Shropshire’s Essential Entertainment Guide
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on Mon, 25 Feb 2019
Not sure where to take the kids during the Easter holidays? Fear not, for popular children’s event Kidtropolis is returning to Birmingham’s NEC for a second year.
Packed full of live shows, activities, much-loved brands, characters and entertainment, this year’s event is taking place from Saturday 13 to Monday 15 April.
Founder Gemma Gallagher launched Kidtropolis in London in 2016. She has since organised a further two events in the capital, as well as last year’s sell-out show in Brum.
So what was the idea behind the event?...
“We really wanted to produce a great experience full of lots of activities and shows which was cost-effective to attend. Days out are generally expensive and there aren't many family experiences which are affordable.”
Tickets for Kidtropolis cost £12, and visitors can currently take advantage of a limited ‘buy one get one half-price’ adult offer.
“Kidtropolis is an amalgamation of inflatables, rides, different brand activities, live shows, character meet-and-greets and more. We like to give families the opportunity to meet celebrities too. It’s a bit different to a festival, as there’s no overnight camping, but it’s a very similar mechanic. Luckily for us, it doesn’t matter what the weather’s like, as we’re located indoors. We don’t need to worry if it’s raining, and obviously the price is a lot different to what a festival ticket would cost. We saw a gap in the market to create something that families could enjoy together, with lots of different things going on for different age groups, all under one roof. We then decided to branch out into Birmingham because it’s pretty central. Travel-wise it’s great; the NEC is very accessible as a venue, so it seemed completely sensible to host it there.”
Attractions at the 2019 edition of Kidtropolis include a Baby Shark live mini show on the Saturday - in which Pinkfong and his best friend get dancing - and appearances by TV royalty Sam and Mark, who’ll be hosting their very own live show on the Saturday and Sunday.
Also announced for this year is a 200ft-long inflatable assault course that allows children to venture through a number of different and imaginative zones, including the Arctic and a jungle.
Kidtropolis events are aimed at children aged 12 and under, as Gemma explains: “We say 12 because we do get a lot of parents asking if older siblings can come along too. We do recommend that people look at the website to see what’s on before they purchase a ticket. Ultimately, it’s up to the parents to decide whether it’s appropriate for their child.
“People have asked us why we don’t zone our events as a three-year-old zone, a five-year-old zone etc, and that is purely down to visitor experience. If mum or dad is on her or his own with two children of completely different ages, it would be harder to manage. We like our content to be presented in a way that means everyone can enjoy it at the same time. We try to bring in lots of different content related to all age groups.
“Kidtropolis isn’t just about putting inflatables into an event or putting live shows in the auditorium, it’s about putting exciting and fun content on the showfloor too, so that when people are walking past, they can see something that they might not have realised was on - something that families can all enjoy together; an immersive experience. It’s all about the atmosphere. We try and book lots of things that appeal to different people - things that are entertaining as well as hands-on, so that the whole family can get involved together.”
Kidtropolis takes place at Birmingham’s NEC from Saturday 13 to Monday 15 April.
For further information, visit kidtropolis.co.uk/birmingham/tickets
By Lauren Foster