by Sarah, author of the blog A Field Somewhere.
‘You must be mad!’
We’ve been taking our kids to festivals since they were tiny. I’ve heard the same response from many other parents who have not experienced festivals with kids.
Are we mad?
Perhaps. But I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather spend the weekend with my kids than in a field somewhere surrounded by carefree, happy faces.
Click here for a list of the most awesome family-friendly festivals for 2016!
Here are 3 excellent reasons to take kids to festivals:
Cultural Adventure. The world really is a BIG place. There are few places you can experience such a diverse world of culture in one weekend with your family.
Crazy Creativeness. Teaching kids that ‘different is OK’ is made so easy at festivals. It’s a time to be free and let them delight in their parents having fun without worrying about day-to-day life. It’s also a chance for you to step back and enjoy the world through their eyes.
Magic Memories. Life is so fast. Blink and you’ll miss it. Festivals are perfect for wasting time with your kids. These moments are the memories of their future. It’s the perfect opportunity to have no agenda, no distractions and very few of the everyday restrictions kids have.
Things to consider when choosing a festival:
Size: GO SMALL – especially if it’s your first time. Getting everything from your car and back again with kids in tow can be exhausting at big events, and you’ll want to be kitted out well for the great British weather. Consider transport for little ones and what you plan to do when night falls. Big 3-wheeled buggies are great, as are some bike trailers and wagons if you want to stay out late as even bigger kids can crash out in them. They’re also great for transporting kit but you need to consider how you are going to get it all in your car. Smaller festivals are far easier and you can give older kids some freedom without the fear of losing them.
Location: LOCAL is easy. Big festivals can take a few hours just to get in and out of the car park so add this to your journey time when planning. Consider what time you will be arriving and if your kids will be tired to make journeys and pitch up. It’s never a good way to start a festival.
Cost: Many festivals offer free tickets for under 5’s or even under 12’s. Although this shouldn’t be the deciding factor as it often balances out with the cost of adult tickets or additional activities like fun fairs and extras, it’s worth comparing events and budgeting.
Facilities: Most festivals now offer reasonable facilities but do check the small print if you like extra creature comforts. These days you can get extras such as spa treatments, camp site shuttle buses, cocktail waiters, hair straighteners and even hot tubs at festivals.
Entertainment: Yes OK, it’s important to some people, but come on, realistically? How much music do you really think you are going to see while running around after little ones?
There are literally thousands of festivals to choose from these days. If you’ve never camped and are nervous of doing so with the kids then maybe look at day tickets first. Camping in the garden is a great way to gauge how kids will cope under canvas but if the thought of being in a tent at a festival full of thousands of others still fills you with fear, then check out the festival glamping options. There’s always campervan hire too!
I say just throw caution to the wind and go for it. As long as you get fully prepared and choose your festival wisely then you’ll have a blast. A weekend your kids will remember forever.
So what are you waiting for?
For more tips read 10 tips to enjoy (or survive) festivals with kids on the A Field Somewhere blog.