As high streets re-opened this April, We Are Weymouth are keenly aware that families will want to look for fun activities that are safe, socially distanced, and contactless. As part of a programme of events, they’ve teamed up with QR code trail experts High Street Safari to create a free, interactive story-trail that is designed to encourage children to walk, get engaged and most importantly, have a lot of fun, whilst encouraging families to venture out into Weymouth’s shops and cafes again.
The Secret Carnival Family Trail is positioned around Weymouth town centre with 10 carnival characters, like Harlequin, the cheeky jester. The trail takes about 45 minutes to complete but can be completed in more than one visit. It’s completely free for families and groups to take part in and they win a personalised, digital ‘selfie storybook’ at the end.
To create their ‘selfie storybooks’ families need to practice their acting faces as they take funny ‘scene’ selfies along the trail, with directions like ‘look amazed’ or ‘look curious’. Then, once they complete the trail, their selfies are then embedded directly into the book pages as part of the story. The book tells readers about the day their family went on a tour of the secret carnival – so they become stars of the story and receive a wonderful keepsake.
The trail works by utilising contactless QR codes, without the need for families to download or sign up to anything. With safety in mind, it has been designed so that there is no need to go inside the venues, but some participating businesses are offering extra incentives to come in while you visit.
When families in Weymouth scan each character’s unique QR code they’ll learn their names and what their role is in the carnival. Younger children will enjoy spotting the colourful characters in shop windows and older kids, and grown-up ones, will engage by hearing the stories.
Martin Blackwell, former CEO of ATCM and the Charity Retail Association, who is coordinating the project nationally, said, “We’ve now run three national trails like these in 2020 and have just been blown away at the response considering the difficult climate on the high street. We had over 30,000 families play last year in over 200 locations.”
Dawn Rondeau, Chief Operations Officer at We Are Weymouth (BID), said, “If something fun like this can help make families and kids feel good about going back out into our streets in a safe way, whilst re-engaging with our shops and cafes then we’ve done a good job.”