children.
In summer 2014 we took a 9 metre little big top to Let’s Rock festivals at 4 sites across the UK with one van and a smaller team. Smaller Kidzones in size but not entertainment as the area included; Circus workshops, A circus show, talent show, big bubble disco, stilt walkers, crazy bikes and crazy inflatables. The Let’s Rock festivals have added 2 more dates this year and in 2015 we will be touring Cookham, Bristol, Southampton, Leeds, London and Exeter. These are all 80’s festivals, add to that schedule Rewind in Henley and Rewind North, and that makes 8 x 80’s festivals in 2015. Although the writer of this article was only alive for 3 months of the 80’s, I now feel like I well and truly lived in that decade.
Festival children’s entertainment and running the kids area’s that we do really doesn’t feel like work. We are working with our friends and our customers are all lovely festival families that are having a good time.
Come say hello in 2015 if you are visiting any of Bigtopmania Kidzones, Family childrens entertainment areas.