Winters and carnivals are a match made in heaven. A bleak, hazy midwinter afternoon, the warmth of a bonfire, rubbing those icy cold hands, layered up people, steaming cups of coffee, the chitter-chatter over that, tiny little playing kids, a big bunch of balloon swaying in the sky – all are just an indication that the good old winter has knocked at your door in its magnificent glory, shouting ‘celebrate me’!

One another significance winter carnivals hold for me is that of ‘nostalgia’. How the thought of them drifts me back to the childhood days when every weekend was a fun carnival whether one of those posh exclusive ones arranged by Pfowa or Islamabad Club, the quintessential ones at school or one of the siblings’ school’s or a more public one by Apwa. There was one every weekend and childhood was just not complete without them. Just as integral to my winters as humming the soft, folk tunes of ‘a winter’s day in a deep and darker december’ by Simon & Garfunkels.

Perhaps its old age dementia creeping over me already or a mommy disconnectedness to the outside world or simply the fact that not a lot of carnivals happen anymore in the lush green capital because I sure do miss that decent outdoor fun. How do we make winters more exciting for our kids?

So this weekend when i heard that Beaconhouse Newlands Campus took an initiative to arrange one inside their Bani gala campus, I instantly knew where our weekend ‘mommy-girl party’ would be. Two other compelling factors which sold out the idea to me were the fact that they would have a ‘story telling’ corner and Rafi peer puppet dance show. God, really, I have a thing for puppet shows! And of course not to forget the ideal weather and bonfire….a very lethal combo in itself!

Came Saturday and off I was on an ever crowded highway en route to my first ever road trip to Bani Gala, being behind the steering wheel. Picked a friend on way. As we entered the venue, we were welcomed by some fabulous winter arrangements, hanging snowflakes, dry leafless trees, a roof of white and blue paper balloons, all giving a very frosty feel to a gorgeous warm winter afternoon.

Loved the details!

Stepping in the main area, we were welcomed by a huge blazing bonfire with families sitting around it to get a quick respite from a chill in the air. On each side, a variety of colorful stalls were offering some fun games, products, jewelry, scrumptious pizzas and pies, mouth-watering goodies, a steaming hot tea and coffee etc. And then there was this amazing story telling area where kids could get comfortable in bean bags couches and read from a selection of books.

And then there was little M’s most favorite part which caught the fancy of many, many kids. Despite an otherwise very ‘toddler cranky’ type of mood, the girl totally immersed into the fun and learning this Activity Area had to offer. A brownie point for being totally FREE of cost. It was cute beyond words with details remarkably done and fun element 11/10, just on point for toddlers. A school staff mentioned how they felt apprehensive in the beginning that nobody would be interested in this tiny nook of the carnival 🙂

There was this cute Farmer’s market and kids instantly turned their PRETEND PLAY mode on!

Little Bakers making a pizza …

Then there was a Pretend Home, vanity table, a baby area and Kitchen, triggering imagination to the nines….

Got some freshly cooked food for Mama………..  😉

A Farmer’s market in real to grab some organic options….

A Puppet Parade arranged by the ever phenomenal Rafi Peer Theater….

Some celebrity mom spotting and shameless ‘star-struck’ moments 😉 (Who wouldn’t be fascinated by such a graceful, down-to-earth, yummy mummy?)  😀


Pakistan’s leading Fashion Icon Vaneeza Ahmed with her 1.5 years old


Some Balloons that fit the bill just right i.e Aeroplane Balloons 😉

A Sepia Loving just because….

And some fun “Mom-Girl Twinning”….

We had a fantastic, fun-filled Winter day. The carnival ended up with a concert by Farhan Saeed which of course we could not attend, not the kind of luxury a toddler’s mom can afford 😉 But THANK GOD for ah-mazing afternoon carnivals 🙂

Did you happen to take your kids to a fun Winter Carnival this season?

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