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Joining ‘Banjo’ at the Liverpool Biennial 2016 (Review)

Last Saturday we were invited to join ‘Banjo’ the cat and travel “through space and time, meeting artworks and characters from Liverpool Biennial’s exhibition.” It was a great family day out, hubby got the day off and the weather was nice. Perfect reason to get into the car and head of to Liverpool.

First things first, so what is Liverpool Biennial? It’s a Festival of Contemporary art that is shown across the city telling you the story of its past, present and future. If I would have explained it like this to J, our 4 year old, she would have had zero interest and no clue at all of what I was talking about so luckily for us we had ‘Banjo and the Portal Adventures‘, a short story inspired by this event that tells you about his journey around different places and the stamps you can collect on the guide to prove that you’ve been there.

liverpool biennial children guide

So the night before I read the story to J and E before going to bed. She seemed quite excited because I told her that on the following day we would be able to see everything that the little pet saw and we would need to find all those places…so it became more into a “treasure hunt” sort of thing…

First stop: Chinatown, the Chinese Arch and Cains Brewery

Look mama! she yelled when she saw the arch, since it was exactly the same as in the guide. We were all actually quite excited, so we decided to go and collect our first stamp from Cains Brewery. We are not art experts whatsoever but the exhibition was quite fascinating and got our little one’s attention.


Second stop: to Albert Docks and the Ancient Greece exhibition at TATE

What a surprise when we got there. Suddenly it seemed we were in a Pirates of the Caribbean shooting! The docks were full of people dressed as “privateers” (yep, we learnt that word through a story teller while at the event :D) We wanted to see the pirates and mermaids parade but since it wasn’t going to start till later we decided we couldn’t forget about Banjo and needed to go and see the statues from Ancient Greece. J and E enjoyed the silence of the place and she tried to draw a few of the things she saw. Then she went by herself to the main reception and with her tiny voice asked politely for her stamp.

liverpool biennial 2016

Recharging batteries…at CIRCO

It was about time for lunch and we were all quite hungry. A table had been booked for us at CIRCO, a nice restaurant located at Albert Docks. Atmosphere and food were lovely. Perfect brake to recharge batteries and carry on with our journey.

liverpool biennial

Last stop: going to the cinema to watch Casablanca

or better said going to ABC Cinema, a Grade II listed building in the Art Deco style, situated on Lime Street and Elliot Street. Did you know that the last film shown there was in 1998, Casablanca? When we got there the whole place was  quite dark and the friendly people at the entrance offered us some torches to walk around. They didn’t have enough so we ended up using our own mobile phone lights.. It was quite interesting, different movies and short films were being showed on different screens but you could still get this feeling of going back in time..This was our last stop for us, cause with a baby and a toddler that was enough for Banjo and its adventures!

liverpool biennial

At ABC Cinema, collecting our last stamp! 🙂

The day was full of laughs, walks, surprises and excitement. It’s one of those free events that you can enjoy with the little ones if you know how to adapt it to them. The event is still on until midst October so it’s worth checking their website and see what they’ve got for the children, since I think there’s always something going on on a Sunday and then different shows and activities throughout the week. If you’re planning on going I recommend you to download their Children’s guide. (Banjo and the Portal Adventures)

What about you? Any fun places you have been these days?

(*This has been our honest review on the event. )


Travel Loving Family


  1. Tuesday September 20th, 2016 / 01:04 AM

    Q linda salida!! ese Banjo…tan callejero como el yayu…jejeje… llegaba a grecia…xina…..
    Buenisima idea el de prepararla el dia anterior para q pudiera aprovechar la visita pero sobre todo q bueno q se lo pasara tan bien.

    • elituesbay
      Tuesday September 20th, 2016 / 09:08 AM

      jaja si mami! nos lo pasamos muy bien 🙂

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