I have been intrigued by the Rainbow Factory for several years, but never got round to visiting, which was a shame, as it was as everyone says – ‘a truly magical day out’.
About 25 minutes from Leeds City Centre, The Rainbow Factory is just off Leeds ring road in Farsley, located inside a commercial unit which also includes a gym and coffee shop.
Although I have seen several Facebook Videos and read a few reviews, I still didn’t know what exactly to expect. There are theatre productions, crafts and activities, events for babies, toddlers and school children, holiday clubs, birthday parties and drama lessons.
With so much going on, it was only after our visit, that everything all made sense. I guess the key to unlocking The Rainbow Factory, is to understand that it isn’t designed for the parents, but is a group of highly motivated, imaginative people that believe in harnessing child led child-focused creative play.
Due to Little M’s school commitments, we attended the first Monday of half-term, to explore their Pirates & Mermaids event. Each day that week was a different theme, with Julia Donaldson Day and Roald Dahl Day sounding particularly interesting but unfortunately on days that we couldn’t attend.
Aware that the school holidays is one of the busiest times at the Rainbow Factory, we were prepared for a little delay and a hectic first few moments, signing up Little M for the day’s activities.
Usually, I would have expected to be sat on the floor with Little M, encouraging him to get involved, but he was instantly at home, and for the first time in his four and a half years, he was happy for me to leave him and wander off. This was highly convenient as I had to get us signed up for our day’s activities. Mums and Dads were dashing from room to room like a mini-episode of a 90s kids TV show – Funhouse, to get their children’s names on the lists. I was woefully unprepared for this, but managed to remember to leave space for lunch and made a selection with a good room rotation!
At 10.30am when the first activity started, we were both settled into our surroundings and started with our first session, making brilliantly gooey mermaid slime!
We also did some under the sea painting, a pirate adventure and enjoyed interactive storytelling.
I am not sure which one of us enjoyed making the slime the most, but it was brilliant creative play. The under the water sea painting included a story, whilst the Pirate training in the most magical of the rooms at the Rainbow Factory.
The interactive storytelling was an eyeopener as Little M dressed himself up as a Knight and then helped direct the story, coming up with ideas and speaking out loud on stage. He has never done anything like this before. #proudparents
As lunchtime arrived, we investigated the food offered at the ‘Gingerbread Cafe’. All reasonably priced, the cafe provides hot food including toasties, paninis and baked potatoes alongside a kids meal deal and sandwiches.
It is very child-focused, which for me was its most significant success. It genuinely feels like every decision has been made purely for the enjoyment of the children.
I really enjoyed making slime and having lunch and I would like to go there again because I loved it.
We took Baby A and although he enjoyed himself with so much going on, it isn’t easy to juggle a baby as well. To get the most out of the day, we would suggest taking only the children who can participate.
There are lots of pre-school events which Baby A will love to attend, so I expect he will be experiencing much more of The Rainbow Factory over the coming years.
For me, it ticked all the boxes for a fun day out. The team were welcoming, and the atmosphere was relaxed. It was great to see how he is developing as a person, whilst he enjoyed a jam-packed day of activities.
- Adventure Rating
- Value for Money
- Child Friendly
- Adult Experience
The Rainbow Factory Review
The Rainbow Factory is a versatile child focused space that through special events and activities, engages children and helps the to be creative whilst they enjoy a mixture of storytelling and crafts.