Monstrous Fest – 29/07/18

It’s been one of those days when everything happens at once. A couple of temp LWATers are on our sofa now, having endured a 4 hour coach journey and an end-of-holiday-club service at church with approx 10,000 over excited kids. But before all that was Monstrous Fest – a family festival at Printworks in Surrey Quays this morning.

I haven’t been to Surrey Quays much since I worked there in 2006 and it’s changed a lot since then. For one, the Evening Standard printworks were still a printworks back then and now they’re a giant, warehouse type venue which this morning was packed with merriment:

Much as I try to fight my children’s gender stereotyping, it seeps out every so often…such as when Eva looked at the site map and declared that she wanted to go straight to Princess Land. Reuben, meanwhile, was going to the Beast Assault Course with Nathan. Guess this is a fight I’m losing.

There was a bit of a queue to pose in the princess carriage so I checked with her whether she wanted to do any of the activities instead of just queueing for princesses but she was resolute – “I just want to meet princesses till there are none yeft to meet”. So that’s what we did. Ariel first:


And Aurora and Prince Philip:

Round about this point, we also watched the Princess show, where Aurora sang “Once Upon a Dream” and Tinkerbell showed the crowd how to dance like a fairy. As you can imagine, Eva took it all very seriously.

Roo and Nathan had enjoyed the inflatable obstacle course so much that when we met up with them again he wanted to go on another one straight away. This one was called the Beast Race Track and it took up the whole of the first floor. For some reason, all four of us decided to go on it together although I’ll be honest – I cheated quite a bit and went round the giant handbags instead of over them. Nathan, though, made a good effort on it and even Eva managed the whole thing without freaking out. Right up until she had to go on the last slide, when she clung to me and said it was too scary. Wheeeee!

When we got downstairs, the princesses had changed shift so there were a whole clutch of new ones to meet. Yes, Eva was serious about not wanting to do anything else. While Roo and Nathan went off to do the Chelsea Football Challenge, Eva and I watched a different version of the Princess Show and met Belle:


And Moana:

We’d definitely made the most of Princess Land. It had the added advantage that it was next to the Robot area, so we got to see the giant robot in action twice while waiting for the princesses. Roo was gutted to have missed it but not so gutted to have missed the princesses.

Not straying too far from her favoured spot, Eva sat down for a bit at the craft tables to make a 3D picture of a unicorn:

The unicorn had “super glittery eyes” and so did Eva by the end of her craft session.

It was pretty much time to go and collect the Temp LWATers and then on to church. We’d had a great time at Monstrous even if we hadn’t explored the Hello Kitty area or the Arcade Alley (you can guess which kid wanted to do what). It had a cool festival vibe, even though it was undercover – something we were very grateful for, considering it was tipping it down outside. There was more than enough to do to fill a full day’s session, although I’m not sure how it would have worked as the site needed to be vacated between 1.30pm and 2.30pm to allow for the changeover between morning and afternoon sessions. We would have been in the outdoor area during this time, which would have been fine on pretty much any other day in the last six weeks…

But still, an excellent time was had by all – Reuben said it was “really good” and Eva said “Great, except I was scared by the actual monster”. How much more endorsement do you need?

Disclaimer: I received free tickets in exchange for a review. All opinions remain honest and my own.

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