Digital Kids Show 2016 – Our Review
Digital Kids Show was my boys’ idea of heaven. A full day of games, gamers and gadgets. They’re 9 and 6 and would happily play Minecraft and FIFA all day, pausing only to watch videos of the same on YouTube. When we were offered the opportunity to attend, we decided it would definitely be worth 3.5 hours each way to get there….and it was.
It was held in one of the large exhibition halls at Event City, just beside the Trafford Centre in Manchester. Car parking was free and onsite, so very convenient.
There was so much to see and do, the boys could’ve easily spent two full days there. With the Lego Discovery Centre and Sea Life Centre around the corner too, it’ll make a great mini break next year.
I was happy that once we were inside, there was a mix of gaming and ‘real world’ experiences for them to have a go at too – a driving lesson, scooters, Scalectrix racing, magnetic building, ‘Total Wipeout’ style events and much more. They exercised bodies and minds, and had a LOT of fun.
Our Top Five!
There were various bouncy obstacles set up and we had to try all of them. Seeing my husband fall off as he tried to get across was one of my funniest moments ever.
Mini cars for little people and full sized cars for bigger little people – the kids were SO excited about this. They got to drive laps of the course, including a roundabout, with their instructor.
Tomohawk is one of the boys’ favourite YouTubers and he was just as lovely in real life. Other YouTubers included NettyPlays, MiniMatt and AshDubh.
As well as the meet and greet area, they had shows there the YouTubers were up on stage, giving everyone an opportunity to see them gaming.
The only issue with the things above was that the queues were long. In future years it’d be great to see some kind of system introduced that gave people a time to visit each of the popular areas. Or maybe if the event is bigger the crowds will be spread out more and it won’t be so noticeable.
Hands on Play
There were various stalls set up with both digital and other STEM toys and games. Would love to see this expanded in future years. The Scalectrix racing with live commentary was good fun and the boys played for ages with various toys, including Magformers and Cubetto coding. Both were swiftly added to the Christmas list!
It was the first time the boys have had a chance to experience VR gaming. One loved it and the other never wants to do it again in his life!
Kids and grown ups alike enjoyed the stage shows; especially Boogie Storm. They were our favourites on X Factor and they didn’t disappoint.
Aside from these, the boys played FIFA, Plants vs Zombies 2 and Minecraft and explored the YouTube zone. While they were doing that, I had a walk around the e-safety area and picked up some great tips. Like many parents, I worry about my kids’ safety online, especially as they get older and want to access social media and explore more online video content. I’m much more confident now about setting parameters for them to do so and also talking to them about the dangers that can be online and how to avoid them.
I was surprised but happy to see that even my toddler was catered for, with a small soft play zone and CBeebies games.
The venue was easily accessible and didn’t feel too crowded (although noisy!)
The queues for some things were long, but it quietened off later in the day and we got to do everything we wanted.
My only real suggestion would be a bigger variety of food stalls as what there was was very limited, especially for a vegetarian, but that is a minor point on what was a great day out.
For a first event, we really enjoyed it. Next year: more rides, more games, more toys, more shows, more food and hopefully less queues. I’m looking forward to seeing how the team build on the success of this year.
Definitely a day my kids will remember forever. We will be at the front of the queue when the doors open next year!
Why not PIN this for next year!
NB: Emily and her family had complimentary tickets to the Digital Kids Show but all views and opinions are her own.