Imagine a place where no one cares how you dance. A place where your kids are still young enough not to be embarrassed by you. What could make it even better? Oh yes, a bar. Too good to be true? This isn’t Shangri-La. This is Bopping Babes.
I’ve been harassing a certain well-known provider of baby discos for some time trying to persuade them to do an event in St Albans. Sadly, they weren’t biting. (Do they not know that we’ve got small people coming out of our ears here?! You can’t move without tripping over one.) To say I was excited to see Bopping Babes launch earlier this year then would be an understatement. Bopping Babes runs discos for adults and children up to the age of 6. Their flyer asks: “Miss those days when you could dance the night away?” Hell, yeah.
It’s not quite a night out (more of an afternoon) but Bopping Babes does its best to recreate the mood. The Crumbs & Pegs family headed to the latest Bopping Babes event in Harpenden suitably attired for the Superheroes and Princesses theme. More Superman than Superfly – we’ll save our white Travolta suits for next time. On arriving, we discovered a potentially bland British Legion hall transformed into a discotheque – and, yes, there was a disco ball.
On stage were the DJing team (Disco-D-Light) armed with bubble machines, puppets and the energy that can only be mustered by those well used to working with tough, knee-high audiences. Music-wise, they were more down with the kidz than I’ve been for a decade and it wasn’t just Bob the Builder on loop. Thank god. (We’ll gloss over the popular tune played that wasn’t the ‘radio edit’ – something for the adults.)
Bopping Babes isn’t all about strutting your stuff on the dancefloor though. The organisers work hard to make sure it’s an event that will keep children (of all ages) entertained. For starters, there was fantastic face painting and glitter tattoos by The Glitterbox (where my 2-year-old got his first tattoo). Add to that lush cakes for the kids to decorate from Let Them Eat Cake and you’re left feeling disco sparkly inside and out. For babies there was a large separate area with soft matting and plenty of appropriate toys – all safely away from the stomping feet of the older boys and girls. And when the disco beat got too much there were regular story sessions from Speaking Works, entertaining kids with drama and adventure.
The adults aren’t forgotten. There was the bar. There was the bar. And the bar. Bar! And of course (focus!) the chance to swing your pants with your little lovelies and generally watch them have a ball. You may not spend hours rolling around afterwards looking for a minicab or wake up with a hellish hangover but a good time will be had. All I would ask Bopping Babes is to make the venue a bit darker – for atmospheric purposes of course, obviously not to hide my dancing.
Many thanks to Emily at Bopping Babes for kindly giving me a family ticket. The next Bopping Babes disco will be at the Charles Morris Hall in Tyttenhanger, St Albans, on Saturday 7th December, 1-4pm. Tickets are available in advance (£5 for an adult + 1 child, £5 for each additional person, or £10 for a family ticket (2 adults + 2 children)) from firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow Bopping Babes on Facebook.