An Outing – ‘Out of the Box’

16 Jun

This past Thursday we spent the day at the “Out of the Box” festival.

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This event occurs every two years and is actually aimed at children aged 8 years and under.

Shhh…we won’t tell them that 9 and 11 year olds also enjoyed the festival.  It’s really a shame that older children are left out of the festivities.

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The inspiration was “The National Year of Reading” so there were plenty of book related performances and even some books on sale.  In case you were wondering – yes, I did restrain myself.  You didn’t expect that, did you?  🙂

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In the past we’ve enjoyed some of their free events and street performers but they were a little lacking this year.  This was one of only two roaming performers that we spotted during our visit.

Doesn’t she remind you of one of those spare toilet roll dolly covers?  Does anyone remember those?  🙂

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Actually some of the free events were a little mundane and ordinary

…for a festival

….particularly their 20th anniversary festival.

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The “Under Age Stage” seemed to have a few good free shows though.

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The Sticky Tape Maze was another of the free events we enjoyed.

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It was quirky and unusual and on a scale we couldn’t have replicated easily at home

…although we did have to contend with preferential treatment for school groups.

It hardly seemed fair that non-uniformed children were made to wait for extended periods while school after school were escorted to the front of the line.  😦

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But we were eventually admitted and enjoyed a wander through the maze

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that had been created  by all of its visitors over the week of the festival.

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We would have liked to participate in the “We Built This City” activity but the price was outrageous for box construction – $15 per entrant.

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Such a shame as I have a little creator who would have loooooved some time in there with all of those boxes.  But for $45 for our family to enter…it was out of the question.

Yes, the prices of many of the events were quite pricey in comparison to many of the other performances we attend during the year.

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However the two paid performances we attended were wonderful.

Our morning performance was “The Flying Orchestra” and it was spectacular.  In fact I felt the performance was much better than the book itself!

We couldn’t use cameras in the theatre so you’ll have to visit the Out of the Box website to have a squiz at some photos (while the website remains open  – click on photos).  There’s also a video interview about the “Flying Orchestra” performance from “Totally Wild”.

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Our afternoon paid performance was “Dinosaur Petting Zoo”.  This was hilarious.  The dinosaur are puppets (obviously) but as the presenters pretend to be animal handlers you quickly forget about the puppeteers and fall into the illusion of the show.

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The main presenter, Scott, had the audience in stitches of laughter most of the way through,

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while he invited the audience to help care for and interact with the dinosaurs.

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When the audience wasn’t laughing they were screaming in terror (and glee).

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Yes, occasionally the carnivorous dinosaur run a muck and small children scattered as Scott instructed them to run for their lives.

Oh yes there were a few genuine hysterics from some little fellows and I suspect they may never quite enjoy a dinosaur picture book again but most of the children happily went up and patted the dinosaurs after the show and made peace.

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All in all, we had a thoroughly enjoyable day out.  While the free events disappointed us and the performance prices excluded fuller participation, we enjoyed the company of friends and absolutely delighted in both of the performances we had chosen for our day of festivities.

Although we’ll be two years older when the next festival comes around, I suspect we’ll still check out what’s on offer and attend another ‘Out of the Box’ festival, even if we have to borrow some smaller children to help us fit in a little more.  Heheheh.  🙂


Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Field Trips


2 responses to “An Outing – ‘Out of the Box’

  1. Lauren

    June 17, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Thanks for coming with us we had a wonderful day only when I am 11 I might not say the same I hope not

  2. JoAnn

    June 17, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Looks and sounds like a lot of fun. You have some great events you get to go to. Thanks for sharing it with us.


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