Monday 10 April 2017

Digital Kids Show, Event City, Manchester Review

The Digital Kids Show will return to Manchester's Event City this November 18-20th. Filled with all kinds of things that computer-obsessed youngsters love, we went last year and our boys had an awesome time.

This year the show is over 3 days and there is absolutely loads to do. Most of the programme will be the same each day, but some of the main stage acts and presentations will vary.

Everything in the giant Event City Hall and the show is especially suited to families with children of any age who would happily spend all day at a computer, whether playing, designing, editing, watching or learning, or all of those at once.

Here are a few of the highlights we saw last October... starting with CBeebies, who had a play and rest area for little ones and were teaching children how a TV Show is filmed..

There were quite a few stands offering samples, or with games and toys that children could play with. We loved that, children get so excited when it's hands-on.

Naturelly Jelly Juice is one of our long-standing favourites, as are Magformers - we could have spent far longer playing with this...we went back later for a second turn..

Anki Overdrive were there and we love Anki car racing, but there's always room for Scalextric - they're a different beast entirely. I'm proud to say my then 6 year old still won his 7 lap race...(nice one son).

My 8 year old tried a different sort of driving. Depending on height and age children around 7+ to 17 can take a turn learning to drive a car - only the bigger kids get a real sized one, but this little electric number was still definitely a 'proper car'.

There were a huge range of stands including Internet Matters, You Tube Kids and several other brands for parents to ask any questions they might have about internet safety and controls. There was also a taster session and displays of Parcour - but my little guy was too short to join in properly...

As you'd expect there was masses of gaming to be done - from retro to brand new. It was the first chance my young boys had to try VR headsets (securely seated) and they loved it! I'm sorry though lads, you did not get the Oculus Rift for Christmas...

As well as the big names like X Box and You Tube, there are some really new games and some really small independent companies. We particularly loved Beasts Of Balance, a beautifully crafted puzzle game which teaches children about environments and animal life, as well as hand-eye coordination and puzzle-solving!

And we bumped into some of our friends! Even better than Spongebob, the boys from That Lancashire Lass - which meant we were able to play 4-up on the inflatable target ball, and they could all run repeatedly through the assault course inflatable and play on the Scooter Disco until they were exhausted!

For those children whose heroes play games for a living, Digital Kids Show offers a great chance to see your favourites on stage, and even meet and greet with them and get an autograph. There can be long queues at prime times, but most You Tubers and Children's TV stars who are at the event have their own stand and you may even catch them there. My boys got a high 5 from the very tolerant Ethan (GamerTV).

We actually got a chance to stay behind at the end and watch the competition winners play their games against some of the professional gamers, as well as show you an idea of the scale of Event City. This is a huge hall which is really incredibly accessible - however you travel when you get out of your car.

And the moment my boys were waiting for.... a photo with a bunch of their favourite You Tubers, including Salem's lady, NettyPlays, Martyn (in the little wood), Tomahawk and Matt Richards the stage presenter.

You can find out the latest about who will be in the hall, on the stage and gaming this year and book tickets on the Digital Kids Show website. Early Bird tickets are currently on sale at £22.43pp or £79.40 family of 4.

We were given free entry to review.


  1. This looks fantastic. I think my boys would love this. Will have a look to see if we can come down for this x

    1. If they are anything like mine then definitely - my boys really were in their element.


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