Here’s the thing – a mother I may be, but I have NO IDEA how to entertain other people’s children. I can barely keep my own happy. Now that Tibbs is four, and has her own friends, with which she has actual conversations, and plays actual games with, I’ve realised my own entertainment game is weak.
We said we’d throw her a birthday party. When asked what sort of party that should be, the theme was simple. Unicorns. Fairies. Princesses. Rainbows. Obviously.
After a slight meltdown about the cake, more of which another time, we spoke to The Adventure Team. Calling the Adventure Team about your child’s impending birthday is the parenting equivalent of calling the actual A Team. Calling the Adventure Team is like lining up the big party cannons and spraying a mixture of glitter, hysterical laughter and irresistible fun at the children.
Plus, they help you clean it all up. But I’ll come back to that.
The Adventure Team is basically immersive, game-filled theatre, themed around something your child loves, and held in the setting of your party. We went full on village hall, which is Adventure Team paradise. We chose the Fairytale theme, and prayed for some kind of unicorn/princess face-off.
All the tiny guests came dressed as some sort of princess, or fairytale character, so the result was a faintly hilarious afternoon of pre-school It’s A Royal Knockout. The Adventure Team is made up of actors from some of Bristol’s most notable theatres, and it really, really shows. I honestly have never seen kids fall in line so happily and easily with imaginative play. From the moment the adventure started, the kids were right there, in it. In the castle, in the forest, in Wizard Wayne’s lair.
The sight of 15 kids galloping round in a circle riding tiny plastic horses (the sort you have in a play farm) had me in bits. So serious, so much galloping. The aim of the adventure was to find four keys, all of which involved completing a challenge first. The game of ‘tidy your room’ was simple – throw as much jumble over an imaginary line at each other as you can. Literally heaven for kids.
When the keys were won and the quest was ended, the fun didn’t stop. The Adventure Team helped the kids have their birthday tea, and got them in line for the cake, and marshalled them for a bit of piñata busting.
And then, whilst the fun was winding down and we were giving out the goodbye gifts (books – £10 for a tenner at The Works online, bargain), the very best bit – The Adventure Team just got on with clearing up. Tidying, stacking chairs, emptying plates, washing up.
Everybody left elated, happy, and a bit giddy.
Now, obviously hiring party entertainment is something that costs, but, for us, as parents of a small baby as well as the birthday girl, the help from the Adventure Team with set up and take down was invaluable. It meant we got to enjoy the party too. Had Tibbs been seven rather than four, where parents start leaving their children with you to party, we wouldn’t have been able to manage alone. Having trained, enthusiastic, authentic and safety checked professionals there was fantastic.
We’ll look back on that party with misty-eyed smiles for a very long time. All the tiny princesses and fairies, doing what children do best, with big smiles. Maybe next year we’ll take four kids bowling, or three kids to the zoo, who knows? But, this year, I’m so glad we created an afternoon of make-believe for our daughter and her buddies, and we couldn’t have done it without the Adventure Team.
If you’re planning a party for your children, The Adventure Team have special prices for us Bristol folks, but do operate further afield if you’re in the region and beyond. Personally, I’d like to be invited to one of their Spy parties, they sound immense. You can watch a little video below, if you need any more tempting.