We have heard it said many times (and in fact said it ourselves from time to time) that once you have a family and settle down your festival days are over.
No more staying up until dawn, dancing until your legs are sore and talking to random strangers who pitch a tent next to you. A rather gloomy thought for anyone who loves nothing more than portaloos and rain dodging.
But what if we told you that there is a whole other world of festivals that you can discover once you have children? Music, dancing, fun and sunshine (or rain depending on the good old British weather) can still be yours, all with the accompaniment of the small people in your life.
Sounds good? Well let us give you our guide to family friendly festival going. Everything you need to know from top tips to the best UK family festivals!
Let’s start with the basics....
How to camp with kids
Before you can start to delve into the world of festivals you might first want to learn the how to camp with kids guide. It does depend on the age of your children as the older they get the easier the get (or at least that’s what we are hoping) however there are still some important things to remember.
Kids will want to be comfortable so invest in a good quality camp or air bed for them to sleep on. Also make sure that you buy a 2 season sleeping bag, whilst the cheaper ones can look great they won’t be quite so good at keeping them warm at night.
Remember that you might not have access to bath’s when camping so get your kids used to the idea of showering instead. Believe it or not, many kids look forward to this part of camping as it makes them feel like a grown up!
Space is likely to be limited, so encourage them to only take a few toys with them and make sure they are ones that they will get maximum playing time with!
Ultimately, as long as you prepare well then camping with kids is great fun and something that you can all enjoy (just remember that when you are stressing about putting the tent together).
What about festivals? How can we prepare for them?
Camping at a well equipped resort can be different to camping at a festival. In fact, it is quite different.
Resorts will cater to families and have permanent facilities such as showers, toilets, electricity etc. Festivals will often put up temporary toilets, washing facilities and water points meaning that they might not be quite as luxurious as you are expecting.
They often won’t have electric either, so might be best to forewarn the kiddies that their tablets won’t be of much use there!
Instead, make sure that your kids have books, colouring, board games and other non-electrical entertainment with them. Better yet, encourage them to try out all the fab activities that you are going to find at a really great family festival. Circus skills, comedy, crafts, punch and judy and of course live music is all plenty to keep them from saying “I’m bored!”
Clothes will also need to be prepared in advance. There is a good chance that you won’t be able to wash them during your time there so make sure you pack enough outfits and also pack for a wide variety of weather as you never k now what the skies could bring.
So tell us which ones we should be heading to?
Throughout the UK there are lots of great festivals to check out with your kiddies. It really depends on what your interests are.
Based in the beautiful county of Dorset, Camp Bestival is a popular family festival. It brings together popular music artists with plenty to do for the kids and best of all it caters to a wide range of culinary tastes too; meaning that even the fussiest of kids will find something to eat.
Cornbury Festival is an Oxfordshire festival that prides itself on its ability to appeal to families and music lovers alike. It usually has a pretty impressive line up of stars and also boasts a workshop of kids activities and some tasty high quality caterers too.
Taking a slightly different approach to the idea of a family festival, Elderflower Fields is an independent festival in Sussex that brings kid together with nature. Camp crafts, storytelling and folk, rock and swing music means that this is a great way to spend a chilled out weekend in a beautiful setting.
The Larmer Tree Festival
If you like your parties colourful and bright then the Larmer Tree Festival has to be the one for you. Ideal for under 5’s and older children too; it caters for all the different interests with great music, dance lessons, craft workshops and plenty of mini gigs too!
There are so many other festivals around the country that you can check out with your family. So be brave, grab that tent and head on out to have the summer of a lifetime and prove that just because you have settled down doesn’t mean you have to settle for a dull life!
Published on 24 March 2016 by Sam T