Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Festivals with the Kids: A Survival Guide

Simple tips for festival families

Bringing your little ones along for their first festival experience this summer? We’ve got some great tips to help you get through the weekend in one piece. With a little forward planning you can help cut down on cost, and make sure everybody has a great time with as little stress as possible.

Choosing the right festival

Not every festival is family-friendly, but there are hundreds of UK festivals to choose from each year, so you’re guaranteed to find one to suit you. Some festivals explicitly state that they’re family-friendly, while some lay on special children’s activities, making them ideal for a weekend getaway. As a general rule, families tend to stick to world and folk music festivals rather than the big rock events, as the crowds can be mellower, and there’s usually a better selection of family-friendly entertainment happening during the daytime.

Listen to your kids

Not every child enjoys outdoor activities like camping, and some kids can get frightened amid large crowds. Before you set off for a whole weekend away with the family, you might want to try a single-day festival out for size first to see how your kids enjoy it.

The right kit

It always helps to make up a checklist well in advance of your festival weekend. As well as clothing and camping gear, it really pays to stock up on your own food and drink, as the prices onsite will always be inflated. Avoid the £12 burgers, pack a few tins and a camping stove instead, and get the kids involved in the cooking. There are some tasty camping recipe ideas here at the BBC Food site.

It’s always the little things that are forgotten, so make a list of the handy gadgets, toiletries and essentials you’re going to need and tick each one of as it gets packed. Your family’s health and safety is key too, so always remember to pack sunscreen, medicines, and a properly stocked first aid kit. If you have forgotten anything, don’t worry, as most essentials will be available to buy onsite, and although you might have to pay through the nose for it, at least you won’t be stuck without it.

Kid’s comforts

You want to make your base camp a home away from home, so a comfy family tent like this Outwell family tent from Millets can make all the difference. Also pack a few of your kids’ favourite home comforts: their teddy or blanket, as well as some of their best-loved books and small toys will help them settle in and feel secure on the campsite.
Get mobile

One of the hardest parts of taking young ones with you to a festival is getting around. Finding your way through the crowds as a group can be made a whole lot easier with the right equipment. Backpack-style baby carriers are great, and allow little ones to see what’s going on over a crowd too. Taking a simple pull-along wagon with you is a godsend – throw the kids in it, load it up with all your supplies, and if it has brakes you can use it as a mobile bench for tired little legs. Or save lugging a wagon with you and hire one onsite instead through a service like Trolley Tots.

You’ll find more festival tips, including a list of all of the family-friendly festivals going on in the UK this year, over at the Festival Kidz website.

Me and Spud ourselves may be attending the Lollibop festival this year, I may be writing up a post about this soon so keep your eyes peeled, headliners in the past have been fantastic acts such as Rasta Mouse and the ZingZillas, the festival is 100% for kids!

Until next time,
Jade :)

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