I’ve been racking my brain recently to discover ways in which we rock and roll mamas and dadas can devise a really cool day out with our kids; how we can do this AND retain/increase our credibility as well as enjoying the experience ourselves.
Hell! you say, That’s not possible!
From tots to teens, I reckon there’s something in this post for those of us seeking a way to keep our rock and roll streak alive as well as making an acceptable impression on our “little” or “large” ones.
So, here goes – and if you think you can add to the suggestions below, please comment, I’d be really grateful for any further recommendations.
Arts & Culture
Saatchi Gallery, London – The Rolling Stones – Exhibitionism
Currently making the headlines is this eclectic and colourful collection.
Open NOW until 4th September 2016
You could always appropriately combine this with a meal out at Bill Wyman’s Sticky Fingers restaurant in Kensington.
Snap Galleries, London
This gallery and shop situated in Piccadilly Arcade, hosts regular pop and rock art exhibitions. Keep up to date with their calendar for forthcoming collections .
They currently have photographs of The Rolling Stones by Gered Mankowitz to coincide with Exhibitionism until 28th May 2016.
BBC Shows and Tours
Your teen would love the opportunity to be in the audience for a TV show like MTV’s Live Lockdown or Later With Jools Holland or any other favourite show for that matter.
Get onto the mailing lists (those above are the best I have found so far) for news on how to apply for (free) tickets and make sure you act fast as places get snapped up. Shows are filmed at various studios around the country, so check you can actually get there easily.
London Rock Music Tour – Central London
From Abbey Road to Jimmy Page’s house, this tour explores London’s prime rock and roll sites and there’s loads. It can take a whole day to see everything, but you can choose to do a morning, afternoon or 8 hour day. Tour groups are small (16 people only) so that you get the very best out of your knowledgeable tour guide. I’ve only looked this one up online but it sounds really interesting.
Music Cool Stuff
Rock By Baby – various locations in the UK
This could be your little ‘uns first ever gig! A musical experience that seems to be a hit sensation.
Pop and rock tunes are tailored to suit little ears by real musicians playing an acoustic set.
The next gig is in Shoreditch,London on 18th April 2016. Tickets can be bought in advance.
Heavy Con, London
30th September – 2nd October 2016
The UK’s first fan driven rock and metal convention, with meet and greets, stalls, exhibitors and talks. Cool!
Marshall Amps Factory Tour, Bletchley, Milton Keynes
Marshall is the home of the amplification system used by rock musicians worldwide. You can TOUR the factory, privately, for FREE! How’s that!
Booking by telephone is essential. Tours are available from Monday – Thursday (school holidays – what a treat!) at either 9am or 1.15pm. Tours are open to a maximum of 7 people and include viewing production, the theatre (subject to availability) and the Marshall Museum.
Here are a handful of festivals happening this year suitable for families with young children and willing teenagers:
Bestival – Dorset
Curious Arts – Hampshire
Down to the Woods – Durham
Glastonbury – Somerset
Green Man – Wales
Isle of Wight Festival
Livestock – Gloucestershire
Looemusic – Cornwall
Having done Camden Rocks, Download and Reading myself, these next festivals are probably better suited to families with older children:
Camden Rocks – London
Download – Donnington
Boardmasters Festival – Cornwall
Reading and Leeds Festivals
SW4 Festival Clapham Common – London
For further excellent advice and recommendations checkout the FestivalKidz.com comprehensive calendar.
Eating Out and Sleeping Out
Hard Rock Cafés – Glasgow, Manchester, London, Edinburgh, Bristol and Dublin
They are a bit of a cliché but my kids love the chance to go along to these restaurants and have started to collect the t-shirts from all the HRC’s around the world! (so touristy!) They are full of rock and roll memorabilia for you to marvel at while you munch on your burgers and fries (and probably lots of healthy rock and roll salads too)
Sticky Fingers (Bill Wyman) – London
Well, apparently, you do end up with the obvious – sticky fingers that is!
Rockers Steak House – Cambridge
I’ve never been, but it looks good – can anyone recommend?
Hotel Pelirocco – Brighton, Sussex
A boutique hotel with themed bedrooms, the occasional acoustic gig and a lively bar open to 3am at weekends! That said, despite some risqué decor and rock n’roll goings on, the hotel told me that they do welcome families. The Pretty Vacant Room (which does have some artwork containing fruity language) and the Dollywould Room both have a double bed and a daybed which can sleep a third person/child. Alternatively the Ophelia Fancy Room and Cloud Cuckoo Land are adjoining rooms, both with double beds. These rooms are on the 3rd and 4th floors so well away from the bar. I have not been here, but I’d go, with an open mind!
Sanctum Soho – London
If you are feeling flush and a little excitable, this hotel sometimes hosts acoustic sets from bands, it has an in-house bijou cinema and often puts up a few celebs for the night, so perfect for star spotting. Nikki Sixx was there a few weeks ago, Lemmy was often a guest…you never know who you might bump into as the hotel is used for music, fashion and film pr events/launches.
Well that’s that! Hope you have discovered something new! Please keep in touch and let me know if you tried any of these ideas and obviously, how your kids responded to them! Whatever you do, make sure you go together, have a great day out, show your kids how to live and rock n roll forever!
Long Live The Fans!