LATITUDE PREVIEW: How to have a family-friendly festival

Latitude has quickly established itself as a festival like almost no other and that is particularly true in its family-friendly appeal.

Sharon Reuben, who has been involved from the very start, has developed one of the festival's major selling points — the children's programming. As well as the arts side of the event, Latitude has been a trailblazer in providing stimulating activities for younger visitors — much more than just face painting and a bouncy castle. When curating the children's area Sharon's mission is not to dumb down for younger visitors, but to provide activities that reflect the festival's ethos of inspiring and celebrating creativity – a Mini Latitude, if you like.

And this year, the festival has set about extending the Children's Arena and the Inbetweeners Area, targeted at teenagers.

Appealing to teenagers is a tricky task but The Inbetweeners Area proved a big hit on its debut last year. The festival has again teamed up with Norwich-based Culture Works East to provide a packed schedule of exciting multimedia and music activities – and they can unleash their inner Bear Grylls and learn bushcraft, survival and conservation skills through a link-up with Greenpeace and Norfolk's very own Canoe Man.

Over The Top is an adventure playground in the trees with scramble nets and zip lines to provide a high energy action based fun.


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Cultureworks and Access to Music will be offering everything from comic book design, animation and photography to beat boxing, music production, DJing and MCing and fashion.

Theatre Workout will be offering a chanced to star in their one-off productions led by professional actors and staged at a pop-up theatre.

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In the Children's Arena, younger children will be able to enter the realm of Noisy Toys, a participation show featuring booming, bleeping, zapping, squeaking and farting,

Angel Gardens return with their enchanting delights and all the usual treats of lantern making, lovely crafts, sitting areas, music, pirates and stories.

The Woodcraft Folk are also back with a vast range of activities this year. Taking an entire section of the children's arena, they will be offering an incredible array of craft activities, with workshops changing every two hours.

Kat's Whiskers Theatre Company will perform Rosie and the Seagull, a show about an obnoxious eight-year-old at the seaside with her family when a mischievous seagull snatches her off to a distant land where naughty children are taught a lesson.

The Italian Job performing their new show featuring Wonky Doggy and the hunt for the mysterious utensil snatcher, while Leaping Lizards Theatre return with The Wishing Wellies, an interactive play for children of all ages is full of fun, laughter and a dollop of audience participation.

The most traditional children's entertainment will also come as Professor Philips so performs his Punch & Judy Show — 350 years since Mr Punch first appeared in England in 1662. Shows will take place throughout the day on Saturday.

And Norfolk-based Fairyland Trust have workshops making fairy books and crowns plus woodland adventures building dens and fairy houses in the nearby woods.

'Each year the Children's Arena gets bigger and better, thanks in part to the hard work and commitment from local organisations to give festival goers a child-friendly, family experience that entertains, educates and liberates,' she Sharon.

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