Thursday, October 16, 2014

Knights and Princesses and A Slumber Party to Remember

Last weekend, Aiden and I were lucky enough to participate in the slumber parties of all slumber parties! We traveled to The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on the Upper West Side to attend The Knightwatch Medieval overnight children's event. As soon as we stepped into the cathedral, we were transported centuries back in time into Medieval splendor where kings, queens, knights, and princesses were commonplace.

Once we received our noble title and coat of arms, we joined our group in the front of the cathedral where, in Act 1, we learned that the princess was placed under a spell by a magician and everyone needs to participant in a scavenger hunt led by the Court Jester in order to find clues throughout the cathedral... that'll lead us to the key... that'll reverse the spell on the princess so that she can marry the knight.

And so began the most epic and interactive play Aiden and I have ever taken part in.

From using their own personal map of the cathedral to figuring out which part of the cathedral to run to next to seeking and finding clues to using those clues to help figure out where the next clue will be... everyone -- kids and adults alike -- was engaged and excited to be apart of the mission.

The best part? As we found clues and got one step closer to solving the mystery and helping reverse the magical spell placed on the princess, we got to watch another scene of the play. And that scene revealed so much information about the characters in the play, their motives, their potential next steps, and their true feelings.

Even better? The children and audience members were so excited to learn more about the characters as the plot thickened and even more excited to use their new-found knowledge to help them find more clues.

I won't spoil it by telling how the interactive play ends, but as soon as the mystery is solved, we all gathered in the nave to celebrate with traditional medieval dances and music, which we learned throughout the course of the evening.

This review wouldn't be legit if I didn't say something about the child-safe broadsword fighting workshop that all the kids were able to participate in. My sword-loving son loved, loved, loved this part of the event. He's still asking if we can go back so that he can practice sword fighting.

After the celebration was complete, we all got into our pajamas, set up our cots, and gathered around in the nave for story-telling time. (Be sure to bring an extra sweater and/or blanket with you because the nave gets drafty at night.) Both the children and adults were able to share a story, which was really special. I tell ya, kids tell the most funny and animated stories! Ever!

Before getting into bed, the children were able to use their flashlights to explore the cathedral, but, naturally, that turned in to a game of hide-and-go-seek. There were giggles, there was whispering, there was the sound of little feet running to and fro. It was, in a nutshell, glorious. And exactly what childhood is made of! 

For more information about the Knightwatch Medieval, visit the website. There will be three more chance this season for you to participate in all this amazingness: October 17th, May 29th, and June 5th. Tickets are $135.00 per person and discounts are available for groups of 15 or more.

Based on Aiden's experience -- and that of all the other children -- it'll be worth every penny!

{Disclaimer: Aiden and I were guests of the Knightwatch Medieval. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

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