Shed loads of fun in the Park

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KIDS rule. Or they certainly did at Baldersby Park this weekend.

School’s not even out for summer yet - well, not everywhere - but you would never have guessed at the Deer Shed Festival near Thirsk as more than 4,000 children embraced what is widely regarded as the best family festival in the UK.

It was easy to see why with this kaleidoscope of colour, fun and frolics.

Although the headline acts, of course, were highlights for many with Teenage Fanclub, Kate Tempest and The Divine Comedy each in turn enthralling the crowds on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, there is so much more going on here.

Everywhere you turn there is something to leave children - and adults, let’s not forget - captivated or beguiled with an eclectic mix of music, comedy, shows, workshops, talks and its recent addition of sport, too.

Rugby golf, for instance, proved a big hit on first arrival for us. I just wish I had my football boots rather than wellies to chip to the first hole, not that I was getting competitive with my three-year-old lad or anything.

There was some samba drumming, rocking out with cardboard guitars, dancing with our newly-fashioned Wilderwild headdresses and waving the decorated woodland tribal heads to ward off any lingering evil spirits.

Ukulele-playing Paul Cookson’s Family Twist had us all in stitches, the kids entertainer showcasing his brilliant poetry including one hilarious take on why homework really shouldn’t be called homework.

With his witty insight, celebrated journalist Tim Dowling garnered plenty of knowing looks from parents as he chatted about his book Dad, You Suck.

At any given point as you wandered around the festival, there was always the chance of being stopped in your tracks by the sound of the riotous Hyde Park Brass, unsurprisingly billed as “the most flexible live party band in Leeds” given they popped up anywhere and everywhere.

With five different stages, there was countless music acts to delve into whether it be the exotic sounds of Flamingods, female four-piece indie band The Big Moon or - with an ideal Sunday morning easy-listening set - Jalen N’Gonda.

Creating such a wonderful atmosphere, this really is a great way to introduce children to live music and so much more.