Ben & Jerry’s – Sundae on the Common – Clapham

I love music, but sadly, in my geriatric 30’s, find it difficult to blend in with the kiddies at gigs and enjoy my home comforts far too much to brave the English festival season. This day festival in Clapham however combines ok music, unlimited free ice cream and not having to trek to the Isle of Wight for the joy of a stinky port-a-cabin. It is also pretty damn kid friendly. We did learn however that Weasel hates Gary Newman. A lot.

Given that Weasel still hates ice cream, thus missing one of the pretty pivotal points of the day out, there were still plenty of cow-related things to keep her occupied.  Nothing can mesmerize a toddler more than a pair of dancing cows; well, either mesmerize or terrify, thankfully the former this time! This place is so full of kids, you really don’t have to worry about feeling out of place or being too rambunctious.

There’s a kick-ass merry-go-round, thankfully with not too long of a queue, and a helter skelter, which well, she’s probably a wee bit young for yet. There’s such random fun stuff around: petting zoo, ice cream flavour cemetery, Pimms bus. I can’t imagine what happens if it rains, but 4 years on (knock on wood) it hasn’t happened yet. Baby changing is definitely an al fresco affair, and if you’re preggers, do piss off the guard by sneaking into the disabled loos; they’re totally empty.

Food-wise you might want to line your stomach with actual food before you start trying to eat your own body-weight in ice cream. There’s a reason we don’t live on ice cream alone, and by about 4pm you will have the tummy ache your mother always warned you about if you don’t practice safe-eating. Luckily there are Pieminister pies, gourmet chips and just about every other middle-class catering van in the greater London area at your disposal.

Things to not forget and happily shovable under that giant packhorse we call a pram: dark umbrella for the sun, a big picnic blanket, toys (they don’t seem to care as much about Maximo Park as an adult would), drinks and something I hadn’t thought of, ear defenders. I totally thought in an open field, far from the stage, Weasel would be ok with the noise, especially listening to a lot in the house. I had not counted on the base, which she wasn’t a big fan of. She was only about 10 months old at the time, so you might be fine with older kiddos.

We’ll definitely go again, just not this year as it’s canceled due to the Olympics and Jubilee.

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