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Best U.K Family festivals and top tips for taking Kids to a festival

family festivals with kids

We had so much fun at the family festival we visited last year that this year we are heading off to two family festivals! We got into the live music vibe, the performance and dance, arts and crafts in a field with some rain, some sun, and lots and lots of mud! It was lots of fun and made summer feel like it had properly arrived! Whether you are a hardy camper or more of a family day tripper the UK has some brilliant festivals that cater for families where you can go and enjoy creative and imaginative play, music and shows together. I think that being outdoors and doing something from different from the usual routine is a bonus of family festivals. So if you have never been to a family festival, grab your glitter and face paint and check out the best ones to visit with the kids this summer……

(Ad: We have been invited as guests to Just So Festival and The Big Retreat)

Just So Festival

We’re really excited about heading to the ‘Just So’ Festival in Cheshire this Summer. It’s one we’ve been wanting to visit for ages as it has a reputation of bringing alive magical childhood fantasies with a large programme  literature, arts, theatre, dance, music, comedy and creative pursuits together.   ‘Just So’ is the ultimate children’s festival, they are well considered and it’s not a loud festival, it’s child friendly everywhere, the music finishes early doors and there is plenty of baby friendly changing areas and child centered activities. With areas named ‘The Garden Delight’ and ‘The New Curiosity Shop’ it’s a perfect festival to ignite the imagination! Here’s a Full Review of the Just So Festival.

The Big Retreat

The first of our festivals we’re visiting this year is ‘The Big Retreat’ in Wales, it’s a wellbeing festival that promises you a relaxing time away from the humdrum of your busy lives – relaxing and connecting with nature in the Welsh countryside. There is an eclectic mix of workshops at the Big Retreat, some are for health juicing, raw foods and life coaching – and some are for creativity -woodworking, making a guitar from recycled items, or an art class. We’re looking forward to relaxing and maybe even trying out some of the yoga classes as a family! For more information: see The Big Retreat Website.

Elderflower Fields

Elderflower Fields is a festival we’d love to try out one day as it’s not that far from us – it’s set in the woods which sounds idyllic and is a wild weekend adventure, packed full of music, sports, nature and the arts. There’s lots of crafts for little ones to try as well as science experiments and there is a communal camp fire every evening. the festival is all about community and there is a Sunday lunch time picnic for the whole festival which sounds pretty special!

Timber Festival

The Timber festival is well known for being a relaxed haven to chill out from the 9-5pm.  Timber festival is an eclectic mix of art, music, poetry and sustainability talks, celebrating the transformative impact of forests. It’s set in the heart of the National Forest and the trees play a full part in the festival from Tree Circus’ to relaxing in hammocks between the trees and even woodcrafting for kids and adults to try. There’s also boutique camping if you don’t fancy a tent! Read here for a full review of the Timber Festival.

review of timber festival

(Photo Courtesy of A Typical Mummy)

Nozstock

We visited Nozstock, Herefordshire last year and had the best time! It’s a smaller festival so it’s perfect for families. There’s a dedicated space for kids with loads of arts, crafts and dance workshops – my kids loved the circus skills workshop! But what also makes Nozstock great is all the weird and wonderful areas that are amazing to explore with kids – there were Science experiments and music corners at every turn. Night time entertainment is perfect for kids too with fire dancers, neon lit robots as well as the usual bands. See here to read a full review and video of our weekend at Nozstock. 

Nozstock family friendly festival

Victorious Festival

Victorious Festival in Portsmouth has been nominated and won a variety of festival awards. It has a dedicated children’s area with lots of chararcters from Cbeebies making an appearance and lots of face paints, bouncy castles, crafts and even bongo lessons to keep the kids amused. There are also areas for 10+ kids including gaming and console stations. This is definitely a festival for those that love their music, there are tons of popular bands line ups. Read a full review of Victorious Festival. here.

Deer Shed

Deer Shed takes place in North Yorkshire and is a riot of Music, Science and Art activities. There’s a bubbly bubble rave for the under 5s and a cinema programme for the full festival too. Deer Shed has a wider programme than many festivals I’ve seen including comedy and spoken word line up so it means there would definitely be something for everyone – whatever the age. To read a mini travellers full review on Deer Shed, click here. 

UK Family Festival Review

(Photo Courtesy of Mini Travellers)

Car Fest

If you want to dabble in a UK Family festival to find out if it’s right for you, you could do an overnight or day long visit to Car Fest. Car Fest has two locations in the North and the South and is established to raise money for charity so it’s a worthwhile festival to visit. As the name suggests there is a focus on racing cars but there’s a whole host of art and craft activities for kids too as well as music entertainment and trampolines/ fairground in the Kings Kingdom. To find out more, see here for a full review of Car Fest.

(Photo Courtesy of Dear Bear and Beany)

Electric Fields

If you’re in the North East, Electric Fields festival is a fabulous one to visit which takes place in Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries and Galloway and gives you free access to the family adventure playground based at the castle. It has an impressive line up of music and lots of activities and fairground attractions and workshops for little ones. The tickets are very reasonably priced for kids and adults too. Here’s a full review of Electric Fields Festival.

Top tips for UK family festivals

(Photo Courtesy of Naomi Palony)

If you’ve caught the bug after reading about all the wonderful festivals the UK has to offer, then here are some top tips to help you make the most of your family time at the festival as possible! Here’s a list of ESSENTIAL THINGS TO PACK FOR A FAMILY CAMPING TRIP WITH KIDS.

10 Top Tips for Surviving a Family Festival with Kids

  1. Bring a trolley! Lots of the festivals have a long walk from the car park to the festival and a trolley is a must for little legs and also carrying your tent and equipment. You can also pile it with blankets so kids can nap in it during the day when you’re out and about. Here’s a great post about finding the right festival trolley for you!
  2. Make sure you have lots of warm clothes for the night as however sunny the weather during the day, it will get cold at night.
  3. Pack suncream and wellies to be prepared for every eventuality.
  4. Bring lots and lots of snacks as festival food can be expensive.
  5. Pack glitter and sequins and even dressing up clothes for the kids – festivals are the place to be a little crazy and let your hair down! It’s part of the fun and your kids will love it.
  6. A good tip is to make sure you write your telephone number on children’s wristband or write your number on their arm with pen. Talk about a memorable meeting place with older children just in case they get lost!
  7. Bring a ball and a few other outdoor activities to do back at the tent, just so you can retreat for some down time as well as some colouring books for quieter moments.
  8. Bring water bottles as many campsites have a tap you can refill your water bottles, saving money and waste.
  9. There are lots of bubble wands and facepaints and glow sticks on sale at festivals, bring your own as a cheaper alternative. Try LED balloons and fairy lights for tying around your tent to make it easier to find at night.
  10. Make sure you bring toilet paper and a travel toilet is essential for saving you night trips in the dark to a festival toilet!

Here’s some more family festivals in the North of England and here’s the dates for lots of 2019 family festivals across the UK. 

*We were sent a family ticket for two festivals in exchange for an honest review. All words and thoughts are my own.*

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Top Tips for Family Festivals

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