Earlier this summer Anna and family went to Geronimo Festival on behalf of Away with the Kids. Here's their honest review of it!
This must have been a second visit to Knebworth for some parents. In 1996 they might have downed lager and Bacardi Breezers while the Gallagher brothers sang “Champagne Supernova”. History repeats itself: first as Oasis, then as Mr Tumble. Justin Fletcher was one of a number of main stage acts on loan from CBeebies.
He, Katy Ashworth, Mr Bloom and ubiquitous Swashbucklers Cook and Line were all energetic pleasers of their pre-school crowd on a scorching day, and Alex Winters was a fine compère, especially when he told parents who hadn’t shaken off the 1990s lust for crowd-surfing to sit down so their kids could see.
Geronimo is decorated gloriously for the Instagram generation. There are hammocks, flags, haystacks and street performers, but also much to like for kids who prefer their fun indoors: a computer games bus, Lego, and Magformers were all present and free. Sponsors Hasbro had their own area featuring My Little Pony, Nerf, Play-Doh and Transformers. There were some boutique attractions such as real-life computer games that required dressing up as Pac-Man, and Wrong Pong, crazy golf’s answer to table tennis, which delighted our seven-year-old. The inflatables and the fairground are operated on a ticketing system which require large down payments for multiple rides (£10 for four) and bounces (£7.50 for all the inflatable rubber you can stand). When you’ve paid upwards of £100 for a family, that might smart a little (although we were given free tickets in exchange for a charity donation). The catering provision is great (but again, bring cash) and there was just enough shelter in Geronimo’s folksy marquees and gazebos from the scorching sun. On a cooler day, the queues for water from the taps would have been shorter, too.
There was such a range of attractions - dancing, archery, magicians, comedians - that it was often hard to tempt our kids in one particular direction. There is a campsite and glamping, making an overnight stay the only way to fit in all the fun. If you’re thinking of going next year, remember to steer your kids towards free activities such as circus skills and axe throwing. The real fun of this festival is the stuff they wouldn’t find elsewhere.