Hannah here: Summer is well underway, and I have been dreaming about canvas and camp fires, music and barbecues, ocean swims and warm sun on my increasingly bespeckled shoulders. This summer has rather a lot to live up too when the previous summer included our long hoped for 5 week European road trip trip plus two festivals. This summer is looking a lot less busy than last summer (as well as the big trip, we also moved house with a 5 week homeless/sofa surfing period in between!) so it feels really lovely to have a slow summer ahead of us. We are hoping to go to some of our favourite festivals though. We try to go to a few every summer because it’s one of the seldom opportunities that Frankie gets to enjoy gigs with us, and that kid has musical bones. We also can’t resist an opportunity to get our tent out, and hope to make use of some of the gorgeous campsites in Kent for quick weekend get aways too. I thought i'd round up a few of our favourite family friendly festivals that we're heading too this year, and some of our festival essentials too. I'd love to hear your experiences too.
Our favourite festivals.
- WOMAD festival is THIS WEEK! I consider myself a little bit of a WOMAD veteran having attended since I was 14, and the line ups get better every year. This year a few of my favourite bands are playing- most notably Ibeyi, whom I included in our Galentines playlist, and The Staves, which I am unbelievably excited about! Tickets still available. Read my review of last years festival here.
- The Good Life Experience is in September. It's in north wales and near to my folks house so perfect for us. We went to the first one last year and really enjoyed the small scale hands on crafty agenda. From screen printing to fire making, there were workshops for everyone, and I can’t wait to go back this year with the Sisterhood girls- look out for a workshop from us on the agenda!
- Just So Festival is in August. It will be our first Just So, but i’ve wanted to go since Heather blogged all about it. It’s a magical family arts festival in Cheshire. We can’t wait for midnight feasts, enchanted forests, fairy kingdoms and campfire stories. Tickets still available.
- Honourable mentions also to Bestival, which I’ve never been too but looks very family friendly- see Lou’s posts for more, Latitude which is one of my favourite festivals (Love it but couldn’t make it this year) and Wilderness which I’ve always wanted to go to. They are all very family friendly.
Taking kids to festivals
We have no qualms about bringing Frankie with us to festivals which we've done since she was one. If you choose a good family friendly one like the above then all the entertainment and facilities will be provided. Festivals often have wonderfully unusual music, art and dance experiences and it is an incredible place for kids to experience and do new things. Having one kid is obviously easier than having two or three, and if you have a ‘runner’ on your hands, then a festival might be a bit stressful! But as long as you're willing to take things slowly, and you've chosen somewhere where kids are catered for, then theres a good chance you'll have a great time.
I thought i'd share some of our festival essentials, which are in addition to the normal camping stuff (tent, inflatable sleeping mats, sleeping bags etc).
Our festival essentials
- Toddler ear defenders
- An all in one toddler waterproof, (better than a 2 piece- mud can get everywhere!), head to toe waterproofs for the adults too and decent wellies.
- Our wagon. We use it to lug all our stuff from the car, and then Frankie uses it as a little moving bed for naps and bed time. We fill it with pillows and a blanket and fairy lights.
- Frankie's white noise machine (and batteries) and ear plugs for the adults.
- A plastic backed blanket for sitting on the wet ground.
- Warm bedding and extra blankets- it can get so cold at night!
- Sun cream, sun hats, parasols or some fabric and pegs to make a little shade sail (or a proper shade sail like my DIY one!) Shade is important.
- A good, comfortable sling for babies which supports their legs properly (all the way to the back of their knees, legs in an 'M' shape, not dangling from their crotch!) and supports your back properly too. Go to your nearest sling library for more tips on this) or a hip seat for older toddlers.
- Toddlers favourite snacks.
- Books and toys for setting up and taking the tent down, and for the early mornings!
- Water bottles for everyone (we use tin ones)
- Torches for everyone
- Fairy lights or lanterns to illuminate tent
- Potty and nappies (I confess to being v grateful for the potty for my own middle of the night pee's!)
- A little clip on torch to attach o the sip of their coats at night, it helps to find them if they get lost in the dark
- A permanent market pen to write your phone number on their arm!
- A solar/wind up/portable phone charger (when Frankie is older, we might get walkie talkies!)
I'm sure theres more, do chip in below with your suggestions if you have them.
I’m planning a wider post about our camping pack list and tips for camping with toddlers too so watch out for that if you want to know more about how we do it.
What are your favourite festivals? Are you going to any this year? Did any of you get to Latitude? I can't wait to get my Festival on!