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Family rave events are aimed at children up to eight years old - and their families but older siblin

Family rave events are aimed at children up to eight years old - and their families but older siblings are welcome to join. Picture: BIG FISH LITTLE FISH EVENTS - Credit: BIG FISH LITTLE FISH EVENTS

Remember all of those things you loved to do before you had a baby? Well, you still can, writes Nicola Warren

I remember my first parent and baby cinema experience well. It had been billed as an event with the sound down but when the film started the music blared out, making baby Jessica jump and cry. Soon after, she filled her nappy.

But after changing her – yes cinemas have baby changing facilities – and letting a staff member know the sound hadn't been turned down, Jessica settled down for a feed and soon dropped off. Leaving me to enjoy cuddles with my baby and a chuckle watching Despicable Me 3. My husband Phil, who was at work at the time, was gutted he'd missed it.

I love going to the cinema, and was so grateful in the early days for those parent and baby screenings. I don't take her now – she runs amok at the front of the cinema.

Whatever it was that you once loved and think you can no longer do – at least not without arranging a baby sitter – think again.

There's comedy, even raves, the one thing lacking, which I would have loved when Jessica was small, was parent and baby friendly stage show performances – come on theatres, you're next!

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Colchester Arts Centre hosts regular Bring Your Own Baby Comedy events, with the next being held on the morning of Monday, September 17.

While you enjoy laughs courtesy of two acts and a compere, your little one, up to the age of one, can get comfortable on the soft flooring and play with the toys available.

Buggy parking and baby changing are on offer too and mums can feel free to feed – whether breast or bottle.


Yes, really! Big Fish Little Fish are bringing their family rave to a big top tent in the Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich, this Sunday, July 29.

Expect old school dance music, confetti cannons, bubbles (is there a child who doesn't love bubbles?!), giant parachute dance, themed crafts, a Playdoh table, giant mural and face painting. Plus a licenced bar should you need it.

In keeping with the venue, there'll be a circus theme and dressing up, while optional, is encouraged.

The event is aimed at children aged up to eight and their families, but older siblings are welcome too.


Lots of chain and independent cinemas now offer parent and baby screenings, but you may have to wait until the autumn to attend one as some aren't held over the school holidays.

Local cinemas which host parent and baby screenings include Cineworld Ipswich, Empire Ipswich, Riverside Woodbridge, Picturehouse Norwich and Odeon Norwich.

Abbeygate Cinema in Bury St Edmunds offers parent and baby screenings as well as Toddler Time – child-friendly screenings which introduce preschool children to the cinema environment.

Dance classes

Sure, you can take centrestage on the dancefloor at the family rave, but if you used to take dance classes for your health as well as for the fun of it, you could try sling dancing.

Pop little one in their sling, meet new people, try out some moves and hey presto it could help your wellbeing and – bonus! – send your baby to sleep.

Sling Swing classes take place in the Colchester area, while Suffolk Sling Dance runs sessions in the Bury St Edmunds area.


Another active class to try is Buggy Buddies Workout. These Norwich-based classes take you on a power walk, with stops to do toning and strengthening exercises.

Mums are welcome whatever their fitness level – you can start by just doing the walk, and add some exercises when you feel ready.

Classes go ahead whatever the great British weather, so pack an anorak and your pram's raincover just in case.