Family Festivals

Have you thought of going to a Family Festival this summer?

Family FestivalsI know many of you won’t be even considering the hundreds/thousands of pounds that it costs to go on holiday this summer.

You might also be struggling to take 7-14 days off work.

I’ve got a great alternative for you …

Hows about thinking about a Family Festival instead?

 

If you’ve never been to a festival before, it’s a great way to start.

If you went to festivals before having kids, why stop now?

 

A ‘Family Festival’ can mean lots of things, but basically it means that there will be music, but kids are expected and catered for.  Some are more ‘family’ than others.

I had the idea of going to a Family Festival last year because I’d never been to a festival before, so I thought maybe if we start now with the kids, they’ll invite us along with them to Glastonbury when they are teenagers!

We went in a yurt glamping, but this year we are going to try camping for the first time with a glamping twist (think bunting, and pretty colours!).  You can also just go for the day, or stay in a local B&B if you don’t fancy getting in touch with nature though.

To be fair to people who used to go to festivals when they were younger, it’s not going to be the same; getting drunk just isn’t practical when you have little ones to watch and lots of people around you.  The good news is that kids don’t mind mud and love tents, so as long as you are willing to compromise a bit, I reckon a family festival will be every bit as good as the ones that you used to go to.

We went to ‘Just So’ in Staffordshire in august and it was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G full of magic and imagination (here’s my review), with some great music in the evening.  Curly headed boy said that the 3 days felt like 10; so you see it is the perfect alternative to a holiday.  Apparently according to the stall holders who go to loads of festivals we were lucky to get the right one first time round, because it is definitely the best from a fun, safe and family perspective (i.e. it’s not about getting drunk or taking ‘other’ substances).  Luckily for me they’ve invited us back this year, but even if they hadn’t we would sooooo be going.    If you are a first timer and love magical things, then this is definitely the right festival for you, I’ve just checked their website and it’s looking even better this year.  We took a radio flyer, but this year you can rent them (brilliant idea), my favourite singer JonPaul Palombo is back in the acoustic tent, and it looks like it’s packed with the same sort of simple, slightly naive, and really funny things for the children to do.

This year we have also been invited to try out the Penn Festival in a couple of weeks, which is much nearer us in Buckinghamshire.  It’s much more of a music festival, with an eighties vibe, so perfect for me and the Northern one’s music tastes; I’m looking forward to Snap, Altered Images and The Beat most of all.  It sounds like it started out as a local thing and has expanded from there, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what it’s like.  It’ll be our first long weekend camping as well; lets hope this rainy weather isn’t all summer.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

If you can’t make it to Penn or Just So, never fear!  Check out these two sites for ideas on where to go:

Festival Kidz

Festivals for All.

 

Here are my 10 top tips for picking a Family Festival:

1) If you don’t want the extra cost of accommodation, choose somewhere nearby and pick one with entrance for just a day.

2) If you fancy staying over, there are always B&B’s or you can camp (tips on camping coming soon).

3) If you have a bit more money then go for a Yurt or a Bell tent already put up for you.

4) If your kids are young, find smaller family festivals, rather than the bigger obvious ones like Lollibop (London) or Camp Bestival (Dorset).

5) Check what is included, because the last thing you want to do is pay and then have to pay for the activities as well.

6) Check the reviews and avoid the ones where it is more about the stalls and selling of ‘stuff’.

7) Take snacks and water, because food will be expensive if you have to buy every meal.

8) Extend the trip by a couple of days and turn it into a weeks holiday to combine two things into one.

9) Safety is paramount – have some kind of sign/agreement to work out which adult is on watch at any one time, don’t just assume and make sure the kids have your mobile no on them.

10) Prams and pushchairs may not be viable.  Slings, backpacks and radio flyers work well.

 

I hope I’ve convinced you to try out a family festival this year and you have as much fun as we will.

I’m going to write a post with tips for what to wear to a festival, so don’t worry about that bit, plus some tips for first time campers like us.

I’d love your tips for festivals or links to places that you have been.  Feel free to add a blog post to your review if you’ve written one.

I’m just hoping that the weather improves; but I’m sure that we’ll get into the spirit of it all anyway!

22 comments

  1. For those of you “up North” I can definitely recommend Galtres Festival in North Yorkshire over the August bank holiday, very child friendly (has a family campsite where you can park cars alongside the tent, and lots of stuff for the kids to do) – my 9 yr old is involved in a Battle of the Bands competition for 9-16 yr olds this year, so we’ll definitely be there!

  2. This is lovely! I’m so keen to go to Just So, and am dying to hear how it goes at the Penn festival. I must say I love the idea of glamping – we do camp for a few nights every year, and the kids love it, but I can only manage a couple of nights before tiredness and the grumps kick in for me.
    Next year is my year for camping at festivals, as you say, the long holidays abroad are so unaffordable now

    Pssst! Really pleased that you won your BiB’s award!

    1. Thanks actually mummy – I was chuffed too!

      Can’t we persuade you to try a festival this year? Gooooo on, you know you want to!

  3. For anyone going to Penn Festival, Just So Festival, or Galtres that doesn’t win a radio flyer we will be on hand to hire a trolley wagon for the weekend. They all come with a rain (sun!) cover, blanket and pillow. You can book ahead of time so you can even leave the pushchair at home. Save space in your car, keep your pushchair mudfree, your kids will love riding in it, and at night, it serves as a fantastic rolling bed so you don’t have to miss any of the fun!

  4. Hiya Trolley Tots – this is a great idea (in fact I think that we suggested it to Just So last year!) Hope you get loads of takers!

  5. We are heading to Camp Bestival this year for the first time, but with the children now all over the age of 5 I am hoping it will be lots of fun!

    1. oh yes, Camp festival does look like fun – bet you get to see people like Mr Tumble! It’s on my list for next year – adding one a year at the moment!

  6. I never went to any festivals when my children were younger, we weren’t near any, but they sound like really fantastic ways to spend a day with the kids–especially after reading this! I especially love your tips, Lisa.

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