I had been looking forward to checking out the musical line up of the Newtown Fair Day, ever since the Newtown Festival launch night hosted at phil&teds HQ a couple of weeks ago. If I was excited I knew the rest of Wellington would share my enthusiasm. Anticipating busy, bustling, crowded streets and knowing I would be flying solo with two kids, I needed a buggy that was compact but still offered a smooth ride and comfort for my ‘lil passenger. Being able to manoeuvre through the crowds without steam rolling over anyone is just what I was looking for, enter the phil&teds DOT. The DOT is the smallest of the inline family. While it’s small & slim it still offers the comfort of a full sized seat and can easily be adapted to transport two children at once. With the Newtown Fair Day upon us coinciding with NZ National Children’s Day, it was time to put the DOT through it’s paces.
We planned our route and decided to start from the bottom of Newtown and work our way up, browsing the stalls and sampling delicious treats along the way. What I wasn’t expecting was the amount of people that were there! My first thought was “me and my bright ideas – how am I going to negotiate these crowds with two children on my own? What was I thinking?” Then I realised this was not the time to contemplate or hesitate, we had to press on regardless. We started at the Main St Stage, before pink fairy dresses caught the eye of my daughter and we had to make a bee line for all things glittery and sparkly! The ‘lil man was content and amused by the view from the padded lined main seat of the DOT and loved the fact he could hang on to the bumper bar as if he was doing the driving. As to be expected when you’re making your way through crowds with children, safety is paramount as they have a tendency to be so easily distracted and can wander off. We had a simple but effective rule that kept us together “one hand on the buggy at all times”. That way both kids were in front of me, clearly visible and within arms reach.
The streets were closed to all traffic which meant a lot of kerb popping and island hopping for us as we darted across roads and footpaths and down side streets. At first I kind of held my breath thinking “are we going to be able to manage all of this kerb action?” but my fears were put to rest as the DOT ‘s air filled 10″ tyres took these obstacles in it’s stride. We even crossed paths with a fellow phil&teds DOT buggy owner, you could spot quite a few p&t buggies dotted around the place. I always have to resist the urge to comment “nice buggy!” to random strangers at the risk of sounding like a completely crazy woman – I’m working on it…. The kidzone was great, with free bouncy castle fun, bubble machine for the kids and big bean bags for the adults to slouch in, enjoy a coffee and have a break. There were kids rides and entertainment a plenty…oh yeah and the food, the glorious food! Butter chicken, rice, roti, grilled sweet corn on the cob, hot fresh cinnamon sugared doughnuts and whitebait fritters were some of the delights we tried, much to the enjoyment of the kids. So many cuisines to sample, so little time!
However we can’t forget the real reason for us venturing out in the first place, which was to check out the music. From the loud banging drums of the batucada parade to the hip hop beats, reggae and the big brass band – the music was incredible, so diverse and engaging. You couldn’t help but get caught up in the atmosphere and groove along. Who says you can’t enjoy live music when you are a parent and have a family?! Sure my daughter shot me a few disapproving looks like “mum, what are you doing and why are you trying to dance in public…please stop?” So as any good mum would, I made her join in and dance along with me! Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and get involved. We made memories that will haunt…er I mean last a lifetime. We finished our journey at the local playground where the kids were let loose to run around before the sun started to set, which was a pretty spectacular way to wind things down. Thanks to the phil&teds DOT for taking the stress out of our journey and enabling us to get through comfortably & unscathed! And thanks to Newtown for putting on a great family fun filled day and for reminding us what “community” is all about!