Did you catch the swooping chariot-driven drama of the Boudicca Vs The Romans two-day festival in the summer?
If not, don’t fear as the next imaginative family bash is the Steam Extravaganza, a (thankfully) indoor event exploring the golden age of steam power.
Taking place this weekend (Sat 11 and Sun 12 October) it hopes to plunge visitors into an “interactive and visual experience” complete with games, tours, talks and mini-workshops.The inspiration for the festie is simply the area’s vitality as transport hub: its engines have been serving the north since 1852, and therefore have hummed with passengers for a whopping 162 years. But as well as trains, you might be interested to learn that steam was used for pumping in mines and to power boats, a vital part of England’s infrastructure and power.
It all takes place undercover in The Crossing, right inside the historic Granary Building at King’s Cross (very handy in case it pours). So if you’ve got engine-crazed kids, hurry them along to see the two classic model railways – The Gresley Beat and Copenhagen Fields – on public display for what is rumoured to be the last time, with plenty of opportunity to chat with the experts, too.
What else? A brass band, storytelling, coal-shovelling competitions (no, really) and food and drink inspired by times past (anyone for gruel?) – as well as some all-important Lego train track building. A winner, then, for both ankle-biters and kidults alike.