Geronimo Festival is an epic, extraordinary event held over 3 days and aimed at delighting children under 13.
We were invited to go along by the folk at Geronimo to see what all the fuss is about and we took their biggest critic – our very own, not so tame 2 year old.
Would there be enough for a 2 year old to do at Geronimo? Over more than one day?
To be honest, I’m unsure where to begin. When I describe what going to Geronimo is like, I turn into a child. A lot of my sentences are joined with “and then”, while I beam with delight at everything we did.
In a nut shell: There was a LOT going on. We had a jam-packed couple of days and actually left a lot later than we were planning as we didn’t want to miss anything!
Here’s a short video to give you a proper introduction to my time at Geronimo while I compose myself:
In front of the stage was a large grassy area, primed for families to pitch their picnic blankets and hunker down for the shows. In a sea of adults and children, we could always see the stage.
Before any major acts came on, everybody was told that they shouldn’t stand up (or at least adults!). It’s a family show after all, so it’s only fair that those sat at the back can see the same as the people at the front.
To me, that really helped to create a family vibe and keep the crowd friendly.
Taking centre stage were CBeebies legends Justin Fletcher, Andy Day, Mr Bloom, Cook and Line and more. I wasn’t sure how engaged Georgia would be with the shows – having to sit / stand in one area filled with families having picnics as a 2 year old sounds hard.
But she recognised who they all were and danced along to their songs. She absolutely loved the shows (and so did I) and her favourite was Mr Bloom.
I was particularly impressed with Andy Day’s rapping of Australopithecus. As a biology graduate, anybody who raps about evolution has my vote!
The food & drink
Now. I’ve seen a lot of people complain about the price of the food on Geronimo’s Facebook group. But you know what? It’s a festival. Food is going to be a bit pricier. We’re talking about £6 for a meal. There’s nothing stopping people from bringing their own picnics and plenty of people enjoyed their own picnics by taking along pull-along wagons to lighten the load.
For those that did want to eat at Geronimo, there was a fantastic selection of places to eat, from Fish and Chips, pies, homemade burgers, pizzas and even a Vegetarian place. Let’s not forget the bar (both normal and cocktail bar…). Most places had children sized meals too.
This is where I get a little excited.
There was just so much to do at Geronimo for general entertainment. There wasn’t just one big top circus, there were 2. Extra shows included pony racing, a man in a tutu riding through fire and men skipping on top of a giant spinney thing. Watch the video if that made no sense… it was impressive.
You could easily just meander through the day going from show to show to be amazed – they also kept Georgia entertained which is a hard feat for someone with a very short attention span.
Somehow amid the shows and the entertainment, we found some time for the activities.
We put Georgia through her paces in the Tumble Tot play area where we coerced her to crawl through tunnels and over obstacles like an agility course. She really enjoyed clambering over everything and it burnt off some energy.
We also tried out the Play Doh centre, which had an ice cream table with their Play Doh toys for kids to try out. Another table had the kitchen toys and more tables had general rolling and cutters. Georgia absolutely loves playing with Play Doh at home, so she got stuck in to the ice cream station and could have stayed there for hours. When it was time to leave, we even got to take home a pot of Play Doh of our choice which was a nice take away!
With so much going on, we discovered that the best way to experience Geronimo really is to pop your head in a tent and get stuck in. You never know what you’re going to find.
We had a mini-rave in one tent, where Georgia enjoyed a mini-trampoline and played with balloons.
There were just too many activities and exhibitors for me to name them all – all of which had amazing things to do and to try. As a bulleted list of other things we saw that looked good but didn’t do (as we didn’t have time, or because Georgia was too small):
- Box area to make anything you want from cardboard boxes (this proved to be popular with older kids!)
- Zip line
- Football games
- Giant inflatable slides
- Ride on dinosaurs
- Woods climbing on nets (I’ve forgotten what it was called but it looked amazing!)
All of the above were free activities included in the price apart from the funfair and is by far not a complete list!
Other paid things included exhibitors who were selling everything from dinosaur tails to bubbles and the glitteriest face paint you’ve ever seen.
There’s more. There were donkeys, ponys, ferrets, giant tortoises that kids could go and touch (obviously no riding!), parrots, birds of prey and a really funny sheep show.
This was the first year that Geronimo had camping onsite and we were given a camping pass to give it a go.
Camping with a toddler? Were we mad? Yes. But that’s related to my unruly toddler rather than camping.
With portaloos on-site, a large shower van and a string of lights to guide the way, it was a wonderful camp site. It even had an on-site shop for forgotten items as well as a van that served tea and breakfast in the morning.
The only trouble is? I hate camping. With a very young toddler who hadn’t napped due to the excitement (and who is currently ‘going through’ some major bedtime crisis), she was asleep by 8 but the music was still booming until 9 from the night entertainment which was in eyesight of our tent. Sure, that’s very practical for people with older kids and it would be fantastic for them, but not so much for us on this occasion.
I enjoy my comforts and slight soundproofing of walls and a bed that isn’t inflated.
As it was a windy night, my face was also being battered through the night by the side of the tent. I was living the camping dream.
But what was nice was not to have to rush in the morning. We hired a blackout tent so were up at our usual time rather than the crack of dawn and could get up slowly, pack the car up in a few lengthy walks and then make our way to the festival ready for opening time at 10am.
Would I go to Geronimo again?
In a heartbeat, I’d go to Geronimo again.
I’d personally not camp, but I wouldn’t want my experience to put others off. It’s just not my cup of tea. I’d most likely want to stay overnight again and at least go for 2 days. With so much to do and see – especially as Georgia gets older and can take part in more, there’s no way you can do it in one day.
By far though, the most important thing that we took away were the memories. Spotting the small details such as the fact that the trees had eyes and held kitsch lampshades to spending quality time with Georgia. We could just let her do what she wanted and we could see her having fun.
Geronimo is good quality family fun on speed.
For the ticket price this year of £25 per day (or £55 for 3 based on most expensive price), you get so much value for money. All of the activities and entertainment other than the funfair was included. There aren’t many attractions nowadays that cost as little where you get so much value.