We are an Art loving family and we ecstatic to be invited along to a bloggers tour of the Arts on offer in Nottingham for families. We had a fantastic day and discovered (and re-discovered) some amazing places, it opened our eyes again to what is on our doorstep to do as a family!
We started our tour at the fantastic Theatre Royal and Royal Centre. 2015 marks the anniversary of the Theatre and to mark this they have a whole host of fun stuff going on.
Ok, so that isn’t quite what it looks like now, this was way back in the beginning. Monkey and Mouse love looking at this photo and seeing the differences in clothes, street and carriages. But what they noticed was the columns were still there now – iconic!
We were very lucky to be treated to a back stage tour and I can safely say it was amazing. Both Monkey and Mouse were intrigued too. We saw many different areas of ‘behind the scenes’ and we stood on the stage of the Theatre and looked out. It was an intense feeling (I can not imagine what the actors feel like when it is full of audience and the lights are blazing. Both the kids thought it was incredible to see what the actors see and looked so comfortable that I can see them on the stage in the future!
There are loads of great shows coming up for the whole family including the annual Pantomime (this year is Aladdin with the fantastic Christopher Biggins), Horrible Histories and The Snowman!
But it the Theatre and the Royal Centre are more than just shows though, they also offer all sorts of creative learning; they do pre-school work within the Beanbag Music group and performing arts groups for the over 55s. There is also a work experience programme and they are an Arts Award Welcome Centre which supports young people aged from 11 to 25 to develop as artists and art leaders.
We had an amazing time so far but this was only the start of it. Next we headed to the Central Library in Nottingham where the Monkey and Mouse enjoyed storytime. Then they went on to make their own comic strips and make their own superhero masks. The Library staff were fantastic; really friendly and encouraging with the children.
The children’s area in the library is lovely, it is set aside from the main part of the library and it beautifully colourful, there are some lovely seats and some hidey holes for the children to read in peace.
The library is something we used to use loads but this has dwindled. As soon as we walked in it was like we were home, so many books to choose from for all of us. We are heading back to ensure our memberships are up to date.
Again the Library offers more than you first think, it isn’t just about borrowing books, there are a wide range of activities available too, this October half term they have Robin Hood Stories and activities and Nick Toczek’s million miles an hour show across the city.
So much done and only lunch time (which was an amazing lunch at the Nottingham Contemporary) . Nottingham Contemporary is an art centre with so much to offer; art exhibitions, FREE family fun each weekend and in school holidays, work with schools and colleges, talks and films and so much more.
We were able to spend some time in the family fun room generally being creative, the contemporary have an alien encounters theme on at the minute and the crafts reflected this. In a yellow room the Monkey and Mouse were able to get all creative on the walls, on paper and on material. They absolutely loved this room and we will definitely be visiting for more arty fun on the weekends.
Then we entered the yellow room where there were lots of headphones dangling from the ceiling each with different song coming through. We were asked to listen and draw to make our own little piece of art, so much fun!
Finally we had a fab ride on the new Tram system from the city centre to the Lakeside Arts Centre, the tram was so easy to get and so convenient; it dropped us right outside. It is set in gorgeous grounds too, there is a park, a lake and plenty of picnic space!
The Lakeside again has so much to offer; talks, exhibitions, museum and shows! We were invited to take a look at the amazing ‘Swarm’ on offer and then take part in a clay workshop where we made our own bugs. It was fantastic. Then we headed over the road and looked around the Museum – the kids loved seeking out the objects and learning about them.
Boy did we have a great day, it has rekindled our love of art and all things fun on our doorstep! We will definitely re-visit them, although I think you could spend a whole day at each of them. We hope to share more of our visits to ‘Arts in Nottingham’ soon!