Just So 2017 will be stored in our memory box as one of the best weekends so far and (as The Little Lady aged 4 has become accustomed to saying lately) ‘I know that for a fact! We had a super time from start to finish. We expected great things after visiting last year but this time around we felt we were set; we had suspended all disbelief and left that firmly at home, we had chosen our tribe (Bees all the way); we had donned our wellies and packed our pic-nic and rain coats – we were ready for fun.
To get the most out of this superb family festival held in the beautiful grounds of Rode Hall, Chesire, you should make a plan using the handy detailed programme that includes everything you need to know about the weekend with a schedule of activities which hints at suitable age ranges (I say hints because it’s all quite flexible where appropriate obviously). With so much to see and do, you wouldn’t want to miss out but rest assured this is your go to for guidance and navigation around the wondrous site.
From start to finish we danced, giggled, created and crafted. We ate and slurped, licked and devoured. Every one of your senses can be addressed at Just so we certainly tickled our taste buds and our toes.
The Village Green was to be the spot for the start of our adventure where we checked the status of the Bees – pleasingly we were ahead. The girls were enthused that they’d joined the right tribe and were keen to collect the golden stones on offer to furnish the Queen Bee’s honey pot to aid our tribe’s success. So, off we set. Before long we were accosted by a wandering pack of ‘delinquent’ sheep and a pretty poorly skilled wolf who posed for snaps and encouraged the earliest of visitors to get involved. Bizarre, I know, but lots of fun. The runaway sheep were soon followed by a snail who glided around blowing bubbles welcoming us for a weekend of fun and frolics. It’s safe to say, that it’s a pretty surreal experience at times. But, the kids love it and that’s what it’s all about.
We sent postcards to Just So goers in Brazil and New Zealand at the Just So Post Office, we toasted marshmallows on an open camp fire in the Spellbound Forest and then threw off ours shoes and enjoyed the sensory thrill of walking barefoot through sand and mud over stones and logs. From large feet to tiny toes, we all got involved and made the same faces of odd delight as we threw caution to the wind all in the name of Just So.
We all tried our hands at yoga; we shimmied to the impromptu performances on the Green and mastered the art of the spinning top whilst attempting other circus skills. And, we witnessed a giant inflatable greenfly devouring a puppet chicken. More curious and crazy are on offer in equal measure to ensure that you have the greatest time.
As Friday drew to a close, we reflected on our day and made plans for the full programme that was to follow the next day, which began with some magic over at Away with the Fairies hidden deep in the woodland. Here we crafted fairy crowns, wrote wishes for the fairy wishing line, joined the wand workshop which we could only successfully complete when we had found exactly the right wand chosen from the woodland itself. But, by far the best moment in the fairy hideaway was meeting the Fairy Queen herself who allowed us all to make a wish and wear her magic glitter for the day.
With a sparkle in our step, we were ready for the start of the music to wiggle and to jiggle. Right in the heart of the crowd, The Little Lady flapped her buzzing wings till her heart was content.
There were activities we didn’t get to do or see because there really is so much on offer. What I think I like best about this truly special weekend is that everyone is there for the same reason: to forget the ‘real world’ and enjoy time with their families. Tribal camaraderie is alive and the spirit of the festival is shared by everyone.
As we walked away, The Little Lady confirmed it had been ‘the best weekend’. And, as I said, it will be stored in the memory box as Just So special!