*AD-gifted. We were given some free rides in exchange for posting about Carters Steam Fair which was a no brainer as we’ve been twice already before and were planning on going again this week anyway!*
We went today as a family with my brother and sister-in-law and my Mum and Dad so it really was a family day out. We live quite close to the park the fair comes to in Reading so we have passed it a few times this week and Big bro has asked ‘how many sleeps until Saturday?’ every time so he was very excited when he woke up this morning and realised it was finally Saturday! He’s very excitedly told a lot of people this week about how we would be going.
Carters are a family run business and it really is a lovely fair with beautifully restored rides from the 1890s to the 1960s. My Mum commented on how it really does feel like ‘how the fair used to be!’ The old-fashioned music and bright coloured rides make for a wonderful (if not slightly overstimulating for a toddler) atmosphere!
A fun fact, (and I don’t know how I didn’t realise this until recently!) Carters Steam Fair featured in Paddington 2 and Call the Midwife. A fact which Big bro loved (Paddington 2 that is, not yet ventured into Call the Midwife!)
We did a little tour so that Big brother could choose which would be his first ride and he chose a train which has been his favourite for the last three visits. Granny had the privilege of getting to ride with him first!
There are a great selection of rides for all ages. Big brother particularly loved going on the car and rocket themed rides and doing the hook-a-duck, and the adults enjoying the dodgems, giant octopus (which made Big brother cry watching us on it!), shooting range and coconut shy.
We were also very happy with our cups of tea, candy floss, hot dog, chips and doughnuts! (That was shared food, not a portion of each for everyone). I felt slightly ignored in the queue for the hot dog and chips when someone else was served in front of me but my frustration was completely abaited when the chips came on cardboard rather than the usual polystyrene! We popped out of the fair and sat on the grass in the shade to eat which was really lovely, and great to give Big brother a little chill time before picking one last ride to do.
As I said at the beginning of this post Carters are a family run business and one of the wonderful things about the fair is that it really does feel that way. The staff are all so friendly and approachable which we’ve found is often not the case at other fairs we’ve visited.
Normally we would probably do one or maybe two rides as a maximum so it was a real treat doing a few more and did make me think it would be worth saving up and treating it as a bit more of a day out now that Big brother is a little bit older. You can pre-buy tickets online on their website which is probably worth doing if you know you’d like to do a few rides.
This was our third visit and it definitely won’t be our last. If you get an opportunity then I highly recommend visiting. Whether it’s just to pop down for a ride or two or to make a day out of it you really won’t be disappointed.