Time was when the festival was a strictly adult affair, as much a survival ordeal and rite of passage as music event, where getting through it barely intact was a badge of honour. Times have changed, thankfully, and many festivals are now ideal for family-friendly days out.
Why are festivals so ideal for kids? At Kidult and Co we’re big on kids being themselves, liberated from the gender-based constraints of traditional children’s clothes. Festivals are a great expression of freedom, like mini-cultures that give kids the opportunity to explore new things and to feel a bit freer than they might do at home.
We think summer festivals are a great fit for what we stand for and the perfect setting for our minimal kids’ clothing designs.
Here you’ll find some great ideas for where to take the kids in the summer. Some of these have been and gone or will be booked up, but this is all about planning ahead for the perfect family festival event next year, if you’ve left it too late this time around.
Planning Your Festival Visit
Festivals are not waterproof, and so it’s best to be prepared for what the British Summer might throw at you, unless you happen to hit that sweet spot where there’s a heatwave (yeah, get real!). Hence, make sure you pack the wellies and the waterproofs then, along with enough spare clothing to see you all through.
Also, whilst plenty of festivals have food, make sure you pack plenty of snacks that won’t go off so that no one’s suddenly complaining of hunger pangs when you’re back at the tent.
Remember to be proactive – if you treat the tent as an excuse to collapse you risk missing out on things like workshops and activities for your kids to sign up to. Accept the fact that a family festival is all about getting stuck in, not watching the world go by. And go with what your kids enjoy. They won’t take to everything that’s been specially laid on for them, but they will discover plenty of other things that they really like.
Similarly, it’s a shared experience but your kids may not like the same things you do. Work out the compromises you need to make and try and ensure everyone gets something out of it, and sees something they want to.
Oh, and keep the anti-bacterial wipes on hand. Expect the unexpected, in the best possible sense!
Just So Festival
Held every year at Rode Hall, Cheshire, the Just So Festival is a camping festival for children, with their families. It’s the brainchild of the Wild Rumpus community interest company, and it takes in music, theatre, dance, art and literature.
The setting is a magical series of woodland glades, where there are numerous performances, installations and workshops for all. Much of this is about storytelling and using the festival’s natural backdrop of woodland, rolling fields and a lakeside setting to get kids involved and thoroughly immersed in different worlds to spark the imagination.
The Wild Rumpus company works with performers and producers, and with the families and children themselves, to create something very special, and precious that lasts the entire, long weekend.
In the heart of the Lake District, Kendal Calling is an award-winning festival held in Lowther Deer Park. Growing from its boutique origins in 2006, the festival now is bigger but still has a unique sense of closeness, character and charm.
It’s specifically indie music-based, attracting, year-on-year, great lineups of bands and performers, but it’s also family-friendly, with a family and kids’ cinema, special, dedicated children’s entertainment, and dedicated workshops and activities for children. There are five campsites to choose from next to the main festival area, including a family camping area.
Kendal Calling runs from 9am Friday through until 9pm Sunday and tickets for 2018 are on sale now – the ideal weekend away for you and the kids.
Down in Dorset, held at Lulworth Castle, Camp Bestival is an established fixture on the summer festival circuit, with an eclectic roster of artists, from current cult faves to more seasoned performers.
The music’s really varied, as is the entertainment, from live music to therapies and face painting. There are truly transformed areas such as the Ambient Forest, and family-friendly places catering specifically for kids. There’s also a Giant Kids’ Disco, special performers, the World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle plus the Upper Kids’ Garden where they can roam freely, and safely, and cavort to their hearts’ content.
We’ve tried this one, it really is a fantastic family music festival!
This annual weekend camping festival in Devon is family-friendly and attracts people of all ages. Beautiful Days features a great mix of bands and music styles performing on seven different stages. It’s held in Escot Park, near Fairmile, and has a different theme each year – 2017’s theme is Rock the Boat, meaning all things maritme-related.
The festival has areas for family camping and a dedicated Children’s Area, which the Majical Youth Theatre organises and co-ordinates. This means your kids have weekend long entertainment laid on for them, along with workshops they can join in with. They can learn circus skills, participate in a bit of theatre, and generally run around being themselves.
We’ve tried this one too; it was honestly one of the best weekends with the kids ever!
Often for family outings, small works well, and there are plenty of boutique festivals and family-friendly gatherings and events in the summer. These include the Deer Shed in North Yorkshire, Farmfest in Somerset, and Curious Arts Festival in the New Forest, Hampshire.
The key is to find somewhere that’s relaxing but full of activities for the kids, so that you all get a break, and your children don’t get bored.
We think our striking, monochrome t-shirt designs make ideal family festival-wear – your kids will stand out, and if you fancy a bit of twinning to stand out too, they come in adult sizes. And while we wouldn’t want your festival to turn into a Muddy Mess, at least we’ve got the t-shirt to remember it by!
Get In Touch
We produce dynamic designs for monochrome, minimal and unisex kids’ clothing, which are ideal for summer, festivals and freedom. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out the contact form on our website. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.