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Festival of Fairytales

This summer for one day only, the Garden Museum will be transformed into a wonderland of circus, storytelling, and magic.

The Festival of Fairytales is a new event for children aged 4 – 10, set against the backdrop of the Garden Museum’s home of a medieval church. Be guided by the genie through a world of gnomes and butterflies, golden fish and magic, and make a wish on a tree.

Children will be free to explore the Museum and discover pop-up performers, craft workshops, storytelling, music and circus performances.

Highlights include performances by contemporary Malawian folk band nkomba, circus street performer Logy on Fire, and storyteller Lauren and the Storybox, and Originary Arts will be hosting a paper theatre, where children are invited to recreate the fairytale of the Golden Fish through collage.

The Garden Café will host a BBQ in the gardens and the Museum’s head gardener, Matt Collins, will be planting wishing tree seeds for kids to take home with them.

The optional dress code is Woodland Creatures!


Everyone aged 11 and over attending the event is required to demonstrate proof of a recent negative test result (within 36 hours). This is a requirement of entry.

Please note: You MUST complete your lateral flow test prior to arriving at the event. There are no testing facilities provided at entry.

You can get a free NHS Lateral Flow Test delivered to your home: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

Alternatively, you may be able to collect tests to then do at home: https://maps.test-and- trace.nhs.uk

Upon completing your test, you must EITHER show us a photo of the negative test (time stamped within the last 36 hours) OR upload the result to the NHS Gov.uk portal: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result

Upon arrival at the event you will be asked to show either:
– your time stamped photo
– NHS Covid Pass (which requires BOTH a recent lateral flow test AND double vaccination: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-pass/ )
– OR your recent text Message or Email from the NHS confirming your recent negative test result.

If you do not have a Covid Pass proving your recent negative test result or negative test result to show us on site as explained above to show, you will be denied entry to the event. No refund will be issued.

If you are experiencing any Covid symptoms, test positive for Covid 19 or you have been advised to self-isolate by NHS Test & Trace, please do not attend the event.


As this is a festival of over 500 people throughout the day, we have chosen to be in line with government guidelines on mass public events, to ensure the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers. We understand that this process could be an annoyance, but this is the only way we can ensure the event is not compromised by social distancing and that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the day to the fullest.

What to see and do at the Festival of Fairytales

  • Logy on Fire

    Logy on Fire

  • Originary Arts

    Originary Arts

    Originary Arts presents The Paper Theatre of Golden Fish Wishes

    Near the shore of the deep blue sea, two curious old characters live in a little old hut made of earth and moss and logs. One day a golden fish appears and offers to grant them their wishes come true and everything is about to change...Help Originary Arts illustrate the traditional Russian folk tale of The Golden Fish, exploring the power of wishes. Get creative with collage and paper sculpting to make your own contributions to the Paper Theatre. Meet the curious characters within the folk tale and bring to life through creative play with paper what your imagination wishes for! Throughout the event, the Paper Theatre collaborative set design will evolve with your creations.

    Originary Arts is a cultural events company based in Brighton, creating playful and participatory arts opportunities across the UK and beyond. Originary Arts dream up ideas and transforms them into opportunities for people to take part in workshops, events, exhibitions, projects and installations. They invite curious adults, children and families to explore their creativity in new and exciting ways. Making with their hands, heads and hearts. Sharing stories and ideas. Playing together in wild and wondrous ways. They create multi-sensory arts events in collaboration with communities of all ages, shapes and sizes. From poetry to printmaking, paper cutting to puppetry, play to performances.

  • Princess and the Pea Cooking Workshop

    Princess and the Pea Cooking Workshop

    Princess and the Pea – Pea Guacamole and tortilla chips drop in session

    In this short 30 minute workshop for kids inspired by the Princess and the Pea Fairytale we will explore the story and then make a pea guacamole dip with baked tortilla chips, hosted by Garden Museum Food Learning Officer Ceri Jones.

    The workshop will be run 4 times during the day and is suitable for unaccompanied children over 8 or accompanied children over 5. The workshop places will be allocated first come first served, rather than bookable in advance, just turn up to the learning studio with a little time to spare. The workshop and a recipe sheet to take home is included with the Festival ticket price.

    11.00-11.30 Workshop 1
    12.30-13.00 Workshop 2
    3.00-3.30 Workshop 3
    4.30-5.00 Workshop 4

  • Lauren and the Storybox

    Lauren and the Storybox

    Storyteller, presenter, writer and producer, Lauren has been working with museums and cultural organisations to bring stories from history and literature to life for over eight years. Lauren says,

    “I have been fortunate enough to work on very varied projects, from history to STEM, to Shakespeare and everything in between! I love finding quirky and creative approaches to presenting stories and ultimately creating content that is both entertaining and educational, I find it extremely rewarding. I was thrilled to be asked to participate in the Garden Museums' first family festival. It has been a joy to produce this story for the festival and collaborate with the wonderful artist Emily Wye to bring this tale to life!”

    In this original story created exclusively for the Garden Museum’s Festival of Fairytales, Lauren invites you to join her in an enchanting escapade that follows the story of one little boy’s wish to bring his garden back to life.

    Join young Toby as he meets a whole host of eccentric but loveable characters each in need of his help. But will Toby’s new garden friends be able to help him in return?

  • nkomba


    nkomba will play a set of traditional and self penned African folk songs, singing stories in Chichewa (the official language of Malawi) of mythical flood snakes, dusty whirlwinds and ever changing chameleons.

    nkomba are a contemporary African folk band who play an energetic mixture of Malawian folk songs and African roots music. The band is fronted by Ron Nkomba who plays guitar and
    mandolin and sings in English & Chichewa, the national languages of Malawi. As well as interpretations of traditional Malawian folk music, nkomba’s songs reflect the variety and heritage of their collective up-bringing which span Europe, Asia and Africa. nkomba are an impassioned band whose songs provide insightful social and political storytelling and commentary, from the current devastation of deforestation and the plight of women in Malawi to present day politics. They have played at the award winning Lake of Stars Festival in Malawi and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as well as numerous gigs in Egypt, Eastern & Southern Africa, Malawi and Europe.