CarFest North 2013
Review by Tracey Hargraves
We arrived at the site for 9.45am and made our way to gate A to get signed in. As we were waiting we could hear the cars on the track and the children’s ears were buzzing wanting to see the fast cars first, however as we made our way in the site before us was amazing. There was a whole feast of activities we did not know where to start.
We had printed out the activities timetable before we arrived so we had already said what we wanted to see and do beforehand so the day was ours to wonder and take in. We decided to head towards the cars in the pits first. We did not make it that far as we stopped by the kids wanting to go on the top gear simulator. This was great fun and gave the children a feel for what it was like in a really fast car. As we left that there was a great big monster truck squashing cars in an arena which the kids were amazed with.
After this was show times for the kids so we dug out the map to head to the main ring but we did not need a map as the event was well signed posted at every junction with where to go so we put the map away and headed for the main ring. First show was the dancing diggers which we have on DVD at home but to see in real life was great for the kids. They had to go on our shoulders as the crowds were about 6 people deep all the way round as it was very busy and really could have had staged seating so everyone got better views of the events.
Behind the main stage was lovely snack stands with drinks and snacks which was great as it was snack time so we stopped on the grass and had snacks. There were limited seating but it was dry enough to sit on the floor. We waiting around to see the red wheelers which was really fun and silly for the kids.
Next was lunch – there was a massive food area with main different types of food for people to buy. We had both our lunch and our tea at these stands, the only downside they did not serve any sandwiches or jack potatoes for kids so the only choice for them was chips for both meals which they were not amused with. The food overall was very varied and good quality.
After lunch we waited on the main hill so we could watch the racing from afar so it was not too loud for the kids and also at the same time we could see the air display which was spectacular and very varied which kept us all happy.
After we were all rested we headed over for the children’s activities so we stopped at the fairground rides and the kids went on these and then we hunted down the crafts area and made some free pompoms which was splendid and kept the kids happy for a while. After that we found the book tent and sat and listened to an author talk about his book and what he had written and tell funny stories.
Next was the big tent for the kids and the bugs show. This was great and fun for the kids and they had a camera connected to 2 TV’s so even the kids at the back could see the bugs and did not feel left out. We were really impressed with this.
Last on the list was to walk round the cars and manufactures and the kids enjoyed this as most stalls were children friendly and they did not feel bored,
Our legs by this time were all getting tired so was time for tea and to sit and listen to the music so we wondered around the food stalls found some food and a place to sit.
The day was lovely and enjoyable. There was so much to do and see and we did not get to see it all in one day. There was so much stuff for adult and children it worked so well. Neither got bored and enjoyed looking at the other stiff. We thought it might be too ‘car’ based but it wasn’t and the kids loved every single minute of the day. All rubbish was taken away quickly so the whole site felt clean. Toilets were everywhere and queues were minimal but they had two priority toilets for kids so if they were desperate they did not have to wait in the long queue. The whole show was organised so well and even leaving the venue was not an issue and we were not held in any traffic.
We would go back again next year.
CarFest South is 23-25 August 2013 at Laverstoke Park Farm im Hampshire but is now SOLD OUT!
For more details visit www.carfest.org
A minimum of 25% of the price of each ticket will benefit BBC Children in Need, registered charity number 802052 (England and Wales) and SC039557 (Scotland).