The Enchanted Forest at The Hullabaloo, Darlington

Darlington has recently had a new venue open as part of the renovation and extension of what was called the Civic Theatre now known as the Hippodrome. The Hullabaloo is specifically aimed at children and families with a cafe, creative play space and theatre.


I decided to pop along today to check out creative play space, The Enchanted Forest with the girls. When you enter the main glass doors the entrance to The Enchanted Forest is straight ahead. We were greeted by a member of staff who took us inside she explained where to put our shoes (they have lovely little baskets ready to keep your shoes out of the way) then she kindly gave the girls a quick tour of the room. We were lucky as we had the room to ourselves, this meant we could hear the background music playing with its birdsong and running stream sound it really added to the whole experience of the room.

The room is full of interactive play equipment, cleverly creating a wonderful space to explore. The girls had so much fun jumping on the Lily pads which played different sounds. A framework transformed which you could crawl inside and feed the frog different coloured leaves which then changed the colour of the lighting.


The whole floor was a patchwork of the countryside with little needle felt mushrooms dotted in places. In the centre of the room, they have a large trunk that you can speak into and hear it echo out several times.

Also a tree trunk you can climb inside and snuggle in whilst in there you can listen to stories played inside and an interactive pond you can draw on. All so magical for the children. I had a great time getting down on the floor with the girls and joining in playing and exploring the room. We had fun making music on the lilypads and snuggling in the treetrunk listening to a story.

The detail of everything in the room is outstanding. You can see so much hard work has gone into this creative play space with all the different textures and materials used it’s a great sensory space. The girls have a great imagination and this space helps captivate it they loved the hand painted rocks which they then made an obstacle course for the rock fairies.

My girls are age 6 & 9 and it does state it’s suitable for up too age 10. When there the main age range seemed to be from babies to around age 5 but my eldest loved it (until it got a bit busy and noisy). Best of all it’s free to explore. The opening times are quite short some days and can be found on the website so best to check before going.

The website has all the upcoming events and productions too, which is something I will be keeping an eye on. A really great addition to Darlington and somewhere were sure to visit again soon.

Have you been to see a production or visit The Enchanted Forest? If so let me know your thoughts below. Also if you like my blog please click the follow button to get updates on new posts. I’m also on social media you can find all links on here to follow me.



    • March 20, 2018 / 9:46 am

      It really is lovely, I’m already planning a trip back.

  1. Stuart Forster
    March 20, 2018 / 5:05 pm

    Looks like it was a lot of fun.

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