We L O V E a festival and we always try to visit one every year. This year is no different and we have added it to our Bucket List for 2017. So far we have experienced Camp Bestival, Just So Festival twice, Love Supreme Festival, and The Big Feastival twice since having our mini me’s.
We have been lucky enough to camp in our campervan, which means we have our few luxuries to hand, but for those of you that are not one to camp in a tent, there are always lots of options available including purchasing day tickets, and glamping in bell tents, yurts and teepees.
Family festivals are a wonderful experience for both parents and families to throw out routine and step into the world of of live music, adventure, imagination, arts, dance, theatre and comedy.
1 Take appropriate Clothes.
We have experienced some wonderful festivals in beautiful sunshine. We have also experienced some wonderful festivals in torrential rain. Wellies are a must. Warm jumpers, thermal socks, waterproofs, along with summer clothing – vests, dresses etc . We love taking fleece onesies and take the kids out in the evenings with blankets, onesies and warm jumpers. This allows them to settle to sleep during the evening in a pushchair or a festival trolley and the adults can still experience the live music.
2 Take Food and Drinks, and plenty of water. Taking appropriate snacks for both adults and children is essential. There is always wonderful food on offer but the queues can be long and children always want food and drink the moment you have found a fabulous spot and settled down to watch your favourite act. All the festivals we have been to have had great facilities for kids to eat and take a break – but always worth packing a few extras in your rucksack to last the weekend.
3 Enjoy Festivals with friends – We have visited festivals both on our own and with friends. The benefit of enjoying festivals with friends who have children of similar ages, is that the kids enjoy the company, and you can share the toilet runs, coffee stops or split up and take children back to the camp if they are tired.
4 Pack Essentials – We have always used ear defenders for the little ones and found they have worked a treat with the live music. Lil_E slept all the way though Fat Boy Slim and Kelis. 🙂 don’t forget the sun hats and suncream!! We had a wonderful time at Camp Bestival last summer and we were so lucky with the weather. It was hot, hot, hot. Although there is often shaded areas, there is also vast space with little shade and suncream and sun hats and appropriate cover ups are a must. Nappies, milk, bottles, comforters, baby wipes, medicines… Many festivals do have great facilities for babies including feeding tents, highchairs, breast feeding areas, baby change, baby massage etc.
5 Say no to gadgets – Festivals are all about imagination… You don’t need expensive iPads and computer games. Kids love dressing up, and the festivals often have weekend themes for the fancy dress – so do your homework before you go. We always take a lot of glitter, and flower head garlands and fairy wings. Balls, balloons, bubbles and glow sticks are great fun. The truth is – anything goes.
6 Research and Plan – The Festivals always have wonderful activities on offer for children, with live acts, theatre shows, bouncy castles, man made sand pits, arts and craft tents, circus skills…. the list is endless! Buy a programme. Research and plan your weekend so you don’t miss your favourite activities.
7 Take appropriate wheels. The activities are often spread out over a vast space and this can be tough for little legs. We purchased a wonderful double pushchair a couple of years back and its not only allows us to store anything we need to take for the day, but also provides rain and sun shelter, and offers a safe place for tired heads and legs to rest. There are often festival trolleys to hire – but these usually sell out prior to the festival so do organise these before you go. Baby carriers are also a great option for the little babies too. It really does come down to personal preference.
8 If they can walk – they can get lost. If the children are old enough to understand, try to have an identifiable meeting point if you were to get separated. For the younger children – ensure they wear a wrist band with your mobile number on.
9 Throw out routine – Yes there really are pillow fights organised in the evenings, and early morning football clubs. The children love to break the rules and dance to music at 10pm dressed head to toe in glow sticks. They do enjoy chocolate and milkshakes at 9pm at night. Kids adapt so well to changes in routine, enjoy the weekend!
10 Relax and Have Fun– The children will get dirty, muddy, glittery, tired.. the works… children love to see their parents having fun, happy and relaxed…so soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the weekend 🙂
I hope you enjoyed my tips for surviving a festival with children. Would love to know your thoughts – do you have any other tips to share?