Entertainment for all the family

There’s some fantastic family friendly entertainment planned this year, with loads of special activities and free events taking place right across the festival site.

Why not join Alice in Alice’s Wonderland Marquee, for some interactive fun, complete with a Mad Hatter’s tea party picnic for each child!

Bolton Library and Museum have also got some fantastic activities taking place, from an early morning family film to decorating pumps there’s lots of fun to be had.

Don’t forget to drop into the Octagon theatre too for a trip down the Nile or to dig up some ancient Egyptian artefacts!

Alice’s Wonderland – Ticketed event

Mad Hatters Tea Party – “I’m late, I'm late for a very important date!”

The Food and Drink Festival players will bring to life the most unforgettable children’s characters ever for our Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Join the fun each day in the Alice’s Wonderland, where actors from The Octagon Theatre and the festival team will be ready for some fun and games with younger visitors.

So, share a snack with Alice and sip a cup of tea with the March Hare – just don’t wake the Dormouse!

During the Tea Party you will get chance to play croquet with the Red Queen, experience a lively interactive Alice in Wonderland musical, make a fun face mask to take home and enjoy a specially prepared picnic* (please advise at time of booking of any dietary requirements)!

  • 50 minute experience
  • Craft activity / games / stories 21 mins
  • Performance 12 mins
  • Food 15 mins
  • The Goodbye 2 mins

Your train awaits…

The outside of the Central Library and Museum is transformed into a 1920’s/ 30’s art deco train station where you depart on a journey to Platform 50 at the Octagon theatre. On the way there’s a huge time travelling train which you can bring to life by starting up the fire grate, blowing the whistle or get it chuffing smoke!

Arriving at Platform 50 in the Octagon’s auditorium you embark on a magical adventure into the best-loved train stories of all time with Paddington Bear, Harry Potter, Thomas the Tank Engine and there’s even have a Brief Encounter. There’s also craft activities, storytelling and interactive songs for people of all ages to enjoy and you can visit the Lost Property Office where amongst the forgotten hats and coats are hidden treasures waiting to be discovered - children can rummage around and uncover secrets hidden for hundreds of years of special artefacts, paintings and historical gems.

Ancient Egypt is also one of the destinations, complete with River Nile and visitors can play in the desert or immerse themselves in the land of the Pharaohs uncovering hieroglyphics, building their very own pyramids and even encountering a mummy or two.

Bolton Library and Museum

There’s lots to do at the central library and museum during the festival so why not..?

Take in a free early morning film, join in crafts like ‘Pimp up your Pumps’ to create your own trainers, try The Peter Rabbit story telling and food tasting from Mr McGregor's garden sessions, see the fish feeds in the aquarium and have some good old fashioned family fun!

Crompton Place Shopping Centre Activities

The shopping centre takes on an Egyptian theme this festival with creative and fun children’s arts and crafts, mask making and storytelling too. Keep your eyes peeled too for our Mad Hatters trail, spot the clues for your chance to win some fantastic prizes (grab a competition sheet from the information point).

 The Octagon Theatre

“Fairy tales on foot” at daily locations & times across the site

Expect the unexpected from The Octagon this year, as Fairy Tales literally explode across the town centre! Meet Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Beauty and the Beast and many more around the festival site each day. You'll experience the best moments of these well-loved stories from fantastic actors and musicians. With live music, singing and even some dancing keep your eyes peeled for some of the best pop up kids’ theatre around!