You know that feeling? You’ve been dancing like a mad thing all night to big tunes, not really aware of time or place, and then you stumble outside the hot and sweaty nightclub squinting at the light from the dawn…. Hang on a minute, I’m not a student anymore – I’m a working mum of two little ones under the age of six… And it isn’t the dawn, it’s 4.30pm on a Sunday afternoon. But I am outside a nightclub in Sydenham, hot and with sore feet from dancing! I’ve just survived my first Big Fish Little Fish family rave!
Matt and I had seen ads for their family raves before – chuckling at the inspired tagline “2-4 hour party people”, but had never managed to get along to one. So we were thrilled when the Big Fish Little Fish (BFLF) team got in touch to see if we fancied joining their Sydenham Hawaiian Luau themed rave this afternoon.
We sadly couldn’t find Hawaiian leis in time, but Alex and Sophie dressed up in their party clothes and we headed to the Zanzibar club for 2pm. Not sure this pair quite met all the club rules…
We loved it from the moment we arrived. Matt was delighted to find that the BFLF promise to book decent DJs was true – and that the music was therefore excellent. DJ Lol Hammond (Drum Club, Spiral Tribe) played some great tunes – no kiddy music, proper grown-up dance music. And it was loud enough to really feel like clubbing, but not so crazy it scared the children – just perfect. Sophie and Alex hit the dance floor immediately and barely stopped for the next two hours!
My camera skills aren’t good enough to have captured the scenes in the dark particularly well – but I got a few snaps that remind me of all the fun. Sophie spun, jumped, ran and boogied for ages. I could barely photograph her at all, she was such a blur of energy!
The Hawaiian theme was everywhere, from the colourful decorations to the activities on offer. Check out the joy on Alex’s face at the prospect of bubbles and glitter cannons!
We occasionally took breaks from the dancing to explore the other areas – particularly enjoying Captain Cookie’s craft area which included this amazing colouring mural which Alex and Sophie kept revisiting during the afternoon.
There was a huge crafting table, and a tattoo corner (both my pair now have decorated arms!)
Alex and Sophie carefully made tribal masks using the massive selection of glue, colourful shapes and petals. They were so proud of their creations they are now on display in my kitchen!
I particularly liked the craft corner as it gave them an opportunity to sit down and rest a little bit.
Alex loved the play dough table and spent ages there creating things in between dances. As well as all the craft, there was also a chill out room (which still had cool lights and music!) with soft play games. Sophie enjoyed it in there – particularly enjoying playing in (and on) the tunnels!
All that fun made us all hungry, so we were delighted to find the impressive array of homemade cakes and biscuits – we could barely drag Alex away once he’d spotted them (and devoured a big chocolate cookie and bowl of fruit!).
Cakes aside, I think the highlight of the afternoon for Alex and Sophie was the regular bubble machine and glitter cannon explosions – and of course the glow sticks! Spot Alex right in the middle of it all having it large!
At the very end, the BFLF team brought out a giant parachute for one final dance – the club lights and all the kids’ glow sticks looked amazing under the material.
We had a brilliant afternoon – there was so much high quality entertainment that the time just whizzed by. Matt and I loved being back in a club dancing to some excellent music, and it was a wonderful experience for the children. They were exhausted by the end, but it was a treat to introduce them to some new music and let them dance the day away. We will definitely be back – and I’d highly recommend the BFLF events to families. I think Alex (5) and Sophie (3) were the perfect age – a few months ago, Sophie might have found it a bit overwhelming, but she had a go at everything and thoroughly enjoyed herself.
She’s clearly got the mixing bug now – as she went straight into the cool coffee shop opposite the club to inspect their range of vinyl for sale!
Big thanks to Big Fish Little Fish for inviting us to the rave today. If you want to take the family along to a future rave, check out their events listing for details. The craft corner was sponsored by Happy Monkey Smoothies – the kids loved their free drink!
All views are my own.