Lee Valley: KidsFest 2021

During the re-opening of the UK after the 2020 global pandemic events started to get back on track and we were invited to provide entertainment all summer long for Lee Valley Animal Adventure Park‘s festival for kids- KidsFest.
Lee Valley Animal Adventure Park is a new and improved rebrand of Lee Valley Park Farms- an independently owned petting farm on the Greater London-Essex border. Its great for family days out with a range of farm animals including: Donkeys, Meerkats, pigs, rabbits, goats, reindeer, alpacas, insects, birds of prey and much more… find and collect adventure trails, a huge bounce pillow and plenty of play areas. Their meerkat mascot Monty is the over-seer of all things fun. 
So, how to make this awesome place into a festival for kids? Lets take a look at the fantastic family event which was fun for all ages…

Stage One: The Brief

Our brief was to provide engaging, family oriented entertainment which could be delivered as both meet and greet or a stage show at the event. The events manager already had some activities in place so we suggested our superheroes would be the ideal addition to the line up. With the age range expected from babies to grandparents superheroes are a catch all which every generation recognises on a different level.

The KidsFest event was planned for the whole summer- spanning 40 days in total, from 26th July to the 3rd September, for the full 6 weeks school holiday break. As Lee Valley Animal Adventure Park is mostly outdoors, predicted sales estimated upto 1000 visitors each day- no problem for a site so large, and resulting in a lot of guests to interact with.

Stage Two: choreographing the show

The client wanted the entertainment to be both close up meet and greet style with guests and also on stage which gave us a great opportunity to re-choreograph our Superhero Stage Show. As we were unsure of the stage layout or tech capabilities we would be presented with we decided to swap from our “Superhero Training Academy” show to a “Superhero Bootcamp” show.  This required a new show to be created specifically for this event. 

We decided it was important that both a male and female superhero character presented the training, we carefully scripted and recorded a voiceover which led the training from start to finish- allowing our superheroes to respond to the voiceover but not requiring them to wear a mic. The voiceover also gave a themed safety briefing for the guests and announced the imminent start of the training session. 

It was important to us when writing the new training academy show that it was all inclusive. We wanted to ensure it was suitable for children with disabilities and learning difficulties so it could be enjoyed by all guests. We chose a combination of simple moves inspired by well known heroes that would hold the children’s attention whilst being fun, that could be achieved using the upper body only. We then added some atmospheric superhero themed music. 

Stage Three: costumes and performers

The client had initially requested mostly male superheroes as each day there would also be two princess characters in attendance and they wanted to balance the playing field but we suggested a mix of male and female characters would be best suited as superheroes appeal to and represent most people. 

We sent a variety of classic and modern superheroes as options making sure we would be easily recognised by the guests but also incorporating some lesser known characters who had visually exciting costumes. We also researched into animated hero shows which kids are watching currently to get a deeper understanding into the behaviour, speech patterns and style of characters the youngest generation are used to seeing. This gave us the opportunity to invest in new costumes and accessories, new promotional material and to design and make new costumes. 

We decided to alternate four characters each day, with two delivering the stage shows/ superhero training academy and offering photo opportunities after the show and a different pair of characters handling the meet and greet area, talking to the kids and getting to create those memory moments with them. From the client’s perspective this was also great value for money as they could advertise four characters each day instead of just two. 

Stage four: promoting the event

As this event is driven by public attendance it was important to promote the entertainment in order to help increase interest. Prior to opening we sent a selection of high quality images of each of the characters and a schedule of which heroes would be visiting the farm on each specific day. This allowed Lee Valley’s marketing team to spread the word about the special visitors they would be having over summer and when they would be attending. 
Once the event opened we were able to make more specific promotional material. We took subtle hint photos of the characters to encourage guests to guess who was arriving that morning and we took themed photos using the animals at the farm for inspiration such as our spider hero holding tarantulas. We also filmed several short videos for use on social media. These proved very popular and encouraged guests who had attended already to share their experience and photos. 
Lee Valley hosted several competitions to win tickets to visit including a special late night private kids festival which we stayed to greet the winners as they arrived. During the event we encouraged guests to geotag Lee Valley on social media posts and use the hashtag KidsFest so we could see their images. We also actively posted on our own social media channels to promote the summer activities.

Stage FIVE: Bring in the Guests!

The doors opened and guests arrived bringing picnics or enjoying food from the various food outlets on site. Kids were kept busy with bouncy castles, teacup rides, play areas, craft tents and an outdoor foam party. The glitter station proved very popular giving the kids a really festival feel to their day. 
The days were jam-packed with live entertainment carefully planned into a daily schedule with something for everyone- magic and mayhem shows, party dances, princess sing a longs, critter shows and superhero training academy. On top of that was the interactive entertainment including the superhero meet and greet, princess photo opportunity, Monty the meerkat walkabout and a dinosaur encounter with a huge dinosaur! 
The event was a huge success, the park was happy and busy over summer with everyone embracing the festival spirit and kids and grown ups alike enjoying their summer day out. 
Superhero Show Lee Valley

“Your entertainment was ‘super’. Thank you for helping make KidsFest 2021 a huge success”


Lee Valley Animal Adventure Park

You can see more of our Superhero Entertainment here, including The Hulk, Captain America, Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, Superman, Black Widow, Deadpool and Dr. Strange. Or if you have your own ideas in mind and would like to discuss a custom package created specifically for you – please use our Contact page.