Tuesday 29 December 2020

The Parking Lot Social - Cinderella Pantomime

 Christmas looked very different for so many of us this right, myself included. Cancelled plans, missing family and traditions that simply couldn't happen. As we all so desperately tried to find comfort in the smallest things and keep the magic alive for our children, for many it was a Christmas that just didn't feel quite "right". 

Whilst we were very lucky to be able to be together a family this Christmas, we were still so disappointed at all the plans we had to cancel, the kids missing the last few days of school due to isolating, no trips to see Santa and Christmas traditions that we just couldn't do. In the run up to Christmas it felt so hard trying to get into the "Christmas Spirit" with one of the kids isolating and not really being able to leave the house. 

However when an advertisement popped up for "The Parking Lot Social" coming to Bristol my interest was definitely peaked. An event that takes place from the safety of your car, sounded covid safe and was able to go ahead in our Tier area, I knew it could be a chance to finally book something that the kids (and us grown ups!) could look forward too! 

The Parking Lot Social is a unique and fun new touring experience bringing a range of entertainment around the UK. They offer a range of experiences including live DJs, silent discos, car-a-oke, comedy nights, social kids (an interactive family experience), movies, quiz's and of course Christmas specials such as the pantomime we saw. 

We booked to see the Cinderella pantomime and decided to pay the extra £15 to guarantee us a spot in the front 3 rows. We actually ended up right at the front, in the centre with perfect spots to watch it all live on stage. However fear not if you would rather not spend the extra or end up a little further back, there are two HUGE screens that mean you can watch the action wherever you end up being parked. 

The pantomime starts at 7pm, however you can arrive an hour before with some pre-show entertainment such as a quiz (using an app on your phone and the large screens), some dancing and just generally interacting with the crowd. Since everyone gets parked in their own bay, you can actually get out of the car and have a dance along too if you wish (perfect for warming yourself up and getting the kids hyped up!). We thought the pre-show entertainment was fantastic and the kids had so much fun dancing along (even our 11 year old got involved which is practically unheard of!). 

Once the show started you are advised to return into your vehicles, however kids can hang out of windows, or even poke out of the sun roof if they want a better view. 

The pantomime itself was amazing, the actors all fantastic and a good mixture of a classic fairy tale store and comedy gold. It was a show that everyone from young kids to grandparents could enjoy and the hour and half that the show lasted flew by so quickly! 

A highlight for our kids was the fact they were encouraged to join in as the panto went along. Of course when you think pantomime you probably think of some classic audience participation such as "he's behind you" and "oh no its not, oh yes it is" type comradery. Which of course is pretty hard to achieve across an airport car park. However this had also already been thought of with the cast instead actively encouraging the audience to honk their horns and beep along at the bad guys and flash their headlights too! 

Whilst you watch the panto on the stage (or screens) you actually listen to it through a dedicated FM radio channel you are advised to tune into on arrival. It meant you could have the audio as loud or quiet as you wanted and no disruptions either. There were food trucks on site too (as well as toilets of course) and food could be ordered via an app which is then brought to you in your car, so no need to even get our for refreshments either. 

The whole event felt super safe without ever really compromising on the fun and enjoyment of the whole show. From the organisation of queuing to get in, to all the little details that had been though of such as the app to order food, the quiz from our phones and just the general set up. The cast of the pantomime were fantastic and despite everything going on, despite all of the restrictions they were still able to draw the audience in and keep us entertained and laughing along the whole time. 

If you are looking for something to do this Christmas, there is still time to purchase tickets for tomorrow's showing of Cinderella, tickets can be found here - Event tickets.

Or you can keep an eye on their events page for more fun events happening throughout next year. 



  1. This is such a brilliant idea!! I love how clever companies have become this year. I know it is far from ideal but it is amazing what can be achieved.

    It looks like a lot of fun x

  2. One thing we have missed so much is heading to pantos, what a lovely idea of having Cinderella via a screen so everyone can keep their distance and stay safe

  3. I love this . It looks brilliant, we would of loved to go and see something like this over Xmas

  4. This sounds like a lot of fun and a great way to have fun over the festive season without compromising on safety.

  5. This sounds like so much fun. A great child friendly activity which is COVID secure too.

  6. This sounds amazing! I missed days out and things like this so much, I'm glad you managed to do something!

  7. What an amazing idea to have the pantomime in the car park even if it wasn't how you are used to it sounds and looks absolutely amazing.