Kidsfest – The Atkinson’s Family Festival

Kidsfest – The Atkinson’s Family Festival

Children in Merseyside and Lancashire can enjoy their very own festival this October half term. Kidsfest, 23-31 October, is The Atkinson’s new annual family festival and it has been created to highlight the Southport multi art-form venue’s commitment to family audiences.


Sponsored by Southport Visiter and Mums In the Know Southport, family friendly theatre, dance, music, arts and crafts activities, storytelling and food  – including many free events – will turn the holidays into a jam-packed week-long celebration for the young and not so young.


Horrible Histories fans will clamour to be amongst the first to attend The Atkinson’s brand new interactive Egyptology Gallery, which opens to the public for the first time on Friday 24 October. Budding Howard Carters will be able to discover ancient treasures that haven’t been seen for a generation and experience a day in the life of the Egyptians at this free permanent exhibition.


An Egyptian Cartouche Workshop on Tuesday 28 October (1.30-2.30pm) invites 5-12’s to create their own secret language based on ancient Hieroglyphics. Using secret symbols they can make a hanging name plate from papyrus, based on Egyptian Cartouches and take home their very own secret Egyptian sign. Places are limited to 15 children, so book early on 01704 533 333. The workshop costs £3 per child.


Other crafty activities over half term week include a free RSPB Coastal Crafts and Fun drop in on Thursday 30 October 11am-3pm, where participants will create a wildlife inspired work of art to be displayed in the hide at RSPB Marshside reserve. The Atkinson Creation Station will offer free arts and crafts activities in the foyer from Tuesday 28-Thursday 30 October. Tuesday opening hours are 10.30-11.30am and on Wednesday and Thursday activities will run from 10am-12.30pm.


Parents often lament at the lack of arts activities aimed at the very young. Cello Babies Play Session (Friday 31 October) seeks to put this right. Babies and toddlers aged from 0-3 can enjoy their very own live music performance, in which they will be actively encouraged to join in and become enchanted by the sounds around them. Two very special sessions are taking place, at 11am and 1pm and £7 pays for a baby/toddler and 1 accompanying adult.


Blunderbus Theatre’s Hugless Douglas, based on the bestselling David Melling book about a young bear in need of a hug, features music, puppetry and high energy storytelling. Perfect for children aged 3-6, you can catch it at 2.30pm on Sunday 26 October (£8 adults, £6 children). The show is preceded by a free Hugless Douglas story time special next door in the library from 1-1.30pm.


A similarly young audience would love their very own invitation to the moon’s birthday party on Monday 27 October. Join Wriggle Dance Company as actors and audience alike journey to the moon through strange and distant lands, meeting some curious characters along the way. Incorporating dance, live music and audience interactivity, Once in a Blue Moon (£8 adults, £6 children) plays at 1pm and 3pm and is suitable for 3-6’s. There will be a  free themed pre-show craft activity in the foyer half an hour before each show.


Older children will enjoy Theatre Hullabaloo’s Angel. Recommended for ages 10+, the award winning show tells the story of an unusual friendship between an eccentric old woman called Miriam and a lonely tomboy called Bill. Miriam is unlike anyone Bill has ever met before. She loves playing games, keeps her watch in the fridge, has a dog called Satan and is rude about people she doesn’t like. Shortlisted for The Writer’s Guild of Great Britain, Best Play for Young Audiences 2012 and The Brian Way Award 2013, Angel can be seen on Wednesday 29 October, 4pm, and costs £8 for adults and £6 for children.


Also for a slightly older audience, James Campbell’s Comedy 4 Kids Saturday 25 October at 2pm (£8 adults, £6 children) promises laughs without resorting to rude words. A special Kidsfest ticket offer means entry to the theatre production Angel is half price when you also book Comedy 4 Kids.


Later that day Letters Through Your Door is an exciting musical show for kids and their families, packed full of catchy tunes about everything from finding a dragon in your bedroom to swimming in the sea and featuring appearances from some of the biggest names on the British folk scene, including Bella Hardy, Will Pound and Nancy Kerr. Starting at 6pm it is suitable for 3-11s and costs £8 for adults and £6 for children.


The Atkinson welcomes families all year round with free activities from workshops to storytelling running each week. Lift the lid on The Art Box in the galleries every Saturday 1-3pm for some family friendly fun.

Young creative can explore arts and crafts activity packs and materials and add their own artwork to a community gallery wall. Story and Rhyme Time in the Children’s Library runs 10.30-11.30am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 2-3pm on Thursdays. Special family friendly snacks and meal deals are always available, with one-off themed menus tying into events.


As a member of the Big Imaginations Children’s Theatre Touring Network, The Atkinson is dedicated to bringing brilliant children’s theatre to the North West. A special offer throughout the autumn and winter season means that you can have three tickets for the price of two on all children’s theatre events for the season (except The Queen’s Knickers).


Tickets are availableonline at or by calling The Atkinson Box Office on 01704 533333. You can also purchase your tickets over the counter during The Atkinson’s opening hours.


*Please be advised there is a £2 booking fee for booking over the phone and online bookings.


Notes to Editors

For more information, interviews, images or review tickets, please contact Emma Lloyd at The Atkinson on 0151 934 2129 |


About The Atkinson

The Atkinson is Southport’s beautiful new home for music, theatre, art, poetry, literature and history, right in the middle of Lord Street in Southport. Significant investment has been made in refurbishing the stunning 19th century buildings, to create a really welcoming multi art-form venue with a strong contemporary feel.

The Atkinson offers an exciting and varied destination for families, cultural tourists and arts enthusiasts alike, with a full day and night time offer. Wile the day away visiting the new shop, that sells gifts and contemporary crafts from regional makers and then relax in the Bakery, choosing from a selection of artisan bread sandwiches, cakes and sharing platters. You can even take little bit of The Atkinson home with you from the delicatessen. Wonder through the major exhibitions and see performances from some of the UK’s foremost musicians, actors, performers and companies, films, family activities and much more.

In October 2014 The Atkinson becomes something even more exciting for visitors, with the opening of the museum which will tell the story of Southport and Sefton as well as the area’s dramatic maritime history. It will also be the new home for the Goodison Egyptology Collection, a remarkable collection of archaeology that has not seen for over 40 years.


Posted on 7 July 2014 under Just announced

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