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Mum's the Word on family-friendly festivals

by Charlie Bond

Mum's the Word on family-friendly festivals

Are you considering heading off to a family friendly festival this summer? Mum’s the Word tell you everything you need to know…

It’s warming up - which can only mean one thing it’s the start of the festival season!

Yes that’s right it’s that time of year where we decamp to a field for a weekend of fun, laughter and letting loose without a care in the world! Well that’s what we did pre-children anyway… now we have a couple of children in tow we’ve abandoned Bestival for the family-friendly Camp Bestival (July 26 to 29, Dorset) and here’s everything we’ve learnt along the way!

We’ve been camping as a family since the children were tiny but decided to embark upon our first family festival a couple of years ago and we’re really glad we did! The brilliant thing about going to family friendly-festival is the wide range of entertainment taking place over the weekend.

There is something for everyone - old and young - from craft and forest skills to silent discos, street food and even live appearances from Mr Tumble (for the kids) and Orbital (for the adults) at some of the larger festivals.

Whatever you do though… don’t go to a family friendly expecting a rest! Festivals are full on fun! Your children will wake at the crack of dawn (even earlier than they do at home) and you will find that you’ve taken part in family yoga, wacky races and a street dance lesson all before 10am!

BUT when else do you get to spend all day and night outdoors; with entertainment on tap (with access to something stronger on tap too) without distractions from phones, Playstations, tablets (tell them there’s no WiFi in the tent) and everyday life – it really is good for the soul, a time to create memories you’ll treasure forever.

Here’s our top 10 tips for festival-going with kids:

  • Start small – the first family festival we went to was just 30 minutes up the road. Treat it as a test (worst case scenario you can go home if the baby won’t sleep and head back the next day) There are lots to choose from Woodlands, Hawkhurst, 8-10th June, Black Deer Festival, Eridge, 22-24 June, Big Day Out, Brighton, 30th June, Neverworld/Leefest, Hever, 2nd-5th August, Chilled in a Field, Ringmer, 3-6 August.

Find theknow's guide to local family-friendly festivals here. 

  • Always pack a trolley to transport your camping stuff from the car park to your camping spot. Unlike camping you can’t pull up next to your pitch and unload – your trolley can also double as child transport/sleeping station for later in the day. Don’t forget the slings for little ones!
  • Festivals can be busy – remember to put your mobile number on your child’s wristband and find a meeting spot in case you get separated…
  • Pack wellies and lots of layers. Even if the weather is good, it does always get really cold at night and damp under foot in the morning! Gro bags are excellent for keeping little ones warm at night.
  • Don’t wear DUNAGAREES! Although they do form the basis of our Mum uniform, dangly dungaree straps don’t mix with porta-loos! Plus always take loo roll and a potty for the tent and keep anti-bac hand wash in your bum bag (yes they’re back and very handy for festivals!)
  • Download the festival app in advance or study the festival programme –it will help you plan what you want to do/see and ensure you don’t miss anything
  • Don’t bother to take your own food (maybe just some snacks, croissants & brioche are perfect for keeping hungry tums happy, plus pouches are perfect for little ones and easy to transport). Festival street food always exceeds our expectations, with a real fusion of food delights from pizza to burritos and curries to delicious churros!
  • Pitch your tent next to someone with a recognisable flag/tent! This really helped us and the kids remember/find the tent when we were first getting our bearings… And don’t forget the head torches for when it’s dark!
  • Wet wipes and dry shampoo are the perfect replacement for showers – if they are busy (or even if they’re not)…
  • As we are talking about the UK make sure you pack raincoats and sunscreen! You’ll probably need both!

 

Most of all have fun… forget routines, forget sitting down for dinner (you will at times wonder why you are doing it at all) but throw caution to the wind and start making those memories – you won’t regret it!

Mum’s the Word are taking #wild_child their family-friendly dance party to Woodlands Festival on Sunday June 10, for more information visit www.mumstheword.online

Photograph by Little Olives Photography