Saturday 2 March 2019

Digital Kids Show 2018 ~ Review Visit

Last November we were invited back as guests to review the Digital Kids Show at Manchester Central. We adore it and I've used loads of information and photos from our visit in all kinds of posts since. Full of everything our family love, this really is a fantastic day out for children who are into all things digital.

Two boys arriving at Digital KIds show and standing next to huge sign

We arrived 5 minutes after opening, so were able to get some photos of the hall before other people's children were everywhere. By 11.30am it was full, but never packed, and it felt very safe to let our almost 9 and 10 year old boys wander ahead or go and play while we sat nearby with a coffee.

collage showing Ice rink, superhero area, huge size of Manchester Central, dinosaur world

Arriving early meant we got to play in the amazingly lit dinosaur kingdom without anyone else, and the boys could have been first to be superheroes, but said it was their day off. The ice rink was comfortably busy right from the start though.

STEM Zone stands Gravitrax Curiosity Box GeomagsThere is a STEM Zone, with toys and sets for construction, science, engineering, maths and investigation, and we were really impressed by The Curiosity Box and my Toy Of The Year 2018, Gravitrax. We also loved the Binary Bots, several different bots which you build and programme, spanning a wide age range - I think these will be very popular in schools and clubs especially.

Collage of photos showing Binary Bots electronic vehicles and robots

It was Remembrance Sunday and Manchester was packed with people giving thanks to those who have fought so that we don't have to and remembering those who didn't return. Very apt then that we had a very welcome stage visit from poet Tony 'Longfella' Walsh, one of Manchester's finest, launching his collaborative book with Adam Clarke (The Wizard And The Wylde), 'That's Why I Love Minecraft!'.

Tony Walsh Longfella reading poem on stage with Wizard You Tube Minecraft

It sums up our thoughts really, Minecraft, gaming and tech is often seen as negative time, but it really mainly isn't. It can equip your child with a multitude of skills and entertain them far better than most early evening TV.

funfair rides in hall

Around 1/3 of the space was filled with funfair rides due to previous feedback from guests. Although my boys like them, they only asked for 1 or 2 rides all day. The rest of the attendees must have felt similarly as there were never any queues and it was the emptiest area of the whole show. The small number of people using the rides really didn't justify the huge expense and amount of work involved, so the organisers aren't intending to do it on this scale again. There will always be a few inflatables and a ride or two, so if it is your thing, you won't be left out.

Four young women scantily clad on stage little mix tribute act

There wasn't only poetry, there was a host of entertainment on the big stage, including a Little Mix tribute act, World Record Flossing attempt and loads of sessions from You Tube famous gamers. Really though, the most popular areas were those where the kids could play games themselves.

Digital Kids Show 2018 gaming opportunities collage with tables and screens

There were plenty of chances to try out some brand new games as well as retro favourites and even VR. And it's all safe, open plan and there is a ton of seating everywhere for the grown ups to relax while the kids are busy.

Boy using VR headset and controllers to play immersive game

Boy sitting at a desk playing mao mao computer game

My youngest would actually spend the entire day playing Minecraft if he could. I don't quite understand it either, but playing a free game he has at home, among a crowd of his peers who all feel the same, is his favourite thing in the world.

collage showing different varieties of new and retro games and people playing

You can't visit Digital Kids Show without bumping into one or two of the big You Tube celebrities and the Meet & Greet lines were really reasonable, despite the fact the gamers weren't rushing and were happy to chat to the children.

Digital Kids Show 2018 review meet and greet lines showing short queues for Ashdubh and Amy Lee

Both of my boys queued for autographs and left delighted with their signed pieces of treasured paper. The perfect memento to a great day out...

Collected autographs and Digital Kids show you tube gamers merch

We love Digital Kids Show and if you like tech, gaming, watching videos of people playing games for hours on end, STEM toys and activities, and whacking your mate with an inflatable stick while they bounce about on a giant cushion, this could be the perfect day out for you too.

Digital Kids Show will be back at Manchester Central on 16th and 17th November this year, but before that they have a new addition with a 3 day London show at Battersea Evolution on 26th-28th May! Tickets for the May event are on sale now and tickets for Manchester will go on sale after Digital Kids Show London, at the beginning of June. Find out more and book tickets on the Digital Kids Show website

We were given free entry because we've worked with Digital Kids Show now since it started and loved it every time, and we've got to know the organisers. Unsurprisingly the You Tubers don't recognise us, although my boys live in hope... 

1 comment:

  1. We loved it here the year we went. Looks like it's had a few changes for the better and looks like the kids had a great time x


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