This is the time of year when all the festivals start, some are sold out already, so it’s time to get your skates on if you want to have a unique family experience and create some great memories.
I have often wondered what it would be like to go (they weren’t really around in my formative years!) and then I spotted a review on the FestivalKidz website of various festivals aimed at a family or mixed age audience and was amazed by what is out there. This is just a small selection of festivals, many more appear each year and FestivalKidz has most of them covered!
Britain will host around 2,500 days of festivals this year, (1,000 of them are listed on efestivals.co.uk) and there really is something for everyone!
As well as music festivals there are lots of events aimed at specific markets such as food (chillifest.net, visitcaerphilly.com, liverpoolfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk) and even cars (carfest.org).
Here are my pick of the Family friendly festivals happening this year:
Scoop up the whole family and transport them to a fun, quirky and exciting festival where boredom is kept well at bay. There are lots of kids’ shows, street theatre, circus workshops and fancy dress on hand, plus a carnival and dedicated parent-free youth zone. And there’s also plenty for mum and dad too, from live music and comedy to yoga and creative workshops.Wiltshire/Dorset border, 16-20 July larmertreefestival.co.uk
(Sold out for 2014 you have to get in quick for this one!)
Winner of the Best Family Festival at the 2011 Festival Awards, and shortlisted for six years, this event exudes a relaxed and friendly vibe ideal for family goers. There are crafts, workshops, story telling, dressing-up, rides and attractions to suit all ages, plus a designated camping area for family and friends. Devon, 15-17 August www.beautifuldays.org
Now in it’s 10th year, this glorious festival features a dedicated children’s zone with a whole host of events to keep the kids occupied. From magic and ventriloquist shows to sculpture and craft classes, it’s activity-central – and that’s just for kids. With Van Morrison, Keane and Squeeze headlining, there’s some great music on offer for parents to enjoy, too.Oxfordshire, 4-6 July, www.cornburyfestival.com
Just So (2013 Gold Award winner!)
Described as a journey of imagination with a magical weekend of creative adventures, this family-friendly festival caters for all ages. Events and attractions are filtered according to age group; there are various food and drink stalls to choose from, plus boutique camping available for those after a little luxury.Cheshire, 15-17 August www.justsofestival.org.uk
Kids are King at Camp Bestival. There’re loads of things to do, with a large proportion of the site devoted to the little’uns. There’re performances from Dick & Dom, Mr Tumble and Horrible histories to name a few, plus a line-up of great acts (from music to comedy) for mums and dads to enjoy, too. And, kids under 10 go free! Dorset, 31 July – 3rdAugust, www.campbestival.net
If the kids love science, they’ll love this festival. Combining music, arts, workshops and machines, it provides a varied programme of events designed for inquisitive young minds. With recycling crafts, building robots, video game sessions, cinema, story telling, arts and music, there’s something for everyone. North Yorkshire, 25-27 July, www.deershedfestival.com
Doune The Rabbit Hole
This small festival, held near the Lake of Menteith, is designed to offer children great creativity skills in the arts, from writing poetry to learning new instruments. At this festival, they get to try all the wonderfully fun activities you would normal pay private tuition for. Of course, there’s also a range of live music for family goers, from reggae and folk to rock and jazz. Scotland, 22-24 August, dounetherabbithole.co.uk
Music, magic and mayhem (of the good variety) are promised at this family-friendly festival. There are plenty of things provided to make it extra comfortable and easier for parents, including dedicated flat camping space, wheelbarrows to transport your kit, a crèche for 2-6 year olds and a jam-packed programme full of activities/attractions.Northamptonshire, 21-24 August, www.shambalafestival.org