Join the party somewhere over the rainbow in Leeds

Staff at the Rainbow Factory in Farsley,get into character as they prepare to celebrate its first birthday.
Staff at the Rainbow Factory in Farsley,get into character as they prepare to celebrate its first birthday.
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Follow the yellow brick road and join in the fun as a Leeds literary wonderland celebrates its first birthday.

The Rainbow Factory, in Farsley, is set to be transformed into the magical world of Oz as it marks a special milestone.

Freya Underwood with Hazel Merlino

Freya Underwood with Hazel Merlino

Dorothy looks set to lead the fun at a special Wizard of Oz themed performance this week.

Over the last 12 months the fun factory has given youngsters the chance to step through a giant storybook and into an enchanting world where their favourite characters leap off the page.

Managing director Hazel Merlino, who set up the Rainbow Factory with her sister Sarah Underwood, said: “It’s been an incredible year.

“We’re so grateful to all the families and schools who have visited us and embraced our aim to inspire a new generation with a love of reading.

Freya Underwood at The Rainbow Factory.

Freya Underwood at The Rainbow Factory.

“And we’re very proud of everything we’ve achieved.

“In the last 12 months we have welcomed around 20,000 visitors through our doors, helping them to explore books in exciting new ways.”

Hazel and Sarah, who both live in Leeds, wanted an alternative to soft play centres, museums and costly attractions to entertain Sarah’s two daughters.

The bookworms came up with the Rainbow Factory to help youngsters nurture and develop their love of reading.

The centre was recently voted as a runner up in the Child Friendly Leeds Awards for best place for children and young people.

Hazel added:“We’ve got many more ideas and projects planned for the next 12 months, so there’s still so much to look forward to.”

The Rainbow Factory is open every day throughout half term.

Its special anniversary event - Dorothy’s Adventures Over the Rainbow - an original performance scripted by production director, author and former teacher Lydia Toumazou, takes place 
on Sunday, June 5, at four different time slots throughout the day.

For more details visit www.rainbowfactorykids,com

Town Street, Horsforth

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