We went to Sheffield Carnival last week at Norfolk Heritage Park for the first time. I thought Eric would love to see all the extravagant costumes, bright colours and sparkles. We needed something to do in the afternoon and seeing as the carnival parade didn’t start until 3pm, it worked well for us to arrive later on in the day. There’s been mixed reviews and thoughts about the carnival in previous years and a few friends told me it wasn’t very family friendly or interesting for kids…. I was interested to see for myself!
Sheffield Carnival 2018 at Norfolk Heritage Park
Sheffield Carnival say that… “Our mission is to create and coordinate an annual carnival in Sheffield. A free, family friendly inclusive event incorporating vibrant costumes, a street parade, music, food and cultural activities which reflects the diverse range of international cultures within the city.”
Personally, I didn’t particularly see it as completely family friendly… it was definitely just fine for children to be there, there was a funfair, etc., but not very child focused with not much going on for little ones and with a nearly 3 year old I wouldn’t have said it was a very good day out. I think there’s a big difference between family friendly and fun for kids. It probably didn’t help that the adventure playground was closed due to renovation so that would have put off a lot of families whether to go or not.
The weather was absolutely wonderful very hot and little to no shaded areas. This meant lots of little ones getting overheated and bored. We did find a little craft stall, there was a funfair which had the usual overpriced balloons, toys, etc but nothing that was particularly interesting or fun. I didn’t want to spend lots of money on busy rides that would have took ages to queue for anyway, so we just got some food and waited for the carnival.
If I had arrived there early with the intention of being there all day with Eric to entertain, I definitely would have been in trouble there! Queues were very long for everything, hot food choices were limited (especially for kids, vegetarian and vegans) and little going on. The parade was due to start at 3pm but it didn’t start until a little more like half past 3. Luckily we had only been there an hour, but, if I had been there from 11am or even 12, I might have ended up leaving before the actual parade.
The parade was really fun to see! Eric was scared at first but soon warmed up to it and loved looking at all the costumes as they went by. I did expect the parade to be a lot longer than it was, we did wait for over half an hour for it to start and it was over in less than 15 minutes.
However, the carnival is a non for profit group and volunteer led, so this sort of event is most likely going to get bigger and better every year, more popular and as they grow, they’ll hopefully have more going on for everyone. I would go back next year to see the parade again, but I wouldn’t go for the event itself.
I think the event would be very overwhelming for children with disabilities and sensory disorders. However there were some equipment in the smaller playground which could have been suitable.
For getting there via public transport, the tram from town to Sheffield College is about a 15 minute walk from the main park entrance, then it’s around another 10 minute walk through the park. It was a hot, hot day so it did take us over half an hour with a pram from the tram stop to the carnival, though.
Did you go to Sheffield Carnival 2018 at Norfolk Heritage Park? What did you think? Show me your photos! 🙂