I scream, you scream, we all scream for Big Scream!

Yesterday we took a trip to Big Scream at one of our favourite haunts, Cinema City in Norwich.

Big Scream is quite a genius offering – parents, babies, the latest films and free tea and pastries, all in the beautiful surroundings of the oldest independent art house cinema. What more could new parents want?

When I was expecting our baby, Big Scream always came highly recommended by friends, so in the depths of Winter early this year my new born and I ventured out to cinema together, for the first time.

I’ve got to admit, I was a little apprehensive. Firstly, any new mum knows that trying to get out of the house between feeds with a new born before 11am is ambitious, right? Secondly, I know it’s called Big Scream, but I was really worried that it would be my baby crying the loudest and disturbing other parents and babies. Oh, how I was so wrong. Big Scream is such a warm and welcoming experience, full of lovely people who want a bit of normality, whilst getting to grips with the new world of parenthood. Yes, there is the odd cry, scream and chatter, and parents stood up rocking their baby, but that’s okay.

Fast forward eight months or so and our little one is now ten months old. She just about handled a few hours mesmerised by the noise and screen, as she sat/lay on the floor at the front of the cinema and I managed to watch The Program. Regular visitors to Big Scream came prepared with toys and snacks for their babies, they park their pushchair up in the hallway to Screen 2 and 3 and grab themselves a tea and croissant. This is a much appreciated touch, I’m grateful of any hot drinks and snacks offered to me!

Mum’s Rosie and Kristen have now been to Big Scream three times and told us ‘it’s about doing something grown up. We go to groups and sing nursery rhymes, but this something we can go to and enjoy for us‘. I couldn’t agree more. They told us that last week’s screening of Suffragette was sold out and next week’s Big Scream screening of Spectre is selling fast. These were mums in the know!

Once again, Big Scream was such an enjoyable experience and when our little one is a few months older, we then have Toddler Time to look forward to every Tuesday morning.

Thank you, Cinema City for welcoming us tired and weary parents with our babies. We will certainly be back again soon.


What’s On this October Half Term

October half term is nearly upon us, so we’ve put together a handy printable timetable of family arts events taking place in Norfolk. There are all kinds of creative activities including some connected to The Big Draw – the UK’s largest drawing festival and of course, Halloween!

Hover over each venue on the timetable and you can click on the link for more event details.* We hope you enjoy some awesome Autumnal arts this October half term.

*Whilst we try to make sure that all the information on Fine Folk is correct, please always check details with venues directly, as we accept no responsibility for errors.

Fringe Festival invites families to Colour Norwich

All this week as part of the Norwich Fringe Festival, you can head to the Undercroft Gallery to Colour Norwich. Illustrator, Beverley Coraldean has drawn three beautiful outlines of city landmarks, which are now waiting for you to fill with colour.

I went to visit yesterday with my little one. As we arrived at the entrance, which is just at the top of the market and under the War Memorial, my heart sank as I saw steps to get into the gallery. However, to my relief there is a bell to the left of the steps and a kind gallery invigilator came out to help me carry the pushchair into the space. Phew!

The exhibition’s theme is Arts and Well being, with thirteen artists / groups taking part. The current craze for grown up colouring in books as a way to relax is right on trend for Bev’s work in this exhibition.

Colouring-In has become known as the new ‘alternative therapy’ since adult colouring books came onto the scene. I wanted to create a space that the whole family can interact with as well as to reflect our peaceful city.‘ says Beverley.

The illustrations are at various heights, so most children can take part. Bea is a little too small just yet, but she loved looking at the drawings, as you can see from the photograph. There are felt tips and pencil crayons for people to pick up and get colouring in. A great touch is the Colour Norwich colouring in sheet that you can buy for £2 and take away.

This exhibition is open each day until Sunday 18 October from 11am – 5pm and is free. You can find out more about Norwich Fringe Festival at www.norwichfringefestival.co.uk/ and more of Beverley’s work at www.genealityart.com

Cross City Cultural Celebrations by guest writer and photographer, Erin Patel.

Yesterday saw a fantastic day for culture and arts across Norwich. I decided to take little Bea’ on a little adventure to check out the cross city celebrations whilst visiting some of my favourite haunts for the first time with a nine month old child in tow!

First port of call was the African and Caribbean Craft market. The market was part of the currently occurring Black History Month and, true to the annual event, was a real celebration of the cultural diversity to be found in Norwich. There were simple stalls draped with beautiful, colourful fabrics and a fine selection of interesting and exotic crafts available to buy. As Bea’ and I strolled around, the sound of afro-beat funk music kept my ears more than happy whilst the sweet and spicy aroma of Jamaican fare satisfied my nostrils.

The event is usually to be found within the setting of The Forum but was moved to Earlham Road for the first time this year and found a new home in St Thomas’ Church Hall. There were lots of families all having a fun time dancing and eating whilst stocking up on excitingly patterned shawls and lovely woven baskets. I found it a little difficult to negotiate through the crowds with a pushchair but enjoyed seeing a lot of my neighbours and friends all rallied into a vibrant community event. Bea’ seemed to enjoy soaking up the sounds and textures.

After the market, we made the short walk to the Green Grocers for lunch. With no shortage of high chairs and a recently expanded menu, I was very pleased with my decision to cave into my weakness for Chorizo pizza and would definitely rank them up at the top end of quality food in Norwich!

A walk across town to check out the 6th annual Magdalen Street Celebration was rewarded with a great Flat White in the Dandy Horse coffee shop / Bicycle repair shop. I was able to fit the pushchair around the table and Bea’ had a good time exchanging silly faces with the friendly staff.

The brand new and exciting Freight gallery was celebrating its opening day and hosting the wonderful This is the place; a collection of photographic portraits by Katherine Mager. The series is compiled from images of Magdalen street business owners and was most timely in the context of the celebration.

Live music from a selection of bands and painting project, The big doodle, was to be found sheltered by the Flyover and created a strong urban festival vibe. I couldn’t be happier to see this usually derelict space being used in such a positive way with people of all ages having a great time dancing and painting together!

Once we made our way to Anglia square, we were greeted by an exciting looking tent that contained a pretty impressive 6ft high cardboard dragon! This was a sensory craft project by the highly creative Common Collective. Bea’ had a great time riffling through the mountains of egg boxes and wrapping paper tubes whilst whole families merrily cobbled together their contributions to the dragon.

I shall certainly be attending the Magdalen Street Celebration next year and was thrilled to see the creatives of Norwich come together in such a successful way. Bravo you Fine city!

Magdalen Street Celebration: Saturday 10 October 2015

Magdalen St Celebration

Now in its sixth year, the Magadalen Street Celebration is back this weekend. This street is a firm favourite of ours, often visiting to have a good search in the Antique and Charity Shops. This looks set to be a great day out for the family to listen to all kinds of music, try rag rug making at Anteros Gallery, listen to stories in the stripy tent, help colour in the giant doodle under the flyover and so much more!

The event starts at 11am until 5pm. More details can be found on the image above or at the Magadelen Street Celebration website.