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Curiouser and Curiouser - Explore five of your favourite Nottingham parks this summer and find magical story dens full of books, crafts, trails and more.

August 13th 2019

Explore five of your favourite Nottingham parks this summer and find magical story dens full of books, crafts, trails and more.

Following the huge success of the Hoodwinked trail last summer, Nottingham City Council are offering StoryParks to the city’s families, a five-week interactive outdoor pop-up reading and numeracy camp of stories, activities and games in five of Nottingham city’s Green Flag parks – all for free!

Curious Directors, Sarah Manton and Jessica Kemp, who painted three of the Hoodwinked Robins between them, are very excited about their involvement. Sarah enthuses “We’re very proud to have been asked to bring together some of Nottingham’s finest makers, educators and entertainers! The feedback from the public has been tremendous and it’s great to be involved in something so positive for the city, once again. My particular favourite was a little girl who asked her mother to cancel the family holiday, as she wanted to go to StoryParks every day!”

Family Reading At Woodthorpe 2

“Sneinton Market Avenues’ own Curious Nottingham have been chosen to co-ordinate the programme of art, music and movement.”

The Nottingham Building Society has partnered with the Council on the project and the story of their philanthropist founder, Samuel Fox, was the inspiration for StoryParks generous and caring mascot, Sammy Fox. You can find his story, together with details of all the StoryParks activities on the website

Each of the five parks have an outdoor reading den, hidden in amongst trees and bushes, decked out in bunting, with comfortable beanbags and blankets for families to relax on whilst reading a book, selected from the hollowed-out treestump bookshelf. Specially carved sculptures welcome visitors to each of the dens, there’s a teetering stack of books at Woodthorpe Grange Park, a wise owl at Wollaton Hall & Deer Park, a magical reading chair at Vernon Park, a cheeky hedgehog at Forest Recreation Ground and two lovely old boats at Highfields Park.

The books and a selection of free arts, nature and exploring activities will be left as a library for visitors to use at any time when they visit the dens. Each weekday will see a free activity delivered by the Park Rangers, Library Service or a professional artist or performer. Children are encouraged to collect five attendance stamps on their StoryParks passport to claim a free book at one of five city Libraries - Central, Hyson Green, Sherwood, Wollaton and Basford Library.

Story Parks Highfields Den

This is the latest chapter in an interesting and varied year so far for Curious. As well as opening up the studio shop every Saturday and the usual busy schedule of arts and crafts teaching, the team have been envisioning water molecules in giant 3d form, leading the Light Night Parade through Sneinton Market and were recently commissioned to paint trapeze artists on a fairground ride ready to depart for Saudi Arabia – The Curious life is anything but predictable!

Curious Hoodwinked Launch

“Drop into the Curious studio shop at studio 22, Avenue B, Sneinton Market between 10am and 3pm every Saturday, keep up with their antics on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @curiousnottm or find them at ”

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