Newmarket Nights: the perfect live gig for families

Horse racing, Olly Murs, an adventure playground, a boozy picnic and one happy toddler. Newmarket Nights was pretty much the perfect first live gig for our little family.

Rather than waste time worrying about the substantial list of things having a young kid stops us doing, we tend to spend most of our time thinking of new things we can do together as a family. And since we’ve both always loved live music, we’ve been desperate to take Sonny to his first gig.

He’s 16 months old now and had already been to a couple of music festivals in local parks this summer, but never to a proper event that we’d stumped up cash for. And probably more terrifyingly, never to an event we couldn’t leave after a couple of minutes and walk home if he started kicking off.

Since the thought of spending a few days and nights wallowing in muddy filth at a music festival scares us both to death now we’re middle-aged and boring, we opted for a one-off night packed with as much entertainment as possible.

With big colourful horses to scream at, hundreds of kids to play with, tipsy adults to laugh at, climbing frames to scramble over, slides to shoot down, picnic food to scoff and 90 minutes of non-stop pop from Olly Murs to dance along to – we definitely made the right choice with Newmarket Nights.

Our little rocker getting the @ollymurs party started at #newmarketnights!

A post shared by Oli Reed (@the_outdoordad) on

Sonny loved the entire Newmarket Nights experience from start to finish. It was tanking down with rain when we arrived but that was nothing an umbrella and hastily-purchased toddler waterproofs couldn’t handle. The temperature dipped pretty sharply as soon as the sun went down, so we bundled Sonny up in his full body down suit to keep him warm.

The little champ scoffed his evening meal on a camping chair, chugged his regular night-time milk through a straw from a flask, stayed up three hours past his bedtime dancing along to the music with anyone who had the energy to keep up with him, then happily nodded off in his pram once he’d decided to call it a night.

We left a couple of songs before the end to avoid the mad car park rush and were home 40 mins later, with a snoring toddler in the back of the car who we transferred easily into bed. Then to cap it all off we were treated to a lie-in until 10am the next morning – for the first time in his life!!!!

The ear defenders we bought never got used and all the things we thought could go wrong never quite materialised, so we’ll be back at Newmarket Nights next year.

Then the next stop will be a Guns N’ Roses world tour!

Olly Murs @ Newmarket Nights

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