We’ve been searching for a very long time for the perfect family friendly festival, and this weekend Beyond the Border : Wales International Storytelling Festival made all our wishes come true. We arrived at St Donat’s Castle early on Sunday morning, the sun was shining and there was a buzz in the air.
Having never been before we weren’t too sure where to go, but all the volunteer staff we met helped us find our way around.
The atmosphere was very soothing, everyone was smiling and it felt an extremely safe place to be with children. We spent our day in the Kidzone, where we found many a wondrous thing to see, hear and take part in!
Our first stop was at the ‘Stories in the Dark’ tent, where George, Molly and lots of other excited kids went into the darkess of the tent to listen to stories.
I was really surprised they went in without us, but if anything being at the festival made me realise how much their confidence has grown over the past six months.
The Kidzone was such a great experience, it felt spacious and safe for the kiddies to wander without worry. We wandered from stall to stall, admiring wooden crafting by Lundus, trinkets and treasure as well as giving Henna tattooing a go!
We went straight from this into the magical world of The Flying Seagull Project.
These guys had me hooked from the start. Firstly, they are all volunteers working to help children around the world, from refugee camps to orphanages, their goal is to make a difference in this world. Secondly, there were a few speeches delivered over the course of the day that really meant something to me. I adored their constant reminder that life is too short, as long as we have food in our bellies, a roof over our heads and each other, life is more than good. The main guy also discussed how, we as people, should help others out in any way we can, how in a world so focused on negativity, we should be focusing on the good stuff and he also made us dance like crazy fools; it was heart-opening!
George and Molly also adored trying out the various circus acts they had on offer, the stilts were a big hit!
Around midday we decided to have some food and a sit down, I enjoyed a yummy bowl of nachos, chilli and cheese. During lunch the children met a few street performers!
When we’d filled our bellies we wandered off to the big tent (the program specifies age 7+) and I actually agree with this, our two (5 and 6) got very restless, which was a shame, because the performances were really interesting and clever.
Next up was The Smallest Theatre in the World; comedy, entertainment and storytelling all rolled into one! We watched the tale of King Kong and we were thoroughly entertained from start to finish, these guys truly rock! They were full of high energy, comedy and had great interaction with the audience.
Afterwards Molly was desperate to have her face painted. Doesn’t she make a beautiful butterfly?
We finished off our day by spending a few hours with The Flying Seagull Project pirates, arrrrrrrrr!!!!
I haven’t been feeling too well this weekend (nor has Molly), we both have horrendous head colds so we weren’t planning to stay much after 3pm. That didn’t happen though, because those pesky pirates had us hooked with their fun and games.
George and Molly played the parachute game with lots of other children followed by some more storytelling. Then it was time for Tug of War (Mine and Molly’s team won!).
When we had played all the games we were all given badges to symbolise courage, this was a really sweet moment, and again we were reminded by The Flying Seagull Project that life is way too short for fighting and so, naturally, we all had a crazy dance-off!
Storytelling and dancing left us exhausted, so we hopped on the complimentary buggy and made our way back to the box office area. The kids loved this bit, it was very exciting!
We were so sad to leave, and we really wished we’d been at the festival for the whole weekend. There was so much more we could have seen and taken part in. I left feeling enlightened, free and focused on making more of this life we’ve been given. On the way home Molly sat in the back of the car telling us stories, she was so sweet.
Beyond the Border is an amazing family friendly festival, with storytelling at its core. We will be heading back there next year with our tent to enjoy the festival from start to finish!
If you’re looking for a family festival that’s full of heart, Beyond the Border is the one for you.
Disclosure: I received a free day pass in exchange for review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.