Roll up, roll up for ARTventurers Carnival at the Q Festival in Gateshead

If you’ve kept up to speed with our family goings on, you’ll know that one of little C’s favourite activities is messy play! He’s a creative soul – just like his mum.

Now our first baby ARTventurers session was at Great Park Community Centre, Newcastle and I was delighted with the theme of eight-month-old Cyrus’s first session – The Tiger Who Came To Tea.

And while I’m now back to work and dabbling in some creativity of my own, I won’t be able to attend the special Q Festival ArtVenturers’ Carnival on Tuesday, August 1. So I wanted to share our experience of ARTventurers with other mummies who might like to attend.

The theme for the Q Festival ARTventurers session is Carnival, so I anticipate it’ll be a colourful affair! There will be mask-making, painting, creative play, singing, dancing and a whole host of other activities.

For anyone who doesn’t know much about ARTventurers, it’s basically a themed messy play session for children between the ages of six months and four years old.

The Q Festival, which is a collaboration between Gateshead Council and Jesterval Comedy Festival, is also offering an afternoon creative session for children between the ages of five and eight.

There’s a host of things for children to get involved in at this year’s Q Festival though. I’ve listed some below:

Before you sign up to ARTventurers (which you can do HERE), read what we got up to at a previous ARTventurers class below:

Having never been to an ARTventurers class before, I wasn’t sure what to expect – although I knew messy play would be at the heart of it, so I made sure to wear an old shirt and jeans myself and ensure Master C wasn’t wearing any Ralph Lauren for the occasion.

As soon as we walked through the door, we were given a really warm and friendly welcome by our host, Elaine and an overview of the things Cyrus could get involved in.

There was a whole range of activities all based on the theme of The Tiger Who Came To Tea. There was a pit filled with porridge oats, kitchen utensils and tigers, a pool with plastic balls and watering cans, another area filled with spaghetti, a tiger sensory area and an area for paint exploration.

Now messy play provides so many benefits for babies like Cyrus and during the session, he got to hone his sense of touch, explore different textures and get covered in paint, porridge oats and spaghetti in the process!

I stripped him down to just his vest and nappy for the session and then just let him explore his surroundings. Cyrus did decide to explore with his mouth as well as his hands, so I had to keep a close eye on him. I also had a couple of baby wipes to hand to wipe off the excess paint and make this messy moment more manageable.

It proved a great sensory experience for him and I didn’t have to worry about the ‘messy’ part either as I’d come prepared.

TIP: It’s a good idea to bring a towel, a couple of spare plastic bags, as well as a change of clothes with you as it makes things much easier at the end of the session.

After a quick clean, getting rid of one wet, soggy nappy and a change of clothes, Cyrus was ready for a little sing-along session with sparkly pom-poms before we headed home. We will certainly be back to ARTventurers soon.

ARTventurers Newcastle is run by mum-of-two, Emily Miller. She initially took her daughter along to an ARTventurers class and loved it so much that she decided to join the team. For more information, contact her on or visit @ARTventurersNewcastle on Facebook.




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