We L O V E a festival and we always try to visit one every year. Over the years we have experienced Camp Bestival, Just So Festival, Love Supreme Festival, Timber Festival, Elderflower Fields Festival and The Big Feastival. We love a festival with kids and there are so many child friendly festivals to choose from. We sleep in our converted camper van, but there are always loads of options available including purchasing day tickets, glamping in bell tents, yurts and teepees or camping. 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. Here are our top festival tips for surviving (and enjoying) a festival with kids.
Top Tips for Surviving a Festival with Kids
festival packing list: 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 . Child friendly festivals are awesome fun. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to enjoy a festival with children
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!
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 our festival tips for surviving a family friendly festival with kids. Do you have any other tips to share?
Here are a selection of our child friendly festival reviews