Parents Like Us offers a new approach to entertaining children
The festival offers free events and de-stress massages for parents
The journey from the box office to the auditorium can be an expensive one these days. Even the most charming children’s shows have a plethora of merchandise to tempt tiny hands (and grown-up purses) as you struggle to take your seat.
Since its inception, the Parents Like Us (PLU) festival has dared to be different. Combining theatre shows, storytelling, taster sessions, sports, live music and science demonstrations, PLU has a clearly marked sales area – outside of which, no pester power is allowed.
For director, Kate Marks, this was a crucial aspect of the three day event. That, and making sure the shows and activities are pitched just right. For her, it’s not just about under 5 and over – she goes a whole lot deeper to tailor for the different developmental stages.
‘We have a criterion whereby there must be a minimum of two things for each age range,’ explains Marks. ‘And we have six age ranges: 0–9 months, 6–18 months, 1–3 years, 3–4 years, 3–5 years and 5 plus.’
Included in this year’s ticketed line-up are Luke and Emma from CITV’s Hi-5, and reduced rate massage therapies for stressed parents. Many of the things on offer, however, are completely free. Crucially, it’s one of the most child-friendly events of the year.
‘We get so many parents asking if they’re allowed to do this or do that,’ says Marks. ‘And this is the one place where you can. Take your buggy in, feed your baby, bring your own food – all the things you would normally do with your child, you can do here. Children can go in to see a show on their own at 3 years old – we’ll watch them, and bring them out if they need you. It’s safe, it’s all about them.’
Leith Links, Edinburgh, Fri 1–Sun 3 Jun.